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Sleep and Body Changes

Monday, February 07, 2011


Source: www.withamymac.com

Oh, sleep! What a fickle beast you are! I wish you would, for once, remain in some sort of stable, predictable state. Right now, you're as bad as the weather outside. Hot one day, cold the next. Snow in the morning, sunshine and high 40s in the afternoon. It's enough to drive a person crazy!

Let's face it folks...my sleeping schedule is ruined. In the past week or so, I was enjoying the fall-asleep-fast effects of pushing my body to its limits. When a 1-hour drive to work is followed by 10-hours working, which is followed by another hour drive to the gym, which is followed by at least an hour working myself to near exhaustion is then followed by cooking dinner and trying to get things like laundry and cleaning done in the final hours before bedtime - a girl hits the pillow and falls fast asleep, thankful to finally get some rest.

Last Wednesday, my husband and I went to dinner for our anniversary. Sure, I had taken off work early around 1pm, but I had then spent over an hour at the gym, warming up, strength training some difficult moves, and then pushing myself into a 30 minute cardio session. When I got home I sat down for about 10 minutes before I had to be up and moving again. I hadn't eaten a lot that day either, trying to save up enough calories and sodium for a dinner out, and I needed to shower and change and then drive the 45 minutes to Parkersburg (because Hubs rarely drives...I'm just better with directions and remembering the roads and figuring out which way to go and all that). When we sat down at the table, I wanted to put my head down and sleep, but I shook myself and tried to focus on the man in front of me and what we'd accomplished together in 9+ years of being together. I ate dinner without guilt, knowing my body needed energy and accepting that this anniversary was one for the record books because we managed to make it through the day without fighting and managed to communicate to one another how strong our love was. After dinner, we went to the mall. I could still feel the burn from my workout as we walked down the suddenly LOOOOONG corridor that is the middle of the mall. I was slow, but I wanted to enjoy this time. After trying clothes on at LB, and getting that happy feeling of fitting into 22s, a size I haven't worn since early high school days, we headed back to the car and over to Home Depot. I admit it, I was beat by this point. I felt like I would pass out from exhaustion at any moment, but Hubs had gone through LB with me, the most I could do was walk around Home Depot with him for a few. When we got out to the car, though, the charade was over. "Can you drive?" I asked politely, and then managed to keep my eyes open enough to help him find his way out of Parkersburg (for those who have been there, you know what a challenge that might be!). Once we were on the freeway, though...I was out. Flipped the switch and was done.

Thursday? Oh, yea...I spent almost the entire day in bed sleeping. My body was done and it let me know that by refusing to get out of bed even to pee! I spent the better part of my day in bed, and the rest of the day running around like a crazy person trying to make up for all the time I had wasted while sleeping. (After I cut myself with a knife in my haste, Hubs insisted I take it easy.)

Saturday was a hard emotional day for me. With Ethan's bad behavior recently and me trying to get through to him in a long drawn-out talk, with tears streaming down my face and my heart breaking as a mother, it was enough to drain a person of all hope. I slept restlessly that night, plagued with nightmares that, at least for me, always come in full-color box-office-magic movie form. People would have paid top dollar to watch my nightmare that night. The story was good, with suspense and mystery and supernatural elements. Fear was throughout...so was gore. But when your children and loved ones are involved in the action, it makes it difficult to watch. But even though my sleep was a bit restless, it was long and quick coming. After getting the boys' haircut and spending the rest of the day cleaning and doing laundry (again!), I was tired. I stayed up to watch Hubs' UFC fight with him. (I actually enjoy them more now that I can tell more about what's going on following my boxing lesson - I'm sitting there pointing out "Oh, he's left handed!" and "Ooh, this guy is going to have some amazing kicks!" --- btw, that prediction of mine rang true as the guy I said it about defeated his opponent in the 2nd round with a kick to the chin. See! Told ya! *lol*) My body wanted to sleep, but I wanted to stay up...and I won. But as soon as my head hit the pillow, all bets were off.

Last night I expected more of the same. Sure, like Saturday, I didn't get a workout in. Yesterday was a scheduled rest day. I spent some time cleaning the living room, spent more time doing laundry (again! I swear I'm almost caught up! *lol*), and spent some time putting away all the groceries after a long shopping trip (but I still forgot 2-3 things! DOH! *sigh*). I sat down to write out my recipes in a notebook, and then took the time to figure out what meal would fit each day. I watched my team win the Super Bowl and then watched Glee after. When I got back to bed, I felt that familiar "I'm exhausted and ready for sleep feeling." Unfortunately, Hubs didn't feel it. He wanted to chat and snuggle and such...and I gave in because I love spending time with him and because I knew he really wanted that time. But when it was time to roll over and go to sleep - I couldn't. And the thing that was most in my way? My body.

No, seriously, I'm going to rant for a minute, but please understand that I'm not upset about these things...just confused, irked and noting them for future reference.

My body is bonier than ever.
I know, I know - I'm still over 300 pounds. I get that. But I don't EVER remember my body being anything other than plump and round and soft. Now my knees jab me and my hip bone hurts when I lay on my side, and my elbows aren't comfy pillows anymore. My stomach seems to have come up more, and that's causing parts of my leg to be exposed that I'm just not used to. And (boys, close your eyes) - my poor vajayjay hasn't been this exposed for ...well, I just don't remember a time.
My body, while I love the changes it's making, is becoming a bit uncomfortable again.

I know this is temporary. This happened to me when my collarbones came out. I kept brushing against them and felt like my hands were being cut. I had issues with feeling more of the muscles in my leg and feeling some discomfort there. It lasted a few weeks or so and then I grew accustomed to it. Sometimes I purposely brush past my collarbones now because I love the way they feel. And most days those muscles in my leg make me smile. They are my strength. They are what carries me through. And even if no one else sees the power in these legs, just feeling it is enough to put a smile on my face.

Well, it seems that now I've hit another period of adjustment. My hands. My hips. My RIBS! (Seriously?) I can't say I'm surprised that I'm a little unnerved by the changes...I knew that was coming even though nobody seems to talk about it (the only mention I've ever heard is from my mother, who says roller coasters are no longer any fun because they whip her around too much and it hurts her boney body). But I never expected it to happen so soon, and so often...and in stages. I mean, I guess it's better that way...but it takes periods of adjustment to get used to where I am.

I'm going to admit something to all of you right here and right now...
Sometimes I'm afraid of losing too fast.

There...I said it.
It's not as often as the fear of losing too slow...but it's there like this small doubt in the back of my mind.

The changes can scare me a bit.
What's with the change in my sleeping patterns?
What am I supposed to do now that I rarely get sick? Can I trust that or is it a fluke?
Why does my body keep poking me?

HOW DO YOU SKINNY CHICKS DO IT?!

Yep, I say that a lot. Hubs laughs at me. He laughed at me Wednesday when I told him that my jeans were hurting my "special place" because my stomach doesn't act as the big buffer it once was.

TMI? Sorry! Truth? Absolutely!
How do you skinny people do it?
Do jeans ever get comfortable again? I used to live in the things, and now I'm considering giving them up! Am I going to be one of those people who wears dresses all the time now? WTF?!

This whole business of losing a lot of weight is an interesting journey, to say the least. Sure, there are the things people talk about - the increased energy, the better skintone, the improved digestion. But what about the stuff people don't mention? What about the fact that I can't seem to trust my body for longer than 5 seconds because it keeps changing on me?! Case in point - the size 22 trouser pants I bought Wednesday night? I put them on this morning and they felt as loose as the 24s felt that night. Fluke? Am I just having a "skinny day?" How can fat girls have skinny days? None of this makes any sense to me.

I'm just going with the flow for now. I'm just making mental notes of the changes that happen and reminding myself that they're all happening to make me into the lean, fit, healthy person I always wanted to be, and always could have been with the right effort put behind it.

But still...WTF, dude?!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIGBY31 2/8/2011 5:43PM

    They should have a pamphlet for woman in our situation (like pre-teens get): What to Expect When Your Body Changes.

LB + HomeDepot = True Love (Happy Anniversary!)

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MEGSFITNESS 2/8/2011 11:13AM

    I put on an old stand-by (read: favorite) bra the other day and it was gapping so bad I could swear it wasn't mine and must've gotten switched at the laundromat. Crazy, no?

There are days where I walk around lamenting everything about my body and there are days where I walk around with a haughty carriage because I know I look good. The adjustments are temporary and you are definitely going in the right direction.

For the record: I love jeans.

Also for the record: Stuff from LB has crazy amounts of stretch. Try washing your jeans in cold and dry them on high heat and they should shrink up for you.

Also Also... When you switch to denim WITHOUT stretch (as I recently have) It's a whole new adjustment to how the fabric fits and moves and adjusts. It's so restrictive without stretch! But man.. when it fits? It looks damn good.

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SWELL10 2/7/2011 11:13PM

    The other night I was laying on my side and thought my pj shirt was bunched up under my side because something was hurting me.... turns out it was my rib! Boy that's a new one! I've now found rib bones, wrist bones, hip bones and cool thigh muscles (when I hold my leg up. Its wild!!!

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KITHKINCAID 2/7/2011 7:30PM

    Not only do jeans get more comfortable and beautiful, other things get comfortable, like skirts and tights and boots. So awesome. Hang in there - the pain is temporary!

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TKPHOTOGIRL 2/7/2011 3:00PM

  Becoming aware of bones has freaked me out too- the week I got my wristbones back I must have taken a clumsy pill because I managed to get some great bruises, and lying down in the bath is not comfortable because my spine isn't as insulated as it used to be! It feels alien for a while, then it suddenly clicks (not literally, lol!) and becomes normal. Bodies are just weird
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ATREAT4ME 2/7/2011 1:57PM

    I agree with the whole bony bit. And I also love my newly-visible collar bones! It is just going to take adjusting. Deep breath.

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SARAWALKS 2/7/2011 1:53PM

    emoticon emoticon
Don't know what it's like to feel squishy! And when I have, I haven't really liked it, I like feeling the angles and the firmness. You'll adjust! Size 22, emoticon
I'm not crazy about jeans & I shop for the lighter weight ones, preferably with some stretch.
They do look good but they are not my choice for comfort, that's for sure!

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RUSSELLORAMA 2/7/2011 1:28PM

    "Special place" *snort*

It can be weird to feel sharp points and angles where it used to be soft and fluffy, but I am determined to get used to that. I'll still have curves and squishy spots, just less of them!

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GREENLILY 2/7/2011 11:35AM

    You're candor is so refreshing E... Definitely makes me smile... Weight loss and body changes... tough yet rewarding in ways, yet somehow strange... I find myself thinking some of these things from time to time... but you post them and get them out there!!

I live in my jeans... Not sure how I would be without them, when the time comes... Perhaps I'll invest in a pair of "stretch" jeans....

We could always go for the PAJAMAJEANS!!! HAHAHAHA... So not happening...

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E... You rock.

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TIGERJANE 2/7/2011 9:58AM

    I love the honesty and humor in your blogs. As for jeans - they're not comfortable. I take 'em off as soon as I get hone and put on pj pants or workout pants. Denim is too stiff, with a thick seam right between your legs. No, not comfy.

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-SHIMMER-ANN- 2/7/2011 9:43AM

    BAHAHAHAHA, "Jeans hurt my special place." I'm sorry, but that's funny :P They are sometimes uncomfortable for us "skinny chicks," but we don't tough it out...we buy new jeans!! Ever heard a skinny chick whine about how hard it is to find good jeans?? Lol!

As for the other aches and pains, yeah...we suffer those, but it's ALWAYS been that way. My elbow has never been a pillow, so I don't miss it. And my hips actually don't hurt at all when I lie on them...so that could be a product of how much exercising you are up to. Same with the ribs...ever heard of chostocondritis (sp)? You may want to check it out.

Anyway, you're totally adorable...and I LOVE the clothing pics from your last blog! Keep it going!!!!

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TURCOTTEP 2/7/2011 9:27AM

  No joke

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Weigh-In: Family Madness Edition

Sunday, February 06, 2011

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Weigh-In Day

Weight Last Week: 333.0
Weight Goal for This Week: 331.0
Actual Weight This Week: 330.6
Weight Loss/Gain This Week: -2.4 pounds!

First of all - YAY! Second of all, I was not exactly perfect this week, so that just goes to prove that streaking is really important in case things happen that stunt your progress for the week. Finally, I'm a little confused...

Let's review the week, shall we? Here were my fitness plans:

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!
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It was an awesome experience! I felt like I learned so much, and yet, there is still so much to learn. It was fun and painful at times, and I sweated like a hog on a spit! *lol* We're set for another hour-long appointment at the end of this month. *big grin*

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

Actual:
5 minute warm-up on elliptical
Military Presses - 4 sets - reps: 12/10/10/8 with bar only (45 pounds)
One Arm Cross Cable Laterals - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/12/10 - wt: 20/25/30/35
Seated Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls - 3 sets - reps: 6/10/12 - with 8 lb dumbbell instead
Follow up of 20 minutes of Racquetball

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Yep, I'm giving myself a sticker for it. I did the best I could on sets and reps. I adjusted to a dumbbell when I couldn't complete the wrist curls with a 45-lb barbell, instead of just giving up. And that 20 minutes of racquetball took me to the point of exhaustion. I had just enough energy left to come home and make dinner.

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I also signed Hubs up for the gym. I sent a call out to him on my way home, telling him I really needed a spotter for my new workouts. My options were to either have him come down and help or ask someone at the gym. It was great working out with him, although he wasn't too sure about what he wanted to do (I hope someday he starts making a plan like I do! *lol*).

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)

Actual:
45 minutes of Zumba
Front Squats - 4 sets - reps: 16/14/12/12 - with 45-lb barbell, no added weight
Straight Leg Deadlift - 4 sets - reps: 5/10/10/10 - with 45-lb barbell only
Reverse Calf Raises - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/16/16 - 0 lbs of added weight
Leg Press Machine - 2 sets - reps: 15/15 - weight 270
STRETCHING! (I had forgotten a lot of that on Monday. OOPS!)

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Yep, I'm getting one of those. Hubs came Tuesday night too, and when he met me after Zumba he was super sweaty. Apparently he found the cardio setting on the treadmill, which automatically adjusts the incline and speed for you to give you a good 15-minute workout. It was so cute to see him out of breath and HAPPY about it! ;) I think he may have caught the bug. Unfortunately, he caught another bug, so it became difficult for him to push through the illness in his first week. :/

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).

Actual:
5 minute warm-up on Elliptical
Barbell Incline Bench Presses - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8 @ 45-lbs
Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly - 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8
20 minutes on the Treadmill for 1.14 miles total (about 18 min/mile)
10 minutes on the punching bags practicing my boxing

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Yep, I get it even though I did only 30 minutes instead of 45. I had to work up to 30 after weight-lifting this week, and it was a major accomplishment and I felt super tired. Hubs wasn't able to join me this night, so I did these all by myself and met every rep goal. I was already feeling much stronger, even though I'd been sore since Sunday and it wasn't letting up at all! *lol*

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.

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I took rest to a whole new level. I got sick. I had to call off both jobs and spend most of the day in bed. There was a point where I was feeling a tiny bit better throughout the day and I felt like I should be doing something - so I started cooking like a fiend and cleaning until I cut myself and Hubs insisted that I just CHILL OUT! *lol* I told him that it didn't feel right, not doing anything. I feel like I needed to fill the space - and there was so much here that still needed to be done anyhow. I got a bunch of laundry done and cooked and cleaned some in the kitchen before giving into his wishes and going back to bed to rest.

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.

Actual:
Let me start off by saying, everything was screwed up. Hubs was supposed to come with me, but I forgot my Dr.'s appointment and had to reschedule and by the time I was done, it was too late and he felt he needed to get to work, so I had to gym-it by myself. Plus, he had my iPhone and I had no access to my workouts, so I had to go from memory.

I did my 6 minute warm-up on the treadmill, starting out at 3.2 or so, then increasing .2 every minute or so until I spent the last minute RUNNING at around a 4.2-4.5 pace (I don't really remember...I didn't want to make TOO much of a deal out of it - the DOING it felt amazing!)

For the hyperextensions, I had to substitute the back extension machine (because my stomach gets in the way of the hyperextension bench) - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/14/12 @ 170/180/190/200 pounds.

For the Wide Grip Chins to Front, I tried leg lifts on the Captain's Chair...it was sad. 2 sets - reps 5/1. Yep, that's it. That was to the point of failure. I guess it means I only have improvement to do from here!

Calf Raises on Leg Press Machine - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/14/12 @ 270/290/320/340
Leg Presses too at the same weight and reps/sets.
Crunches on Ab Recline Bench - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/14/12 with 8, then 10 lb medicine ball, leaning back further with each set to get more of a burn.
3 minutes (or less *lol*) on the Stair Step machine (Yep, I *do* hate you!) followed by rowing for 7 minutes (oh, how I miss being able to do 12-15 minutes on this thing!) and then HIIT for 18 minutes on the elliptical. I set it on interval training, and for every 3 minutes, I did 1 minute at full possible speed (about 180-210). I was BEAT by 18 minutes.
I then stretched for about 10 minutes with my yoga moves.

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I totally earned that sticker!

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)

Actual:
This is where it all fell apart. We found out at Logan's basketball game that Ethan's been stealing money out of Hubs' wallet, which caused Ethan to have a full-on tantrum in the gym, hiding from me, and then running away and hiding. It was horrible. By the time we left the game, I wanted to still go to the gym...I started driving there, but then I realized that this problem needed to be dealt with immediately, and I drove back home. We had a long talk in the car, he apologized to everyone for his recent acting-out, and Hubs and I missed our sacred gym-time together. It was a difficult day.

No goal met sticker. I'm really sad about it, because I almost hit every single day this week. But this is an improvement, so I'm just going to have to take it and build upon that.

It's hard when family gets in the way.
As far as eating...I did fine Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I didn't eat much saving up for our Anniversary dinner, and then went over my calories anyhow, but had an amazing meal with the Hubs following a stupid and silly fight the day before. Thursday was a little off because I was sick. Friday was crap as I started eating junk food, and Saturday...well, let's just not talk about yesterday, alright? It was a HARD day.

Still, I ended up 6 for 7 for fitness, and 4 for 7 eating wise (I still did alright on Thursday, it's just my eating was off). I need to work on improvements for this next week.

As for the freetrainers.com program. I've been sore ALL week, but I seriously like this plan. It makes me feel powerful. Hubs asked me what masochist came up with this schedule at one point. *lol* But then later he commented on the arm muscles he was already seeing, and I noticed that my abs are starting to pull out some definition again...it's starting to flatten a bit and I know there are muscles under there just waiting to come out!

As far as my other goals, I've been too stressed about working out finances to purchase much of anything beyond Hubs' anniversary gift, the internet issues have kept me from writing any articles or starting my blog, I did get a menu plan together for next week which has a bunch of new recipes, and I've upped my water intake to a more acceptable level again. I'm getting there...it's taking time, though.

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Goals for next week.

Sunday - Rest day.
We need to do the grocery shopping today and I need to get a few meals together prep-wise and maybe cook a couple if there's time.

Monday - Shoulders & Forearms
5 minute cardio warm-up
Military Presses - 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8
Standing Lateral Raises - 4 sets - reps: 20/14/12/10
Behind the Back Barbell Wrist Curls - 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14
I'm going to sub out my follow-up cardio for a 40 minute walk on my lunch break, because I have a practice for my Vagina Monologues performance at 7:30pm at the library. I have to hurry through the weight-lifting exercises just to be sure I get them all done before I have to leave.

Tuesday - Legs & Calves
45 minute Zumba
Leg Presses - 4 sets - reps: 16/14/12/12
Single Machine Leg Curls - 4 sets - reps: 16/14/12/12
Incline Seated Calf Raises - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/16/16
10 minute cardio follow-up
I'd love to get the reps in first, but I doubt that will happen. I have to work with the time I'm given and do the best I can. By the time I get there, Zumba's about to start...and I don't want to miss Zumba.

Wednesday - Chest
5 minute cardio warm-up
Dumbbell Incline Presses - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Barbell Flat Bench Presses - 3 sets - reps: 12/10/8
Follow up with 30-45 minutes of cardio (including boxing)

Thursday - Rest Day

Friday - Back & Calves
5 minute cardio warm-up
Seated Cable Rows - 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8
Close Grip Chins* - 3 sets - 12/10/8
Machine Standing Calf Raises - 4 sets - reps: 20/16/16/16
Follow up of 30-45 minutes of Cardio OR 20 minutes of HIIT
* I probably can't do these, so I'll probably work in the Captain's Chair again...we'll see.

Saturday - Triceps & Biceps
5 minute cardio warm-up
Lying Triceps Extensions - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
One Arm Triceps Extensions - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Standing Dumbbell Curls - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
Dumbbell Preacher Curls - 4 sets - reps: 16/12/10/8
45 minutes of Cardio

emoticon Stretch after each set, after ST, after Cardio. STRETCH!
emoticon Eat within calorie range of 1710-2060.
emoticon Drink 10-12 cups of water per day.
emoticon Save money! No useless spending.
emoticon Figure out internet issues and start blogging and writing.
emoticon Work on Monologues and start memorizing.
emoticon Cut out the sweets and junk food Friday nights!
emoticon Protein shakes between weight-lifting and cardio.*

*I'm trying this out. Yes, I bought some...it is said on freetrainers.com that if you're going to do your cardio after your weight-lifting, it might be helpful to get a little protein power in between through these shakes if you're lifting more than 125 pounds, which I am on leg days.

This is week 2 of this freetrainers.com 8-week program. So far so good. I'm sore all the time, but at least I know I'm DOING something again.

Weight Goal for next week: *gulp* 228.6
Oh, I do hope I get this. I haven't seen the other side of 330 for more than a day, and I'm so anxious to get there. My whole family keeps reminding me that 298 isn't so far off...and I can't wait to see Deuceland...so here I go, trying to make progress and make this happen for me. I'm also seriously hoping that my next weigh-in with my insurance program will have me back to more FFM (fat-free mass) than fat-mass. Hopefully I'm building STRONG muscles that will really help me along the way to reach my goals and see myself at thinner than I have been since high school!

One final note about this week. I had a little victory at Lane Bryant (Hubs and I went to the mall after dinner on our anniversary...I desperately need new work pants!). I grabbed a pair of 24 and a pair of 26 pants, and figured I'd try the 24s first. They were too big! I had to have Hubs run off and get me 22s, which fit beautifully! So YAY for seeing sizes I haven't seen since high school (even if the number on the scale is lagging so far behind!)! Also tried on a super cute shirt, but I didn't have the money to get it. *pouts* It was a 22/24 too. I did take a picture though! ;)


I'd need one of those smoothing shirts underneath, but it's SOO cute! I'm so sad I didn't get it...maybe I can get Hubs to buy it for me! *lol* Or maybe I'll just see if it goes on sale/clearance at the end of the month...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABETTERCHERYL 2/7/2011 9:33AM

    Wow, look at everything that you are getting done! That is just inspiring to me dearie! Keep up the fantastic work... and I agree... you NEED that outfit because it is cute!

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ATREAT4ME 2/7/2011 8:35AM

    Congratulations on such a successful week! I know there were rough parts, and I'm sorry you had go to through them, but I am very proud of how you kept sight of your ultimate goal all week. And, how awesome it is for you to know when gym must come first and when it is time to turn the car around and put family first. Yes, that juggling act is really tough. So double kuddos to you for gettin' it done! You look beautiful in the picture. I remain impressed with your plans and hope that my training session will yield a similar plan. I know you'll do great this week. Keep up the good work!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 2/7/2011 12:54AM

    Looks pretty fantastic on you! Congrats on your success this week despite some stressors. I agree 298 is not that far away, but 328 is pretty awesome too!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 2/6/2011 8:40PM

    you have amazing goals! I'm glad you liked your PT boxing session. thats still something I need to try, too!

sounds like your ST program is working reallllly well for you!!!
::runs off to check freetrainers.com::

HUGS

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DASH2011 2/6/2011 6:02PM

    ooh ooh oooh!!!! i love that shirt! i love you loss of 2.4# this week!!! SEXYYYYY!!!!!!!

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HEIDIC75 2/6/2011 5:46PM

    that shirt looks great on you.. but saving the money was a good idea because in another couple of weeks the shirt is going to be to big for you any ...might as well wait because you will find something you like more ...you are an inspiration for me. your work out session are great emoticon

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PELESJEWEL 2/6/2011 2:49PM

    emoticon You've had a great week with both a scale 2.4 lbs drop & non-scale victory with the size 22's. Dropping sizes is a sign that you are losing the fat, so be proud of you. Your body is changing right before your eyes!Woo Hoo!

Comment edited on: 2/6/2011 5:25:52 PM

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TEAWONDERFUL 2/6/2011 2:41PM

    You sound like you are doing great. Keep it up. Those goals sound great I'm working on a lot of similar ones. Have a great week!

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PIANOMOMOFTHREE 2/6/2011 2:36PM

    You are making changes that will stick! Don't let life get in your way and don't beat yourself up over it when it does! You are an inspiration!! emoticon

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KITHKINCAID 2/6/2011 2:33PM

    That outfit is ADORABLE on you. OK - I don't have THAT particular shirt, but I have some others that are like it that are in my giveaway bags right now, so I'm totally sending some more stuff your way. You have to have work outfits!

Congrats on the 22 pants!

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RUSSELLORAMA 2/6/2011 2:04PM

    Your training is totally inspiring me today! I really miss hitting that ST hard. Well that's changing this week!

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MAGSA10 2/6/2011 1:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALYSSABORAN 2/6/2011 1:02PM

    Keep it up! emoticon

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MICHELLESMILES_ 2/6/2011 12:55PM

    You look fantastic! Congrats on your weight loss!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 2/6/2011 12:51PM

    What's up pretty girl? I love that pic of you! I'm going to manifest super cheap airfare so you can come and play with Becky and I at the Mall of America! I love how focused you are, and I'm REALLY looking forward to that new magic number next week!!!

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ASHBUG1 2/6/2011 12:51PM

    doing good girl
keep it up always good to be able to get a smaller size

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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.

Goals:
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 me...it'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.
Sad.

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
*sigh*

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, though...so 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.

Sucks.
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.


Old


New

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!

:D

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!!!!
emoticon

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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

    emoticon

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YOOVIE 2/2/2011 2:35PM

    VISION WALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!R>
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.

emoticon

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

emoticon

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

emoticon

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LIGHTENINGLIFE 2/2/2011 2:07PM

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

emoticon

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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!


emoticon

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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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JESSASAURUSFLEX 2/2/2011 12:17PM

    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 hide...it 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:

Weights
&
Measurements

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 monster...at 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!
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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 fighters...you 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.
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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 sport...you 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

    emoticon

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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

    NIIIIIIIIIIIIICE!!!!!!

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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!
Annie

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