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In Pieces...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last night I did something REALLY, REALLY stupid. I asked the Hubs to take me to the Chinese place for dinner. STUPID STUPID STUPID!! I figured I could handle it. See that, friends? I got too sure of myself. Plus, I've learned that you can't handle ANYTHING at a Chinese restaurant and/or buffet because EVERYTHING has SALT SALT and more SALT. UGH! On the one hand, I'm super proud that I did not overeat. On the other hand, I was ready, willing, and able to make Ranch Cheddar Turkey Burgers last night. WTF is my problem?


This morning I woke up so very tired. My back has been killing me the past couple days and yesterday it was almost unbearable. Last night I took the 3 boys (Hubs included) to Wal-Mart to pick up some odds and ends. I found a bottle of bath salts that are supposed to help aching muscles (and they STINK when you smell them in the bottle but smell great in the water, so I really don't understand that!), a avacado/oatmeal mask, and some more makeup remover wipes. When we got home, I announced that I was taking a bath and was NOT to be disturbed. Thankfully, everyone was happy to oblige. I sat in a warm/hot tub for an hour, trying to get my back to work itself out - my muscles were SO tight in the upper part of my back reaching up into my neck that it hurt to turn my head to check for traffic on the way home. I loaded up the tub with the bath salts, took off my makeup, put my hair back, put on my face mask, lit a bunch of candles (which my kids help me find around the house), and sat down with my book for my ME time. It felt great. To be honest, I nearly fell asleep while reading my book in the tub. I have NEVER felt that comfortable in a bath in our tub (it's not the greatest tub). I have also not ever had this much manueverability in our tub, so that felt good to recognize.


I just got back from my physical therapy appointment. The PT was quizzing me in a sort of sneaky way to ask if I had done my exercises this past week. He wouldn't come right out and ask if I had done them because he wanted me to report that I both remembered WHAT they were and how to do them, as well as that I had completed them. Honestly I told him that I had not been perfect doing them every day, but that I had done a lot of them. And, unsurprisingly to those of us who have learned that consistency, not perfection, is key, he said, "Great!" I admitted that the pain in my hip had decreased, while the pain in my back increased, just as he suspected it would. And then I fessed up to playing Just Dance 2 with the boys the other night and pulling my hip all wonky again...he smiled. I don't know why he smiled. But I explained that it had felt pretty bad yesterday morning but by the end of the day was feeling better, and today - practically nothing again. (It used to take WEEKS to really heal up like that). I told him, however, that I was having some SERIOUS tightness in my upper back around my shoulders and I didn't know how connected that was to my problem. "Could be," he said, and then told me not to completely extend my neck back in Cobra, but to just keep my head neutral.'d he know I was taking his simple exercise to the extreme?


After 15 minutes on a heating pad (I think they get a kick out of the fact that I read while I'm icing/heating), they started me on some regular exercises that I'm assuming will become part of my regular visits. First up? Five minutes on the a speed of 1.5.! I kept telling myself that this was NOT a workout and that I needed to follow their instructions exactly, but I seriously wondered if I could increase to at least 2.8 without them noticing. I resisted the urge and held out for my five minutes. After that, the girl showed me how to do wall squats. *snicker* "We're going to shoot for 30," she said. I laughed to myself and said aloud, "Okay, no problem." I did my squats and then it was the back extensions. They had been waiting to get me on a machine some guy was using, but he was taking forever and I was just standing around with my thumb up my butt like an idiot, so they finally let me do them on my own without any machine support. Then they had me lay on my stomach and rest on my elbows for three minutes before I had to do my cobra-type stretches for the PT again. We talked a bit and he seems to be more sure that it's something funkified in my back. He had me do sags in the last couple cobras where you sag your stomach down toward the floor, further extending the pressure on your lower back. Finally, I was feeling something! OW! *lol* He explained that we were going to do these in the last 3 cobras of each set this week and then see how that goes. He said that he may eventually have to actually press on my back to manipulate things back where they should be, but he wants to get into this gradually. After the talk, I did 15 more minutes on my back, this time on ice and with the electrode therapy on my hip/back area.


As I was doing my exercises, whipping from one thing to the next, I started looking around. Many of the patients there are older, some seem to have been in accidents of some sort, but all of them seemed to be straining much more than I was to complete many of the same movements. The girl next to me was trying to increase the amount of bend she could get in her knee, and as I heard her almost scream out through the tough exercises, and apologize when she had to take an unscheduled break, I realized that she never ONCE complained. She whined and moaned but she KEPT ON GOING. She was fighting through the pain for this one moment I got to witness at the end, where she bent her knee as much as she could and the girl next to her measured the angle. The patient had gone from 75 to 81, which I'm guessing is an improvement, because she said, "And that's just in two days!" with the same amount of joy you might hear from me if I lost 15 pounds in a week. It got me thinking and made me realizing that shutting up and working through right now is the best option I have. Be thankful for what I do have. Let those who know what they're doing instruct me on how to make the hurt parts well again. Keep pushing through on through the other side, where victory awaits. And count EVERY SINGLE PROGRESSION as a milestone. I know what the woman was going through. I could almost feel the memory of the same tightness she was likely experiencing in her knee in my own. After years of dealing with serious knee issues, weeks where my mobility was almost completely sacrificed in one leg following an incident where my knee popped out, I have gotten to a point where this feeling is a faint memory. How's that for perspective?


The more I think about the fact that May is coming up, the more I think about the way I've been treating food in my life, I'm thinking the following must occur.

emoticon I will work EVERY day to make it through the plans I've made.
emoticon I will adapt where necessary, but never without a good REASON.
emoticon A "reason" is not the same as an "excuse."
emoticon I will follow the meal plan set for me for one week as a challenge to myself.
emoticon I will not judge the effects of that successful week by the scale numbers alone.
emoticon I will take each day as a lesson and a blessing.
emoticon I will wake up each morning with the thought that today will be a good day.
emoticon I will retire each night with the hopes that tomorrow will be as great or better than the current day was.
emoticon I will remind myself of all the GOOD things when the bad things come out of hiding to haunt me.

emoticon I will drink 12 glasses of water per day, or more.
emoticon I will trust those certified to give me instruction to know better than me.
emoticon I will give the experts the benefit of the doubt.
emoticon I will use this time to find new ways to eat sweet potato. Maybe the only reason I don't like them is because I haven't had them the right way yet.

emoticon I WILL stick to the plan.
emoticon I WILL give myself credit.
emoticon I WILL do my PT exercises every day!
emoticon I WILL make it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KKINNEA 4/29/2011 11:47AM

    Your goals sound great - you can do it!

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_DASH_ 4/28/2011 10:45PM

    I always love to hear where you come to at the end of your blogs - they are like mini snapshots of you evolving throughout life. so beautiful to witness and awesome. and that bath idea?? i'm dropping everything i'm doing right now, riding out to price chopper to get some scrubbing bubbles and some bath salts, and i'm about to do the SAME thing.

thanks for reminding me to take the time i need for myself too.

and THANK YOU eternally for your generous and thoughtful donation to Bike and Build on my behalf. I am appreciative beyond any words, seriously. Thanks for being there for me in so many ways, all the time, Esther. I love you.

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BLACK-PRINCESS 4/28/2011 8:42PM

    hang in there.I like the note.

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SARAHMAC1978 4/28/2011 6:09PM

    I like your note about the girl next you that was so excited about her accomplishment, no matter how small. We should all take lessons from her!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/28/2011 4:46PM

    That is quite a list of action items which I know you will be able to do.

I love "I will take each day as a lesson and a blessing"

Congrats on the extra room in tbe bath tub too. I think you should treat yourself at least once a month to relaxing tub time! I'd say week but you're a mom and I know finding me time must be tough.

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CINSROAD2HEALTH 4/28/2011 3:48PM

    great attitude!!! you WILL do it! i think i'm going to borrow that motto "shut up & do it" attitude for May too!

good luck doll :)

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WILLIAMV3 4/28/2011 3:28PM

    Good job, great attitude!

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MAGPIE17 4/28/2011 3:18PM

    Great perspective change, Esther!

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TEAM-SARAH 4/28/2011 2:12PM

    It's so great that you have the opportunity to work with a therapist to heal! Listen to them and you will be fine. You're wise, you are measuring your successes relative to what your body can give you now, not comparing yourself to where you were or where you want to be. Very healthy attitude, you'll heal up just fine :)

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SARAHJ19 4/28/2011 1:49PM

    Don't worry about last nights dinner! It happens! For me I looooveee Chinese food! Give yourself props for not over eating!

We must have been on the same wave lenght today because I told myself a lot of the things you listed out!
I will take each day as a lesson and a blessing- That one is my favorite!

You are going in the right direction friend! Keep it up! I am so happy to read this blog! Thanks!! emoticon

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HEAVENSSHADOW 4/28/2011 1:41PM

    You are on the right track, dearie. Consistency and Positivity are key to success on long journeys!!

As for sweet potatoes? Try slicing them like french fries, tossing them lightly in EVOO, then cracking salt/pepper and crushing dried rosemary over them. Then bake in the oven around 400 until crispy, turning once!
I found that I feel like they're a "treat" that way more than a plain ol' potato.

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CANNIE50 4/28/2011 1:24PM

    "Shut up and work through" - this will be my motto for today - thank you, I needed that and I needed the perspective.

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DIVALADY 4/28/2011 12:57PM


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Chobani, I Miss You!!! *tear*

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So, yes...I forgot my yogurt today, which is making me extremely sad. I know that might sound silly to some people, but my Sparkies know what a good snack is like. We rely upon it. We trust in it. We don't have to think about how many calories are in it or if it fits into our day, because we just already know that it does. So now that it's 10am and time for a snack, I'm lamenting the loss of my Chobani. (Really, I just forgot it because I was running late this morning and forgot to grab one from the fridge.)

Truth is, besides a salad and some strawberries (which go ON the salad, mind you) in the fridge, I don't have my normal stand-bys today. Today will be a true test of will. I must figure out what I can/will eat for lunch and snacks. Problem 1 has already been solved by 15 almonds and a Clif Kid Twisted Fruit. YUM!

As for yesterday? Well, this old girl did alright, and I'm more than happy to report that.

emoticon I signed up for the Shape Up for Spring challenge and did my first 10 minute SP kickboxing video while in my office before the bell rang yesterday. (No, there is no bell here, but sometimes I feel like I'm being tortured with waiting for quitting time, much like I felt in school.)

emoticon Lunch with a friend? Heck yea! Met that challenge head on. Ordered their lunch special, which is supposed to = 1/2 pound of their famous "Power Pounder" sandwich. You pick the meat/cheese combo, they put it on a HUGE bun and add coleslaw and french fries. With the lunch special you get the 1/2 sandwich plus a side, which you can pick from a list of side salad, fruit cup, fries, or chips. I thought for a bit and then ordered a garden 1/2 burger, plain - no cheese, no slaw, no fries. Girl had the courage to ask me if I wanted those fries on the side. NO!! I don't want them anywhere near me or I WILL eat them, I explained to her (in less words and with more control...I'm good at hiding it sometimes). Of COURSE I ordered a side salad for the side, with fat-free Italian dressing.

The good: OMG this garden burger was so chock full of veggies you could SEE them. It wasn't vegetables trying to be hamburger, but rather looked like a hamburger with all kinds of veggies just packed into it. NOM! The 1/2 burger was small and on a LARGE 1/2 bun. I figured I'd remove at least the top of the bun. The "side" salad was HUGE for a "side" salad. Right on ya, PAG! That's the way it SHOULD be done. HUGE side of veggies with a small bit of protein. I think I fell in love with them right there and then. And as my friend looked longingly at my salad and kept saying, "I didn't know it would be that big! I should have gotten that!"

The bad: I KNOW that wasn't fat-free dressing because I KNOW what FF dressing looks like. *sigh* At least it was on the side and wasn't a huge portion. About 2 Tbsp., or one serving. They did put cheese on both the salad and the hamburger, but instead of picking all of it off, I made another call...a BETTER call.

The result: I ditched the bun altogether. It didn't look that great anyhow and was so oversized from the meat it just looked sad. I cut up the burger into bite sized pieces and after picking out pieces of crouton from my salad (useless, I tell you!), I piled on my burger pieces and put on some dressing.

BEST SALAD EVER. I'm half tempted to make this a once-a-week type thing it was so good. Maybe eventually I could get them to just ditch the bun for me and just give me a 1/2 garden burger on my salad with VERY LITTLE to NO cheese and FF dressing (I'll bring my own if I have to!).

Result? I win!

emoticon Speaking of food...then there was dinner. *sigh*

Okay, I'll admit it right here and now, while looking up where to eat lunch with my friend this Saturday on our girls' day out, I ran across a picture of a juicy steak from O'Charley's and my mouth started watering. Oh-Em-Gee! Steak! I wanted it....NOW!

For those that know me (well, probably not any of you really know this one about me), I don't really care for steak really. I rarely want steak (yeah, I laughed at the pun last night too). Still, all of a sudden I wanted steak. The rain had stopped and I did NOT want to watch the Zumba class go on AGAIN without me, so I put my tail between my legs, bypassed the gym and headed straight home. I walked in the door, told everyone to get ready and we were going OUT for dinner. (BTW - It wasn't me avoiding cooking - all my meat is actually still frozen as I forgot to set it out early enough. *sigh* Had to make a split decision to either go out or pop by the grocery store before heading home. I wanted to go out.)

We ended up at Ponderosa, where I ate a few buffet items, but basically ignored most of what I normally get so that I could focus on steak and my baked potato. NOM! Loved so much. And I have to say that it's probably the MOST successful buffet visit I ever had. I had no problem just saying, "Naw. I'm good, thanks." Usually I feel guilted to eat more by my Hubs, who seems to think "buffet" is code word for "eat as much as will physically fit in your stomach so you don't have to eat for three more days, thus saving us gobs of money in the process and making the cost of this meal unimportant to me." So, yeah, I had my steak. It was a 10 oz. Ribeye and I ate just less than half of it. I stuck to mostly sour cream on my baked potato (did you know it's much better calorie-wise than butter? If you have to have something, pick sour cream over butter). PLUS, with that steak in my belly, I didn't need to touch one single snack ALL NIGHT. WIN!

...okay, so maybe those few mini corn dogs weren't the most awesome choice...

emoticon So, now you're thinking - well she skipped the gym to go out! FAIL!

Yeah, I thought the same thing. And then at 9pm, I got BACK into my workout clothes from my jammies and put in Just Dance 2 in the Wii. For 35 minutes I rocked out with the kids watching me and giggling and cheering. As soon as I set it up Ethan announces, "I'll get her some water!" *lol* I didn't expect much from the game. I got it at Christmas but had never gotten to play it. The kids had played, as had my MIL, but this was my first time.

35 minutes later I was panting and happy and sweating and singing. Proud Mary? YES! The Charleston? Uhm, yes.

Of course, I paid for all this fun the rest of the night and will pay for it today as well. I immediately sat down and iced my hip after my workout, but I had already done a little more than it liked and it was sore. I popped an 800mg Ibuprofen, but that didn't much help either. Today I'm sore as all get out in that hip area, and I'm just certain I will be scolded by my physical therapist tomorrow when I report that I was feeling MUCH better and then ruined it all because my guilt and my need to rock out to Jackson 5 got the better of me.

So, today I will struggle through eating right since our house is basically depleated of the basics that get me through the day. I had to switch out my 1/2 a bagel this morning because Ethan ate the last bagel yesterday. Instead, I whipped up 1/2 c of oats with cinnamon, brown sugar, and a splash of Almond Joy coffee creamer. (Yep, I said ALMOND JOY COFFEE CREAMER. NOM!) It was quite good and I wasn't STARVING at 9:30am like I usually am.

I've got to make sure to make good choices the rest of the day as well.

On the docket for today?
* Video 2 for the challenge
* Lower Body Training tonight, and 20 min cardio
* Stop by store for stuff for dinner
* Ranch Cheddar Turkey Burgers and Steamed Broccoli is sounding mighty good as a dinner option...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNSWIMS 4/28/2011 12:40PM

    Almond Joy creamer sounds like a gift from the heavens.

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ERIN1128 4/28/2011 11:40AM

    I have to laugh, reading your blog...when I saw the title, I thought "oh no! Has she discovered something terrible that means I can't eat my beloved Chobani anymore?" Whew. LOL!

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TEAM-SARAH 4/28/2011 12:54AM

    Man... sometimes you totally just gotta have a steak haha. I rarely crave it too, I eat very little meat... but when I DO crave it it's like nothing will do until I get it in my belly!! So... I don't feel guilty when I do. Maybe it's my body saying I need more iron and protein!

Great job controlling yourself at a buffet. My family used to do buffets often, I have the father who thinks an all you can eat buffet is a personal challenge... so I know how that goes. He's also on the frugal side so he'd probably do the same to me that your husband does to you haha! Like... "is that all you're gonna eat? You have failed at buffet!"

I hope your hip feels better soon! Lesson learned to take it easy, eh?

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BRIGHTIDEA05 4/28/2011 12:39AM

    i too eat the same stuff all the time..and get cranky if i can't...its the only routine i can stick far

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CANNIE50 4/27/2011 9:46PM

    Thank you for sharing your life via blogging. Good job making lots of good decisions. Greek yogurt is one of my staples. I eat a couple spoonfuls before I work out in the morning and then put it in my protein smoothie after I get back. I agree with another poster - the fact that you felt well enough to dance,dance,dance is a good sign. You are getting stronger, inside and out, every day. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARRYB1 4/27/2011 5:23PM

    I'm the same with my chobani I have gotten away from the sweet fruit on the bottom ones finally and just buy the plain and add fruit or a little honey. It's my treat for the day and keeps me away from cookies . Just love that creamy texture! emoticonI also eat a big salad topped with my turkey burger, or chicken, almost every day for lunch, fills me up and as long as there are lots of crunchy veggies I'm a happy camper.

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 5:26:37 PM

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CINSROAD2HEALTH 4/27/2011 2:01PM

    Great blog! I so hate it when I forget my lunch or breakfast. Sounds like you have everything under control!

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TIGERJANE 4/27/2011 1:52PM

    Love your docket!!!

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BAREFOOT-LISA 4/27/2011 1:30PM

    oh my god.. I just had that creamer for the first time today. Crazy. And it was FANTASTIC! Changed my life.

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MAGPIE17 4/27/2011 12:41PM

    The fact that you WERE feeling better pre-dance party is a good sign, even if you're in pain now, so I'm sure that while you're facing a bit of a scolding, overall your PT will be happy!

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GRACEFULIFE 4/27/2011 12:18PM

    I had to almost entirely cut dairy, and Chobani is one of the things I miss quite a bit.

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KKINNEA 4/27/2011 12:14PM

    Rock on! I felt totally uncoordinated with the challenge video but if you do Zumba, I'm guessing you had no issues. Keep on going!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/27/2011 11:44AM

    I getcha. Holy carp, I FREAK OUT when I start getting low on Greek yogurt. I have to have several of those plain nonfat quart tubs of it in my fridge or I get antsy.

I eat a LOT of Greek yogurt.

Especially with a scoop of vanilla whey mixed in. Recently I've been adding maple flavoring. mmmmmmm

As far as coming up with salads off the menu, I do it a lot. I frequently ask them to cut up my grilled meat and serve it on a bed of greens instead of the standard starch and fat-covered vegetables. No matter where I go I can usually get some version of this.

I also carry tuna envelopes with me, in case they don't have a satisfactory meat or I want to add my own.

And yeah, those low-cal salad spritzers work well on undressed restaurant salads.

It's amazing what you can find out there to eat, once you start looking at a menu as a list of optional ingredients rather than entrees... LOL

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 11:48:32 AM

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SARAHJ19 4/27/2011 11:21AM

    Ahh man! Sorry you forgot your yogurt! Just stick with the snacks you have planned! Make your yogurt your dessert when you get home tonight!

Your breakfast sounded delicious! I am definitely going to get that coffee creamer! I love love Almond Joy's!

emoticon job at the buffet & lunch!! What will power you have! Sounds like you had a pretty awesome day! Except for your hip hurting.

Have a great rest of the day!

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KBENTLEY2646 4/27/2011 10:50AM

    Wow! You gave me inspiration today. I was just panicking because I realized i forgot my lunch (I too was running late). Thanks for sharing!

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Putting Together a Plan

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

As you can tell, I'm not lying when I say that sometimes I just need to hide. Like a turtle, I retreat into my shell when I feel threatened. Of course, this time the threatening was being done by me, but the outside world was only adding to both the temptation and frustration. I needed time to make repairs...and I'm not saying I'm done I have been lurking and not really allowing myself to say anything.

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Truth is, when I get like this, I get defensive. Instead of telling myself to snap out of it, I find external motivation that will allow me to continue on my self-destructive path. I find justification and reinforcement by making everyone else the enemy. Hubs has played this role lately, and I must remember to apologize to him again once I get my head on straight (thankfully, this time I recognize when I do it and I actually do apologize either in the moment or after saying something like, "I know this sounds stupid right now, but I can't help feeling this way..." and later, "I'm just sorry I took it out on you. I'm just really frustrated right now.")

My self-hatred in these times turns to hatred of everyone else around me. It's a brutal thing, and something I've been trying so hard to conceal for years. This time, I tried turning things around on myself. It's not that I was beating myself up, but I was calling myself out on things that didn't make sense.

Esther reads a race recap where a person is a little disappointed over their 10:39 pace time.
Esther gets furious and wants to sprout out some comment about how they should shut their pie hole and just be happy they can run. She wants to tell them to stop complaining about how they don't WANT to do their training runs because she can't do any training runs. Hell, she can't even ZUMBA anymore. She wants to tell said person that they are ungrateful and unappreciative and they need to shut their traps and stop effin' whining. She also wants to tell them that they are effin' skinny already so they should stop rubbing it in my face that they lost 2 pounds when I can't even lose a half a pound. She wants to tell them to bugger off and leave the fatties to their diets, which will inevitably fail anyway.
Instead of spewing hate that has nothing to do with said person, Esther closes the window and tells herself to stop being so mean to everyone. She tells herself that it is PAIN and HURT she's feeling, and she's only turning it to ANGER in order to deal with it.

And, that, my dears, is why I hide. Because I don't want to say something I really DO NOT mean. I don't want to take down someone else just because I need to build myself up. (And, btw, stop wondering if the person in that example is you because it's not. It was completely random example...I would never reveal a real situation in order to make myself feel better - that's exactly what I'm avoiding right now!)

Unfortunately, some people don't understand this about me and start to feel hurt and abandoned by me. Totally understandable. And I'm deeply sorry for this, but it's the only way I've found to deal. I swear that I love you all still the same - but sometimes I have to back away to save both myself AND our friendship.

That being said, I'm feeling a lot better each and every day. After reading SUGIRL's blogs yesterday about her new plan of attack, I thought to myself, "That's exactly what I need! A NEW plan!" Silly how I didn't think of it before. Or maybe it just didn't stick because I wasn't ready. I've been making plans for weeks and not following through on them or getting frustrated after only a couple days. I know I'm still not going to be perfect, but I decided last night that I was going to struggle through and do the absolute BEST I could muster.

So I spent the day on watching the beautifully built Jamie Eason talk about things I really already knew. Somehow, they sounded different, reinforced or something, and I devoted myself to a basic plan of attack with some changes along the way...working back toward what I wanted to do all along. ALWAYS have a plan, my friends. And if it fails, make another - again and again until it sticks.

With the program that Jamie Eason suggested for me on (yes, I do pretend that Jamie Eason and I had a conversation yesterday, rather than me watching mass produced and marketed videos of her...let me have my fantasy! ;) ), and the talk I had with the exercise physiologist at my gym last Friday, I'm coming up with a new plan of action...and a couple back up plans as well.

Oh, let me back track and mention what I talked to the physiologist about on Friday. Truth is, I made the girl cry...and I almost cried to. She basically started the conversation with, "So, what's up?" and I laid into her like she was my own private shrink. I kept wondering what I needed to pay her for the hour and if she had a cot hidden away somewhere that would make this heart pouring session a little easier to take. I told her that I was hurt and lost. I explained my injuries and that both the doctor and the physical therapist had suggested that I basically do nothing for the next however many weeks and still somehow manage to lose weight. I suggested that I not eat for the next couple months, but that didn't seem like the most logical answer to the problem. I told her that while I'm usually the kind of person that does not like things like meal plans and exercise routines "assigned" to me, that was exactly what I needed right now. "I need someone to just say - 'Stop your whining. Do this, this and this and we'll meet again in a few weeks to see how that's going.' I need a kick in the pants."

I explained to the physiologist that because I was being stripped of everything I knew worked, and because I felt like I was all alone, especially since the closure of the daycare means that Hubs can no longer be my workout partner, that I was angry and confused. I told her that being at the gym, working the stationary bike like it's my biatch is more difficult than I ever imagined. Not only do I effin' hate that machine for how dull it is, my legs and feet go numb if I do more than 20 minute, my heart rate never hits the higher points it was reaching when I was running and doing Zumba, and I kept looking around at everyone around me doing all the things I wanted to be doing instead and I just wanted to quit.

I told her that quitting was not acceptable. That this was my cry for help. "I don't want to keep losing 100 pounds, gain 50 back and then wait another 5 years before I try again." I explained that I knew that feeling was coming back - all those feelings of defeat and loss that I had before I started. Those well known phrases had returned of "Maybe I'm just always destined to be fat" (which, I have determined may actually be a possibility according to society's understanding of the word "fat" considering that my last measurement of Fat-Free Mass was 170+ pounds on a 5'8 frame). I looked straight at her and said, "I'm not done. I can't be done. I can't be done at 330 pounds and still about 50% body fat. It's not acceptable. I'm not accepting it. Now I need you to help me - to push me back up on the horse before I fall off and vow never to ride again."

It wasn't until we talked about how difficult it was for me to ask for help that I made her cry. She explained that everyone, no matter their size or sex, have huge difficulty speaking up and asking for help - I'm assuming she really meant herself. She stopped for a moment and composed herself before telling me how brave she thought I was and how happy she was that I got the courage to stop her and ask for her help - and she admitted that she didn't know if she was that courageous. She finally said that she would spend the weekend devising a plan for me centered around, of all things, weight resistance training. She asked me how skiddish or resistant I was to being in the weight lifting room with the big dudes, and I told her that those guys were like my friends now. I told her that lifing barbells made me feel powerful and more in control than weight machines did. I told her to avoid pull-ups and maybe the squatting machine where you support the weight on your shoulders (because it worries me with my knee) but that everything else was fair game. She told me she would have a routine ready for me in the next week.

As for cardio? The goal is simple - fit in cardio 3-5 times a week. And do what works for me. We talked about avoiding the gym for cardio if it only manages to piss me off. And I told her that lately it was about me being creative to get it in. I told her that earlier that day I spent an hour scrubbing my bathroom from top to bottom as a form of cardio and she said that things like that, as well as walks with the kids and tennis with the Hubs - fun things I actually liked, were key. She said to be careful of my hip/back and, if it hurt to simply stop and find something else.

And then, because I know she had a tendancy to not follow through and I didn't want to rely upon her promise of a program for the gym last night, I ended up on, I guess, was a good place for me to be yesterday.

emoticon The Plan
It's a 6-week plan. Jamie told me (*wink*) that we should change up the routine every 6-8 weeks to avoid both boredom from the program and our bodies adjusting to the exercises too much. It centers on weight training as a means of building lean muscle and sucking out the fat, and as a way to maintain a semblance of a routine while my hip/back tries to heal. It pulls in cardio, which I may have to change to accomodate the hip, and which I have given full permission to myself to change completely in order to keep myself on task, 3-5 times a week. Btw - I have decided that 20 minutes of burning fewer calories in a lesser intensive cardio exercise is still 20 minutes and is better than doing nothing because I'm pissed about it. Period. End of story.

Day 1: Upper Body Weight Training and 20 minutes on the Stairmaster

Okay, just the thought of doing the Stairmaster for 20 minutes makes me want to laugh and vomit at the same time. I doubt I could, but I'm willing to try and see how far I get, attempting to increase the time each week. I will, however, have to be careful of the hip/back situation on this one. That being said, yesterday was day one. I had decided this AFTER my 20 minute walk to the market and back for lunch, and while I considered doing the stairmaster later, I ended up opting out of it completely when Hubs was ready to go - babysitters run scarce in this town and we have to work on their schedules. *sigh* It wasn't until this morning that I realized - I did 20 minutes cardio. DUH! I'm calling it a great day, especially considering I THINK I was below or at my calorie goals (which, btw - the site needs to reassess their calorie needs calculator because that thing told me to eat nearly 5k calories A DAY! Wow. Uhm, no. I know better) and I drank a TON of water.

Day 2: 30-40 minutes Stationary Bike at moderate pace

This is the plan for tonight. Well, actually, this is plan B. Plan A, if it is sunny enough and the ground is not too soaked (which it likely will be after the storms last night) is to mow the front lawn with the new mower. Actually, I think the bike is plan C, because if the lawn is too wet and the sun is still out, I'd rather prefer to pick up all the boys and go play tennis or walk at the park or something...I'd even prefer to steal Hubs' bike and attempt an outdoor bike ride. Anything other than riding that stupid stationary bike for 40 minutes while attempting the entire time to get my heart rate up and also attempting to strangle, choke, and maim the people across from me running on the treadmill and my Zumba class next to me bouncing up and down.

Day 3: Rest, Rejuvenate and Remotivate

So, Jamie told me that rest is super important to losing fat and building muscle. For some reason, I believed her. It may have something to do with her killer arms or her rock hard abs, or it could have just been the way she explained it (it was probably the abs). Either way, she explained that I should take 1-2 days off each week to rest my muscles. She explained that it wasn't necessary for me to do absolutely nothing on both of those days, but that one day should be devoted to rest from all exercise. The other, she said, should be used as an uber-light day using something like yoga and stretching techniques to aid in the muscle repair process, build flexibility, but not overwork any muscles completely. Other things she suggested for these days? Batch cooking - getting my meals in order for the week. Brilliant! I thought. Use the off days to be prep days for the on days. Work another angle. I know that last week I needed to focus on the food over the exercise. Some days I NEED that. I can use my rest days for that. I can also use them to rejuvenate myself with a nice bath - rewarding myself for the week's work I'm putting in. I can relax that night and focus on settling my mind, getting it ready for the rest of the week. I can find ways to keep myself motivated on this day by reading Spark articles and fitness magazines and really keeping that fire alive. I LOVE this idea of using a "rest" day as a training day for the mind and spirit. I say it again -- BRILLIANT!

Day 4: Lower Body Weight Training and 20 minutes on the Treadmill jogging (or, for me, fast walking)

More weight training. Last night, Hubs and I only managed to eek out 2 circuits of the 3 circuit plan that Jamie gave me (yep, the physiologist failed me and didn't leave anything for me at the least not that I saw). Still, we left telling each other, "Dang! That was a GOOD workout!" It's been a while since we've really had one of those days. Of course, Jamie suggests for other people to jog on the treadmill, but I'm going to modify that and walk quickly on the thing - more at a race pace to challenge myself. And, of course, this treadmill fast-walking will be a plan B or C as I try to find more productive things that will burn calories - like cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom, or the garage! *lol* Although, more than likely, it would be better for me to just do that cardio spurt as a walk at lunch - splitting up my workout time so I don't constantly feel like I'm at the gym punishing myself.

Day 5: 30-40 minutes Elliptical

Again, another cardio day. The elliptical is something else that the docs are iffy on if I should try again. I've been told I can try, but if it hurts I should stop. Again, another plan B or C as I try to find something fun outside - a sport with the kids! - or some sort of cleaning spurt that will take up the same amount of time. My bedroom could certainly use a good deep clean as I get rid of all the clothes I can no longer wear.

Day 6 - HIT Full Body Weight Training -- NO Cardio

Okay, I have to admit it, the idea of having a high-intensity weight training day without also doing cardio both confused me and thrilled me. ONE DAY when I don't have to worry about cardio WHATSOEVER. Beyond the 5 minute warm-up and cool down, I don't have to even touch a treadmill or elliptical or come up with some brilliant plan to avoid those machines while still getting in my minutes. According to Jamie, the way we do these in circuits keeps my heart rate up anyhow and will really help me lose fat. Sounds good to me, Jamie! I trust your abs...err, I mean, you. So this will be the day I get to say that I'm "hitting it hard" at the gym. I get to leave with my muscles pulsing feeling like a darn rockstar. I can't hardly wait! I'm also super stoked that it will fall on a Saturday, which means that I will need to get up early that morning, get my breakfast, and then get to the gym to get it fit in during the small window they're open Saturday (10a-2p). I think I need to start my weekends with a workout like that because that way I'll remember that when I start preparing meals.

Day 7: Rest, Rejuvenate, and Remotivate

Ah, and somehow magically, I get my final rest day on Sunday - the day that I have most normally reserved for my batch cooking days. Brilliant!!

emoticon So now that we've got that under control - we need to figure out emoticon

They've set down a diet on not unlike Spark's plan. Of course, they think I should eat 5k calories a day, which is absolutely hilarious, but otherwise, I can adjust. I know I need to stay around 1600-1800 calories a day. Jamie says I need to shoot for that 40/40/20 goal. You know it -- 40% protein, 40% complex carbs, and 20% healthy fats. They set down a diet plan that works for someone consuming about 2200 calories and will need to be modified. The things I noticed on the list and have taken away from it, however are -

1. Keep it simple. Grilled chicken, brown rice, and olive oil can make a great meal.
2. Find a way to eat oats. I have heard so many great things about them and I'm sure with some spice/honey/milk or whatever magic I can find a perfect way to eat oats that is still healthy.
3. Lots of green vegetables. Broccoli and spinach are our friends.
4. Do meals that are easy to construct for lunches throughout the week and keep well.
5. For at least one meal a day, eat just a lean protein and vegetables.
6. Eat every 2.5 to 3 hours.
7. Drink 1/2 to 1 gallon of water - even more on days when I'm working out.
8. Eat protein at EVERY meal.
9. Eat 1-1.5 hours before a workout - protein and carbs. And find a great post-workout meal or shake (the protein shakes are returning!) along with a carb post-workout.

Most of these principles I follow already, but I've been off the wagon so long, that I have to find a way to stick to a bland and boring diet for a week or two (at least mostly) so I remember to savor the wonderful flavors that are already in my healthy meals that I cook. I've taken it for granted. So, next week, if I can force myself to do it -- LORD HELP ME! I'm going to try to be completely 100% boring when it comes to food. I hope it will help me focus on food as fuel instead of food as fun.

Breakfast will consist of mostly egg whites with one whole egg, cooked somehow, along with a 1/2 cup of oats.
Meal 2 will be a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread with a fruit like strawberries.
Meal 3 will be chicken, a sweet potato (lord, help me...I'm not a fan), broccoli.
Meal 3 will be chicken, brown rice, spinach.
Meal 4 is fish, brown rice, and mixed vegetables.
And post-workout I'll need to have a protein shake and a carb.

The only problem I'm having is that I've always been told not to have fish more than 2-3 times a week. Maybe I've heard wrong all these years, but I can't get past that. My other problem? OMG that sounds like a LOT of food. *shrug*

I'll admit it, I hate the thought of being so damn boring when I know it's not necessary. I don't want to diet, I want to live healthy - and I don't want to eat chicken, rice and broccoli for every single meal for the rest of my life. BLAH! So, I'm thinking about it. I'm considering doing it for a week or two and then gradually incorporating back in some meals that I like. Of course, every moment I think about it, I'm leaning more toward just finding a way to adapt my healthy style of eating to the 40/40/20 rule and that is sounding brilliant right about now. Don't get me wrong, I love chicken, brown rice, and broccoli - but I don't want to eat it for every meal...end of story. The one thing I WILL take away from this is the whole eggs and oats for breakfast. I'm going to try that one because I think it will start my day out a little better. We shall see.

emoticon Do you follow the 40/40/20 rule? How do you ensure you still get variety while you maintain eating healthy and sticking to the "rules"? And how often do you treat yourself.

Three other things I caught on the site -

1. Only have sundaes on Sunday.
2. Pick lunch or dinner to have dessert, not both.
3. Once every couple weeks, go ahead and treat yourself.

I think I'll take those three with me, whether or not I follow the "boring, but simple" plan.

emoticon So, there it is. I have a plan. Sorta. *lol* I got day one completed yesterday. Sorta. And I'm plenty happy with that. I really am glad I found the site and I think I'm going to buy a couple things from them - vitamins, some powder drink for during workouts (to add to your water), and some fish oil capsules. They really talk a lot of supplements over there, but I'm really not all crazy about all of that. I do think the fish oil and vitamins are a great idea, and the Xtend stuff - I have to try it. I feel like it might help me get through the tough lifting days. Worse comes to worse I waste a few bucks and nothing happens...I haven't seen anyone complain about anything except for the taste of some of the flavors or it not really working for them. We shall see...

Today, I'm going to lunch with a friend at my favorite burger place, so I need to see what else they have and what I'm going to fit in today for lunch.

I've got a couple more days this week, and I've got to make sure I get all my cobra stretches in each day. I've been pretty good about it - I even pulled out a blanket in my FIL's garage on Saturday night and did my stretches at Hubs' birthday party. But I forget now and again, so I'm trying but I'm not perfect...that's just going to have to be good enough. I see the PT again on Thursday so I hope we can start healing me up (the hip is feeling better..the back is starting to hurt, though).

Also, I'm thinking I need a weekend me day. Well, me and AM. I'm going to see if my friend is free this weekend. I'm thinking lunch, dress shopping for our bridesmaid dresses, drinks maybe, maybe a movie - ooh, I could get my hair cut while I'm down here...maybe we could do mani/pedis? Either way, I think we need some quality time...I know *I* do!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHENPOSSIBLE 4/27/2011 12:17PM

    You have a plan and that's half the battle. Keep fighting. You'll get to where you need to go. emoticon

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_MSAPRIL17_ 4/27/2011 10:07AM

    I love your plan!!!!

Isn't it a good feeling when you are able to put it all out there in black and white to see? I love that and it looks like you have an awesome one here!

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CREATINGAMANDA 4/27/2011 10:01AM

    It sounds like you've got a really great plan! And you're right: YOU ARE NOT DONE. You can do this, E. Sometimes it's just the thing where you've got to keep moving and eventually you'll be feeling it again.

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RUNNINGNP2B 4/27/2011 8:28AM

    Sorry that Fartmunch (or whatever their name is) has a hard time reading, this was a great blog. Nice response to their worthless comment as well.

Back to you - great great great blog. I love how much you share with us. It's tough when you feel that anger to pull yourself out and create a plan of attack, but you did it. You're pulling in all the big guns, and I am proud of you. Do you realize how many people would have given up by now??? With the same or at least similar situations? That's right, a ton of people would. Not our E. You, you get angry, and you plan a way to get to where you want to be. I am proud of you and happy. You can do this.

Nothing but love and high 3s emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 4/27/2011 8:09AM

    Lucky for your first commenter that there's a SHORT little PILL to make them perfect, huh?


Srsly, E., the 40/40/20 deal is something I struggle with every damn day... the closest I get to hitting the right combination of nutrients is when I mostly eat... uh... protein powder... and I just KNOW that's not the way to build a life...

but you see how eating clean gives you a LOT of food to fuel the bod...

and getting through injuries and illness is like an added shot of fun to what is already a long and freaking winding road, right?

But that's why we all found each other... to help each other get there.. and we're GOIN'... and YER COMIN' WITH!!!

As for the HAD... I don't know what my excuse is... WAD...

I have Work Affective Disorder...

Which reminds me... I guess I have to go and be affected now...

Love you, Woman...
Sorry if this comment was tfl;dfr...

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 8:10:30 AM

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  Meh, you're a better person than me about that comment, I would have said "No problem, Stupid!".

In other more important, longer, news...awesome plan m'dear! Do you think that Jamie would be willing to talk to me? Is there a place where you can plug in your body metrics (ohhh that sounds fancy!), or is it just a one example plan?

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MAMADELIGHT 4/27/2011 7:15AM

    you continue to inspire me. I am all for a me day. Make it happen.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/26/2011 10:00PM

    First off, I want to give that physiologist a piece of my mind. What is her deal? Does she work through the gym or is she a subcontractor? I might talk to her boss.

Okay now onto your plan.... It sounds amazing. Food sounds bland, but remember you can always throw some fresh herbs in there and add some flavor and not add many calories. When I get back to brown rice and chicken (sometimes I mix it up with shrimp as well) I thrown in some onions, peppers, sugar snap peas and make a non stir fry type dinner.

Okay, now I'm off to to check out your friend Jamie.

Thanks for sharing your plan!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/26/2011 9:56PM

    First off, I want to give that physiologist a piece of my mind. What is her deal? Does she work through the gym or is she a subcontractor? I might talk to her boss.

Okay now onto your plan.... It sounds amazing. Food sounds bland, but remember you can always throw some fresh herbs in there and add some flavor and not add many calories. Doing a modified

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MENACE79 4/26/2011 8:53PM

    I love your honesty, and found myself nodding along with this whole post. Your plan sounds totally kick-ass, and given that I have read lots of your blogs about what you have done in the RECENT past, I know that you can totally kill it!

A you day is a fantastic idea - try to pause a few times throughout the day and just *be*. I find when I have a much needed day of celebrating me, I commit every detail to memory as I am lying in bed drifting off to sleep that night, and the next night, and the next... helps keep that feeling fresh and accessible.

Hold on tight - you got this!

Comment edited on: 4/26/2011 8:54:30 PM

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CANNIE50 4/26/2011 4:19PM

    Oh, the poor poster who whined about the length - just doesn't get it. Okay, I LOVED this blog. Thank you for putting so much time and thought and effort into sharing this plan. I learned a lot from reading it, and I have to agree, using an exercise rest day as a day to make the exercise days go better: truly brilliant. I am SO excited to learn that you are going to focus on strength training, and incorporate non-gym cardio into your life - this will make a big difference in how you feel. I am also glad to hear you are planning on incorporating eggs and oats, and before and after exercise protein shakes. One suggestion about the oatmeal: cinnamon, it helps regulate blood sugar while it spices up the oatmeal. Beebea did a great blog recently about the many ways she eats oatmeal, complete with photos and recipes. I look forward to reading more of your blogs, and to hearing how your plans are going. Thank you for a shot of inspiration. PS I could relate to the "mean to husband" comments - I JUST blogged about this very thing today. You should read it - you might relate emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/26/2011 4:21:14 PM

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KKINNEA 4/26/2011 1:38PM

    Not being ready for a new plan is always the hardest. Sounds like your new plan is solid - let us know the results!

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TIGERJANE 4/26/2011 12:33PM

    wowee - we're in the same boat with the exercise stuff. Glad to see I'm not the only one seeing red when people talk about their runs! It's really killing me. I even had to skip my HM!! It'll be two years in May that I've been dealing with injuries. The pain really does shift around. Not to discourage you! You're really working on healing, and I wasn't so good about that and I'm paying the price. I'm sure you won't take nearly as long :)

The food plan the website talked about really really works. But as you said, it's bland and hard to stick with long term. Stick it out as long as you can, cause you really will drop a bunch of weight each week if you stay on it. I lost four pounds in five days the first week! And it stayed off. but alas, I'm pretty much off that wagon, cause it IS hard to stick with. The eggs and oats combo will keep you full and energized a really long time, so if you can stick with that it'll make a big difference.

Jamie Eason is my favorite fitness model. Mostly cause I wish I looked like her, haha! I'm gonna check out that website. Also I can't say enough good things about my current protein powder. My biggest gripe with most powders is their grittiness, flavor, and after-taste. A metallic after-taste seems to be the norm, and I'm not down. But my synthra-6 chocolate flavor is THE BEST. It shakes up smooth and tastes like a rich cup fo chocolate milk - and I make it with water! No after taste, no grittiness, and it truly tastes good. It comes in the red shiny package. I also take fish oil (hekps reduce inflammation, which would definitely help with your injuries!!).

Good luck finding what works for you! I'm so glad you're not letting this temporary set-back completely derail your program. You may have bad days or weeks, but in the grand scheme of things you always get back at it, and I really admire that tenacity.

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RIGBY31 4/26/2011 12:11PM

    Girl, your blog... every last word!... spoke to me. I am so lacking in the "plan" dept. I'm also doing a major overhaul (and "boring" food is good; it streamlines the thought process). Thanks!

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TEAM-SARAH 4/26/2011 11:46AM

    I understand how anger can get the best of you. I'm the same way. Especially with your running example! When you typed that my thought totally was "aww crap I just had a blog where I lamented my summer half marathon time when a lot of people would be really stoked just to finish PERIOD" It puts it into perspective though. I SHOULD be thankful that I can and do get out there and run. And you WILL be able to do that too someday! Someday you too will be frustrated about a pace that was once a huge achievement for you :)

Bottom line is... no one wants to take a step back, whatever the reason for it. Sometimes those set backs are inevitable and just out of your control and you're staying sooo strong through yours and that's inspiring in itself. You are still in control. You are doing all you can, you are FIGHTING. You can't hit your marks ALL the time and it's also totally OK to hide sometimes. Just not permanently :)

... and you're not. You're here with a plan and it's an excellent one! Very very specific (don't forget to allow yourself some wiggle room, if you don't adhere exactly to the plan you are NOT A FAILURE!!) but it's so great to reach for the stars! If you've proven anything to yourself in your year on spark it's that you can get through just about anything that maybe used to be an easy excuse in the past. This injury will be just another obstacle that you will come out on top, victorious!

PS: I definitely teared up a little myself reading about your talk with your exercise physiologist!! Asking for help is so crucial, it's something many of us have trouble doing. Bravo :)

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ERIN1128 4/26/2011 11:34AM

    I think Jamie gave you some great advice (wink) - I love the idea of changing up the workout every 6 weeks to avoid boredom. And I think coming up with a new plan at regular intervals, totally makes sense. I'm kind of in re-start mode myself, so this blog really speaks to me!

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SARAHJ19 4/26/2011 11:18AM

    Who would leave a comment like that? What a jerk!

I love that you are so detailed with your blogs! I think it will be great for you to go back and look at it later!

I love your new plan! Something new and different will be great! Now it's time for me to come up with a new plan!! Hope you get in some *me* time this weekend! You deserve it!
emoticon emoticon

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CATHYHASSPARK 4/26/2011 11:05AM

    I re read your post and re read it, wow Im so glad I am not the only one in the world that feels that way! I have been depressed and discouraged lately and t his gives me hope that i can do this thank you !

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~INDYGIRL 4/26/2011 11:03AM

    New plans really refresh me!

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CALLIKIA 4/26/2011 11:01AM

    I love chicken and fish, don't get me wrong. And brown rice? I'm like a kungfu master at finding ways to get rice in my diet no problem. :) But, I think I'll get bored SUPER fast and I'm afraid of that. *shrug* Like I said, still thinking on it...whatever happens won't happen until next week because I already have this week's groceries in the fridge/freezer. I still have a few days to figure this out.

And Mags - I am going to have to stay on her, I'm sure of it. I'll give her a couple more days to get back on track before I call again to bug her. And I'm hoping the physical therapist can help me out with the plan as well.

Comment edited on: 4/26/2011 11:02:49 AM

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MAGPIE17 4/26/2011 11:01AM

    Sorry to hear the PT at the gym wasn't able to get her act together. I'm getting the impression that you need to stay on her to get anything out of her, so harass her 'til you get what you need. Glad you found something that will work in the meantime, but you should really have a specific program to account for your hip/spine.

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HSMOM2FOUR 4/26/2011 10:59AM

    ok -- couple of things.
1) totally ignore the comment about that it was too long to read it all. that was just a wierd comment to leave at all... totally not a Spark-comment!!
2) I *loved* that it was long and detailed -- not only did you write it all down so that YOU could look back at it, but it gives you accountability and it gives the rest of us great ideas!
3) I *LOVE* the idea of using your 'off' day as a prep day -- GENIUS!!! Really - why wasn't that one obvious to me to begin with?!?!?! But I'm loving it!!! Thank you SO much for sharing - because that can really help me change my whole week - to deliberately use that day off as still a day 'on' plan!

I hope you have a FABULOUS day!!!

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ABETTERCHERYL 4/26/2011 10:56AM

    Why would people even leave a comment like that?! Jack asses.

Okay just a few things that I was thinking of while I was reading this. First, that's a lot of chicken. I can't handle that much chicken all the time... it's like I need more of a variety of texture or something. I've always thought you can have as much fish as you want but that you should limit salmon to 2-3 times a week because it is fatty (good fats mind you but a lot of them). Also, how about nonfat cottage cheese as a protein for a meal? It's delicious with some shredded carrots and chopped green onions with it or just a cut up tomato on the side. Also try throwing in some small cut up veggies into your brown rice, it helps with the boredom. Think of it as a stuffing where you can throw just whatever into it. Spices, veggies, whatever you have. Experiment. Same goes with spices on the chicken.

For the fish, omg, here is what I absolutely love. Go buy some lemons and just use a small amount of olive oil in the pan so it doesn't stick, heat it up, throw the fish in, thinly slice half of the lemon and put it on top of the fish as it cooks and squeeze the lemon juice from the other half into the pan. It turns out freakin' delicious for like a tiny amount of added calories. YUM.

Hugs to you Esther.

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KARVY09 4/26/2011 10:47AM

    Just delete those a-hole comments. LOL. It's unfortunate that people get Sparkpoints for writing drivel like that.

I'm glad you have a plan of attack, E. And I hope that you are able to make it work into your schedule. It's definitely a REALLY specific plan. Be sure to be flexible with yourself if you are unable to meet it to the letter of your plan.

I know you will be back up and running someday. You just need to do what you can now and keep your spirits up even when it's tough to do so.

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GIRLGONEWOLF 4/26/2011 10:35AM

    Wow, thanks for sharing all your plans! I'm in the same place in terms of fighting frustration with a new plan...but how much healthier is that response rather than eating and watching tv? WAY HEALTHIER! I feel so much more encouraged and determined after reading your thoughts. Hope today goes great!!

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CALLIKIA 4/26/2011 10:28AM

    Wow. That's so...helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment.

I apologize if this comment is too long for you to read as well. I should just shorten it to -

"Thanks...for nothing."

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FCARMICH 4/26/2011 10:19AM

  too long to read it all

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Just One Good Day and Asking for Help

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's something I never mentioned in my Spark blog about what I learned last year with SP, because I guess I was learning it at the time. Asking for help. Sometimes it's necessary to break down and scream and call in reinforcements. I kept saying all week, "I just need ONE good day" but what I didn't realize is that I had to MAKE that good day.

After I wrote my ranting blog, I cried a lot...and then buckled down. I skipped my first snack of the day to remind myself what hungry felt like. I also thought that if I could get through the morning in better shape then falling apart that night wouldn't hurt so much calorie-wise. Well, it worked, in a way. I went to bed well under my calorie limits, something I don't normally recommend but I guess I needed in a way. I forced myself to do short bursts of activity throughout the day. 10 minutes of yoga here, a 20 minute walk at lunch, so by the time I went home, skipping the gym was okay because I'd already gotten in 30 minutes of exercise. Besides, I realized that my evening focus that night needed to be on NOT eating out and actually going straight home to start making up a few dinners I had planned for the week and never made.

I stopped off at Kroger and spent 30 bucks on salad ingredients for a huge salad at work, and the ingredients for a creamy homemade dressing. Both of which I intended to take to work the next day for our Easter Luncheon. I figured if I had a huge salad to eat, I might be able to resist the other temptations. And even though Ethan dumped about half my dressing on the floor and I got completely frustrated, we still managed to finish the night with the following foods made:

* Stuffed Red Peppers
* Cassoulet
* Creamy Greek Dressing
* A HUGE salad with leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and romaine lettuce, mushrooms, broccoli, radishes, carrots, and purple cabbage

Even after eating a serving of the stuffed red peppers and a half a serving of cassoulet, I still managed to be under my calorie goals and went to bed feeling like I had accomplished something.

Yesterday was a little hit or miss. I got to work and hurried to finish up a few things before a triage meeting. Triage went well, and then it was off to my physical therapy appointment.

My PT thinks the problem may actually be in my spine. I have to stretch in a back bend sort of way whenever I get up from sitting too long, and I have to fit in 3 sets of 10 reps of cobra stretches. He said I'll know if we're on the right track if the pain starts moving to my lower back. (He said he thinks it may be a problem with a disc in my spine...he actually said he HOPES that's what it is because the treatment for it is a little easier.) He also suggested that we may have to get some x-rays done at some point of my spine/hip, but no plans for that yet. He also commented on my great flexibility. *big grin* I was honest with him - which made me quite proud. I told him about my knee, about my PT failures at 16 when I lied and told my PT I'd done my homework, and told him that WOULD NOT happen again. I was 30 years old and ready to listen and do what I was supposed to do. I told him about my weight loss and explained that I could NOT give up exercising completely. He told me I had done GREAT in the past year and that he, also, did not want me to give up my exercises. He was impressed with the whole insert = magical no pain incident and asked what kind of inserts they were. He explained that it likely went away because the inserts got broken down by my running on them and we both agreed it was silly to think I needed to spend $15-20 every 3 weeks for new inserts. He said no running or Zumba until I can walk with zero pain. Oh, and I have to make a rolled towel my new friend to provide lumbar support whenever I'm sitting. (My plan for today is to make one of these.)

I will see him again next Thursday and we'll see how things have been working (or not).

After my appointment, I rushed back to work really hungry and ready for the luncheon. I didn't do a stellar job, but I did alright. I had one meatball, a small slice of bread with a smear of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, a few bites of mac-n-cheese, a few bites of baked beans, 1 deviled egg (1/2 of the egg, you know...), a small piece of ham, and some of my salad with my new salad dressing. For dessert? I was lost. Everything was just too calorie heavy and I knew I'd be tempted to overeat...until one of our judges showed up with angel food cake and some BEAUTIFUL strawberries. I grabbed a tiny slice of the cake and about 5 strawberries and thanked the judge for bringing something I COULD eat.

About an hour later, I found myself at the table again. *facepalm* I got a little more mac-n-cheese, a little more baked beans, 2 more meatballs, another piece of bread and 2 more deviled eggs, along with a container of another slice of angel food cake, 5 strawberries, a slice of blueberry bread, and a slice of lemon bread/cake. As I sat at my desk chowing down, hoarding and hiding my food...I made myself stop, put down the fork and throw the rest in the trash. Wow. It can sneak up on me just like that...I took the dessert goodies home to the boys.

I skipped the gym again. I wanted to do something active outside and actually got mad at Hubs for mowing the lawn. Unfortunately, no one was ready to go out with me, so after about 30-45 minutes of waiting around, I decided I didn't want to go out anymore (plus, I knew they were all hungry, which meant if we left the house we'd end up eating out). We stayed in, watched a movie, I had some cassoulet and a bit of rice chex later and I fell asleep during movie 2. And this morning I woke up feeling much lighter and better than I have in weeks, maybe months.

It may have something to do with the gallons of water I've had in the past 2 days. On Wednesday I started drinking water early and just couldn't seem to get enough. Apparently dehydrated, I ended up drinking 8 16oz glasses of water at work and then another 2 or so at home that night. Yesterday I had 3 glasses at work and then drank another 2 at home.

Yesterday I also took a moment to call the trainer girl at the gym. She's also the manager and I wanted to ask her about the closing of the kids' room at the gym. She told me that the change was permanent and the reason was that the kids were "tearing up the room." She said the problem had been going on for a while (I wish they would've mentioned something at some point for crying out loud - one day it's up, the next it's down. WTF?). I also told her that I didn't think it was fair that she didn't show up at our appointment last Thursday night and never called to tell me she'd be there. Her response? "I didn't think you'd go if I told you I wasn't coming, and I needed your measurements." Yes, she needs my measurements so the insurance company will continue to pay her. *rolls eyes* My response to her? "I'm ALWAYS there. That's not fair at all." She apologized and said that I was right and that she'd had that problem with other people in the past but she shouldn't generalize and assume I wouldn't show up. I told her that I've been NEEDING her help right now to get around these injuries and she said, "Esther, you can always call me when you need help." My response? "I'm calling you RIGHT NOW." I told her how difficult it is for me to ask for help. I told her that *I* would generalize now and say that, in my experience, it was difficult for a LOT of overweight people to ask for help, especially women. We've got this stigma that we can't take care of ourselves by ourselves and that's why we're fat, so asking for help sometimes feels like confirming that belief. She was quiet and listened. I nearly cried as I explained how hard it was for me to admit that I was lost and couldn't do it on my own. So we made an appointment to meet today at 4:30pm.

As for the kids' room? I asked her to reconsider. I know that the kids tear up the room because they're bored. I'm bored if I spend more than 10 minutes in there! She said that a lot of times the kids don't even want to be there. DUH! I told her that I didn't know what the gym's financial situation was like and if it was even possible, but it might be worth it to invest in someone to watch the kids and do active things with them while they're there. "Let them be active while their parents are in the gym being active!" I told her, "Even if you don't want to hire someone to be there full-time, maybe you could have someone in for a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours in the evening so that parents could bring their kids during those scheduled times when they want to have some daycare and be able to work out." She told me that they had supervision in that room at one point, and they paid the person but also had the parents pay like a buck an hour when their kids were in there, but that people stopped using the room altogether. Then she paused and said, "Maybe that would be good." *lol* I told her that I might be willing to help out with this project if she would consider it. She promised to consider it.

I came home and told Hubs about what I had talked to her about and, surprisingly, he got excited too. "Could you imagine if the kids had a Kinect in there?" I told him that I had considered telling them to put a Wii in there and let the kids play Wii Sports...but, he's right, the Kinect would be even more fun (and less worry over the whole breaking the TV with the remote thing) *lol* I told him that I thought it would be fun to have a kids' exercise class in that room. The kids could work out - doing fun things, you know? A kind of circuit training for kids with things like jumping jacks and push-ups. I said that our boys would be a great resource in finding out what kids would think is fun. I said that I'd be willing to work the room a few nights even. And then my husband surprised me again by saying, "You could take our Kinect down there. I mean, you couldn't leave it there, but you could take it for them to use." *lol* It was great to see him on the same page. And we BOTH agreed that we had NO problem paying a fee to use the kids' room for our boys. He even said that he'd been thinking about donating our old 27 inch TV to them (which is currently sitting in our kitchen taking up space). So I guess I'll talk to Cissy about it tonight and see what she thinks. I might have a new second job as the Kids' Gym Director if I play my cards right! *lol*

So, yes, I've learned more.
1) You can't just HAVE one good day, you have to MAKE one good day.
2) You can't expect the good day to do magic, but you can build upon it.
3) Sometimes you simply have to ask for help, no matter how scary that is or how much it hurts your ego to do.

I didn't work out yesterday besides the exercises I did with the physical therapist, but I'm not stressing. I have an appointment at the gym at 4:30 pm to set up a new plan of attack - a workout for the injured Esther that I hope to be able to pull out whenever things get a little difficult for me. And I'm excited to think that I could be a source of helping some of the kids here find some active things to do at the gym. I don't know, maybe I'm being too optimistic, but I really think parents would be willing to pay if their kids really liked it...and it might get the parents there more if the kids are begging to go. Sounds like a win-win for everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 5/3/2011 8:14PM

    emoticon Love that you are taking charge girl! Go get 'em!!!!

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MAGPIE17 4/25/2011 2:32PM

    Glad the PT at the gym is listening!

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BLACK-PRINCESS 4/24/2011 3:34PM

keep your head up.

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CANNIE50 4/23/2011 1:00PM

    Wow,so much in this blog and so much going on with you. I was impressed by a number of things. The fact that you could stop yourself mid binge shows a great reserve of strength. In my experience, when I was in binge mode, I was in a type of trance (I know that sounds weird and I wish I could think of a better way to describe it) and once I got started, it rarely stopped at the mid-way point. I love your ideas about the kids activities at the gym. Some kids, esp some boys, are like puppies - if they are bored they tend to be naughty and destructive but if they can run and romp and get worn out, they are good as gold afterwards. I could see this being a pet project of yours - you working out with kids. Maybe you can call around or ask around on SP about other gyms and how they run kids' programs, and you can get some ideas. Think about how much that improves entire families quality of life, if everyone in the family goes home nicely tired after getting in some much needed exercise. I LOVE that you spoke so frankly to the trainer and I am impressed by her response as well. You two navigated a difficult conversation and came out of with some mutual understanding - what a great outcome. Finally, good job on getting through the salad dressing on the floor crisis. I once heard of a little boy spilling a COSTCO sized vat of syrup on the kitchen floor. The grandmother told me the story - I told the grandmother I think I would have moved out! Good job - and good blog. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 4/22/2011 5:46PM

    Oh this is completely WONDERFUL. It's so great how our struggles lead to helping others with their struggles and everybody DOES win. emoticon for being so creative and hanging in there.
About the lumbar thing...I have noticed that so many seats in our society curve in a dreadful way for the spine, giving us dowager's humps if we sit in them as they are. I have had a little pillow in my car for the last 15 years to put in the lumbar curve, for support when i drive. It has made all the difference. Violating that curve leads to spinal compression and slows the flow of oxygen to the brain, and so we start to feel really crappy, just because our spines are not properly aligned. Sorry for the rant but as a singing teacher, it is one of my pet peeves because so MANY people have no clue what proper posture even is.
Hurrah for you! emoticon

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TEAM-SARAH 4/22/2011 1:26PM

    Good for you for sticking up for yoruself and trying to make good things happen! They WILL happen.

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SASXONTHEMOVE 4/22/2011 1:14PM

    OMG totally awesome! WHat a great day.

And I know what you mean about asking for help. We take care of everything else, sometimes its hard to ask for help. ((HUGS)) for reminding me of that!

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35ANGELS 4/22/2011 12:59PM

    Sounds like you've turned your day around. We have the xbox kinect and our kids love it.

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SUGIRL06 4/22/2011 12:35PM

    You sound a lot better today! I am glad :)

That sounds like fun to work with the kids to get them to be active! Hopefully you can get them to open up the room again somehow. I agree, they need something to do while they are there. My gym charges $2 per kid per visit (no matter how long you are there). I always see parents dropping the kids off!

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RIGBY31 4/22/2011 12:29PM

    Loved your details, hour by hour, how you got thru some difficult times. I needed it.. like "oh, this is what you mean by lifting yourself and trying, oh". Thank you for putting yourself out there for us Sparkers and people in your "real" world". You're awesome.

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BETTERJULIA 4/22/2011 12:01PM

    This is a great blog! Look at you not only helping yourself but other moms and dads and their kids in the process! ROCK it girl!

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SARAHJ19 4/22/2011 11:40AM

    I love the idea for the kids area at the gym! How awesome would that be to get a program rolling that would help get kids active! Good luck with getting it all together.

Kuddos to you on asking your trainer for help. Being honest is the best thing to do to be successful. (Which is what I am learning!) I hope things go well tonight for you!

Have a Happy Easter! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WHATSARAHEATS 4/22/2011 11:27AM

    I'm glad that you are making your own good day!

Great ideas on the kids room and programs! My gym has a room that is only open at particular times: 7-10 am, 4-7pm during the week and 10-3 on weekends. They also have a co-op program where you don't have to pay for care if you volunteer for two hours a week to watch the other kids (and you can bring yours with you).

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KKINNEA 4/22/2011 11:13AM

    Sounds like you're getting good information and contributing back more even than you're getting!

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FIORENZA 4/22/2011 11:09AM

    have a wonderful day, enjoy life!

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DJS-DEBBIE 4/22/2011 10:59AM

    Good for you! It sounds like you have a good solution for the kids' room - I hope the gym goes for it!

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Lost & Abandoned: A Rant

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I should be doing a reflection day blog right now, but I need to write something else.

I have failed this week. For a few weeks, actually. I've held up my head and put on my brave face and kept forging through as best I could, but it wasn't until last night and this morning that the wave of "this must stop" hit me.

I've gained weight in the past few weeks. I've half-@$$ed my workouts almost to non-existence. I can't fight the feeling in my gut that the end is near and I'm about to fall over the edge. I've tried every trick I've ever used before to pull out of this nosedive but nothing seems to be working. I feel broken, beaten and used. I feel betrayed by myself. I feel completely, 100%, and undeniably lost.

TOM has been raging all week and I've blamed all my bad days on it, but as I have been reflecting back on the last year I'm starting to see that I have a lot of "excuses" for my "bad days." I thought by now I'd be having less of the bad days, but lately it's been all bad days. I feel like a failure every night when I go to bed. I make it through half the day and then fall apart so completely and I don't know how to pull myself up by my bootstraps because I seemed to have misplaced my boots.

Last night I abandoned my workout. I was raging at the gym, feeling betrayed by the one thing that has kept me together for almost a year. I was in a eating cycle all day at work and trying my best to ignore it or hold it off, but as I drove home my will broke and I just gave up. Chinese buffet followed by ice cream AND a candy bar. I felt like my old self...the self I NEVER wanted to be again.

How could I go from that girl last summer who felt so in control, so powerful and brave and hopeful and ready to take on the world, back to this girl who sees fat and thinks all hope is lost? I'm so bloated today that I am in physical pain, and all I can think is, "My body has abandoned me" when I know that I've abandoned it.

So today is obviously that day of TOM week that is completely emotional. I can't stop tears from welling up in my eyes, though I refuse to let them fall (it's only a matter of time, I'm sure). I want to crawl underneath my desk and not emerge. I want to disappear and never be heard of again. And I don't know WHY.

Yesterday I told myself that I would spend 5 minutes every morning after arriving at work and before completing any work to de-stress and center myself - whatever that meant. This morning I slapped on some makeup and wrote a to-do list for the day, but before I did anything else, I put on my headphones and set my iPod to shuffle. A nice, soothing song came on and I moved from my chair to the floor. I spent the next 5-10 minutes doing yoga and ballet stretches, already feeling better. And then I figured I'd done enough and stopped. Not 10 minutes later I felt those feelings of UGH return. I just can't hold it together today.

I feel like I need a break from work. This would normally be about the time I'd be counting down days to a family vacation - but with money being tight and the wedding in July in Utah, we've had to abandon those plans for now. I need to save my annual leave, and I need to save my cash too. I've tried pulling together fun stuff on the weekends, but it's just not enough. I NEED a weeklong break to pull myself together and remind myself why I wake up every morning. Plus, with all the work, working out, and other pressures on me lately - I MISS my family terribly. I see them every day, and they get on my nerves more often then not, but I can't help but feel like I'm not getting enough of them. I need a week secluded with them away from the troubles of bill paying and work schedules and training and whatever else BS always seems to crop up. I NEED a break and I can't have one.

I now regret Vegas.
I regret saying yes to being a bridesmaid.
I regret Minnesota.

I feel selfish and worthless right now. I should've saved that time and money for my family. It wasn't the same without them.

I don't know what I need right now other than a swift kick in the pants.
Until I figure out how to feel better about my lot in life, I'll just work on just doing what I'm supposed to do.
It's only 9:20am and I am dreading having to go to the gym tonight.
I don't want to work out.
I don't want to waste my time there.
What's the point?


I promise I'm trying, people, but if I disappear off the face of the earth for a few days, just know that I'm beating myself up somewhere and then trying to find some way to build myself back up.

This can't be it.
I can't be done.
330 pounds is not acceptable.
47% body fat is not acceptable.
It means I will never again ride a horse or experience a zipline if I don't continue.
I won't be able to live without restrictions.
I won't be able to feel good about myself or wear nice clothes.

I want my months of 8-10 pound weight loss back.
I want to stop fighting with food.
I want to stop struggling to even get to the gym.
I want energy-fueled workouts again.
I want my life back!
I want to be fully healed and healthy again and not have every exercise, no matter how small feel like I will have to pay for it for the next 2 days. My hip/pelvic region is NOT getting any better still (physical therapy tomorrow...maybe they'll help pull me out of this). My back is killing me. I get headaches almost every day. My foot hurts some days and my elbows the next. I feel broken.

And do you know what else I want? I want someone to help me.
I feel like all these people (like the people on the insurance program) offered me help before, but I didn't need it then. And now that I need it? I feel abandoned.
My boxing instructor hasn't called me back to reschedule.
My PT hasn't seen me since FEBRUARY.
My nutritionist is about to have a baby so I don't know when I'll see her again.

I feel lost and completely alone, and my usual scouting of SP for inspiration is not working.
Not sure what to do.
Not sure where I'll be a year from now.
Afraid I will gain it all back.
Afraid this is the start of the lull I had last time that led to me gaining back half of what I lost.
I can't keep doing this.
Why does it have to take so long?
Why do I have to be SO fat?
Why is it so hard for me to lose just ONE pound?

*pounds head on desk*

Don't mind me...just having a mental break down.
Go workout and enjoy your skinny lives!
emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGHTIDEA05 4/22/2011 2:30PM

    I adore your honesty...thanks for sharing your feelings with us. You are not alone, I assure you. I am afraid too!

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SUGIRL06 4/22/2011 12:27PM

    I read this a few days ago but couldn't comment. I can't remember much of what I wanted to say but one thing I do remember is "I know how you feel!" It really does sound like you need a break. Is there any way you can carve out even just 1 day to relax for yourself? Maybe a Saturday that you can just lounge around the house with the family. Order food in (or have it prepped from the day before) and do absolutely nothing but relax? Really, I just want you to know I'm thinking of you and here for you! I hope you find your groove again and get some time to yourself!

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RUNJEWELRUN 4/22/2011 10:27AM

    This is my first time reading your blog. Here's a hug. I am praying for you. We all go through times like this(even if its just in our heads). You have had amazing success and you will continue.
Take small steps if you have to.
You rock!

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RUNNINGNP2B 4/22/2011 10:24AM

    emoticon and love love love sent your way

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 4/22/2011 10:16AM

    This too shall pass. I'm sorry you are experiencing all of these things right now, and I'm sorry you are looking back on your experiences with regret. I hope you find a way to appreciate what those experiences brought you, taught you, or made you realize. Nothing happens by chance, we are a sum total of our choices so, for better or worse, we need to own it.

Sending you love.

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BAYBELIEVER 4/22/2011 12:12AM

    Esther, Do not, I repeat, do not give up on YOURSELF! Yeah that is easy to say, but I wanted to say it anyway. I know how this feels. I have been there too. I have lived in fear of walking away and then gaining it all back. For me, it is just doing one little thing to get that ball rolling again. Which, I think, in the Sparkworld means starting at the beginning again. NOT starting over, just remembering how to get rolling. Commit to 10 minutes a day of working out. Promise yourself to track everything you eat, the good, the bad, the ugly. But just be sure you are tracking. And moving. 10 minutes is still 10 minutes. So what if you ate a candy bar and ice cream? Did the world end? No! But if you track it, then next time you will be reminded of the calories in each and maybe pick one, not both. I guess this is what other people call "fake it until you make it" but you have to do this. You have come so far! Yes, we have so far to go, but we have come so far! We are not going back! And you can't take back Vegas or Minnesota. Those are in the past. Remember the great times you had, memories made, and just move forward! I will be praying for you! Hang in there!

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KRAZYKATT 4/21/2011 9:26PM

    Darlin - So many of us understand that downward spiral all too well. It's not easy! Do you have a counselor? I consider myself an intelligent woman, but when I'm down I can't seem to get over it alone. Well meaning friends and family can't help.I need professional help - for some reason my counselor knows how to help me turn those negative thoughts off. Wishing you all the best.

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BLACK-PRINCESS 4/21/2011 5:41PM


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PLATSUZIE 4/21/2011 5:26PM

    I wish we could get together for some honey pork chops...the recipe you know. Then we could meditate with a cd I have. Others have commented to you that a peaceful mind is helpful. Dittos to meditation.

The answers are not found without (even in family and other "good" people). The answer is inside...your spirit needs to be calmed, stilled, fed, peaceful then the answers will come.

Isn't that sort of where you went when you stopped and stretched (only to find the overwhelming emotions return). Do you know how to silence your mind? Meditation can help.

Did the gym abandoned you? Or are you trying to abandon yourself? What a busy mind...full of thoughts.

Find your calm (google: EFT or meditation) and put the first foot in front of the steps again...point the sail in the direction you like to see and head that way. Maybe do yoga at the gym or something "peaceful" minded.

Take yourself the end you may have lots of sparkies and friends but the only one who can really take care of you is the beautiful woman waiting to do so. The one that cares for everyone else but seems to allow herself to abandon you. Look at what she can do to help those she is concerned about. Caringly, gently, take her hand and teach her to be concerned about YOU. emoticon

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SEEHOLZ 4/21/2011 5:16PM

    I think you are an inspiration to so many- sometimes it's okay to scale back just a little and focus on something else whiel maintaining... and/or the need to change it up, so you don't burn out. Do something you love to do - exercise wise- eat something you love to eat that makes you feel healthy and enjoy that feeling.. and then just breath.... it might do wonders at least for a little bit :-)

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MTULLY 4/21/2011 12:51AM

    I have hit that bump in the road as well. So frustrating!!! I thought I had it all figured out and that I was in complete control, but things happened and i managed to get off track - way off track. It does make you question whether or not you can do this. You and I - we both have a choice and it is NOT going to be to give up and go back to where we were. That just leaves the other choice - get back to it! I am thinking that I will go back to what worked for me in the beginning - taking small steps, focusing on one thing at a time, and then I will add to that that as I gain back control. I am starting with drinking the water and having a healthy breakfast each morning. Once I am back to doing that, I will add back the other habits one at a time. Lots of other Sparkers have given you great advice. I am sure you will decide what works for you and get back in the game. You CAN do this!! Just know I am right there with you, cheering you on!

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SERENEART 4/21/2011 12:13AM


I feel your pain and understand that frustration. It's good that your writing about it.

Take a moment to breathe. Maybe if you can't get away plan a staycation.. just take a week and only do those things that are absolutely required. Cut yourself some slack with the gym and yourself. Your healing from an injury. It's okay. Yes, I know when I hear that "It's okay"... I just want to lash back. This is a journey that your on. It doesn't need to be perfect. Life is messy, look at the other things that have happened in this journey besides that number. It's a number and it's not who you are. And yes... I weigh about as much as you. I can't stand that number either... I want it to be less...but it doesn't define me. Do something that brings you some joy this week. Do you have any hobbies that you haven't done in a while? A book that maybe your dieing to read but haven't gotten around to it.

I don't know if this is helping or hurting...but take what you can and leave the rest. You are in my thoughts and prayers that you find some solace. Hang in there! I know you can do this.


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    I went through about a year of for-real chemical depression some years ago, and I know how very very hard it is to see that light at the end of the tunnel when you are in the throes of that feeling. Most months, TOM brings me a day or two of "reminder" time, and sometimes I spiral downward for a while.

In an attempt to be helpful to you, I just want to share that the thing that helped the most during those long dark days, and that tends to pull me back out more quickly each month, is to consciously "be in the moment." Rant first! Cry first! (I believe crying is truly good for the soul, like laughter, but only in smaller doses). Then breathe... look around... observe... don't try to change things, just see things for what they are, and let that be okay.

Please pardon me if my well-meaning advice is unwelcome. You are an inspiration to me, and I wanted to be of use to you.


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PANBOOKS 4/20/2011 10:12PM

    Your honesty touches my heart. Since your boots are missing, abandon that tactic and try another one. Try something completly different that you haven't tried before. That may help you with pulling out of the slump.

I am a new subscriber. I wish you well and I will continue to follow. Thanks again for your honesty. All will be well.

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/20/2011 9:24PM

    emoticon Do not give up! You have done soooo well. It seems like you have a lot of stress in your life, maybe you can even get away for a few hours from where you live, just your family? Everyone is rooting for you. We believe in you.

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FIT_BY_FORTY 4/20/2011 8:38PM

    I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way at times. I also weigh in the 330's - 336 to be exact:( I still can't believe it when I see it in black and white. At least you are 48% Body fat... I am 57... that is over half fat! I know what you mean about picking yourself up..It is hard and I hope you do it fast. It would be nice to be in this together with someone around the same amount of weight to lose. I wish I had some great amount of advice to give, but I don't.. just don't give up... it will get worse and if you feel anything like me, you don't want that! ((hugs)) ~Jen

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4EVERADONEGIRL 4/20/2011 8:05PM

    Awwww girlie!!! I have to say that I have felt so much of what you are feeling lately! You want to hear about my mini- breakdown? It started on Tuesday night with an order of Super Fries at the Taco Shop - these consisted of french fries - I mean a HUGE amount of fries...probably 5 servings worth - covered in cheese, sour cream, beans, guacamole and carne asada. Enough food to literally feed several people and I sat there and ate most of it. This is a food that I swore I would never have again...and there I sat and ordered it, there I sat and ate it, there I sat and regretted it. Then last night I ate a bag of Doritos in the car on the way home and I probably enjoyed the first chip, but STILL ate the rest of the bag. Then I got home and ate two mini-cupcakes, three double stuff oreos, a full dinner (not bad - chicken burrito with pinto beans, but the kicker is) another SIX oreos and a cup of milk.

I seriously don't know WHERE that person came from the past couple of days. I feel like I have been hiding her for YEARS and then all of a sudden without barely a blink of an eye, she is back and in charge! It's so frustrating to realize that this journey is F-ING HARD!!! It is a battle basically every single day. the same time, we know what the payoff is. We know how we feel when we are in control of our choices. Even if we can't control life and exercise and some other stuff...we can control our choices in food. We can do this girl. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! We have faith in you!!!

So stand tall and unashamed. You have accomplished much and you are not going to let this beat you! :-)

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MERRIKATE 4/20/2011 5:06PM

    Sending you love and fellowship in this tough patch. ( Your closing instinct to 'be with' your turbulence for a bit might be just the thing to do -- will ease the self-blaming and all that comes with it. Respite follows naturally when we let go of the struggle and give ourself permission to do that. )


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SARAWALKS 4/20/2011 4:34PM

    Enough suggestions, maybe.
One thought...when I set too many goals, I rebel against them & go in opposite direction.
Another personal insight...I have needed time to maintain. Time to discover how to balance, being exactly where I am. Time to figure out what is sustainable and pleasant.
This may not be what YOU need but just sharing what has helped me in my walk.
emoticon You will find your way, I know it.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 4/20/2011 4:16PM

    Squeeze friend emoticon

Please remember how far you have come. 90 lbs since joining spark is amazing. 5k's 10k's. Please give yourself some major credit.

And here is some some unsolicited advice (so do with it as you would like). You said you were doing great last summer. Can you just duplicate what you did then (meals and exercise) from your spark logs and start there. See if that reignites your flame. Just a thought.

Thanks for sharing, and know that I'm here for you whenever you need it. HUGS

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CANNIE50 4/20/2011 3:58PM

    Lots of good people giving good advice. One thing that occurred to me: be right here, right now. One minute at a time - not in tonight, not in next year, not even in the next hour. Life is hard enough, sometimes, in the present moment - don't borrow trouble ahead. Don't carry the burden before you have to. Sometimes, the only thing I can do is "breathe and pray". I am struggling right now, also. One of the things I love about SP is that people are upfront about their struggles and how they get through them. And, they DO get through them - you have and you will again.

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SLBRANTLEY 4/20/2011 3:10PM

    Sounds like you need a day off from work, at the very least! Even if you can't take any other type of leave, just call in sick and sleep all day, read, watch mindless TV, lurk on Spark, take a long bubble bath, give yourself a mani-pedi and a facial - whatever it takes to rest and re-energize. Don't even tell your family, so you can have the day all to yourself.

I hope you'll feel better soon! emoticon emoticon

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WEEZYB7881 4/20/2011 3:06PM

    thanks for sharing - I know I have those days and times. I'm coming out of such a state right now (I hope). do one small thing today that is right for you -- sleep, a short walk, time with a child or dh. anything that is a success and then let it go. tomorrow do it again. and pretty soon, I promise, you'll be thru this desert and back to the flow of recovery and healing. this is the portaging the canoe part of the journey. hard work. and all we can do is keep trudging.

I hate this part of the's hard and painful and hurtful. but it's either keep going this way, or jump on the lside downhill to lower than we started.

good luck. i know you can do it


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LOVETOCROCHET5 4/20/2011 2:36PM

    You can do this. I know you can. I know that right now you feel like you are spiraling and the end is no where in sight. You feel hopeless and alone. but we are all here for you. I know I fight some of the same things. Its a constant battle. We have to hold our chins up and just do it as someone said.

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G293537 4/20/2011 2:25PM

    I feel for you, honestly I do because like so many ppl, "been there, done that". Like someone else said, no magic pill, no "easy button" to get rid of all the feelings that go with why we overeat.

You know what to do, you have it down pat, eat healthy, exercise, drink water, etc. etc. That does not mean it is going to be easy or that some days you will just HATE IT, hate that you have to think about it and force yourself to do it.

You have proven over the last year that you have the desire and the fight inside of you. Dig really deep down and find it again, get your big girl boots and pants on and JUST DO IT!

Hopefully after a few days of forcing it back in, it will all seem right again and you'll be ready for the next bout becasue most likely there will be another episode requiring you to be really strong and fight and remember you are fighting for your life, for you.

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IRUNHIKECAMP 4/20/2011 2:05PM

    Look for one good thing today, give yourself credit where credit is due and try to keep building on that. You can do it, you have already shown yourself that and you WILL be able to get back on track! Thinking of you!

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MANLEYSANDY 4/20/2011 1:47PM

    I am sorry you are struggling. I wish, like I am sure all your SP buddies wish, that there was some magical potion or extreme words of wisdom that we could take all this away. With that said, I also believe that there is not one person on this site that can't say they are lost (or a lot lost) and struggle, a great deal of the time. But, you are allowed to be lost, you are allowed to struggle, you are allowed to feel all those things. You are allowed to feel like not exercising, or eating a candy bar. Doing those things does not mitigate all the hard work you have done. It does not take away from you as a person, the wonderful mother, wife and friend you are. As people, (I am VERY guilty of it), we get wrapped up in what we have NOT done, and don't give ourselves enough credit for what we HAVE done. I don't know how many times I have sat down and wrote a blog about something I have done, like avoiding a binge, and the VERY NEXT DAY, I am right back at it. That just means we are human. Don't lose sight of that!

Everything you do here is a success and I am inspired by you. You can do this! Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or next week, but you can do it. Please don't lose sight of everything you have done! That is sooooooooo much more important!


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KKINNEA 4/20/2011 12:52PM

    Ease back in with small changes - ensure you take a 10 minute walk every day or get all your water in. As you gain ground back, you should be able to filter all your habits back in - you can do it!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 4/20/2011 12:50PM

    Sounds like a reflection blog to me. I hope you are able to find that control and confidence again.

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REBEKAHJOHNSON 4/20/2011 12:42PM

    Ya know, I've been feeling the same way for two days. I haven't been binge eating, but I definitely could be eating better. I haven't been working out either. I'm blaming mine on my daughter being gone. She's my little buddy; we're always together. My life feels so empty when she's gone to her daddy's. She won't be home for another month. My heart is broken and can't be repaired until her little body is curled up with mine.


But, I've decided I have to try to get perked back up. I'm going today to get my hair and nails done, then going to do a little shopping. I think it will be a nice change of pace to do something for myself.


But I still NEEEEED my Doodle back in this house!

So, tonight so I don't get stressed and eat the house down, I'm taking my other daughters to see Rio and then go for a walk at the park on the walking trail after that.

Sometimes a girl just needs that little extra something to keep her day going.


I hope that you find yours.

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 4/20/2011 12:26PM

    I think it's like you said in your "One Year on Spark" post, that little devil is always waiting, trying to get in and take over. I think today and yesterday and maybe all last week--he did just that!
I wish I had the secret answer, but I'm just like everybody else, floundering about out here, trying to find my way. Trying to figure out how to live this life and NOT be controlled by that desire to EAT! And I'm talking Chinese buffets here, not apples and celery!
The weight won't come off as quickly anymore. Portion size will need to get smaller, and you will need to cut the total caloric intake, in order to achieve a weight loss, now that you've lost a substantial amount. Exercising will need to increase. I started out about where you are right now, weight-wise. You have already made a great start. I don't know about you--but I don't want to have to lose even a single pound of this weight I have lost--EVER AGAIN! I lost it once and that's enough. I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep it off. Until, of course that little devil rears his ugly head in temptation.
We're never going to be successful 100% of the time. We can only hope for enough success to keep us moving in the right direction. And perhaps it helps to motivate you, to know that anytime we slip, it "un-does" all the good work we have done all week. THAT alone is enough to get me to say NO. I worked too hard for too many days to sabotage myself in one instant of weakness! And I think the MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember, something that was an incredible epiphany for me is this: "I am in control....I have the power." It's all UP TO YOU! Nobody else decides what goes in your mouth, or what exercise you decide to do. ONLY YOU! And you can say NO, I know that you can!

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PRETTYPITHY 4/20/2011 11:52AM

    Wow, thank you for posting this. I've been struggling with similar feelings lately and it is helpful for me to read yours because I can see more clearly on your behalf than I can on my own. You're doing an amazing job! I've had the feelings you're facing and I did fall off. So, do whatever you need to do to get the motivation up or, barring that, just grind it out. Do NOT fall into the trap of beating yourself up, though. We're here for you. emoticon

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KIMMARIE11 4/20/2011 11:42AM

    I was amazed at the difference two days made ... you wrote an incredibly inspirational post just two days ago. I have read it twice and will read it many more times as I go through this process of changing my life. I have been through what you are are going through now (not exactly, but the general idea) and I call it spiraling. One thing starts, the another and then my mind takes over and all of a sudden, life sucks (pardon the word, but it is appropriate) and I am ready to let everything go. It is not that it really does, it is what my mind has created out of simple things that get stacked on top of each other and into the black abyss I go.

I recognize now when this is happening and that is when I step back as you have been encouraged to do and take stock of what is really going on. If something is going on in my relationship with my husband, I deal with it first because that is the most important component of my life. If it is something at work, I take care of that second because I need to work in order to have the life I want to have with my husband. And so it goes, down the list. Ultimately, I see that it is my mind that created the spiral of darkness and not the reality of my life. Then I count my blessings and find that the phase has ended and I am back on track.

You are a blessing, to your family, friends and to those of us here on SP. Your blogs are informative and inspirational. You said you don't know what is going on, what caused some of these emotions. Explore the cause ... that is where to start because your mind has taken whatever that is and exploded it into where you are now. Spiraling is rarely fun, but I am stronger when I come up out of it. You will be too.

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PRANA_DANCER 4/20/2011 11:29AM

    You're not alone. Look at all the responses you've gotten! These people obviously want you to succeed! I don't even know you and I want you to succeed. What's more, I know you can. We all have our low points on this journey; its inevitable. With out the valleys we wouldn't have our gleaming hills. It would just be one, long boring ride that I, personally, would have abandoned.

Trust the process. Track your food, do 10 minutes of exercise a day and drink your water. Start out small again if you feel like you've fallen off the wagon. You can do this!


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    Go back and look at the photos you've posted, and your motivational posters. Read your own blogs that celebrated the successes, and the high you were on. Fight for it! You can do it!

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CECE0330 4/20/2011 10:55AM

    emoticon OK, so first things first: You have lost a lot of weight already. You KNOW how to do this. You ARE capable, and your body IS responding. BUUUUUT...this lifestyle change is a continuing education. People who have been successful on this site more often than not 1) have been here for a LONG LONG TIME (years) and 2) HAVE HAD SETBACKS ALONG THE WAY! There are good cycles and bad. It took me TWO YEARS to hit my stride and make some true progress. Before that, I was my own worst enemy: losing 10lbs only to gain back 5. I repeated that cycle for 2 years, netting a loss in that time of 20lbs. (I mean I LOST like 70, but freaking gained back 50! Ugh)

Hormones are a real killer. They do me in time and time again. But one thing I have noticed is: When I am working out consistently, I feel 100% better. They don't hit me nearly as hard. When I give in to the sugar cravings, the monster awakens and I need MORE MORE MORE until I'm on sugar overload & feeling like crap.

The only way I can pull myself out of these funks is to fake it til I make it: Today, determine that you WILL accomplish something that will make you feel good. Go to the gym, even if every fiber of your being is screaming NOT to. I'm sure there aren't many people who get done working out and think: Dang, I should have skipped that & sat on my butt instead. No! You feel GOOD for having done it, especially when you had to fight yourself to get there in the first place! Do the same thing tomorrow. Set a goal for that day. Drink your water to flush your system of the bloating, and in a week or so, you WILL feel better.

Hang in there, you aren't alone. We all might be at different weights, but we're all fighting the same fight here. One day at a time!

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CALLIKIA 4/20/2011 10:16AM

    I AM stuck with the same trainer and the same gym as per my insurance company's program. And I'm not willing to shell out more money when we're already tight enough on money to begin with. And my physical therapy appointment is TOMORROW. And I've tried a million weekend things to break the funk but nothing works because it's just another thing I HAVE to do - another thing to schedule -- Friday: "Family Time" It's annoying!

Comment edited on: 4/20/2011 10:17:59 AM

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/20/2011 10:01AM

    emoticon You are not alone. We have each gone through this, this self doubt and sabotage. Don't let this derail you. You ARE strong. You are going to reach your goals. You will live without restrictions. You are doing it. It is just a day, a week, just a short period of time that you feel you have come off the track. Venting is good, don't you feel lighter already? This is just a moment of many that are the more unpleasant side of this weight loss journey we are on. Dust yourself off and get back on the train. YOU are worth it. You are special and you are going to make GREAT things happen. emoticon

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ANGEREDMONKEY 4/20/2011 10:01AM

    You can do this! Look how far you have come! We all feel like this at some point, especially those of us who have been doing this for such a long time. I started at 330 in 2007, last October I reached 230 then I quit smoking and the Holidays hit and I went back up to 270... at that point I felt exactly what you have described here. The thing is you just have to keep moving. We will all fall off sometimes, but instead of using that to beat yourself up, use it to motivate you more, to push harder. You only have 30 pounds to go and you are under 300! That isn't far off! The weight limit on a zipline is 260lbs, You can be there by next year! Use that as your motivation: start an adventure day fund. Put aside just $10 a week and by this time next year you will have saved $520. Ziplining in WV is $80 per person for a full day, so $520 will cover your whole family plus you will have enough left over to buy the photos afterwards!

When you have the urge to snack take a minute before you put anything in your mouth and remind yourself that smaller clothes will feel so much better than that snack will taste! Compare the calories you are about to consume with what you burned at the gym - do you really want to undo all the hard work you did for the day?

It is such a mental rollercoaster - I know - I have been on it my entire life. My biggest downfalls have always been after binge regret which leads to more binging. I fall off because I HAVE to have that cookie or the entire box of cookies and then I feel like I have completely ruined everything and so I eat more and more because, why not? If I already derailed myself what is one more bite? But that is where you have to put in your head that just because you fell down, you ate something you shouldn't or skipped the gym one day or gained a pound etc... that hasn't foiled your entire mission, you just have to choose to get back up and keep going like nothing ever happened. You can do this!

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SPMCCANN 4/20/2011 9:56AM

  "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. " ~Mary Anne Radmacher

I hope writing the blog got all the negativity out of your system. You are not alone.We all have bad days or weeks. You are making progress. Have faith in yourself you are stronger than you think.

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SIRENICAL 4/20/2011 9:51AM

    I just finished reading your post about year one with spark people. Read it again yourself! You are strong, you are motivated, you can do it.
Don't beat yourself up for a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad month. Take a deep breath and listen to your body. You took some time to do some stretching at work, but stopped because you thought you had enough. Next time keep going until your body tells you that it has had enough. That was a HUGE step in helping yourself get back on track.
If your trainer isn't returning your calls, call again. If they still don't, find someone else who will. There is no need to feel stuck with the same trainer.
If you want to get back in to physical therapy, call and make an appointment! I know you have one coming up, but make it for sooner, don't wait as long. Take control, it is yours to have.
If your nutritionist is having a baby and unavailable for an indefinite amount of time, find a new one for the time being. Ask her office for recommendations in the interim.
Don't force the "fun stuff" on weekends. Perhaps renting a movie and all pilling on the couch together with some popcorn is a way to spend time together without stressing out. Going for a walk to see how many birds and squirrels you can see. Keep it simple and you will find it more relaxing hopefully!
Just a reminder too, this is unchartered territory for you: "I'm just about as small as I was when I graduated high we're moving into uncharted territory (and that can be frightening!)"
Remember, you can do it! Perhaps it will be a slower journey right now, that is ok.
If you ever need a bit of motivation, give me a shout!

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KARVY09 4/20/2011 9:41AM

    Esther, just because you're having a rough time right now doesn't mean that you're giving up or that this last year has been a waste. You have accomplished so much and seen and done so many things. Going to Vegas and going to Minnesota were things that you needed to do for YOU at the time. You are a great mom and a great wife but you need to cut yourself a little slack. We all feel lost and abandoned at certain times in our lives. You wrote it out, and you can move on.

No regrets. Learn and move on.

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DANSMOMTPM2 4/20/2011 9:40AM

    Esther babe, you got to get ahold of yourself! If I was there, I would get ahold of you. Listen, beating yourself up isn't helping. You need to stop and re-group. Take a look at your pictures, remember who it is you want to be. Wow- you have made an amazing transformation, be proud of that. And we all screw up, we all have bad days. I am not letting you give up on yourself. So - what to do now? Sit down and set yourself realistic goals - and then start. Can you get someone to work out with you??? If not, then make yourself an inspirational music playlist and get to work. I run alone, and at times it can be lonely, but just keep telling yourself, you are doing this for YOU! (and those boys of yours). God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and trust me, you can handle this. If you need to talk, shoot me an email!!! Hang in there girl - this too shall pass. emoticon

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