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12 Days of Reflection: Day 1

Thursday, April 14, 2011

As my 1 year anniversary with SP approaches, and as I struggle to not only maintain the 90+ pounds I've lost but to continue to lose more, I thought that perhaps it was time for some reflection.

The past few nights I've gone to bed thinking, "What am I doing? Why is everything suddenly so hard?!" The answer, of sorts, came to me the other night. "It was last time." What was that? Last time... In 2004 I weighed in at 466.6 when I had a consultation for a doctor while I was considering gastric bypass surgery. The number scared me, as did all the "but I gained it all back!" stories I had heard in my mother's GP support group meetings. GP wasn't a quick fix...it still required effort to maintain the weight loss. Rules had to be followed. Guidelines were set for success. And too many people I saw simply believed they could have the surgery, lose their excess weight and continue to eat as they wanted. I'd seen the trap, and I didn't want to fall into it. I vowed on the spot that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.

I started paying attention to what I ate. I thought of it as a preparation for my life after surgery. I didn't want to have that "shock and awe" moment when I realized that certain foods were off limits. I'd had far too many diets that began with a day of binging the night before. You know...last meal and all that. I simply started to pay attention to food labels. I stuck to high protein, low carb, and low fat and sugar foods because that's what my mother was doing following her surgery. She was a wealth of knowledge on what worked and what didn't, and even though I was going through the process of trying to get approved for surgery, I was also changing my life and the way I ate. Food was looked at as a process to gain the appropriate amount of energy and nutrients without calorie-loading my day.

After a while, I started working out. Walk Away the Pounds had worked for my mother, and it was a great way for me to continue to hide myself inside my house and not worry about facing the demons of the stares and looks I was sure I would get if I took a stroll around the block. I could sweat like a pig, be completely out of breath, and I wouldn't have to worry about someone looking at me funny as I gasped for air while walking behind them or past them. When I began, I couldn't even finish the 1-Mile walk.

For months I stuck to this program I had set for myself. I started to realize that my body didn't respond well to anything under 1600 calories. I started drinking water like it was my job. "Just two more sips." "Come on! Chug that glass and you've got one down for the day!" I cut out sodas and began relying on foods that fit into the meal plan *I* had arranged, conforming as best I could to the guidelines I had set for myself.

I had bumps along the way. I didn't have a scale at home that would measure my weight, so my sister, who was working at OSU Medical Center at the time, arranged for me to sneak into a doctor's office near OSU's campus, weigh on their massive digital scale, and sneak out again. Each week, I would take the 30 minute drive into town, sneak in the door, weigh myself quickly, and walk back out. At the car, I would write down the number in a tiny notebook I kept with me. Sometimes I had joyous days. Two-three pounds for the week! Other times, it was an ounce loss. .2 pounds. .4 pounds. Or, worse, a gain. Each time on the drive home I would analyze the week I had had. I tried to figure out what was working and what wasn't. Some times I cried the entire way home because I felt like I was doing everything right and wasn't seeing the results that were promised me by some unknown diet fairy somewhere. But after those 30 minutes were over, I vowed to start up again. "Next week will be better. Next week will make up for this week."

As the months passed, it got harder and hard to convince myself to continue. In the summer of 2005, my husband and I had decided to move the family down to WV where some housing had become available. And, all this time, I have thought and firmly believed that this was why those last 20 pounds to 100 pounds lost took so long. I was sure it was the uprooting of my life, the disappearance of my support system (my family), and the change in scenery, shopping stores, and routine that caused me to stall. I remember staying at 380 for the longest time. I had finally purchased a scale that would weigh up to 440 pounds, so I didn't have to sacrifice my goals once my weigh-in place was too far away for weekly visits.

380. 380. That number haunted me for so long. With a final push and some deep-hidden determination, I forced myself to lose the last 20 pounds. I stepped on the scale one day and saw 366 pounds and I smiled and told the world that I had done it. I had lost 100 pounds. And then my diet came to an abrupt halt. It was too hard and I was frustrated. I gave in and gave up. I still tried to watch what I ate, but as I distanced myself from my rules little by little, the rules fell apart completely. I never went back to regular soda, but diet soda crept back in on a regular basis. So did sweets and sugary foods. And buffets and Chinese food and pizza. I thought I was just "getting to know the area," but what I was doing was giving up.

I still have no idea what clicked for me last year on that weekend trip to Columbus. My best friend since 5th grade and I went on a little day trip on the last day of my visit. It started with a trip to our middle school, just down the street from her house. "Why are we here?" she asked. I shrugged. I didn't know. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. We joked and laughed and took pictures in front of the building, and suddenly this memory popped into my head. It wasn't of classes or teachers or anything of the sort. It was me, walking the middle school track out back, playing a mixed tape that my boyfriend (now husband...yes, we've been together FOREVER) had made me. I remembered feeling proud of myself. I was in 7th or 8th grade and I had taken it upon myself to try to exercise. It may have also hit me that 6th grade was the last time I had seen size 14 pants and any number on the scale under 200.

The rest of the day continued in fun fashion. We found a great sushi place and had some wonderful food. We drove up to a local winery and had our very first wine tasting. It was like I was starting to realize that we were all grown up. And, somehow, that image of me walking the track, proud of myself, sure that I was going to lose the weight and start high school as a "normal" girl kept coming back into my mind. I realized I had been fighting this battle my entire life. I tried not to think on it. It wasn't a sad day at all, but I suddenly remembered that I had once thought of myself as a success story. Years before I had struggled for months to reach 100 pounds lost. I currently had no clue what I weighed, but I knew I wanted that pride in myself back. I wanted to feel like that again and know that I was a success. I wanted people to see me as the girl who fought back and won.

When I returned home the next day, I popped on the internet and googled "free online calorie log" or something of that sort. I knew the rules. Sure, I had abandoned them long ago...but I knew them. Something on that 2 1/2 hour drive home had led me to believe that I was ready to take charge of my life again. I stepped on the scale. 416.2 pounds. I tried not to be discouraged by the weight I had gained back. I told myself, "You've maintained a 50 pound weight loss for 5 years. Most people would kill for that kind of success." I didn't set any initial goals. I didn't want to think that THIS TIME would be it...because I didn't want to disappoint myself. "Let's just see where this goes," I thought. Honestly, I figured I would follow a plan for a month and then fail miserably and give it up. My life was already crazy and chaotic, working 2 jobs and going to school full-time while trying to maintain a family and take care of pets. I never planned on succeeding. I only planned to try.

On day one I was discouraged. I saw too many people who only had 50 pounds to lose...and there I was, over 400 pounds and sure that I did not belong. I said this on day one:

"I'm in mostly planning stages right now (4 weeks of school left), but I tend to make changes when I'm paying more attention, because I DO know what's right and wrong, and consciously chosing to do wrong all the time can kill my feelings of self-worth. The plan for the day is finding a place where I feel like I fit. Where I don't feel like an outsider trying to make something work that doesn't. Where I can hold myself accountable by being myself, completely honest."

And by the end of the first full day:

"So today was the end of the first full day here. I had fully intended to simply check out the site and set some goals, not really get anything started...but when I saw how easily I could use the tools, I bought into the hype and starting logging everything. Of course, when I log, I find myself eating better, making better choices. I guess my head is just in the right place to start this journey."

By the end of the first month, I was already thinking about 5ks. On May 19th, I said:

"Right now I can comfortably walk 1.5 miles, so I'm going to try to work my way up to the 3.1 miles and find a comfortable pace."

By May 23rd my weight was 392.8 pounds. I had lost 20+ pounds in a month and was feeling comfortably under 400 pounds. That week alone I had lost 6 pounds...and do you know what I did in my blog? I talked about all the things I HADN'T done - all the WRONGS I made. Pattern, anyone?

So, yes, it was easy in the beginning.
And, yes, it got harder as I moved along.
And, yes, I knew that would happen.

But as I've struggled the past few weeks, I've sat here thinking, "What is WRONG with me?" - a typical Esther response to any situation. And then I got it. Somehow that 100 pound lost mark is VERY difficult. What is also difficult is the One-Year mark. There is this barrier in my head that fears those big milestones. It's a typical Capricorn trait - fear of failure, but also fear of success. Somewhere in my messed up brain I do the normal worrying of "what if I don't reach my goal?" But somewhere else is also the notion of, "What if I do? What then?"

Last night I decided that I'm not even going to make such a big deal out of it. There is no rule book that says that I HAVE to reach 100 pounds lost in 1 year. I wrote that rule in my head a long time ago, but nobody really cares if I reach it. I'm not going to suddenly lose all my SPeeps (thanks John for that! ;) ) if I "fail" to reach that goal. There won't be a flogging of "just think of what you COULD'VE done" from my lovlies if I reach 100 pounds lost in a year and a month or a year and 8 weeks. Nobody cares WHEN it will happen. No one is sitting around with a countdown clock tsking me because I haven't done this thing I thought I should. I need to let go of this invisible pressure that *I* have placed on myself. I have lost 90+ pounds, and that is an accomplishment. Would people gasp louder if I said 100 pounds lost in a year instead of 90? No. Honestly, they would not. They would say the same "good job!" They would smile the same either way. It's time to let go of the idea that I need MORE to be BETTER. I am great enough already.

So, there we go. Day one of my reflections. I almost didn't start this because I won't be done with day 12 by Monday. (See my crazy OCD tendancies? CRAZY!) But just like I decided that "100 pounds lost in 1 Year" didn't matter anymore, neither does the crazy "I have to do THIS by THIS date" nonsense rules. I'm in this for life. I'm ready to NOT make the same mistakes I made the last time. I don't want to step on a scale 5 years from now and see 380 or 400 again. I want to keep going and make this a lifelong journey for myself. I LIKE the way I feel now. I like eating great, delicious healthy foods. I LIKE feeling in control of what I eat and when.

I'm not giving it up. No way, no how. As I told my Hubs last night, "And you can't make me!"
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EDIT: For those just joining us, I never got the surgery - but the results were too obvious for me to ignore, so I kept doing what I was doing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 4/19/2011 7:33PM

    You are amazing and as I am reading I am simply falling in love with ya girl!!! You say what is in mah brain! LOL How is it that it has taken me this long to find your blogs??? I seriously feel like I have been missing out for way too long! At any rate - keep it up girl!

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JEREMY723 4/14/2011 2:46PM

    As always, thanks for sharing. I have to admit that I've been busy lately and at least skimmed parts of every blog you've written, but I for sure read every word of this one. Been following since August, keep up the good work and the wonderful writings!

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TIGERJANE 4/14/2011 11:55AM

    yeah!!! That's our E!!!!

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ERIN1128 4/14/2011 11:48AM

    Excellent blog! We're all so proud of you!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 4/14/2011 11:40AM

    I loved the blog! It is so true, success is shown by WHAT we do not WHEN we do it. You are a strong, beautiful woman and this blog shows it. Taking the opportunity to lay it all out there definitely show how strong you are, there is only up from here. Best of luck to you.

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MIQUEY73 4/14/2011 10:51AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I only recently started following you so I didn't have any of your history. You've done AMAZING and I'm so glad that you've made these realizations. I lost 60 pounds on one of those expensive diets back in 2005 and I've gained 50 of it back. So hear I am working toward a healthier lifestyle. It's not a diet this time. It's a way of life. emoticon

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CALLIKIA 4/14/2011 10:46AM

    The choice was actually made for me when my insurance company dropped coverage for the surgery as I was in the process of meeting all their testing guidelines for approval.

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SARAWALKS 4/14/2011 10:30AM

    What a wonderful story. I am so glad you made that choice NOT to have the surgery! You are the emoticon just because you're you! emoticon

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KKINNEA 4/14/2011 10:28AM

    Fellow Capricorn, just try to get rid of us - we're here for you no matter what! Looking forward to doing a race with you someday in the future when schedules and locations mesh!!

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SARAHJ19 4/14/2011 10:27AM

    Excellent blog! Congrats on losing 90 pounds! That is amazing!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Keep it up! You will reach your goal!


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LULULUCY 4/14/2011 10:20AM

    Girl, I can totally relate to all the OCD tendencies and the fear of success as much as the fear of failure. I think on my part anyway the fear of success is because if I reach that, and my life isn't better, then it's not my weight that's my problem, it's me.

I am so so proud of you sweets, you have always been so inspiring to me as I see you as the kind of person who doesn't just let life happen to them, you create your life and that is incredible. Can't wait for tomorrow's blog ;)

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 4/14/2011 9:55AM

    great blog!!! You are doing an awesome job and deserve to love yourself!!!!

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TERRYT55 4/14/2011 9:37AM

    Excellent blog! You are SO right........who cares how long it takes. Sticking with it, moving forward and never giving up! That is what counts!

Congrats on your loss. Congrats on sticking with it for a year! You can do it......you can get to your goal!

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Step 3: Start to Heal

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday fell apart after about an hour of watching everyone around me dish into cake and chips. I had restricted myself from cake, but the chips were no match for my hungry noming. My problem? I should have brought some healthy stuffs to the party. DUH! Fruit and veggies will always be gobbled up by party goers, even if it's not the first thing they think of. Have you ever noticed that? Set on the table a plate of cheese burgers and a veggie tray and folks will inevitably grab veggies for their plate. I'm not sure if it's guilt or what it is, but that's how it works. I, however, was so wrapped up in what was going wrong, that my proper planning self had taken a leave of absence and I had to simply rely upon what I'd grown up on. Cake, chips and ice cream = birthday party. That's what I learned, and that's where I fell back to.

So I nommed some chips at the party. And then I went home and had cake and ice cream for dinner. I don't remember much else from the night, but I do remember telling Hubs before bed, "I'm so frustrated with myself lately!" His response was simple - "Well, I guess we HAVE to hit the gym tomorrow."

We didn't.

Monday I got thrown another curveball. Training seminars all day. Trapped in a freezing room with about 20 other people nomming every horrible goodie they could put in front of us. Soda, coffee, danish, and CREAM PUFFS (wtf?) for breakfast. Lunch was sandwiches (finally, something that I could make work in my plan), pasta salad in a mayo-based sauce, brownies, cookies, and chips. C'est tout. Not a fruit or veggie in sight. I was completely disappointed. There wasn't even LETTUCE on the sandwiches, for crying out loud. I did well for a while. When I got hungry around 10am, I grabbed the Chobani I had brought with me. I stayed away from the soda and drank 1/2 a can of Kiwi Strawberry V8 drink and then water the rest of the day. But by the boring 3pm hour, I was back at that table for another sandwich and a brownie. I don't know if it was the girl's 30 minute talk on McDonald's Big Macs or the fact that she was throwing out candy (and my favorite peanut butter eggs) all over (I feared answering any question because she might put one in front of me!) but something made me snap and I just HAD to have a brownie. I hated it. I don't much care for brownies. Still, I ate the entire thing - trying to make it taste like the chocolate peanut butter egg I really wanted.

I got home early and instead of hitting the gym, I went straight home. It had been a long day, and I had managed to get through it relatively well. Trust me, it could have gone MUCH MUCH worse! I grabbed a sandwich from Subway (albeit a footlong, which I finished before I walked into the house) and sat on the couch with chips and dip and proceeded to not really taste any of it. (I hate when I do that!) Hubs mentioned how we HAD to go to the gym and I brushed him off and said we'd go tomorrow. My stomach felt horrible and I didn't want to sit on the stupid stationary bike for 30 minutes again. It made me feel like I was either really big, really lazy, or 80 years old. *sigh* (I know I have to break through that mental image...but I get REALLY bored with the stationary bike and barely manage to get my HR up unless I push SUPER hard.)

It's actually a good thing I had that extra time and had come home early, because I had a chance to correct myself later. Around 6 or 7, I turned to Hubs and asked him if he'd like to take the dog for a walk with me. We told the kids it was our time, and I found myself going "just a little bit farther" the whole time. As we got near the house it started to get dark. And throughout the whole walk, Hubs just let me talk, let me vent, let me say all the things I needed to say. He didn't contradict me or tell me I was wrong, he just listened (or, at least, pretended to! *lol*) the entire time. And I don't think I would've maintained self-control the rest of the night if it hadn't been for that walk. After the chips from before our walk, I didn't eat another thing and actually went to bed slightly hungry.

Yesterday was triage day. In my position as an investigator, whenever we get a new case or are about to close out a case we already have, we have to meet with a panel we call the "triage team" to discuss the case and make sure we're headed in the right direction. Problem is, because I'm new to this position, they often forget me or simply leave me to last. I'm sure they don't do it on purpose, but it means me sitting around waiting from 9am until whenever, not able to really go anywhere for fear of missing my time and having to wait until the next triage day (which could be later that week or the next week). Yesterday I hadn't packed a lunch and had planned a walk to the market to grab some soup and maybe a chicken salad sandwich. But by 12:30pm, I was still waiting, and completely hungry as I usually eat around 11:30am or noon. I finally couldn't take it anymore, and drove quickly to the market, picked out some stuffed red pepper soup and an egg salad sandwich on a croissant (I knew it wasn't the best decision, but the only other thing I could think of quickly was a trip through the drive-thru at Wendy's where I'd end up with a cheeseburger). I quickly drove back to the office and my lunch had to sit and wait because, sure enough, as soon as I left they called me in for triage and I had to hurry and get that done first. All of this meant that I scarfed down my food in that 'can barely taste it' way again because I was so hungry by 1pm I was like a dog that hadn't seen food in a week. Sad.

Yesterday everything came to a head. I broke down. I felt beaten. Between having your paycheck stolen from you and waiting on some investigator somewhere to prove that I couldn't be in two places at once. Between feeling violated and hurt and realizing that however hard you work, you only have 16 bucks in your account and you're back to relying upon your husband to keep fuel in your car. Between the stress of only getting to see Sarah for a few precious hours and her visit bringing up memories of the love I used to have surrounding me that no longer seems to be there (I'm left with AM, who I adore, but I need more!). Between realizing that her visit means that the wedding and trip to Utah are coming up soon, and I don't have a dress, I haven't hit the weight I wanted to be at, I don't have the money for the trip and all that stuff filling my head. Between realizing she's likely never coming back and realizing how much she means to me. Between the ED and not feeling worthy or pretty or anything really. I fell apart. I told as much to my husband in an email.

I asked for his forgiveness for not being the person I knew I could be. It was a long email full of self-pity and regret and sadness and I cried the entire time I wrote it, and after I sent it, and for a long time following. I felt lost. I wanted someone else to take over and lead my life because I felt like everything I was doing was wrong.

Maybe it's because he told me to STFU. (Exactly what he said.) Maybe because he wrote me a strikingly LONG email (which, for him, is like having him build the Taj Mahal for you) in which he explained that I was beautiful - that I was somehow blessed with a natural beauty that others could only dream of having. That losing weight only ENHANCED that beauty, but it could not make me beautiful because I already was. He built me up one word at a time...and not once did I detect in his email any frustration at my attitude (other than the last line that said something like: "Give up? HA! That's just not you.") or some flowery language in the hopes of making me happy. It was sincere from the depths of what he believed. He wasn't making things up or questioning how to respond, he just spoke, and I just listened...and I felt better. Not great, but better.

At the gym last night I cried again. Sadness as I sat on the stupid stationary bike and watched my classmates, my new friends who always said hello and smiled when I walked in do Zumba right in front of me. (I knew I should stay away from Zumba as soon as doc said, "If it hurts, don't do it." because Zumba hurts my pelvic muscles more than anything else I do - even more than running...because it's a hard constant pain throughout the entire hour session.) I started to cry and made myself stop. I had to just get through this 30 minutes and then I could just go home and cry there away from everyone. Hubs sat next to me, begrudging his bike in the same manner as I looked at him and said, "See! I told you so! These things SUCK!" He just smiled and kept peddling, telling me he'd only stop when I did. When the next Zumba song came on - the arm song, as I call it - I realized it had motions I COULD do. So I did them. Right there on the bike I did all the movements in the arm song. People looked at me funny, but I didn't care. My Zumba instructor saw me in the mirror and turned around and yelled across the gym asking me what was up. "I can't!" I yelled. "Doctor's orders." She smiled at me and turned back around and I felt a little better. That wasn't so bad. At least they knew the reason wasn't because I was a wimp or a cop-out or whatever. (That's what I fear most, it seems - other people's perception of me being wrong ...them thinking I can't when it's really that I shouldn't because it could hurt me. I don't ever want to come across as weak.)

With a numb butt and numb feet, Hubs and I made a couple laps around the track after our 30m "bike ride." I went into the boxing room and punched the bag a few times, messed around with the speedbag just being silly. I was finally smiling again. And Hubs just stood in the corner smiling at me.

Last night I ate a sensible dinner of the Tofu Kale Stir Fry that I learned how to make in Minnesota. I had one serving of ice cream later, forcing myself to put the container back before eating the second serving. I finished my water for the day and went to bed feeling a TINY bit more like myself.

This morning, I found this in my inbox from SP.
http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/moti
vation_articles.asp?id=113

(can't add it as a link right now)

What this article doesn't tell you is that sometimes the bounce back isn't much like bouncing. It's a slow crawl. It's you, on your hands and knees, fingernails dug into the ground, grasping at any root you can find, pulling yourself with all your might out of the hole you've found yourself in. Sometimes it's as easy as a quick BOUNCE and you're back. But sometimes, it takes nerves of iron and the determination to believe that if you just keep grasping at anything you can, you'll eventually dig your way out. And sometimes it takes letting go and letting just one person in your life see and hear every single fear that haunts your mind every day. Sometimes it takes just them listening or a simple "STFU, you're wrong and you know it."

I'm not healed yet, but I'm finding my footing again. Sunday was not great. Monday was a tiny bit better. And yesterday was ALMOST good. I have high hopes for today, but I know it's not a given. I'm still holding on, though...

Oh, and two final quick notes.

1) I put my scale away. It's in exile. And I won't see it again until I'm mentally ready for it. It's not helping, so it doesn't fit into the plan. Right now I plan on weighing in on Sunday, but if I don't feel strong enough to do that, it can wait until Monday (my 1-year Sparkversary). And whatever it says then will not matter. It's another beginning. Another before picture. I have 6 days to convince myself of that.

2) I have my first appointment with the physical therapist next Thursday. I think this also helped pull me up yesterday because I know that they can help me achieve my goals if I let them try. When I was 16, I hated the PT. It was just another adult looking at me and assuming I was hurt because I was fat and telling me what to do. I didn't care. I wanted to be a kid. I didn't have time for it. Now I want it more than anything - someone to tell me just what I need to do, to give me the magic formula to make me all better and able to withstand the pressure I put on myself physically. I want help. And I've finally given myself permission to ASK for help. That's HUGE for me. And I can't wait to ask for more on the 21st.

(Ironically, this Thursday is a meeting with the OTHER PT, who is seriously pissing me off because, while she could be a good resource, she treats me like a burden and it makes me want to scream. She could be giving me a great workout routine that's easy on the pelvic/hip region, but I really just want to punch her in the face and move on. It's so frustrating how she speaks to me and I wish I would've known this before all this started. Not that I have a choice...she's the only one at my gym...but at least I would've known better than to think this would be a great thing. *sigh*)

EDIT: And yesterday, yes, I ate myself a wonderful peanut butter egg and LOVED it. Sometimes indulging is necessary - just make sure it's the RIGHT thing...and savor it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 4/18/2011 8:12PM

    Sounds like hubby is just what you need right now! So glad that, even though he's a MAN, he is able to be there for you!

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TIGERJANE 4/14/2011 11:43AM

    "I didn't want to sit on the stupid stationary bike for 30 minutes again. It made me feel like I was either really big, really lazy, or 80 years old. *sigh* (I know I have to break through that mental image...but I get REALLY bored with the stationary bike and barely manage to get my HR up unless I push SUPER hard.) "

"At least they knew the reason wasn't because I was a wimp or a cop-out or whatever. (That's what I fear most, it seems - other people's perception of me being wrong ...them thinking I can't when it's really that I shouldn't because it could hurt me. I don't ever want to come across as weak.) "

I know I say this over and over again, but it's like you're the voice in my head, only way more eloquent than I could ever manage to be. This is exactly how I feel about my injuries and restricted activity!!!! The thing that bothers me the most is it make me feel like I'm a weak person, and gives others the perception I am too. And I can't stand that. I would rather be in excruciating pain than have others think I'm being dramatic, or lazy, or not really trying. And it's something I'm working on, cause so far it hasn't worked out too well for me, ha ha.

I really admire how no matter what happens, no matter how off plan you may get, it's always short-lived and you come right back to what you know you should be doing and what works for you. Always!! Reading your blogs about you not letting a little bump in the road deter you really inspires me to just dust myself off and go at it again. And again. And again :)



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TEAM-SARAH 4/13/2011 5:41PM

    It sounds like you and your husband are growing closer from all of t his. The windows for communication are wiiiide open and that's exactly what you need! You just need to be able to talk it out when you're having a bad day and have someone in your life there to listen and care. You deserve to feel beautiful and to be told that you are beautiful, because you ARE. I'm glad you're feeling better now. You got over that rough patch, and there will be more of em I'm sure and you'll get past those too!!

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KARVY09 4/13/2011 3:58PM

    I'm glad you're in a better place today, girl. It's time to forgive yourself for your supposed food transgressions and move on. It's OK that you had cake and chips. I know how strong you are and how you can overcome this blip!

Glad your husband is being so encouraging and strong for you. I know the ATM card thing will be figured out soon and will be in the past. And I hope the PT brings you some comfort!

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SEEHOLZ 4/13/2011 2:24PM

    I do the same with the scale- step on it only when I can "handle" it... it has made a huge positive difference for me.

As for feeling blue- it's part of life and the healing process and it sucks a lot when you are in that mind frame. I try to tell myself... tomorrow is going to be better... you know, because the thought of feeling like that another day is almost unbearable sometimes. It might be some form of depression- for me at least.

You know... you are beautiful and I challenge you to not allow youself to treat yourself like you aren't. I mean, yes, we all have "bad" days, but please work on just not allowing that voice that creeps in to linger in your head... trust me, I know how hard it is to work on my self-esteem. Oftentimes I either feel way arrogant if I allow myself to feel good about myself or just like a fake... like I'm lying and the shoe ( the truth) is going to drop any second. But, as counterintuitive as it is, it's such a big step to real healing and finding that healthy self-image. Eventually, it'll become part of me- and I won't feel like a fake-LOL- or so I keep hoping.

HUGS!!!

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MIQUEY73 4/13/2011 1:15PM

    Glad you have your hubby for support.

Keep moving forward even if you have a slip-up. We all have those times...just don't let it derail and define you. Habits are hard to break and re-educating ourselves is a long road. It's hard to do differently than what we grew up with.

emoticon

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ERIN1128 4/13/2011 1:03PM

    I'm so glad your hubby is so supportive - having that "safety net" can be so helpful. It is a tough journey, and so much of it is psychological. But as long as you keep on plugging, you are successful. Love ya!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 4/13/2011 11:32AM

    emoticon Hope the PT works out better than you think it will..that she will be kind and helpful and not condescending.
you're doing awesome,one step at a time!

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KKINNEA 4/13/2011 11:24AM

    Good to know you're on the track. Keep mentally kicking that other PT since they're not helping you any. You can do it!

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MAGPIE17 4/13/2011 11:12AM

    emoticon Esther. You've got a good hubby there!

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CINSROAD2HEALTH 4/13/2011 10:57AM

    Loved your blog! Your honesty is so powering. I hope the PT works for you and that happy days are ahead!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon,
Cindy

PS...it sounds like you have a wonderful hubby!

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SARAWALKS 4/13/2011 9:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You said it all! More emoticon

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Weigh-In: Reboot Edition

Sunday, April 10, 2011

emoticon
Weigh-In Day

Weight today: 325.6 pounds

And today we start again. Like we do every day. But I need today to be different. Yes, times have been hard...but I will be HARDER. I will fight and make this happen because I LIKE who I'm becoming, and I want to be the girl that goes out for a hike, who likes to have fun - ACTIVE fun. I want to reach my goals and I don't want to waste my time thinking about where I'm not for the sake of not achieving what I could achieve if I thought about what I could do TODAY to get there.

The plan is simple.
Workouts - 30m cardio - ANY cardio - M-Saturday
Sunday's off
30m ST 3x a week
Consume 1900-2200 calories a day
Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day

emoticon PLAN! for the week

emoticon Fitness Plan
Sunday - OFF
Monday - 30m Stationary Bike or Cardio Circuit, ST
Tuesday - Zumba, if possible, at least 30m
Wednesday - 30m Stationary Bike or Cardio Circuit, ST
Thursday - Zumba, if possible, at least 30m
Friday - 30m Stationary Bike or Cardio Circuit, ST
Saturday - Boxing Lesson #4

emoticon Food for the Week
Veggies:
Steamed Artichokes
Roasted Vegetables
Baked Potato

Lean Proteins:
Herb Salmon
Baked Chicken

Full Meal:
Kale Tofu Stir Fry with Brown Rice

Count EVERY calorie.
Log EVERYTHING.
Measure! Measure! Measure!

I'm pretending today is the day I start SP. I can say one thing about this past week or so. I ate off plan. I didn't follow it exactly. I overate some days. But I hovered around the same weight all the time. If I can maintain in the crappy way I'm doing now, then losing shouldn't be so hard.

Weight Goal for next week - 323 pounds
Hopefully by the end of April I'm back to 320 and ready to move down beyond that.
If I keep working hard, I can be in Deuceland by the wedding in July. I don't care if I'm 299, I just want to be in DEUCELAND by then.
That's 3 months and 26 pounds. 14 weeks. About 2 pounds a week.
It's a good goal, and I have to remember that every day I work toward it is a day of winning.

1900-2200 calories a day.
30m of cardio 6x a week (even if it's just a walk with the dog)
30m of ST 3x a week
8-10 glasses of water a day

It's not about how many pounds I've lost.
It's not about how many pounds I could've lost.
It's about today. Doing my best TODAY.
Working the program each and every day.
Doing the best that I can.
Maybe my body needed the time off my mind demanded.
But today is THE DAY to get going again.

Nine years ago today I was nearly bedridden and had bad PPD.
I didn't care about much of anything concerning what I wanted my life to be like.
My baby had been born and I just wanted to disappear into a wall with him.
It was a special, but a sad time.

Today my baby is 9 years old. (He turned 9 on Tuesday.)
He is strong. He cares about "fueling his body" with food.
He knows about treats in moderation.
He loves to workout with me. He's training to be a great athlete - a football player.
He loves doing 5ks and 10ks and he never considers that he has to run them. Walking them is enough for him because he knows that finishing is all that matters.
And I was the one who helped teach those values to him. *pride*

Let me get this out - today is going to be a challenge.
Party today for his birthday includes cake, ice cream, chips and cookies.
I MUST ignore them all.
I must focus on the weight bench in the corner and remember that eating cake today will not help me achieve my goals.
I don't NEED cake. I already had some this week.
I don't need chips. I already had some this week.
And I have ice cream here at home that will fit into my plan just fine. I can have a serving every single night if I want, if I fit it into my plan.
Yesterday he begged for bacon and sausage to go with some eggs and toast.
But he bought turkey bacon. Yes, HE picked that out. I can be smart and still enjoy this family meal.
Don't make it more difficult than it is, Esther.
It either fits in the plan or it doesn't.
This isn't a diet, it's life. Live it smartly!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAYBELIEVER 4/12/2011 2:39PM

    Love it!! It either fits the plan or it doesn't! That's right. Now if we can just remember that MOST of the time, that will be great!

Have a great week!

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MANLEYSANDY 4/11/2011 6:08PM

    Awesome plan! Love the profile pic...you look gorgeous!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 4/11/2011 8:07AM

    That is an Awesome plan. emoticon

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TIGERJANE 4/10/2011 11:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You always seem to a part in your blog that really speaks to me, that puts words so perfectly to what I'm experiencing or thinking. This time, the lines stood out to me where:
It's not about how many pounds I've lost.
It's not about how many pounds I could've lost.
It's about today. Doing my best TODAY.

Oh boy do I need to be mindful of this. Especially at *this* point, when the pain starts to get better, but I still have to remember to take it easy on myself and not mentally berate myself for it. I don't hand this title out lightly, but you truly are an inspiration, and you've been documenting your journey so meticulously for all of us, allowing us a peek into all the thought that goes on behind a transformation like yours. You may have taken a week "off:, but I don't have any doubts AT ALL about whether you will meet your goals. I KNOW you'll meet them, and even, given your character and determination, exceed them. With all the grace and poise you've demonstrated here on spark this whole time.
We're always rooting for you! You've got this!!!
emoticon

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TEAM-SARAH 4/10/2011 6:52PM

    Sounds like you've got it all under control!! :)

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JUSFOLK 4/10/2011 6:10PM

    I like to follow the mantra "today is the best day to make wise decsions". When we know we only have to do it one day at a time, it's easier!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/10/2011 5:17PM

    Good luck at the party today. I know you that you can do whatever you put your mind too.

Sounds like you have a great plan for your weeks. Another fish that I enjoy is tilapia becuase it picks up flavors (fresh herbs) really well.

Oven roasted potatoes, chopped, lightly sprayed with Pam and then seasoned with fresh herbs is another delicous way to eat potatoes, and that helped me cut down on condiment calories in baked potatoes.

I second SasX comments.

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MARTELLA3 4/10/2011 4:22PM

    I think many of us have experienced similar "time-outs" from our quest for health. As you have discovered, what is different this time is that we keep getting up and keep going.
I admire your tenacity. It will happen.

Marty

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HEATHER_TEACHAH 4/10/2011 3:08PM

    good luck at the party today!! I KNOW you can do it. You will be in "deuceland" soon!!!!

you are so amazing, E. I am glad that you're starting over from scratch in an effort to realize that for yourself, too!!!

Happy bday to your "baby" :) He is growing up learning some amazingly healthy habits from his mama.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 4/10/2011 1:23PM

    You are strong and you have a good plan! Keep going! PS...I love the new watercolor background

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SARAHJ19 4/10/2011 11:14AM

    I love your plan Esther! This week is going to be a successful one for both of us!

It's not about how many pounds I've lost.
It's not about how many pounds I could've lost.
It's about today. Doing my best TODAY.
*I LOVE THIS* emoticon

Have fun at the birthday party today, you will do just fine! I know it! emoticon



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_TRIXIE_ 4/10/2011 11:07AM

    This sounds like a great plan. We cal do all the "big picture" planning we want to do but it really comes down to living and choosing day by day, situation by situation.

I love that you're teaching these healthy beliefs and good values to your children. You have every reason to be proud!

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SASSAGAIN 4/10/2011 10:58AM

    E you totally can do it.

"It's not about how many pounds I've lost.
It's not about how many pounds I could've lost.
It's about today. Doing my best TODAY. "

really pulled a chord. all we can do is be today.

You are amazing, you know that, right?
Love you, sweetheart. You can do this today.

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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
Walking
Boxing
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?
DON'T MAKE ME COUNT TO TEN AND COME OVER THERE! I'LL HUG YOU TIL YOU BELIEVE ME!!!

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

xoxoxoxoxoxo

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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...
emoticon

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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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NOTABOUTHEFACE 4/18/2011 9:45PM

    Smooooooooookin'!!

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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

    emoticon

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DASH2011 4/9/2011 9:06PM

    LEGIT.

emoticon

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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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CREATINGAMANDA 4/9/2011 6:06PM

    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!?!?!

MWAH!
emoticon

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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!

emoticon

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SASSAGAIN 4/9/2011 11:34AM

    gorgeous!!!!!

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

    Wow...you look amazing. emoticon

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 4/9/2011 11:00AM

    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 you...to 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

    great!

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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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