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Step 2: Triage - Finding the Cause

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Thank you all for your comments on my Step 1 blog. Yes, my head has been a mess. And, yes, I've been thinking over what I can do to get past that. I haven't worked out in two days. I haven't been following any plan other than thinking on what I can do to change where I'm at and figuring out what my reasons are for continuing. Sometimes it's important to step back and remember life before and life now so you can see where your life is going.

Let's address the first issue - devaluing myself.
HEATHER_TEACHAH said it best. "Esther, do you think this is a projection because YOU undervalue YOU as a person? "If I can't run, I"m nothing. If I can't stand to be alone/juggle 1000 things/balance kids and health/etc then I'm nothing.." ???"

She's right. I fear that others undervalue me because I undervalue myself. But...why?
Would I think my sister, who has MS and is using running as a way to fight back, is nothing if she suddenly couldn't run anymore? No.
Do I think people in my life like Chad, who is in a wheelchair and can never run, and my uncle Doug, whose MS is so bad it makes it difficult sometimes for him to even walk, are nothing or less than something great because they can't run? No.
Do I search out people on SP who don't run for whatever reason, ability or choice, and think they are doing less than great because they don't run? No.

So why do I do that to myself?
Part of it is because I want to run so badly.
But is my running CAN'T something mental. Is it focused on my not wanting to run? No.
I cannot run right now, because of an injury I've sustained while trying to do so.

Yes, weight is likely a factor in that. My body is broken and hurt from years of inactivity.
But I have tried time and time again. And I deserve to give myself credit for that.

Doc says it's not my hip that's the problem, it's my pelvis. She believes I've overstretched the muscle there and it's not fitting together right because of the overstretching. So when I run, it does its best to compensate, but after a while it just can't make the connections go right anymore and I get that pain - my body's way of telling me that it isn't ready. She wants me to spend the next 6-8 weeks in PT with a group that handles Sports Medicine. She did not once attribute my failure to run to my weight, and made me seem like this could've happened if I weighed 150 pounds or 500. My body needs help, and I need to give it that. For the next couple weeks, I'm to focus on low-impact workouts. "If it hurts the pelvic muscles, don't do it," she said. It could mean saying goodbye to Zumba for awhile. And she certainly said no more "pounding the pavement." She did not say not to run, but I'm taking a couple weeks off to be safe, she only said use the treadmill. I need soft landings for myself right now. She encouraged use of the stationary bike and warned me to be careful of pain on the elliptical as well.

So, if the next two months, I do not run one tenth of a mile, does that make me less of a success story?

Truth? It does NOT have to. There are plenty of other things I can do.
Stationary bike
Maybe some rowing
ST like nuts
MAYBE Yoga (though I don't want to overstretch again)

(BTW - I got a compliment from my doctor on my flexibility as well. *lol*)

So why do I continue to believe I don't belong or I'm not doing enough if I can't run?
I said it so well to my husband the other day -- I don't strive to be good, okay, adequate, or any of that. I strive to be AMAZING and ASTOUNDING and MOVING. I want to lead the pack. I need to show people that I can break their expectations of what I should be able to do.

And I know it all stems from those same old unloved and abandoned issues from my childhood. I had to work 3x as hard as anyone else to get any sort of reaction out of my father. Mistakes were punished with spankings and beatings. Good enough or okay were met with no reaction at all. Great was grunted at. But astounding would get some sort of reaction that I was finally good enough in his eyes. I got all As. Hrmph. Okay. I got all As and was the top in my class and won an award. I got a good job. I was always looking for the "good job." It's stupid and sappy, but I wanted to feel like my father loved me...and what I mostly felt was that he tolerated me most days and hated me a good majority of the others. No child should have to try that hard for acceptance from a parent. And it took me 20 years to finally realize that I would never get what I needed from him and cut him off completely.

Most of the rest of my family thought highly of me. I was the smart girl who did well in school. I was good and didn't get into trouble. And then I got knocked up in my senior year of high school and was suddenly the outcast. I don't know if they put me there or I did, but I think we all played a role in it.

I settled with feeling unloved for a long time. It took me years to feel like I finally got my family back to a place of acceptance and love for me. (Odd because I know in my heart they always loved me, but I was still clinging to that notion that they were disappointed which somehow = unloved.)

And then I fought back.
I got married to my children's father.
I found a place to live far away where I could rebuild myself.
I wanted to come back and surprise them.
I worked full-time and went to school full-time and worked part-time as a journalist.
And I felt I had earned more love back.
But I knew I had to succeed in all areas to get it fully (or at least in my mind that was the requirement).
I got "good jobs" from my editors.
I managed to fill the role of President in two honor societies at school.
I made the Dean's List every semester.
And then I graduated in just 3 years, summa cum laude and #1 in my class in my department.
I got promotions at work and worked my way into a suitable career. (Though still not what I ever wanted to do...but I felt it was worthy because of the title it held.)
Only then did I feel the need to hold my head up again.

Is it no wonder I did that again with the weight loss.
A girl who loses 95 pounds = good.
A girl who is still over 300 pounds but works out all the time and is motivated to keep losing = great.

But a girl who was still over 300 pounds and could run a 5k, 10k, and half-marathon would = astounding and worthy of love.

Nobody ever told me that.
I made those rules.

Every time I felt that pull in my pelvis, it was like saying "they won't love you because you're proving to them that you're still too fat to do something."

And if it were anyone else I would tell them - that is ridiculous! You are STILL amazing because you're trying. Even if you never lose a pound. Even if you only work out 3 times a week. Even if you can't do more than 1 push-up. You are trying, and that is amazing.

But, for some reason, I couldn't do that for myself.
I always felt like it wasn't enough because I wasn't shocking people.
I couldn't amaze them with my determination and my ability to run, so it wasn't enough.
I wasn't enough.

And that's where I sat.

The past few days I've been struggling with what IS good enough.
Last night I created another account. A way to wipe the slate clean.
I wanted to try to be the kind of person who was okay with what I could do (or as I told myself "with the LITTLE I could do").
I wanted to be the kind of person who just does what she can and still loses weight and is successful without having to be AMAZING in those standards I set for myself in order to be amazing.

Changing children is somewhat easy.
Over time, the same treatment toward them can develop into their minds a standard for living that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Even after they deem you no longer worthy to set those standards, you've set them and that will follow them through life.
What I'm hoping is the rest of that statement is, "Unless they figure out what's going on and decide to change it themselves."
We like to say, "You can't change people." But I think you can.
What I'm hoping is that WE can change OURSELVES too.

I need to develop new patterns of dealing with myself. New standards for success. And I need to let go of my childish fear that good enough isn't good enough because it isn't the astounding I was taught to strive for.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 4/18/2011 8:01PM

    I'm feeling lost in your writing - like I fell into a poem like Alice and the looking glass - and understand so much of what you are saying!!! I see a lot of myself in here...

Keep going girl - because you ARE good enough no matter what you do! emoticon

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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/18/2011 8:01PM

    I'm feeling lost in your writing - like I fell into a poem like Alice and the looking glass - and understand so much of what you are saying!!! I see a lot of myself in here...

Keep going girl - because you ARE good enough no matter what you do! emoticon

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MAGPIE17 4/11/2011 3:53PM

    I think this makes a lot of sense. Now that you know where these feelings are coming from, I hope that it's easier for you to tell the little voice putting you down to STFU, but I know from experience that you'll still catch yourself saying the same things...the difference is, you'll be AWARE that you're telling yourself you're not good enough, so you have the chance to say, "STFU!". emoticon

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DJS-DEBBIE 4/10/2011 11:18AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 4/10/2011 1:24AM

    "I strive to be AMAZING and ASTOUNDING and MOVING."

umm, check. check. and check.

What do I need to do to get this through your head?

I'm glad you're finding the cause and trying to solve it. You're just. Amazing. I mean it.


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BAYBELIEVER 4/9/2011 8:29PM

    Esther, I can so relate to this, the part about running and the part about losing 95 pounds (93 in my case) = good but still weighing over 300 lbs. I have been struggling with these things too. I don't understand why running can't get easier as I keep trying. Now my knee hurts. Why can't my body realize that I have lost almost a whole person and help me realize the running!? But, like you, I am having to learn to realize that what I have done is amazing! What I still have to do will make it even more amazing but it doesn't change what I have been able to accomplish so far. You are amazing. Every single day that you get out of bed, watch what you eat (even when it might not be the best, because you are still watching and aware!), take care of your family and love them the way you do, be such a great role model to your boys, and keep on trying, every day! Yep, we both need to learn to love ourselves and not worry about other people. We have value. We do. We are just doing that mental part of figuring it out. Hang in there!

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KARVY09 4/9/2011 6:15PM

    Hugs, girl. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. You are strong and beautiful and you are doing it.

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STLRZGRRL 4/9/2011 6:05PM

    I love you hard, Woman... but more, I want YOU to love you, E...

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TEAM-SARAH 4/9/2011 1:36PM

    These are all very healthy realizations. It's common to hold yourself to a way higher standard than others. It's important that you know why you feel the way you do, that's the first step to overcoming these negative emotions. You definitely shouldn't measure your success by what you CANT do. Focus on what you CAN do and eventually, if you really want it, that WILL be running!

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COCOMAC7 4/9/2011 12:44PM

    Great blog - it seems you are really looking at yourself and all aspects. I think an important excercise is to look at yourself as if you weren't you. Look at yourself as if you were someone else. I think that is what you've begun to do. You are so right that we set these standards for ourselves but NEVER expect others to live up to them.

I remember feeling so overwhelmed last fall. School, work, family, health etc. I posted a blog that basically a minute by minute schedule of my typical day. The comments were astounding to me. People were so amazed at what I accomplished in a day. Why? because I have to. I spent a lot of time analyzing that and then I started to see myself thru others eyes and realizing that I was trying to be superwoman and do it all but I didn't have to. So what if the dishes don't get washed until tomorrow. So what if I don't run exactly X amount of Kilometers a week/month? None of these things define me.

I am learning to be me. To not set standards for myself that I wouldn't set for others. To pick and choose what is important to ME and not what others deem important to me.

I am struggling with a knee injury and can't run as much as I want to. I understand the frusteration you are feeling with that. Yes there are other things that I can do, but none of them make me feel like running does. I tried to let running go. It didn't work so I will do what I have to in order to get back to running.

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MEGSFITNESS 4/9/2011 12:13PM

    I'm posting a youtube vid on your Fb:

Dear Esther: As you listen to this song, think of it from yourself to yourself. And soon, I hope you feel good enough for you. *hugs*

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Comparison Photos

Saturday, April 09, 2011

June 2010

April 7, 2011

April 2009

April 7, 2011

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKA05 4/19/2011 5:52PM

    All I can say is... DAMN! You look hawt.

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STARPESCADO 4/18/2011 9:13PM

    Congrats on the awesome job - you look great!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/18/2011 7:35PM

    You look FABULOUS!!! Keep it up girlie!!!

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MANLEYSANDY 4/12/2011 12:40PM

    You look great! What an inspiration you are!

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TERRYT55 4/11/2011 11:24PM

    You look terrific......Keep it up!

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REMEMBER2BME 4/11/2011 7:45PM

    Amazing. Keep up the great work!

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RUNNER12COM 4/11/2011 7:41PM

    Love it! You are doing great.

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MAGPIE17 4/11/2011 3:42PM

    You're looking amazing, E!

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WHATSARAHEATS 4/10/2011 10:37AM

    You are looking fantastic! Keep it up!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 4/10/2011 1:18AM

    ummmm holy moly. You look more gorgeous than ever! you're glowing!!!!!! (and shrinking!)

you're such an inspiration!

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MIQUEY73 4/10/2011 12:28AM


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DASH2011 4/9/2011 9:06PM



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JESSIEJUICE 4/9/2011 7:33PM

    What an incredible transformation. CONGRATULATIONS!!

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MSNIKE 4/9/2011 6:32PM

    Ah-mazing! Lookin' good!

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KKINNEA 4/9/2011 6:21PM

    Looking good!

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    Umm, you sort of rock. And by 'sort of' I mean 'completely.'

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STLRZGRRL 4/9/2011 6:00PM

    You look long and hard at this entry before you decide the best use of your time is beating yourself up, Missy...

You HEAR!?!?!


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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/9/2011 2:43PM

    Your changes are amazing! You should be so proud of all the hard work you've been putting. It really shows.

Keep it up!

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CHICAT63 4/9/2011 2:15PM

    The difference is Amazing !!!!!!

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LISSOME 4/9/2011 2:00PM

    You look so good. I know the scale and the tape measure have been giving you a hard time on and off, but trust me, you're looking SO good.
Sometimes I feel like even measurements aren't super accurate. The go up but you look better. They stay the same, but your shape changes in other places. You're bloated, and the measurement is a crappy indicator of your true fitness. Blah, blah, etc. You know what I mean?
I loved looking at these this morning, Esther. Thanks for sharing them.

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RUSSELLORAMA 4/9/2011 11:40AM

    And you keep saying that nothing's changed! Puh-LEASE!


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SASSAGAIN 4/9/2011 11:34AM


completely different!

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TEAM-SARAH 4/9/2011 11:23AM

    All I can say is WOW!!!

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BETHIE_BOO 4/9/2011 11:16AM

    you look great, and honeychild, your hair is gorgeous! :)

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35ANGELS 4/9/2011 11:12AM look amazing. emoticon

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    The comparison pics are amazing!!! LOOK at them!!! See how far you've come! And that beautiful smile!!! a little shy,yet-
I still have tears from reading about the 'non' reaction of your father. I am so sorry that you had to endure that childhood. All of us, as girls, strive and thirst for love from their father. I know I did, I still feel like I'm letting him down if I don't do things the way he would. But, I know that he's proud of me,he loves my husband and all our kids.
I'm very proud of you and amazed that you moved far away and built your own life. But, you were still trying to please the family. You're amazing in your right! Why? Because you are a human being with a soul from God Who loves you more than any of us can imagine.
I love this blog! It is sad, yet hopeful,strong,powerful. YOU are hopeful and powerful and strong! I didn't realize,when I suggested Zumba,that you are striving for a Zumba instructor..LOL! and yes, that might not be the best thing for your stretched pelvis. Do what you can and let your body heal. and know that all of your sparkfriends are here for you and will hold ,lift,drag,support get you where you're going!!!! emoticon

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SARAHMAC1978 4/9/2011 10:00AM

    WOW! You look great!

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SANYA_SHNICK 4/9/2011 8:55AM


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MEGSFITNESS 4/9/2011 8:41AM

    LOVE This :) I hope you're seeing what we are :)

p.s. I adore your spark page revamp.

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MAMADELIGHT 4/9/2011 8:35AM

    Your eyes are smiling in your present photos. So nice.

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AXISLADY 4/9/2011 8:33AM

    I think the "before and after" photos are the biggest selling point for this wonderful site. You look maaahvelous!

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SARAHJ19 4/9/2011 8:30AM

    You look awesome!!! Keep it up girl, you rock!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITMARY 4/9/2011 3:19AM

    Looking good!!!

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REALTYGIRL18 4/9/2011 1:19AM

    Great Job!! Keep up the amazing work!!

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Step 1: Name the Symptoms

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Last night I sent a desperate plea out to my girls, letting them know they had my full permission to kick my butt into gear. Of course, they responded beautifully - reminding me that I am worthy, that the sucky parts are made up by the end result, and that "powerful" can be achieved in many ways so I shouldn't limit myself.

"I only run on days when I'm feeling powerful about it." ABETTERCHERYL told me. She challenged me to NOT do ANYTHING else and remind myself of the power of other forms of exercise. In my head I made a plan to do a cardio circuit at the gym. 10-15 minutes of each: bike, box, row - with ST moves thrown in along the way. It was a good plan...and then I stepped outside.

The temperature yesterday hovered around 60-80 all day. It was beautiful and sunny and PERFECT weather to be outside. Soon the idea popped into my head -- TENNIS! I would grab my racket and the Hubs and get some much needed tennis time in. That was the plan. And it seems that the mode of operation around here is that plans change - constantly! I went to the dentist first, cried in their chair when I realized what years of neglecting the dentist (I *hate* going to the dentist. HATE HATE HATE!) had led me to (I have to go to a surgeon and get many of my back teeth removed because there's no longer a way to save most of them without dropping a couple thousand bucks...the only thing I could think to say through my tears was, "Well, I guess that'll be a good diet plan. No more chewing for me..."). Let's face it. I was depressed. And hungry because my entire day was thrown off with the dentist visit.

I wanted to go to Bob Evans for a fresh salad and a slice of pumpkin or banana nut bread.
My family wanted buffet.
I caved.

I wanted to go to the park and play tennis.
Hubs wanted to walk instead.
I caved.

All I did all day was cave. I could feel the weakness seeping out of me. I tried to be light about it. I said that walking was good. I told myself not to turn on my C25k program - if I wanted to run, I would. I did a few running spurts and it felt like failure every time - but I kept trying. I would give anything to have week 1 back. I would give anything to feel alright again.

Finally, I broke. My right foot was rubbing and I was about a half a mile away from forming a blister. I bursted out with an emotional, "I suck! This sucks. I hate this. All I wanted to do was play tennis and now we're walking and I feel like a failure because I can't even do that right. Pathetic!" Hubs reigned me in pretty quickly and we walked back to the car to grab our rackets and play tennis.

Too bad my knee still hurt from the walk/run I had done. (I've noticed this week that my knee feels loose after a run...think this might be a big part of the hip problem.) My knee hurt, and instead of going back to the car and putting on my knee brace, I just tried to deal with it. 30 minutes later and I wasn't feeling any better about myself. I had somehow made it through a half@ssed version of an hour workout, but I didn't feel any better about myself.

As we drove home, I kept thinking of all the things I could eat my feelings away with. I forced my mouth shut as we drove past Dairy Queen. I walked in and quickly out of the gas station where I bought some water. I tried not to look around too much. Tried to ignore every inclination to let ED win again. And then I went home, sat down, and ate another piece of birthday cake.

And then I ate some of the leftover Chinese food.

I'm not winning here. Not even close.
I'm grasping so hard at finding my footing again, but I keep falling over and over again.
And my body is bruised and broken, and that's part of it.

So what am I going to do to get a handle on this? Whatever I have been doing hasn't been working. This is the biggest "failure" week I've had in about a year. I'm not bouncing back so quickly and I'm struggling to simply stay in the game.

So...what's the problem? Write it out, Esther.

1) I had ONE WEEK of blissful, pain-free running. And as much as I tried not to hope too much that my problems were solved, I fell victim to that hope again...and was disappointed in the second week. ONE WEEK. I feel pathetic and useless.

2) I haven't been eating on plan, and I'm back to eating at home, stuffing my face away from people and swallowing my guilt every time someone says, "Oh my! You look great! What are you doing?" What am I doing? Well, right now I'm in the process of self-destructing and losing all the positive progress I made this past year. What are YOU doing?

3) My clothes either don't fit right or don't fit how I want them to. It's frustrating as hell to realize half my clothes are too big and the other half is too small. I'm sick of fat rolls and pudge and belly aprons - especially when I spend 100x more time in the gym than many of my skinny peers. It's hard to work so hard and then go out with them and realize YOU look the least fit. I could probably box their socks off. I likely have more stamina than they can dream of right now. But when other people see us, they see the two skinny, seemingly FIT girls and ME. I feel undervalued as a person.

4) I'm back to the place where signing up for races feels stupid because I feel like I'll either run some of it and be in extreme pain after, or have to walk and struggle while the walkers around me look like they're out for a morning stroll.

5) I spend more time alone now than I ever have before. Hours at the gym - most of them alone. I pay for Hubs' membership every month, but I can only count on him being there once or twice a week - and he's usually hurrying me on to get home so he can play video games. Is it too much to ask to have time with him AND time at the gym? I don't get to see my kids but for about 30 minutes in the morning and an hour at night. And the weekends (even 3-day weekends) don't seem to making up for that because I'm always trying to get something done or going somewhere - many times without them. I haven't seen my mother for months (save for a few hours last month on my way to MN). My ONE friend who lives anywhere nearby is BUSY and many of the other friends I have dropped me for whatever reason. I have friends in cyber land who have defriended me and left me alone. Alone. Alone. Alone. I've NEVER been good at handling being alone.

These past few days I wake up with a "this is the day!" outlook, and by lunchtime I'm thinking, "FML!"

I'm tired.
I'm bored.
I'm frustrated.
I hurt ALL OVER.
I'm not seeing results.
And I feel like I'm drowning.

Trust me, I'm trying to pull myself out. Part of me feels like the biggest failure in the world for admitting to you, once again, that I haven't figured out the secret to getting myself over this hump. I HATE letting people down but, more than anything, I hate letting myself down. I don't like to be the person who whines "this sucks!" because I've always been taught to just suck it up. I was told I cried too much, felt too much, talked too much. I was supposed to be a different person - a person who could handle anything, a person who didn't complain or argue, a person who just simply did what they were told or what they should without people having to take time out of their busy lives, burdened by me, to TELL ME what was required and/or needed.

I tried being that person...and now I'm exhausted.

It's not all doom and gloom.
I started thinking yesterday that maybe C25k isn't for me. *shrug* Maybe I need to start out just running once or twice a week on my terms. (Of course, this makes me feel like a LOSER because everyone I know who has started C25k has either completed it or stopped from being lazy, not from being UNABLE to complete it.)

I cannot wait for summer. I want to effin' swim! (Of course, now I'm afraid my knee will pop out in the water and I'll have another dream crushed.)


Do you see them? Do you see the negative monsters eating my head?

I have no positive light right now that cannot be diminished by a negative shadow.
And I'm extremely sorry that this post isn't one of those great "Let's GO!" motivational blogs that I've been reading lately...but I NEED this to be about me. (And my girls have been teaching me that I have to ASK for what I NEED or I'll never get it.)

Tonight is dinner with probably the skinniest friend I've ever had. I met her almost 5 years ago and we were super close. Me, AM and Sarah - the Three Musketeers. Charlie's Angels. We have bonds, baby! Just try and break 'em! Sarah moved away last July and I miss her terribly. She's coming home for a visit this week and I'll be seeing her in mere hours...and all I can think of is -- "I should've lost MORE weight by now. She's not going to be all that impressed by this pittance." Sad, right? *sigh*

What I NEED to remember is that my friend loves me for who I am. She knew me when I was over 400 pounds and she called me beautiful even then. She fought for me. She's always supported me even to saying, "You are stronger and more motivated than I am." She has come to ME for fitness advice and has NEVER devalued me because of my weight. She even asked me to be in her wedding before she knew I lost ANY weight. She left in July and I was just under 400 then - and, still, she asked ME to be one of only 2 women to stand next to her in those pictures she will have and cherish forever. She doesn't CARE how big or small I am. She has always loved me for more. We have a kinship that goes beyond how crazy the three of us look standing next to each other - Sarah: the blond skinny bombshell, Anne Marie: the tiny but strong Lebanese church girl, and Esther: the rocker, rebel, overweight, strong-headed redhead.

Tomorrow I'm headed to the doctor to find out if she can sort out the hip/knee trouble and see if I can get a referral to a good ortho specialist who can give me the tools I need to one day run. And all I can think is ...what if they say YOU CANNOT RUN. I might just collapse on the floor in a heap crying. I might wait until I'm out at the car. I don't know what I'm going to do...but I'm TERRIFIED! Part of me wants Hubs there for support - the other part doesn't want him there when they tell him how pathetic I am. GRRR!

Let's just put it this way - this week has been a wash. I'm still up from the 323 I showed on Saturday, but down from the 327 I had Sunday after THE BIG BINGE. I'm trying to fight against my ED every single day. Most days, it wins. But it doesn't ALWAYS win. I'm still fighting. Every choice I make has been a fight, and I'm still fighting...and that's the ONLY plan I have for this week. DO NOT STOP FIGHTING. Yes, I may cave now and again. But with each decision I make I have another chance to FIGHT.

As for my blogs. I had been avoiding writing them because I didn't think you needed to hear this crap right now.

BUT... (thanks again, girls, for the lesson in asking for what you need)

I NEED your support right now more than ever.
I NEED to be reminded that while some friends have abandoned me, other have not.
I NEED your forgiveness.
I NEED your sympathy.
And I NEED you to remind me why we're doing this, why I'm here, and to kick my arse if it seems like it will help.

More than anything...

I NEED to blog it out of me.

This may be a triple-blogging day. And none of the blogs may make a bit of sense. But I have decided that hiding isn't doing me much good. I'm going to blog until it hurts, bleeds, and then scabs over so I can start to heal. This is me, showing you the hidden wounds, and attempting to expose the hurts for what they are. Now I just need to find the surgical tool that will cut the pain out of me and the salve that will help the healing process begin. It's going to be a bumpy ride. Follow along if you want, but I can understand if you have your own issues to deal with, or if reading my nonsense will pull you down further. I can understand if you don't want to read the doom-and-gloom right now. But if you can stick it out with me...just a little bit longer. I promise I'll be worth it.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/18/2011 7:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEAM-SARAH 4/8/2011 9:50PM

    You shouldn't feel like you have to apologize for writing a blog that isn't all sunshine, motivation and positivity. You're under no obligation to be strong for anyone but YOU. You do great work, you're strong and powerful... but you're also human. Just please please please cut yourself some slack. I know right now all you can think about is right now and this week... and it's good to be involved in the present. But you've worked so hard, done so much... and you will continue to do great things and motivate people. Just keep going forward, I know you can do this!

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JEWLSM 4/8/2011 2:33PM

    Let it all out!
We are all here to support you!
As long as you don't give up, that's all that matters.

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    HEY!!! This blog is full of FIGHT!!! you're not giving up...every day, you wake up ready to fight,to what's right for your health. So, you bonk in the middle of the day but don't give hour,one minute,one bite at a time if necessary.
I'd say that you should put running on the back burner right now-do not hurt yourself permanently in your quest for running. Walking is great exercise! cycling,swimming,Zumba-have you tried zumba???!!! Hang in there-I"m going to be checking in on you!!!Chin up!!

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MISSYRH3 4/7/2011 11:45PM

  the most important thing in your blog is that you are still fighting!!! That in itself is more than words. You have to give yourself credit. You have gotten all this way buy fighting and you will eventually get to your goal by fighting!! If the DR. says you can't run, well before you cry..ask him what you can do. Ask him for a program that will fit your needs. Then when you have all your information you can cry. I have an injury that I am letting get the best of me. Tho this week I decided, you know what it's not my foot that is making it so I can't move on it's me that is enabling this behavior. I stopped fighting. Now bright and early Sunday morning I AM BACK!
I hope that you get good news from the dr. I hope that you keep the fire in you to keep fighting.
I wish you luck!!

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SERENEART 4/7/2011 11:13PM

    Sweetie, forgive yourself....cut yourself some slack. Its okay. Remember this is the journey. It's progress not perfection. There are going to be down times. I try to look at it as that I am on a spiral staircase...yes, I may be down, but if I look down I'm farther up than where I was.

You are so worth it. If the doctor says you can't run, there are so many other activities. I know that for me I am near your weight...not for sure, because I only get on the scale at the nutritionist and for now I'm not allowed to look (a hold over from treatment of ED). I started last summer into fall pushing myself to start jogging more, but I ended hurting my foot, which sidelined me and then I totally regressed with the holidays and everything else.

For me, I do want to eventually start running, but I have decided to avoid injury, I need to wait until I have lost some more weight and build the strength back up in my legs, etc... to handle the stress on the joints. I do other low impact cardio.

Just keep moving and trying, what ever it is. You will get there.


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WHATSARAHEATS 4/7/2011 10:29PM

    I, personally, am in awe of you and all that you can do and have done. I look to you and your progress and blogs to keep me motivated. You are strong and powerful and you will get through this.

So you have a bout of crappiness- you have to decide whether you will give in and throw away everything that you have accomplished, or soldier on and celebrate what you have done.

I say move on when you are ready and continue to be a force!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 4/7/2011 9:30PM

    emoticon I'd hug you if you were closer. I'm sorry you are going through all of this now. Ebb, flow... but you keep fighting and you keep going. You are right... you are probably healthier than most of the people you associate with, but you've been unhealthy for so long that you still have more layers to get through before it's going to start to look similar. Comparison makes me miserable, and yet it's second nature to me. I have to actively work against it because it can, and will, sabotoge my effort. Progress made will seem like I'm slacking and not doing good enough as before. Continually raising the bar for myself is a blessing and a curse, much as I am sure you experience yourself. I don't know where I'm going with this other than, while I'm not in your shoes, I understand where you are coming from. You are worthy of love and belonging. Just reminding you.

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CREATEJOY74 4/7/2011 7:58PM

  keep going. the only thing that will feel worse than how you feel right now is quitting.

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MIQUEY73 4/7/2011 6:07PM

    There have been many great responses. I haven't been following your blog long but I can tell that you have come a long way. It is frustrating when things take longer than we'd like (I have to constantly remind myself to have patience) or when things don't go as we had planned. I've learned thru lots of trial and error that sometimes you have to develop a new plan...or 3 or 4!


I hope the Dr appt goes well.

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_TRIXIE_ 4/7/2011 5:06PM

    Hey beautiful,
I just wanted to let you know that I will be thinking of you tomorrow when you're at the Drs. I hope you get the referral and if your doc mentions that you shouldn't be running, don't hang your head.

Keep your head up, shoulders back, and look that doc in the eye when you tell them: "Please leave this room so I can change. I am going to walk out of this office just like I walked in--strong and determined. If you cannot help me, then you are working against my healthy lifestyle and it is time for me to find someone more compassionate."

Then you grab your things and head out to the car with a smile.

Don't let anyone tell you what you cannot do. It might not be easy and they might not recommend it and they might have fancy degrees and the white lab coat, but they don't have your heart.

I'll be thinking of you, doll!

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KIMMIE124 4/7/2011 4:12PM

    It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Just because the exercise has to be remodeled to suit you, it doesn't have to equal permission to binge. We all aren't instant marathoners overnight. Don't let your disappointment be an excuse to binge. It is OK to take your time to get things right. You are worth it. Only you can truly look out and take care of yourself. So many people want to see you be kind to yourself. There is great success in that, maybe not the instant drive thru kind, but still success! It doesn't have to be physically killing yourself or bust.

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CMILLER1227 4/7/2011 2:15PM

    Hugs!!! You have high standards for youself and that is fine but you need to also know it is okay. Each day is a new day and you have to counquer in day compartments hourly compartments if need be. You are the only one judging yourself based on your weight. yes we would all be healthier if we lost weight but what really defines who we are is not our looks or weight it is who we are on the inside. It sounds like you have a TON of people who love you for who you are. So time to start loving yourself and to treat yourself like you love yourself. And showing yourself love is making the healthier food choice and working out. And occasionaly that may mean a burger or fries or some chocolate. Love yourself!!! Be prideful of who you are!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRIZGIRL 4/7/2011 1:49PM

    oh, you are so amazing! You have made such huge progress already and are so incredibly fun and motivational! Have you thought about just doing week 1 of the C25K program over and over to give yourself a good base? Most likely you have lots of stabilizing muscles that aren't strong enough to run yet. It will be great to talk to a specialist about it, but I wouldn't come close to giving up hope. I know someone who took almost 6 months to finish the C25K instead of 8 weeks. She was amazing! I dont' think it matters how long you take, as long as you aren't pushing yourself too hard or to where you don't want to run anymore. I think the program even says somewhere that your body should be ready for the next week's run, and if it's not, repeat the last one until you are.

You can do it!!! Keep on fighting strong! soon you'll be steadily in those skinny clothes and then they'll be too big too! Keep up the awesome work!

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MEGSFITNESS 4/7/2011 1:35PM

    Since when have you let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do??

ESTHER! You are a funner. You know what, I meant RUNNER but I typed FUNNER and I'm going to leave it that way because it's true. You're fun and you run and you are SUCH an inspiration even on your down days. You're right--you DO spend a helluva lot more time in the gym than anyone I know and you've GOT results to show it.

Words that we say can only make you feel better for a moment. You are the only one who can pull yourself out of this slump.

Please remember that you've got friends here no matter what. Me, for example! I may not always comment on your blogs, but I *do* always read them and I -am- thinking of you. Sometimes I just don't know what to say or I'm reading on my phone and not able to comment (and then forget to come back).

You were my inspiration to go to the gym this morning. My hamstrings feel like I pulled the muscle (in both legs.. Jeff told me I was walking like an old woman last night) and my hip is pulling every time I land on my left foot. But you know what? I went to the gym. I tried to run. It hurt too much so I walked. I told myself "Esther does this ALL THE TIME. Just push through it, finish your workout and ice it later." So I did. I finished my workout, iced my hip, and felt better about myself than if I had just quit.

Try to stop this negative spiral in its tracks, hun. It'll only get worse if you dont. Look at pictures of puppies, kittens, flowers, sunshine, rainbows--whatever makes you happy! Change your attitude, change your life.


I'm glad you came to us, though. We're here for you. I only hope we can help.

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XTMONT 4/7/2011 1:28PM

    You got it out and that's the best thing you could have done! You are amazing, and strong, and too smart to let what "looks" good be real. We all know that looking good usually hides a big old mess...but feeling good, doing good, means more than anything in this world.

And yes, you can box their socks off! This morning I was at boot camp, and there were two fit looking skinny chicks there. Yes, they ran the laps faster than me. Yes they sprinted faster than me. But when it came to high knees holding their dumbbells over their heads? I had them beat by a mile...and they were holding 5 pounders and I have 8's. I can crank out my situps faster than them and with better form. Looks aren't everything.

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KKINNEA 4/7/2011 12:42PM

    We should have some virtual work-out dates! For instance, today at 5:30 CT, I plan to go running. Can you do a walk or ST at the same time? I can try to post my completion as soon as I'm done and you should too so we know we both made our efforts!

You can and are doing it - these are just bumps in the road. I've been trying to do least damage when I get in the same mood - if I want junk food, I try to eat half as much as I could eat or don't want to exercise, I do the best 5 minutes I can crank out.

We can do it!! Small steps will get us there!

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MAGPIE17 4/7/2011 12:18PM

    Hugs, girl. Lean on your friends, we're here for you!

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MICHELLESMILES_ 4/7/2011 11:53AM


Just want you to know that I think you're wonderful. I love this blog because it just shows as amazing as you are, you are still human. We all have mess ups and feel alone but just remember your sparkfriends will be here for you. I just want to say thank you for motivating me to change my life.


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ERIN1128 4/7/2011 11:51AM

    I agree with what one of the other posters said - as long as you're still fighting, it ain't over yet! You can do this, and you can lean on all of us along the way. Hang in there!

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TREP13 4/7/2011 11:41AM

    I just read this in an article posted on SP and it seemed appropriate:
Allow For Setbacks--Accept the fact right now that you will make mistakes, and that it can be a positive thing. We are usually harder on ourselves that we are on anyone else we know. Be your own #1 fan. That means being supportive (instead of critical) when you stumble, and enjoying your wins (rather than ignoring your accomplishments) when you succeed.

You're doing a lot of winning and you seem to focus on your minor setbacks. You've accomplished so much in the last year. Focus on that and realize that you're doing amazing things and you're inspiring lots of people (like me!). Your blogs are open and honest and helpful to you and everyone who reads them. Good luck friend!

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TREP13 4/7/2011 11:41AM

    Not sure why this posted twice?

Comment edited on: 4/7/2011 11:42:48 AM

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TREP13 4/7/2011 11:41AM

    Or actually why it posted three times? Why can't I delete my comments (I can only edit them)???

Comment edited on: 4/7/2011 12:49:04 PM

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SUGARSMOM2 4/7/2011 11:26AM

  you need a hug . and know that all the worlds woes are not your fault . when we disappoint yourself we feel we let everyone down . look you are doing a great job . take what you do that is good and look at it this way . you are special .. your way it the way for you. do not look down upon yourself . patting you on the back and sending you love .. FORGIVE YOURSELF . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEAVENSSHADOW 4/7/2011 11:02AM

I love reading your blogs. They are open and honest, and a lot of the time you shine light in the nooks and crannies that my hurt has been hiding in since middle school. We are not so different, and the fact that you are still fighting makes you awesome, powerful, strong and most of all, BEAUTIFUL.

I may not be your best friend, but I am a friend if you ever need another one. :) Keep your head up, sweetie. We can fight through our dark spots with the help of others!

"It's always darkest before the dawn", right? RIGHT.


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SARAWALKS 4/7/2011 10:30AM

    Blogging it out of you is a GREAT choice, sometimes you just have to do that, so don't feel bad.
We emoticon you for who you are which is way more basic than your being "Miss Strong-All-the-Time."
Be good to yourself today. emoticon emoticon

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SARAHJ19 4/7/2011 10:14AM

    Girl I am right here with you. I feel like I wrote this blog myself. It seems like everything is so doom and gloom for me too. I had a fantastic week last week and then something happened. I have been emotionally eating like crazy, not exercising, drinking diet soda(say what!? I don't even like soda!) just not doing what I should be.

Just know that you are NOT alone in this journey. When it gets tough know we are here for you. I blogged it out on Tuesday and got so much support, it was truly amazing.

Today is a new day! Let's make it a great one! I am here if you need anything emoticon

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VICKLET31 4/7/2011 10:07AM

    As long as you are still fighting then YOU ARE WINNING! It doesn't matter what else happens throughout the day. YOU ARE AWARE of what's going on and you are making conscious choices. It's not mindless. They may not be the choices you think you are "supposed" to make, but they are the choices that work for you in the moment. Eventually you will be able to see past the moment and the choices will become easier and "better". It's all a process. ED sucks! But being aware is a good step and fighting is the best one! Hang in there!! emoticon

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KARVY09 4/7/2011 10:03AM

Here for you if you want to vent.

Hope the doctor has answers for you, but I agree with Cheryl. I love running as much as the next runner, but there are a whole host of beautiful outdoor activities waiting for you.

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ERINBEAR1876 4/7/2011 9:57AM

    Thank you for blogging this, Esther.

We don't all have fabulous YIPPY! days, and I am proud of you for keeping it real and blogging about not only your good days, but your bad, horrible days. Because so many of us go through that same torment in our minds. I know I do.

Love yourself, Esther. You are amazing, wonderful, smart, funny, and your perseverance has rocked my socks off :o}

As for not want to read doom and gloom? That's what we are all here for, to read about our struggles and triumphs, not cherry picking only reading happy happy blogs and positive blogs. Because it is blogs like these that show what you are made of, what you are going through, and how you overcome them. Because you're right, we can't help if you don't ask.

Thank you for asking. emoticon

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CALLIKIA 4/7/2011 9:52AM

    "Esther, do you think this is a projection because YOU undervalue YOU as a person?"

See. This is why I need you guys. Because you see things I can't and ask the tough questions. And you're absolutely right and I'm sure I've been doing that pretty much all my life. At least this gives me a possible CAUSE to think on (because thinking "pathetic" and "suck" and "failure" was getting PRETTY old...)

Love you girl. And I will certainly be thinking of you when my BLONDE friend from SEATTLE comes to visit! ;) (For serious, you remind me SO much of her! It's why I fell for you almost instantly! ;) )

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    so many wonderful (but painful) things to focus on in this blog, but FIRST: "I feel undervalued as a person".... Esther, do you think this is a projection because YOU undervalue YOU as a person? "If I can't run, I"m nothing. If I can't stand to be alone/juggle 1000 things/balance kids and health/etc then I'm nothing.." ??? Because I think you know that I (and AB) value you more than you can ever know. You're not any less "worthy" or "deserving" of happiness or health or ANYthing because of your size. And I don't think the rest of the world believes so either. Yes, there are a few douchebags who judge us (and boy, trust me, I often feel devalued as a person because I *KNOW* I don't value myself enough. or at all) but believing in ourselves is the first part of the battle.

If you ever need a gym buddy, text me. I know I'm on the other coast, BUT, I can text you through the gym loneliness. Promise :)

I'm so glad you're blogging it out. We all have good days/weeks/months and bad days/weeks/months. The difference between "before" and now is that YOU RECOGNIZE IT!! Huge steps, right?

I hope you have a wonderful date with your friend IRL who loves you for who you are. Hope she can remind you why you ARE worthy of everything in this world, and more.


Comment edited on: 4/7/2011 9:47:59 AM

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The Other Side of Happy

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I spent yesterday trying not to think. I put my food in my tracker and tried to just be okay with being in range (which I was, but on the high end). I didn't think about going to the gym - I just went. I didn't think about my ST - I just did it...all the time anxious about my upcoming run.

While my head is not where it should be, not where it was for the longest time, I'm realizing something. I used to have these "down days" every week. No lie. If I go back and look at my blogs, I can see that once a week, I would get down and think about how "hard" everything was. It's been a slow process pulling myself out of this, but I can honestly say that I haven't had a bad down day since that fateful weekend last month where my emotions got the better of me. So, yes, it's been a month. What's more, I have no doubt that some of this unhappiness is being fueled by that dreaded TOM I was supposed to stop having, as well as hardships over my running troubles and the like. Call it progress, or what you will, but at least it's something good to hold onto right now.

Also - why is it that lately, whenever I'm feeling down, that's the moment people start noticing my weight loss? I was approached by a woman at the gym last night who admitted to me that her and her friend had been "stalking" me...watching me. Her friend, who was still upstairs on a machine, had told the girl that she needed to be more positive about running. She looked down and saw my BondiBand that says, "I Run" and told the girl she needed to be positive like that. So the girl came down and asked me where I got it, and admitted that what she had told her friend she really wanted was a Nike shirt that said, "Running Sucks!" *lol* We chatted, I told her about BondiBands (all the while scoffing...I had put this one on in the hopes of de-cursing it...I had bought it a couple weeks into my last attempt at C25k, as a gift to myself for my dedication to learning to run...and then I got injured and had to stop running altogether. I admitedly hated this BondiBand, but I was trying last night to reassign my attitude to something more positive...)

After I had given her all the information she needed to get her own (I told her that I thought they had one that said, "I Love Running. I Hate Running. I Love Running. I Hate Running."), she turned to me and said, "So how much weight HAVE you lost?" I told her around 96 (secretly telling myself that my stupid gains this weekend have me over that...) pounds since April. She motioned to her friend, who was STILL upstairs on the machine. Her friend yelled down how great that was and the girl next to me told me that the same friend up there had lost 90 pounds. She said they noticed me come in tonight and that maybe it was because they'd switched their hours and hadn't seen me in a couple weeks, but they had REALLY noticed when I came in last night.

Let me ask does someone who's feeling in the crapper about a recent weight gain deal with the right words at the wrong time?

I thanked her and shut my mouth. I realized they were encouraging me on my journey. I admitted that I was THIS close to that 100 pounds lost mark and I really wanted it and that was all I would say in any semi-negative regard. I was NOT going to diminish HER compliment with MY negative thoughts. That wasn't fair to her. She had taken the chance and the time (probably hoping I wouldn't be offended) to come up and ask me how I was doing, to tell me that they had noticed the loss, and to encourage me to continue. I wouldn't dare think of turning that around to something negative! (Look, Ma! I CAN Change!!)

The rest of the night didn't go as well. My ST was all a little off. I felt weak and flabby. My stomach was still upset, but I soldiered on through - working my way to what I really wanted -- my run. The gym was hot last night (it hit 85 degrees here yesterday and I don't think they were prepared for's back to 40 again this morning) and I was sweating like a pig and trying not to die of heat exhaustion -- all this meant that I was slow in my ST, and not really into it. I went through the motions, did the bare minimum, and then headed upstairs for my run.

That, too, did not go well. The length of the runs don't feel bad...I just felt off. I kept coughing due to the heat and humidity in the gym. It was hard to get a good breath. I was dodging other people (which I hate). And my feet and legs and such just didn't feel as good as they had last week. And then, in the fifth running segment, I felt that all too familiar tug in my hip. It wasn't a bad pull, just a reminder that this whole thing hasn't been solved (unless it means I'm so fat that I have to buy new inserts every 5 miles!). I'm glad I have my appointment on Friday with the doctor because something must be done. I can't let go of my dream of running a 5k someday. I simply don't know how to let that dream go. I am a runner at heart, even if my body doesn't quite understand how to deal with that.

I did notice that after my run my knee was sore and loose. That seems like a major indication to me that the hip/knee are connected in this problem. I'm thinking the solution might be a solid knee brace and some really GOOD ortho inserts for my shoes. I may also make another go at a running store fitting, now that I just discovered that one opened up here in Charleston on December 29th of last year. (How did I NOT hear about this?!) Maybe they have a suggestion for better inserts. Maybe the shoes are all wrong. Maybe they've run out of miles (but I seriously doubt that). I hate to put so much money into this, but the thrill of running outweighs my money concerns. I NEED that feeling back. (Yes, running has become my what?! ;) )

My hip hurt most of the night. Try as I might to stretch it out, the only way I was able to fall asleep was with an ice pack on my hip. My right foot still hurts as well, right around the outside arch area - the same area I actually broke back in HS when I was jumping up and down and my knee popped out, landing me on the wrong side of my foot.

I'm torn between the thought that I should stop running altogether before it gets worse and trying to work through it. Last night I had this thought....

I either need to get rid of the pain, or learn to get used to it.

I would LOVE to go with the first one here, but it may be a factor of the second. Right now, I'm on a sort of rest day. I'm going to try to get some Yoga in during lunch because I need my evening free. My youngest son is celebrating his birthday today, so I have promised him a special dinner. What did he pick? Tacos! (Thank goodness he doesn't mind reduced-fat sour cream, ground chicken instead of ground beef, and whole wheat tortillas! ;) ) So I have a dinner to make tonight extra special. And I really want to spend some time with him, so - no Zumba. (Probably good with the hip the way it is.) Plus, I just learned last night that my oldest son's basketball team is doing an awards ceremony at the bowling alley tonight. It starts at 5:30pm and I don't get off work until 6:00pm (putting me there about 7pm, when it's ending). I think this is one of those times that I have to take off the time and just get over spending my annual leave on it. So what if we don't get a family vacation this year? We'll have to make the most of every weekend instead.

So...I'm not doing so well with the "happy" feelings lately. I'll admit that freely. But instead of thinking over them and letting them ruin my life, I'm back to grit - back to just doing.

Today - Yoga and getting off early to spend time with the boy
Tomorrow - ST and an attempt at C25k W2D2 - if I can't complete it, I will walk at least 2 miles
Thursday - A walk or yoga at lunch again, as my friend comes in and we're going out for dinner
Friday - C25k attempt W2D3, ST
Saturday - OFF (maybe some ice skating)

The plan isn't changing...I am. I'm setting up the stairs so I can get over this wall without a serious injury and making the most of what I have available to me. Most of all....

Don't Think. Just Do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 4/6/2011 7:13AM

    It took a lot of courage for that girl to approach you at the gym - I am glad that you accepted the compliments graciously and next time she will probably be wearing a Bondi Band

When I have a hip problem that keeps me awake, I lie on the other side and put a couple of pillows under my knee and ankle to keep the hip in a comfortable position. Maybe this will help??


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HEATHER_TEACHAH 4/6/2011 12:42AM

    Esther-- you DO look great. I can see you shrinking and I promise that you'll get over this mental block. I bet a lot of it comes with the everpresent frustrations with your hip. You're a runner! (Hope the doc can clear that up this week.) Also, after awhile (trust me-- I'm in the same mental place with body frustration/dislike) it just feels like you (I) haven't made ENOUGH progress. Well... .what is "enough"? Who determines that? Not your inner demons, because they're out to set you (me) up for failure.

I think the "don't think, just do" mentality is best. I read a quote today that said running/exercise needs to be as non-negotiable as brushing your teeth, that it should require no more thought/negotiation than that. So... that's the approach I'm taking this week, too. So far, I'm chaneling you and it's WORKING. The post-wkout endorphins make me want to do more.

anyway. sorry for the rant. I"m just saying-- I get it, but we CAN get past this. Giving up is just. not. an. option.


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ERIN1128 4/5/2011 12:04PM

    I think it's wonderful when not only do people notice weight loss, but take the time to tell you they've noticed! That must have been a great boost. 90-something pounds is pretty amazing, woman! As for blogging, that's one of the reasons I like it - it can be useful to go back over old blogs and remind yourself of things you've learned along the way.

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KKINNEA 4/5/2011 11:03AM

    Definitely follow up on the inserts and the braces as well as trying to get rid of the pain - it really seems like you should be able to find a combo of these things that allows you to run.

Besides, we're all waiting to run a 5K with you!! :) You can do it!!

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MEGSFITNESS 4/5/2011 10:57AM

    I hope the doctor can help, hun :(

I think it's awesome that those girls at the gym took the time to recognize you. It seems to me that people (strangers in the office?) point out my weight loss on the days when I'm feeling the fattest. The best way I can describe the feeling is 'rueful.' Getting a compliment when I'm not feeling it is a kick in the pants but it's all MY fault, not theirs. So, I try to take their compliment at face value and think about it to get back on a positive spiral instead of going further down. Does that make sense?

I hope it helps.

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TWALKER0475 4/5/2011 10:56AM

    Don't give up on the running...if that is what calls to you then keep trying to find your way there. It helps SO much to have fitness goals that you are working towards!

Don't beat yourself up about the gain, about not quite making it to 100 lbs lost. We all hit road bumps, plateaus, whatever you want to call're gonna find your groove again and get back in your happy place!

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RUNNER12COM 4/5/2011 10:49AM

    So much in this blog, I feel like I went through the ups and downs with you. Bless your heart. So much success, so much still to come.

You're a role model and an example. Better get used to it. :)

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LULULUCY 4/5/2011 10:02AM

    I know feelings like this can get so frustrating, stifling .. but you are doing the hardest part already, just getting out there and DOING it. I'm glad those girls at the gym could point the changes out in you, cause I know you're having a hard time seeing them lately, but girl I am just so proud of you. The grit will lead to the happy, I guarantee it.


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KARVY09 4/5/2011 9:57AM

    Glad you're going to see the doctor and hopefully get an answer on this once and for all. Also glad you found a running store near you that might have the answer.

Hopefully yoga and stretching helps you feel better today! I definitely recommend using a hot/cold pack on sore spots after the runs.

You're so close to 100! You're going to get there, I know it. And Twoville after that!

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RORYTA 4/5/2011 9:50AM

    its funny how this happens, I think most of the amazing comments I got came to me at low points in my life. and I think am like you that way, I have down days at-least 4 times a month.

But we keep going, and you keep going, and I am an awe of everything you've achieved, ur amazing.

And Good Change is ALWAYS GOOD!

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Grit - noun - firmness of mind or spirit : unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger
(according to

This is all I'm hoping for right now. Just true, plain grit.

I was so super excited to write my blog on April 1st. I felt like I had grown so much as a person in the first three month of 2011 that I had plenty to celebrate. This was all going great until I took Spark measurements and realized...I actually gained about 1/2 an inch in my arms and lost no inches in my hips, waist, thigh, calf or neck. And with one fail swoop of disappointment, I fell apart.

Yep, I have times like that. Everything could be going right, and then one thing goes wrong and I fall apart all over myself. I cried for an hour or two. I ranted to my AB girls and they tried to pull me back up, but I couldn't help the defeated feeling from rising within me. I even considered giving up. And then I wiped the tears away, got dressed, and went grocery shopping and stopped at the new sports store in town. Walking out with a new Nike+ sensor, a new Nike sports bra, and some compression shorts, I went straight home ignoring the "defeatest" spirit in me.

I got home, put groceries away, and put on my running clothes. I stepped outside and started a journey along the side street by my house. I set the C25k W1D3 program and told myself to ignore everything else and just do. (I hadn't bought Nike gear for nothing...) After 4 pretty serious hills (especially "the big one" in the middle) and about 32 minutes, I completed week 1 slower than I would have in the gym, but in a better mood. I couldn't do the gym. My mind wouldn't allow me to go there. So instead, I forced it outside into the rather chilly and very windy air to take on some hills and prove to myself that I am better, faster, and stronger than I once was. (Mission accomplished.)

Later that night, I drove to Charleston and met up with my Zumba instructor and two other girls from my home gym and we began a Zumba Masters Night Class. They gave us light up necklaces, turned down the lights, and introduced us to Diane Felkenes who teaches Zumba from a chair due to serious knee and foot injuries that have caused her to have troubles walking. I ate up the atmosphere. I ate up the spirit in the Zumba-centered fitness facility. I seriously ate up the springy and almost slippery floor that allowed me to do all the jumping and foot twisting that I can't really do at my own gym due to knee problems. We started early, unable to stand still while waiting. And instead of ending the class an hour later, we ran over ....40 minutes over. Nearly 2 hours of Zumba later, and I went home in serious pain and soaked in sweat.

And then there was Saturday. The day before weigh-in. I always try to be super good before a weigh-in because my body can seriously fluctuate for so many different reasons...and somehow I've come to hang all my hopes on a one-day weigh in. It doesn't matter that I woke up that morning to 319 on the scale, be good or suffer. I wasn't good. The family and I headed to Parkersburg. We went to Old Navy first, where I found a super cute pink running shirt with holes in the sleeves for my thumbs and a reflective strip on the back. I felt pretty good. Hubs had been saying for days that I felt smaller when he put his arms around me, but that voice kept winning out, telling him, "It's an illusion, I'm actually FATTER than before." Part of me knew it wasn't true...but the other part was stronger. That morning I got up and took a bra band measurement, since I had noticed my bras fitting differently. I lost 2 inches in that regard, so now I knew where my 5.5 pounds had come from. But I was still lost and not feeling myself.

After our shopping trip, we headed over to the mall where we were met with one of the longest lines for the movies that we had seen. We had gone to see Source Code, and I knew from the number of kids in line that we weren't in much danger of it being sold out...these kids were here to see Hop. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and I knew I was in trouble when I started eating SUPER fast in order to get in line and get our tickets in time. Somehow, we still decided that we just HAD to have popcorn in the movie too, and my fast eating of lunch had not allowed me the time to recognize how full I I overate on popcorn too. Two hours later, I felt supremely sick to my stomach. And I still managed to finish out the night with TWO servings of Tator Tot Casserole, a slice of pizza and nearly an entire bag of Crazy Bread.

Sunday, all day, my stomach was a mess. But a poor weigh-in that morning (323) made my brain shut down and my inner ED take over. I didn't feel in control...and I didn't care anymore. Two slices of pizza, two pieces of crazy bread I hadn't eaten the day before, two bowls of Life Cinnamon cereal, a huge glass of soy chocolate milk, and for dinner? Chinese take out. Lots of it. I had lost my mind...and my stomach was paying for it. By ten o'clock I pulled my tired, worn out, "failure feeling" self down the hall and into bed. I wanted to give up on what I was now calling "the lost weekend." It won. My ED won. My failure-feeling self won. I hadn't been strong enough. And as I tossed and turned I asked myself why I had given up. My only reply? I hadn't given up...I had given in. And tomorrow I would go back to what I knew and stop making everything so complicated.

Last night, before I went to bed, Hubs hopped on the scale. His stupid skinny, I can eat anything butt weighed in at 183. Stupidly, I hopped on after him. I told him I was going to weigh 400 pounds again. It was almost that bad to my self-esteem. 330 pounds. In one night I had undone 2 months of work. I could hear Hubs calling after me, "But it's not POSSIBLE to gain 10 pounds in one day!" And I told him, simply, "With my body, it's completely possible. If I'm not perfect, I get results like that."

I've asked myself what's happened to me. I was on such a high before. I felt strong and empowered. I felt like I was becoming a new person. For crying out loud, I had lost almost 100 pounds in one year. But no matter what my accomplishments, I still have those voices inside that argue that it's taking too long and that I'll never get there.

I HATE my body right now.
Wait, stop. Don't try to tell me I'm crazy and I'm doing so great. Let me get this out.

You know those books where you have a body, torso and legs separated? You can turn the pages and match up different heads with different torsos with different legs and have a crazy looking person. Do you remember those?

I feel like one of those.
The head is looking quite good.
The torso - not bad at all. I'm finally starting to enjoy it.
The bottom half? HATE.

My head was one of the first things to start getting better. I mean, I've always been a "pretty face" fat girl, so that was to be expected, right?

The torso came next. Sure, my arms are flabby, but I also have muscle definition in them too. Sure, I still have back fat rolls and a huge stomach instead of flat abs, but I've been able to notice a difference. I went from a 4x top to now wearing a lot of XL tops, 18/20s in some things. Size 26/28 to an 18/20 in a year.

My bottom half? It hasn't seemed to have budged for forever. I can wear some 24s, yes, but I'm still mostly in 26s. I started at 32s, so, yes, this is a change in the right direction...but I still have people staring at my stomach. I still have that huge stomach apron that covers the top parts of my legs. That's all people notice when they see me. I yelled at Hubs the other day because I thought he was staring at it. I've become so self conscious about my bottom half that I like to pretend it doesn't exist. I dont' feel the least bit sexy past my waist, and it's killing my self-esteem. It's probably the biggest reason why I like to shop for tops and HATE HATE HATE shopping for pants.

I walk past a mirror and I have one of two reactions. If the mirror is only a half mirror and I see the top half, I think, "Dayum! I look GOOD!" If the mirror is full length, however, all that happens in my head is a deep sadness followed by a simple, "I suck."

I know I have to have patience. I know if I keep working that it will catch up. I know all of that. But I'm heartbroken over it. And that's why I need to focus solely on having GRIT.

The weekend is past. I made a lot of mistakes. It could have been worse. (Yes, I'm being completely honest...I sat for about 5 hours in the middle of the day not moving, telling myself if I got up I would find something to eat, reminding myself that my stomach was in so much pain that I could NOT eat anything else, period. It COULD have been worse.)

Today is Monday. The first full week in April. And I already have a plan, so I'm just going to go with it. I'm going back to eating my everyday work-week meals and throw in great healthy dinners, like grilled salmon tonight. And I'm still going to weigh-in every day, but I'm only giving myself a minute to dwell on the number before I move on, let it go, and get back to the process of living. I cannot let that scale or measuring tape rule my life. I have to live for me.

Workouts for this week:
Monday - C25k W2D1, ST (W2D1 of program)
Tuesday - Walk or yoga at lunch, need the night off (Ethan's Bday)
Wednesday - C25k W2D2, ST (W2D2)
Thursday - Walk or yoga at lunch, need the night off (Friend Visiting from West Coast)
Friday - C25k W2D3 (hopefully outside), ST (W2D3)
Saturday - Rest -- ETHAN'S SPECIAL DAY

Also need to do this week:
* Call CT to schedule April appointment for boxing.
* Dr. Apt. on Friday -- DO NOT FORGET!
* Call Ethan's friend's parents to confirm pick up place and time for Saturday

The hardship - Hating my body
The danger - Giving up
Having Grit is Absolutely Necessary Right Now.

I'm not thinking right now. I'm just doing. I'm putting up a brick wall in my mind against all the negative excuses, like the fact that my body ALWAYS hurts now...ALWAYS...and like being tired ALL THE TIME...and having ZERO time to clean at home, which is sorely needed. This morning I weighed in at 327 (just in case you figured all that weight would melt away in the won't. It will take me several days to get my body back down to 320...maybe even weeks).

Don't think, Esther.
Just do. Go. Be.

And for the record, I did NOT have a bad week last week. I finished week 1 of C25k with no serious pain while running (though I think I tweaked my right foot on a hill Friday). I got nearly all of my workouts in. And I burned about 5k calories or more, with about 2k of them on Friday. (Another reason for the gain, I might add.) I did not have a bad week. I have no clue why I fell apart, but I'm moving on. (Maybe TOM is coming on...I have been rather cranky and none of my usual motivational things are working right now.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 4/5/2011 5:57AM

    We must just keep on keeping on-- I was up near 13 pounds thi9a week and 20 in 2 weeks-- of course it is fluid retention but I feel awful-- I still get up, shower , dress and go about my day!

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 4/4/2011 11:30PM

    "The hardship - Hating my body
The danger - Giving up
Having Grit is Absolutely Necessary Right Now. "

this made me bawl. Thank you for writing this. We seem to be in the exact same headspace. Its' not fun... but you can pull through. I know you will :)


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MEGSFITNESS 4/4/2011 5:28PM



You make your own answers, Esther. All I can say is that I'm glad you're still here, still writing, still participating in life. This weekend, I bought 2 bags of dark chocolate (because I figure if I don't have the *good* stuff, I'll resort to the *bad* stuff). Well, I had had 2 squares already and was going for more when Jeff told me "Megan? Don't eat so much chocolate."


Oh, okay.

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ERIN1128 4/4/2011 3:18PM

    I love how you always work through the tough times and find your own answers. Because you said it yourself - "I cannot let that scale or measuring tape rule my life. I have to live for me." I know it's hard, but I know how strong you are and that you can pick yourself up and get going again. Big hugs to you!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/4/2011 2:19PM

    Grit is exactly the right word for what is needed at times like this. And sometimes not thinking, just do, go, be, is what it takes to pull through. My body is much the same way; one day of overeating or even just too much sodium, and BAM! Three, four, five pounds or more gain. It can take awhile for it to go away, no matter what I do right. Hang in there; you have grit, and you will make it.

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WALLAHALLA 4/4/2011 1:27PM

    Kudos to you for expressing your true feelings! Keeping them bottled up would just make matters worse. Never be afraid to be honest. Look at how many people are stepping up to support you. Would you have that if you had kept the info to yourself??? Keep on blogging.

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RUSSELLORAMA 4/4/2011 12:27PM

    I really feel for you here, because my body can be that way. One bingey day and it seems that 10 pounds can show up overnight. Yeah, I know it's sodium and bloat and water for the most part, but it can be disappointing. And I'm okay with being disappointed, of feeling like I let myself down, but I am never, NEVER, okay with hating myself or any part of it. Every bit of me is worthy of treasuring, is meant to be cherished, even if it's not in the condition that I desire (yet). I won't ever say a mean word against it, because I need it to be my ally in this fight. And you can't win friends with harsh words.


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MIQUEY73 4/4/2011 12:21PM

    It takes courage to share when you've had a bad weekend. I applaud you for that! It's not always easy to admit when you've slipped...but as long as you recognize it and get back to what's been working (and it HAS been working!) you're still making progress. You've has a lot of accomplishments and I know you will continue to be successful. {{HUGS}}

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KKINNEA 4/4/2011 11:35AM

    Keep looking back and seeing that progress. You already have the grit you just need to remind yourself to call on it. You can do it!!

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TWALKER0475 4/4/2011 11:05AM

    Two steps forward, one step back...I have been there! It sucks to lose ground, but if you look at the big picture you ARE still moving forward. And yeah, bad days are gonna happen, we all have them. You just have to keep trying and don't let the slip become the habit. As long as you do that, you are a success!

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SERENEART 4/4/2011 10:09AM

    Look at how much you have accomplished. I know what it is like to be in that mind set. I know it's easy to say but hard to do. Go easy on yourself. You can do this. My weight loss has always been from the top down. It can be really frustrating that it is not more spread out. The last place to go has been the my hips and tummy. I still have alot to lose.

Your not alone and you can do this. Tell ED to hush.

I would suggest, to stay off the scale for the week. Don't give ED or any of those other thoughts to beat yourself up over a number. It's just a number. It doesn't show what a wonderful, loving person you are. Maybe you can do something special for yourself that's not related to fitness or eating healthy.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I'm almost convinced that when a girl loses weight, it's from the top down. Like it melts. First you notice it in the face. Then the boobs shrink. Then a bit off the waist and then the arms are next. However at that point there seems to be a huge delay before it skips down to the calves and shrinks those down and then the feet. I lost a half a size off my feet and now half of my treasured stilettos don't fit and it pisses me off because shoes are supposed to be the one thing that fits no matter what your size, right? No. Finally the very last thing to go (or so I hope because it hasn't really happened for me yet) is the butt and hips and upper thighs. Mine are still all jiggly and I hate them. I love my upper half, hate from the waist to my lower thighs.


Esther, hang in there girlie. We are so proud of how far you've come and that you keep picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and getting back to work. That's just going to be the process from here on out and it sucks and it's not fair. It's not going to be easy so I'm not going to sugarcoat it and tell you that it will get better. Because the smaller you become, the more you have to do to lose just one freaking pound. However, the great thing is that by the time you are done, you are going to have such mental fortitude and toughness... GRIT... that the world is going to be your oyster Esther.

Smile hun, I'm right there with you cheering you on.

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KARVY09 4/4/2011 9:36AM

    You're so hard on yourself and grit is absolutely needed right now.

You've come SO FAR.

(Can you imagine running 100 lbs ago? Can you imagine doing Zumba or contemplating entering half marathons? Look at those photos again...)

Unfortunately with those of us who have a lot of weight to lose, there are going to be lulls. Our bodies are going to rebel. There are going to be horrible plateaus, sometimes months long. And it SUCKS. But if we eat well and work out, then seriously, we're doing the best thing we can for our bodies.

5000 calories burned? WOWWWW.

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