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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yes. I ate some. And?

Seriously, my attitude is nowhere near where it was two days ago. I was so on point, so sure that I just needed to do everything right. A at this time. B at this time. 5 of these and 10 of those. And it was a great day. But today? Today I feel the need to just be kind to myself.

I spend a lot of my workout time and, well, anytime lately telling myself what I've done wrong, what I could do better, how I've screwed everything up, and why I'm such a failure. But late last night, after another pretty successful day - after facing challenges and overcoming them - after eating another healthy dinner at 9:30 p.m. while completely exhausted from a tough workout --- I had a thought. I need a night off.

I actually planned these into my original 2011 plan...did I ever tell you that? I gave myself one day every month, picked COMPLETELY at random, to have what I like to call a "guilt-free rest day." It was supposed to signify a day off from the worries and hassles of working out, counting every single calories, overcalculating "just to be safe" and all the headspace nonsense that comes along with that. One day out of 30, 31, or 28 in which I could just BE without thinking about what dinner would do to my thighs, if I could afford to steal just one of my son's french fries, etc. It sounded reasonable to me in my head when I made this plan (actually, I planned this out back in like September or October of last year).

But then something happened. I guilted myself out of my guilt-free days. I told myself that I had been TOO BAD all the other days of the week/month/year, that I now needed to punish myself. I told myself I couldn't waste this day, no matter what the plan said. Following a schedule for workouts for me is MUCH easier than following a plan that allows me to give everything up for just 5 minutes, 10 hours, or even a whole day. I get tense. I freak out. I think I'm being a loser, I'm fooling myself into thinking that I can have "cheat" days at all when I cheat way too often already. I don't deserve a reward, I deserve punishment. So I have not yet allowed myself ONE guilt-free rest day AT ALL.

And I had no problem with that until last night. Because last night I realized that I'm exhausted. I have BEEN exhausted for some time now. Sure, I put on the brave face, but I'm completely pooped. Too much excitement. Overstimulation. Sure, that's part of it. In my effort to make myself a year of adventures, I've scheduled myself into pure exhaustion. Even Hubs comments that I plan too much and am always scheduling something. And when I have great days, they look something like this:

6:00 am - wake up, make coffee while checking Spark and weigh-in for the day

6:30 am - hop in the shower, pop on some clothes, pack gym bag, make bagel, make coffee to go, grab bags and head outside

7:00 am - leave for work, drive nearly 1 hour in whatever crappy weather the day might have in store for me, eat bagel and drink coffee all the way to work

8:00 am - work starts, turn on computer, check email, check mailbox, organize the day, maybe make a to-do list, put on makeup and put contacts in, turn on digital photo frame

9:30 am - first scheduled snack must be found and eaten, then any leftovers put away after measuring and before eating, be sure to begin drinking water

10:30 am - work break, which involves 15 minutes outside reading a book of my choosing

12:00 pm - lunch must be found, cooked, and eaten, and breakfast, snack and lunch must be logged to take stock of how many calories I've eaten and what I can afford for snack 2-3 and dinner, remind myself to drink more water

2:45 pm - take second work break, again reading my book

3:30 pm - snack two, with lots of water, guage how I'm doing on water and if I need to pound more before leaving work

5:30 pm - prepare to leave for work which includes shutting down anything running on my computer, saving files, marking places for the next day, perhaps making a new to-do list for the following day, packing my bags again, peeing, refilling water bottle and turning off my digital photo frame, and mark with post-its the gym ST exercises for the night in my notecard binder

6:00 pm - drag everything out to the car, drive the one hour home constantly whining about how I have to pee AGAIN, and continue the long process that started around 4pm of talking myself INTO going to the gym and eating very healthy, perhaps eat a small snack on the way home if I didn't eat it at 5:30 or so

6:45 pm - arrive at the gym, swipe card, bolt to bathroom and pee, change clothes, put on tennis shoes, talk myself into a great workout, grab water bottle, towel, headphones, phone, and strength training notecard binder

7:00 pm - after a quick stretch, see what cardio equipment is free and hop on a treadmill or elliptical for 5-10 minutes for a warm-up, ensure heart rate is going up properly and further talk myself into a great workout by reminding myself how much I NEED to do tonight

7:15 pm - after a slightly longer stretch, head into weight lifting area, begin to follow through the set recommended ST moves, moving up the weight each time as I decrease the reps, teach Hubs same moves, talk him into doing them correctly and talk him into increasing the weight, stretch between each move/set slightly to loosen muscles once again, talk myself into each and every rep, especially the last 2-5

7:45 pm - after a short stretch, admit to Hubs that I need more cardio and watch him leave or encourage him to stay, then choose my weapon for the evening, hop on and complete no less than 30 minutes, spending the first 10 trying to excuse my way out of it, and the last 10 trying to talk my way into more, and the middle ten pushing like I've never pushed before

8:20 pm or so - long stretch sequence to end out the night, refill water bottle and head downstairs to gather belongings, begin the 15-20 minute drive home feeling pretty darn good, though

8:40ish - walk in the door, drop all my bags that I collected from the car and dragged in, set the mail down that I retreived from the mailbox, begin the process of making dinner, drink a gulp or two of soy chocolate milk just to give my body something to feed off of as I grow increasingly hungry, tell the boys to take showers and do spelling words with them (if Hubs is busy)

9:30pm-ish - serve dinner to both kids and Hubs, then make a plate for myself, at which time I am then allowed, finally, to sit down and relax a bit as the kids get ready for bed, remind kids to brush teeth and kiss them goodnight before finally laying back on the couch with a huge sigh and finding something mindless on TV to watch or popping in a movie, pop up several times to make sure cats are in and fed and any leftovers are put away, sometimes even prepare the next night's meal and put it in the crockpot (if I have the energy to even attempt that) and start thinking about what I'll make for dinner the next night (because things will probably need thaw time anyhow)

10:30pm - midnight - at some point I finally peel myself off the couch after taking out my contacts and head to the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth, change into my jammies and finally head to bed, hoping I remembered to set the alarm

And then I wake up and do it all again the next morning. I fill the spaces with work, and thoughts of work, and thoughts of weight loss, motivation, what I'm doing wrong, what I could do better, and how much better everyone around me looks than me. It's an exhausting life, and I finally got a moment to realize that last night. I finally turned to Hubs and said, "I've got an idea. How about I let you take us out to dinner tomorrow night?"

I don't know why I said it, but I'm not sorry I did.
I've tried to focus all day on the calories and salt and meaningless of it all, but I can't focus beyond a simple, "I'm tired."

So when I had that piece of cake today, I didn't give it more than a second, "Do I REALLY want this?" thought. (The answer was yes...though I didn't much enjoy the sugar rush that followed.)

And when I go out tonight, likely to a buffet because that's one thing our town LOVES (seriously, of the restaurants we have that cannot be considered fast food we have: 2 chinese buffets, Pondarosa, Shoney's, an expensive greesy Italian spoon, 2 Mexican joints and a pizza joint that is NOT Pizza Hut or Gino's -- which I consider fast food.), I don't know what will happen.

I get bursts of guilt over agreeing to it.
In those moments I tell myself that I'm ruining all my hard work.
But, all day today, my inner peaceful self just keeps saying, "STFU!"
I really have worked hard today - it's been basically non-stop. Yesterday I went from having 1 case to having 6. Today they added 2 more. I also spent half the day checking on our job fair person outside in the hall to make sure she got breaks (which is how I got the cake).

And through writing this blog and thinking ALL DAY about this, I can't tell you one way or another whether I'm going to be alright with going out tonight or not.

Worst case - I go off the rails and I punish myself tomorrow.
Best case - I wimp out and go to the gym anyhow.

Maybe better than best case - I go, eat sensibly, enjoy my evening off and spending time with my boys, and have a nice, peaceful evening of relaxing, no-guilt fun.

I had cake today.

So sue me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTINTERNET 3/13/2011 1:58PM

    Darling E, that was exhausting just reading about it. Remember that part of taking care of yourself is sleep :-) *big hugs*

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SEEHOLZ 3/12/2011 9:48PM

    Good for you! I feel very similar- I've had a lot of work stress, so I have been taking Sat morning "OFF" -- I just drink coffee, watch Dateline, read the paper or whatever and just take a break... I really think it makes a huge difference.
I totally think that you are onto something, because you clench on with dear life and refuse to listen to your body, it'll get cofused and after awhile you'll get closer and closer to burnout. Trust me- I've been there and it's not a place I'd recommend to anyone. It just sucks and zaps you and it's hard to get over.

You are a tough person- in all respects and your burnout threshold might be a lot higher than other people's, but it's really important to take a step back and to actually do listen- I think you are doing yourself some MAJOR good! Moderation, balance and all those annoying words really are the best choices in the end.

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THOMS1 3/12/2011 10:14AM

    You my dear lady are way over extended. You are putting so much pressure on yourself that I'm thinking you are setting yourself up for failure. Try to enjoy your life a little and if you have cake for goodness sakes enjoy it. Today is my sisters birthday and we are going to the Olive Garden for lunch and then everyone is coming back to my house for CAKE AND ICE CREAM. Talk about a dangerous weekend!!! But there is tomorrow and it's right back on track. So try to have a nice weekend and be extra nice to yourself. emoticon

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PAPER_WINGS18 3/11/2011 12:46PM

    Wow, I feel exhausted just reading about your day. I don't know how you do it girl. I would poop out during your evening..Dinner at 9:30 PM????Shoot, I'm lucky if we eat dinner at 7-- latest. Usually I'm starving for dinner by 5:30-6ish. I admire you though!

As for the're right, who gives a sh!t? Do you eat cake everyday?no. I'm a firm believer that if we cut ourselves off from food xyz and don't allow ourselves to eat it, we'll just go on a food xyz binging spree one day. SO, good. allow yourself cake! Keep up the amazingness!


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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 3/11/2011 6:57AM

    I don't know how you keep it all together. And pack it all in. Cake? Hell to the yeah.

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ATREAT4ME 3/10/2011 10:38PM

    Wow, Esther. I wish I had your discipline. Your day and my day sound kind of alike. Except DH cooks for us. And I don't have an hour-long commute each day. Ohhh, and I don't plan so well either. But past that and the fact that I don't read books on break (mostly because I don't take them) I pretty much do the same things you do. Well, I don't go to the gym every day. I barely go because I'm paying for a trainer. But I chug-a-lug water just like you. So even though I just take leftovers for lunch so I don't spend my lunch-hour cooking, our days are very, very similar. Hmmm. I wonder why you keep losing weight steadily and I don't? I'll have to go back and re-read your schedule...Wait a minute, you forgot to write down a bedtime snack. about 10 p.m. You know, something nutritious like whole grain cereal and skim milk. It's okay to have a lot of it because its nutritious. I guess the main difference is I didn't plan the guilt-free days because I didn't think of them. If I had, I'm sure I would've indulged cuz that's the kind of person I am!

You are Amazing!

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TIGERJANE 3/10/2011 10:06PM

    You're a trooper. Plain and simple. A quality I admire, but you're right about not letting yourself time to regroup and relax. How about having your husband cook dinner? Sounds like he leaves the gym and gets home before you do. This way food would be ready when you got back and you could have more family time after dinner was finished!
I really admire your toughness, by the way. You are SO, so strong. Proud of you!

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MAMADWARF 3/10/2011 9:08PM

    IM tired just reading your blog of activities. GEEZ! sometimes we need cake. Thats the way it is. This is your life, you only get one so you are not gonna be perfect every single day. Who is? The point is you are trying to get healthy, you dont have a time line, just do the best you can. Maybe now that the weather is turning nice, you can just go for a walk with the hubs and kids instead of a whole hours long gym thing. If I had to go to the gym, I dont know how I would fit it all in. Be nice to yourself. This is not a competition. (did you tell me once you were a virgo? If so, I understand the need to be hard on yourself but please, give yourself a break). You gotta enjoy yourself. ( I ate 2 brownines yesterday and it was all I could do not to eat 6 more!!). You are awesome. One day at time and progress, not perfection.

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SASXONTHEMOVE 3/10/2011 8:34PM

    You ate cake. A piece of cake. DID YOU EAT THE WHOLE THING??? no, did you have more than one??? no

E, you're allowed to give yourself rest days and the like. You NEED those days off to recharge and refuel, or you burn out. I know, I did it. I kept going going going until my health failed me and I laid exhausted on the couch for over a week. It was scary. Now I just have to remember that time to think of how my body felt then and how it feels now. Do I need a break/rest day? does my brain need a rest from all that is good and healthy? sometimes.

That doesn't mean you should eat it all, mind you, because you can still make good choices and have a good (and tasty) time.
Take a day off from the workouts and the worrying about calories for one day. You KNOW what will basically fit into your day, food wise. Don't log. Or do. Just remember to not beat yourself up over the results. Guilt is only there if YOU put it there.

Love you! Have a great time tonight! emoticon

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CAROBEAR1 3/10/2011 7:32PM

    What a great day for this blog....I had cake today too!!! Sort of...I was working from home and to stop myself from snacking the day away I went to Starbucks where they insisted I try some cake on stick thing...brought it home for my daughter who did not want it....but I DID!!!!
I hope everyone had cake today!! My day resembles yours except I get up at 5AM to exercise and eat the EXACT same thing everyday all week so I make all my lunches up on the weekend!! Saves me some time by being boring.
Hope you had a great night out!

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WANT_MYBODYBACK 3/10/2011 7:31PM

    OMG!!!! emoticon YOU ARE SUPERWOMAN!!!!!! SHEESH... you've gotta cut yourself SOME slack. You are gonna be just fine... just be kind to yourself.... you NEEDED a break! Oh, and BTW, you look great! It would take more than a piece of cake to affect your progess. You've come too far to let anything get you down! So chin up little lady... one battle doesn't win the war!!!!!!!! emoticon

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RAINBOWCHOC 3/10/2011 5:40PM

    I had cake today too! My life isn't as busy as yours and I had a leisurely coffee and cake with my husband and his sister after we had been showing her the sites of the city. It was good, it was "normal" and we had a good homecooked meal this evening. If we have to make lifestyle changes they have to be sustainable and having visitors should be pleasurable not fearful. If I take a week longer to get to goal it won't kill me but bad feeling in the family takes a lot longer to get over. We will be visiting some more family tomorrow...I might have a pudding! But well done for blogging and we'll cheer next week's weight loss!

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RORYTA 3/10/2011 5:23PM

    I had a cake today *Shrug*.
I love this blog. mainly because it echos my own personal life, the good the bad and the ugly.

You are quite an inspiration to me. you work so hard and I love that you keep going. but you know what, it's ok to say you're tired. it's ok to have a cake every now and then. Am sure you burned it off anyway.
keep going and let it all flow. take care of yourself

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A Successful Day

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Well, I guess I talked myself back into the right frame of mind yesterday. After I wrote yesterday's blog, I had the distinct feeling that I had regained my mojo and hope again. It was a fleeting moment in the car, in the sunlight, while reading a book on my lunch break, but it felt amazing to feel that "right" feeling I acted upon it.

When I got stiff in my chair later, I pushed my chairs to one side and did about 10 minutes of Yoga, testing myself with a new move. I forgot how amazing Yoga feels! Why did I ever give it up? I don't care that it doesn't burn enough calories - the things it does for my body and my mind and self-esteem far outweigh the "low cal burn" factor! I'm going to add it back in wherever possible! (It's funny, I saw the yoga instructor at my gym leaving last night as I was coming in and I just smiled super big and thought to myself, "I have no shame in seeing you because even though I couldn't make it to class, I made my yoga my own today.")

Later, when I got super bored and felt a push of motivation (that tried to fade, but I caught it again!), I laid down a blanket and got to work on some ST moves on my core. I started with a plank. I thought I was going to wimp out at 45 seconds, but I used my favorite line - "You've done it before, you can do it again" to push through to a minute...and then I went past it. 90 seconds later, I felt like a champ. I went from not being able to hold a plank for more than 2 seconds to holding it for a minute in a half in less than a year. That, my dears, is progress.

Also in my ST round-up at work:
4 sets of 25 reps of crunches
4 sets of 25 reps of crunches with twist
3 sets to total 50 bicycle crunches - the most of those I've ever done in one ST session
30 second modified plank
15 second modified side plank

...well, we know where my weakness is. Time to get working on improving those numbers now..and work my way to my new plank goal - 3 minutes. (Crazy, right?!)

After work, I headed straight to the gym. I had told Hubs when to expect me there, but made no thought as to expecting him. If he came, great! If not, great too! I would get done what I had promised myself. I changed, stretched and then hopped on the elliptical by the front door to watch TV for my warm-up session. About 3 minutes into it, in walks Hubs with the boys. I felt giddy and I don't know why. Part of me had been afraid all day he would hold me back or suggest Mexican for dinner, or otherwise, unknowingly, thwart my plans for a successful day...but when he walked into the gym, I felt giddy he was there. He popped onto the treadmill next to me, and I waited for him to get his 5 minute warm-up in, and took myself to 10 minutes (he was at about 7 minutes when I hopped off, but I told him I would wait, and he matched my 10 minutes. *big grin*).

I then headed over to the weight room section.
4 sets of Front Dumbbell Raises, getting up to 20 pound weights
3 sets of Dumbbell Wrist Curls, getting up to 20 pound weights

Funny, I used to shake in terror when I looked at the 20 pound dumbbells. Now they are my friend.

We headed upstairs next, to Hubs' favorite cable machine - the small one, shoved between the elliptical machines and treadmills. We did 4 sets of One-Arm Cross Cable Laterals getting up to 40 pounds. It felt great, even as Hubs was complaining. ("I love this machine, but this is the worst exercise on it!" *lol*)

Another stretching session, and then I popped right onto the elliptical next to me, making no insistence that Hubs do the elliptical as well, only informing him that I was headed there. I refilled my water bottle and by the time I was back to the machine he was on the one next to me, ready to go. We worked the Weight Loss setting on the machine. When we started, Hubs said he wasn't doing it all. I conceded to myself that I could get away with only doing 25 minutes, since my goal was 35 for the day and I already did 10 minutes of Yoga and 10 minutes in my warm-up. But by the time I got to 22 minutes, I turned to him and said, "You want to stop at 25, or should we keep going because we're almost done?" He picked keep going. I knew that after the 28 minute workout there would be a 5 minute cool-down, but I didn't let him in on that fact. At minute 30 he wondered why we were still going. I explained we were in cool-down mode and we only had 3 minutes left. He scoffed, but we finished it out. I ended up burning 500 calories and went 2.23 miles on the thing. He burned 280 and went 2.33 miles. (At one point my competitive nature kicked in and I was miffed that he had gone farther than me, but then I realized, I didn't care. I was after the minutes, not the distance. Gotta pick your battles.)

After we got off, I worried he would mention going out for dinner, but he didn't. We both drove home and I started to work on grilled chicken and roasted vegetables. By 9:30pm we were eating the most delicious meal and happy with ourselves. And even though I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed, I made myself get up after dinner and start the Slow Cooker Jambalaya that is now smelling up the house with all kinds of goodness. I finally made it to bed by my final cut-off time of midnight.

On the eating front, I stuck to my schedule. I made my lunch smaller so my snacks could be a little bigger and that seemed to work just fine.

7am - 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 Tbsp. whipped cream cheese with 16 oz of coffee with cream
9:30am - Blueberry Greek Yogurt with Granola
12:00pm - Meatball and Mozzarella Lean Pocket
3:00pm - One pita with 2 Tbsp. hummus
5:30pmish - One medium pear and a granola bar
8:30pm - a bite of pumpkin bread, just to tide me over
9:30pm - grilled chicken and roasted vegetables

So, yes. It was a successful day. And I hope to follow that up with another to get some consistency going. Of course, I woke up today with the worst TOM cramps I've had since probably summer of last year (before I started depo). Full blown headache, muscle soreness, fatigue out the ying-yang, and cramps that could stop an elephant in its tracks. I wanted to die this morning. I got up anyway and took a shower, sure I could just battle through, but as I sluggishly got the coffee ready, I realized that I needed sleep and rest and time to myself. (I'm also struggling with the fact that my boss resigned yesterday and I just want to stay in bed and cry over the fact that I might never see her again. I love her for who she is and for all she's done for me in the past 4 years and I hate that she won't be a part of my daily life anymore.) So, instead, I'm at home...I haven't even eaten yet because my stomach feels like it's holding a brick inside it, but I have had 3 cups of coffee. ....I think I'll go back to bed soon.

Plan for the day:
Have another successful day.
Food - Stay around 1700 calories - eat on schedule when possible (TOM is really messing with me on this one!)
Exercise - 35 minutes cardio, 30 minutes ST at the gym later

Boy, do I wish they'd call and say the car is ready today...would save me from taking off more work later in the week. I hate that I called in sick, but it was necessary. Gotta get some sleep and rest so I can tackle what's ahead of me.

Wishing all of you a successful day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 3/10/2011 3:59AM


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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/9/2011 11:25PM

    I am so freakin' impressed at your ability to find what you need each day and act on it! You are AWESOME!!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 3/9/2011 4:34PM


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ATREAT4ME 3/8/2011 9:56PM

    Esther -- you sound like you're on a great streak! Woohoooooo! I am so happy for you.

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SARAWALKS 3/8/2011 2:50PM

    YAY YOU, YAY HUBS! You're running well. emoticon and it's so cool that he's helping you cook a nice healthy meal! emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sorry your boss is gone...I know I would be really crying the blues if that happened to me... emoticon

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SUGIRL06 3/8/2011 10:26AM

    What a great day!! I love it when my hubby and I work out together. Great way to spend time together :)

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DETERMINED_SOUL 3/8/2011 10:24AM

    What a wonderful day you had! I'm glad you found your mojo again!

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TIGERJANE 3/8/2011 9:43AM

    Your day sounds perfect! I would be so proud if this had been
mine. Yiu timed your snacks/meals perfectly - and even worked out a bit while at work! That's goin' for it! Reading this, I feel more motivated to get back on track!

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RIGBY31 3/8/2011 9:06AM

    Wow! Just read your past two blogs back-to-back. Great way to start my morning. ANYWAY... love your giddie feeling when hubby walked in with the boys at the gym. Speaks volumes as to how important what your doing is to him and the family. You are so strong!!

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Battle of Wits: Getting Back to Basics...I mean the basic basics.

Monday, March 07, 2011

I've been beating myself up lately, berating myself for not being as successful with my weight loss in the past few months as I was last year. Lately it's been a whole lot of negative talk in my head and it needs to NOW.

Admission time.
Food is my enemy. Okay, no, that's not right. Time is my enemy. No, that's not it either. I AM MY ENEMY. I'm standing in my own way.

When I joined back in April of 2010, I didn't hold any preconceived notions about this being THE SITE or THE TIME when I would go for it and lose all my weight. I joined to start logging my calories. I joined to get real with myself about what I was really doing to my body. I didn't search for weight loss sites or social networking sites or any of that. My Google search was simply "free calorie tracker." That's how I found SparkPeople and that was my original intent when I joined.

I started logging almost immediately...and I found that when I logged, I was more conscious of what I ate. I didn't want to log my 5,000 calorie Chinese binges, so I simply didn't have them. But as time rolled on, I started a bargaining stage with myself. I told myself it wasn't that important. I told myself I could have whatever I wanted and just make up for it later. I pushed myself at the gym and then went home and ate my ice cream. I stopped measuring anything because I was too good for it. I wanted it to become more intuitive. I tricked myself into thinking that having lost 90 pounds, I didn't need it anymore. I knew what I was doing. I knew better than anything Spark could tell me. I rebelled.

In many ways, it's like the stages of growing up.
In April, I was a child taking my first steps. I did what I was told because I didn't know I could do anything else.

By August I was getting ambitious. I started questioning things and starting pushing myself to see how far I could go. I had reached the tween years and I wanted to discover what my life could really be like, wanted to know how much I could get away with.

And then came December. I was a teenager by then. I was rebellious. I thought I knew everything. I was sure that I knew how to beat the holiday weight gain...and I did. But I didn't have any real success then either. I told myself it was okay. I told myself that I wanted to enjoy my life, not be tied down by all the rules.

In some ways I wish I could go back to being a child again, but you can't change what you know once you know it. You have to work with what you have now and move forward from there. So, what is it that I know now?

emoticon Eating 1700 calories is harder than eating 2500 calories.
Is it really? Because that's what I've been telling myself. But looking back upon my first few weeks here on Spark, when I weighed over 400 pounds and had amble supply of calories at my disposal in my Spark range, I realize that I was having trouble then getting all my calories in. One day I started freaking out at dinner because I had only eaten 1,000 calories. It was amazing to me that my body was requiring less calories than I had been eating for so long. Honestly, I think I thought it was going to be easy. But then my calorie count went down again and again as the weight went down. And now that I'm shooting for 1700 calories I find myself struggling. Why?

Well, because I want to eat what I want to eat.
Because I eat out, thinking I have the self-control to keep doing that.
Because I think I should just eat another snack.
Because sometimes I eat when I'm not hungry, hoping it will thwart my overeating at night or at events, only to find myself overeating anyhow.

This just isn't working for me anymore.

emoticon I'm an exercise machine.
This one I know. I know how to burn calories. I know what burns the most calories. I know about strength training and heavy lifting. But what I've forgotten is how to take care of my body. What I've forgotten is the little things - breaking a good sweat while giving it your all, for example. My all on the elliptical used to be around 98. Now I'm at a 120 easy pace, but do I ever really push myself to do more? Do I need to? Wasn't I more concerned before with time, not energy output? Why am I suddenly trying to cram everything in so quickly?

Maybe I need to get back to timed workouts, to not worrying so much about burning the right amount of calories. When I started on Spark, I was getting the 30 minutes in that was recommended without ever reaching what Spark thought should be my calorie burned goal - and I was still losing weight consistently. Now I push, then back off. I get up and then fall down. I go too fast and then injure myself and have to take a few days off. There is no consistency in my workouts - and there is no consistency in my weight loss either.

emoticon An ounce is an ounce.
This goes way back to my time losing weight when I was still living in Ohio, when I had no clue what Spark was and I was trudging through with help from an MSN Group and with slow moving workouts and structured meals. I had to drive a half hour to get to a scale at the clinic that would weigh me. But every week, I got in my car, I drove into town, I did the walk of shame in and out of the office virtually undetected, and I weighed myself on the huge digital big enough to accommodate wheelchairs for those who had lost their mobility to obesity.

Each week, I copied my weight down in a little notebook and kept track of how much or little I was losing. There were weeks when I recorded a .4 loss and cried the entire way home...until about 25 minutes in, 5 minutes to home, when I finally wiped my tears and told myself, "Okay, Esther. That's .4 pounds you don't have to deal with any more. No more tears. A loss is a loss." There were weeks I gained and wanted to binge just out of spite. But somehow I convinced myself (most times) that it just wasn't worth it, because I didn't want to see ANOTHER gain the next week.

Each time this happened, I didn't change everything I was doing. I never really changed anything that I remember. I simply went back to what I knew was working. (I honestly think having the scale so far away was a benefit to me, and it makes me wonder if I should take mine up to my MIL's house and leave it there so I have to drive to weigh myself.)

Sometimes it IS possible to be overloaded with TOO MUCH information. Just as my body starts to think one thing, I change it and it needs time again to adjust. So why do I think this constant change is going to help me? Why do I think cheat days will work for me? They never have before. Why do I think I need to change everything in my life, try a million different recipes, and do a million different minor adjustments every single day in order to be successful? Truth? I was more successful when I was consistent and BORING.

I think I've come to the realization that I want my life to be different than what it is. I've been trying to change how my body works and, well, I don't think that's possible. I can change my body's size and shape, but I cannot change how my body responds to certain foods. I will always get gas from certain foods. Too much sugar makes my tummy a mess. There are just certain things that make up my body chemistry and how MY body processes food that I CANNOT change. I need to accept that. I always knew I could never be the girl that ate whatever she wanted and stayed thin, but I guess I hoped I could cheat all the time and still win. I can't.

If I want this to work, I need to take the guesswork out of it. I need to become boring. I need to make up some tried and true things that DO work, that I do love and that help me reach my goals. I have to stop trying to fit this square peg into a round hole!

I am me. And that has to be alright. I have to be alright with that if I want to learn to live my life with joy. I can't get hung up on things I'm not -- I can't keep harping on how much my body sucks because it won't let me run like I want to. Screw that! I have to rejoice in what my body can do. I have to go back to what works and stop being such a dang flake when it comes to getting it done!

emoticon Cardio 35 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
That's what my tracker is set for. It doesn't say what kind or at what intensity, it just says DO.

emoticon Strength Train 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Monday - Upper Body
Tuesday - Lower Body
Wednesday - Core
Friday - Lower Body
Saturday - Upper Body
No more double ups. No more 60 minute ST sessions that eat into my cardio time. No more "not at the gym excuses." Push-ups can be done anywhere.

emoticon Consume between 1770 and 2120 calories.
It does not say where it must come from, just that it must stay in this range. If I splurge and eat a piece of pie, then I will be hungry the rest of the day. It's important to learn my lesson of what the body I eat does and doesn't do for me.

emoticon 8 cups of water a day.
More is okay, but less is not. Make it happen.

emoticon Eat every 2.5-3 hours, approx.
This worked for me in the past.
7:00 am - Breakfast
9:30 pm - Snack 1
12:00 pm - Lunch
3:00 pm - Snack 2
6:00 pm - Snack 3
8:30 pm - Dinner

Unfortunately, my schedule will not allow me the no food after 7pm habit right now, but I think we can work around that. We shall see.

emoticon Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
I have to be up by 6 am, so I must be in bed by midnight, though I should try for 10 pm. That's not that early, geez!

It's time to stop changing everything and time to start making it right and consistent. It's time to find my groove and stick in there. Change is only necessary when the path you're working no longer works for you, and it takes a couple weeks to really tell if that's the case or not.

Other things to remember:
TOM is not your friend, but it is not your enemy either. It will pass.
Eating out is evil, but can be enjoyed if planned well in advance.
Don't stress over everything, pick the things you CAN control.
Do what you do. Don't worry about the rest.
Stop negative talk when it starts. You wouldn't let someone berate you for hours without stepping up to defend yourself, would you? Why do you let yourself do it to you?
Exercise is exercise. Stop being so darn "all or nothing" demanding!
Every MINUTE counts!

And finally:
You CAN do this. You have done it before, you can do it again. Do what works and then be patient! Results will come, they always do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 3/8/2011 10:22AM

    Love your metaphor about being a child/teenager/etc. You are now and adult and see the bad ways of your teen years! LoL. You can do it!

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RIGBY31 3/8/2011 8:53AM

    Holy Smokes! Just when I thought I couldn't get back on track, I read your blog and you set it all so clear... boring works! I've been diddle/daddle loosey goosey and I've been getting zilch results. Do what works. Period!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 3/7/2011 11:46PM

    I feel like starting over and remembering how far the BASICS got us in the first place is a great place to be. You can do this, you've done it before! Basics, girl. Go get 'em :)

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PELESJEWEL 3/7/2011 11:12PM

    The one thing I know is that you are a fighter. You know how to get up, dust yourself off & get back to basic. You have your road map above (a good one I might add) and the determination to get it done. Losing 90 lbs is freakin awesome and you know it's just a matter of time until the scale says 100 lbs lost!!

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MAMADWARF 3/7/2011 10:22PM

    sounds like you had quite the epiphany. I love the honesty and really? You are right. It is the basics and it doesnt have to be hard or complicated. You can do it and I will be applauding your effort.

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SARAWALKS 3/7/2011 4:52PM

    emoticon YES YOU CAN!
Consistency is a battle for me too. But you're right, it brings results...
Hang in there, you will NEVER be boring, no matter how consistent you get!
emoticon emoticon

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ERIN1128 3/7/2011 3:55PM

    REALLY needed to see this right now! Thanks for sharing!

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CRYSBROWN1 3/7/2011 3:44PM

    LOVE your reality check & the analogy about stages of growing. So true! It is such human nature to d well when we are in the learning phase but then rationalize that it is ok to rebel later on. Thank you for writing this because I see a lot of myself here, I too find some success but then think that I can eat whatever I want over the weekends which just doesn't work.

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GLENNYB 3/7/2011 1:22PM

    Great blog! One word of advice I learned a long time ago but frequently forget: Eating healthy when you don't care what you are eating goes a long way. There can be a lot of forgiveness of a "cheat" if you are doing the good work the rest of the time.

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    Wonderful blog!!! Sometimes we take for granted what we already know and forget about it. Basics are good and help build that firm foundation, way to go on building your foundation back up!

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CLAIREMZM 3/7/2011 1:13PM

    First I want to say--you have come so far!

Second, I appreciate your analysis. It is honest and yet doesn't put you down. You really have made attainable steps for yourself. You go for it! Don't let anything stop you!

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BRIAEL 3/7/2011 12:29PM

    Great blog, I love how you've gone back to what worked and compared it to what has changed and why. Inspiration in those words. :)

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LOTUSFLOWER 3/7/2011 12:11PM

    I love how you have looked over what has worked for you and what hasn't, and from that have set simple, attainable steps that will all lead you to reach your goals. Yes, you CAN do this. Love ya! emoticon

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Weigh-In: #$(*&$*# Edition

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Weigh-In Day

Weight Last Week: 325.8
Weight Goal for This Week: 323.8
Actual Weight This Week: 327.2
Weight Loss/Gain: + 1.4


I knew I wasn't going to be happy before I even got to facing the scale. I woke up all bloated and BLECH and knew my body was holding onto pounds instead of letting them go. It's partly my fault, and partly not.

Partly me:
Eating healthy went kinda out the window this weekend.

Friday included Shoney's breakfast, Arby's lunch, ice cream, and beer. And while I did go to the gym, I didn't get near enough cardio in (though I did a fair amount of walking around and climbing stairs that night...and did a tiny bit of dancing when I could or felt it. I felt I did well at breakfast, much better than I have in the past - but this still needs some work. Lunch? Well, let's just say I ate too much and it wasn't exactly great for me food. I did have ice cream, which my stomach informed me almost immediately was a BAD idea. *shudders* And I had one light beer at the concert. I did stay away from the pretzels and popcorn though, so that was good. And the concert was pretty good...well, until George Strait came on. Let's just say I'm not a fan. We left early, but I would've been happier leaving even earlier. *lol*

Saturday started with a healthy breakfast - egg beaters, a little 2% cheese and some turkey sausage. Then we walked around Jungle Jim's for about 2 hours. OMG! That place is insane. I ended up spending 70 bucks and got some great stuff: pitas approved by even my Lebanese friend *lol*, a huge thing of sea salt for 6 bucks!, some tomatillo salsa (YUM!), a bit of off the wall candy items for the boys, some Fu-ki plum wine (YUM!), Tahini paste (can't find that anywhere around here), and Chia seeds. For lunch we ate at my mother's favorite place, Mimi's Diner, where I let all of it go out the window for a buttermilk spice muffin, some quiche lorraine, and 2 small bites of mouse cake. I even brought some muffins home for the boys here. I didn't eat the rest of the night until I got home late and the boys and I went and had Mexican, where I couldn't seem to get enough food. *sigh* I guess I didn't really realize what was coming on...

What wasn't my fault:
TOM. #(*#$&! You see, I've been on depo for some time now, and I can never predict when or if I'll get a TOM anymore. I haven't had a serious TOM for a little while. Sometimes I get TOM for All of the Month or sometimes I get nothing. This time is started with spotting Friday, grew into full blown cramps yesterday, and today I got the wonderful bloat and UGH that is TOM. *sigh* HOPEFULLY it will only last a week. Hopefully once it leaves I'll see weight loss again. HOPEFULLY.

What also wasn't my fault was riding in a car for four hours Friday, and another 3 on Saturday. By the time we got home my butt was numb! I keep wondering how I'm going to survive the 16 hour drive here in 2 weeks and still lose weight, but I have a feeling I'll be doing some sort of mini exercises when I stop along the way, just to keep myself limber. And LOTS of water drinking.

Recap of my goals for the week:

emoticon Get back to the gym.
Monday I had to skip out dealing with car shopping nonsense, but by Tuesday I was hitting the gym again hard. Did my Zumba and my leg ST workout. Wednesday I doubled up on ST and only got 10 minutes of cardio in. (That will have to change.) Thursday I had the paper, but I did take a one and a half mile walk at lunch. Friday I did ST but no real cardio as I was hurrying to get home, pack and meet my friend for our drive up to Cinci. I did walk a lot in Cinci, including several flights of stairs into the concert and back out again. Saturday was that 2 hour walk around that enormous "grocery" store.

emoticon Back to calorie counting and logging
I did a great job of this through the week, but this weekend it all went out the window. I honestly don't want to see what my calorie counts were for these days, because I'm not going to like it, but I may go back and try to figure it out anyhow. *sigh*

emoticon Don't lose sight of my goals
I certainly didn't for the first part of the week. I did schedule another boxing lesson at the end of this month. I'm seriously considering Zumba this weekend. And I thought about this a lot this week. Last night it snowed. WTF?! I'm supposed to do 4.5 miles today but with the cramps and the snow, we'll have to see how that goes. I'm going to try to talk myself into it, but I don't know how well I'll do. *sigh*

emoticon Water flush!
emoticon Totally got this one. I'm averaging 12-15 glasses a day and peeing a lot of clear liquid by the end of the day, so I'm doing good on that one.

2/4 right? Maybe 2.5 out of 4. Not bad, but not where I could be. This week is going to be different.

Plan for the week:
Sunday - Convince myself to do that 4.5 mile walk. *sigh* I just know it's freezing outside, but I need to get used to that since my walk will be up north and likely just as cold. (I can't effin' believe it snowed last night! *GRRRR*) I need to watch what I eat and just be conscious. And I've already scheduled myself a bath with leg shaving and some other light pampering, which I hope I don't wimp out on. I need this time to myself...hope the boys cooperate.

Monday - We may be going down to get the car, which could eat into gym time again. GRR! Going to take a walk at lunch, just so I'm covered. Going to do some home ST at work just in case too.

Tuesday - Zumba and ST...maybe. I think my instructor had surgery last week, so I don't know if Zumba will be canceled or taught by someone else. Either way, unless we're at the dealership, I should be at the gym working out Tuesday night.

Wednesday - Shouldn't have any problems getting in 35 minutes of cardio and my ST for the day. Again, unless at the dealership (we're not sure when the car will be ready).

Thursday - Zumba and ST...maybe. Again, not sure if Zumba will be canceled or taught by someone else. Either way - 35-45 minutes of cardio and my ST should fit in.

Friday - I'm going to try to do an hour long cardio session on this day, with my ST thrown in before. I may have to skip out on breakfast and just go it alone...Hubs gets bored and wants to leave before I'm ready. Worse comes to worse, I take him with me, do my ST, and then go back after I drop him off to do my cardio.

Saturday - There are 2 Zumba classes in Charleston - one at 1pm and another at 6pm. I'd like to do the early one and AM said she might go as well. I'll have to make sure there is still room available.

Goals for the week.
emoticon Even out the ST with the Cardio.
For every minute of ST, there should be a minute of cardio - no exceptions. It should actually come out to more cardio than ST minutes at the end of the day. I may just start instituting walking lunches again now that the weather is improving, just to make sure I get my cardio in.

emoticon Yoga Sundays
I had decided that March would include Yoga Sundays, so I need to get in 20 minutes of yoga today whether or not I convince myself of that 4.5 mile walk. MUST YOGA 20 MINUTES!

emoticon BOX!
I need to do at least 30 minutes of boxing this week. I don't care if it's shadow boxing or hitting the bag at the gym. I need to practice so each time I'm with CT I get better. Just as musicians need to practice outside of band class, I need to practice my boxing as well.

emoticon Stop eating out!
Ugh! It's been awful lately. I need to limit myself to 2 times per week or less. Make healthy things at home. Make my lunches or fall back on frozen dinners. I'll save money that way too!

emoticon Keep drinking!
I'm going to keep up this 12-15 glasses of water a day. It's good for my body and keeps me away from bad foods and keeps me focused, for the most part.

emoticon LOG!
Finally, I MUST log everything. MUST LOG. MUST LOG. MUST LOG. I can worry about how to do this on my own later...I need to get back to it so I can be the success story you read about someone losing 200 pounds, going from 466 to 266. I can't do that if I don't pay close attention and make it work for myself.

Weight Goal for the week? Honestly I'd love to see a number I haven't seen yet - 324. I'd be happy to just get back my 325, but I'd be overjoyed if I could see 324.

I'll be honest. With this week, I almost feel like I squandered it away - like I lost a week. But if I think back to who I was when this started and who I am now, I'm a much different person. I choose the stairs over the elevator now. I think about how many calories I've had, how much I've eaten, I ask myself if I'm really hungry and if I'm now full. I think consciously about these things because I used to be a woman living in the moment and enjoying everything that came to me without a second thought - now I'm the woman who wants to enjoy now and LATER. And I know the only way to enjoy later is to not feel guilty about missed opportunities to make myself a healthier person.

Concert Adventure done.
Next Adventure - Solo Road Trip and an Uncertain 7K Journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    not FML-- think of this as a way to refocus and be to try EVEN harder next week. Sometimes our bodies don't respond the way we want them to... but just keep moving forward :)

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MINIDRIVER63 3/6/2011 3:11PM

    TOM's got me down, too. I lost 1/2 pound, after being freaking perfect all week. I calmed myself down, thought about long-term good habits, and am still royally pissed. FML indeed.

You've got the plan for healthy habits, you're gonna win!

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KATJAMN 3/6/2011 2:45PM

    Don't let the weight gain get you down, I am sure you will have a bigger loss next time since this time was up. Just stick with your plan and go for broke. I would guess the gain was from the bloat of TOM.
Move forward

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SKATVEN 3/6/2011 2:44PM

    Superbowl weekend was a mess for me it took me like 3 or 4 days to come down from the 5 lbs of food I packed on that day. I figure so long as you get right back on track the weekend won't stick :) I did a walk today with puppy in the rainish weather ... that misty crazy stuff that gets you soaked while you are sweaty ick! I'm just glad its not freezing!

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CAROLINE1000 3/6/2011 2:21PM

    I understand completely. Weekends are a complete mess for me, I weighed in this morning 3 lbs heavier than YESTERDAY morning. Knowing it is impossible that I have consumed 10,500 calories in one day (esp. since I did track and although the quality of my food yesterday left something to be desired, I was still inside my self-imposed range - which is lower than SP range) helps the desire I have to fling the scale across the bathroom, shattering the mirror.

Do the math. See how impossible that type of real weight gain could be. Then smile.

You have a fabulous plan!

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ATREAT4ME 3/6/2011 2:18PM

    It is so good to be able to claim our choices and then plan on making them better. I am working on the next step: making the better choices happen. Like you said, I am someone who wants to live now and later. Healthy choices is an investment in me, an investment in later. It'll be nice to have something ready for later.

I do wish I could write a weekly post like this one -- what I did last week, what I plan to do this week. It is such a great framework. One day... ;-) I know you'll have a great week, Esther.

And I offer this suggestion for your road trip: if you drink tons of water, you'll make lots of potty stops. Do 10 wall push ups, 10 jumping jacks each time, and bend over to touch your toes 10 times.

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CALLIKIA 3/6/2011 1:14PM

    Okay, so I added in all my food and workouts (estimates of course) for Friday and Saturday and, yes, I was about 450 calories over for the weekend (total for both days) but I also burned about 1,000 maybe it's just sodium and TOM because I didn't do nearly as bad as I thought.

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JENNYGIFFORD 3/6/2011 12:59PM

    We all have our days and weeks and months where we aren't the healthy, exerciser get up and go-er than we want to be. I've learned one true trick: acknowledge that I know I've slipped, and move on. Don't dwell on it. My husband told me, "guys don't do that crap. If they drink a few beers and eat a basket of greasy chilli cheese fries while out, they say just get on with it. Men don't internalize and agonize over mistakes. We plow ahead." I've adopted that attitide, and it works. DOn't be too hard on yourself, you already know where the sabotages in your routine are, and you're correcting them. Good for you because most people won't even recognize that...keep up the good work!

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EMMANYC 3/6/2011 12:50PM

    I'm sorry the God of the Scale is not showing you any love. He is capricious and downright mean-spirited at times. I much prefer the Tapemeasure Good Fairy - you have to be patient with her but she is a much steadier friend :)

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 3/6/2011 12:29PM

    I lost 3 months, but I'm not going to let it stop me from moving forward. I'm drinking my second mimosa of the morning... and... well... that's all I will say.

Here's some motivation. Ready? Is it warmer than 10 degrees outside? If so, it's warmer than it is here so you can definitely walk! I'm working on manifesting AT LEAST 30's-40's for the Get Lucky. Last year it was 67 degrees on my birthday, so anything is possible!!!

Your posts always inspire me Esther. Keep up the amazing work and don't beat yourself up for TOM.

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And I'm Off...

Friday, March 04, 2011

...both off my cardio game and off for another adventure. Had to cut my gym time short again and only got in 6 minutes on the elliptical before some quick ST. My friend will be here in 30 minutes to pick me up and we'll be headed up to Cincinnati.

The plan for today:
3+ hours driving to Cinci/my mom's house.
We'll grab some Tim Horton's on the way - and, yes, I will either have a donut or a blueberry muffin...probably.
Concert tonight - Reba with George Strait and LeeAnn Womack at the US Bank Arena
May hit up some of the bars downtown as tonight is Cinci's Bockfest...hope we make it up there in time to see the goat! *lol*
Likely something healthier like Subway for dinner.
Packing an apple, a pear, and some protein bars for just in case...
Either a lot of walking and/or dancing tonight, or at least 2 miles on mom's treadmill before bed.

The plan for tomorrow:
Not quite sure.
Mom, AM and I will be hitting the town. Possible choices: Newport Aquarium, Cinci Museum Center, Cinci Zoo, or shopping at the Jeffersonville Outlets
Then lunch at one of the places I've Googled in and around the Cinci area.
Then home again, home again, jiggity-jigg.

The plan for Sunday:
4.5 miles...I need to make sure I can do it before I drive 16 hours for nothing. *sigh* I'm actually quite worried because my hip has been bothering me the past few days. I walked a mile and a half yesterday and felt it the rest of the day...and it was a really slow 1 1/2 miles...

Dear Weight Loss Gods,
Please help me stay on track this weekend.
Don't let me throw everything away just because the scale insists that I'm gaining weight.
Remind me that gains throughout the week are normal, and this one is likely caused by a seriously long and difficult ST session I still haven't quite healed from yet.
Remind me to drink my water.
Please let me come home happy and healthy.
And, for the sake of all that is holy, let me AT LEAST see 324 on the scale Sunday...though 323 is my ultimate goal for this week.
Remind me that no matter what happens, I'm doing good stuffs for my body and progressing in ways that can't yet be measured.
Remind me that it's a long journey to a new life.
And remind me that I've been living my new life with confidence, pride, and only moments of self-doubt now and again.
Remind me that I'm only getting better and that the scale can't define me or control me...all that is up to me!
Oh, and could you remind me, please, to stay out of my own way this weekend and just have some darn fun?! All work and no play and all that...Mmmkay?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAYBELIEVER 3/5/2011 1:16PM

    Loved your letter to the weight loss Gods! I could use that too! So I may just borrow it!

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MAMADELIGHT 3/5/2011 7:36AM

    how was the show?

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MRSBERTA_69 3/4/2011 10:02PM

    Have fun! I loved the letter to the weight loss gods... seems that is exactly what I say when I just want to have a little fun too!

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JBARSTOW 3/4/2011 4:27PM

    Have a blast - and enjoy every second of the trip!

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SLFRISBEY 3/4/2011 3:08PM

    OMG, go to Jungle Jims! It's so so cool! I used to live there and it's THE COOLEST PLACE! Have fun!!!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 3/4/2011 2:58PM

    Are you attempting to psyche yourself out? Please don't. This is the girl who walked Washington D.C. Giving you massive amounts of credit, since you seem to have forgotten. Additionally, the course is open for two hours, so unless you plan on walking 30 minute miles, you are going to be fine. Becky has lectured me about the idea of finishing vs. finishing in a certain time. I know I can finish, I know YOU can finish, even if it's not with the time we originally intended.

I have total, jump off the bridge if you jump, faith in you Esther. No lie.

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    You should totally go to Jungle Jim's grocery store. It is MASSIVE and carries all kinds of specialty stuff and things around the world. I think it's in the same general vicinity of where you're going to be. We went there once and it was pretty cool! Have a great time!

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    Hope you have a great time!

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HEIDIC75 3/4/2011 1:46PM

    have a great weekend...Reba and George Strait ....I am so jealous :) safe and have fun

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SARAWALKS 3/4/2011 1:38PM

    emoticon May the Weight Loss Gods smile on you! emoticon emoticon

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TIGERJANE 3/4/2011 1:36PM

    You're gonna have so much fun this weekend!

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RIGBY31 3/4/2011 12:46PM

    *... stay out of my own way this weekend*

I'm posting that to my refrig today. Have a fun, fantastic weekend.

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  As long as you are concious of what you eat/drink, I'm positive that you'll be find.

Because you aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare CALORIE KILLAH!!!!!!!!

(that was said like Captain Planet, btw)

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