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Coming Down

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A big part of yesterday and today for me was accepting that I'm not perfect. That sounds completely ridiculous, but it's 100% true. After losing 80 pounds, I thought I had all the answers. I thought I knew what I was doing for sure. I took a trip for work, and I vowed that I wasn't going to be like everyone else and gain weight while I was away. I was stronger. I was better. I would lose the same 2 pounds or more. I would use every opportunity to eat right and exercise. And while I did use every opportunity to work out, walking everywhere and really making the most of it, while I did eat healthy and in moderation whenever I could, I stepped on the scale when I got back and discovered that I'm just like everyone else...and I gained a pound.

I spent the last week lost. How could I have done all I had known and still fail? Was I doomed to fail in everything? What did I do wrong? What happened?

It's taken me days of talking it out on here, trying to ignore it and move on, trying to forget, trying to give up...and then, this morning, I laid in my bed, staring at the ceiling, asking myself all these questions about who I was and what I wanted. I don't have all the answers. I don't even know if I have some of them. What I do know is this -- I didn't do anything wrong.

I just logged my workouts for that week, and I didn't even log it all through Nike from the few times I forgot to set it. What I did end up logging was 490 fitness minutes and 3009 SP calories burned in one week. There is NOTHING wrong with that. And I ate pretty sensibly. Probably had a few too many coffees from Starbucks, and that French dinner was a killer calorie-wise, and Chinese is never the best idea for me - but I did alright, good even. So, all in all, I did exactly what I set out to do. What's more, a burn-out period when I returned is completely understandable.

This week I only logged 105 fitness minutes...just 75 off my goal. And I burned 1304 of the 2230 goal calories I hoped to burn. So this awful week of mine wasn't so awful after all. Even if I get up tomorrow and see 338 on the scale again like I did this morning.

One thing I really need to realize, thing I discovered through all of this is that I need to come back down to reality. I am not better than everyone else. I struggle and strive for greatness just like everyone else. I fail from time to time, and I succeed too.

So after gazing at the ceiling for a few minutes, and after asking myself, "What do you want your day to look like today?" I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, dragged Ethan outside, headed to the gym and ran more than I ever have before in my life. Today I proved to myself that I could run for 5 minutes straight, and for 16 minutes total. I slowed down my pace, but I kept telling myself, "You can go slower, you can turn down the pace, but you CANNOT stop, you CANNOT turn that treadmill off." The first 5 minute run went really well...the second, not so much...but I did it, and I felt pretty proud after. I pushed myself through, got in a tiny ST routine, and then I left telling myself that I had done alright.

I've had enough of feeling sorry for myself.
I've had enough of feeling lost.
I've had enough of thinking I can't.

And I've also had enough of thinking I'm beyond what I am.
I am human.
I laugh, cry, try, succeed and fail just like everyone else.
And my moments of triumph make me no better.
And my moments of failure make me no worse.

I am who I am, and it's time I start figuring out who that is and what that means, beyond what the scale says.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 1/12/2011 10:46PM

    What great, down-to-earth, realizations! i see you and I benefit from -- and suffer too! -- from the same tenacity (pigheadedness!). We have to watch out for that.

I love how you wrote this:
"And my moments of triumph make me no better.
"And my moments of failure make me no worse."

Very wise to remember. Thanks for the reminder because I needed it today, right now.

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KITHKINCAID 12/20/2010 5:17PM

    Girl - you are a RUNNER!!!

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TENACITY129 12/19/2010 9:21AM

    What a wonderful blog! The problem with eating out, and Chinese in particular, is always the sodium, so that alone can make you gain a pound. You exercised and Sparked and didn't forget your goals, despite being away, which is fantastic. The important part is not to give up.

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WOWNICESMILE 12/18/2010 11:43PM

    This blog was incredible. It just shows you are human and that every day isn't going to be perfect. But you made progress! So think about all the things that could have went wrong if you weren't on some kind of eating and exercise plan. You did a lot right! Even though the scale isn't showing it, taking some time to analyze it and seeing all you did right is huge progress. And...traveling for work and staying on an eating plan is incredibly hard and you did pretty well!! So don't beat yourself up - celebrate the fact that you did pretty well considering all the challenges that were in front of you. Even better, today you got up and got out there to exercise and do great. You're doing AWESOME!!! xoxo


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CALIKIKI 12/18/2010 11:42PM

    80 pounds is amazing! What an accomplishment and an inspiration.

I loved the line: What do you want your day to look like today?

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MAMADWARF 12/18/2010 11:37PM

    You are one of the most honest people I know. Thanks for blogging this.

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JRZG8R 12/18/2010 11:33PM

    You do have all the answers and you put them to work. You get up and you keep on going. Think on this just over one pint of water equals a pound. How much water do you take in a day? I drink half to over a gallon thats 8.35 pounds every day and zero calories.

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CHICAT63 12/18/2010 7:48PM

    You ran, you are doing it !!!! Always look forward, you have lost 80 pounds Esther - amazing, you can do it.

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EMRANA 12/18/2010 7:31PM

  I am giving you a huge round of applause ~ standing ovation! I loved reading this.

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COWCUTTER05 12/18/2010 4:27PM

    Great thoughts, they got me thinking too! Keep up the good work and focus on the positive! Thank you.

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WILDWESTWOMAN 12/18/2010 3:39PM

    What a great blog! If you've lost 80 lbs, 1 lb in the scheme of things is no biggie, even if it feels like it. AND because you were away and eating in strange places your sodium intake was probably up, so that could be the pound right there. You had a great week! None of us is perfect but you sure did great for being away on business, and you kept up your exercise, which is exemplary!

I especially liked this "what do you want your day to look like?" I am going to borrow that and use it every day before I get out of bed. That is an awesome way to start the day. Thanks for the tip, and thanks for being human. It makes it a heck of a lot better on the rest of us who are, after all, human too.

Ruth emoticon

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JLITT62 12/18/2010 3:32PM

    I almost always gain when I go away -- and I eat pretty well and I exercise. I've come to the conclusion that it's most likely the sodium from eating out a lot more than usual (cause once a week is the norm for us).

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GOGOSHIRE 12/18/2010 3:21PM


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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/18/2010 3:17PM

    Esther, I am so proud of you. For running, for challenging yourself, for striving for more. I am so proud to be your friend.

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ERIN1128 12/18/2010 3:07PM

    Can't tell you how much I love your honesty, and how much it helps the rest of us too!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 12/18/2010 2:48PM

    You constantly amaze me with your self reflection and positive attitude. If I could bottle it up and take it out on my bad days I'd have it made. Well, I have the next best thing I can come and read your blog. Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing. It is not easy to be real and that is what I like most about your blog. It feels real and I can relate. Our weight goals are not the same but the struggle and the journey is very familiar on a lot of levels. May you continue to push toward the prize of good health and strength in all areas of your life.

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Right and Wrong

Friday, December 17, 2010

All week I've been on a kick to discover what I've been doing right and what I've been doing wrong. When I got back from DC I weighed in at 335, and I was angry and upset. Why? Because I had put in so much work and, yet, I hadn't seen the results I had been hoping for. And all week I've only done half of what I know is right. As I told MEZZO, I have all the tools I need, but I've only been using half of them...and where has that gotten me? Maintaining.

On Sunday I weighed in at 335.
On Monday it was a low 336.
On Tuesday it was a high 336.
On Wednesday - 337.
On Thursday - 335.
And today? 337 again.

I'm fluctuating between those same 2 pounds up and down, and I know in my heart that I won't likely see lower than 335 on Sunday's weigh in. And I'm trying to remind myself that that is OK. I'm also trying to remind myself that not reaching my goal of being under 330 by Christmas is OK too. Why? Because I know I haven't done what I've needed to do, but I also know that I'm teaching myself a lesson and making myself stronger for the journey ahead. Because, the truth is, I haven't given least not completely.

I haven't been strong this week. On Monday night, I worked out. I didn't do a full work out. I copped out on my ST because I wasn't feeling well. I just did my C25k and went home. And I overate a little that day.

On Tuesday I did a little better. And I dragged myself to Zumba even though I did not want to go. And I went home feeling a little better about myself, but ate a little too much for dinner.

On Wednesday I fell apart a little. I started giving myself the wacky permission to give in to my cravings...and this time they didn't end. Why? Because I didn't have control over myself like I have in the past few months. I let myself go because I was angry, upset and hurt. I received yet another rejection letter for a job, and I let that speak to me about the rejection I had been getting from life in general, and i rejected myself a little.

Yesterday, I let go of everything. I didn't work out. I ate no less than 4 pieces of pizza for lunch. I told myself it was alright because it was snowing endless snow outside and I hadn't packed a lunch, but I know I could have handled the situation in a much more productive manner. There's a CVS down the strip mall from me, and I could have chosen to eat the soup I bought there, light vegetable soup. But I didn't. I gave up and gave in. And when I got off work early, I chose to go home, to eat more throughout the night and not work out at all. I was confused and angry and got yet another rejection letter in the mail. And I fell apart and let myself fall into old habits. I told myself I didn't care anymore...but I did.

All week I've only done things halfway...and I've always hated people who whine about not seeing results when they only do things halfway. So I let myself hate myself for a little bit this morning...and then I took a breath and told myself to STOP.

What are my tools? What worked before? Where have I gone off track?
1) I worked out. Even if it was just the minimum for the day, I did what that minimum was.

2) I stuck to calorie ranges, even if I didn't stick to a fully health-filled diet of good foods. When I started I just ate whatever we had in the house, but I limited myself to my calorie ranges. Lately I've allowed myself some foods I had previously cut out of the majority of my diet, and I ignored the calories...just plain and simple ignored them.

3) I read Spark articles. I let Spark be my guide...but lately (and this is a big one) I got to thinking I knew more than everyone else. I'd lost 80 pounds, so I thought I didn't need the advice anymore. I knew what worked, so I didn't need the support and tools here. I was wrong. Majorly wrong! I don't know where this came from...I've always been the kind of person who said there was always something new to learn, more to know...I never used to let myself think I had all the answers. I don't. I need to bring myself off the pedestal I put myself on, humble myself, and get back to learning again how to make this new life work for me.

4) I logged and blogged everything. All week I've been avoiding my tracker like an idiot. I didn't even log last week all the walking I did (going to try to go back and add that, as I logged most of it on Nike's site). I logged a little of my food, but the rest of the time, I just avoided the thing like the plague. I didn't want to know. I let go of my thought that honesty is the best policy and told myself that I was better off not knowing. WRONG!

5) I found opportunities to move and make good choices. I walked at lunch. I did squats in my office. All I've been doing on breaks lately is sleeping and reading. I feel tired and lethargic, and I attributed that to the snow outside. But yesterday, when I got home from work early, I looked at the winter playground around me and just wanted to play in the run around and enjoy the season. And, you know what? I didn't do it. I let go of the happy feelings and instead gave into the negative ones. Bad move.

So, I guess what I'm saying is...I'm going back to step one in the process. I've lost 80 pounds, and I learned what opportunities were out there for me in the summer months. I learned how to use what was around me to get me where I wanted to go. And then I got a big head and thought I was too special for all that, and then I got a little lost when the snow hit the ground. So it's a winter restart for me.

Spark Diet - Step 1:
6 Fast Break Strategies

1) Do you know what you're eating? TRACK everything!
2) Finding the time - Learn what habits can fit into a realistic day.
3) Setting up shop - Reorganize your kitchen to prevent temptation, promote convenience and purchase wisely.
4) Site Tricks & Tips - Learn how to use to your advantage!
5) Keeping Goals Top of Mind - Create a vision collage.
6) Which diet strategies will work for you? - Go over your Spark program and set it up to make it work for you.

I'm going back to the beginning. I'm going to learn how to restart with this new body I've made for myself and discover what makes IT tick. Sure, most of it will be the same, but there could be some changes too. I gotta keep rolling with it, accepting my new self, and moving on from there. As RAVENSONG said, it's time for a reboot.

1 - I will track everything and measure, measure, measure!
2 - I will find time to workout every day, even if just for 10 minutes.
3 - I will make a list for shopping this weekend, and do a little batch cooking to fill any holes.
4 - I will rediscover Spark. There are still some parts of this site that I just don't get.
5 - I will rediscover my goals, write them down, and post them in front of my scale.
6 - And I will go over my Spark plan and make sure it's right for what I need right now.

Here we go again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVENSONG37 12/20/2010 12:27PM

    I love your re-commitment, but I also want to point out all the stuff you were STILL doing RIGHT. You are still on the right path hon. I love you!

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SPARKLINGVIOLET 12/18/2010 12:29PM

    I'm doing the same thing right now. Starting at the basics. Good luck!!

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RIGBY31 12/18/2010 11:35AM

    "..I haven't given up, at least not completely". My goodness, this is my situation now too. Because of your blog I looked back on my week (ouch) and when the list grewgrewgrew, well now no mystery. I just have to regroup, get back at it. Thank you for showing me this.

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GOGOSHIRE 12/18/2010 11:06AM

    What's kinda of neat about this week is now you know for a fact that as long as you work out (even if you're not at 100%), you can pretty much eat what you want without gaining. That's awesome knowledge to have. And the flipside is true, too - as long as you eat right, even if you miss your workouts, you'll maintain. To lose, you need both, but you know that, and your plan looks awesome.

Don't be discouraged, Esther, and when you are at goal weight, this will be a great blog to go back to so that you can remind yourself that having 4 slices of pizza for lunch isn't going to set you back as long as you have done your Zumba and some C25k ( or whatever your cardio is at that point).

You are really awesome, you know that?


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SHEILA1505 12/18/2010 1:48AM

    This will work!
I'm going to apply it to myself, too :)
Getting complacent isn't going to help anyone and you've given me the nudge I needed - going back to square one just has to be the answer. Start again at today's numbers and get that Spark lit properly or rather, in my case, give it a little oxygen so it can ignite and shine brightly


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TRANSFORMWE 12/17/2010 11:32PM

    Great job. And getting a rejection is hard, so allow yourself to FEEL sad, angry, whatever comes up, and let the emotion move on out and through you without numbing it with food. Way to go in working through what's been going on for you!

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FITMARY 12/17/2010 8:48PM

    The one good thing about getting off track is that you have new commitment and new energy to try again. And you clearly have that renewed sense of commitment and so, weird as it may sound, it's a good thing that you let it all go for a while, cuz you'll be so much stronger this time around. I wouldn't sweat the fluctuation of a couple pounds either. Look at the bigger picture for a while. You'll start losing consistently again. Just hang in there. Do what works. And DON'T GIVE UP!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/17/2010 8:44PM

    Oh yes, and emoticon I sent you my email address in Facebook mail. As soon as you send me a copy of your resume/cover letter, I'll look it over and give you some feedback!

Comment edited on: 12/17/2010 8:51:46 PM

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/17/2010 8:44PM

    Ok, first of all I have no idea how I got unsubscribed from your blog. Second of all, how much do I relate to this entire post? I've never really given full thought to the amount of stress everyone is under during the holidays, because I've always just numbed the stress and chaos with food. This holiday, I'm just stressed. ARGH! Sometimes it seems like you can't win, right? I'm fighting 6 pounds at the moment. WTF is that about? Well... it's probably that I'm not eating breakfast, or healthy snacks, and missing regular meals.. and barely getting enough water. Hmm. I guess it's more of a "Hi, you are a dumb*ss Paula." :) Live and learn, right?

I've also been justifying the cravings for whatever reason. I don't like it and want to stop. Thank you for continuing to share your story, it gives me strength.

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ERIN1128 12/17/2010 6:15PM

    You go, girl!

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ATREAT4ME 12/17/2010 6:08PM

    Hooray! WTG! I love your Frank assessment and how you keep yourself honest. Excellent job.

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RUSSELLORAMA 12/17/2010 12:13PM

    It's easy to feel like an expert when you've been so successful! I'm right there with you and there's no better time than RIGHT NOW to rekindle your spark.

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_TRIXIE_ 12/17/2010 11:30AM

    I'm sorry to hear about the letter in the mail; what a crappy way to top off the day.

But each day you get a do-over. You can't erase what happened, but you have all the power you need to make sure you don't repeat it. Good luck with the reboot. I've done it before and I know I will do it again. Sometimes, you get so lost in the journey that you need to reign it all in and reassess. It's a great practice, I hope it works for you!

And next time, go play in the snow, hon! Show your kids that you can have fun outside in the winter!

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ABETTERCHERYL 12/17/2010 11:23AM

    Yes, yes, yes! You were doing so good while you were in DC and you were getting incredible mileage in but if you weren't happy, you weren't happy. Get back to the basics and give yourself a fresh start and you are going to find that spark in you again. I'm here if you need to talk!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 12/17/2010 11:05AM

    Sounds like you are right on track for getting back into the swing of things that work for you. emoticon

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Learning to Walk Again

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So, yesterday I worked on getting up. I ate my regular 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 Tbsp. of whipped cream cheese and, with coffee in hand, I headed to work. I ate my yogurt at the regular time, had my salad a few hours later with a turkey sandwich, and then the cravings hit.

Instead of rushing to the vending machine, I ate some almonds and had a protein bar...following that with some grapes instead of chocolate covered pretzels. When I felt more cravings, I popped a slice of Extra's new dessert gum. (If you haven't tried this, you totally should! Mint Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Shortcake are amazing! I feel like I'm eating the full-meal gum from Willy Wonka! *lol* Why didn't anyone think of this before?!)

I spent the hours of 3-6 trying to talk myself out of going to the gym. I had good reasons and some excuses.

I was still tired because I didn't sleep well the night before.
My legs were still sore from the actual fall I took the other night.
I still wasn't "feeling it."
My oldest son has come down with Chickenpox.

And then I told myself that I was being silly.
I told myself that my Zumba instructor was doing final measurements for the BL challenge we started in October.
I told myself that regular gym-time on Thursday was out because I have to work my second job.
And then I told myself to shut it and just drive.

I got out of my car at the gym complaining about the cold.
And then told myself that it would be warmer inside.

I whined about how cold I would be when I was sweat-drenched on the way home.
And then I told myself I'd cross that bridge when I got there, and it was only a 10-15 minute drive before I'd be home in the cozy, warm house.

And I changed my clothes and took one last look in the mirror before heading upstairs.
And I ran a lap around the track, just to remind myself what that felt like.
I positioned my new I RUN Bondiband on my head, a reward I bought myself for completing week 2 of C25k.

Zumba was strange, and I was reminded again how much my body has changed.
I nearly fell over no less than 4 times.
The instructor asked if I was okay, as my balance seemed to be in the crapper.
And these really weird words came out my mouth as I explained that I was using the same energy I had used before to complete the moves before realizing it didn't take that much energy anymore.

You've all heard the phrase "lighter on your feet" right? That's what I was. I was lighter. So when we did a leg lift or a jump or even a knee lift, my mind kept trying to work those muscles to their ultimate power to raise my legs off the ground. But, I soon realized, my legs weren't as heavy anymore. And at one point I even felt like I was flying in a way. I was jumping higher and moving faster, and it took me some time to get used to it.

I may not have lost any weight in DC, but even Hubs noticed when I got back that my legs look thinner. Walking and running have shrunk my legs, and certainly have increased my muscle mass in them, I think. And when I put on that size 2x dress MEZZO sent me, I realized I didn't hate my legs so much anymore. They aren't the runners legs I want...not yet... but they're certainly improved and I'm finding cause and opportunity to enjoy and love them.

I came home after Zumba and ate a little too much pot roast and mashed potatoes. But then I stopped eating and was good the rest of the night.

I felt stronger.
I felt a little more in control.
I wasn't perfect, but I was gaining my courage back.

I talked to a friend on the phone, the one who is getting married in July and asked me to be a bridesmaid. The one who gave me yet another reason to keep pushing, so I can be lower than I ever have been in my adult life by the time I put on that bridesmaid dress. I told her that I was hoping to lose at least another 30 pounds by the time her wedding came around. I reminded her that I had lost 80 already, and told her that my plan was to lose "a Sarah" (that's her name, btw). "Good luck!" she said. "I'm up to 126 now." I started calculating in my head and thought, "Okay, so the challenge is set. I may not lose a Sarah before her wedding, but by the end of next year, I want to be able to tell her -- 'Hey! I lost YOU!' and laugh uncontrollably."

After talking to her, I watched the BL finale...and somehow I got to talking with Logan and Hubs about how much weight I had lost. "You weighed 460 pounds at some point?" Hubs looked at me, jaw dropped. "Yep. 466.6." He didn't say anything. "I now weigh 335." And all I heard was, "Oh my God!" Suddenly the pictures of the people on the show made sense to him. I was right up there with them. I may still have a ways to go, but I have accomplished amazing things so far, so who can say I can't do it again, or continue to do it?

When I fessed up to you yesterday about how scared I was, I was on my way to getting up. I had my knee bent and my foot on the ground. And with each small step of progress I made throughout the day, I was getting my entire body into standing position. Through my Zumba class I started taking my first steps again. And then having some serious talks, I started to feel like my legs were back firmly under me and I was ready to move at a quicker pace.

I think I experienced a slight twinge of burnout last week.
I think the disappointment from putting in so much effort and not seeing results shook me.
But I know that I started the process of learning to walk again yesterday.
We say all the time that it's all about the baby steps we take...and what I didn't realize is how many times throughout the process you have to go back to crawling before you can learn to take baby steps and learn to walk again. You grasp onto any hand around you, for me, it was friends and family, my Hubs a lot of the time, my Sparkies the rest. I let you hold my hands to give me the confidence I needed to try again on my own. And then I let go and started to walk again.

That doesn't mean I won't need those hands again sometime in the future. I might even need them again today. Learning to walk is a difficult thing - you have to find your balance and listen to your body, and stumbling is a part of that learning process. But for right now, I'm walking, I'm taking it step by step and letting go of the idea that the fall hurt me somehow. In truth? I think it has made me stronger.

Thanks for helping me get up.
Thanks for holding my hand as I took those first steps.
I'm ready to take some more on my own again, but I hope you'll all be there when I need the hand-holding once more.
And as I try out these new legs, I'm going to work on reminding others that they can walk too, and that we can support each other as we go. The walk is always more fun when you have someone to share it with...another lesson I learned in DC.

In other news:
* My eye doc yelled at me today for misusing my contacts. I was days away from getting an ulcer in my eye and, perhaps, losing a good portion of my vision. Another lesson learned. I'll be ordering new glasses and contacts on Friday and, until then, me and my old glasses will be spending a lot of quality time together.

* Like I said, Logan has Chickenpox. Ethan is P.O.ed beyond belief because it means he gets to miss school all week, and likely the two days next week before Winter Break. Logan is doing well, it's a mild outbreak as he had one shot of the vaccination as a baby. His fever is 99 or so, and the bumps aren't everywhere. He feels fine and loves that he gets to stay home from school! *lol*

* Workout scheduled for today? C25k, W3D3. Yep, I'm a little behind because of the traveling and such, but I'm just going to keep going like I didn't miss a beat and only go backward if I need to. One thing I won't do? Give up. I worked too hard to be able to run (something I discussed with a classmate at Zumba last night), I won't go back on it now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSSIBRAT 12/17/2010 7:14AM

    I am so proud of you girl!

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FLGIRL1234 12/16/2010 3:18PM

    I LOVE it..."LOSE a Sarah"! You can do this!!!! I know your ready. Great job on the C25K. I finished that program awhile back but am currently doing it over again to help my sister. We are on W4D3. Its such an awesome program to start running. Its how I got the courage to run my first 5K in the first place. Good for you! Inspired!

emoticon emoticon

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WILLIAMV3 12/16/2010 3:18PM

    Way to go my friend. You can do this! emoticon

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RAVENSONG37 12/16/2010 3:06PM

    You can totally lose a Sarah! I love you for so many reasons. One is how you just work it all out here, and let me be a part of your ups and downs. It makes me feel so much better about all of mine.

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SLFRISBEY 12/16/2010 12:32PM

    Woohoo!!! The race to the bridesmaid dress is on! My friend moved her wedding back to July (Thank God, it was supposed to be in February!!!) so lets get to work and ROCK the possibly (I still haven't seen what she's planning!) ugly dress! Esther, You are my HERO!

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SRABANTI 12/16/2010 3:21AM

    Whatever you are doing is perfect, just keep in mind no one else is more motivated than you. You have come a long way and still there is wayyyyy to go. Lets all give our everything to the few last days of the year and things will take better shape in the fresh new year.
Good luck~~

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NIKNAK1980 12/15/2010 11:22PM

    One word sums you and this blog up.... emoticon Nuff said!

Comment edited on: 12/15/2010 11:22:17 PM

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ALOFA0509 12/15/2010 6:56PM

You are one BAD @SS Mama Jama!!!! Sooo Inspiring, keep up the Great work.. I love your updates emoticon


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JEAN_WIKE 12/15/2010 5:51PM

  Ha ha, I'm trying to imagine you with runners legs; specifically, with the legs my husband had when he ran. They looked good on him, but . . . maybe if you shave them it'll be okay. emoticon

Seriously, to keep pushing and pushing and pushing like you do is wonderful.

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ATREAT4ME 12/15/2010 4:59PM

    I love this analogy. For me, I never learned to "walk" in the first place. My control in regards to eating was always external. That is a huge conflict for someone like me who believes in the power of individual choice. So, here we go. Hang on cuz it'll get bumpy from time-to-time. We just have to remember that we're looking at life-long lessons. Great post! Thank you!

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JLITT62 12/15/2010 3:29PM

    Really like the analogy.

Me & my best-friend-neighbor got the chickenpox together when we were about 5 or 6. It was also a mild case -- altho I do have a couple of pock marks on my face -- and mostly I remember playing with him.

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SOON2BEFITSLP 12/15/2010 12:35PM

    Yay! It must be fantastic to suddenly feel such changes! Keep the momentum going, you are doing soooo great! It is always so encouraging and fun to read you blog posts.

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All is Not Lost

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Last night I was watching Tabitha's Salon Takeover with Hubs. (I know, strange, right?! *lol*) Anyhow, there was a woman on there, the salon's co-owner, who seemed defensive whenever the employees told her anything was wrong. Hubs and I started talking about her getting emotional when it was improper in business situations and I said something to the effect of, "She seems like the kind of person who never loses and I think she's scared because she knows she's failing at this." And Hubs looks at me, laughs and says, "Well that's silly! You can't have success without failures!"

Wow, right?!

It goes right along with a Spark article I read this morning on the successes and failures of Abe Lincoln. (Fitting considering my recent trip to DC, and my theory since childhood that Lincoln was my favorite president of all time. Funny, my kids asked me why and I couldn't really tell them...but after reading this article, I think it's firming up my belief that he was a triumph because he kept getting back up after every fall.)

Read the article here:

The point is, little Abe struggled, and both little and big Abe failed many, many times. It took him 3 times to get elected to Congress. He never succeeded at getting elected to the Senate...and that great speech he gave that we now have our children study in school? It was considered a flop. And yet, ask most people what they think of Lincoln and they'll likely not have much bad to say about the man.

This all ties in with something I commented to someone in a blog recently...about how falling is normal and human, but how getting up again and continuing to move forward is what separates us from those who never succeed.

I think you see what I'm getting at here. In order to win, we have to learn how to lose. It's not the fall that's important, but the refusal to stay down, the fight to get back up, dust ourselves off, and get going again. And falling can happen a lot in life.

I failed the first time I did Zumba. And now I'm sort of a pro.
I failed when I started to attempt to run. And now I'm doing C25k.

I have fallen over and over again. And this feeling I'm experiencing? The experience of the past three days? It's just another fall I need to get through.

I still can't get my 24s on comfortably, though it was a goal for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I haven't reached, and likely won't reach, my goal of under 330 by Christmas.

But last week I walked about 20 miles. I worked out at the gym. I ate healthy options except a few exceptions here and there. (Seriously, that french dish was probably awful for me....penne pasta, Roquefort cheese and black truffle shavings...and that was just the STARTER!...but it was SO TOTALLY worth it!) I made good choices, I kept moving, and I felt more alive than I've felt in so very long!

Sunday night I took a literal fall in my living room. And it took me a while, but I did finally get up. I kept thinking to myself the entire time, "Why are you still on the ground? It hurt, yes, but you're fine. Just get up, stupid!" But then I realized that I was scared. That fall hadn't happened because my knee went out. My knee didn't even go out when I fell. I didn't break anything. And all I could think was, "Is this was it feels like to fall as a skinny person?" Yes, I actually thought that.

I'm scared right now. Awfully scared. The kind of scared that keeps you from moving. The kind of scared that makes you retreat backwards.

I'm scared because this new body of mine is just that - new. I don't understand it. It feels so strange and foreign to just walk and walk and walk, and only feel completely exhausted after hours of walking and realizing that you've walked 6 miles and have every right to feel completely exhausted...especially considering you already "ran" 2 miles earlier that day.

I'm scared because my collarbone hurts. The right one. It hurts to touch it. Is it bruised? Is that the one I've broken twice in my life? Is that the way it's supposed to feel? Is there supposed to be a little bump there?

I'm scared because I heal quicker than before. The day after my 6.5 mile walk, I was fine the next morning. Even the windburn/rash/whatever on my legs didn't hurt quite as bad as the night before.

I'm scared because I look in the mirror sometimes and I don't recognize myself. I think, "Wow! I look great!" and then I second guess myself, because there is no way, mentally, I can wrap my head around being thinner.

I'm scared because my husband constantly compliments me.
I'm scared because a size 2x dress sent to me last night fit...and I didn't think it would.
I'm scared because the 24s still don't fit, and I know it's because of my stupid "stomach apron" or whatever it's called.
I'm scared that I'll never get rid of that thing.
I'm scared of what happens when I do.
I'm scared to realize that, if I try hard enough, I could possibly see 230, my PT's set goal weight by the end of 2011...what then?

MEZZOANGEL wrote a blog about this feeling she got after realizing she was so close, after realizing she was standing on the doorway of that final goal she set for herself. And I agree with her's scary. And I guess we're going to have to be scared together. I may not be standing on the doorway, but I've reached a mental halfway point (and almost a physical one as well), because my body is so differently changed from what it was when I began.

I may have fallen Sunday night. I may have "fallen" Saturday through Monday (nope, I did NOT work out last night. I ate a ton of crap and sat on the couch watching TV with Hubs). And even though it might take a little while, I'm going to get back up.

My husband is can't succeed without falling. Why? Because you have to learn the lessons of success each time you stumble, or you're bound to have a huge fall from grace later. This fall of mine? I'm looking at is as a lesson, and one I really need to learn.

30 is coming.
2011 is coming.
Vegas is coming.
A new body is coming.
A lack of stomach is coming.
A bounty of clothes is coming.
230 is coming.

So I'm just going to sit here, and eat my salad, and listen...listen to the lesson I need to hear. About how I can get back up every time. About how every fall creates a callous. About how I'm healing faster than ever now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLGIRL1234 12/16/2010 3:09PM

    You know, reading your blog reminded me so much of my sister in law and how I wish she would get to where you are mentally. Right now she just wallows in her own self pity wanting to be better but never quite gettting there mentally to actual start her journey. Your blog was so inspirational that I want to send it to her to show her it can be done...even when you feel its just no use. Get out there and just move forward. Love this blog! Thank you for sharing!

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RAVENSONG37 12/16/2010 3:01PM

    It's okay to be scared. Just know you are not alone in all of this.

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KITHKINCAID 12/16/2010 12:30PM

    There it is! Great blog! And THIS is why you are NOT a failure my dear. You recognize this. You have fallen and you have gotten back up over and over and over again. Keep doing it. Your progress shows and you're outstanding!

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LOOKY-LOU 12/16/2010 10:07AM

    Fantastic blog...thank you!

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RUSSELLORAMA 12/15/2010 11:13AM

    Let's all be scared together! We can totally do this. It's time to shed the mental AND physical weight.

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MRSSIBRAT 12/15/2010 8:41AM

    you are awesome...and I am so proud of you for reconizeing these things

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RONIREDD 12/15/2010 8:34AM

    WOW! This gave me chills. Thank you so much for your inspiration!!!

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SWELL10 12/15/2010 8:15AM

    Wow! This blog is so insightful and speaks to so many of us in this journey. Thank you!

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ATREAT4ME 12/15/2010 7:44AM

    I fell of my bicycle in late October. It was pretty hard crash and I was bruised from my calf, to my hip, to my back and shoulder. My neck hurt and I had a horrible headache for about 2 days. And all I could think was, "Wow, that didn't hurt as much as it used to hurt when I weight 276 lbs.!" Isn't funny?

I love your insights and good for Hubs for being so smart and thank you for sharing your wisdom learned.

Keep healing and most importantly, keep getting back up. I will too!

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SARAWALKS 12/15/2010 7:33AM

    "Something's coming, something good...if I can wait..." - Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story
But NOT just wait!.. patience is part of working.
My best voice teacher used to say, "you can't sing a good high note unless you can sing a bad one!" And then he'd make me sing a bad one and we'd both crack up!
Abe's wisdom. Thanks, Esther, you rock and you are emoticon and you are gonna get there.
and when you're there, there's gonna be a "there" there... emoticon

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CHICAT63 12/15/2010 5:24AM

    Always look forward and not back, thanks for sharing. Great blog !

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RIGBY31 12/14/2010 10:00PM

    I agree with you... scared. I think it's because we're just days away from the end of the year, a year that was productive, full of hope and accomplishments. But it seems like it's never enough. You have inspired me to get up off my booty and start the C25K. YOU!! So just ride the wave. I just bet when the new year arrives, everyone is going to be walking two feet off the ground for the potential of 2011. 12 months to again be awesome!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/14/2010 7:29PM

    I love you Esther!

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NIKNAK1980 12/14/2010 4:35PM

    Your words always ring true to me & I thank you for sharing them so openly & deeply in your blogs! It is a scary thing to face when you think about it. Society sees you different, you see you different, every feeling is different..I've been there, although I went on a WAY too long fall to the floor and am just now starting to get back up, so thank you again for those words!! emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 12/14/2010 1:49PM

    Great blog--- your hubs is so right! It almost seems like a theme in your week... to be reminded of failure... leading to success.

I might fall a million of times, but you can't fail unless you stop trying, right?

That's what I try to remember and whenever I'm sooo upset at my lack of progress ( in terms of weight loss) I remember where I would be if I had given up. That's pretty eye opening to me.

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BRIAEL 12/14/2010 1:39PM

    Isn't it strange how it takes an external comment to make us realise such an important life lesson?

I love that you see how important it is to keep getting up. There's a major lesson there, not just for staying on the healthy eating and lifestyle plan .. but for everything else in life.

Good for you, girlie. :)

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NEENSTER1 12/14/2010 12:45PM

    Amen, If you fall 20 times, get up 70. Otherwise you will never succeed. Nothing beats a try but a failure. Be Encouraged and Keep up the emoticon work.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/14/2010 12:34PM

    Each time I sabotage myself it means I'm scared. Thankfully, it happens less and less these days. This journey scary - change is hard but it's also freeing.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 12/14/2010 12:22PM

    Great blog. Thanks for putting a voice to what so many people feel but don't know what they are feeling or how to put it in words. I'm so blessed to be able to peek in on your journey. When you reach your goal I will be part of that cyber party celebrating with you. emoticon

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SOON2BEFITSLP 12/14/2010 12:17PM

    It is scary! I agree and then you wonder "Am I really me anymore?" and there is all this mumbo-jumbo about the "new me" and you realize that all along you have been "the regular me" except you didn't even know it. And the funny thing is "the regular me" sticks around no matter what happens on the outside or inside. All change is scary, but you have a lot of support. I have been feeling like the world is sitting on my back and I am sprawled on the ground. But you are right! This is only a fall, and I need to brush myself off. And so do you! Thanks for always having inspiring blog posts. It really brings all sorts of things into perspective.
ps. Abe Lincoln may have had a lot of failures, but he was one of the best presidents in my opinion too. They didn't call him Honest Abe for nothing!

Comment edited on: 12/14/2010 12:18:27 PM

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TAFODIL24 12/14/2010 12:13PM

    Thank you for sharing! I also agree with Determined_Soul ~ failures are really "learning moments"!

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MISZI1030 12/14/2010 12:11PM

    Wow...I love your thought process. Keep moving!!! Thank you for sharing.

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DETERMINED_SOUL 12/14/2010 12:05PM

    You are doing great! It is so learns from their "failures" if you want to call them that. I call them "learning moments".

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KARVY09 12/14/2010 12:01PM

    You're getting there, girl.

No self-sabotage. Patience. Zumba. Love.

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WYCKEDSTEPMOM 12/14/2010 12:00PM

    Thank you for sharing this ... I've been battling the blahs all day and now I'm going to sit and read this again, and let your words of wisdom really sink in ...

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Home Again, Home Again...

Monday, December 13, 2010

My flight home went stellar, ladies and (very few) gents! I got to the airport entirely too early for my flight, but was glad to just be going home (plus, I had Dracula to finish and In Cold Blood to get back into, so all was good on the waiting front). When boarding for my flight was called, I realized I was the only one standing and walking toward the gate. Figured it must have been a mistake, but NOPE! I get to the gate and the ticketing woman says, "You're my only passenger today! You just chartered a flight!" *lol* That's right...whole entire tiny turboprop plane to myself! It was wonderful! Excellent visability so I got to watch us pass over the snow-covered mountains and everything! The flight attendant made her and I some hot tea and then I just enjoyed the peace and quiet and smooth sailing of the best flight I've ever experienced.

The past two days were spent at home doing laundry, getting groceries, cleaning up (*sigh*) and trying to get myself and my house back in order. There is still plenty to do, but I have to admit that my eating for the past 2 days has been...well, not good at all. But today is a new day, and besides eating 3 servings of those stupid Quaker mini rice snack things (not buying those again!), I'm doing alright. Missed my yogurt this morning as someone moved one I had lost to the back of the fridge up to the front and it expired over a month ago. (Not going through that food poisoning again!!) I'm trying to readjust, but I miss the streets of DC a bit and having the world, and plenty of walking paths, at my fingertips. Back to the grind. Nothing exciting to do tonight. No 5 miles put in just so I can go walk to the store to get some shopping in or go see the large monument that is just blocks away. *sigh* Back to driving an hour in my car to get to work, to sit here for about 10 hours, only to leave and head to the gym for a regular-sized workout, and then home to cook, clean, and veg until bedtime. I wish I could travel all the time!

Anyhow, you might notice that I didn't post a weigh-in blog yesterday. Want to know the God's honest truth? I gained a pound, and then spent all day eating whatever the hell I wanted just because I was so very angry about that one pound. Yes, I know that it's probably due to excess sodium, lack of water, overexertion. I made the perfect storm of overworking my body, not eating on schedule, and not drinking water consistently throughout the day to gain some bloating and such. And while my head knows heart was broken all day yesterday. Honestly, I likely put in about 20 miles of either walking or running last week. And as much as I understand how A + B must = C for everything to work out the way I want on the scale, sometimes it just doesn't make sense in my head that working out more and eating sensibly doesn't always translate anymore to a 5 pound loss on the scale.

So that's why my shame kept me from even logging on yesterday. There. I admit it. And now I'm moving on.

Back to the every day.
Back to the job I feel overqualified for.
Back to the job that doesn't pay me enough to buy Christmas presents.
Back to days of boring and annoying work gossip and gripes.
Back to people forgetting the ideal of what we're doing here.
Back to paperwork.
Back to exercise plans.
Back to living each day almost entirely like the one before.
Back to worry, and regret, and things that drive me forward.
Back to hoping for more...and not getting it.
Back to no phone calls about jobs interviewed for.
Back to empty inboxes and useless information.

I'm going to formulate a soon as I stop mourning the death of my freedom and exciting new possibilities.

People ask me sometimes why I keep going, keep trying to lose weight, keep exercising. Truth? Right now it is the only thing I can change. Nothing else works. It may be slow, and difficult, and downright annoying at times, but it's the only time I put in effort and see the results. I've been failing in every other area of my life, so letting go on this would be letting go of the only good thing I've got going for me right now. I know that sounds sad, but that's the truth. I can't give up...I would cease to move forward...and I have this innate fear that if I stop moving I will die...maybe I'm a shark.

So, yes...I'm home. And while I'm glad to be home with my boys (all 3 of them, Hubs included), I'm confronted with the ho-hum and dull-drum of my life...and the fact that I'm extremely unhappy with it...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 1/12/2011 10:38PM

    Coming home to the mundane is always hard after an exciting and adventurous vacation. But I have no doubt that you'll make your day-to-day life just as exciting and fun. I can't wait to read more about it.

Pls. don't fret about that pound. It'll be gone very soon. And you were a tourist rock star in DC!

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RAVENSONG37 12/16/2010 2:54PM

    I totally feel you on the same day-to-day struggle. One thing I'm working on is trying to find gratitude in the my day, no matter what's happening. I'm grateful for you and our friendship.


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KITHKINCAID 12/16/2010 12:23PM

    You're allowed to be unhappy with your life, but you're not allowed to call yourself a failure. Uhuh - no way, no how are you a failure. YOU ARE A SUCCESS if there ever was one. And you work 10 times, no 100 times harder than any one of us who had it easy in the job market. I applaud you girl.

I wish I could travel all the time too though. Like you said - it's nice to be home, but it sure ain't the same as being on the road. Maybe you and I need to take up travel writing...

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RUSSELLORAMA 12/15/2010 11:10AM

    I'm glad you made it back safely (and on your own plane, Rockstar!) I can totally relate to the feeling of being stuck, even when there are many things that you are happy and grateful for, there's nothing quite like seeing the possibility of what your life can become. When I feel that way, I try to translate that desire into action. What can I do to move myself closer to that goal? What was it about that experience that made me want to have it over and over again? One of the best things about SP is that it is showing me that you can transform your ENTIRE life, not just your physical one.

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SLFRISBEY 12/14/2010 9:35AM

    I would love to get a whole plane to my self! I usually am muttering "please don't sit next to me, please" the whole time and am sad every time someone does. :)

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SHEILA1505 12/14/2010 12:58AM

    As Briael says - flights cause water retention, they also cause stress (whether we admit it or not, we are not really natural flyers!) and stress retains water.

Give yourself a couple of days break from the self-beatings, Esther - weigh in next week when you have continued to do all the right things!

I so wish that I had known this before so that I didn't beat myself up after two trips in August and September - I would have avoided a couple of months of sulking and just got on with the healthy stuff - I must have got in my own way needlessly

Hang in there

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MAMADWARF 12/13/2010 11:48PM

    You are a champ, Esther. You just keep swimming.

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MAMADELIGHT 12/13/2010 7:15PM

    As long as you aren't sharkbait, right?!

You have every reason to keep on keeping on. You are shining!!!!

And that flight sounds amazing minus the small size of the plane. Cuz, that freaks me out.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/13/2010 6:59PM

    I am sure that being back in the comfort of your own life is both happy and sad, but if I know anything about you, I know you are a fighter. And you aren't a quitter. And your broken heart was in good company with mine, even from afar. I'm still unsettled, but your words made a lot of sense to me and I am mulling them over. I want to mull them over champagne, but I don't have any. I am sure that I've offered you this before, but you can send me your resume and I can take a peek for readability if you want? I look at them day in and day out, so perhaps there is something you can tweak that will make you stand out. Let me know.

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JEAN_WIKE 12/13/2010 5:42PM

  Your health is important! I'm sorry your motivation for improving your health is so bleak; but if that's what it takes, well, keep on trying and trying and trying. I believe better health improves other areas of our lives. A ripple effect. That's what keeps me going, hoping for the ripple effect. Well, that's part of what keeps me going. The other part is believing no matter how bad life is emotionally, financially, careerwise, etc . . ., surely just being in good health helps.

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 5:49:04 PM

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DOWNTOWNJEN 12/13/2010 4:55PM

    Ever think your WL journey is just a practice run for changing your life to a more exciting one? The tools are pretty much the same! And I agree - you should start blogging outside SP and get some exposure. Even prod the SP team about your successes.

Who knows what might happen....

Adventure awaits.

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BRIAEL 12/13/2010 2:13PM

    Glad you've forgiven yourself. You know, flights always cripple me with water retention and the flight snacks high level of sodium really don't help.

Sounds like your flight was amazing. :)

Try to get some perspective on "dull drums". I think there is a tendency to forget that we need periods of normalcy (read "dullness") in order to help us cope with the stress periods that we all face. Find blessings in small things, like the good health and happiness of your kids, your ability to do what needs doing in order to provide a family environment for them to grow in. The way we are raised often triggers our reactions to the world.

Repeat to yourself - "This is not a race. My journey is important, but it's not a sprint and I can afford to make a few mistakes a long the way, provided I learn something from them".

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CANOGAPARKGAL 12/13/2010 2:10PM

    Welcome home.

The trip definitely changed your point of view in some way.

Have you ever thought about writing - maybe start by putting up your own blog (in addition to your Spark blog).

You ARE a writer, you know.

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MAGPIE17 12/13/2010 11:47AM

    Welcome home! I hope you find something a little more rewarding soon, Esther.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 12/13/2010 11:35AM

    Hope as you settle in the dull drums will take a hike and you'll find that something that lights your fire. You are amazing and doing great in your journey. emoticon

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