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Weigh-In: Looking Forward Edition

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weigh-In Day

Weight Last Week: 327.2
Weight Goal for This Week: 324 ANYTHING!
Actual Weight This Week: 324.2
Weight Loss/Gain: - 3 pounds!

Okay, we're going to take that as a win even though in my mind I'm thinking "but that means I only lost 1.6 pounds in 2 weeks!" I'm also thinking, "If I would have stuck to my guns yesterday instead of getting caught up in emotions and saying F#&% it all and let myself eat whatever, I could've seen 323." I talk down to myself way too often and diminish my accomplishments - something I've been preaching to my friends NOT to do. One pound lost is one pound lost - and you lost 3 pounds this week. Even if you have this feeling that TOM was part of the loss, you still worked through TOM and you pushed yourself most of those 7 days and you deserve to pat yourself on the back, forgive yourself for one of the worst days ever mentally/emotionally yesterday and be proud of where you stand right now.

324 pounds. I don't remember the last time I was 324 pounds. Mostly because I paid little to no attention on the way up, but I have a feeling it was between kids 1 and 2 that I passed 324 and headed my way to the 400s.

Let's be perfectly honest - I struggle with the thought of still being 300 pounds. I see people start this journey in the 300s and move down from there, and it's hard to keep my focus strong when I realize that the same effort I put in, applied to them, will heed better results. I tell myself things like, "That's because they weren't as bad off as you to begin with." or worse, "That's because you were the fattiest fatty you knew. It's going to take a LOT more to not be the fat friend anymore." I have to stop talking to myself like that. I have to STOP comparing myself to everyone else. My life experiences were different. My journey will be different as well.

Let's hit on another honest point -- I have a hard time allowing myself to believe my friends when they admire how much I do, how hard I push and how well I'm doing - because each and every time it's mentioned I come back with a thought similar to: "but I'm still fat" or "but you're smaller" or "it's not enough."

emoticon that, Esther!

Let's hit on the math of it all, shall we?
April 18-March 13 = 47 weeks
416.2 - 324.2 = 92 pounds
That averages out to 1.957 pounds a week. Rounding up, it's 2 pounds per week.

Sure there were times I wasn't consistent. Sure I had gains along the way. I also had amazing weeks where I lost several pounds more than expected. And to come out of the end of it still averaging 2 pounds a week lost --- that should equal a VICTORY in your eyes, Esther. Be proud of that!

Let's get to more numbers.
In 2004, you weighed 466.6 pounds.
Today, in 2011, you weigh 324.2 pounds.
That's a loss of 142.4 pounds!

That's NOT something to scoff at. Very few people can say they've lost 142 pounds and are still losing. You've lost nearly 150 pounds! So what if it took you 7 years to do it? SO WHAT? You did it. And you're STILL going. You're STILL looking toward a skinnier future.

And if that doesn't get you, maybe this will.
When you started out at 466.6 pounds, you couldn't FIND jeans in your size. You lived in elastic waist pants. You were completely out of breath just getting out of bed. Your life revolved around finding ways to hide yourself, being embarrassed and trying to make other people believe you were not a bad parent even though you secretly thought you were.

I don't know if you're a "good" or "great" parent today, but there is NO denying that you are a better parent than you once were. You are active with your kids. You spend oodles of free time with them doing activities like basketball, tennis, walking, and good-for-the-heart type things. They no longer fear asking you to take them to the park, because they know you won't be sitting in the car reading a book. You'll be out there playing with them. On the swings. Hitting a ball. You're not afraid to walk out to half-court before your son's last basketball game, be a little silly, and accept from him a rose AND A HUG - IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! You aren't sidelined anymore because you put yourself in the game. And the fact that your 11 year old doesn't mind hugging you in front of all his friends and letting you kiss him on the head, and feeling his arms pulling more around you (and not your neck, your waist!) and feeling him squeeze a little bit of gratitude in it - all this should prove to you that your kids see you with more pride than they saw the 466.6 pound woman on the couch who "just couldn't" go to the park because it took to much energy to move from the couch to the car, to get dressed, and to brave the million stares from those around her.

And as you walked out in front of everyone, you were wearing your size 26 jeans from Lane Bryant that are already too loose on you. You could've been rockin' your size 24 jeans from CATO that no longer push all the belly fat up around your boobs. And you were wearing a 2X t-shirt, but it could've been any number of XL, 1X and 2X shirts you own and wear regularly, saving the 2x shirts for when you want more room and want to feel more comfortable, when TOM is still stuck to you and making you feel a little bloated. What you weren't wearing was a size 4X shirt, because those make you look like a hobo now as they hang off your body.

And, while you did wear elastic waist pants to the bar last night - it was because even in your state of emotional grief, when Hubs pried you to just get out of the house to get your mind off things, you put on your workout gear, not knowing whether what you needed was a workout or a drink. And even though you ended up with the drink, you didn't feel self-conscious in your workout gear - you felt like an athlete who really just needed some downtime. As you sat there in a too-big sweatshirt that didn't fit two years ago, your mind was allowed to focus on the trauma at hand, and not on how you looked to everyone else around you. And, besides, those elastic waist pants were not a size 34. They were an XL. And sitting on the bar stool with your legs crossed was not only possible, but quite comfortable. How's that for some change?

Sure, if you had skipped the McDonald's french fries and the small shamrock shake you never even finished (BTW - these are like kitty crack! My cat wanted to DIVE her head into the cup once she smelled it! *lol*) you MIGHT have seen 323 this morning. MIGHT. Whose to say you would have, though? Whose to say it still would've been enough for your head to be okay with? Stop telling yourself it's not enough because there are plenty of people in the world today who had McDonald's for dinner, and they didn't get to wake up the next morning to a 3 pound loss on the scale. You did. And, hey, at least for you it's months in between McDonald's french fries. For some people, it's once a week or every day. You've had french fries from there a total of what? 3 times since April? 3 times in a YEAR, Esther. Remember when you used to have them several times a month, a week?

emoticon telling yourself you're STILL fat.
Tell yourself you're a work in progress...and progress you've certainly seen.

emoticon telling yourself nobody will like you because you're fat.
You have a wealth of friends, more now that you've gotten to be the "active" friend.

emoticon telling yourself your husband thinks you're ugly.
Because it's not fair to him, who even told you last night, while you were sitting at the bar with no makeup, glasses on, hair in a messy pony, too big sweatshirt and workout clothes that don't exactly flatter your body that he loves you, you are beautiful, and he is extremely proud of you.

emoticon beating yourself up.
Because there are so many reasons to lift yourself up. A consistent average of 2 pounds lost a week for the past year. Losing 142 pounds. Going from a woman who couldn't hardly get out of bed to a woman that is a boxer in training, who compares her 'guns' to her husbands, whose boys envy the shoulder and arm definition without somehow seeing the large flab that hangs below them, who looks forward to sunny tennis dates and pick-up basketball games and the openings of sports stores with glee in her eyes.

Just emoticon and turn around and take a good look.

Go back and look at pictures of yourself, your mother and your sister. They used to involve all of you sitting around, usually around a table full of food. Now they involve pictures of all three of us, running side-by-side, racing toward the finish line of a 5k.

Go back and look at pictures of yourself with your boys. In them you are seated. You look sad. You look like your world is crushing down around you and the effort it will take to lug them and yourself back to the car could strike a heart attack. Now they involve smiles, sunny days, basketball games, walks around the countryside, hikes through caves and caverns.

You used to worry you wouldn't have enough food for dinner because you'd blown 20 bucks at a place like McDonald's to feed the family for lunch.

Now you worry about what healthy food you'll pack for the trip you want to take them on to this great place that includes tons of walking and sightseeing.

And while you may have had a horrible day yesterday, you woke up today with a renewed sense of determination for the week. You ate your sexy breakfast while reminding yourself that you are worth the time it takes, that yourself and your family are benefiting from all you now have to offer them. And remember that at one time, you used to sink into deep depression over days that weren't even that bad and honestly thought that it was easier to die than to face the morning light. But last night, you simply said a wish and prayer that today would be better. Not once did you think dying would be easier or better, because you now know how beautiful and rewarding LIFE can be.

So, this, my dear Spark Friends, shall serve as a reminder to me to always remember that what I've done is not nothing - it is an incredible, wonderful, amazing thing! I have lost 92 pounds so far this year. I'm just 8 pounds from losing 100 pounds in one year, and I still have 5 weeks to go before April 18th. That's an average of 1.6 pounds a week, which is completely doable. And even if I don't do it. Even if I just lose 5 pounds, or 3 pounds, or none. I will come back here and remember that looking back is a great reminder that we should be looking forward.

Forward to 100 pounds lost in a year (or so).
Forward to 150 pounds lost from my highest weight.
Forward to losing the next 25 pounds and finding myself in the 200's (or, as I like to call it, DEUCEland!)

My kids and Hubs have already voiced this goal for me. 298. For some reason this number, above all others, holds a certain significance to them. Notice it's not 299 - all three of them said 298. And little did they know that this number is like my magic finish line for this leg of the journey...because I can't just think 299 with the fluctuations in weight that I know. I need room for comfort to feel like I've hit upon my goal. (Does anyone else do that?)

Some people say about this weight loss journey that it's a marathon. I've come to think of it as a triathlon instead.

Leg 1 - Losing that first 100 pounds all on my own back in 2004/2005.
Leg 2 started April 18th when I found Spark and started losing again and changed my life. (YES! I HAVE ALREADY CHANGED MY LIFE!) I see this leg ending at 298, and then it's on to part 3...which I won't allow myself to even think about...too much.

Mile markers litter the way, as well as water stops and restroom breaks. And I don't know what the course looks like ahead, but I know I'm doing a great job so far of picking myself up every time I fall and getting back to the task at hand. And while those around me keep applauding my efforts, I have to remember that the biggest applause SHOULD be from me. Because I know the struggles I've faced more than they do. They may not have been there at mile marker 4 where I fell, scrapped my leg and had to get medical attention. They may not have been there when my hip pulled and my knee popped and I had to hobble my way until my legs felt right again. These friends are littered along the race course holding signs for me, reminding me that there are people rooting for me along the way, but they can't be there WITH me because this is one race I have to do alone.

I want to look forward, but not too far forward, knowing that the next two steps are the most important, because without them I'll never find myself to the two that follow. For now, I count in 5 and 10 pounds lost. Each time a new tens place number changes, I get giddy with excitement.

I swam my way to 100 pounds lost alone. I'm now biking my way into deuceland. And we'll have to test my legs before we know anymore once I'm off this bike. Am I right?

In my first race, I kept a route map in my head - and it just about killed me through the first 2 miles - so this time, I will let myself look ahead only as far as I can see before the next bend. 316.2 is ahead. I can feel it, but I can't yet see it because there's a route bend at 319. Let's just work on getting me that far and then we'll go from there.

But even as I look forward, I have to keep reminding myself -- "You've come a long way, baby!" I have to keep my race mantras in my head, like: Now just take the next step and keep going. You've GOT this! You can do this! You've done a mile before, just do one more. Each step is one step closer.

My inspiration for the day:
"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

"This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act." - Anatole France

"It is not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference." - Paul Bryant

"Today is just a good day in disguise." - Paul Venghaus

"And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, ’cause it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and if you find that moment… it lasts forever…" – Richard from the movie The Beach

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

"Action is eloquence." or "Be great in act, as you have been in thought." - both from William Shakespeare

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." - Mark Twain

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    biking my way into dueceland.. LOL love that! lord I could have written this blog (not as well as you) but your thoughts are my thoughts...

Congratulations on how far you have come.. and for the important mental changes that are happening as well.. amazing..


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PAPER_WINGS18 3/15/2011 9:45PM

    You are incredible.

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MAIA2011 3/15/2011 1:08AM

    *Some people say about this weight loss journey that it's a marathon. I've come to think of it as a triathlon instead.*

ment.EVER, lady!

emoticon saying anything to yourself except for some combination of the words: awesome, Esther, is.


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MAGPIE17 3/14/2011 4:52PM

    What is it about this weekend? You AND Katy (and I'm sure others, but I'm still catching up!) had to tell yourselves to stop and STFU! :P

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TREP13 3/14/2011 3:43PM

    That was a really well-written and powerful blog. You're an inspiration to many. Thanks for sharing.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/14/2011 2:02PM

    Pretty awesome blog! You have accomplished a lot and having more to do makes doesn't take anything away from what you have done, and yes, it does make it more impressive because it took more courage. I don't know if you ever watch the biggest loser? There is a girl named Kourtney this season who reminds me a bit of you. She had a longer journey than most of the others and had already lost over 100lbs at the beginning of the season, and every week she is on with this positive attitude, she has completely mastered the process, even though she knows she still has a long road ahead. It is an amazing thing to cheer her on and to cheer you on. Definitely stop beating yourself up, you have nothing to be sorry for.

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HEAVENSSHADOW 3/14/2011 2:01PM

    Awesome blog. Keep reminding yourself that you have had an AMAZING journey thus far and you will continue to do so! You have so so so much more potential than you realize some days, ya know?
Just remember:

It never gets easier. You just get better.

Get it girl! You are so close to DEUCEland!!!! BIG HUGS!!!!

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PELESJEWEL 3/14/2011 12:18AM

    You are strong & amazing! I'll be there celebrating with you when you emoticon the 200s!

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SERENEART 3/13/2011 11:19PM

    You are so amazing and beautiful! Don't you forget it. The things you said are things I need to remember to say to myself.


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MAMADWARF 3/13/2011 10:46PM

    You. are. my. hero.

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RUSSELLORAMA 3/13/2011 8:56PM

    Yes, dear, stop alla that foolishness - except telling yourself how awesome you are!


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    You are amazing! You were the first person I found here on Sparkpeople, your story inspired me then and you continue to inspire me. Do you remember me asking you to share your words of wisdom? I re-read your advice every time I am having a "I can't do it" momment. I am down 20+ pounds and I know I couldn't have come this far without you. YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!

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SASSAGAIN 3/13/2011 8:17PM

    Amazing fabulous lovely wonderful!! YES! you need to tell yourself to STFU on negativity. enough of that!

298 is a good honest goal, and one that you will be reaching soon! But even now you are a winner and I'm so proud of you!

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DASH2011 3/13/2011 6:17PM

    ohhh goddd there are way too many things about this blog that i love to list them all out- but this was one HELL OF A BLOG!!!!! you are unbelievable. unbelievable!! You really gave me every bit of motivation I needed - I needed to read this today - I needed to hear all of your wise and LOVE FILLED words to yourself to start thinking again of my own. You have done the unthinkable already. and i LOVE your background!

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RIGBY31 3/13/2011 3:40PM

    At the end of this blog, I was standing, reading out loud... Yes! And like you I feel that people are whizzing by me with their weight loss. But this is MY journey, MY race. I worked hard for a lot of it (and I know when I don't work). Listen for your own applause, clap a little louder to drown out some of the negative chatter. Be your own best cheerleader!

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NUMD97 3/13/2011 3:29PM

    OK, the first word is "Wow!" I've been following you for some time now, but this blog just totally mesmerized me. I could not stop, although I have so much to do today, until I finished it.

Reading your lines, and seeing your pain, was, frankly, painful for me. It's a trite saying, but so true, that we are our own worst enemies. That coupled with the hype of ridiculous TV "reality" shows exhibiting 30 plus-pound weight losses in a week, make many feel like failures. The flip side of that is, who could possibly maintain that kind of a loss with that blinding speed, for the long haul? It's not grounded in reality and it never was. It's passed off as "entertainment."

All the major weight loss programs that are based in reality state the same thing: Expect and work to achieve, ONE TO TWO pounds per week. The first time I plugged in the program with my desired date, SP came back and said, "No, we don't think so. That would mean a weight loss of 2.6 pounds a week, and not recommended. Recalculate." So, I did. And continue to do so.

It's a process. A prolonged process. And it all begins from within, not from without. And it comes from learning to believe that we can be loved and cherished at whatever weight we are. That it never was about the weight. That it's truly about our own self-worth. And THAT is the hardest part of this so-called journey, after all. Believing in ourselves, what we can accomplish, weight-wise and with other personal goals that we set our caps for. And believing that we can be loved for who we are, not what we weigh.

Start there. The rest will follow. And close to 100 pounds lost in whatever time framework, without surgery, is something to be very, VERY, proud of, indeed.

So, yes, Esther, along with your own realization, as well as the words of your fans here, you have accomplished a lot. Even with the slips and slides. IN SPITE of the slips and slides. This is a lifetime commitment, not just for the next social or family gathering.

And once you get all the pieces of the puzzle in place, you will be kinder to yourself. Cherish what you have in your world: Your family (first and foremost), who cheer you on, your friends, who love you for who you are, and for us in the Peanut Gallery supporting you from afar.

We all wish you well,


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CHICAT63 3/13/2011 1:55PM

    While I was reading your blog I am saying to myself, OMG, OMG, she closing in on losing 100 pounds, then more forwarding thinking of she will be out of the 300s by the summer and then some! In my book you are an inspiration, a trainer in training for sure emoticon, etc., be frecking proud of yourself Esther !

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BTINTERNET 3/13/2011 1:36PM

    E, you are so freakin' amazing.

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SARAWALKS 3/13/2011 1:19PM

    "what I've done is not nothing - it is an incredible, wonderful, amazing thing!"
This is the best before and after blog I've ever read.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/13/2011 1:21:11 PM

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MENACE79 3/13/2011 1:17PM

    I understand the negative thoughts... everyone has them (I have them too - and really identified with the part about thinking that your husband thinks you're ugly). I LOVE the positive self-talk though, because that's what I was nodding along with.

Everyone has a public self and a private self. The public self tends to be the good stuff that we let shine, the motivating talk, the accomplishments, all the things we are proud of. The private self knows about all the guilt and the shame, is there when we are beating ourselves up, etc. Sometimes I feel like a phony when I am all public self, and people don't know what's going on behind the scenes in my I'm just faking it... but I'm not. Because the public self is still ALL ME. Just like the "you" that you've created and you are proud of is ALL YOU. You made that woman. When you hit 298? You will have done that. 250? Still all you.

You're creating and controlling your own human experience - and it is beautiful, and full of joy, strength, and promise. Oh, and 100 lbs lost in a year? Freaking incredible. You deserve the accolades you receive from yourself and everyone around you. Awesome, awesome job. And I truly mean that - because I have tried to do the same thing several times and failed. You are triumphing.

oops, I mega-rambled. :)

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 3/13/2011 1:09PM

    This is a STUNNING blog Esther! Stunning.

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Workout vs. Playout

Friday, March 11, 2011

After reading SUGIRL06 and TUACADOLL1's blogs today, something hit me...and I thought I would share.

Let's just start here. "Work" What does that word mean? has more than a dozen definitions, but the words that strike me in them are "labor," "toil," and "exertion." None of which I consider fun words, really.

Let's be most of us, I'm not a big fan of "work." So is it any wonder that sometimes even the idea of a "work"out makes me want to run away and hide (usually under the covers of the bed or to the cozy couch)?

But I have a little secret for's something I've been toying with since I started back in April and now I'm going to share it outright. Are you ready?.....

Workouts don't have to be so much work.

There, I said it.

Sure, there are plenty of times when it's good to push yourself - at the gym or out on the road. Show yourself what you're made of. Make yourself proud by proving that you can do something you never thought possible of yourself. But at times, it's just fun to have...


There, I said it.

Again, has a wealth of definitions for that particular word - "play," but the words that strike me most are "fun," "jest," and "freedom." Now THOSE are words I can stand behind and smile about.

Work looks like this to me in my head:

But play looks like this:
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

And how's THIS for a definition of play:
"brisk, light, or changing movement or action"

Now I like that!

Workouts can certainly breed results, but they require work. Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes at a 19 min/mile pace will burn me about 161 calories*, according to Spark. But if I really work at it, I can see better results:

Treadmill at a 15 min/mi pace will burn me 317 calories.
Treadmill with a 10% incline, 19 min/mi pace will burn 367.
Treadmill with a 15% incline, 19 min/mi pace will burn 412.

I have to WORK at it to burn the calories I want to burn...and sometimes, it's all I can do to push myself through and not just throw in the towel and go home, feeling like I'm wasting my effort.

But if I think out of the box a bit, I find myself with better results...

30 minutes of Cardio Dancing (like Zumba) will burn 423 calories.
30 minutes of Kickboxing = 625.
30 minutes of beating the crap out of a punching bag = 368.
Even 30 minutes of Wii boxing will burn 364 calories.

And these are all more fun than that stupid dreadmill!

(BTW - that game sounds hilariously fun! *lol*)

But, let's take this a step further and get into real play. Let's see what Spark has to say about that...

30 minutes - Playing with Kids - 364 calories burned
30 minutes - Badmiton - 371
30 minutes - Canoeing - 589
30 minutes - Fishing in Stream - 328
30 minutes - Ultimate Frisbee - 459
30 minutes - Horseback Riding - 445
30 minutes - Ice Skating - 494
30 minutes - Kayaking - 589
30 minutes - Kickball - 459
30 minutes - Paddleboating - 253
30 minutes - Ping Pong - 224
30 minutes - Riding a Jet Ski - 212
30 minutes - Rock Climbing - 611
30 minutes - Rollerblading and Rollerskating - 494
30 minutes - Scuba Diving - 591

And my favorite -
30 minutes Skipping burns 803 calories! SKIPPING, people. Do you remember skipping when we were 5 just because we were bored at the hardware store with our parents? Do you remember skipping with your friends, singing a song? I can't even imagine skipping for 30 minutes straight, but just think on this --- 5 minutes of skipping burns 134 calories! That's almost as many calories I would burn walking on the dreadmill for 30 minutes at a 19 min/mi pace! And skipping doesn't require thought, or mental self-talk to "keep going" because this isn't wasted time. Skipping is just plain fun.

(Go read that blog and visit and read about the guy who SKIPPED a 5k in a sub-30 time!)

Now doesn't skipping sound more fun than "Insanity?" Sure does to me!

Or how about this one...jumping rope slow for just 15 minutes burns 352 calories!

Now, I'm not saying a good hard workout isn't good. It is. It's great, in fact! Lord knows I get my share of hardcore workouts throughout the week. But if you're dreading the going to gym and just don't feel like putting in the work, try thinking outside the box and do a PLAYout instead of a WORKout.

You'll be burning calories, doing great things for your heart, and encouraging your soul. It's like giving your inner child a chance to smile and remember those carefree days of summer when exercise wasn't even a word in your vocabulary. Run like a 6 year old. Skip down the street. Grab a couple friends and double dutch your way fit! Don't think of it as a "toil"...think of it as "fun."

Still not convinced? Here's a few more things to try 30 minutes of:

Basketball - 564 calories burned
Bowling - 212
Boxing - 634
Fencing - 382
Flag Football - 564
Golf (carrying clubs) - 247
Racquetball (casual) - 494
Soccer - 494
Softball - 352
Swimming (general) - 423
Tennis (general) - 569
Sand Volleyball - 564
Surfing - 423
Whitewater Rafting - 352

This is why my fitspo (fitness inspiration) for today includes:

(all from:

So get out there and play!

And, just once today, I dare you to skip...just to remind yourself what it feels like.

*Of course these are Spark calculations with my weight figured in, so your calorie burn results will vary.

EDIT: And PLEASE go watch this amazing, euphoric high of a vlog! It made me fall in love with just the thought of exercise once again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEAVENSSHADOW 3/14/2011 2:11PM

    You are da' SHIZNIT

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ANEPANALIPTI 3/13/2011 1:30AM

    WOW - GREAT BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I think what mine did for you, yours did for me and I find that so freaking awesome.

I WANT A JUMP ROPE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am putting it on my rewards list. THANK U Esther for this blog!!!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/11/2011 8:22PM

    I miss skipping!
What a fantastic blog and great way to think about things

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SASSAGAIN 3/11/2011 5:57PM

    Play is good. play while burning calories is bestest!!

great blog, E!

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CHICAT63 3/11/2011 4:55PM

    Great and awesome blog, thanks for the insights. Funny, you mention skipping I have started doing a Boxing workout which includes skipping rope with both feet, then skipping rope alternating each foot. It's hard but FUN !

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MAIA2011 3/11/2011 4:27PM

    Where's the link to your awesome blog, Missy!


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RORYTA 3/11/2011 3:33PM

    I love this. it's time to make fitness fun. we've spent hundreds of hours WORKING-Out. It's about time we play a little and enjoy this journey.

awesome blog hun

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TEACHDIANN78 3/11/2011 2:55PM

    What a great blog!!! I'm all about some playouts! I was just thinking about that when I took my daughter to the park. I was getting a heck of a workout going through tunnels, sliding, running after her. It was great!! Thanks for the awesome ideas!

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TKPHOTOGIRL 3/11/2011 1:44PM

  Ahhhhh, love it!

I took my jump rope away on vacation with me in December and was amazed at how exhausted I was after just a few minutes! I am a closet skipper too - between the bus stop and my house is a little one way street that just has garages in it - hardly anyone walks down it so i often skip down the road.

There's a free health calculator app, I think it's healthcalc? - you put in your weight and your goal weight and it tells you how many hours, days, weeks etc of the activity you need to do to lose all the weight - e.g to lose 16.5lbs just from exercise I'd have to do 74 hours of boxing or walk up stairs for 110 hours (*dies at the thought*) etc. (some of the things it lists as activities are pretty random - talking on the phone, playing cards, studying, packing a suitcase, putting away groceries)

Sorry, I'm rambling....back to the point - YES. All in favour of exercise being fun and playful!

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CHELLES_BELLS 3/11/2011 1:38PM


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CHELLES_BELLS 3/11/2011 1:38PM


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HEALTH-E-CLARE 3/11/2011 1:27PM

    Love the disclaimer at the end but you are totally right. I also thinking grabbing someone and going to the gym, for a walk or jog can make all the different. It makes the time fly right by.
Oh and I tried a handstand yesterday (did you read Yoovie's blog) and failed miserably. New goal for the end of summer?

What kind of playouts you got planned for this weekend?

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RUSSELLORAMA 3/11/2011 12:58PM

    This is hilarious because last week I was skipping through Wal-Mart and I swear somebody was going to call the mental health professionals with all the strange looks I was getting. But I just needed to get down the aisle and it took me there faster than walking, so I went with it. We should all remember to play more! I can't wait until the weather gets better, that's when my co-workers and I go outside during our breaks to play frisbee and blow soap bubbles.

Comment edited on: 3/11/2011 12:58:50 PM

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MENACE79 3/11/2011 12:16PM

    I LOVE THIS POST! I cannot wait to have spring and summer playouts!

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TIGERJANE 3/11/2011 11:27AM

    I love all these alternative suggestions! Too often I think ofa workout as strictly gym activity or running - but there really are so many more options for a calorie burn! With my injuries raising their head again, this is a great time to look to other alternatives. Thanks once again for a great blog!

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MAMADWARF 3/11/2011 10:52AM

    I love it. That may be why I have been able to stick to walking. It is a quiet down time for me, hubby and my dog.I love taking stitchy walking where she can chase bunnies and be so happy. Frank and I talk and go from work partners to spouses again. I look forward to it so I can stick with it. ANd kicking his butt on Kinect is sooo much fun and it is a hell of a workout! I also have zumba on Kinect although I havent gone to a class yet but when Kady heals up, I am going to her class with her and her friend. You are right. It should be FUN, then we will stick to it!

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SUGIRL06 3/11/2011 10:50AM

    Ah I love this blog!!! So true! I definitely "played" at the gym yesterday. In a different way - did play with weights and machines and just whatever struck my fancy. But workouts should not be torture! Sometimes they are and you push through them but the fun ones are what keeps us coming back for more!

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MAGPIE17 3/11/2011 10:33AM

    Great blog, Esther!!

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CALLIKIA 3/11/2011 10:21AM

    "All work and no play makes Jack [and Esther] a dull boy [except I'm a girl]."

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RIGBY31 3/11/2011 10:17AM

    Thank you for awakening the "skip" in all of us! I love your 30-min list... dang, that's all about getting out there, moving and getting fit with a smile on your face! Slight attitude adjustment and work becomes play!

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LOTUSFLOWER 3/11/2011 10:07AM

    I love this!!!!!!

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SARAWALKS 3/11/2011 9:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 3/11/2011 9:07AM

    Amen! I try to pick only the things I LOVE doing!

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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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SASSAGAIN 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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