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NSV Out the Butt - or - Why I'm Doing This

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So I focus a little too much too often on the scale and the tape measure...don't we all? Someone told me the other day, "Think about all you can do that you couldn't before!" I answered "Whatever..." but I shouldn't have dismissed them like that. NSV. Non-scale victories. Here we go...

* I AM a size 24. That means I can once again shop in the clothing stores. I can go in, pick out a size 24 and it will fit. It might be a bit snug, or might be a little loose, but it will fit. I no longer have to shop through mail-order catalogs and guesstimate my size by just picking the biggest size available, or picking the one down from that because I'm too ashamed to even click on the highest size.

* I can shop in "regular" stores as well. Granted, I am still limited to a small selection of stretchy tops and sweaters in the largest size available, but picking out XL and XXL shirts in a Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy make me feel like I belong...especially when I realize that they don't only fit, they look good on me. I no longer feel the shame of walking by these stores with jealousy and rage coursing through my veins for what they have that I can't have.

* I can shop according to what I like, not just what fits. Because I've taken the time to open my world of fashion to a wider range of options, I do NOT have to simply settle for the cheapest thing that fits my body. I can put something on, and if I don't love it, I do NOT have to buy it. Period. I have the option of LIKING what I wear now and that's HUGE for me...a girl who has always been a little obsessed with fashion.

* I'm no longer just the personal shopper. I have an uncanny ability to keep up with trends, to know what looks right on a body (just not MY body). In the past, I have spent more than a few hours walking the mall with friends, picking out outfits they should wear. I know how to shop according to their skin tone, their personal style, their body shape - and I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "You are GREAT at this! You should be a personal shopper!" (Hell, I wish! Would be a TON of fun!) I never let my friends see the jealousy that rang into much I wanted them to be MY personal shopper for a day. I can now say that on several occassions I have tried on clothing in a dressing room NEXT TO my friends in the SAME STORE. At the end of trying on a piece of clothing, we emerge and critique each other's outfits. I have to say that it's 100% more enjoyable to me than just sitting on the bench in the fitting room waiting to see my gorgeous friends in their new picks.

* A mile no longer sounds like a marathon. I now choose to park near the back of the parking lot at the store (mostly because I'm protecting my new baby and her pretty paint job). I don't see any issue with walking all the way from the back to the front, circling the store a half a dozen times to get the things I forgot on the first few times around, visiting several stores in order to compare and get the best deal. A full day shopping is no longer out of the question. Yes, I am still sore after because of my current back injuries, but I can do it without wheezing and having to sit down every 5 minutes. I can't tell you how many meat coolers, deli displays, and bags of dog food had been chairs for me at the grocery store that now get a reprieve because I'm too busy to stop. Now it's hard to stop me from moving and my boys often have trouble keeping up.

* Three words -- Less Shaving Cream.

* Six words -- Less time spent in the shower. Actually, six more -- MORE time spent in the shower. *lol* If I'm running late, I can take a super fast shower now. If I have more time, I can stand in the shower longer to enjoy the hot water upon my back. Again, I have options.

* TV marathons and movies are reserved for nighttime viewings when the sun has set, or rainy days when outside play in the mud doesn't seem very inviting. But when the sun is shining and the weather is warm, I want to be outside playing tennis, walking, working in the garden. I no longer see the sun as something to make me sweat, I see it as a welcome invitation to enjoy the world around me.

* Planes don't scare me or make me nervous anymore. I can buckle my belt on most big airplanes without the assistance of an extender, and even on the small planes the need for an extender is dwindling.

* I can breathe again. I have a coworker who, after a quick trip down the hall and back comes back breathing heavy. It's sort of sad because I remember once being like that, not too long ago. In the past year, however, I have been caught several times sprinting down the halls to get wherever I need to go in a hurry. *snort*

* I have muscles. I can see the shape of my arms, shoulders, chest, waist, and legs taking form. Yesterday, while lifting weights with Hubs, I looked in the mirror and thought once again, "I have great arms under there! I can see them taking shape."

* I care about myself. I care about my appearance and feel I have the freedom to make those choices without trying to conceal every part of my body out of shame. I can wear things that make my shoulders look great. I can wear dresses because I want to. I pick my nail polish colors and makeup according to my whims, not trying to make the only acceptable parts of me look half-decent in an effort to conceal the other parts.

* My husband says several times every weekend, "So where are we going today?" or "What do you want to do?" Yes, sometimes it's annoying because there are days when I just want to stay home and veg out on the couch, but he's come to learn that we're now an active family. We play sand volleyball together, tennis, we take walks and hikes and enjoy getting out and doing things that help us enjoy the beauty of WV.

* I'm more alert and awake....most days. When I stay clear of heavy sugars and those awful draggy carbs (not complex carbs, mind you), I last throughout my 10-hour shift. Unless, of course, I haven't gotten enough sleep or I'm dragging due to injuries. On a whole, I have more alert days then dragging ones now.

* I used to drink a 2-liter of pop in a day easily. I now drink a gallon of water in a day easily. And my body LOVES me for it. I've become more regular and experience less of the regular daily bloat I used to experience daily, even though I still have the same "sit down" job, my ankles don't swell as much anymore and I feel better, cleaner, more healthy inside.

* I don't mind dressy a little sexy/slutty for Hubs now and again...because sometimes I do actually feel it.

* I encourage pictures that will help me see my progress, instead of hiding in shame of my bulk.

* The limiting of options has all but disappeared. I still worry about weight limits because of what the scale says, but I don't worry anymore about my ability to do things. The world can limit me, but I will not!

* I'm strong! I can lift 300+ on the leg press machine. I've moved on to "advanced" exercises for the most part. I'm a regular gym rat and it shows with my 20lb dumbbells and grunting through hammer curls and hyperextensions (traded for the back extension machine, which I've now outgrown because I can lift the highest weight available on it more than 20 times without any difficulty).

* I can jump! I still worry sometimes, but I can do it without much fear anymore. I can do jumping jacks (though I still hate them) and jump rope (even though it's hard) or spike a ball in the sand or jump up to serve the tennis ball. I can jump again...something I haven't done since the age of 16, really.

* My knee doesn't pop out anymore. It still makes a motion like it's going to, but it catches itself. Not since I was 12 or younger have I experienced such a long period free from "popping out incidents" as I have in the last 6 months or so.

* I'm more obsessed with finding my next adventure in activity than finding my next adventure in high calorie foods. Chocolate cake doesn't rule my life every day. I don't go to the store once a day or a week or even once a month anymore to grab as many sweets as I think I can stand. I have very few hidden binge moments (I think 2 in the past year that were serious?). I'M taking control, thankyouverymuch!

* Hubs can help me up from the floor. Yes, I still have some maneuvering to do to get from the floor to standing again, mostly because I don't 100% trust my knee and squatting seems like a silly thing to try right now. But you know when you put your feet together and someone who is standing grabs your hands and helps pull you up? When we used to do this, it was a severe workout for the hubs. He did most of the work as I struggled to get my muscles to lift me. Now it's a simple 1 - sit, bend knees, 2 - grab hands, 3 - lift process. Hubs and I noticed this last night and it was nice to think about how far I've come there.

* I've become the source of encouragement for people around me. I lead the lifting routines at the gym, and there are many times (like last night) when Hubs craps out and gives out on doing a set before I will. I push myself hard and I feel the rewards of it later...and Hubs has moved into resisting my suggestions more and more. He'll admit freely now that I've got a one-up on him at the gym. I can lift almost as much with my upper body as he can (stupid men and their natural upper body strength!), but I lift more often and with greater ease and I push myself harder. (Plus, I can lift much MORE with my lower body than he can. *big grin*)

* Two more words -- great sex.

* Finally, my kids have become active little buggers. Their vocabulary has changed. They ASK for vegetables with dinner because they don't think it's a complete meal without them. They have learned to cook several healthy meals and I encourage them to keep learning. They know about portions, they understand nutrition better than I ever did, they understand how important water is and how important activity is to keeping your body strong and healthy. They've seen their mom change and I think they like this upgraded version better because she's willing and able to play and do fun things with them without tiring.

* One more thing about water -- my entire family drinks water more than anything else in my house. We rarely have soda in the house, and refuse to buy it at restaurants because the price of a soda is just stupid nowadays! We save pop/soda for "treats" and really enjoy them when we get them, but we don't see it as a regular part of our lives.

* My car's seat belt fits. Every car seat belt fits properly now.

* Turning sideways is somewhat of a thing of the past. I can squeeze through tighter spaces now, often without even having to turn sideways. Behind the chairs of other people in the conference room, down the hallways, etc. I can move to make room for others, instead of the other way around.

Finally, what other NSVs am I looking forward to?
* The end of the belly apron.
* Chasing after my kids.
* Hiking for days straight without fear or exhaustion.
* Biking again without fear of falling off or that stopping will injure my knee again.
* Shopping for pants in a "regular" store. (I LOVE New York & Co. stuff, so I'm looking forward to being able to shop there, as well as the Gap and Banana Republic.)
* Fitting all airplane seats without an extender.
* The end of limits from weight limits - horseback riding, ziplining, etc.
* Using this newfound strength on the hiking trails and on the water -- I can't wait to feel how I can row now. I can't wait to try white-water rafting (something I was always afraid to do before). I cannot WAIT to see what summer sports holds for this new body of mine.

What are your NSVs? Think hard. Even the smallest change can spur you on to greater ones, because, in the end, no one will know your weight or likely your clothing size unless you tell them - they will make their assessment of you according to how you live. Want to inspire others? Live a healthy, active life and show them how freeing it is to be in shape!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GWENAEL 5/12/2011 10:37PM

  You are great and such an inspiration!

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MEGSFITNESS 5/12/2011 5:29PM

    So, I took a drink of water for every thing I read that made me think "You go girl!!"

Yeah, I just drank almost half a liter ;)

You're doing a great job and sounding a lot more up beat than this time last month.

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KRAZYKATT 5/11/2011 9:52PM

    Oh Yeah! I'm gonna think hard (just as you suggested!) and blog about my own NSV's! That list should come in handy on those days I need extra motivation. I need to stop obsessing about the numbers!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 5/11/2011 5:20PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TIGERJANE 5/11/2011 4:48PM

    Esther, if our backs are up to it, we should schedule some days to hike on the Appalachian Trail either this fall when the leaves are pretty, or in late spring next year. Get some other AB's to join us.

You down? emoticon

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TEAM-SARAH 5/11/2011 4:17PM

    Fantastic, these are all such wonderful things that are way way more important than the scale or the measurements. I say you keep this blog in a place you can easily access it! Then go to this when you are having those bad days and you wonder why you're going through all this when it doesn't seem to be paying off. All of these things will remind you of how much it has paid off, and will continue to do so for you!!

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CANNIE50 5/11/2011 4:05PM

    I just blogged about this - my latest NSV was putting on a workout shirt, that I had earned in a race, that I had set aside to give away because it used to cling to my belly like "saran wrap to hot pudding". Slipped it on and, what do you know? A good inch between the fabric and my belly. That felt nice. I LOVE your blog. I nearly cried when you talked about the part where your husband and boys just naturally think of your family as active, now. That is a huge victory! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/11/2011 3:51PM

    NSVs mean SO much more than the scale or the tape measure--you have come incredibly far, and you inspire many people. I hope you know what an amazing woman you are and give yourself the credit you deserve!

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BTINTERNET 5/11/2011 3:43PM

    You are so amazing!!!! Love you!!!

(And I still want your cassoulet recipe!)

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    Love all the NSVs! So great!!

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OFFDREA 5/11/2011 3:00PM

    Those are all worth so much more than any number on the scale. Congratulations on your success!!!!!!!!

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ERIN1128 5/11/2011 2:34PM

    Awesome reminder that the scale is not everything!

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35ANGELS 5/11/2011 1:39PM

    I love your NSV's. I never think of those. Thanks. emoticon

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MANLEYSANDY 5/11/2011 1:30PM

    Love, love, love it!!!

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SARAHJ19 5/11/2011 1:13PM

    I love all of your Non scale victories! They are great!!! You are setting such a great example for your family! Keep it up girl! When you feel like things aren't going good...look at this blog! You are doing so awesome!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 5/11/2011 12:57PM

    Esther, you are doing such a wonderful job! Those are emoticonNSV's.

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MAGPIE17 5/11/2011 12:46PM

    Awesome NSVs, Esther!!

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SARAWALKS 5/11/2011 12:26PM

    emoticon emoticon What a GREAT list of NSVs!

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/11/2011 11:23AM

    YES, what AMAZING NSVs!!!!!!! You have come so far, and you inspire so many people, more than you know I am sure, along the way.

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/11/2011 11:06AM

    What an amazing list of better-than-befores! Congratulations : )

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Mother's Day...Run!

Monday, May 09, 2011

I sucked this weekend. Seriously, I was all over the place. I've been extremely emotional lately and yesterday was a "last straw" kind of day. I feel sorry for the kids and Hubs, who are trying so hard to forgive me for every mood swing but, I know, are having a difficult time understanding. What's wrong? Honestly, I'm not quite sure.

It could be the fact that I feel like I haven't lost ANY weight in 2011. I've been hovering in the 320s for so long that I feel like it's a permanent nightmare vacation that I just want to escape from. I'm stressed because work has been annoying, with homework assignments planned to test me in my job duties, which I don't feel I deserve or am afraid I will fail (likely the latter). Then you can add to that troubles with family, struggling to understand life and how some people seem blessed with all of the things I want to provide my children, feeling like I'm on a never-ending hamster wheel and am getting nowhere, feeling abandoned by friends and my boxing instructor. I haven't boxed in more than a month, which is something that usually relieves some tension, but even though I've contacted my instructor twice and he's stated that he will get back to me with times to schedule another appointment, the longer it takes for him to get back to me the more I assume he never will and the more I wonder if I should be hurt or angry or sad or what by it. And add to that my stress with the upcoming wedding, the fact that I don't yet have a bridesmaid dress and was told by one place it was impossible to get one in time, the fact that my friend has not been very much help, even though she understands the whole wedding timeline situation much better than I do. Add to that the stress that Hubs has decided he will not come with me to the wedding in July in Utah and I will be forced to go alone...again. Oh, and the fact that Hubs' job situation is failing, which makes me wonder if I need another job on the weekends, which will rob me of all my days not spent indoors working and will further stress me out. AND add to that the fact that I seem to be the ONLY person getting random calls at work because our new Receptionist thinks I can answer every question about this place so she sends me every call she doesn't know what to do with, making it impossible for me to get my work done, but I'm still expected to do it. *SCREAMS!!!*

After another holiday of feeling unappreciated by the Hubs, I struggled to not cry, to hold it together, to not get loud or angry, to be understanding of what he was thinking...and I failed miserably. So my Mother's Day was pretty much like any other Sunday, being annoyed by Hubs, annoyed by the kids, feeling the pressure of still not being under 320 (320.2. Seriously!? *screams*) and the pressure of trying to follow this past week with another that will put me UNDER 320 (PLEASE?!?!!?!). I snapped at Hubs and acted like a friggin' child, and I'm not at all proud, and more confused than ever at my behavior and my unhappiness and my distress.

Look, losing weight is hard. It's hard to be surrounded by people who don't have to think about calorie counts and minutes spent exercising. Add to that the desire to do more and the unwilling and unable body with which I'm finding myself, I'm frustrated and angry and bored. I've been doing this for a year. Last time I started this whole mess, I gave up right after my year mark. I just couldn't do it anymore. This year I'm struggling so hard to just hang on, but I'm struggling every single minute of every day. It's hard. I know I don't need to tell you all that, but it is.

I'm back to feeling lost and alone.
Back to feeling abandoned.
Back to feeling restricted on a diet.
Back to feeling fat.
Back to this confusion I shouldn't be feeling. I've lost almost 100 pounds in this past year, so how could I be here still confused a year later? And how can I still be so fat?!

Yes, that has snuck back in. As I explained to my nutritionist, I have been here so long, at 320-330 area, that I don't really remember what being 420 felt like. So I've lost my frame of reference, and all I see in the mirror, on the scale, in pictures is fat me. I don't see what I've done. I've even gone as far as to distort progress pictures. I just don't see the progress anymore. I have such a distorted self-image and a sincere sense of hopelessness of escaping this that I've begun avoiding cameras and mirrors for the sake of my own sanity.

I feel like I'm starting at step one all over again.
I've tried just accepting that...telling myself, "Fine! Accept who you are right now and start here as day one. Forget what came before and start from here." But that frustrates me even more.

Friday, I started out well. I packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for me and Ethan when I took him to the oral surgeon. I resisted the donuts at Tim Hortons save for ONE Timbit. ONE. I have never been able to eat just ONE Timbit. I was feeling pretty accomplished.

And then I felt tired. No workout Friday. I drove to Parkersburg (about 45 minutes away) and back to the house twice. Once to take Ethan to the surgeon, then to meet mom for a Mother's Day dinner. It was nice to see her. I did good at dinner and ordered oven-broiled fish, which I couldn't physically stomach after all the fish I'd eaten all week. I rewarded myself for a good week with a new book from the bookstore and didn't get home until late. I was running from about 10:30am until about 10pm.

No workout Saturday either. With the best intentions, I dressed for the gym and met my nutritionist at 9am. I poured out my heart to her. She told me to stop trying to be so perfect. She told me that if I could only get 4 days of being "on" in during the week (my work week, when my schedule is set and it's easier for me to follow), then I should focus on those 4 days and try to do my best with the other three. The important thing was getting back on track and finding my grove again. I explained my current self-distortion problems and although she seemed to feel sorry that I was in that place again, she urged me to just keep going and had no other advice to give. We talked about how to make up a good plate using a diagram and how to eat healthy without restricting too much. But instead of following that discussion with a workout, the sun was shining and I didn't want to be in the gym, so I said I was working out outside, which I didn't do. Instead I went home and prepped the grocery list for the week, and then went shopping, felt awful that I didn't save Hubs enough money on the grocery bill than he had expected, and then went home to cook out. It was a relaxing day and I enjoyed it, but my eating was a mess and I freely admit that. I ate a slice of wheat toast with peanut butter before meeting the nutritionist, and then didn't eat again until about 3pm. And then I ate too much. *sigh* And couldn't seem to stop all night.

Sunday? I went the whole day just sitting/laying around. Finally around 5pm I figured Hubs had no interest in taking me anywhere for Mother's Day. He had made the pancakes I requested at around 3pm and then headed out to be with his mom and left me home with two bored boys. I had already run out with them before he was up to get a paper (for the coupons) and eat some lunch at Taco Bell, and now we were just sitting around bored, watching old episodes of Project Runway. At around 6pm, after I had cooked some chicken for my lunches and put the Salsa Chicken in the slow cooker for tonight, I gave up and went back to my bedroom to read alone. At 7pm Hubs showed up and said, "Alright, let's go!" I had already relayed when he left that I had wanted to go to the park. I was enraged. 7pm? The sunlight was fading. The day was wasted. It might as well be any other night when I have to rush after work to enjoy some sunlight before the sun sets. I said I didn't want to go anymore. He insisted, and we went. I walked off without him, he followed. He followed me through the marshy, swampy, muddy mess I traversed to get to the upper lake at the park. I needed peace and I was looking anywhere I could think to find it. The whole time I was telling him how unhappy I was, he didn't make a sound. I had already blown up and told him he was the worst husband ever, so it's really no wonder. We played some tennis and it took me a good long time to finally forget my rage enough to smile, then laugh, then actually have some time. All it took was a VERY short run along the path alone (without pain! and without running shoes - OOPS!) and some tennis fun with the boys wherein we hit tennis balls as far as we could and my oldest son, Logan, ran off to retrieve them.

All I can think today is -
Esther, WTF is your problem? You're making EVERYONE miserable.

I hate it.
I hate the way I acted.
I have no clue what set me off.
I don't know how to stop it.
No, I don't want to see a therapist, so please don't suggest that.
I just need to figure out what the real problem is and work through it.
I've gotten through it before, I can do it again.

All I know is that I'm frustrated, confused, angry, and that has led to me being downright hateful.

Apologies are in order, but I feel like "But that IS how I'm feeling? Why should I apologize for saying how I felt? How is that any fair to me?"


See, boys and girls, Esther is a mess right now.
So what am I doing about it?

Right now, I'm just pushing through.

I ate my eggs and oats this morning.
I drank my coffee.
I packed my meals.
I went to physical therapy (where my PT was out so I didn't get to relay the event I had with my back a few days ago, which, again, made me feel abandoned).
I read my book on break.
I'm drinking my water.
I had my snack of PB sandwich and strawberries.
I had a salad for lunch.
I used my lunch break to sit outside in the sun and read.
I bought a Shape magazine, hoping that would help, but I don't want to read it.

I don't want to be reminded of what I can't do.
I don't want to feel like the fat girl again.
I don't want to see their skinny bodies and hear them talk about how easy it is when it really feels so hard right now.

I'm in the process of talking myself into exercise tonight. It might not be exactly what I should do, but if I could get some tennis or a walk in I'll feel alright with that.

Just get through these four days, Esther.
Four days.
And then shoot for five.
Just do the best you can.
Make an opportunity happen where possible.
Ignore the excuses whenever possible.
And forgive yourself for your lack of perfection.
Forgive your body for not doing what you want.
Forgive the aches and pains and see it as healing, not pain.

So, yeah. There that is. I got nothing else for you. I can recommend positive blogs if you'd like. I've read a ton trying to cheer myself up and snap myself out of it. Just let me know if you need one of those because, as for today, I am ZERO help in that department.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHATSARAHEATS 5/11/2011 9:56AM

    I think you are making great progress. you are pushing through, and getting to the root of the problem. Lots of people lose weight without really facing the problems that are going on in their heads and that's what packs the weight back on- bottling up the feelings of why they gained the weight in the first place.

You are a very strong woman and you have tons of supporters here.

It gets better.

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RUNNINGNP2B 5/11/2011 8:44AM

    Hugs and love and it happens. But the important part is that you don't give up and keep going at it. You will get out of the 320s, I know it. You will do it.

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TRACYZABELLE 5/10/2011 2:21AM

    We all fall at times and feel like we can never recover but we do and we press on which is what you will do-- pick yourself up, brush yourself off and do ti again.. POSITIVE SELF TALK dump the negativity.. YOU can do anything-- YOU ARE WORTH THE EFFORT

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ERIN1128 5/9/2011 6:37PM

    What amazes me about you is that even when you think you're blowing it, you're in actuality still pushing ahead! You're continuing to try to work through it, instead of just writing everything off. I think the "four days" philosophy" is a great idea...I think in general, maybe short-term goals are what you need to focus on right now, so it doesn't all feel so overwhelming.

And don't ever apologize for not being positive or whatever...we're all here for each other, in good times and bad. :-) Big hugs to you!

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MAMADELIGHT 5/9/2011 6:18PM

    I really like that.. Stop trying to be perfect. Make those 4 days count - and be good the other three. I am taking that away.

We all need tantrums and witchyness once in awhile, and then people realize how wonderful you usually are.

Take care of yourself, Mama.

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CANNIE50 5/9/2011 5:01PM

    A line from a Queen song ran through my head while reading your blog: "under pressure". I know I can put too much pressure on myself and then I put too much pressure on others and then I feel like a pressure cooker with no valve and POW - explosion and mess and awfulness. I have no great advice and I sure won't recommend therapy, that always made me feel worse and shifted my focus to problems. You are a very detail oriented person - maybe step back a bit. You already have so many good habits in place, maybe you can auto pilot on a few of them. Another thought I had is that you may be doing something I do which is "piling". I am upset about something so then I think of all the things I am upset about and then I start reaching in the future to think of things I could be upset about and things that have already happened that I am still upset about and and and, and finally I have to tell myself STOP. For me, the mantra is "breathe and pray, honey, breathe and pray". I wish you peace of mind and progress and I wish I could wave a magic wand and give it to you emoticon. It will come and when it does, it will be sweet.

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SNOOKUMS19 5/9/2011 5:00PM

    Cut yourself some slack on the positive blogs. When I blog its to get all the stuff out of me. Somedays good stuff some days not so good stuff. I hate when I hear friends make me feel bad for a bad day. We all have them but know to be kind to yourself. Drink a warm cup of tea, paint your toes, watch a good chick flick and the next day get on with your bad self! You will find your groove! Your a strong woman! Have a healthy day!

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KKINNEA 5/9/2011 4:42PM

    Keep working on the small, consistent things and you'll keep going!

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TIGERJANE 5/9/2011 3:48PM

    only thing I have to offer, is to point out that you felt so much better after you played tennis yesterday. I always feel better after I do something active and have some time to stop thinking about my feelings for a little bit. So perhaps you should play more tennis?

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UNICORN212 5/9/2011 3:32PM

    I feel for you - my daughter hasn't mailed my card yet (she has her issues, so I forgive her) and DH? Well, lets just say I got a hug and a kiss and leave it at that. So you are not alone there.

As to your progress - go to your page and look at your progress photos. You have done a great job. Yes, you still have more work to do, and yes, it is work. But you have already come a long way. And you CAN get back on track and lose the next hundred pounds. It will take a while, but you have already proved that you have what it takes. So look at those photos again!

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SARAHJ19 5/9/2011 2:56PM

    Can I just say...did I write this?!?! As I was reading this I am really in the same boat as you. I can relate with you in so many ways! My Mother's Day was not the best, I feel extremly unppreciated by my hubby. I expressed to him how I felt and then I told him I was hello why am I saying sorry for the way that I feel!!! So not fair!

Esther, you are on the right track girl. Look at all the positives you have done so far for today! Keep pushing through and you will get into your groove. That is what I am doing today...pushing through until I find my groove again. After a weekend of eating Snickers, Mexican, chips & is time to get a grip of myself and get things together!

I wish it was so much easier, but it's not. emoticon Remember your spark friends are here and ready to help! Hope the rest of your day goes better. emoticon

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MAGPIE17 5/9/2011 2:46PM

    HUgs, hon.

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/9/2011 2:37PM

    emoticon Sometimes it feels like we are running through mud. And then more of that, and day...we awaken and the sun is out and we jump up only to land firmly on our capable feet. I could relate to everything you've said here, everything, I could have written this last week. Thank you for being so open and honest and sharing, you are helping others and I have a feeling that writing this all down helped you, too. And YOU are beautiful and are a fighter and YOU are going to reach your destination and then some. One day, hour, sometimes minute at a time. Go the distance these next 4 days, and then go a step more..and more...and more.. You will get there.

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TEAM-SARAH 5/9/2011 2:14PM

    I'm really impressed with the fact that you're just doing what you know you need to do in spite of feeling so down. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I know you'll come out stronger, because you always seem to do just that :) You have nowhere to go but up!

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Learning about Food

Friday, May 06, 2011

I spent yesterday learning about food.

Yes, that sounds strange coming from someone who has lost over 90 pounds in a year, but it's true.

You see, way back when, I was eating pretty much the same thing every day. I knew if I followed the same eating pattern, I would end up with near perfect results. (I'll admit it, I do seek perfection a LITTLE too much when it comes to reaching my ranges.) After a while, the plan got boring. And then this new little plan came along and I was back to doing the same thing, this time with less vigor.

What I've learned so far from this eating plan:

1) It really does regulate my body, but I wonder if that's not more from eating at the same time everyday than eating the exact same food.

2) I don't know if I could eat another piece of tilapia. Each time dinner time rolled around, my stomach would get queasy just thinking about that fish. It tasted just fine, and I actually didn't mind eating seemed more mental and every time that day would roll around, the exact same thing would happen. *shrug*

3) As far as this eggs and oats thing goes? That is a winner! Cooked together with some brown sugar stirred in my bowl when it's done? YUM! I just had another batch and I have to say that this one grew on me really quickly! I'm keeping it!

4) Yesterday, my body told me that I was 10 minutes late for my next meal. Yes, TEN MINUTES. I know that my body works best on a schedule, but this is the MOST fine-tuned I've ever gotten it.

5) The broccoli, rice and spinach dish by far is my favorite meal other than breakfast. This one is going in regular rotation.

6) Even though I was eating "perfectly" I had no idea how to make a meal that would fit these goals on my own...something I realized yesterday when I tried to figure out next week's menu.

7) And, finally, when I deviate from the plan in a BAD way...I pay for it.

Last night we went and had the whole Mexican dinner. Because we were concerned with money at the time, and I could see Hubs glaring at me as I studied the menu, I didn't pick the chicken fajitas I always get that are one of the healthiest choices. I caved and got a cheaper, non-healthy choice. *sigh* I'm paying for that decision today, and I paid some last night. Heartburn, upset stomach, too much time in the bathroom. It hasn't been an easy night or morning. But....I have learned a valuable lesson. If you don't have the money to eat healthy don't have the money to eat out. I'm not sacrificing my health and my body's progress because the bank account is low. I could've gone home and cooked up a healthy dinner instead and saved even more than going out and eating crap.

So, yes, I spent most of the day when I wasn't working, doing research on how to build a healthy plate. I'm going with the 60/20/20 plan. 60% carbs, 20% protein, 20% fat. Funny how I never learned how to really work this before.

Did you know?
* There are 4 calories for every carb and protein, but 9 for fat?
I knew there were 9 for fat, but I didn't know there were 4 for carbs and protein. And to me, it was a huge eye opener. 60/20/20 makes it seem like you can have just as much fat as protein but I KNEW that was wrong. Turns out, protein is less calorie dense, so you can have more of it. Same with carbs.

*Using the 4,4,9 information, you can figure out how many calories, carbs, proteins and fats you can fit into each meal?
That was fun to learn. I made myself a cheat sheet, which I will use to help plan my meals, using the fall-back meals in this plan as a fail-safe in case I can't come up with anything that fits right.

*If you balance each of your 6 meals to the 60/20/20 equation, you'll be balanced for the day?
It takes some of the guesswork out of it for me. Balance each meal pretty close to dead on and I won't have to fret if the day is good or crap.

I have an appointment with my nutritionist in the morning and I'll be going over a lot of this with her. I need her to teach me more about building a healthy plate. We need to get a list of options that I can use to create the meals I actually WANT to eat. While this set meal plan has taken the guesswork out of it, I want to be free from the constraints of eating the same thing day in and day out for the rest of my life. It's time to merge the part of me that knows a balanced diet works to the part of me that wants to continue to enjoy food and indulge every now and again.

One final note, this one less about food. YOOVIE said, "Do something today that makes you feel free." So I did.

I skipped the gym. With the sun shining so brightly and the knowledge that the next week looks like RAIN, STORMS, RAIN, and more STORMS, I wanted to enjoy this time I had. I grabbed Hubs and the boys and we headed up to the park where I played a good bit of tennis. It felt wonderful. It felt freeing. AND, I'm actually getting better at it! BONUS! My serves generally go where I want them to now, and I'm returning a lot more than I was a year ago. It was a great day, a great lesson in using fun, active activities to free your mind from the burden of "I HAVE to work out." AND? I used any down time to do crunches and lunges, so I got a good lower body workout in too (plus, tennis is a LOT of lower body work already).

Now onto to today. Going to have to alter the plan a bit as I'm taking my youngest to an appointment today with the Oral Surgeon in Parkersburg. I just ate my eggs and oats breakfast, so I'm packing with me - water, Chobani yogurt, granola and a spoon. :) I know this is good for me, and I can eat it wherever I am.

Happy Friday to you all!
"Do something today that makes you smell really bad."

YOOVIE said it. Take it or leave it. I'm either going to kill it on an elliptical tonight or Just Dance until it hurts...and smells. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREGGIEQUEEN 5/16/2011 2:45PM

    Not sure what oats and eggs you're talking about, but one of my favorite breakfast discoveries was a poached egg or two over savory oats (oats made with chili powder, onion powder, black pepper, nutritional yeast, and other savory spices). Oh so good!

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TEAM-SARAH 5/6/2011 5:06PM

    I miss tennis so much!! Did I ever tell you I was on the varsity team in high school!? I never have anyone to play with me though, so it's been a long time. I am not varsity quality anymore! haha

I hope the nutritionist meeting goes well, I'm sure you'll learn a lot. I'd LOVE to splurge on a few sessions with a nutritionist sometime, there's always more to learn. I am considering keeping my personal training certification current and there's a nutrition and weight management specialty that I figured would be awesome to do and it would teach me a lot in the process.

Tilapia is great and theres a lot you can do with it... but it is definitely one of those fishes that I get pretty tired of quickly! Have a great weekend!

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JENNSWIMS 5/6/2011 2:44PM


I think it is great how you were able to combine fitness and spending time with your family. Win-Win!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 5/6/2011 11:55AM

    That is a great concept. I have learned to use the plate/pie chart. Half my plate is fruit &/or veggies (carbs come from these as well), 1/4 is protein, and 1/4 is whole grain. Maybe this is why your plan makes sense to me, it is very similar. I know you can do it!

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XTMONT 5/6/2011 10:57AM

    What plan are you following? Is it one that's set by your nutritionist? I recently fell victim my unerring need for a SOLUTION and someone's low carb agenda. Yes, I tried South Beach for 4 days. But at the end I just couldn't eat another egg for breakfast (and I love eggs). You take my grains away from me and I get cranky!

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CRISM18 5/6/2011 10:52AM

  love this! thanks for sharing

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

You are stronger than you think you are.
You are stronger than you imagine.

Strength is not purely physical. Check the dictionary! It talks about mental strength, and moral courage too.

I was strong yesterday.
I ate healthy.
I indulged only what would still allow me victory in the end.
I said NO to Hot and Ready Pizza.
I forced myself to push everything out of my mind at bath time and just enjoy...

...even though the kids were screaming.
...even though Hubs was screaming at the kids.
...even with the TV on.
...even when the light kept flickering out.

I kept going. Each time an obstacle came up, I fought my way through it with the strength I had and the desire to succeed.

YOOVIE said, "Do something today that makes you feel strong."

My strength did not come from the number of pounds I lifted.
It did not come from a number of crunches or squats.

It came from sticking to it.
It came from being unwilling to give in.
It came from knowing when to say yes, and knowing when to say no.
It came from doing what I wanted and needed for my body and mind.

August Wilson said:
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”

And how about Alex Karras?
“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more 'manhood' to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”

Yeah, I've never heard of them either...but after that I'm thinking I should know who they are.

But, Mahatma Gandhi said it best, I think...
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

True dat, Mr. Gandhi!

It takes strength to battle your demons.
To say NO to food that will give you momentary pleasure but longer moments of regret.
To champion through when the world seems to be signaling a time-out.
To stand up and say, "NO! I will stand up for myself. I will do what I need for me, for my happiness, for my strength and beauty and love. I will fight whatever it takes to prove to myself that I am important."

And as I reflect upon yesterday, and I remember all the ways it could have gone wrong. As I see all the paths that could have been taken and I triumph and bask in the glow of pride for feeling like I took the right paths nearly every time, I'm reminded of something.

The fight isn't over.
Every day is a struggle. Some harder than others.
But every day is also an opportunity to prove my strength, or to build more through failure.

Truth is...

And I like it.

So remember...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 5/11/2011 6:49PM

    Needing this today...big time!!!!

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ALICIAT32 5/7/2011 2:45PM

    Right On! Loved it!

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35ANGELS 5/6/2011 10:36AM

    Awesome blog...I needed that today. emoticon emoticon

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RUSSELLORAMA 5/6/2011 12:52AM

    Yes to this!! And August Wilson is one of my favorite playwrights (unless it's a different dude in which case I have no freaking clue who he is! :))

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    Great blog!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 5/5/2011 8:02PM


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JENNSWIMS 5/5/2011 7:58PM

    I think Alex Karras was the dad on the TV show Webster, but that is not important. This is a FANTASTIC post.

Thank you.

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TIGERJANE 5/5/2011 7:01PM

    Of all the quotes you used, the one from Gandhi was my favorite

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COCOMAC7 5/5/2011 5:36PM

    Glad you got to gather your strength and enjoy your time!!!

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CHICAT63 5/5/2011 4:26PM

    Thank you ! We are not alone:)

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/5/2011 4:14PM


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SARAHJ19 5/5/2011 4:06PM

    Love it girl!!! I am so glad yesterday went well! It went well for me too! Glad you enjoyed your quite time last night!

I love the pictures and the quotes, very motivational and inspiring!

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BBORDEN86 5/5/2011 3:56PM

    Love, love, LOVE your blog!! Very awesome indeed.

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/5/2011 3:55PM

    I love that last picture!!!!

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    LOVE IT! Very inspiring, girl. :)

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As always, love it!

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ERIN1128 5/5/2011 3:28PM

    Love it! Especially that "Making myself unstoppable" part. :-)

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YOOVIE 5/5/2011 3:26PM


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Day 2 - Nothing to Hide & Lucky

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Yesterday was my first real challenge as we had training at work, which screws up my daily schedule usually. But yesterday I refused to let it. Before we headed in, I grabbed my 9:30am snack and brought it with me, keeping an eye on the clock in order to know when to eat it.

I made a few minor changes to my meal plan, namely:
- I only used 3 egg whites (instead of 4) for breakfast. That felt better.
- I could only stomach 1/2 of my sweet potato. I can't describe it, but it's the same way with me and oranges. It's not that it tastes bad...sometimes it's more texture than anything, but when I eat oranges and sweet potatoes (apparently ones baked like I did for yesterday), my stomach gets queasy and I feel like yacking. It just doesn't settle well. *shrug* Strange, right? I finally decided that my food should NOT be torture and I gave myself permission to stop eating it. (Ironically, I burnt my sweet potato fries last night...I forgot they were in the oven and the smell of Ethan cooking chicken burgers overpowered the smell of the potato, but somehow I giggle and think it might be a bit of subconcious sabotage so I didn't have to eat one today. *lol*)

On a sour note, I went home instead of going to the gym after work. Mainly because I didn't WANT to go to the gym, but also because I still felt a bit ill. *shrug* My stomach was a WRECK after yesterday. I found it difficult to eat my food yesterday. I couldn't understand if I was bored or if it was too much food or if it was just that adjustment period that sometimes happens with new changes to diet. I went home, laid on the couch and in bed, stupidly ate some Easter candy, and at around 10pm, I FINALLY felt better. No clue what went wrong there, but I had all but given up any idea of getting in my 30-40 minutes of cardio in for the night.

On a good note? I can usually tend to talk myself BACK INTO workouts. I kept thinking, "If I don't workout tonight, I'll be sacrificing my bath-time tomorrow night." It made me sad. I've been looking forward to this night since LAST Wednesday. So around 10pm, when I should have been cooking my food for today and getting ready for bed, I popped in Just Dance 2 and sweated it out for 45 minutes.


It's a huge reason why my fitspo for today is the simple quote:
"See...I've got nothing to hide."

More astonishing was that, after logging my Easter candy and TWO bowls of cereal for the night, I was still actually within my calorie goals set by Spark (which is high according to MY standards, but I try to be flexible and forgiving with myself...or, at least, I'm trying to...).

"See...I've got nothing to hide."

So, this morning, I got to work and added to my calendar for May 3rd
* 1 yellow checkmark for drinking more than 12 glasses of water (16, actually)
* 1 blue smiley sticker with green "rays" for completing my PT stretches
* 1 purple smiley sticker for completing my workout
* 1 A+ Apple sticker for staying within my nutritional goals

emoticon emoticon

And even though I didn't make my food prep last night for today, I got up this morning and, with the help of Hubs, got all my meals cooked, prepped, measured, and packed. I'm still on track, suckers! HA!

Now I feel like I've honestly earned my RSD - Rest Spa Day. I will be hitting CVS (also need Mother's Day card!) and Wal-Mart or Kroger (because *GASP* I ran out of olive oil!!!!) and will get one or two new things for my RSD routine. I'm thinking a pedicure is in order because my feet are just NOT sandal ready after this hard, cold winter and all the miles I've put on them. I've never really done a home pedi before, but after reading some "how to" internet guides, I'm thinking it's not going to be much more than soak - file - moisturize - polish. Done and Done! I have a book that needs finishing and another one ready to go right behind it, so it looks like it should be a good night (especially if I can convince Hubs to do some towels so I don't have to drip dry! *lol*).

Day 1 - emoticon
Day 2 - emoticon SAVED!
Day 3 - we shall see....

A couple other things...
emoticon You all are amazing! The support I've gotten while pulling myself back together is incredible. I hope that I'll have the mental stability very soon to hop back full-force into my friend duties, because I KNOW I've been severely lacking in that area (SO sorry!). I thank you for your understanding that I needed time to sort out me and make ME okay before I could be there 100% for all of you again. MUCH LOVE!

MUCH LOVE also to some special girls know who you are. You keep me grounded and somehow still manage to put wind behind my sails EVERY SINGLE DAY. You don't know how lucky I consider myself to have been brought into such a great group of people with varying talents and strengths and weaknesses who continually support each other through life (ALL of life's) Ups and Downs. You are the most incredible bunch of women and I'm so proud to have a place at the window seat with you (with our bare butts plastered to the windows, of course, mooning the doubters and haters *wink*).

emoticon Also mad props to the best and closest people in my life...including, but not limited to:

* My Mother - my rock and #1 fan

* My Hubs - who supports me, pushes me, challenges me, calms me, and always reminds me that I am beautiful (because he ain't stupid or ugly so why would he pick an ugly chick to be with? ...yeah, he's eloquent and romantic too, right?! *rolls eyes* *winks*)

* My Boys - who support me, encourage me, are always the FIRST people to tell me I look great and who don't care if I'm on the wagon or off, good or bad in terms of eating, but always think I'm awesome (except when I yell at them or make them do chores...of course)

* My Zumba Instructor - Sometimes help comes from some unlikely sources, especially for the shy (at first) me. Somehow I stumbled across an instructor that keeps me accountable, who supports me even when I'm out of class, encourages me, includes me, compliments me, challenges me, and, I don't think will EVER give up on me. I also love that she's not a stick and is built more solidly. It makes me realize that fit comes in many different shapes and sizes, so I shouldn't stress over numbers and such.

* My Bestie - who doesn't give two craps whether we're eating the heck out of a 1,000 calorie piece of cake or burning a couple hundred in boxing class or on a summer walk, but always supports me and NEVER pressures me to be anything but who I am. I'm lucky I found her!

So...there. I guess I got a little sappy and emotional...but I'll take this emotion over the others that were plaguing me for weeks and months ANY day!

As for my peeps reading along - Kill it today, or Rest like a Queen! Whatever you do, do it with STYLE! As I said yesterday, "I WANT to be caught doing good things." Don't shy away from something active because you're afraid of how you'll look. Don't refuse rest because it seems weak. Take care of your WHOLE self and leave the thoughts of others to them. Be who you need to be, where you need to be, doing what you need to do to make today a day that YOU will be proud of when your head hits the pillow tonight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 5/4/2011 11:36PM

    Good for you - I always enjoy reading your blogs and hearing about your ups and downs and how you rebound from setbacks. I love your Rest Spa Day - bubble baths have long been one of my treats, too. I am so glad to hear you are surrounded by much-deserved support - what a great husband to be so helpful.

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TEAM-SARAH 5/4/2011 4:29PM

    Glad to see you're still going strong and staying positive!!

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MEGSFITNESS 5/4/2011 4:28PM

    Woo Hoo! You're doing great :)

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TIGERJANE 5/4/2011 12:24PM

    "rest like a queen" - love that phrase! Work hard, rest hard!

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ERIN1128 5/4/2011 11:49AM

    So glad you're back at the top of your game. Keep rockin'!

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MICHELLESMILES_ 5/4/2011 10:39AM

    Great Blog Esther!


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35ANGELS 5/4/2011 10:30AM

    Awesome blog. You rock! emoticon

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KKINNEA 5/4/2011 10:08AM

    Nice to see you feeling good! Keep rockin' it!

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