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Weigh-In: What Went Wrong Edition

Sunday, January 30, 2011

emoticon
Weigh-In Day

Weight Last Week: 334.0
Weight Goal This Week: 332.0
Actual Weight This Week: 333.0
Actual Weight Loss/Gain: -1 pound

I could sit here and moan and groan about how I ONLY lost 1 pound...but I won't. I deserve that 1 pound. I worked hard for it, and I didn't work hard enough for the other pound I wanted. Honestly, I expected today to be much worse.

So, what did I do wrong? Why didn't I get where I wanted to be?

Well, Thursday night I came home from work and made the biggest mistake ever. I had been avoiding the scale under the whole addage, "What that number says isn't going to change anything." But then I got impatient. I just *had* to know, or at least I thought in that moment, if my days of pushing myself and being so sore and tired had gotten me anywhere. I hopped on the scale, in the evening, after a full day of work and that stupid female voice announced to me -- 334.0. *growl* Nothing. Nada. Not a single ounce of progress. I was angry, and I fought back and went to dinner and skipped the gym workout.

Now, in my defense, skipping the gym wasn't really what hit me. Sure, I could've worked out, and that would've been better, but I could have also taken the night off and had been just fine. The problem was my mindset. It didn't matter. Nothing I did matter, so why even try? It's stupid, I know...but continuing to see 334 on the scale has been like a punch in the nuts I don't have that this is still going to be hard to do, will always be hard.

I cried that I would always be 334 pounds (also ridiculous) and pretended I didn't want to fight anymore for something that felt it would never come. I ate out, I dyed my hair in the hopes that SOMETHING would change (ANYTHING!) and then I spent the next couple days rebelling in the same manner. I gave up again, because that was easier than wishing for something and having it not happen. I hate being disappointed on a regular basis.

Friday went horribly. Ate out again. Never got to the gym. Just hated the world. My sweet tooth has been rearing its ugly head, and I gave into it because that was easier too. My stomach has been so upset the past few days and I took THAT pain as some sort of solace...I have no clue why. Yesterday I tried to get my head back in the game a little bit, but the rebellious teen in me still had more fight left in her. Instead of eating a bunch of crap, I had a small portion of crap and large portions of healthier foods. Ridiculous, yet again.

Okay, so that's what went wrong.

But....what went right? Let's face it - I lost a pound. That's a pound lost and I'm not one to begrudge JUST a pound. I decided LONG ago that I could be disappointed if I didn't get what I wanted, but I had to ALWAYS remember that even ounces lost in a week were ounces I had fought to get rid of somehow. This doesn't work by magic...I had to have done SOMETHING right to get a pound lost victory.

Monday - I ate considerably well. I had a few slip-ups. But I got to the gym and forced myself though 35 minutes of cardio and 35 minutes of ST.

Tuesday - I ate considerably well. I had a few more slip-ups. But I got to the gym and did Zumba even though it hurt.

Wednesday - I ate considerably well. I had a few slip-ups. But I got to the gym and worked through 35 minutes of cardio and about 45 minutes of ST even though I was sore and tired and a million other excuses.

Thursday - I ate considerably well until dinner.

Friday & Saturday - I tried to remember that food at home was better, cheaper, and all around a better choice than any food I could go out and get. I tried to watch my portions wherever I could. I thought about wasted calories and when they said they didn't have chocolate ice cream at DQ, I got nothing (except I went home with a couple bags of different kinds of M&Ms instead). Even though I was eating badly, I was at least considering where I wanted to spend my bad calories, instead of just eating whatever was thrown at me.

So, yes, I fought hard for a pound in the first of the week, and fought hard against it in the last half. I ended up with a one pound loss overall, so I consider that a victory. And as victories go, I'm hoping to have a similar or greater one next week. Patience, my friend, patience. I'm still restructuring my habits again. I'm still trying to figure out healthy eating when all I want is fresh vegetables from the garden and fresh cooked meals at home and walks outside in the sunshine. (Dear Weight Loss Gods, I completely miss spring and summer!! *cries*)

And, in my effort to build forward momentum, I'm going to set a plan for next week as well. Starting today.

Sunday - 1 hour private boxing lesson. I will sweat today. I will make sure of that. CT King has full permission to kick my arse into gear!

Also, I signed up for freetrainers.com and have allowed them to give me a ST workout routine. Maybe this won't get stale if I have a plan to follow that isn't just "30 minutes of ST". For the first week, I'm going to do only what they give me, unless there is one or another ST move from my routine that I completely miss, but I have to be careful...I generally do full ST on 3 days a week, but this splits it up into more days with only working certain parts on certain days. Let's see how this goes.

Monday - Shoulders & Forearms
5 minute cardio warm-up
Military Presses - 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8
One Arm Cross Cable Laterals - 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8
Seated Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls - 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14
Cardio follow-up of at least 30 minutes

Tuesday - Legs & Calves
5 minute cardio warm-up (or Zumba)
Front Squats - 4 sets - reps: 16/14/12/12
Straight Leg Deadlift - 4 sets - reps: 16/14/12/12
Reverse Calf Raises - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/16/16
(I may also add my leg press machine in, because I really enjoy it!)
Cardio follow-up of at least 15 minutes
(I may do Zumba first, followed by this ST routine, but I need to follow up with a little cardio after, even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes)

Wednesday - Chest
5 minute cardio warm-up
Barbell Incline Bench Press - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly - 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8
Cardio follow up of at least 45 minutes, hoping for 60 minutes. I think I'll hit a cardio gym circuit with the elliptical, treadmill, rowing and boxing (using the techniques I use today).

Thursday - REST
I think I'm just going to let myself have this rest day, no questions asked. I work both jobs anyhow that day, so it will be a full 15-hour day for me.

Friday - Back & Calves
5 minute cardio warm-up
Hyperextensions* - 4 reps - sets: 20/12/10/8
Wide Grip Chins to Front* - 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8
Calf Raises on Leg Press Machine - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/16/16
Cardio follow-up of at least 45 minutes.

*I have to switch out the hyperextensions for the back extension machine because my stomach gets in the way of the hyperextension bench. I have no clue if I can do the Wide Grip Chins to Front, but I seriously doubt it (you try pull-ups with 330 pounds on you!). I may try one of the leg lift machines that you support yourself with your arms and just lift your legs, but I have no clue if I can do that yet either....I'm going to have to chance embarrassing myself and try.

Saturday - Triceps & Biceps
5 minute cardio warm-up
Tricep Cable Pushdowns - sets 4 - reps: 16/12/10/8
Lying Cross Face Triceps Extensions - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Standing Dumbbell Curls - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Lying Dumbbell Curls - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Cardio follow-up of at least 30 minutes
(I'll probably put in some planks and push-ups in here too)

Sunday - Rest
I'm going to allow this rest day if I need it and focus on batch cooking that day.

We will see how this plan works. This is an 8 week weight-loss and definition program. I always have a lot of trouble sticking to these sort of things, so this is going to be a challenge for me. I'm thinking about it like a bootcamp program for myself. I have no clue what the future weeks hold (which is a great thing for me!) so we'll just work week by week and see how it works out for me.

Weight loss goal for next week: 331.0 pounds (-2)

Other goals for next week:
emoticon Eat within calorie ranges - 1800-2100 calories
emoticon Figure out how to write at least 1 article a day
emoticon Start adventure blog
emoticon Purchase 1 research book for reading
emoticon Create next week's menu and PLAN for it
emoticon Order Reba tickets
emoticon Drink at least 10 glasses of water EVERY day!
emoticon Catch up on laundry! *lol* (chipping away at it, slowly)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSHROOMSTEW 1/31/2011 3:46PM

    Hang in there girl! You're doing the right thing by focusing on your positives! Its a journey. Hope you had fun at your boxing lesson!

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MAIA2011 1/31/2011 12:08AM

    I believe you can do everything, pull-ups included!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I don't believe you can do the laundry, though.

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RIGBY31 1/30/2011 5:12PM

    One pound at a time. And you're thinking. Thinking is good. Your plan is awesome!

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ATREAT4ME 1/30/2011 2:48PM

    FWIW, I think I'm in the middle of a very similar battle. I am celebrating with you over the one pound loss. That is wonderful! And, I have had pounds just like your other one -- a total hassle.
Still, I am a fan of that teenager in you who just doesn't quit. And, I am trying to nurture one like that in me.

I can't wait to hear more about your boxing. That sounds like so much fun.

I am planning on taking my first Zumba class on Thursday night. I'm a little scared and a little excited, both. From the vids on the web, it looks like a lot of dancing fun and I really, really like that! We'll see how I do.

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 1/30/2011 2:39PM

    Congrats on losing 1 lbs!!

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TIGERJANE 1/30/2011 1:43PM

    Yeah for a loss this week! I think you're really going to see great results with that new ST program. And I'm looking forward to hearing your review of this boxing lesson - sounds like it'll be a TON of fun!

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SASSAGAIN 1/30/2011 1:23PM

    Celebrate that 1 pound! Any loss is a good loss, so GO YOU!!!

You've got a good plan for the week, too! Can't wait to hear about your boxing lesson!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/30/2011 1:19PM

    emoticon Keeping your head in the game and always reaching for more. You inspire and motivate me.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/30/2011 1:01PM

    Congrats as the lb...you are one little bit closer to where you want to be... Hoping this week is better for you!

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REDCHILIFLAKES 1/30/2011 12:30PM

    I want to see your hair! Congrats on the One pound loss! You are right, any loss is something to be proud of and your weekly activities are making me feel puny! I should step it up!!

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 1/30/2011 12:05PM

    ohhhhh start adventure blog??? you MUST post the link!!
Annie

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Uncharted Randomnimity

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm feeling completely random today, so here's what you get...

1) I'm thinking of coloring my hair. The options that are fighting in my head are jet black or more red. Everyone I know says "EW!" when I say I want black, but I'm feeling so Rock-N-Roll Rockstar lately. I want dark hair and dark makeup and a tatt. I want to play that role for a while. I'm going shopping down the hair color aisle on my break. *big grin* If I could afford the salon time I'd probably get it relaxed, jet black with a blond streak in the front, LONG layers and thinned. Yes, that's how I'm feeling lately. There's a power, and yet a vulnerability, behind all the women I've seen with this coloring and I want that for me.

2) Speaking of tattoos, I have always wanted one and now I've put it on my list for this year. I actually went to get it years ago but the tattoo artist looked at me crazy when I told him what I wanted, asked me to give him a few days, and then NEVER called me back. I have to admit, I was sure it was because he didn't want to tattoo a fat chick that looks like a good little Christian girl. *shrug* A friend in Columbus, however, recommended me using her guy and it sounds like a great idea. I actually finding a really good idea for a (small) second tattoo as well, so I may get the small one first. (Cuz I'm a baby! *lol*)

3) The wifi I use at work is so spotty it is driving me NUTS! I've been trying for days to start an online blog and to write articles for my husband's news site and I keep getting blocked from doing anything by connectivity issues. GRRRR!

4) Oh, the stuff you actually want to hear -- I did work out last night. I set the treadmill to the cardio mode (20 minutes) at level 1. I had no CLUE why I was breathing hard and hurting so much at a 3.2 speed when I do that or above all the time...until I realized it was making my walk UPHILL with the incline setting. *lol* The 3.5 literally felt like nearly running downhill it was so much quicker to me than the uphill. I'm going to try to fit this into my routine and see if I can work up in the levels. After the treadmill, I did a bunch of ST. Much of what I did on Monday, so I won't repeat it here. I pushed myself to do a few extra sets and actually ended up doing about 45 minutes of ST. I then hopped on the elliptical to finish my 30 minutes, actually doing 15 minutes to round out the routine. I stretched a lot in between everything because the soreness has been a bit overwhelming. I'm doing fine, just remembering now what it feels like to work yourself sore.

5) My head quote for the day..."My boobs are getting bigger and my waist is getting smaller...Holy inconceivable proportions, Batman! I'm turning into Barbie!" ;)

6) The struggle over finances is taking a toll on my "Year of Adventures" plan. I haven't planned a single race yet because money is so tight. I'm actually up for promotion, have been approved internally and everything, we're just in holding pattern waiting for the state to get it's hind in gear and put it through. So glad I saved my Vegas winnings, because that will be used Sunday for my private boxing lesson. Still, we're going to have to think "outside the box" to find some things which aren't so pricey and yet still allow me to have the adventures I want this year... This is especially true considering my friend's wedding has gone from "a couple days in Utah" to a day or two in Vegas, followed by a few days in Utah, followed by a couple possible more days in Vegas...plus two plane tickets for Hubs and I (the boys are going to be SO angry they aren't going, yet again...but I can't take an 11-year-old and a (then) 9-year-old to Vegas! WTF?! Mommy wants to have a LITTLE fun! I never had a bachelorette party, so I'm living vicariously through others.). Don't worry...I'm looking into creative ways to make more money at home in the evenings or on the weekends. I'll figure it out...

7) Tomorrow is round 2 of Family Game Night. I don't know when it came about or how, but I suggested it and everyone grabbed on to the idea. Even Hubs is looking forward to it! (I'm bribing him every Friday with pizza and beer! *lol*) We turn off the TV and computer and iPhone and we all sit around the coffee table in the living room and play a board game (we may actually add in Kinect family games too) and eat pizza and drink beer (for the adults) and soda (for the kids) and forget about every other obligation in the world for just one moment. I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to this all week. For just one night I spend uninterrupted time with all 3 of my boys, we have a great time, have family stories to share later, and everyone gets something out of it. Last week we played Monopoly, which Hubs won evenhandedly once he began owning the entire board. The deal is - winner picks the next week's game. I was so scared, but then Hubs picked Scrabble! Serious love for Scrabble from this English graduate! :) I hope to beat all 3 of my boys with my eyes shut and my hands tied behind my back! (Oh, yeah...trash talking began LAST Friday, immediately following the announcement of this week's game.) Slight issue right now is that we only have those 2 games, a set of dice for Farkel (sp?) and a deck of playing cards (if Ethan hasn't lost any)...so besides the Kinect we'll be out of choices VERY soon. I've added a few more family board games to the Amazon Wishlist, and, if necessary, can pick some up for not too much at Wal-Mart.

8) Speaking of family game night and beer... *lol* Last week I went shopping for wine at The Wine Shop near my work. It's in the farmer's market building where I go to get my homemade fresh chicken salad and veggie salads and granola and other yummies. Since my friend was late (as usual), I started wandering around the place and found a whole beer section. I picked up a mixed 6-pack for the Hubs and I. The idea of doing a wine tasting with Hubs has always fit into my mind, but never his...but a beer tasting? Now THAT is something he can get behind! I got him 3 heavier beers, including one from South Africa, and got me 2 pale ales and a Blueberry Beer! NOM! We were supposed to drink them last Friday but we both totally forgot! *lol* This week, however, it's ON! I'll let you know how it goes...

9) A girl at work has begun calling me "the Incredible Shrinking Woman." I appreciate the compliment, but incredible has nothing to do with all the hard work I've put in the past 8 months! *lol* I have to say, I've been having a serious case of fathead lately. This is really odd for me, because I never used to see myself as as fat as I was. If anything, I had skinny-head syndrome for the longest time. There were times when I couldn't understand why people looked at me the way they did and other times when I'd say, "Now she's bigger than me, right?!" and point to someone across the room. (I have to say that Hubs was starting to have a difficult time answering me on that one...sad...) I just didn't SEE myself the way others did. Now that I've taken stock of my body and started taking full-length pictures of myself for posterity and what not, I'm starting to understand how fat-head syndrome works.

The other day I was watching an episode of Heavy with Hubs. I pointed to the woman on the screen and said, "That's how big I look still." Hubs had to disagree with me immediately. Maybe it was the way I USED to look, but not anymore. I wasn't that big anymore. Still, this belly gets me EVERY time, and I'm having a huge problem not seeing myself as HUGE just because the belly isn't gone yet. (And by belly, I don't mean a bit of pudge...I mean the huge stomach apron that still graces the front of my body...sometimes I feel like I'm carrying a toddler around my waist, no lie.)

I am proud to report, however, that this morning I was in the bathroom at work and I had to take stock in how slim I look from the side now. I know that next Tuesday I'll be taking pictures again for the first of February, and I'm really hoping that will help break some of the fat-head out of me. I'm not skinny. HELL NO! But I'm not as fat as I think I am. I no longer weigh 466 pounds...lately, that's been hard to believe. Not sure why...

Mmkay, I'm going to leave you with that then. Gonna go grab a Lean Pocket and some Healthy Choice Soup. Yes, I have been eating prepared foods in an effort to cut down on money spent on fresh food. It sucks, but I'm biting that bullet and hoping that with the large amount I still have to lose, I will continue to see results even with the added sodium intake.

Ooh, one final thing. It makes it an even 10, so that helps the Monk part of me feel better...

10) Honey Garlic Pork Chops. Seriously, search for these in Spark Recipe and MAKE THEM! They are AMAZING and only have 4 ingredients! My youngest son (the pickiest eater) was the first to taste them and in his words, "Oh my gosh! These are AMAZING! I want these to go on the list. We can make them once a week!!" *lol* Everyone loved them, although clean-up is a bit of a pain as the honey, when cooked, can become like glue. Still, soak the pan and you'll be good to go no problem. SO good. Highly recommend. I'm pretty sure I had dreams of Honey Garlic Pork Chops last night.

=D

Plan for tonight:
Leave work at 3:30pm (YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!)
Eye doctor appointment at 4:30pm (yes, it takes that long to get there)
Then a workout at the gym before heading home to catch up on MASS amounts of laundry overflowing since the pipes were clogged when I got back from Vegas (Hubs finally fixed it on Saturday, but I was out of town for the weekend. Can't WAIT to have clean underwear again! ;) ...totally kidding, people. I've got tons of underwear so I've been good in that department.)
Might see if there are any movies at the Redbox or just watch TV like a slob because I haven't seen more than an hour of TV all week. *lol*

Tomorrow:
Breakfast with the Hubs, our own special, private time. (I swear, if they cancel school I WILL hurt someone...we need our time!)
Grocery shopping (ooh, menu planning - something else I need to get done tonight)
45m Cardio and 45m ST
And then Family Game Night that night with the boys

Saturday:
60m Cardio workout and then nothing planned.
OMG, that sounds great to hear me say!!!!

Sunday:
Private boxing lesson in Charleston at 3pm with AM!! I CAN'T WAIT!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKY-LOU 2/6/2011 12:35PM

    Family game night suggestions:

1. A lot of game stores have a place in the back where you can "try" games and encourage families to drop in. Do this before you spend money on a new game!

2. Try thrift shops, tons of games super cheap!

3. My family favorites - Whoonu, Apples to Apples (your family would probably do better with the Jr. edition because some of the names of actors etc are hard for the young) Dominoes.

Good luck!

Just sat down this morning to do a little catching up so I have to say your "courage and fear" blog was very moving and I so appreciate your willingness to share.

Have a great Sunday! emoticon emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 1/29/2011 3:38PM

    I love, "Holy inconceivable proportions, Batman! I'm turning into Barbie!" because I've had a similar experience.

I also love the way you plan and I'm inspired by it each time I read your posts. I'm still working on my plan.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/29/2011 11:34AM

    I personally vote for red hair but I think black would look good too. What type of tattoo are you thinking of getting. I have always said when I get to goal weight tattoo is what I want...probably a butterfly. Cliched, but still meaningful.

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BAYBELIEVER 1/28/2011 11:56PM

    Can't wait to see what you do with your hair! It should so reflect the strong woman you are!

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TIGERJANE 1/28/2011 9:16PM

    Looking forward to hearing how your boxing lesson goes!!

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MENACE79 1/28/2011 4:26PM

    I have jet black hair (dyed) and I love it. Makes me feel sexy and a bit rocker (like you think it will). I want a tat too (hehe...tattoo) but I want to wait until I'm closer to my goal. Is there a better place to get it if you are planning to lose weight? I don't want it to collapse in on itself or anything. lol.

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REDCHILIFLAKES 1/28/2011 11:51AM

    You are already a rockstar! I think black hair would definitely look gorgeous on you though. Keep us updated and post pictures!

I wish I could get my husband to play boardgames, I can if we invite other couples over but only with great reluctance.

Have a great weekend!

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SEEHOLZ 1/27/2011 4:31PM

    I love that you do family game night! I think I'm going to suggest that for my boys- we just do it randomly- not enough!

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MUSHROOMSTEW 1/27/2011 3:46PM

    Ha ha you made me laugh while reading this at work! Good luck at the boxing lesson!

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MAGSA10 1/27/2011 3:24PM

    Girl, you never stop amazing me with your humor and wit. As far as the hair color, I wouldn't do black. I tired the black and unless you have olive skin or tanned you could end up looking like a ghost. The red color works a little better as it works well with light or dark features. I am sure what ever you decide will be great on you. Go full speed ahead on the tattoo, I have wanted to get a small one for a couple of years now but my husband says no way.

I hope that you can keep up the exercise schedule you have worked out for yourself, I don't think that I could. I know that I couldn't keep that kind of schedule up all week long.

Enjoy your family time together as before you know it your kids will be way to busy for it as they get older, that is experience talking.

Stay strong and keep on Sparking.

Maggie j. emoticon

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KATIE2POINT0 1/27/2011 3:01PM

    I don't know where to start. #5 made me lol... you are too cute! I love love love scrabble but my BF will never play with me because I always win. It's the only game I ever win with him, he should just let me have it! I also love Apples to Apples, some of the responses are so funny. Your boys may be a little too young for it though. And I saw the pics of you in Vegas and you are looking hot lady, HOT!!!

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/27/2011 1:26PM

    Sorry, you're still incredible no matter what you say!

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SARAWALKS 1/27/2011 1:19PM

    WOW YOU ROCK! and I love imagining your family game night! emoticon emoticon
And I just have to share that a great imported beer is Newcastle Brown Ale, if Hubs likes the heavier stuff. Of course I have been known to drink stout also, as well as black n' tans... emoticon

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ERIN1128 1/27/2011 12:09PM

    Esther - what do you mean, incredible has nothing to do with all the hard work you've put in? That's what's incredible! Your focus and determination are truly inspiring.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/27/2011 12:08PM

    The hair sounds cool. You should do what you feel and not what others say. emoticon

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Streaking

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SORE. That's what I am.

I pushed through a semi-difficult workout on Monday and then hammered myself through a tough Zumba class last night. And, according to Hubs, all I've been able to say for 2 days is, "OMG! I'm SO sore!"

Now, let me say this - it's good sore. Those of you in the know know exactly what I mean.

It's sore from working out well.
It's sore from challenging my muscles to give just a little more.
It's sore from muscle tearing...I never thought I'd hope for tearing.
It's sore from the process of building a new leaner, stronger model of this here body of mine.

I'm not mad about it. Not at all. In fact, there's a slight smirk on my face when I tell you now that I am SORE!

I've been away way too long and had forgotten what this felt like. For a while, I wasn't getting to sore. My muscles were adjusting to my routine and I was having to find new and different ways to challenge them. But now that I've been away from the gym, from crunches and ST, from elliptical machines and Zumba - the result is soreness. But I'm good with that.

My plan for the week, remember, is:
emoticon Monday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
emoticon Tuesday - Zumba
Wednesday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Thursday - Line Dancing/Zumba
Friday - 45 minutes Cardio / 45 minutes ST
Saturday - 60 minutes cardio, minimum

2 little emoticon stickers and I'm a happy girl.

This morning I packed my bag for the gym without thinking, like I always do...but I actually said out loud, "I don't know if I'll be working out tonight because I'm so sore."

It took me exactly 2 minutes to tell myself how ridiculous I was for thinking that. Right now it's all about the streak. I need to build upon those two days. I need to, just once, complete the plan I set out for myself. Even if it's something very low impact like yoga. And even if I need to split up the 30 minutes into 2 x 15 minute sets of cardio and ST, it still counts. Even if I do a somewhat light walk around the indoor track or on the treadmill for 30 minutes, it still counts. Even if I have to do 3 x 10 minute stints...it STILL counts.

Tonight is not about killing myself.
Tonight is not about beating myself up.
Tonight is not about being that mean Jillian Michaels version of me.

Tonight is all about the streak.
And I mean that both ways. It's about feeling good naked - my reason for continuing to follow the plan, and about keeping the drive alive - and my need to just do it, even if I have to back off and just focus on time instead of intensity.

Tonight is all about the emoticon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 1/29/2011 3:51PM

    Woohoo! Go for it because you can do it. Streak away!

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MAIA2011 1/26/2011 8:55PM

    Streak!

emoticon

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/26/2011 8:06PM

    Streaking rocks! I'm so proud of you!

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GOGOSHIRE 1/26/2011 7:25PM

    STREAKING!!! GOGOGOGOGOGOGO!

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RAVENSONG37 1/26/2011 4:20PM

    I love you Es! Thanks for being you.

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MAGSA10 1/26/2011 3:24PM

    emoticonGood for you, keep those check marks coming. Sore is as sore does that's what I say. Stay strong and keep on Sparking.

Maggie j. emoticon

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BRIAEL 1/26/2011 1:35PM

    Sore is a good reason to keep going. I use it as my primary motivation. :)

Glad you're on a streak ... enjoy it!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/26/2011 1:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MEGSFITNESS 1/26/2011 1:07PM

    You and me both, Lady! Love that streak and that positive attitude :)

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RIGBY31 1/26/2011 12:45PM

    I love that you're even telling your gym bag how sore you are!
And feeling the sore = feeling alive.

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MICHELLESMILES_ 1/26/2011 12:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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XTMONT 1/26/2011 11:52AM

    Keep up the streak! And remember, the best way to work out that soreness is MORE EXERCISE!

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TKPHOTOGIRL 1/26/2011 11:24AM

  I tell myself that if I'm sore then more exercise = temporary relief from being sore cos my muscles will warm up. That's usually enough to get me started - even if I do curse myself the next day when I'm sore again! The nice thing is that feeling sore is also a good reminder to watch what I'm eating - feeling that the muscles are working makes me more determined.

Keep streaking!!!

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GOZEKIGRL 1/26/2011 11:24AM

    i LOVE good sore! way to go! keep up the good work!

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CALLIKIA 1/26/2011 11:17AM

    Ha! If I walk around in my bra and underwear, my kids still term that as me being "naked" and run away. *snort*

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KATIE2POINT0 1/26/2011 11:13AM

    I pushed myself through the soreness last week and I actually felt a lot better the next day. If you put stress on your body it will adjust. Good work keeping yourself going with your plan... its not easy but you're doing it anyway. You'll be streaking around the house for fun in no time... you know, just make sure its only the hubs who is still up ;)

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SARAWALKS 1/26/2011 11:11AM

    Streak on! emoticon

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DDHEART 1/26/2011 11:07AM

    ROFL!!! Go you streaker you!!! emoticon

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Follow-Through

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

...this is the word I'm echoing in my head this week. Planning I can do. Even in my darkest moments, I can plan up a storm. I have grand schemes and ideas and dreams, and I can sit down for hours and write out just HOW I plan to get from point A to point B. The problem, at least lately, has been follow-through.

In my blog yesterday, I set this plan:

Workout Plan for the week of January 24th-29th
Monday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Tuesday - Zumba
Wednesday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Thursday - Line Dancing/Zumba
Friday - 45 minutes Cardio / 45 minutes ST
Saturday - 60 minutes cardio, minimum

I can now proudly report that I have earned my first emoticon for the week!

Last night, at around 4pm or so, the usual "how to get out of going to the gym" excuses started in my head. I heard them, but I refused to listen. I was going. Period. And apparently, simply turning the voice on mute did me well. After work I drove to my gym, I swiped my card without thinking I had to for the insurance program, and I retreated to the locker room to put on my power gear.

emoticon FYI - Power Gear = Workout Clothes

The gym was crowded, yet that didn't stop me. I looked around -- treadmills all taken, my two favorite ellipticals in use, my backup elliptical occupied, and the rowing machine was in full row. No worries. I filled my water bottle and walked to the first open machine I could find. It worked out it was an elliptical machine, one of the models I generally shy away from because they tend to get noisy. I didn't care. I put on my headphones, set my music to simply shuffle, started with Apocolyptica's version of Unforgiven and set the machine to the cross training function with the big hill in the middle. Time set: 30 minutes.

For the first time in a long time, I was quickly powering through my workout. I didn't really notice the time until about 20 minutes in...or, what I mean is, I didn't check to see "how much longer?" until about 20 minutes in (lately it's been about 2 minutes in and I want to go home!). I powered through and ended up with a 30 minute workout and 5 minute cool down that I could be proud of.

35 Minutes
Cross Training 2
2.19 Miles
4277 Steps
Average Pace of about 135
427.9 calories burned

I walked around the track a few times to get my legs back under me, and then stretched and checked the time before I started strength training. 30 minutes is what I promised myself. I started on the cable machine with lat and tricep work and when I got bored with that I moved on to another part of the gym. I did squats with one of those exercise balls behind me. 2 sets of 15. I did 16 walking lunges (on each leg) with the 6 pound medicine ball in my hands. And then I got bored again. I carried the 6 pound medicine ball to the ab reclining bench. I tried not to stress that I could only do 2 sets of 20 crunches and a set of 20 twist crunches before I was beat...I guess it really has been a while (I used to do 150 crunches a night)! Instead of beating myself up, I moved on. I did 2 sets of 15 modified pushups and tried not to harp on the fact that I had once been up to 10 regular because modified were getting too easy...I'll get back there again.

I checked the clock. Crap! Only 15 minutes? I was sure it had been more than that! Okay...what now? I went down stairs and got on the leg press machine. 2 sets of 15 with a 35 pound weight on each side. Calf raises too, three different ways, 15 each set. Then shoulder presses with the dumbells followed by bicep curls.

Dang! Still 5 minutes left. I moved on again...back extension machine - three sets. 130-160-180 increasing weight. And while that last bit really did take up my time, I decided I wasn't QUITE done yet. I promised to work my hip. I promised myself that I would do it in the hopes of getting back to running. 1-2 weeks of hip strength training, I told myself, and I could try to run again. I saw the I RUN BondiBand on my head in the mirror and resolved to get in some hip training. I went to the hip machine that would work the specific muscle I knew needed work and did 3 more sets - increasing the weight from 60-70-80.

A long stretch later and I realized that I had not only followed-through with what I had set out to do, I'd done just a little bit extra.

Total tally for last night: 35 minutes Cardio, 35 minutes ST

And while it may seem silly to be so happy about one night, I have to keep reminding myself that each step is important. As I look at the JLo boxing picture on my desktop at work, and as I look at my new page background, I'm reminded that it's not about boob size and what other people think about how I look - it's all about how I want to feel. Sure, I'd love to have JLo's butt and Tara Wood's (the girl in the new background) shoulders, but what I love about these pictures is the feeling of strength that comes through them. The determination in their eyes. The confidence that shines through Tara's eyes. The power behind those gloves, even. I want to feel like Wonder Woman more than I want to look like her, if that makes sense.

So each time I do a leg press or get on the elliptical machine, I'm trying more and more to forget the body I have and the body I used to have...I'm focusing on the body I'm building. And, the truth is, I have no idea what that body will look like...but I have a sort of notion of how it will feel - strong, powerful, and ready for anything.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATREAT4ME 1/29/2011 3:47PM

    l completely understand about working on how you want your body to feel. That is the goal for me too!

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KITHKINCAID 1/26/2011 2:29PM

    They call it "body building" for a reason! Way to go for getting back to it :)

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RIGBY31 1/25/2011 11:40PM

    "... focussing on the body I'm building". That is a mighty powerful, positive statement. And whew! I'm exhausted after your blog.
emoticon

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 1/25/2011 7:42PM

    ahhhh yes.. the body you're building!! great blog!
log.move.lift.repeat.
A
nnie

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RAVENSONG37 1/25/2011 5:22PM

    Have a great time tonight babe!!

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CHICAT63 1/25/2011 4:34PM

    emoticon emoticon Woohoo. You are going for it, have fun at Zumba tonight !

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/25/2011 4:04PM

    It is certainly not silly to be happy about that!!

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MEGSFITNESS 1/25/2011 3:57PM

    The last two paragraphs were MOST inspirational :) I'm going to contemplate that idea today/tonight..

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MAGSA10 1/25/2011 2:33PM

    emoticonyou got Monday down and I am hoping that Tuesday will be a high note for you.



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1BIGDREAM 1/25/2011 12:01PM

    LOVE IT! Work it!

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MAIA2011 1/25/2011 11:54AM

    This is why you rock!

emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/25/2011 11:22AM

    emoticon

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TEACHDIANN78 1/25/2011 10:32AM

    That's awesome! It's not silly to celebrate one night...I celebrate each and every workout I do! Keep it up!

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_SHARKBAIT_ 1/25/2011 10:29AM

    amazing!

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HALLORAN84 1/25/2011 10:19AM

    LOVE this blog :)
You are on the right track and you are going after it! You will have the strong body that you want because you are willing to work for it emoticon
Have fun at Zumba tonight!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 1/25/2011 9:54AM

    Be proud, that was an awesome workout. Routines and streaks have to start somewhere, and that's a pretty amazing day to start with.

Best of luck with this week, you have a great plan of attack!

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MAGPIE17 1/25/2011 9:47AM

    "I want to feel like Wonder Woman more than I want to look like her, if that makes sense."
...YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!

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GOGOSHIRE 1/25/2011 9:33AM

    I love reading your weekly plans because they always make me feel like a slug since yours are so exciting with lots of variation, and it gets me off my ass to make my own week more exciting, too.

YAY!

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SARAWALKS 1/25/2011 9:31AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DETERMINED_SOUL 1/25/2011 9:30AM

    That is emoticon

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KATIE2POINT0 1/25/2011 9:29AM

    YAY! Good for you Esther! Nothing feels better than a workout you can be proud of. I have the same follow-though problems. This morning my alarm went off and my first thought was 'absolutely not' then I remembered on someone's spark page it says "yesterday you said tomorrow" and I got up... I was cranky but I did it. So good for you. Gold star!!

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Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Monday, January 24, 2011


In 20 Wise Quotes from the Dalai Lama, I found this gem:

"There is a saying in Tibetan, 'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.'
No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, thatís our real disaster."

www.stumbleupon.com/su/2TzQ5v/www.in
eedmotivation.com/blog/2008/04/20-wise
-quotes-from-the-dalai-lama/


I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday evening. Now, I'm not exactly one to promote meltdowns, not really, but sometimes a meltdown for me is a breaking point - a sort of mile-marker for the turnaround in my thinking. This meltdown seems to have been just that. To help you understand, I guess it's best to go back to the events of this weekend and let you know what led up to the turning point (or, at least, what I hope is the turning point).

I awoke Saturday morning at 8:30am. After a quick shower, the whole family headed down to the elementary school for my oldest son's basketball game. Logan, 11, is new to basketball. This is only his second game in his first year in the sport. It took him a while to figure out what he wanted, what he enjoyed and he had several false starts along the way. He played football one summer...and hated every minute of it. He ran away from the ball when it was thrown to him, and he didn't like running back and forth on the field. Last year he played spring baseball, and while he did seem to enjoy the game, he just wasn't very good at it. I think he may have hit the ball one time in a game all season...and I think he was immediately tagged out at first. Still, he tried all year, and we encouraged him to practice in order to get better. This year, Logan decided that basketball was his new sport. I have to admit, his father and I were both skeptical, but since his own tiny elementary school has it's own little mini-league, we decided to go ahead and sign him up. At least it didn't cost us anything.

Last week, while watching him in his first game, I noticed something about my son. My shy, I-don't-want-attention driven son was a bit of a showboat on the court. I don't mean that he was hyping up the crowd, I just mean that the second he was put into the game he was in defensive stance against any player on the other team that had the ball. The same son who walks (and actually does everything) slower than anyone I know, was one of the first players up and down the court. He blocked shots and passed the ball and seemed to be the start of a game changer for his team. His team was down 20-2 in the first half, but came back when Logan was put in to make something like a 26-18 final score.

During the game, I heard myself say something that even sounded weird to me. I turned to Ethan, Logan's brother, and said, "I didn't know your brother knew how to play basketball!" Ethan smiled and nodded. He's watched his brother at several practices, and I guess he had the inside scoop on things. All last week the coach of Logan's team promised to work on his offensive skills (shooting) and, sure enough, in Saturday's game, Logan made two baskets...and he was in the game a lot longer this game than he was in the last. Maybe he shocked the coach a little as well. While his team still lost, Logan felt proud of his two shots and proud of his overall performance. Still, he nodded and smiled when I said, "You made 2 baskets?!" but didn't further discuss any details of the game. (Unfortunately, his father and I missed both shots as we were roped into concession duty out front. *sigh*)

After the game, my friend Anne Marie and I ate lunch with the boys and then took off to Columbus to visit a friend. The whole way there we talked about all the things we wanted to do this year - rock climbing, rafting, tennis. We talked about our boxing lesson coming up this weekend and talked about how we hope to challenge ourselves this year to really find what we love and hate. I remember saying to her, "Let's do it all! We might hate some of it, but we might find some things we love too!"

The wine party that night was both fun and challenging for me. My friend, Hillary, had invited a bunch of old high school classmates. Most of those who came were people I may have graduated with, but didn't really form close bonds with in high school. I was never in the popular group. I knew a lot of people, but I wouldn't have ever called us "friends" per se. I was worried and felt those high school insecurities pop back up into my head.

We had a total of something like 10 girls that night. I knew I had AM, Hillary, and a good friend, Joanna, to cling to, but I also really wanted to get to know these high school girls as adults now. We talked about what we were doing now, our spouses and children, where we lived, where the road had taken us. And through all of that, I kept feeling the, "I'm the saddest excuse for a person here" monster talking to me in my head.

I promise I tried to ignore it, but I kept hearing it tell me how I had wasted my senior year, how I had withdrawn and had little to no high school experiences because I was busy being pregnant and trying to figure out what my life was about to become. I remember it telling me that I still had a sorry excuse for a job, even though I'm currently (impatiently) waiting on a promotion to go through here at work. I remember it telling me way too many times, "You are still the fattest person in the room." And, as I told my husband last night, in my mind, fat = ugly, so I automatically assumed that I was also the ugliest person in the room (although my husband strongly disagreed with me on that one).

I tried not to let the voice influence me. I hated every picture, but pretended I didn't care. I danced in the living room with Hillary's 7 year old while she was playing Just Dance 2, and there was a certain freedom in doing what I wanted and not caring what the people around me thought. (Turns out they thought it was hilarious and wanted to take pictures...more pictures for me to secretly hate.)

Also that night, this comment was made: "Man, Esther! Your boobs look HUGE in this picture." That one would stick with me...

The next day, AM and I went shopping. I found a bunch of clothes - XL and XXL shirts from Old Navy and the Gap that I could never imagine trying on, let alone buying, just last year. And that should have been enough to lift my spirit...but, of course, it wasn't. It was a solitary purchase that broke my heart -- a size 42DDD bra. Yep, you saw that right -- THREE Ds.

You see, this new body of mine has some downsizing that needs to be done. I started at a 52DD years ago. Slowly but surely, that band size has begun to shrink. I've gone from 46-42 since April alone. But what I hadn't expected was that, while the band size was decreasing, the actual boobs were not. And when the around size of the band shrinks, but the around size of the boobs don't, you actually INCREASE a cup size. The difference between the band size and the boob size actually GROWS. So I went from a 52DD to a 42DDD, and it killed me to buy that bra (although it was adorable...and on sale from like 40 bucks to 19.99).

Of course, the hubs thinks it's awesome and has nothing negative to say. But something in my head keeps mocking me. "You get smaller AND get bigger at the same time! HAHAHA!" It's quite annoying. Other mocking tones came too. My hair needs cut badly...it looks horrible. My muscle has melted away after weeks of disuse. This one was strange for me -- my hair is no longer red, something I once both hated and secretly had pride in. Oh, and that's not even considering the comment from my husband of, "So who is the strawberry blonde girl in the pictures?" *sigh* This one comment automatically set off a, "Your husband doesn't think you're pretty" tirade which lasted most of the drive home.

I got home last night around 6pm or so. I was tired and hungry since I hadn't eaten since about 11am. I grabbed the boys and headed out for Chinese. But I couldn't eat much. I was too upset. Hubs was worried. He said he hadn't seen me this way in a long time and he was seriously concerned. "I'm just a mess," I told him. I didn't want him to worry, but I needed to work through it all in my head. I needed to quiet the monster. I had my meltdown and then went to bed after setting out my gym clothes for the next day, resolved to get back at the one thing I knew made me feel like I was worth something.

'Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.'
My tragedy was in my own mind...it was the loss, or rather the suppression, of hope. I thought I was done for - that I had done all I could and would never be anything. My (horrible) father once told me I would never amount to anything and no one would ever love me, and in my darkest hour, that comment becomes my mantra...and that was my tragedy. Last night as my husband kissed me goodnight, he said, "I'm glad you're home. I missed you." And my reply was simply, "I've been missing me too."

That was the problem. I had lost myself again...and I needed to find myself. As I drifted off to sleep, I recounted the conversations I had had with AM about our "Year of Adventures" and reminded myself how long it took Logan to find something he was good at...and I decided that I was done missing myself.

Now, I can't say that I'm going to do everything right from here on out. That would be silly and stupid to think. I can't even promise I'm going to make the most amazing quick comeback ever. But I've made the following promises to myself:

* Do what you love.
* Do what you do.
* Go to the gym every day, even if you just walk in and walk back out, just get in the habit of going again.
* Go back to Zumba. You love it, and you have to do what you love.
* Make a plan and follow it, even when you don't want to.
* Forgive yourself.

That last one is going to be hard. I tend to harp on what I've done wrong. But, like many of my friends who are starting over yet again, I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm doing the same. How fitting, considering when I started in April, it was following a weekend trip to my friend Hillary's house, in which we experienced a wine tasting. (Maybe wine has medicinal mental properties none of us have ever thought about!! *lol*)

Workout Plan for the week of January 24th-29th
Monday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Tuesday - Zumba
Wednesday - 30 minutes Cardio / 30 minutes ST
Thursday - Line Dancing/Zumba
Friday - 45 minutes Cardio / 45 minutes ST
Saturday - 60 minutes cardio, minimum

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 1/26/2011 8:03PM

    Hey Esther - I don't want to overstep my boundaries here, but have you ever considered talking to a pro about how you're feeling? Just sometimes, some of the things that you say in your blogs about things that your father said to you, or things that you say to yourself make me feel like you'd really benefit from an outside person to validate and bounce these ideas off of. Because they are SO important and you are SO allowed to feel all of that. You fight so hard to "get back with it" and stop yourself from feeling upset, and I just know from experience that sometimes what you really need is to BE upset and have that breakdown and be angry at everyone (or specific people) for a while. If you ever want to chat about it, I'm here for you. I just think it might help you get over this hump if you were able to frame these feelings in a different way. I'm behind you 100 percent. I see a lot of myself in you and I want for you to succeed as much as you do - and I know you can and will because you are truly amazing and you're one of the smartest, most insightful people I have come across in a long time.

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MAIA2011 1/25/2011 11:52AM

    I might be overstepping here but I get super in my head like that, too, and the wine helps me R-E-L-A-X. Too much causes other problems. I am glad that your plan is to get back to exercising. When I get out of the habit I am even more sad to see muscle loss than weight gain.

I'm so glad that Logan is kicking butt at basketball! That's a game changer!

emoticon

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EUPHRATES 1/25/2011 3:10AM

    This made me cry. *hugs* I LOVE the idea of a "year of adventure" - that's an inspiring thought.
emoticon

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RAVENSONG37 1/25/2011 12:40AM

    I understand what you are saying in so many ways. One thing about the boobs - the reduction in band size is you melting your back fat. (One bra fitter once told me this!) Maybe you are one of those skinny chicks with huge boobies, if that's the case, that's how the creator made ya! As I have lost weight my boobs have never shrunk...and while they looked small when I was bigger, they look pretty big on a size 8 frame. It's always kinda messed with me because I don't see below the boobs...and it makes me feel larger than I am because bam - boobs. Just know that with everything, your body will continue to change as you put good stuff in you and move you around. You can do anything and I love you and think you are beautiful inside and out.

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MAGSA10 1/24/2011 6:52PM

    I am so glad that I have subscribed to your blog posting. They make me feel human and like I am not the only one out there dealing with some of the same mental workings.

emoticonon your future physical activities and hope that some of them workout for you.

Have a great Tuesday and stay strong and keep on Sparking.

Maggie j. emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/24/2011 4:24PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRIAEL 1/24/2011 3:48PM

    I look at meltdowns in a similar way - as a means of growing stronger. Each experience, be it negative or positive, gives us knowledge; and knowledge is power in the battle to be who we want or intend to be.

I think you're doing a great job of learning who you are now, and who you want to become. Just keep allowing yourself to grow from the meltdowns and you'll become an awesome version of yourself that you didn't know existed. :)

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1BIGDREAM 1/24/2011 3:35PM

    I know that you have been going through a hard time, but I'm really proud of you. I can't wait for you to find you again!

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MAGPIE17 1/24/2011 2:47PM

    Those are great promises, hon. And FYI - when I lost weight, I went down a band size and up a cup size too. It can be frustrating, but my bf thinks is awesome that my boobs weren't lost with my weight ;). They'll shrink eventually, but don't let it get to you that they aren't yet. Think about it - would you be happier if you were losing the weight in your boobs instead of your waist? Your hips?

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RIGBY31 1/24/2011 2:46PM

    Crud, I hate those "reunion" type situations where the "wonderful who you are now" doesn't exist because the "nobody" you were has taken over. Of course you're not the same person from years ago (thank goodness!). You have grown immensely (and as you pointed out, shrunken somewhat, too!). The meltdown is over, served its purpose. Now onward to your new adventures and greatness. (ps.. Logan is awesome by finding himself, just like his mama!).

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TIGERJANE 1/24/2011 1:35PM

    I like how you're able to so eloquently write out the thoughts in your head, and lead us through your thought processes . We all have a negative tape that we need to turn down the volume on. You've got a solid plan in place to get you toward your goals, and following that is going to make you feel self-pride again. Cause we all know you're a determined, hard-working person who doesn't let circumstances stand in her way when she's made up her mind! We'll all be rooting for you :)

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RUSSELLORAMA 1/24/2011 12:26PM

    All that internal noise really gets in the way sometimes, but I know you have to figure out why and where it's coming from. I think your plan is a good one, and you know that if you do fall, you will forgive yourself and get right back up again.

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ERIN1128 1/24/2011 12:22PM

    Keep plugging, babe - you know you're on a good road, and I know you have the strength to stay on it! Hugs.

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XTMONT 1/24/2011 12:20PM

    We push ourselves so hard every day and don't recognize that the hardest thing we do isn't physical: Forgive yourself and move on! You can do it!

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SARAWALKS 1/24/2011 12:12PM

    I am so excited about the new things you're going to do this year! AND about Logan, the natural at basketball! We are all a natural at something & sometimes it takes a while to find out what...but when we discover it, nothing's going to stop us!

so what's a little meltdown? Just part of the process. You go girl!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 1/24/2011 12:01PM

    That's right- funny blog topic, as I have very similar thoughts sometimes about having missed my "potential" as I call it. What have I done with my life after all? And forgiving yourself- that's very, very difficult for myself, because oftentimes I feel if I go easy on myself, I give myself permission to lower my standards and that would be a negative. But, the more you do it- the better you get at it. So just keep trying to stick to the plan and the plan will start sticking to you. Usually a real tranformation is suddle to me- one day I wake up and notice that all those improvements, attempts and restarts are actually making a difference and changing me for the better.

You ARE beautiful!!! Embrace it!

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RUNNER12COM 1/24/2011 11:53AM

    Oh, my friend. All those old negative tapes playing in your head, no wonder you can't hear the sound of how awesome you truly are.

Follow your plan. And forgive yourself when it goes a little sideways, as things like that always do.

And love yourself no matter what. Because at the end of the day, you are a person worthy of love and of being loved.

SDJ

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