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January Recap/February Goals

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Well, I had a much more interesting blog in my head for today when I was thinking about it yesterday, but stress at home has caused that to go completely out the window. I'll just say that it's Hubs' & I's 9th anniversary. I adore him, but sometimes we have arguments over the stupidest, childish things. I guess we both still have some growing up to do.

Anyhow, onto the recap and such.

I wrote at the end of December about my goals for the first part of the year - January through March. I've broken the whole year into 4 sets of 3 months like this... The best part about this plan so far is that even if I have a bad month (like January), I feel like there's still time to make things happen. Let's see how I'm progressing, shall we?

This poster is taped to the door of my office so I see it as I leave.

1. Log 90 Miles (equals one mile a day)

In January, I got in about 26 miles on the treadmill, walking, and treadmill combined. I didn't log it all and need to get much better at that.

Left to log: 64 mile
I better get crackin' on that one!

2. Lose 20 Pounds

Ha! In January I lost...wait for it...NOTHING! Actually, I gained .2 pounds. I weighed in on February 1st at 331.0 pounds. (On January 2nd it was 330.8.) And today it was back up to 333 again. *face/palm* But I'm starting a new ST program that's really working my muscles, so at least I have a reason for the gain other than "eating like crap." In January, I didn't work out like I should have. I fell back into my sweet tooth in Vegas and brought it home with's something I'm still trying to break again, leaving sweets for special occasions and finding healthier alternatives to curb any cravings I might have. I am proud to say that I wanted something sweet last night, and I saw a 1lb. bag of peanut M&Ms the Hubs had bought sitting in front of me on the coffee table. I didn't touch them. I made some chamomile tea with a packet of Truvia and enjoyed it immensely!

Left for Feb/Mar: 20.2 pounds. *face/palm*
I'm getting the eating back on track, and I've just started this new ST program. Plus, the boxing lesson at the end of the month lit a fire under my butt again. I'm so excited to be building a stronger body again! I can already see changes in my body after just 3 days!

3. Complete Couch 2 5k Program

HA! Yeah, my hip had it out for me. I haven't run for...well, I don't think I've been able to run all year, even after Hubs bought me top-of-the-line running shoes to help with my problems. I've made a promise to myself that if I get through 1-2 full weeks of ST, including work on my hip, I will be able to try to run again. Unfortunately, though, I'll probably be starting at week 1 once again. *sigh* Honestly, I miss running. Miss it something awful. But instead of dwelling on the can't, I'm refocusing myself on the CANs. I'm boxing. I'm ST like a mo-fo. I will do what I can and, when my body is ready, we will try to run again.

Left for Feb/Mar: The entire program.

4. Finish 2 Races

Because of my failure with running, I've been too worried about signing up for anything right now. I have to get my body right first. Plus, I'm trying to get our finances in order, and blowing 30 bucks on a race that will only disappoint me because I can't run and could only MAYBE PR my walking times is not an ideal expenditure right now. This will have to wait. I'm still on the fence about the whole racing thing until I can run...

Left for Feb/Mar: 2/2 races

5. Complete 30 Day Shred

Let's face it. I haven't touched this DVD since last year. My goal was to do more ST, though, and this new 8-week program certainly has THAT going for it. I've been sore since Sunday, and I have another session tonight before I get to rest tomorrow. I'm not sure how sore is too sore, but I'm just going through it the best I can. I need a good full 2-3 weeks of this before I can judge whether it's right for me or not. I would love to finish the whole 8-week program, which will take me into March. If that happens, this goal will NOT be completed. I can't see adding any more to the difficult weight lifting I've got scheduled.

Left for Feb/Mar: The entire 30 days.
I'm okay with that. If I can finish the 8-week program, that will be a wonderful substitute for the 30 Day Shred goal.

6. Finish "Winning After Losing"

Ha! I haven't touched it all year. Like I said, my head wasn't right all month. I have been pulling it out of my bag more often, that might lead to something. I really want to finish reading it, but right now I'm caught up in Ellen Burstyn's "Lessons in Becoming Myself" which is just as inspiring, especially considering my upcoming theatre adventure. I feel like I'm learning something. I feel like I'm getting something spiritual and moving out of it. And I still have 2 months to finish the other book. Totally doable.

Left for Feb/Mar: 193 pages
Totally doable. I'm not too worried, but I have to remind myself of this goal.

7. Read 3 Books (including 1 for research)

I'm on my 3rd book now, and my first two books were in child's voice (with a child narrator), which can count toward the research goal. The story I'm writing also has a child narrator, so that was a goal of mine to study that. I still want to try to get to a book on the abilities my little girl has to help develop some of the things I just don't know about her that I need to know before I can inhabit her and speak from her POV.

Left for Feb/Mar: Finish Burstyn book and find real research book
I have a few in mind already...watching the finances though and going to find a lower price point.

8. Do 1-minute plank

HA! With this ST program, the thought of doing a plank this minute is SCARY! I had worked my way up to 50 seconds though, so I'm nearly there...and just because I'm not planking doesn't mean I'm not working those muscles, because I KNOW I am! I'll try to do one a week, though, and see if I can't hit that minute mark.

Left for Feb/Mar: 10 seconds
Totally doable.

9. Log 3,900 Fitness Minutes

For January I logged 1,620 minutes (if I'm calculating correctly). I needed 1300 to still be on task, so I'm over that and happy! :) (Let's hope Spark sees it that way! *lol*) It's about 300 minutes a week, which is what my insurance program shoots for, some sort of standard for how much fitness we should ALL be getting.

Left for Feb/Mar: 2280 (That's at least 1140 for each)
I'm good. I'm happy. I WILL hit this goal.

10. Attend 20 Zumba classes

HA! With all the traveling and the head nonsense, I think I've done a total of like 3 classes, and one of those was last night, so that doesn't even count for January. I did, however, pull out some Zumba moves on the dance floor in Vegas! *lol*

Left for Feb/Mar: 18 (not including last night's because it counts toward February)
I'm not even sure that's doable, but I'm not worried since I'm adding in other stuff, like boxing. Still, I wonder if I should get some of the home DVDs or the game for the Kinect, so I don't have the "there's no class" excuse anymore!

11. Fit into size 24 jeans

Okay, so I can fit into some 24s. I haven't tried the ones on my door recently because I've been too scared. *sigh* We'll have to check them soon. Maybe mid-February. I do know that none of my old pants really fit anymore. Even my 26s are getting uncomfortable now and again. And, yes, I do own one pair of size 24 jeans and I have worn them out in public (I did in Vegas even) and felt good about myself! Not calling this met yet...almost, but not yet.

Left for Feb/Mar: Feel secure enough to say YES! and fit into the door 24s
I think I certainly will if I keep up this routine, because I'm building major muscle, which should melt major fat eventually.

As far as measurements go...don't get excited.
My waist went up an inch.
My hips went up an inch.
My thigh stayed the same
My upper arm went down .75 inches! *lol* (Probably in the last 3 days!)
My neck stayed the same.
My calf stayed the same.
And my body fat % went up a tiny bit, as I remember at the end of the year I was SO happy to be more than half FFM (fat-free mass) and the last appointment I had with the PT in January had me just over 50% body fat.

But I know what I did wrong, and I've already made steps to correct that.

Specific goals for February:

emoticon Be under 330 pounds.
I'd like to be around 325, if possible.

emoticon Lose some dang inches!
I need the hips and waist to go down...and I'm loving the arm loss and would like to see more of that. And the legs too! You can decrease those too! Oh, heck! Just take all the fat and leave me with a svelte, sexy, muscular body, mmmkaythanks! ;)

emoticon LOG!
I seriously MUST get back into the habit of logging everything. Doing good so far...keep it up!

emoticon Get 12 glasses of water a day.
Let's face it, I got out of the habit of drinking water completely (stupid winter!). I'm getting back at it and drank a TON of water yesterday. Going to try to get myself to 12 glasses a day AT LEAST. Later I'll work on matching every cup of coffee or caffine-laden drink with another glass of water as well.

emoticon Start cooking at home again.
Seriously, batch cooking is my best friend! I started cooking more again this week, but it's been so hard to do it every night after 10 hours working and then nearly 2 hours at the gym. Only upside? I crash HARD at night and sleep well for about 5-6 hours. The past 2 days I've been up at 5am (though I went back to sleep yesterday and then overslept...didn't pull that stunt again this morning, though!).

emoticon Boxing practice at least 1x/wk
I need to make sure I don't forget anything, so I'm adding in a rotation of punching on the bags once a week until my next lesson on February 26th. (I'm so excited already!! But, oh crap, I just got scared that I'll still be this sore and the whole day will be a wash because of it...poop. Ah...time will tell!)

emoticon Get ready for Spring!
That means walking on the treadmill to increase my speed for hiking adventures and rowing on the rowing machine so I can take a few trips out on the lake this summer. I gotta make sure I focus myself in areas that will help me not only obtain my fitness/weight-loss goals, but will set me up for future success with the many adventures I have planned out in my head.

And, last but not least, I will leave you with the best thing I did in January...

It's my new vision wall. The last thing that greets me as I leave every day is "Make Yourself PROUD" and "What Are You Made Of?" I always want to prove that to myself at the gym after work.

(HA! You thought it was going to be another Vegas pic, didn't you?)

Oh, and I'll give you this too...a pic of the old/new hair so you can compare.



Oh-em-gee, it looks so different and beautiful! ....not! Nobody noticed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGSFITNESS 2/3/2011 2:56PM

    oh em gee!! You took a direct face photo :D it looks fabulous, dahlink!


I know that you're disappointed with your goals, but, like you said--you know what you did and what you've got left to do... Nothin to it but to do it :)

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SHARONA_P 2/3/2011 12:05PM

    Love the goals you have set for yourself! Even if you can't check off all of them off in March, it will feel good to check many of them off and reflect on what you DID do! I love your idea of matching glasses of water to tea/coffee. that is a weakness for me - i think i may make it my goal as well. keep up the good work! A one minute plank is something to be proud of! emoticon

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GREENLILY 2/3/2011 9:33AM

    I love the hair!!! :)

I absolutely love your commitment to putting all your goals right in front of you... Awesome... I think I need to take a page from your playbook!!!

Go E!!!!

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ATREAT4ME 2/3/2011 8:45AM

    True confession time: I tried to make a plan based on things I've seen in yours (but modified for me) and just stalled. I'm going to try again and I'll use this post as a guidelines.

You are doing great and I'm in awe and inspired by you. Keep it up, my friend!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/2/2011 2:58PM


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YOOVIE 2/2/2011 2:35PM

you know im a HUGE believer in those things :P

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MAIA2011 2/2/2011 2:28PM

    I want to read the blog that you had in your head. This one totally tanked.


Nice job on the fitness minutes! I like it that you make being an athlete top priority!


I noticed the haircut. That's why I copied it.


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    Fantastic post. Got a lot of inspiration from it. Thank you


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SEEHOLZ 2/2/2011 2:00PM

    The hip thing threw you off, but by a) having these goals and b) refocusing on them, you are much closer to them than you would have been otherwise- trust that! Don't be too hard on self and instead cherrish what you did do!

No one noticed your hair? Really?

It looks great.

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TIGERJANE 2/2/2011 1:44PM

    I love all your goals! You'll make them - you won't let it be any other way, ha ha!

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MAGSA10 2/2/2011 1:14PM

    emoticonOkay, so you didn't do what you wanted. But is sounds like you have seen the errors of your ways and a change is coming or already has arrived. emoticon

Love the pictures, you can't really tell me that no one notice nothing different about your hair, well than you need to tell them to get glasses. I can see several differences in it and it looks great. Make sure the next time you ask someone, they aren't blind. Have a great day and stay strong and keep on Sparking.

Maggie j. emoticon

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MICHELLESMILES_ 2/2/2011 12:52PM

    I can't tell you enough how much you inspire me!


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CALLIKIA 2/2/2011 12:22PM

    OM - I think it might just be a strange angle. Since when did my jaw become so dang pointy? Love that the new pic doesn't show a nice big zit on my pointy chin, tho! *lol*

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KITHKINCAID 2/2/2011 12:22PM

    Your face is just beautiful. You can totally see a difference. Pshh - Feb will be awesome. You'll bust it out :)

And Happy Anniversary!!!!

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KEN1965 2/2/2011 12:21PM

    Making mid term goals like this is a graet idea. emoticon

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    Your face has thinned out SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much, I know you are proud of yourself :D Rock it, chickie!

I haven't run since it got cold out.. I miss it too!

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Fear and Courage

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."

Yep, I totally ripped that from the Princess Diaries (the first).

I've been doing a lot of things lately that scare me. Not on a rational level, as in "fear of getting hit by a bus when you're laying in the street," but on an irrational level of "what if they don't like me?" The truth is, I lived this way the majority of my life.

When I was a child, as I've spoke of before, I was afraid of doing or saying anything that went against my father. I tried to tread lightly because, try as I might, there were no set rules as to what would set him off. I can clearly remember one occasion, sitting on the floor of the finished basement, my father in the chair behind me. We were watching a movie or some television show, all of us, as a family. For some reason or another, my father was upset. At one point, I sighed. It was an exhausting life as a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 to 16-year-old child, not knowing what each day would bring, not knowing what mood he would be in, wanting desperately to please him but always failing. I sighed. I thought I was quiet, but I realized I had done it too loudly when I got both a smack and a tongue-lashing from my father for being insubordinate and disrespectful. I was to HONOR my father and mother, he told me. I didn't know how my breathing could be a dishonor, especially as innocent as I thought it was, but it was moments like those that left me in (often mortal) fear.

As I grew into an adult, his all-knowing adult words of, "You will never amount to anything and no one will ever love you" haunted me. I was a child. He was an adult. And, according to him, adults were always right. Therefore, in the sake of logic, he must be right.

I met my now husband when I was 12 or 13 years old. I still remember the night I met him. My sister drove me over to his house. We had been talking through an internet e-mail service for weeks or months, and had spoken on the phone a time or two. I wasn't really sure how I felt about it, and I wanted to meet him before I made that decision. When I arrived I was shy. My sister had already pre-met him (more about that act at another time maybe), so I knew it was safe. The only fears I had were irrational ones that had been built in me by my loving father. (You hear the sarcasm, right?) The meeting went well. He was nice enough. He wasn't drop-dead gorgeous, but he wasn't completely unattractive either. And then, at some point (it gets a little fuzzy) he walked by me and his arm brushed mine. I never understood "butterflies in the stomach" so well or the "special chemistry" I had read about in so many novels I had lived my life in. Something was there. It remains there. But after that moment, I was afraid even more. Now I was in SERIOUS trouble. I liked this boy who would probably NEVER be able to like me. I was hideous and he was a God. I was done for.

Unconsciously throughout my life I missed opportunities I wanted because of my irrational fears. I didn't try out for cheerleading. I never took a dance lesson although all I wanted in the world when I was as little as I could remember was to be a ballerina or ballroom dancer. I never tried out for any sports, though I envied the softball and volleyball players and grew to hate them just because they were doing something I "couldn't" do. I never tried out for color guard. I rationed that I was too fat, too unattractive. I didn't look like the girls who did those things, therefore, I could never be one of them. I was SOL, as my father liked to say. I never told anyone what I wanted, because I didn't want to want it. I didn't want to face up to the disappointment of wanting something and not being able to have it/do it. So I pretended I didn't want those things at all.

The only things I took a chance at were things I felt I had talent for, a talent that just MIGHT overcome my hideous appearance. I sang in choir. I led the alto section. I tried out for solos and got 2. And when my choir director informed me that it was the best he had ever heard one particular solo sung in all his years of teaching, I simply smiled and walked away. "I knew it!" I thought. "See, if people would just give me the chance, I would go beyond their expectations of me!" But I always felt like my weight was the roadblock to that. Case in point, I wanted desperately to act. I was told I was talented in theatre class. I felt the emotions as if I were the characters I was to inhabit for that scene. I drew from life to make the story more real. But when I tried out for a part in a play, any part, even those in which singing was involved, I was moved to the back. Usually, the way back - as in the assistant stage manager. Once I landed the chorus, and that experience alone kept me from every trying out again. I was forgotten. It wasn't worth it to be on stage if I was constantly being asked to wasn't worth it if I had to watch what I loved too closely and not be a part of it. I was too fat for any part...and my talent wouldn't cover the gap, so I considered myself a failure. Even when I tried out for Stage Manager, I was given second place to a much prettier girl (I never faulted her for it, I adore her, and we match in a lot of talents - she actually works as a writer/editor at a small newspaper in Ohio...she was just prettier and skinnier than me, and that, in my haunted adolescent mind, gave her the job).

So, yes. I developed a whole set of irrational fears.
Don't try to hard, you'll just be disappointed.
Don't want it too much, the disappointment will be worse.
Walk away first so you don't get hurt.
They won't like you because you're fat, so you have to fight against that with any talent you have. You have to choose to either shine BIG or hide. Those are your only 2 options in life.

I lived large for some years. I was friends with a lot of people. I was funny. I was a great singer. I was a great leader. People listened to my advice and trusted me.

And then I got pregnant. Suddenly, any talent I had became tainted because I was tainted. And I hid. I hid for a LONG time. There are people I graduated with that still, to this day, do not realize I graduated from high school when I was 6-months pregnant. Because I hid, and the fat hid the baby belly, so I was completely hidden. I worked instead of participating in school functions. I grew up in a year because I had to...and I gave up any wants I had other than being able to be the best mother I could be.

I wasn't the best mother ever. I don't know that I've met the mother that is perfect at her job. And understanding that was a big step in understanding a little more about irrational fears.

If I don't try hard enough, I certainly won't get what I want.
If I pretend to not want something, it can never be given to me or, worse, I will never have the strength to go after it.
If I walk away first to avoid getting hurt, I will never know what it's like to be in the meat of relationships - where you really know someone and learn to love them despite their faults. And no one will ever truly know me.
And if I kept trying to conceal or overshadow myself because of my weight, I was simply becoming an overdramatized person of myself. I would never know who I really was or wasn't, without weight as a consideration. It wasn't that THEY didn't like me because of my weight...because *I* didn't like my weight, I couldn't like me.

I have a journal still from March 2005. In the front cover it says:


Sometime later, I added two words:

Goal Journal

I underlined the word Goal. Suddenly, for whatever reason, I was ready to set goals again. I was ready to try my hardest...even if it meant utter failure. I was done hiding and I was ready to live. I can't tell you what day that happened, but what I can say is that over the past 5 years it has been a progressive journey.

I got a job first, and took on a leadership role as supervisor.

And then I left my job and moved to one full-time. Something I always wanted. A regular 9-5 to set stability for my family...something I always admired about my mother.

And then I went back to school. That was a big day, the day I decided I was going to do it. I didn't have everything planned out to the letter, though I did have a lot of plans. 3 years, in and out. It was the only way I was going to be able to survive it and get over that irrational fear that I was stupid and knew nothing because I once left college. And in that choice, in that small decision that led to big changes, I discovered how much I loved the English language. My major was born out of refusing to deny myself what I wanted because of my fears.

And as I went through school, I started to remove layers from my shell. I made a film, and even after everything went wrong, I put it in the school's film festival - just because I could. I wrote scripts that scared me. I wrote topics that seemed beyond my level. I started speaking up in class. And somehow I built a name for myself as a leader - one I took to the Presidency of two honor societies. I was scared every single time, but I did it any way...because I knew it was more important to build my resume than it was to hide in fear. I knew there was something much more important than any of those fears -- the possibility of future success for my family and future happiness for myself.

When I graduated and started applying for jobs, I got more brave with every application. I decided that even though rejection hurt, it didn't hurt as bad as knowing I had missed a possible opportunity. I flew to New York for an interview in one day and flew back that night. It was the scariest thing I had done to date, but I did it anyways because I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I had missed the chance. To this day, it is also one of my proudest moments. All alone, from the hills of quiet WV to the busy streets of NYC, I took that journey. I interviewed for a job that could lead me to exactly where I wanted to be. And even though I didn't get that job, I will always know that I didn't miss that opportunity. I'd do it over and over again, just for the chance to try harder. And I learned something else. I never really wanted anything more for just myself than that job. It would have meant another 2 years of sacrifice, but I wanted it hard. I wanted it with every part of me. And when I didn't get it...I didn't die. The world went on. I didn't break either. I'm still here, in one piece, and still looking toward one day achieving that dream or something like it.

The Vegas adventure was a fear overcome.
And every time I up the ante in my workouts, it's another fear overcome.
And the fear monster grows smaller each and every time I show him that I know better...and that's what this year is all about. Shrinking the fear least, the irrational one.

Later this month I will face one of my biggest fears to date. I will walk out onto the stage, lights blaring, audience watching, and will (hopefully, flawlessly) deliver my lines to at least 2 separate monologues from The Vagina Monologues. I can't tell you the fear that grips me deep in the belly when I even think about it. It's that biggest fear I've gone after since school and that job interview...everything else in between has been mighty small potatoes in comparison. This fear dates back to 1996 for me...those fated theatre auditions in which I was passed over.

First of all, there was no audition...but, still, I agreed even before I knew that. I agreed to audition, and that was HUGE for me. (I think I was sick that day! *lol*)

Second of all, it's a small-town production, so I'm not playing a huge stage here...but considering the last time I went up there like that was in high school, it's still a pretty friggin' big deal to me.

I want to back out.
I want to run.
I want to pull my tail between my legs and pretend that day I agreed never happened.

But I can't do any of that...

...because I want my chance in the spotlight, just once.
...because I won't ever forgive myself if I back out.
...and because it will be one more step toward proving to myself and the world that WE, OURSELVES, ME...I'm the thing that has held me back the most. I can blame theatre directors and parents and circumstance, but when push comes to shove, I had opportunities to make things happen and I let them slip me by because I was too afraid to want them.

I want this.
I will have it.
Even if I fall on my face while walking out on the stage, get blinded by the lights, get a rip in my pants, forget every line and have to read them off my arm - I WANT THIS.

"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."

I want to live.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEINERMOM 2/4/2011 12:14PM

  I could so relate to your blog. Thank you very much for sharing. I am finding that as I release excess body fat, the fears that I buried over with the fat are coming to the surface. Old fears and anxieties. At first, I tried to eat them away. Then I tried to strong arm then to keep them at bay. Today i am welcoming them. I am trying to learn from them and celebrate that I developed those fears as a way of trying to cope with my childhood. I thank them for all that they did to keep me safe. I also let them know that they are no longer needed and that I am strong enough to release them. I am amazed at how they keep coming up. I am trying as best as I know how to be patient with the fears and to release them so that I am free of them. All the best to you on your journey, Kymm

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 2/3/2011 8:42PM

    Wow Esther. Your journey has been so full of triumph. I felt hope in your words and a tenacity that can't be beat. You know, it might be completely unconventional, but you might consider sending THIS (perhaps a slightly edited version) in as a sample of your work with your resume. It shows candor, compassion, and strength. It would most likely get you a second look.

You are simply amazing and I'm honored to be your friend.

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MAIA2011 2/2/2011 3:13PM

    "because *I* didn't like my weight, I couldn't like me"

There's a theme in the blogs I am reading this past week--beautiful, amazing, courageous, inspiring people who don't know they are or forgot it or both.

You're going to rock V-Day, Esther! I will be thinking of you (as well as way too many others).


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ATREAT4ME 2/1/2011 6:41PM

    It is shocking, sometimes, to read your blogs because you describe so well, so much of how I feel at times. And, as I'm reading your story I realize that each of us has come to these emotions through entirely different circumstances, but here we are nonetheless. This is bringing up a lot of feelings for me. Thank you.

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KITHKINCAID 2/1/2011 6:01PM

    Congrats for getting out on stage. It's hard for a lot of people to admit that they want that recognition when they really do. I'm one of them. I'll be back ON the stage in April and I'm looking forward to it as well, after hiding behind the scenes for too many years and being resentful of the people who got the applause night after night.

Wish I could see you perform!

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KARVY09 2/1/2011 5:34PM

    Tears. Of joy for you and your amazing journey.

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CHICAT63 2/1/2011 3:55PM

    Just amazing how far you have come Esther, thank you for sharing.

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MAGSA10 2/1/2011 3:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 2/1/2011 3:30PM

    BRAVA! Love the quotation. WOW. And you know we are all cheering you on!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ERIN1128 2/1/2011 3:06PM

    You are so awesome, woman. I wish I could be there to cheer you on when you're on stage!

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GREENLILY 2/1/2011 2:56PM

    Wow E. There are not enough words...

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RIGBY31 2/1/2011 2:35PM

    You are so strong, brave. And amazing, too. Honestly, I don't know how some of us survive childhood and high school. But becoming amazing people is the best revenge (if that makes sense?).

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MAGPIE17 2/1/2011 2:15PM

    You're amazing. That is all. ;)

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GOGOSHIRE 2/1/2011 2:05PM

    what a blog, E. Wowza.

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MENACE79 2/1/2011 1:57PM

    I have tears in my eyes, and goosebumps. I know that you have worked hard, physically and mentally to become who you are today. I have to tell you though, THIS is what people strive for. THIS - in this blog - is who most people wish they could be. You have BALLS! Strong, talented, smart, and beautiful... I am so looking forward to hearing about the show.

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SEEHOLZ 2/1/2011 1:34PM

    I can really relate to a lot of this! Not so much the Dad thing, but the low self-esteem, the love of my life, the pregnancy, the growing up too fast, the schooling, the job, the being too fat ( that in itself was irrational btw) and mainly the not trying or being brave enough, so I wouldn't be disappointed.
I want to live, too! I know that being scared is not a bad thing, as long as you don't allow the fear to hold you back!

I think that's great that you choose to live! You got so much to give and try and see-- so go for it girl!!!

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CYBERQT 2/1/2011 1:32PM

    All I can say is wow. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Momma Said Knock You Out!

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Date - January 30, 2011
The Time - 3:00 p.m.
The Mission - Take a Boxing Lesson from a Pro
The Location - Butch Hiles MMA Gym, Charleston, WV
The Instructor - CT King, main boxing coach
The Accomplice - Anne Marie, bestie extraordinaire

*That's the only picture I took...I was too busy enjoying my experience! *lol*

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I tried to concentrate on other things on my nearly-hour-long drive to the gym in Charleston, but I still felt butterflies in my stomach. Why was I nervous? No clue. I always get that tingly nervous/anxious feeling when I go into something new. I still think people won't be accepting. I still think they'll take one look at the fat girl wanting to learn to box and laugh me out of the gym. Not to mention, it's intimidating walking into a gym with trained know that any of them could handedly kick your arse, so the whole fight-or-flight thing comes into play. To me, I get almost as nervous walking into a gym for the first time as I do walking down a dark alleyway at night. Still, I went. I ignored the butterflies and went.

I found the gym quite easily thanks to a rather large sign on the corner of the building. And, while I expected parking to be a disaster, I found a spot for my van in just moments. With that, and noticing I had forgotten my gym pack, which I had carefully packed, I walked into the gym.

The first thing to greet me was a little boy, probably no older than 3, and his older sister, who was probably hedging on 6 or 7. Adorable little things, I also noticed their father (at least I assumed from the resemblance), two other men, and one woman. The woman smiled at me, but no one spoke to me for a while. What to do? Finally, the guy in the corner says, "And you are?" I gave him my name and he immediately tells me that he's my coach for the day. As we wait for AM (Anne Marie, you should probably get used to that abbreviation because I'm known to be lazy when it comes to writing out her full name) to get there, he starts some banter.

Girl next to me: "Oh, CT. So THIS is your torture victim today?"
*We laugh
Me: "And you have full permission to put me through my paces today. I need the push!"
CT: "Well, I can tell you this - by the end of today you'll either love me or hate me." *laughs* "You'll probably hate me."
Me: "You're right. I'll probably hate you today and like you more tomorrow."

AM arrived not long after and we were ushered into the basement. I felt like I was being sent to the dungeon, which only added to the feeling of "I'm going to torture you" that everyone was laughing about (me, nervously). First things first, handwraps. (See picture above.)

I have to say, I love watching this. I loved even more having it done to me. It feels so...I don't know...official? When I started learning boxing at the gym, the whole handwrapping mystified me. There is a certain process that must be followed to protect the hand from harm, but I just couldn't figure it out, even with a step-by-step internet guide. For me, it's one of those things I'll have to learn hands-on. Instead, I went to Dick's and bought myself some handwrap gloves. I told Hubs that these gloves make me feel uber-powerful. Sometimes they feel like my magic gloves, and I have been known to wear them through my ST just to extend that feeling of power. (There's a picture of them on my front page right now.) Still, the handwrapping feels much more official, therefore, more powerful.

So what did we learn in our hour-long session?

1 - Boxing stance. Knees bent always. Left foot at 45 degree angle in front, square up the back leg. Hands up. Protect the girls (elbows in). Shoulders relaxed. Turn at the waist, pivot at the hip. Right hand next to the right cheek, left hand in front more, looking over the left knuckles.

I cannot tell you how long it took me to "get this." It sounds so easy, but one wrong move (I wasn't squaring up my back leg) and it throws everything off. Every punch is harder if you aren't in the right stance. Every move is more difficult. For nearly half an hour I couldn't understand why everything was just SOO difficult...and then CT came over and once again, moved my foot...and I got it. I finally knew what I was doing wrong and suddenly, the boxing felt more natural.

2 - Jabs. Left hand is odd numbers, right hand is even. (Left - 1, 3, 5, 7, no 9) (Right - 2, 4, 6, 8, 10).

I have no clue what any number is other than 1 or 2, though. *lol* That's where our focus was. We learned to take a step and jab at the same time. A simple (1) Jab punch. Then we moved on to the 1-2 punch. A jab with a right cross. We learned how to move with that. Step with your forward foot while you jab, retract that arm, cross the body as you bring out the right arm, heel out, and then retract the right as you finish by bringing the back foot up to reset your stance.

It's really difficult to describe everything, so credit where credit it due to CT for making me understand! By the time we left we knew: 1 (jab), 1-2, and 1-1-2 combinations.

3 - Moving. The pivot and the slide. There is NO WAY I can describe this to you, especially considering I'm still a little fuzzy on how to do them properly. It was a lot of information to absorb in one hour, and this was where we focused least. Still, we learned how to pivot and slide in order to move out of the way of a punch and in order to move into a better position. Even though I'm not even thinking about sparring anytime soon, this can really come in handy (and I plan on practicing it) to move with the punching bag and get the best angle on it.

We started out on some broken down half mats, which caused me a little trouble as far as tripping went. (They didn't call me Trippy at Girl Scout camp for nothing!) First shadow boxing, then punching the padded mats/gloves on his hands as he shouted - 1, 1, 2!

I was sweating pretty soon after we started punching...probably because I'm not known for doing things halfway. I commit. Sometimes I overthink (a problem we discussed - he said to stop thinking and just go), but I always commit to being my best at whatever I'm doing. I can say one thing, he didn't once tell me I punched like a girl.

He taught us the proper way to punch (with your first two knuckles) and taught us what NOT to do. He kept saying, "If you do it like THIS, you WILL break your hand." (That's exactly why I scheduled this appointment! So I feel safer punching the bag at the gym on my own!)

Finally, we moved to the punching bags. He set the training ring timer (which was SUPER loud! EEP!). We started with jabs. It felt like it lasted FOREVER!! I learned that I need to get closer to the bag and shorten my jabs up. I learned that jabbing can make you REALLY SORE! *lol* We then did the 1-2 combination. Left hand, right hand. Much more fun, but it moved the bag much more. He taught us to hit again when the bag was coming back (such valuable information!) and I started to understand a little more how boxing training on a bag could work. I had been playing before, now I knew what I was doing a little bit. After a while on 1-2, he really challenged us. First 1-2, then 1-1-2. Took me a while to get used to all the swinging the bag did, but I eventually started earning "GOOD!"s from CT who was behind me. I felt like I was understanding the rhythm of boxing, or at least of boxing training.

For me it's still not at all about fighting someone. Boxing isn't about hitting someone in the face for me. Sure, it's probably a good skill to have if I'm ever in trouble, but that's not what it's about.

For me, it's still all about the calorie burn - the total body workout - and the POWER I feel when I'm punching the air or a padded bag or glove.

As for my experience there - yep, I'd do it again. In fact, we scheduled another lesson for February 26th at 2pm. There wasn't even a second guessing on either of our minds. He said, "Do you want to reschedule?" and we said "YES!" We both sweated a lot. We both had a ton of fun laughing. And I think we both felt like we improved, even in just a short hour-long session. CT is funny. He likes to crack jokes. His insults never hit hard because he's too jovial with them. "You hit like a girl!" is followed by a brief interpretation of such action, making HIM look like a fool and US laugh uncontrollably.

From what I know, he's also quite good. He's the main boxing coach at the gym, and while I don't have a list of his credentials, I know that he comes from upstate NY, where he apparently had a lot of success with big amateur and professional fights and tournaments. He also really loves the can tell. He's committed to the gym and to making sure people like us get what we want out of it, but that we learn to do it right. Professional with a jovial nature -- the perfect coach. I can also tell that if I took this to another level, this would be the guy that would put me through my paces and really get tough. I can tell he has that in him, but he holds back on us newbies. He's also not a musclehead type. He's small. I couldn't get over how small he was! *lol*

Anyhow, yep, amazing success! I'm sore ALL over, but especially in my arms and shoulders. I'm going to add in regular training on the bags at least once a week so I don't forget what I learned between now and February 26th. (I want to learn MORE, not relearn everything I forgot, you know?!)

emoticon Boxing Adventure Completed
Calories burned: Upwards of 800-900
Sweat lost: at least a gallon! It was dripping in my eye! I will NOT forget my towel next time!
Fun had: more than a gallon! Can't wait to do it again. We've even discussed possibly taking kickboxing classes there...we shall see...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALLIKIA 2/2/2011 6:31AM

    The trick is to make the entire journey exciting. ;)

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TRACYZABELLE 2/2/2011 5:34AM

    How very exciting.. once I am at a manageable weight I would like to do something exciting

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READY4LIVE 2/1/2011 1:26AM

    Wow...what a incredible experience! Thank you for sharing it all with us! I admire you going for your dream and not letting fear hold you back emoticon emoticon

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PELESJEWEL 1/31/2011 11:39PM

    Way Cool! Scared of you! Hah! emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 1/31/2011 10:30PM

    I really admire how you go outside your comfort zone to try new things. I think about doing similar things and simply sputter around road blocks of my own invention. Thank you for sharing this experience here. I need to know this bravery exists and can be imitated.

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CHICAT63 1/31/2011 4:20PM

    Oh, sounds like fun and an adventure !

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SHARONA_P 1/31/2011 4:01PM

    Sounds fantastic! Glad you had a good time!

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SHARONA_P 1/31/2011 4:01PM

    Sounds fantastic! Glad you had a good time!

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KITHKINCAID 1/31/2011 3:59PM

    Sweet. My grandpa was a boxer - I've always kinda wanted to learn more about it. Good for you!

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AKAFIT 1/31/2011 3:51PM

    I am SUPER jealous. That totally rocks. I would love to do that some day and I WILL! in the meantime, I am totally living vicariously through you and AM.... emoticon

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COUNTRYNINJA 1/31/2011 3:30PM


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MAGPIE17 1/31/2011 3:25PM

    What an awesome experience, E!

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MICHELLESMILES_ 1/31/2011 3:21PM

    Sounds Great!

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MAIA2011 1/31/2011 1:31PM

    Wow! That puts you on an even higher level of hard core and awesome!


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SUGARSMOM2 1/31/2011 1:29PM

  sounds like it was fun . perhaps we could all join you ? to burn that many calories would be wonderful . good job .

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MAGSA10 1/31/2011 1:18PM

    emoticon You Rock Girl!!!!

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MEGSFITNESS 1/31/2011 1:00PM

    That is so amazing :D I can't imagine the feeling of accomplishment you must be experiencing :) Go you! emoticon

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RIGBY31 1/31/2011 12:56PM

    What a great day... especially the laughter! And what a great workout... I'm scared of you now!!

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KARVY09 1/31/2011 12:44PM


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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/31/2011 12:30PM

    Oh how fun! emoticon

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SKINNYINMYHEAD 1/31/2011 10:56AM

    Well you do tell a great adventure story!! Sounds like you had a blast and learned a lot.. I sooooo love an adventure (planned or spontaneous!)... can't wait to hear about the next one!

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Weigh-In: What Went Wrong Edition

Sunday, January 30, 2011

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 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 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!!

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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 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) 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.


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*

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

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

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 ( 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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