CALLIKIA   23,828
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Conversations With Myself

Friday, January 21, 2011

emoticon Nobody understands.

emoticon Actually, at least 90% of them understand better than you think.

emoticon But most of that 90% don't understand what it's like to be THIS overweight.

emoticon You know better. First of all, there is a large portion that DOES understand what it's like to have more than 60-80-or even 100 pounds to lose. Second of all, who do you think you are?

emoticon I'm me. And nobody understands me.

emoticon What do you think makes you so special? How is your journey so much different than theirs? Why is your story more unique? Don't you have respect for the struggles they have face, especially when so many of those struggles are the same or, at least, similar.

emoticon Well, it's just... I'm not saying I'm special or anything... but I do have a certain unique set of circumstances. I mean, how many of them started out at over 400 pounds?

emoticon Quite a few of them actually.

emoticon Yeah, well all of them are skinnier than me now...and it was easier for them than it was for me.

emoticon Oh, now I know you must be joking. That's ridiculous!

emoticon But I have so much on my plate right now. Two jobs, looking for a new job, a better one, plus the husband and the two kids and the friend's wedding coming up and...

emoticon And tell me, what did you do yesterday?

emoticon I worked both jobs and I had to drive home in the horrible snow, nearly sliding off the road several times.

emoticon *rolls eyes* You slid twice, MAYBE 3 times, and you were never in danger of going off the road. And, besides, what did you DO at those jobs.

emoticon I wrote my article really quickly last night! *proud*

emoticon Okay, I'll give you that. You worked efficiently at your second job. And the first?

emoticon Well there was that big fiasco with the co-worker. I had to do her job as well as mine!

emoticon And exactly how log did it take you to do both jobs?

emoticon *hangs head* About 2 hours total.

emoticon Out of 8? Two hours, out of that correct?

emoticon Uhm...yes.

emoticon And, tell there ANYTHING you could have done with those other 6 hours to better yourself? A workout perhaps? Maybe a few plans for next week? Menu planning? Anything?

emoticon Well, I did take care of my student loan stuff.... Oooh! And I went to the grocery store to buy new lettuce when I realized mine was bad. I could have gone to Wendy's for a cheeseburger like I wanted.

emoticon That's right, and that was great choice. But, speaking of that, what else did you buy at the store?

emoticon Wheat bread...

emoticon And...?

emoticon A single serving Skinny Cow ice cream.

emoticon And...?

emoticon *sigh* Okay! FINE! I bought a thing of chicken salad and proceeded to eat more than half of it, making 2 sandwiches when I should've only had one, and a chocolate bar, which I ate not long after, even though I already had salad and ice cream and 2 chicken salad sandwiches... THERE! Are you happy?

emoticon The question is...are you?

emoticon *a tear rolls down her cheek* No. I'm not. I could have done better.

emoticon And the time constraints of work and family...?

emoticon I could have done a workout at my desk, or walked around the building on breaks, or done some ST - crunches, squats, push-ups. I could have put on the Kinect when I got home and had fun with Hubs with that game. I had opportunities. I could have done better.

emoticon And what did you do instead, when you got home?

emoticon I stayed up too late watching TV and eating 3 bowls of chili with cheese and crackers in it... *breaks down sobbing* I'M SO SORRY!!! I CAN CHANGE, I SWEAR!

emoticon You and I both know you can change. You did. You were on it for so long and lost 85 pounds. And then...well, what happened?

emoticon Things got crazy stressful and everything started piling up and it wasn't exciting or easy anymore.

emoticon But was it always exciting and easy?

emoticon No...but I don't know that I ever remember it being this hard.

emoticon *confused* What do you mean? How could it have gotten more difficult? That doesn't make sense.

emoticon Actually, it does... sit down and let me tell you about it... the beginning, it was new.
I kept going because I knew hard would fade away and because I could get away with doing so little and getting a lot of return from it.

...and then the races started...and it was good.
I struggled through each one, each time learning a lesson about myself. I went from barely walking, to half-running a 5k. I raced with friends and family and really enjoyed the praise that came for doing what I was doing even though I was still so big.

...and then winter came. The dark, cold days of winter.
Things got crazy. Holidays, work, felt like a lot. For a while I did well, because I knew that getting through the challenges would teach me something...because I knew I had an 85 pound loss behind me.

But then...then things changed. I let myself have a bite of this and a bite of that...and I remembered what I had been missing. And I took time off when my hip went out...and being lazy felt so good too. I remembered what it was like to have time to just decompress and not think. I remembered what it was like to crumble onto the couch and not move.

So, remembering, it's been much more difficult to forget again and move back into what I was doing, into what was successful. Plus, I'm still getting compliments, even though I'm not doing anything. I can ride that out for a few more weeks without anyone really realizing I've stopped being a goody-two-shoes.

emoticon Can I ask you a question?

emoticon Sure! Fire away. *confident*

emoticon Do you remember anything else? I mean, have you been remembering anything else?

emoticon ....I don't know what you're talking about...

emoticon Are you sure? Anything that wasn't such a wonderful memory.

emoticon No. *looks away*

emoticon I don't believe you.

emoticon *sigh*

emoticon *stares, patiently waiting*

emoticon *frustrated* FINE! It's been a little harder to breathe lately...but that could just be the weather change...

emoticon Sure. Of course. Anything else?

emoticon *crosses arms* Stamina.

emoticon I'm sorry?

emoticon My stamina. It feels like it's gone. I don't even know if I could walk a 5k anymore. And my strength is gone too. I'm weak. And tired. And sick all the time.

emoticon Are you sure?

emoticon Sure about what? Look, I confessed, alright! I said it. I'm a sad, pathetic, weak, fat person again. Do you have to rub my nose in it?

emoticon I think you're mistaken.

emoticon About what? What the hell are you talking about. I told you what you wanted. I told you that I'm back to being flabby and fat and disgusting and lazy again. I told you everything and now you keep pestering me about something or other and I don't understand. Do you want me to tell you I also feel completely unattractive again? Or how about that I feel like the fattest person in the gym again...and a fraud. Yep, that too. I feel like a fraud, a phony, a fake. And I feel nobody here or anywhere cares what I do anymore and they're all just waiting for me to fail. It's been too long. I've had too much success. It was a good run, and I wish I could've gone further, but I can't run anymore - pun intended. *forces a laugh* Can you just go away now? *pouts*

emoticon You're wrong.

emoticon About what?

emoticon All of it. Listen. Listen carefully.

You think you've failed the past two months. You've seen no progress since November, you think. You think you've lost all of your strength and stamina in those 2 months and now it will take you another 6 months to get back tower you are. I can hear that fear in your voice, and the belief that you don't have enough strength left for that.

First of all, you do. You have enough strength for an entire lifetime. Giving up is not an option because every day spent not living is a day spent dying.

Second of all, you're lying to yourself. In November you had great successes. If I remember correctly, it was the first time you were able to zip up those 24s, no matter how uncomfortable they were. You've been to the gym countless time in those two months. You rocked challenges and saw yourself shrinking...and everyone around you noticed.

The last time you were at the gym? Tuesday. That was 2 days ago. And the week before that you spent in Vegas walking mile after mile. Oh, and about that 5k you don't think you can walk anymore? I have to tell you -- you just did. Remember the 3.8 miles at the Grand Canyon? That was more than a 5k. And YOU did that. Even when it was hard because of ice and snow on the path. Even when Andrea was bugging you. Even when you couldn't breathe because of the change in elevation and the crisp winter did that. You found your footing and you completed that walk and you didn't really feel all that sore after stretching when you came back. And you followed it with more days of walking all day and night! You didn't even take a rest day.

emoticon Well, I guess you're right about that...used to be that rest days were necessary after a 5k. But...I rested a lot when I came back.

emoticon You sure did. 4 days of blissful nothing that you completely earned with a week of walking, a 5k, jet lag, a sinus and ear infection that have yet to surrender completely. Your body made you sleep because it needed to repair. And, in all honesty, I don't think it's anywhere near 100% again...not yet.

emoticon But what if it never gets there? And....well, what if I never get to run again?

emoticon If it does turn out that you cannot run for fear of serious injury, you will deal with that. Just as persons who have lost mobility from a freak car accident learn to cope, you will cope with whatever medical issues you have. BUT there's no saying that you can't run just need to train again. And you know that for you that looks different than it does for most people starting out.

emoticon Yeah...I hate that.

emoticon Hate what? Being different?

emoticon *pouts* Yeah.

emoticon Okay, that's too silly for me to even address considering we are ALL different. ...moving on... Your training regimen includes at least 1-2 full weeks of strength training in your hip. You thought when you started running that the running would do the job to get your hip into shape, but you were wrong. There's nothing wrong with being wrong. We learned a valuable lesson. You need strength training in order to run.

emoticon *growls* I HATE that I have to do more work to achieve the same goal!! It's not fair!!

emoticon Get over it. Those people with mobility issues from a freak accident? They've had the option of even training in ANY way stolen from them. You get over it right now and count your blessings.

emoticon *crosses arm* Fine.'re right.

emoticon So, getting back to train. You train hard. You work that hip in any strength training moves you can find for those hip muscles. And in a week or two, you take a tiny jog to test the hip. If it feels good, you start back slowly...once a week. When that feels alright, you can go back to 2-3 times a week. And after that you can chose to either go back to C25k or find/create a different program that works for you. Strength training, though, must stay in place the ENTIRE time you're working on your running. We know that now. Hopefully that will keep the knee strong and you won't run into the same problem -- pun intended. *chuckles* So, what do you think?

emoticon I don't even know where we were going with this conversation...

emoticon Going? Why do we have to always be going somewhere? This conversation was a chance for you to sit within yourself and figuring out what the demons are that you've been fighting. It's a chance to confront your fears head on and a chance to realize that you aren't as bad off as you've been telling yourself you are. It's also a chance for you to understand -- if you continue to ignore the problem, it doesn't go gets worse. You will gain weight eventually with that kind of eating and "i just don't care" attitude. And eventually you will lose your strength and stamina and all the ability you've gained.

These conversation with yourself are important because - who else can tell when you're lying better than you can? Who else is better at remembering than you!

emoticon But...what do I do with all this information?

emoticon *sighs* *smiles* Isn't it obvious?

emoticon *shrugs* *looks around* *shrugs again*

emoticon Get back on the horse. Stop lying to yourself and get your head back in the game. All is not lost. You need a heavy dose of great, healthy food - a splash of gym-time and exercise - a nice, big helping of strength training - a 'try-it-again' serving of the run - and a good quantity of sleep and rest in between.

emoticon Sounds good, actually. But I'm not sure I'm ready for all of it yet.

emoticon That's fine. Start with one thing. Or wait and start when you're ready. But know that the longer you wait, the harder it is to come back. Make it easier on yourself by trying just 1 of those things tonight...even if it is extra sleep.

emoticon I think I can do that. I'll try.

emoticon Just so you know...even trying burns calories....but doing burns more.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon emoticon

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JIBBIE49 1/22/2011 7:57PM

    You are doing just what Judith Beck, PhD's teaches in her wonderful book "The BECK Diet Solution." I got it at the library. It isn't a "diet" but how to change your THINKING and live like a THIN person. She's a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She says until we learn to answer back to those negative thoughts in our heads, we will continue to give into them. We have a Spark Team here for support. emoticon This is really about taking care of our health.

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MARTELLA3 1/22/2011 4:49PM

    Black and white thinking will get us every time. Good for you for taking the time to shed light on your "assumptions."

This is the first winter that I have been committed about weight loss and fitness. It definitely takes more mental energy this time of year.

Fear not, Spring has got to arrive eventually.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBBIEANNE1124 1/22/2011 2:51PM

One of the best motivating blogs ever. You did great. thanks for sharing!

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ABB698 1/22/2011 2:43PM

    Loved it! Success will be yours again, no doubt! emoticon

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MAGSA10 1/22/2011 1:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonblog, you have hit every thing that I think most of us feel or have felt at one time or another. You have made me stop and take an honest look at myself and how I feel. Have a great weekend and stay strong and keep on Sparking.

Maggie j. emoticon

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BLUESKY104 1/22/2011 1:26PM

    emoticon Blog -- Failure does not occur unless you give up -- it is good to see that you are not even close to that emoticon emoticon for facing that demon within and conquering it -- Keep the forward momentum going emoticon emoticon

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LIFE-FAITH 1/22/2011 12:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 1/22/2011 12:14PM


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SPARKLINGHOPE 1/22/2011 11:37AM


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GOGOSHIRE 1/22/2011 10:41AM

    Great blog as usual, Esther. I enjoyed seeing what's going on in your mind and how your positive spirit triumphed!

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ATREAT4ME 1/22/2011 10:22AM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a great privilege to read that conversation. You said things to yourself that have been tip-toeing around in my own mind but I haven't really acknowledged. In my mind, it all sounds whinny and wimpy and wussy. Reading these similar thoughts in your blog, however, entertains, enlightens, and enthuses me for my own journey. A huge THANK YOU!

I want to take better stock of my own progress this weekend and then determine how to rev up my journey again. I've given myself a start date of Monday, Jan. 24. But, I think a frank assessment of progress to date will produce insights that will strengthen my resolve.

Thank you for showing me how to do this, for being the example I needed for this very long journey, and for treating yourself with the love you deserve. I, most of all, appreciate that because I'm beginning to think to that I'm too harsh my Darlin' Cheryl. I just don't know any better, but you are teaching me and I appreciate that so much!

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COOLMAMA11 1/22/2011 9:31AM

    I loved this blog, and could really one said this journey would be an easy one..Keep on Keeping on!

Hugs Elaine emoticon

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GOING2LOSENOW 1/22/2011 9:09AM


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DETERMINED_SOUL 1/22/2011 8:57AM

    emoticonblog! Reading it, I kept thinking...this sounds an awful lot like me. I have had similar conversations and know what...I think they really help. I have always felt, since beginning this journey, that reflection is extremely helpful. You are well on your way emoticon

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FITMARY 1/22/2011 7:32AM

    Great blog! I love the way you convinced that devil in the end!

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NUMD97 1/21/2011 11:08PM

    Very nicely done. Thank you. This applies to a lot of things, not just weight. And I, frankly, needed to revisit a lot of what you said here.

Wonderfully written, and greatly appreciated,


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ICANTODAY 1/21/2011 10:40PM

    Love this blog!

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HARMONYBLUE 1/21/2011 9:33PM

    Oh the ways we beat ourselves up and pep ourselves up over and over again. This journey is very much like quitting smoking (Never quit quitting). In this case, we must never quit trying. And trying will lead to doing.

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TIGERJANE 1/21/2011 7:14PM

    omg I loved this! Thanks for letting us in on your journey! Your blogs are some of the most well-written, interesting, insightful ones on this site, with a wicked sense of humor to boot!

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RIGBY31 1/21/2011 5:51PM

    I feel like a fly on the wall of your brain (oh wait, that didn't come out right!). You have a firm grip and a gentle nudge approach. Truly said: *it's not always exciting and easy*.

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    What an awesome conversation with yourself! It's amazing what amount of insight we can gain if we just change the way we look at things! I am definitely going to take your format and try it out, I think I may learn a thing or two.

Thanks for sharing!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/21/2011 5:00PM

    emoticon You are amazing and you will get where you want to be. emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 1/21/2011 4:37PM

    I just wrote a blog about Obligations. I think maybe you might be in a similar place too. The things that you HAVE to do get you down about the things that you WANT to do - and you honestly have to remind yourself that you do actually, WANT to do them. I find thinking about it that way helps a bit. You're carrying around a lot of stresses that DO put you in a special circumstance - I'm amazed that you get done as much as you do on yourself because with all the other peripheral stuff, I'd want to sit on my couch and eat chili too. I think you're doing great.

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MAGPIE17 1/21/2011 3:07PM

    While I loved this whole conversation, this was my favourite part: " Just so you know...even trying burns calories....but doing burns more." That might be going on my fridge!

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SARAWALKS 1/21/2011 1:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Vegas Pics - Part II

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Monday - Mid-Strip Walking Tour and Rio/Palms

Beetles Revolution at the Mirage. We just took funny pictures. :)

See! I told you I was on the ball in Vegas...I just didn't say what ball.

Some random guy walked by and handed me this stick of incense. "Here," he said. "This is for you." Uhm...okay. Maybe he thought I smelled. *shrug* (See pic of shrug)

Andrea and I at the VooDoo Lounge - a GREAT view of the strip!

The Rio buffet dessert choices. I had a tiny bite of each thing, but only ate the cannoli and the gelato. If it wasn't worth eating, I wasn't eating it.

Astroturf across the street from The Palms. The only grass we saw in Vegas. ;)

Tuesday - Grand Canyon Trip

Vegas sunrise outside the hotel.

FAAAAREEEZING at the Hoover Dam.

That white line marks where the water level of the Colorado River SHOULD be. Can you say drought?

So, I'm going to tell you a's REALLY difficult to get a picture of yourself at the Grand Canyon without it looking fake. Serious. I promise I was there! PROMISE!

LOOONG way down!

Ooh, this one's better because you can see crazy naked guy on the outlook behind me! *lol*

At the turnaround at mile 1.9 on the South Rim after a potty break. Had to put down my hair to protect my ear. It was COOOLD!

Hellooooo out there?!?!

Wednesday - South Side tour and the Nightlife

Lions at MGM (there were 3). For some reason, the trainers seemed totally bored being in a glass enclosure with three lions... I mean, I know they do it every day, but come on! It's not like paper pushing! You're PLAYING with LIONS!

Lunch at House of Blues...and my face looks BLOATED! UGH! That long bus ride the day before did a number on me!

Bar 1 - Rockhouse (about 9:30pm, still not hopping)

All dressed up with places to go...

THE reason we started here -- girls on tire swings!! WOOT!

Bar 2 - Carnavale outside Harrah's. With "show" bartenders of sorts and a DJ instead of a band or singer. Pretty fun, I danced a good bit...but we had to go in to pee and that's where we found...

Bar 3 - Dueling Pianos inside Harrah's Casino. FUN! It's where we spent the majority of our time and ended up leaving when the piano players were done for the night.

YAY! Fun!

And, that, my dears, is me inside Bar 4 - a tiny little side bar inside Paris Casino. There were like 3 people there other than us. It's where we met up with Frankie and his creepy older brother who tried to pimp out his brother (even though he KNEW I was married and kept saying NO!). Frankie wasn't as persistent and was actually alright, but his brother would just NOT STOP! UGH!

Thursday - Third and Fifth Wheel Day at Aria and Mandalay

Don't think for a second that dieting in Vegas is going to be easy. Not only does the chocolate fountain place in the Bellagio display beautiful cakes, and then the cupcake shop in Monte Carlo, but even Aria has a bakery with tons of delicious goodies. Other than the cupcakes, tho, and the dessert at the buffet, we were GOOD girls!

You should go see the fountain and the HUGE waterwall outside Aria, though. It's beautiful!

Friday - I'm Comin' HOME!

Leaving Las Vegas

And, for the record, the seat belts in a Boeing 757 DO fit me, and I have to tighten the strap. It's those tiny turboprops with their tiny belts that I need to lose a few more inches for. :P

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKY-LOU 1/27/2011 10:43AM

    Just added dueling pianos at Harrahs to my to do list!

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DAWNWINS 1/25/2011 5:56AM

    I love Carnavale and Vegas!

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BAYBELIEVER 1/23/2011 11:46PM

    Awesome pics! Awesome time!

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JIBBIE49 1/22/2011 7:59PM

    I know you will release those pounds so you never have to worry about those seatbelts ever again.

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RUNNINGNP2B 1/21/2011 8:02AM

    I love love love love these pics of you and your friend! Girl, you were too hot for Vegas. After seeing these and reading your stories, I want to go!

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FITMARY 1/21/2011 7:43AM

    Vegas is so fun, and it looks like you guys had a great time with minimal damage to the waistline. Good job!

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THOMS1 1/20/2011 5:13PM

    Looks like you had a great time! emoticon

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WOODY113 1/20/2011 4:44PM

    Great pics, and you look AWESOME!!

My husband and I stayed at the Rio when we went to Vegas. LOVED the VooDoo lounge and Lake Meade/Hoover Dam.

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CALLIKIA 1/20/2011 4:39PM

    He thought he was HIlarious when he stripped to his skivvies for the picture. Other than boxers, yes...dude was naked. And it was FREEZING up there!

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KARLYNCANDOIT 1/20/2011 4:37PM

    You did great!! And had a fabulous time!! Was dude really naked??

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SWELL10 1/20/2011 4:30PM

    Beautiful pics and beautiful you!!!

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SWELL10 1/20/2011 4:30PM

    Beautiful pics and beautiful you!!!

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SWELL10 1/20/2011 4:29PM

    Beautiful pics and beautiful you!!!

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SWELL10 1/20/2011 4:29PM

    Beautiful pics and beautiful you!!!

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SWELL10 1/20/2011 4:29PM

    Beautiful pics and beautiful you!!!

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SWELL10 1/20/2011 4:29PM

    Beautiful pics and beautiful you!!!

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SARAWALKS 1/20/2011 4:26PM

    Wow. So great to see the canyon again! Fun photos of you and you look fabulous!
emoticon emoticon

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1BIGDREAM 1/20/2011 4:22PM

    So fun!

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    I love these pictures - and you look beautiful!

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KITHKINCAID 1/20/2011 3:50PM

    Love the Canyon, Love Vegas, Love YOU in all these pics. You are so gorgeous Esther - you really have done so well with your progress. Totally noticeable! Woot woot!

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RIGBY31 1/20/2011 3:48PM

    Vegas Baby! You did it proud (and the Grand Canyon pics with snow were beautiful!).

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MAIA2011 1/20/2011 3:21PM

    You are beautiful and inspiring and I especially appreciate the crazy naked guy pic.

I'm glad you had so much fun in Vegas and looked hot doing it!


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ATREAT4ME 1/20/2011 2:34PM

    Looks like you had a lot of fun. I loved the pics of the GC!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/20/2011 2:31PM

    Great pics. Everything looks so fun. Loved the snowy canyon pictures.

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/20/2011 2:28PM

    You go, hottie! What an awesome trip.

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MICHELLESMILES_ 1/20/2011 2:24PM

    Love the pics !

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KATIE2POINT0 1/20/2011 2:02PM

    okay, all pics very good... all dressed up with places to go... HOT. You may not have heard it but I totally said "HOT" in my high pitched, drawn out voice... so really it meant super hot.

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CLYNN8810 1/20/2011 2:01PM

    Looks like you had a wonderful time!!!! I can't wait to finally make it out there some day!!!


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GRETCHYM 1/20/2011 1:46PM

    Looks like you had a great time --- And I LOVE that there was a crazy naked guy at the Grand Canyon. Hilarious!!

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AMBERNICHOLE3 1/20/2011 1:39PM

    Carnival court at Harrahs is fun, we love to go!

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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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