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Where I Be

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The whirlwind that has been the past few months is now settling down (I hope).

Christmas turned into a crazy affair.
NYE found me with both a sinus and an ear infection.
I've been sleeping a lot due to illness and wear-and-tear.
I was saving every penny for Vegas and spent likely every dime.
And Vegas. Drama. Excitement. Confusion. Frustration. It was a whirlwind of emotion.

So I spent the past four days sleeping and/or half-asleep! So what?!

Oh, yeah. There's that little issue of wanting to lose some more weight this year and losing something like none so far in the month of January.

There's that whole issue of wanting to run, but doing a little of nothing in the way of ST so far to prepare my body for it.

There's also the whole issue of missing my boys like crazy and wanting to spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with them, no matter how boring it might be.

So, I woke up late this morning. 7:38am. I need to be at work at 8:30am and I live almost an hour away. I also needed to have the boys on their bus by 7:25am. CRAP! I rush out of bed, only to find that both of my sons have gotten up on their own and, I assume, got dressed, ready and out the door without a peep from their dear mother, asleep in her bed after hitting what she THOUGHT was the snooze button at 6am on the new alarm. (I guess it wasn't the snooze button....)

I had taken my shower the night before, due to the constant nagging of my Hubs as he had hoped to work on the bathtub drain while I slept and, hopefully, get it unclogged so we don't have to deal with standing water that has to be flushed down the toilet to be removed. I never take showers at night. I'm glad I did. I was out the door in 10 minutes and was only about 3 minutes late for work.

But on my mind all day has been my sincere lack of focus for the past 2 months. I have flashes of brilliance now and again and plan up a storm, but I have little to no follow-through right now. It's frustrating. I feel myself slipping. And while I continue to receive compliments about weight loss I'm not exactly having right now, I'm not loving this new body quite so much anymore. I want to see what it will look like when it's smaller. Namely, when the belly flap is gone. (I have discovered that it's come up at least an inch since November, so YAY me!)

I have a plan. I do.
I also have little hopes of following through with it.
But I also have no expectations for this week other than "TRY!"
Yep, I said it. My only expectation is to try.

I MUST go to the gym tonight because I have a meeting with the PT. And while I'm there, I might as well work out, even if I don't want to. 30 minutes Cardio (elliptical), 30 minutes ST is my minimum requirement for myself, because I was doing that at 390 pounds, so there's no single reason why I can't do it at 330. Excuses are for losers.

Still, my head is a mess. Things are in chaos inside me.
So until I figure out what it all means, I'm going through the motions.
I'm showing up and doing the bare minimum, because that's more than the nothing I've been doing.

I feel like Vegas was a loss, but I know it wasn't.
Why do I feel that way?
Why do I feel like a failure for not frequenting the gym every day, when I know that nearly every day I wanted to strangle the life out of my friend, who insisted we keep moving and never needed a break as we walked through hotel after hotel after casino? The same friend that told me that she easily walks 8-10 miles a day at work, and I wanted to gag with an onion because I know I walk like .001 miles to my car from the office every morning and evening? I actually had the thought in my head on no less than 3 times on 3 different days, "OMG! I just want to DIE! I'm SOOO tired of walking!" and then I kept going without saying a word. I just kept going. And I have no clue how far I walked, but I know I'm not in horrible shape, so it had to be more than a mile a day to have me so exhausted...right?

But in my head that sounds like a cop-out.
I didn't lose any pounds.

But everyone has said I lost more weight in that week and returned skinnier than when I left.
And my clothes don't quite fit anymore.
And even the shirt I bought there on Saturday fits me better today then it did when I bought it.

I have to say, that where I be is in a land of confusion and uncertainty.
So instead of planning and figuring out what I can accomplish, I'm going to skate through however long it takes to figure it out by doing the minimum Spark requirement.

I may not lose that much weight.
I may not gain that much strength.
Or I might surprise myself.
But at least I'll be building a solid base to get myself back in the game.

Oh, and I know I still owe you pictures. I was so tired last night I nearly crashed twice on the way I skipped the gym and went home, where I let Shane drive to the Mexican restaurant and finished off all my food and went home and watched two movies before taking that shower and passing out in bed and sleeping in.

I've been tired a LOT lately.
And I've been eating a LOT...constantly hungry. UGH!
But I told myself last night that it's time to remind myself what hunger really feels like. No more feeding the monster inside. Time to feed me - body and soul - exactly what I need.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 1/22/2011 8:00PM


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MEGSFITNESS 1/20/2011 4:50PM

    You are really hard on yourself in this entry. You should know (by now) that activity amps up your metabolism and allowed you the food that you ate while you were there. And what was it you said? You KEPT GOING. That's AWESOME! I weigh over 100lbs less than you and I sit down every chance I get. So stop selling yourself short. Please :)

I hate it when I'm too tired to sleep... I don't know if I could spend 4 hours awake and alert enough to watch movies if I'm tired enough to fall asleep driving home... I hope you got some good rest because it sounds like you need it. You need a vacation from your vacation, lol..

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1BIGDREAM 1/20/2011 4:17PM

    Is it just me, or is it this time of year? It's hard to get psyched up, when it's clearly the right time for cuddling up and eating comfort food.

The holidays, being sick, vacation--you've been out of routine for a long, long time. It catches up, and now all the habits you had may not really be habits anymore; you may have to retrain yourself. At least that's what happening with me, I think. I've felt tired a lot too, and I haven't felt like working out, and I've been having cravings, and I just haven't felt like trying. But I think I need to fake it until I make it right now. I need to force myself to eat right and do my scheduled workouts, whether I like it or not.

But I also loved Yoovie's Opposite Day blog, because I think I have gotten to the point in my thinking where I feel like I know how to do the losing weight thing, and I just need to do it, so when I don't, I feel just down on myself like I'm a failure. But really, maybe it's time to shake up my thoughts and my actions to get a fresh perspective. Maybe it's time to try something new, make it interesting again.

I know you will push through this, however you do. You are totally worth the effort, and I know pretty soon, you will be going for those awesome gym visits you love! And, just think, if you can get through the winter blahs, you are going to go into summer lookin' and feelin' good!


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RIGBY31 1/20/2011 4:04PM

    All the hotels in vegas are sooo far apart. So you walked more than a few miles a day, plus the plane ride, food outside of your parameters. When I get home from vacation, things are still swirling around in my head from the trip. Hard to focus on your "real world". But you'll get there. I have to believe that, for me and for you.

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CAROBEAR1 1/20/2011 9:10AM

    1) Awesome recap of hitting EVERYTHING Vegas has to offer...I used to get there once a year and totally miss all of it now that I live in the East
2) Vegas is TIRING....all the time, every time and you push yourself more that you would visiting any other place because you can see it all and so you keep going to EVERYTHING...on my trips there I usually either got sick or just stayed one night in the hotel doing you walked ALOT!!!!! been there!
3) I'm just getting back on track but have a family beach wedding deadline looming....

Great PICS of Vegas!!!

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ATREAT4ME 1/19/2011 8:40PM

    I love feeding your body and soul. Now if I could just figure out what that means for me. LOL!

I am sorry to read/hear the frustration in this post. I'm feeling very much the same way and don't know the way out of it. But I think you're right -- go through the motions if nothing else -- then the rest will fall into place. At least, I'm telling myself that. (I'm not doing much about it, but I am telling myself that!)

I SOOO wish I had better and more positive answers for the both of us!

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CARMINACG 1/19/2011 4:41PM

    Hey there, I too experienced a similar down time at the end of Aug-Early Sept, it was right after a vacation (camping)which was a nightmare - and then lots of stressors came on - like a sick animal, a car accident, other finacial stressor like increased student loan payments - debt consolidation...uggh the list goes on. Litterly I was just off my routine. It took me weeks to get the stregnth back up to workout again. It was like I was comatose, a shell of me. I just didnt care to cook, try new things, go places, be social. I just wanted to sleep, curl up on the couch and hug an animal (my Hurley Girl).

But one day I put on my runners and packed my gym bag - I made myself get through 1 workout, I went grocery shopping and cooked a few of my fav meals that week! I slowly found my spark again. Throughout this time I was on a crappy plateau that I know was weigning on my patience, but after 3 mths, I hadnet gained. I had maintained buy not working out, watching what I was eating mostly, and in all due respect it could have been alot worse.

At the start of Dec I knew my gym membership was coming to an end, I decided to totally switch it up and commit to a Hot Yoga membership for 2011. This change of pace has really helped me find the joy in working out again!

Best of all im slowly breaking the plateau - if not with lbs, definitly with inches....

Focus on what makes you happy, and just take a leap of will be inspired before you know it!

Sending you lots of hugs!

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DOWNTOWNJEN 1/19/2011 3:40PM

    Yeah - I'm with SEEHOLZ - I don't think we're supposed to be "on" all the time either. Question - have you been taking your resting heart rate? I ask because it's a decent indicator of "over training". And it sounds like you might be a victim of over training. Back when I was in MUCH better shape and good health - I over trained a lot (a little is good more has to be BETTER - the American way!) and had a reaction very similar to yours. I swear that over training and all the other "over achieving" I've done in life added up to one serious autoimmune reaction that has been life-threatening 3 times in the last 5 yrs. Let me tell you - it's not fun. Plus it's hard on your family, your pocket book, and your body. If you need to sleep more. SLEEP MORE. If you need to work out less - do that! Whatever is sustainable to you at this point in your journey.

I'm rooting for you!
Peace out.

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KITHKINCAID 1/19/2011 3:02PM

    It's something about January. I've been SO tired and SO hungry lately I feel like I'm going to die if I don't just eat and sleep all day. It's crazy. And it's making me angry. And I can't get warm...ever - unless I'm eating warm things in my warm bed...haha.

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RAVENSONG37 1/19/2011 2:40PM

    Get outta my head! Seriously, minus the trip to Vegas...we are in the same spot. How can we kick each other in the booty to get going?!?! What will it take you? Want to figure out my crap and I'll figure out yours?

Just know that I and so many others love you to death. Hugs!

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MAIA2011 1/19/2011 2:09PM

    Argh! Winter slow down. My sis is a size 0 and even though I was training for a half she had just completed a century ride so when I spent time with her it was a little much to have to walk everywhere and move whenever she wanted. But she was also telling me about my clothes and if I had a burger I could have cheese or avocado but not both so that was over-the-top annoying. On the one hand, it is great to see how other people live and on the other it is tiring.

If your clothes are different then you made an impact, woman! Give yourself a break but don't do it too long (I am exhibit A LOL)


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SEEHOLZ 1/19/2011 1:38PM

    I really believe that we are not supposed to be "on" and pushing all the time. It's hard when you change your daily routine, get thrown off and then try to get back into the game. Easing yourself in is quite okay- having the try attitude is stll very positive and once you get back into a good groove, you can up your game!

You are exactly right- feeding body and soul is the way to go!!!

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What Happens in Vegas...(edited with more pics!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

...ends up in this blog! *lol* Or, at least, most of it.

Friday, January 7th
(Chocolate fountain at the Bellagio)

My first flight was delayed due to a maintenance issue. Once solved, however, everything ran pretty smoothly. I must say that 5 hours on a plane is not the most exciting thing I've ever done. It made me thankful that I specifically requested NOT traveling on my birthday!

I was greeted at the airport by slot machines, which made me giggle. But, after that, it was a hurry up and wait type situation. (I'm not sure how well you all know me, but I'm not the most patient person...I hate waiting for something to happen!) Our hotel was JUST off the strip, but off enough to SEE the strip and not figure out how to get to it. Besides that, my friend forgot to put me down as her guest, so they didn't let me check in right away. (After about a half hour or so of waiting, it finally dawned on me to try to call her husband and see if he could make the call to let me in.)

Once my friend arrived, we caught the shuttle and headed to the strip. Monte Carlo to the Bellagio to the new Cosmopolitan. After a while I realized I either needed sleep or food, so we tried to find a bite to eat. Not wanting to blow 60 bucks on dinner right out the gate, we finally settled at the upstairs bar at P.F. Chang's. (Laugh all you want, but I have *never* been to a P.F. Chang's and hear so much about it all the time - so I broke my "don't do anything on vacation you can do at home" rule for that reason...and because everywhere was PACKED!).

(At Bellagio gardens decorated with an Asian theme.)

By the end of the night I was in tears from the exhaustion that had set in after missing our shuttle back to the hotel and having to wait an hour for the next one. Since Thursday I had had about 5 hours total of sleep, broken up over 4 attempts. That's not the way to start any vacation.

Saturday, January 8th
My birthday! I woke up and completely forgot I was 30. Andrea kept mentioning it to people in a shameless ploy to get free things (didn't happen), and that was about all that reminded me. I did have one moment where I looked out the bus window and said to myself, "Wow. I'm 30." And that was that. Still, I got to pick whatever we did that day without any questions, other than dinner, which was pre-planned by my friend.

First we caught the shuttle to the Strip, and caught the bus to the Outlet mall. Yep, I was in Vegas for my 30th birthday and all I really wanted to do was shop! *lol* It's quite fun shopping when you aren't sure what will fit and might get a very pleasant surprise (I did, as most of the XXL and XL shirts from Gap and Banana Republic were free game for my shopping delight!). I ended up with an XL shirt from Banana Republic and a XXL shirt from the Gap - both stores I have always wanted to be able to shop in and have never had the opportunity because of my size. I even turned one thing down at BR, not because it didn't fit, but because I didn't like how it was made! I wish I could express the joy and freedom I felt in that moment! (I also got my ring finger resized. On the day I was married in 2002 it was a size 10, now it's a size 8 1/2...the smallest I can ever remember it being since before I was about 14!)

After shopping, we headed back to the hotel to change. We got all fancy, as I was told the restaurant had a dress code (nobody told the dude in the elevator with a pair of jeans and a black button-up *sigh*). Andrea took me to the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower at Paris. A perfect setting, and proof that my friend does know me quite well.

We had the most amazing meal, an authentic French waiter named Pierre, a marvelous view of the Bellagio fountains, and Pierre even sang Happy Birthday to me! It was wonderful!

I have no clue how many calories I consumed that night, but I do know that I savored every bite of my chocolate souffle (shared with Andrea) and lobster quiche appetizer (shared) and my shot of chocolate mousse. The only thing I didn't really share was my veal with vegetables. The BEST veal I've ever tasted, with vegetables much like *I* make at home! *lol*

After dinner, we walked around the Paris casino a bit, and then ended up down on Freemont Street, where a very creepy Elvis didn't know it was his birthday, and then proceeded to grope me while he was singing Happy Birthday. I'm sure he was way more drunk than I was! We ended the evening pretty late...most of Freemont Street was closed down by the time we walked out and caught the bus again! *lol* We headed back to the hotel and I collapsed in bed.

Sunday, January 9th
The day before we had begun to make more solid plans for the week. We decided that Sunday would be the day we'd go to a pick, and I picked Jabbawockeez. We started out the day grabbing our discount tickets and then headed off to explore the strip a tiny bit before returning to the hotel.

A dressy change later and we headed out to the Monte Carlo for the show. ---IT WAS AMAZING!---- Again, if you knew me well, you'd know that I adore dancing. I have shamelessly watched every version of Step Up and Center Stage and Fame and whatever else I can get my hands on. I used to watch SYTYCD religiously. (But, no, I'm not watching DWTS because it's stupid...I want to see people who at least SORTA know what they're doing.) Jabbawockeez have appeared both on America's Next Top Model (another guilty pleasure of mine) and America's Best Dance Crew on MTV. I was always amazed at their ability to convey so much emotion without the use of facial expressions (they wear white masks). They made me laugh and cry in their Mus.I.C. show! Much love to these amazing dancers!

Don't remember if we did much of anything else that night, except I ate part of my Kir Royal Cupcake that night. (Notice I said part...) Oh, we did have sushi at Dragon Noodle Company. It was pretty darn good after they took away the wasabi tainted sushi! *shudders*


(Post-Sephoria going into the Venetian with our sexy gloss! *lol*)

(Treasure Island)

(Beetles Revolution letters have seats in them with red lighting = Cool pics!)
Monday, January 10th
We toured the middle of the strip and walked more than I would have thought on what looks like the tiniest strip of road. Started at Harrah's, did Caesar's, the Venetian, Treasure Island, then headed to get some cheap dinner buffet tickets. (It's Vegas...buffets are a part of the deal, right?! RIGHT?! No, Andrea said the place was awesome, so I took her word for it.)

Buffet dinner at Rio's. About the worst thing I ate was a piece of friend fish and a few small onion rings. I ate too much, yes, but certainly not as much as Andrea who was complaining even the next day about how much she ate. *shrug* I didn't make it all the way through the buffet and stopped when I felt a little past full. I took bites to try and didn't finish anything that didn't taste REALLY good to me. And when I was done, I was done. No regrets. No "you have to roll me out of here" feeling. I didn't beat myself up once about it, especially considering the rest of our meals were reasonable and we'd walked a million miles!

We checked out the (COLD!! and WINDY!!) view at the VooDoo Lounge at Rio before walking to the Palms, where I won 45 bucks on a Wheel of Fortune machine, which felt great since I only put in 20. *big grin* (I win, Vegas! HAHA!) Ended the night with an invite to meat 2 guys for drinks the next night. (*lol* That's Vegas for ya!)

Tuesday, January 11th
We had to get up early in order to catch our LOOOOONG bus ride to the Grand Canyon (with a stop at Hoover Dam along the way). It was surprisingly cold, but Andrea and I complained our way through a somewhat icy 3.8 mile hike around the South Rim of the Canyon. I did learn that I get frustrated at people when they underestimate my fitness abilities, and that anger (a call from Hubs about my PT who is annoying me) drives me to walk in hyper-drive speed! *lol* When we got back to the gift shop to catch our bus, I bought myself an XL green T-Shirt that says "Go Hike a Canyon" on the back. I'll admit it, I have dreams of taking the 4-day hiking trip INTO the Canyon someday. Hike in on day 1, spend 2 days at the bottom, and then hike up the 4th day. Sounds like HEAVEN! They said the hike takes about 6 hours or so on day one and closer to 8-10 on day 4 (it's more difficult coming back up, obviously). Am I crazy to think this sounds like the best way to spend a day EVER?! It's going on my bucket list for SURE! (As for my friend Andrea, she said hiking isn't her thing, and she'd rather take a week-long rafting trip down the Colorado River inside the Canyon. Maybe we'll coordinate and meet at the bottom somewhere! *lol*)

By the time we got back, we were too tired to do much of anything and pretty much crashed after a fight with the Hubs over the guys we met the night before inviting us to dinner the next night. Long story short, Hubs and I resolved our issues (and his jealousy) and I canceled our meeting with them out of respect for his feelings and a feeling of being a little uncomfortable about the whole situation.

Wednesday, January 12th
We FINALLY got adjusted to Vegas time and slept in until like 11am or something! It was AWESOME! *lol* We started the day at Television Studio in MGM where we watched a pilot episode of a new Criminal Minds they're hoping to launch. It was okay, but needs a LOT of development (this coming from a girl that LOVES Criminal Minds!). We got invited to join in a focus group later in the day where they would pay us 50 bucks to give our thoughts on the show. (We missed the check-in time and had to forfeit our spots... *sigh*)

We ate lunch at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay after walking through New York New York, Excalibur, and Luxor, and I enjoyed every last bite of my cheeseburger and fries, yes I did! *lol* We ended up going back to the hotel to change in order to finally take in some Vegas nightlife. (We figured since we slept in that day, it was the perfect time to stay up a little late!) We bar hopped from the Rockhouse club (with girls on tire swings!) at Imperial Palace to the Carnavale Bar outside Harrah's (where I danced and Zumbaed a little! *lol*) and then finally ended up closing the Dueling Pianos bar inside Harrah's. It was great. I drank WAY too much, and had a wonderful night! We ended the night at Paris in order to catch a cab back to the hotel.

Thursday, January 13th
I spent the day attempting to flush Vegas out of my system and pretty ready to go home. Andrea's husband and 2 friends came in this day, so I spent much of the evening feeling like a 5th wheel (not their fault at all). I didn't want to drink after the night before, so that meant sitting in The Pub at the Monte Carlo for a couple hours downing glass after glass of water. Later we searched high and low for a place to eat with a wait time of under an hour before getting immediate seating at the Border Grill in Mandalay Bay. They had some pretty good food, but I must admit, I was so ready to come home!! I missed my boys and I knew they had missed me too.

Ethan's Quote from Wednesday: "Tomorrow will be a good day."
Shane: "Why's that?"
Ethan: "Because then I can say, 'Mom comes home tomorrow!'"


We did end the night at the Mandalay Bay casino where I got another progressive jackpot (2 actually) on a Wheel of Fortune game. (Man, those things love me!) I put in 20 bucks and got 145 back! (Then tried to win again with the same 20 bucks and lost it! *lol*) It was nice to come out ahead on my last night though, and my jaw actually dropped when it said I won 110 when the two progressive jackpots were combined! I had to call Hubs immediately and tell him what happened...and he immediately told me to put that money away and not touch the machines again! *lol* (I didn't. Instead I talked to a guy at the craps table who spent the better part of an hour teaching me how to play the game. Confusing, but the best odds in Vegas, so I hear! Must learn for the return trip!)

Friday, January 14th
Believe it or not, my flights went smoothly all the way home. I actually got in 10 minutes or so early! My boys picked me up and we went to IHop for dinner before I headed home, had some special time with Hubs and then crashed in my warm bed.

Saturday, January 15th
I planned an evening with friends. I was hoping for about 12 - I got 4. But they were the best 4 to have, plus Hubs and me, and we really enjoyed our meal at the Hibachi's Japanese Steakhouse. We tried to hit a bar after that, but the waiter refused to wait on us, so we bounced and I took the 1 remaining friend to "Mini-Vegas" other words, to the Resort and Casino that's just outside of Charleston, but none of us had ever been to! *lol* I lost another 20 bucks, and my friend won 2. *lol* All in all, a good birthday celebration. Followed that at home with a beer and a half (and then 2 cups of coffee) with the Hubs while playing Guitar Hero and enjoying some alone time before the boys came home the next day.

So, there it Vegas recap.
I walked A LOT!
I walked more than a 5k at the Grand Canyon (in icy conditions!).
I drank a little too much, but not every day.
I ate reasonably most of the time, but indulged other times.
When I did indulge, I ate a part of things. I had 2 cupcakes...but it took me 4 days to eat them.
And when I got back, the bloat caused a 4 pound gain, which, by Monday, was gone and I was back to about where I was before I left.

That being said, even while I didn't lose any weight, per se, while I was gone...I've been told by no less than 4 people in the past few days that I lost weight on this trip. My clothes fit better than they did before I left, so I believe them. (I've got some clothes that need to be given away now...there's no way I can keep flashing people like this! *lol*)

So, of my Vegas vacation -- I'm not ashamed of a single thing.

** I uploaded pics from the first part of the week, but just realized my computer didn't download over 530 pics from the trip. I'll post another blog with pics of the rest of the trip, so as to not overload you. Plus, I'm trying to upload mostly pics that I'm in so it means a little more than just "here's a pic of the strip" that you can get via Google.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 1/22/2011 8:01PM

    My son and his wife live in Los Angeles and they go to Vegas about once a month as he gets great discount deals on-line and they go Monday to Wednesday. I've never been there, but the pictures look like fun.

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DBFBILLY 1/19/2011 7:30PM

    sounds and looks like an amazing time emoticon

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COCOMAC7 1/19/2011 4:50PM

    Happy belated 30th! What a wonderful way to celebrate. Sounds like a great time. I totally relived my trip in 2008 and I'm ready to go back!!

Great pics and way to handle vegas. Sounds like you made some very smart decisions there!

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BTINTERNET 1/19/2011 4:29PM

    Sounds like a great time! Glad you had fun!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/19/2011 12:59PM

    I'll add my 'happy belated birthday' to the rest--what an awesome way to celebrate your birthday! It's so much fun to make it a multi-day, multi-event celebration. Being able to enjoy the celebrations AND come away without gaining is terrific. And hiking to the bottom of the canyon is something on my bucket list, too; never thought I'd be fit enough to consider it, but then I never thought I'd be a runner, either. WOO HOO for you!

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CHICAT63 1/19/2011 12:48PM

    Wow what an amazing trip/vacation/celebration for your 30th ! Just awesome trekking in the Grand Canyon woohoo and you can do the hiking trip I am sure. Thanks for the recap, you were busy.

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BAYBELIEVER 1/19/2011 11:04AM

    What a great celebration! Happy belated birthday!

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LEAN-N-LEXY 1/19/2011 10:11AM

    Thank you for sharing your birthday adventure, Esther. It sounds like a blast.

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MAGPIE17 1/19/2011 9:54AM

    Sounds like an AMAZING trip, Esther! I'm so glad you had such an awesome time! Also, yeah, I have NO intention of watching a Criminal Minds in which Shamar Moore and Matthew GFray Gubler are not starring. NO intention!

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TRACYZABELLE 1/19/2011 3:39AM

    First off-- happy belated birthday~

Jabbawockeez are the bomb-- we loved watching them on TV in person must have been awesome!

Sounds like you had a blast and congrats on the new ring size!!

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ATREAT4ME 1/18/2011 10:00PM

    Sounds like an excellent way to spend your 30th! Congratulations and happy belated birthday!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 1/18/2011 8:45PM

    Amazing! I loved your recap and your pics and your bright spirit! Welcome back Esther :)

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SARAWALKS 1/18/2011 7:34PM

    Fantastic! What a great time you had and I love the red top too!
I too went to the Grand Canyon in January, it wasn't quite as cold as it was for you, but a great time to go because fewer people. Hiking down would be the best! Staying on the rim in one of the hotels was pretty awesome too, going out at dawn was amazing. Hope you get to hike it one day! emoticon

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RIGBY31 1/18/2011 5:45PM

    I was eating my boring tuna while you described your French food feast! And I lovelove craps. Easy and fun. Alll the walking was amazing, plus outdoor time at the Grand Canyon! What a great 30th birthday week!

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ERIN1128 1/18/2011 5:22PM

    Awesome! I've had people say to me, "Oh, I'm not interested in going to Vegas because I don't gamble, " but there's so much MORE to do there! I don't gamble either, but between the dining, the people-watching, the shows, the's a blast! Glad you had fun.

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1BIGDREAM 1/18/2011 4:56PM

    Sounds like you had an awesome time! I would LOVE to do the 4-day Grand Canyon hike!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/18/2011 4:56PM

    Sounds like an awesome trip! I hope you took and will post pictures of your hike at the Grand Canyon. I'd love to hike there too.

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KITHKINCAID 1/18/2011 4:55PM

    Esther - those pics of you are BEAUTIFUL! I love that red top.

Sounds like you had a fantastic trip. Happy Happy 30th Birthday girl. Let's ROCK this 30th year, you and I! I think you did great - you really did win in Vegas :)

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MAIA2011 1/18/2011 4:54PM

    Woo hoo! I love your blogs because you live so large! I love all things dance, too! Nice job on having a great time and already done with the bloat.

So you think you can Spark?

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 1/18/2011 4:53PM

    Sounds like a great week overall. I spent my 21st in Vegas but didn't get to do all the touristy stuff and want to go back so bad and be able to enjoy my time. Maybe that's what I'll do for my 30th next year!

Oh and now you've got that Grand Canyon hike on my mind. Sounds like such an adventure!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/18/2011 4:46PM

    Happy belated birthday. It sounds like a wonderful birthday trip. emoticon Congrats on your new ring and shirt sizes. emoticon

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Sustainability Plan

Thursday, January 06, 2011

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Let me ask you a simple question. The food you ate today and the quantity you ate, the amount you exercised as well - can you see yourself doing that for the next five years?

One thing I spoke to my behaviorist about this past month was "Sustainability." I explained to her that sustainability was the one and only reason THIS TIME was different from every other time I've tried to diet.

If you look at Wikipedia, the definition of "sustainability" is simply "the capacity to endure."

Sounds simple enough, right? More and more this word has been used in terms of "going green" and creating a sustainable earth. Which, by the way, beyond all the nonsense means "how can we live so that the world sustains the same state (or better) that it is in now? What can we do to continue to make sure the earth reamains a productive environment and an atmosphere in which we can sustain life?"

But if you think of sustainability in terms of weight loss, the idea is not that far off.

What can I do today to ensure that my healthy habits are sustained and that my body and my healthy lifestyle continue to be productive and support the life I have come accustomed to living?

Okay, so quick "desert island" question. If you had one food you could eat for the rest of your life. Any food on the planet, a recipe or a food from a restaurant or something grown in the earth, what would it be?

If you're thinking with your stomach and taste buds you might say something like "chocolate cake!" Why? Well, duh! Because it tastes good! But after that momentary lapse of judgment passes, you realize what you really need is a diverse recipe of fresh ingredients, full of flavor, able to be adjusted daily in order to suit the needs of that day, with every major nutrient included in order to sustain your life. (What's the good of a island if you die a week into the enjoying of it?)

I told my behaviorist simply, "I think to myself when I eat any food, before I start any exercise regimen or build any healthy habit -- can I see myself doing this for the next five years? Five years from now, could I wake up in the morning and still be fine with something like a 1/2 a wheat bagel with whipped cream cheese and a coffee? Will I still be okay walking 7 miles a week or exercising 3-7 times a week?" If the answer is no, then I know I'm not building a healthy lifestyle.

For some people, cutting out carbs is the way to go. But I have to tell you, it didn't pass my sustainability test. I can not imagine not having a single carb in the next five years.

For some people, cutting out coffee is just fine. But that didn't pass my sustainability test either. Mornings and java just seem to click in my head and I just know I would miss it and eventually break.

Now there are things like chocolate cake (I know I use this all the time...can you tell how big a fan I am of chocolate cake?), McDonald's french fries, milkshakes, ice cream, and other such "bad" foods. When I asked myself, "What can I sustain?" the answer was simple. I cannot tell myself I will never eat another McDonald's french fry. I will. I have. What I can say is that I won't eat them every day, or even once a week - heck, not even once a month! Every few months, I might eat a small, medium, or even LARGE McDonald's french fry. And then I'm done. And I'll last another few months. For me, the trick is fitting these treats into my daily calorie goals and not even missing a beat as far as my calorie bank goes. For me...THAT is sustainable.

Sustainability is so important to me because, let's be 100% honest, I will NEVER be able to go back to eating whatever I want. Some people were made with the ability to do that. I was not. My body requires structure and limitations, just as most children do. Whatever I do today, whatever life I build right now, is going to define the majority of what my life will need to look like 5, 10, or even 20 years from now.

If I want to sustain my healthy body, I will need to sustain my healthy lifestyle.

THAT is why diets don't work. Because there's always an end date. A goal weight. And people think to themselves, however secretly, "If I can just get to that weight, then I won't have to try so hard and I can go back to doing whatever I want." From one yo-yo dieter to another, that doesn't work, Missy or Mister. Once you go back, so does the weight.

And what sustainability does, is helps you build a life of consistency. It doesn't require an effort of 150% now for 50% effort later. It requires you to stay at about 80%, pushing now and again, failing now and again, but nearly at that 80% most of the time. This ensures that you don't burn out on what you're doing. It ensures that when the bad times come, those stressful moments, you'll know how to walk out of them practically unscathed. You'll learn along the way how to deal with disappointment and come back from it and back to yourself and your way of life again. It's not 100% 100% of the time. It's 80%. It's manageable. It's sustainable.

So, let me ask you again. Whatever you did today, can you sustain that life for the next five years? If it helps, think in terms of weeks instead of days. Can you sustain this week for the next 5 years? Can you even yourself out to that 80% at the level you're playing at now?

Can you drink diet shakes for the next 5 years? If not, do you have a plan to susbstitute the same calorie base and maintain that?

Can you continue to avoid carbs for the next 5 years? Are you in danger of reaching a breaking point and going back to where you were?

Can you work out at that level and intensity of exercise or more for the next five years? Can you get to the gym 3-7 times for the next five years? (Come on, 3 days is NOT that big of a deal...and remember, 80%. So go 6 days one week and 2 the next and it will all even out in the end.)

Sustainability. Not perfection. Not a diet. A sustainable lifestyle. To help keep you productive.

*photo source: Wikimedia Commons, USDA, Scott Bauer

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VON_1962 1/23/2011 7:07AM

    Wow, you are so on target with this blog! Love it! Sustainability is a great word and I love how you incorporated it into being healthy and fit for life. What a great perspective. I totally agree with you, you can take anything but don't take my carbs and take your hands off my coffee! Cheers to you and your success!

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HEALTHY4ME 1/22/2011 8:17PM

    Well thanks this has really hit home and given me more "food for thought" lol. I will hae to think of this, I am not a fast food person but don't cut out my cookies but do have to learn to eat them much more moderately! LOL
thanks for some really great ideas.

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JIBBIE49 1/22/2011 8:02PM


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LYON77 1/15/2011 8:59AM

    This is a great way to look at this. I have friends who dont exercise and dont eat any fruits or vegetables but will try Atkins, or start taking diet pills and suddently lose a quick 8 lbs while I struggle to lose every ounce! But, I have to keep reminding myself that I will never cut out an entire food group or take a diet pill or diet shake just to see a quick loss. I am proud of the fruits and veggies I eat, I know that carbs ARE good for me, I know how great my blood pressure is and my heart and lungs are! And I know for SURE that what I am doing is sustainable for the rest of my life!

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SARAWALKS 1/13/2011 9:23AM

    emoticon blog, Esther, and so very true. I've hit my first goal and it is good to think "sustainable" right now! I've been missing your blogs due to my trip but I'm back with you now. Have a double fantastic 2011! emoticon a little late! emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 1/13/2011 8:16AM

    Bingo! I love your 80/20 rule and w"ill call it the "Esther Principle: Turning Pareto on its head" Lol. You are fantastic!

A toast to you, to Vegas, your bday, and the Esther Principle.

Go forth and sustain my friend!

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SLR00570 1/10/2011 5:14AM

    This was a great blog! For a while now "Instant gratification" was the phrase my life revolved around. What will make me feel good now. Which usually was the McDonalds french fries. But I like sustainability. This will be added to my new group of words to live by this year.

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HEALTHYME47 1/7/2011 4:01PM

    Very nicely said. I like to think in terms of tradeoffs, as in, "I can eat ANYTHING. But I can't eat EVERYTHING". So I'll do thinks like have the fries but not the shake, or split a dessert, or whatever. Thanks for writing this.

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ABBYEMERSON 1/7/2011 3:39PM

    I absolutely love the elegance with which you describe sustainability. You've hit the nail on the head. I'm so tired after a very long week, so my response is a bit dulled down, but this entry really meant something huge to me in my journey, in this moment in time.

Thank you!!!!

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KITHKINCAID 1/7/2011 3:03PM

    I'd say right now I'm at 100% with the 28-Day Bootcamp stuff. So I don't know that I'll sustain that once I'm through it. But I might add it in every once in a while as a boost. Otherwise, 80% is great for me.

Great blog. I love that word - "Sustainability" - that's what we're all doing here, is learning sustainability - and the successful ones are the ones that understand that concept.

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MAGPIE17 1/7/2011 9:55AM

    Great blog, Esther! Great, great blog!

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BTINTERNET 1/7/2011 9:07AM

    As usual, you've gotten it exactly right. I am with you on the McDonald's fries (or the ones at the Bistro :-) ) - I don't eat them all the time, but every so often I want a few. For me, I could go the rest of my life without cake, but despite the urgings of friends I cannot/will not give up all carbs. I have cut them back to manageable levels, and that's manageable long-term, not "I can do this for six weeks" or "I can do this til I reach goal". Lifestyle includes life - that means outings, McDonald's, cake, wine, chicken wings (looks at Mezzo), etc.

Have a great trip hon, and see you soon!

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EMMYKATE616 1/7/2011 12:25AM

    excellent, excellent! i have done a really slow loss, which for me is so that it can be practice for the rest of my life. when i'm not able to eat only 1200 calories or exercise 20 hours a week.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/6/2011 11:13PM

    You nailed it--that's what it takes to make a LASTING change. My whole lifestyle has changed over the last year. I am a champ at dieting, but I failed in the past to keep off what I lost because as soon as the diet was over, I went back to the old way of eating. Not this time; I LOVE the foods I eat, LOVE to run and work out, and I don't ever want to give those up. Yes, I will undoubtedly have a McDonald's french fry again, and I will definitely have chocolate cake again, but in reasonable quantities and only occasionally. Learning to make lifestyle changes that are sustainable is the key to long-term success; thanks for articulating that so well here!

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RIGBY31 1/6/2011 11:06PM

    *my body requires structure and limitations*

Structure to be sensible but still have fun; limitations to know often or how much I can waiver and still be on the right path, seeing positive results. I like that it's a major thought process (that expands to physical actions.)

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BAYBELIEVER 1/6/2011 11:03PM

    I love the use of "sustainability" to discuss this topic. It is so true that what we are doing we will have to do for the rest of our lives. I have talked about it from the other point of view, that I am never going to live a life that is totally "deprived". I like your approach better: "sustainability". Thanks for sharing your awesome insights!

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 1/6/2011 10:46PM

    This is probably the best advice I have ever heard since I started this journey. Keeping this lifestyle doable is very important for long lasting results.

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ECAMPBELL8 1/6/2011 7:58PM

  AMEN sister! preach on! You are awesome. I'm saving your blogs cause I need them! THANK YOU! emoticon emoticon

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AMBERHENLEY 1/6/2011 7:30PM

    Awesome blog. Diets absolutely do not work and I wish more people knew that. We all have to find what works for us and stick to it. We can't just lose the weight and then go back to our old ways. Almost always that ends in gaining back all the weight and then some. I used to think that I was cursed with a bad metabolism, but now I see it as a blessing. I am so much healthier than those people who can eat what they want and never gain an ounce. Good luck to you on reaching your goals!

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HARMONYBLUE 1/6/2011 7:22PM

    Nail on the head. Great blog. It was very similar to what the doctor told me at the start of my journey. I had heard "diet's don't work; it has to be a way of life" but it never clicked until we started talking about the way I ate, the things I could do without, the things I could substitute to keep me full and happy but healthier. Give up bread. Never. Give up white bread for whole wheat. Absolutely. Give up pasta. Nope. Add two cups of broccoli to it for a low cal filler when I feel like pigging out. Yup. Oatmeal? Never would have dreamed that would be something I could never live without LOL.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 1/6/2011 7:08PM

    Let's see... I ate soup and a sandwich, chicken wings and bruschetta. Washed it down with white wine and some water. And I didn't work out at all. Yeah... I could sustain that!

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    I've done it so far a year. I believe I could do it more. I can't cut out my carbs. You NEED carbs for energy. I've seen a lot of people do the low-carb diet but gain all their weight back.

It's possible! Just have to exercise, portion control, and strong will!

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MAIA2011 1/6/2011 6:46PM

    Once you go back your back (side) comes back.


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DOWNTOWNJEN 1/6/2011 6:38PM

    You eloquently stated what I've been trying to get across to people in my life - thank you! I couldn't agree more!

It's so funny - I ask myself these same questions nearly every day. Just today (in fact about 30 mins ago) I came back from signing up at the gym closest to my house - my insurance pays for it. I really had to sit and think - do I want to join a gym? Will I use it? I don't drive due to visual impairments so I must walk. Will I still want to exercise once I walk the 1.2 miles there? Will I be ok to walk back? Ultimately I joined. I need to do some balance work and strength training - and I am willing to give it a try at the gym. If I find it is not sustainable - then I'll quit and continue with my other forms of exercise. Simple as that.

It's all about sustainability - which in the end, is all about balance. It's definitely NOT about perfection!

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BEATLES34 1/6/2011 6:30PM

    you are some sort of freakin' genius.
man oh man.

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AIRPEACH 1/6/2011 6:23PM

    Working on that. Thanks for a well-written reminder!

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    Loved this....I have done the low carb diet many times and have lost then gained it back plus some. I was going to 100 percent give up diet soda but I can't so just trying to get the water in to.

Hope you're feeling better today!

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BECKYB73 1/6/2011 5:39PM

    Good one, Es.

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    I love this blog! This journey is about sustainability. Yes, I can continue with what I have done today. Other days I may not be able to answer that way, but today I can.

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Emotion Sandwich - Best Served Cold

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Yesterday was awful. I had a million things to do and I got nearly nothing done. I was dizzy and sore and just not feeling well. I took the day off from work to rest, but I ended up spending the whole day worrying about everything I wasn't doing, trying to do things I shouldn't have tried to do, and eating too much out of emotional stress.

There. I said it. Yesterday was a bit of a failure for me. I'm not proud of it. But you know what? I'm not mad at myself for it either. I didn't want to scream and cry and throw a tantrum this morning when the scale said I gained 4 pounds yesterday (mostly because I know that's major BS on the part of the scale).

But I'm struggling...again.

Same old, same old with me. Want to run. Can't run. Hate myself for not being able to run.

Yesterday evening I finally put on my shoes and headed to the gym. To say I waited until the last minute would be an understatement. I didn't leave the house until 8pm. The gym closes at 9pm. I got there about 40 minutes prior to closing. I needed to swipe my card.

"Just a few walking laps around the track," I told myself. And then Ethan starts running. He's 8. He has boundless energy. He wears me out most days, but I'm also completely jealous of his ability and freedom.

Five laps completed and he comes back to recover by walking for 2. He's faster than me. I judge the hip and realize it's not hurting. A slight twinge now and again, but I might be able to do a few laps of running if I take it really slow. I tell him I'll join him on the next running segment and see what I can do.

1/4 of a lap. Our indoor track is small and you have to do about 17 laps to equal a mile. And after 1/4 of a lap I'm bent over in extreme pain. My left knee tried to go out as I turned the corner and my hip tried to correct the knee and pulled the same muscle in one brief, but all too memorable moment. It was like a snap in my lower body.

I wanted to cry. I had let it heal for a week and a half. I bought new running shoes that I actually got fitted for in person. I tied my shoes the special way my runner sister showed me. I paid attention to each step I took. And none of it helped.

I stretched to recover almost immediately. Last time I tried to walk it off, which actually did more damage. The stretching to recover REALLY helped, so I have to remember that for next time.

I didn't cry this time when it was over. I didn't mourn my running career because it's been weeks since I had any hopes of one. I will tell you what I am feeling:

*Confusion -- Why was I able to do weeks of running. I ran for about 5 weeks, off and on, increasing in time spent running vs. time spent walking to recover. I ran on all different surfaces. I had pain in the hip in the very beginning, but why did it come back now? Why all of a sudden? (My theory -- my ST has been lax lately...which coincides perfectly to the pain returning in my hip. DUH!)

*Anger -- I tried to come back to it too soon. I didn't do enough in between to prep myself. I haven't been working out lately because I've been both sick and busy. Sick to the point of falling down and nearly passing out at my desk. Busy to the point of not getting hardly any sleep.

*Jealousy -- I wanted my 8 year old's power. I watched him run 15 more laps around the track and while I was extremely proud of him, and I gave myself a twinge of credit for teaching him about discipline and about pushing yourself, I was jealous of his freedom to do what he wants, and his child-like ability to heal quickly.

*Acceptance -- I've been working on this one lately. I've asked myself "What are my goals?" And, yes, while one of them is to be a runner, I have many many others. One of which is to keep losing weight and make a stronger body for myself. I know better than anyone that running is not the only way to do that. There are a million different ways to work out, and by simply forcing myself down this one path, and continuing to injure myself, I'm getting nowhere pretty fast. I'm starting to accept that running isn't my bag. Not right now. Not yet. Maybe later.

So plans have changed, yet again. A HUGE reason why my front page still says that I make plans, but I keep backup plans, just in case. Sometimes what we think we can do or what we think we like don't work out as well in reality as they did in our heads. So we need to have the flexibility within ourselves to rework the plan and create a new plan altogether, if necessary.

The plan now is to hold back on the running.
The plan now is to work on walking again.
And in walking perhaps I will make it a goal to work up my walking speed.
And I will work on walking fast enough to complete a marathon in the time limit given.
And I will not have to abandon my racing goals, just the method I take to complete them.

The plan is also to get back to ST.
I will start as soon as possible, trying to make the gym at the hotel this next week work for me.
And when I get back, I will refocus myself to strengthen all my muscles.
I have the silly notion that you can still have runner's legs without being a runner, and I'm going to test that theory.
When my equipment isn't available, I will arm myself with at home ST exercises. I already know that crunches and walking lunges and squats and push-ups are the best form of friendly torture.

And when I get back I will try to give myself one night a week to work out at home using the Kinect, the Wii, at-home fitness DVDs, and walking with my boys and the dog. I need more home time, and this is how I'll get it.

And I will refocus my food as well and get myself back to batch cooking on the weekends. The best cook is a prepared cook, so I'll make the plans I need, shop where I need to shop, have the items needed on hand, and let the flavors do all the talking.

As for this week?
I leave tomorrow morning at 5:30am for a flight to Las Vegas (with a layover in Charlotte).
I will walk a ton.
I will watch my food intake.
I will remember it is a desert, I MUST drink water.
I will properly sunblock myself.
I will enjoy every minute of it.
I will explore and enjoy as much as my bank card will allow.
And I will refocus myself for a bright and happy 30th year of life.

YEAR of LIFE! You hear that? I'm not planning a birthday. I'm planning a YEAR of LIFE! And I plan to do a TON of living this year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 1/13/2011 8:10AM

    Oh Esther. You really touched my heart in this blog: we're both struggling with hip pain. Then, add salt to the injury because we can't run and running (it seems to me) is what we're both keen on.

I'm glad you're not giving up, just going to Plan B. I have no doubt we will:
1) become amazing runners
2) get to run together in a 5 or 10K
3) talk like a couple of giddy teenagers the whole way
4) wear the biggest smiles on our faces when we do.

Thank God we have killer smiles!

Keep up the good work, my Friend. You are awesome!

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_DASH_ 1/9/2011 11:24AM

    so sorry about the hip. i can hear your frustration in your words and constant desire to keep moving forward. you are getting there. keep listening to your body and finding reasons to celebrate. i love those little moments like you mentioned with your son- where you think about it and hten there's this sudden little impulse to go harder or do better - i often hit the gym with just that little "just go and do x, it's okay ot take it easy" then i get there fueled on that and there are little moments to seize opportunities and you leave feeling better than ever. you are creative and determined and riding the ebb and flow and life is moving constantly. here is to your year of LIFE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! hope Vegas is so much fun!!!

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ATROTTIER 1/7/2011 12:36PM

    Have fun in Vegas!! Maybe we'll run into each other, ya never know!! I'll be leaving tonight! =)

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EMMYKATE616 1/7/2011 12:22AM

    being injured and frustrated about not being able to run means something important - you already are a runner! a non-runner wouldn't care, wouldn't mind having to do something else. but you are already a runner, so that's what makes this so hard!

and someday soon (though, you know, let yourself heal like you plan on doing), you will be able to get back to it.

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KARVY09 1/6/2011 5:33PM

    I'm sorry about the running but there is no doubt in my mind that *someday* you will get there.

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KATIE2POINT0 1/6/2011 3:45PM

    I think you're amazing for making this detailed of a plan. I had an injury last year that made me give up. It defeated me and I am just getting back. You're right, running is not the only way to get in the shape you want. You'll get there... you have the attitude and determination for it. Good for you. I hope it feels better soon.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 1/6/2011 3:37PM

    I'm so sad that yout hip is bothering you STILL! The good news is that you will be in Vegas where I heard walking is the best form of transportation, and you will have plenty of wonderful things to see while you're walking.

I would suggest talking to someone or google stretches for injurted hips, and see if there is any stretching you could do that would help eleviate pain and strengthen the muslce.

You are going to enjoy this next Year of LIFE!

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SEEHOLZ 1/6/2011 3:18PM

    Holy cow! I have been through a very similar thought pattern regarding my running injury that has been with me throughout the entire year... so yeah, I get it!!! It sucks and it's worse when you get back, it's okay for a while and then bam.. back ther again. It's sooo frustrating, but you'll get there and I trust, I will, too.

Thanks for reminding me that I don't need running to make me happy! I want it, but I don't need it and I cannot hang on to it in an unhealthy way. That is something, part of a lesson that I have learned, unlearned, re-learned.. and need to be reminded of.

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/6/2011 3:16PM

    "you can still have runner's legs without being a runner." That's what I'm going for!

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MAGPIE17 1/6/2011 2:44PM

    I'm sorry to hear your hip is bothering you again! Something to think about - maybe there's something in your technique that's causing injury? I just started a runner's bootcamp (with approximately *no* running) - 9 weeks of drills to strengthen running muscles and teach technique so that you don't injure yourself. Maybe you can discuss technique with the trainer when you see her next?

Have a blast in Vegas, Esther!!

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KITHKINCAID 1/6/2011 2:21PM

    Have a wonderful trip. And in all that WORKING - try to relax some too. You need the break from the daily stressors!

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TARANITUP 1/6/2011 2:01PM

    I hope your today is better than your yesterday!

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MAIA2011 1/6/2011 2:00PM

    You are living! I admire that you aren't beating yourself up about the running. I'll bet you will get back to it. I want to, too.

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We Dun Need No Shtinkin' Antibiotics! ...Okay, Maybe We Do...

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

So, yes, I left work early yesterday in order to rush to the doctor so they could tell me just what was going on with my ear.

* Pressure and pain in the ear
* Dizziness (LIKE CRAZY!)
* Constant Ringing
* Build of pressure, slight release, build of pressure again, over and over
* Lack of sleep and then inability to control when I'd fall asleep

I was all over the dang place! And I didn't like not having control of my body! Now before you get on me about not getting to the doctor sooner, I must tell you that, if I could have, I definitely would have! I experienced my first symptoms on NYE at about 10pm and they didn't let up all weekend. I tried every OTC I could think of, I tried washing my ear with warm water in the shower, I took pain meds and tried to sleep. Still - the ringing, the constant pain, etc. Monday was the soonest the doctor was in, and Monday I went.

Yep, you guessed, killer ear infection. I'm on antibiotics and numbing ear drops to help me sleep at night (instead of falling asleep in the middle of the day because I couldn't sleep the night before). I don't know that I've ever had an ear infection before, but I feel so bad for every person who ever has! It's torture! That ringing is killing me! I CANNOT WAIT until that stops! And the pain too! And the dizziness! UGH!

And what did I do after the doctor's office? I thought about laying down and resting. I seriously considered it. But I really wanted to get to the gym.

Now, before you jump on me about rushing things, let me explain my thinking.

1) I MUST swipe my card 2 times every week at the gym to remain a member of my insurance company's weight management program.
2) This is the FIRST month I'll be able to pay the discounted 14 bucks (instead of the 38 charged by the gym regularly, or the 45 I've been paying the past 3 months to start the program).
3) I have limited times available to swipe said card -- mainly, Monday and Wednesday are the only possible days for me. Tonight I have a test to take after work. Thursday I have my second job. And Friday morning I'm on my way to Vegas for a week.
4) If I rested, there was a distinct possibility that I would NOT be able to motivate myself to get back up later and go down to the gym. Time I had, energy was dwindling. I had to do it NOW, or not at all.
5) I only promised myself an hour at the gym, and it could be the slowest, most easy-going hour in the world if I wanted it to be.
6) Even if I didn't complete my 60 minutes, I still needed to swipe that card.

So, dizzy still, I went to the gym. I had noticed that when I was focused on something specific, my dizziness was manageable, even controllable to some extent. Long story short, I overcame the excuses, talked myself back into the gym, completed more than my 60 minute goal, and felt much happier afterward.

Remember yesterday I wanted to eat from the gym buffet? Well, I did!

emoticon I will not stop unless I feel the need to vomit.
No vomiting, I didn't feel sick to my stomach at all.

emoticon I will not stop unless I get feeling so faint that I fear I will actually pass out.
I did actually have to sit down twice and just stop and settle myself. Getting up from some floor work and bending back up from taking the ankle strap from the cable machine off both caused dizzy spells. I centered myself, took the time I needed, and then I moved on.

emoticon I will try to run, but will stop if my hip tells me it's too early to return.
My hip told me before I even got on a treadmill. The gym was crowded and I was going to have to wait for one anyhow, which probably saved me some further hurt. I could feel my hip sending me signals to give it a couple more days.

emoticon If the running isn't possible, I will walk as much as I can unless it hurts.
I did some walking around the gym as part of some circuit training mixed in with my ST routine upstairs. I felt good to move without causing any undue pressure on my joints.

emoticon If I feel the need to move faster, I will move my butt to the elliptical and "fake run" (that's what I call it) until my heart is content once again.
But walking wasn't going to do it for me. I wanted a little more of a challenge if I felt my body could take it. I hopped on the elliptical, kept my heart around 120-150 (avg 139) and just kept plugging away. Every minute or two I'd ask my body how it felt, and it felt just fine, good even! So I kept going. 30 minutes of cross training, with 2 speed intervals built in, and 5 minutes of cool down.

emoticon I will try at least one plank tonight.
I'm actually impressed that I haven't "lost" my ability to do this. I pulled out a 40 second plank, which is just 5 seconds under what I had worked my way up to. I probably could've done the other 5 seconds, but the longer I'm up, the more my body quakes, and the more I tense up trying to maintain my form, which causes funny things to happen in my head sometimes. I didn't want to push it with the dizziness issue, so I just slowly came down at 40 seconds (which is much different from the collapse I usually end with! *lol*).

emoticon I will try at least 10 REGULAR push-ups.
I honestly did NOT think I could complete this one, especially after the 40 second plank. But I told myself to just try. JUST TRY. And I tried. And they were very sorry pushups that didn't go down very far at all, but there were 10 of them, on toes, not knees. And, boy, was I proud!!

emoticon I will do the crunches that don't hurt my hip and see how many I can do without getting dizzy.
40. That's it. 40. Crunches are hard to do when you're feeling dizzy in the head. But I did what I could and then moved on, because I promised myself that's what I would do.

emoticon I will do the leg press machine because I love it with my whole heart (and all of my legs!).
I still love my new best friend. I always feel like some powerful body builder on that thing...hangin' with the big dudes, standing on my own and rocking it out. There's a power this machine gives me that goes beyond the sculpting of my calves it's been doing! (And that it has! This thing and the running thing are helping to give me the legs I have always wanted! I can see them start to come through and it makes me SO happy!)

emoticon I will do the back extension machine because it stretches the hip flexors.
Did it. Don't feel either way about it. About this time, though, I started to get bombarded by the influx of new gym members. Our gym is a small gym. Us regulars tend to have a flow down and rarely get in one another's way. But with all the new sign-ups this week, it's pure madness in there! I get off a machine to start to adjust the weight on it for another set and someone's already hopped on it behind me! EEK!

emoticon I will use the cable machine to work my hips and arm muscles.
I nearly forgot, and I had to work around a couple young teens who were trying to figure the thing out for the first time, but I'm SO glad I remembered! I love this little cable machine upstairs.

emoticon I will be sure to do my dumbbell lifts and feel that power in my arms again.
I almost forgot this as well, but, again, I'm glad I remembered! I felt so much better after! Stronger! More like myself again!

emoticon I will do both hip machines in the gym because my hips need the help.
Okay, well, kinda. I did one. Like I said, people kept jumping on machines right behind me like I was setting them up just for them. I got frustrated and left before I could do the other one...but the one I *did* do is the one I need the most, so there is that.

emoticon I will stay away from anything that might injure me or cause me to get dizzy or lose my balance.
I evaluated things in my head and tried to remember how it made me feel usually. I avoided Yoga because I knew that would cause severe dizziness. Usually it's perfect for injured players, but when the dizzy head thing is going on, it's totally wrong to hold your body in weird positions for too long. Hello, vertigo!

All in all, it was a pretty good night. I feel more like myself today. My appetite has returned, I guess, seeing as my stomach says I missed my 9:30am snack (which I have, but I have missed it for a week and just haven't been hungry for it) doubt due to burning a few more calories at the gym. (At least 500 burned last night.) And Mr. Scale is happy with me too. He gave me a 329.6 this morning, which I hope sticks around Thursday -- which will be my official weigh-in day before Vegas.

My one goal in Vegas now? Don't blow it! I fought hard to get in the 320s...I don't want to have to return to the 330s and fight again. After I get back, I'll focus on the 310s and fighting my way there!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 1/13/2011 8:03AM

    Im-preeee-SIVE! All of this with a raging ear infection. Oh my, Esther. Rationalize your decision all you want, I just think it is impressive!

And I love your peak at 329. Keeping my fingers crossed until I read Thursday's blog! LOL.

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/6/2011 11:23PM

    "Sustainability, not perfection." EXACTLY!

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KATJAMN 1/6/2011 11:56AM

    You are definitly a better woman than me.. ha!! I am trying to kick this thing, but it keeps getting me first. ugh!! Guess maybe a trip to the doc if not better by the weekend.
We shall see.. I don't have the dizzy though, so I can wait. Glad you went to see doc and hope you are feeling better and better each day.

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BTINTERNET 1/5/2011 11:00PM

    Gym rat. *giggle*

Glad you're medicated and hope yoiu're feeling better! Have fun this weekend!

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LMCANADA 1/5/2011 9:49AM

    WOW!!! Kudos to you for going to the gym with an ear infection!!! I had one last summer, and I could barely function for a whole week!!!! It was possibly the worst pain I have ever had (and I have 2 kids!!!!)....
I hope it clears up soon, I know for me, once the pain went away, I still had the ringing for awhile afterwards, so don't get discouraged!!!

Take care!!

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TRACYZABELLE 1/5/2011 4:25AM

    I so know about ear infections-- I had tubes put in as an adult at 30~It made life so much bearable.. be careful.. finish your meds!!

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PHOENIXK26 1/4/2011 8:48PM

    Glad you were able to get to the gym! Those ear infections can be painful. I particularly hate when I it causes me to be dizzy. Great work!

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    I had tubes put in my ears as a kid due to constant double infections.. I am still prone to them and have to be careful when swimming, showering etc.. A few years back, I had swimmers ear in both my ears.. Before I knew it, the infections were so bad the perforated my eardrums.. and I had scabs in there from bleeding... Talk about PAIN... it is nearly intollerable. I wish you a speedy recovery and comfort from the pain.. Hang in there..

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SHEILA1505 1/4/2011 3:05PM

    Well done - hope you have a speedy recovery
I think ear-ache and tooth ache are a couple of the worst - make me feel evil when they hit

Take care with the giddiness

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CALLIKIA 1/4/2011 2:39PM

    You know, I used to think bad things about "gym rats" and now I just smile when I hear it. Even my Hubs proclaims this of me to his friends and family. "This is my wife. She's a gym rat." Makes me giddy with glee and so proud!

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MAIA2011 1/4/2011 2:19PM

    You're such a gym rat!

Have a great time in Vegas, Esther!


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KITHKINCAID 1/4/2011 2:14PM

    Amazing that you're still standing let alone going to the gym!

Just remember to clean your earbuds really well. All us runners and serial exercisers are prone to them because the bacteria builds up on them from continual use and sweat. Rubbing alcohol does the trick nicely - just use a cotton ball and clean away :)

Hope the antibiotics take effect soon and that you're feeling better today!

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COCOMAC7 1/4/2011 1:23PM

    You're my hero! Ear infections suck and you still went to the gym!!!!

Way to rock it girl - have a fab time in Vegas!!!!

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CHICAT63 1/4/2011 12:12PM

    So glad you are feeling, ear infections can be very unbalancing to say the least ! But you are rocking this, way to go.

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NORASMUM 1/4/2011 12:03PM

    Ok, so you have what? 70lbs on me? There's no way I could have put myself though the workout you did! You Rock! I'm so impressed with what you have been able to accomplish!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 1/4/2011 11:52AM

    Praying for you to have a quick recovering. I hate ear infections...they are killers as an adult.

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RIGBY31 1/4/2011 11:38AM

    I missed your "buffet" blog (how?). Love that you "love" your gym; Working it, earache and all. (I had the mother of all earaches last Jan and honey, I know your pain!).

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MAGPIE17 1/4/2011 11:08AM

    Dude, you're awesome!

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FREDDIE_13 1/4/2011 10:45AM

    Woohoo!! Kicking booty Esther!!! emoticon

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RAVENSONG37 1/4/2011 10:44AM

    So glad you are feeling better. And I just want to remind you that not so long ago you were fighting to get into the 350s....simply AMAZING! (yeah, you.)

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    Dang, girl! You did more while dizzy than many people do when they are perfectly healthy!!! You are my hero!

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    Ummm, you sorta rock.


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