Friday, September 02, 2011
YAY for the weekend! (For those that don't know, I work about 50 miles from my house and thanks to a wonderful former Governor who saw the gas prices being raised to extremely high numbers (can we say ridiculous?) he allowed those agencies that wanted to and could to offer 4-day work weeks. That means I work 10 hour shifts 4 days a week and get most of my Fridays off to take care of other things like doctor appointments, chores around the house, etc. Saves me 100 miles driving a week!)
So my plan for this weekend seems simple enough. Let's just hope I can get it all in.
0 Marinate the chicken! (Must remember to do this before I leave this AM)
0 Chiro appointment
0 Breakfast with the Hubs
0 Shopping for my son's birthday (and maybe for another sports bra and another pair of compression pants/shorts)
0 Weed the garden! (boy, does it need it! Poor neglected garden!)
0 Collect yummy veggies from the garden
0 ST workout
0 At least 30 minutes circuit or cross training
0 Make chicken and veggies for dinner tonight (I'm thinking roasted veggies including fingerling potatoes, asparagus, green peppers and tomatoes)
0 Take measurements for September (where did that pesky measuring tape run off to?)
0 Find my keys (seriously, they've been lost for weeks, y'all! MUST find my keys!)
0 OSU opener! YAY! (which I'll mostly be listening to b/c of the drive to...)
0 Ethan's game around 3pm
0 LDR of 2 miles (gonna give it another go! Wish me luck!)
0 Clean out some clothes from the closet
0 LSU game (I think that's what Hubs said we HAD to watch this weekend. *lol*)
0 Mow the lawn?
0 Meal and coupon plan for groceries for the week
0 Mow the lawn if I didn't Saturday
0 Grab a paper
0 Grocery shopping
0 Maybe some batch cooking for lunches for the week
0 Drive-in? (It's the last weekend *pouts* and they're showing Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Crazy Stupid Love. I want to see!!)
0 WVU opener
0 Call niece and wish her a Happy Birthday!
0 And send birthday love to my Zumba instructor too! :)
0 Morning run! (YAY! Love when I get week days of to do this!)
0 Hiking? (I would LOVE to hit the trails this weekend!)
0 ST will have to be done at the in laws since the gym is closed (BOO!!!)
0 Clothes sorting again
0 Enjoy my day off with the whole gang!
So that's the plan. Goals for this weekend are also simple:
- Finish out the week strong
- Follow the cardio and ST plans
- Get in some great family time
- Stay within my calorie ranges
- Budget for any big meals (breakfast today and the drive in Sunday)
- Drink my water! (I feel swollen today...huge workout night last night!)
- Have a happy heart (Gotta remember to keep encouraging myself along the way)
Yesterday went well. I worked my hiney off at work (actually, I totally wish I could do that!) and got an actual "Why can't our other workers be more like you?" from the supe! :) Then I hit the gym hard. Talked to my Zumba instructor and warned her that I'm still having back trouble so if I don't seem as responsive or don't show up as much (I've cut down to once a week) that's why. I stuck through 40 minutes of a crazy Zumba class (technical difficulties) and then did another 30-40 minutes of ST in the weight room. Cut my workout short by a couple things (didn't do my hyperextensions or my dumbbell curls) but we had done some toning during Zumba so my upper body is certainly feeling the workout today. (As I told Hubs, I figure if you're shaking/trembling while trying to get the toilet paper off the roll in the bathroom after your workout - I'd say you had a pretty good workout! *lol*)
Ate on the lower end of my calorie ranges (had a little trouble yesterday sticking to my eating schedule because of the crazy work horse attitude I had, but I still managed...thank goodness for Jimmy John's and their fast delivery!).
Drank all my water, plus some.
Sore and bloated today from a good workout and I'm thinking that ain't half bad. Hoping for some good results at weigh-in on Sunday.
Oh, and you can add to all my weekend lists above that I'm attempting to make my SP rounds this weekend. I missed checking in on y'all and I need to make sure I see how all my good friends, new and old, are hangin' in and whether they need some encouragement.
(Funny story...I actually spent about 5 minutes last night giving encouragement to my Zumba instructor. She was upset about how crazy our Zumba class was. When the short in her cord made her have to resort to old CDs of Zumba routines she had actually pretty much forgotten, she got a little flustered. My response? "At least we did it! We still got in 40 minutes of workout when we could've just said 'Screw it!' and not done it." She agreed. Then she got flustered because it was weigh-in night for her and she didn't lose anything. My response? "Hey, you didn't gain anything! Trust me, from a girl who yo-yoed the same 3 pounds for 5 months...a no gain week is a good thing!" Felt good to show some love to someone who has really helped me so much along the journey I've taken thus far. LOVE my Zumba instructor!)
Have a great long weekend everyone! Remember that weekend does not mean days off from healthy living. Just think, now you have MORE time to do what you want and ON YOUR OWN SCHEDULE! And Happy Birthday to those who are celebrating one this weekend (because I seem to know SO many!!)! :)
Thursday, September 01, 2011
So it would seem that these are my stats for August (Man, I have not done this in a LONG time! *lol*)...
Weight 1st of August: 318
Weight 1st of September: 314
Total Weight Lost in August: 4 pounds!!
Total Weight Lost with SP: 102.2 pounds!
Total Weight Lost Overall: 152.6 pounds!
I cannot tell you how freakin' excited I am to finally have numbers like this to report to you all. It's so amazing that I would be so happy over a 4 pound lost month, but any pounds lost in a month was something I couldn't look forward to before.
Want some irony? Yesterday morning, my scale died. Just up and died with no warning whatsoever. Now, remember, I've had this thing since 2004/2005 when I finally broke down and got my own scale so I could weigh at home. I had to replace it once right after I got it, but that one has been kickin' ever since. Not a bad life for a scale, methinks. Especially one I've actually traveled with! (Don't make fun! ;) )
So yesterday morning, when my scale is being completely non-responsive and I'm replacing batteries like a mad woman and still nothing, I'll admit it - I lost it. It was like losing a friend. I actually had to mourn the loss of my scale for a little while. It was a rough morning yesterday morning... After work, I decided I needed a replacement. I have a weigh-in on Sunday and I'll be darned if I miss one now when it's finally responding positively again! I need that thing to stay on track, as much as I don't want to say I do, I need it right now! So I skipped my workout last night to shop for a scale. (I also skipped it because my back was screaming and I made a deal with myself last week that if I needed an extra rest day, Wednesday was going to be it.) So I drive myself to Walmart and shop through the scales and finally found one for 35 bucks that I'm trying now to get used to.
This scale weighs body fat, hydration levels, bmi, you know, the whole thing (though I doubt it is as accurate as the one at the gym, it's still a little better to have a vague idea of this stuff). What's better, it logs and stores my weights and tells me right there how much I'm up or down from the previous weigh in. (NICE! It does the math for me! :)) So I get it home, still a little apprehensive because, well, what if it weighs me higher than my trusty old scale? What if it says I'm 320? I might die...seriously. I was terrified that would happen! (Am I the only one who has this anxiety when I weigh on other scales?)
So I open 'er up, set myself as user one, set my goal as 230 pounds, set my height as 5'7.5, which I'm finally letting the doctor convince me of (I still think I'm 5'8 but whatever...), and I take a big breath before stepping on. 313.6! HA! I *LOVE* my new scale!! (I had a slow eating day yesterday and consumed a lot of calories at dinner, so it's not all that surprising that I gained a few ounces overnight.)
There are some cons to this scale --
1. It's really sensitive so if I move at all (I have troubles standing/sitting still) it likes to give me an error reading and I have to try again. (I'm especially drowsy, therefore wobbly in the morning...)
2. The biggest problem is that it doesn't talk to me. My old scale announced the number aloud. Sure, that might be embarrasing for some, but for me, I learned when to turn it off and the kids got used to knowing what my numbers were and giving me congrats without me even saying a word. Plus, I may have lost over 100 pounds now, but I still have CSMT syndrome. (Can't See My Toes) And because of con #1, I can't maneuver myself to see it. This morning I nearly missed my reading because I looked down too late! GRR! I'll figure it out somehow, but it was a little wonky this morning.
So that's what's new in Esther-land. Still working hard on my goals. Yesterday I skipped my workout but drank all my water and was within my calorie and other nutrition ranges (even if I was on the high end). I'm feeling good, feeling more sure of myself...and each time I see a new lower number on the scale I'm hopeful again. 14 more pounds to go and I'll meet some of y'all in Deuceland! I haven't been that small in like TEN YEARS!
August was a great month because I finally had the breakthrough I needed to have mentally (mostly thanks to some great friends and a lot of time reflecting) and that led to the scale breakthrough I've been fighting for since April! I'm going to use this success to lead me into September!
Goals for September:
1. Stick to the ST workout. I've already completed a full week and a half and I CAN stick with this! I need to show myself I can stick with something for 12 weeks!
2. Run those 2 darn miles! Or run myself ragged trying...
3. Stay within my calorie ranges. And if I have an "off" or "high" meal or day, let it go and get right back at it with the next meal or day. I can control this!
4. Drink my water! Lord knows I need it! And my scale will tell me now if I'm not getting it!
5. Do whatever stretches or exercises CC asks me to! I can't believe the improvements. The pain and soreness is still there, but each time I go I can tell things are changing. Got another appointment tomorrow and scheduled for appointments all month.
6. Celebrate my oldest son's birthday in a special way without involving food! I'd love to do something active with him next weekend to celebrate his big day. (Can you believe I'll be the parent of a 12 year old?! EEP!) Still working on the plan...
And for the first time in a long time, I'm going to set a monthly weight loss goal! I think it's time. I'm going to be reasonable and say I'd like to shed 5-6 pounds this month (though I'd still be thrilled with the next 4 pounds...just as long as we keep moving in the right direction!).
Weight September 1st: 314.0
Goal for October 1st: 308.0
Total Loss Goal of: 6 pounds
(Just one more quick note before I go, too. Work has been SUPER SUPER busy so if you don't see me here, that's because I have like ZERO time to poke my head in and say hi. (I'm actually supposed to be eating my lunch right now...) I'll try to carve out time every weekend morning to check in, though! See y'all tomorrow morning! ;) )
Here we go again! Halfway through week 1 of part 3 and still goin' strong!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
So yesterday I set out to start part 3 of this incredible journey of creating myself. And I was scared from second one. I was scared I would disappoint everyone and disappoint myself. I was scared because I woke up tired and not feeling so well and I wanted to go back to bed...and that's never a good way to start anything. I was scared of failing. But I know from my months of experience that I can only give it a good go if I push past my fears and do it anyway.
Fear is a good thing at times. It keeps us alert. Keeps us safe by letting us know we are in danger. Sometimes fear tells us that the person on the bus with us is a shady character and we need to be on alert and careful. Sometimes fear tells us that if we take another step toward the edge of the cliff we just might fall off. But sometimes fear just tells us that what's around the next bend might be difficult...and that's okay. Difficult is doable, especially if you have the right reasons for doing it. And I did. So I continued.
I mumbled through the day. I couldn't finish my Green Machine drink because my tummy was upset, but I kept pushing and drank a lot of water. On my lunch break, all I wanted was a chicken salad sandwich from the market, so instead of hopping in my car, I laced up my sneakers and walked the 1/2 mile there to get my treat (and found my favorite stuffed red pepper soup too!!). By the time I returned, I was already feeling a little better. The fresh air and sunshine were helping both my body and my mood...and I'm sure the walk didn't hurt either. Plus, I kept reminding myself, "Look! Already a mile in today, so if you wimp out tonight it's not a complete loss."
But I didn't wimp out. I drove to the gym without thinking twice. It was on the to-do list and I was going to-do it! ;)
Last night was the challenge night. It's probably best I get this out of the way every Monday because it makes me strong for the week. See, Mondays right now are Legs ST AND a follow-up run. Last time, it didn't go so well. My legs were jello after lifting and I could barely walk and my running was laughable at best. But by toughing it out, I realized it was possible...so I tried it again last night...with much better results.
2 sets of 15 freehand jump squats as warmup
3 sets of Plie Dumbbell Squats (reps/weight: 15/20 - 15/25 - 15/30)
3 sets of Narrow Stance Leg Press (reps/weight: 12/320 - 15/320 - 15/340)
3 sets of Dumbbell Lunges (reps/weight: 15/20 - 15/25 - 12/30)
3 sets of Leg Curls (reps/weight: 15/70 - 15/80 - 10/90)
3 sets of 20 Calf Raises (weight: 20 - 25 - 30)
(For those wondering, I'm following a Muscle Building plan from Jamie Eason on bodybuilding.com. If you need a good lifting/ST resource bodybuilding.com is excellent. They provide the workouts for your goals and they even give you videos to show you how they're done.)
I stretched out and headed upstairs to run on the indoor track. I've been afraid to run on the treadmill following my ST because I don't know how well I'll keep a steady pace. I need to be able to slow down when needed and walk when needed because I'm just building my stamina for Monday Leg Days. The goal, as always, is to do 20 minutes - walk 5, run 10, walk 5. I walked the first 1/4 of a mile and then set off running. (Okay, you all do realize when I say "running" I mean "jogging," right? I mean my run pace sometimes hits the 12 minute mile range, but not usually.) 1/4 mile later, I needed a walk break. It took about 5-6 times around the track to get 1/4 mile, and I walked a little under 1 lap before I started running again. I ran a little past the 3/4 mile marker and then I felt that old familiar "I gotta go" feeling (my tummy HAD been upset all day!) so I walked it out a little bit and then headed downstairs to the locker room (just in time!). In the end, I didn't hit my goal, but I got MUCH closer this time (and if not for the needed potty break, I would've hit it, I know that!).
Total time: 15 minutes
Total distance: .91 miles
I didn't hit my time goal (20 minutes) or my distance goal (1 mile), but just knowing I could feels pretty darn good.
After my workout and a good stretch, I headed home to make my now famous (in my house anyway! *lol*) Stir Fry Pad Thai! (It's basically ground chicken, red and green peppers, onions, mushrooms and some rice vermicelli noodles with a pad thai sauce and some fish and sesame oils. It's makes super big servings that are super filling!...and my youngest will not eat it! *lol*)
So after a long day, I took a breather on the couch, drank another full 16 ounces of water and reflected on another successful day. Way to start Part 3, Esther! Way to go! This will be awesome to build upon!
Day 1 is in the bag, as they say.
Calories - within range.
Water - MORE than 8 glasses!
Stregth Training - DONE and with increased weights on some!
Run - Much better than last Monday's
And an extra walk to boot!
And I have to thank all my new friends and old for all the support that carried me through the day! The outpouring of support over my 100 Pounds Lost with SP blog has been wonderfully overwhelming! You have all made me feel not so alone and that I have people in my corner again. I think I even picked up a few new great supports for me through awesome people who will inspire me to continue! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the support and encouragement! I'm so excited about the next part of my journey because I learned so much from this last portion of it! (I spent this morning planning a fun, active, healthy Thanksgiving with my sister! She's looking in to Turkey Trots for the weekend and I'm looking into some healthy alternative recipes for our Thanksgiving dinner! We're such a cool, fit, happier family now! Another bonus to this difficult year has been that my sister and I are working on rebuilding us. We've never been all that close, but we're starting to respect and appreciate each other, and in that to consider one another. So, yes, I gained a lot while I lost those 100 pounds!)
Now on to day 2.
Plan for the day?
Work hard and get some things done here.
Stay within my ranges.
Drink more than 8 glasses of water.
Chiropractor at 5:30pm.
Strength for tonight is "Push"!
Zumba if I'm not too sore from the Chiro - elliptical if I just don't think I can do it.
A good long stretch after, before, and during my workout.
And then homemade Shrimp Fried Rice for dinner (as per the youngest's request).
And I'll leave you with the Runner's World quote of the day that actually made me LOL:
"Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic." - Tim Noakes, author of Lore of Running
Amen, Mr. Noakes. Amen!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
So, yes, it's been a LONG time coming. I had so many dreams about how I would post this blog and what would be in it. Surprisingly, because of the challenges I've faced this year, this blog is going to be so much different than I ever anticipated it would be...and I'm actually thinking that's a good thing.
First things first, for all my buddies out there, and strangers I have yet to make my buddies, the ones struggling to lose more than 100 pounds and feel like they're fighting tooth and nail to get there, I'm with you! For those just starting out and wondering if it's possible - it is, but it takes a LOT of hard work. For some it's a little easier than for others. But some of us struggle. We get through the first 80 in a pretty easy fashion, and then we fizzle out or meet challenges or let life get in the way and we struggle against struggle, fighting for those last 20 pounds and the opportunity to finally say, "I lost 100 pounds!" What have I learned from this journey? The fight is hard, but it is SO worth it!
Let's review my journey, shall we? And settle in, because I have a feeling this is going to be a LONG one!
I started Spark on April 18, 2010 at 416.2 pounds, but that's not where my journey starts. It starts way back in 2004 when I weighed in at 466.6 pounds at an appointment/consultation considering gastric bypass surgery (I never got the surgery). When I saw those numbers, I wanted to cry. What I did instead was buckle down and get to work. It was hard. I was mostly bedridden. It hurt to do anything. I was always out of breath and could barely move. I felt horrible, ugly, as unsexy as any woman probably can. I had let myself go because I didn't see the point anymore. I was digging myself a slow grave and I tried not to show that I cared. I tried to make people think I thought I was still worth their time, but I didn't even feel like it was worth my own.
I started counting calories. I started driving 30 minutes into town to weigh in on a doctor's scale that would weigh over 400 pounds. I started Walk Away the Pounds. It was slow going. Some weeks I'd lose several pounds. Some weeks it would be a couple ounces. On the weeks I lost none at all or gained, I talked myself into continuing somehow and I kept going. Eventually I bought my own scale that weighed up to 440 pounds. I had worked my way into being able to use it and I was fighting the good fight. And then we decided to move, and things got in the way, as they tend to do. I fought tooth and nail to finally get down to 366 pounds so I could say, "I lost 100 pounds!" And then I quit. It was too hard. I was tired, and sore, and oh, so busy. I didn't know the area. I didn't have a solid support system. I didn't care anymore because I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. So I gave up and let go of any hopes of ever getting to where I wanted to be. I told myself I wasn't ever meant to be skinny or fit. This was my lot in life and I needed to just accept it.
The weekend before I started Spark, I went to visit an old friend in Ohio. We had a fun weekend, but she was working on losing weight and I kept thinking, "Why is it that I gave up? I have the ability and drive to do this." I knew I was working 2 jobs and going to school full-time so I knew the dedication to it would be difficult, but I couldn't wait any longer. I came home and Googled "free calorie log" or something of that sort and found Sparkpeople...and thus THIS portion of my journey began.
I didn't set lofty goals at first. The Spark plan was perfect because it told me not to worry about losing at first, just to start logging everything so I knew where I was. But the atmosphere swept me up and the support carried me. As soon as I started logging, I started watching what I ate. I didn't want to log 5000 calories a day. I wanted to be able to log fitness minutes. I started slow. At 416.2 pounds, I was almost back to where I had been at 466.6 pounds. It hurt to move. Stairs killed me. Walking was a challenge.
I started walking at the school track. I bought a inStride cycle on Amazon.com and started vowing to do 15 minutes from the safety of my recliner. Each day I'd log that measly workout and each day it made me feel better that I was doing something. It wasn't ever, "You're not doing enough..." it was "You're finally doing something! Good for you!!" By the end of week 1 I had lost 9.6 pounds and was feeling pretty good about it.
In April I lost 13.2 pounds.
In May, 7.4. I had finally reached the 300s again!
In June I surprised myself and my family as I endured a 5 and a half hour hike through Hocking Hills. It wasn't planned or expected...we got lost...and somehow I found myself along the path while we tried to find camp. It was a huge experience for me and I still bring it to mind when I have trouble. By the end of that month I had lost another 16.3 pounds!
In July I started struggling with a singular question - who am I and what do I really want from life? I started asking about what emotionally drove me and that was a huge step in the right direction as well, because it made me realize that I could define myself. It also made me realize that I hate being defined by weight limits that hold me back from doing things I want to do. I was struggling by the end of July, but I still lost 10.1 pounds.
In August I walked my first 5k. I felt out of place among all the runners, but the support of the crowd, and one stranger who I felt I may have inspired, I found my strength to continue with the most horrible blister on my foot and complete the entire 3.1 miles in under an hour. It was a huge lesson in fueling myself with pride in myself for what I was doing, not in how I compared to those around me. I was working HARD for that time, harder than most of the runners, and I deserved to commend myself for my efforts. It was another month of struggle as I fought to finally push past that 366.6 mark I'd already seen the first time around and enter more uncharted territory. By the end of the month, I had lost another 10.8 pounds.
In September I walked a 10k with my youngest son and I found joy in pushing my children toward a healthy lifestyle. I began to see outside myself and how this journey could affect my loved ones in a positive way. I started including them more in my journey and started making it OUR journey to becoming one of those fit, active families I never thought we'd be. I started toying with how to work the system a little better. I tried Midday Calorie Loading. I attempted a bunch of adjustments just trying to get to where I wanted to be and by the end of the month I'd lost another 7.2 pounds.
In October I started mentioning the P word. Things were slowing down and I was getting annoyed. I was scared of what was ahead and scared I'd never get there. I started to feel like it wasn't enough and I started to lose a little steam. But this was also the month that I completed 2 more 5ks...and ran portions of both. In Dayton, I ran with my entire family and a Sparkie. It was a family event and it felt great to see us all as fit. In Wheeling, I ran with another Sparkie who had done my first 5k with me...and I ran with my dog, who actually slowed me down! *lol* I started to see that there could be more, that it might be possible for me to become a runner and, boy, did I ever want that! By the end of the month, I had lost another 4 pounds and I started to feel like I was running out of steam. I still had my dreams, but I was afraid that I was already reaching the slow down when I still had SO FAR to go.
In November I took my first yoga class (love!) and my first and only pilates class (HATED! *lol*). I was trying to rebuild my self-esteem and drive and motivation. I felt like I couldn't afford another month like October. I fought my way to losing another 8.8 pounds that month, even with the holidays and that felt great!
In December, the crap hit the fan. I tried to ignore the pains I was feeling. I was still trying to run. I remained active while in DC for work training. I kept walking, running when possible, kept trying to make healthy choices, and by the end of the year I was reflecting on a great turn of events to 2010. By the end of December I had lost another 7.6 pounds for a total in 2010 of 85.4 pounds lost.
You can see a bunch of before pics in my end of the year blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
I started 2011 with an ear infection (my first in my adult life), a bum hip, and, yet, somehow, a positive outlook. I was at 330.8 pounds and ready to tackle the last 30. I didn't expect to start hitting the brick wall over and over again...
By the end of January I had experienced an amazing trip in Vegas for my birthday, my first ever boxing lesson, and a gain of 2.2 pounds for the month. Uh-oh...
In February, I fought back HARD, and found my way to a loss for the month of 7.2 pounds, so things were moving again...
In March, I fell apart emotionally. I met a bunch of great girls in Minnesota but I couldn't get out of my own head. I kept comparing myself to them and every time, in my eyes, they won and I lost. I couldn't make myself feel the love I had for myself any more. I was trying so hard to "find myself" that I forgot that I could create myself. I was angry, pissed off, scared, and I wanted to quit. I hurt physically and emotionally and I felt like I'd never get to where I wanted to be - able to run - able to fly - able to be my own person and be proud of that. I lost another 5.5 pounds, but it was getting so hard to fight for every ounce and my confidence was wearing thin.
In April, I wrote this:
I hurt ALL OVER.
I'm not seeing results.
And I feel like I'm drowning.
What happened? I didn't meet the expectations I had set for myself. I wanted my 1 year Sparkversary to also mark my 100 pounds lost with SP. I didn't take into account that I was still losing and still successful. I had missed my goal and therefore I felt it wasn't worth my time. It was a crazy notion - an all or nothing kind of emotion that flooded me. I had failed, therefore, I was a failure. But that wasn't true at all...I just couldn't see it at the time. I lost like 2 pounds that month. I was going to the PT and struggling with him taking me off all my favorite workouts - running and Zumba were out. Even the elliptical was a no-no. I had to sit my butt on the recumbent bike...and I HATE that machine...and I pouted and fussed and talked myself out of it. The light in the darkness, however, was discovering a new love for ST and being able to continue that even when my favorite standbys were out. I realized I could still build a great body through ST and I realized it was something I'd let fall to the wayside throughout most of my journey thus far. I hadn't really been devoted to ST and thought it didn't matter as much as cardio hours. But I was realizing the benefits now and I found a new exercise *LOVE*!
By the end of May I had fought my way out of the 320s, but I was still struggling, and since then I've yo-yoed between 322 and 319. I was floundering. I was still in a lot of pain. I was lost and defeated and I did everything half-way. I started letting in the "I don't care anymore"s a whole lot more. I stopped fighting so hard and just tried to be, to live, and to do the best I could.
April through August was a struggle much the same. For four months I fought back and then let go over and over again. I was trying to figure out what was wrong and I didn't realize it was as much emotional as it was physical. The weight loss success had faded and I felt myself fading as well. It hurt to do the things I loved and at times, I tried to do them anyways because I loved them, and then further injured myself and needed a few days off to recover. I needed to find balance. And that's when, like I said, I made the decision to just be okay with halfway. I knew these feelings...they were the same ones that had me quitting back in 2005 when things got hard. I did NOT want to gain back 50 pounds. I didn't want to gain back 10! I wasn't losing anymore, but I had to be okay with realizing that plateauing was better than sinking back into the abyss.
I can't tell you that I "woke up" or anything. The past few weeks, with the final diagnosis with x-rays from the chiro, I started to realize that my physical pains were real. It was okay that I hurt all the time. It wasn't me giving up, it was me realizing that I was sore and injured. We started working on the problem to fix it, and while he tried to fix my bones, I tried to fix my heart and my will and my self-esteem. I'm still struggling. I still hurt. And while I hope the hurt isn't everlasting, I know the struggle will be.
Last week I weighed in at 321.4 pounds.
This week I'm 315.4.
I lost 6 pounds just by refocusing myself and doing the best I could. I wasn't perfect. I realize now that I'll never be completely perfect, but knowing that I've got the ability again to lose, I'm ready to keep going. I've got a solid plan. I'll take into account the things that pop up. I'll try to work through the pain, but I'll let myself rest when I know it's needed.
My chiro is readjusting my bones.
My AB girls and Sparkies are helping rebuild my courage.
And me? I'm rebuilding my life. I'm putting the pieces back together and realizing they are stronger now because of how they suffered. I fought through. I could've quit so many times. I wanted to. At times I thought it was the only option I had left. But I didn't. I kept moving.
Losing 100 pounds isn't easy for anyone, but for some of us it's even harder. But fighting our way through can lead to us realizing the strength we really possess. Give me an open door and I'll run through it! Yesterday I tried again to run 2 miles straight, and I had to stop at 1. I didn't fail, I just didn't make it there yet. As I told my boys, "I will try every week from now until eternity and one day I will run those 2 miles and I'll feel better that I fought for it." Life is given to us, but we have to choose what to do with it. And Spark gives you the tools, but you have to be the one to take them and put them to good use.
I could've lost 100 pounds faster if I had dropped my calories ridiculously low. I could've strangled myself with the guilt and lived in confinement. But I didn't. I lived. This entire year I tried new things, some of them I loved (boxing!) and some of them I quit before I started because I realized I hated them (ice skating! EEK!). But I realized that the only person stopping me is myself. I get to say yes or no. I get to put the brakes on. I get to put my foot on the gas and keep going. Sometimes there's a speed limit, but if I stay steady I'll eventually get to where I need to be.
And now for the pics. I didn't take actual "starting" pics until May 1st when I was 403 pounds. Today I put on the same shorts and a shirt from my "starting" closet and took more pics...just for comparison's sake.
May 2010 - 403 pounds
Today - 315.4 pounds
(I never noticed the "tilt" before...I thought it was just how I was standing and now I realize it could have been an indicator of the deeper problem - the pelvis tilt that still needs more adjusting.
This picture was actually taken the day before I started Sparking:
And this was today:
This is the new me. I'm stronger than I ever knew. I have the courage and strength and determination and willpower to continue...and continue I will!
Thank you to all the Sparkies that helped me get there. But thanks, most of all, to myself - who even when she wasn't having strong "successes" was still working ever so slowly on building a better body I can begin part 3 of the journey with. Thanks to her, I have an athlete's heart, the ability to run a mile, the ability to walk up stairs without getting winded, and the courage to know that I can do anything if I set my mind to it and work hard to get there.
Original Starting Weight (2004): 466.6 pounds
SP Starting Weight (April 2010): 416.2 pounds
Weight Today: 315.4 pounds
Weight lost with SP: 100.8 pounds!
Weight lost overall: 151.2 pounds!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I had a talk with the exercise physiologist at the gym yesterday. As I was telling her that I was plugging away but was not really counting on the results because of the crazy year I've had, she asked me something, "So, Esther, what's the positives?"
It's true. 2011 has been a very rough year.
At the end of 2010 I started feeling a horrible nagging hip pain that kept me from my goal of finishing C25k. I didn't know then that my pelvis was horribly out of balance and it was causing an extreme amount of pain whenever I did anything - walking, running, Zumba, etc. Suddenly, all my progress was put on hold as I tried desperately to heal. I saw a physical therapist and that relieved the hip pain, but the back pain remained and caused headaches so bad I had to call off work. It wasn't until this Monday that I saw the x-rays which show the problems in my neck, lower back, and pelvis.
I labeled this year "The Year of Adventures" and my goal was to try a bunch of new things in the hopes of "finding my bliss." So I went to Vegas with a friend for a week. I took boxing lessons and loved them. I went back to Vegas and Utah for a friend's wedding. I lost some friends along the way. I got frustrated and angry that while attempting to find myself, I felt like I was getting lost. I started out well, but then I faced challenges. My boxing fell to the wayside as I tried to reschedule and could never get a date from my instructor. My Vegas/Utah trip turned into one of the most horrible adventures to date - an "adventure" in which I was ignored, screamed at, called fat, and told I was incredibly selfish, all when I had tried my best to be the best friend I could be. My Minnesota trip turned into a cry fest when I realized that I compared myself to people I had no business comparing myself to. It's been a hard year of hard lessons in trusting myself, taking care of myself, and not pinning my dreams on other people.
And through all of it, I was still trying to focus, but having a horrible time with it. I felt the pull of "it's just too much to overcome" in me, but I refused to let myself quit. And that is why, instead of losing the 80 pounds I wanted to lose this year, I've lost about 10. Yes, 10 pounds. That's all I've lost all year.
So, what's the good?
Well, when I was taking a journey like this years ago, when I first weighed in at 466.6 pounds, I lost the first 85 or so and felt that pull of "too much to overcome." I tried to fight it, and I did for a while. I got myself to 100 pounds lost, and then I gave up. It was too hard. I was too tired, too sore, too busy. I let myself off the hook completely...and what happened? I gained 50 pounds back. So when I saw the signs of that happening again, I told myself that this time I would stick with it. I would keep trying even if it didn't get me anywhere. I didn't want to go backwards, so I would just stay even with where I was instead. That way, I thought, when I got my mojo back and started again, I wouldn't have to retrace my steps. I could start on this same step I'd been on when it all fell apart around me.
"That's a decision you made, Esther." That's what my physiologist said. And she's right. I made the decision to go halfway instead of not at all because it seemed too hard to go full-steam anymore. I made the decision to let myself off the hook only a little. And what I have to show for it is that now that I'm in a better mindset and things are getting fixed (my back, neck and pelvis) I'm seeing success again and it's not the same old numbers I'd already fought for before.
So I could say that I "only" lost 10 pounds so far this year. OR I could say that through emotional turmoil, grief over the loss of good friends, and major injuries, I still managed to fight my way through and lose 10 pounds so far this year. And I could remind myself that this year isn't over. "I know what needs to happen," I told my EP. "I just have to do it again." And I am. I haven't gotten everything done this week that I set out to do, but I've tried to stay on top of the game. I only had one day that I ate over my calories...and while I missed 1 ST session and 2 cardio sessions, I can still feel the soreness in my body from getting done the majority of what I set out to do. And this week was the first week in a long time where I didn't let the guilt of missing a workout or overeating once make me think that the whole day/week was shot. I got right back on the horse and I'm seeing the results of that every morning.
Right now I'm nervous. I'm nervous because I have a run scheduled for today. I'm nervous that I won't get through it. I'm scared. I'm afraid. Those are the right words. For work we started reading, "Who Moved My Cheese" and it's opened my eyes a little bit about what kind of person I am. I've found that I'm able to laugh at my own folly (finally) and move with the cheese. And I keep thinking of the one quote in the book "What would you do if you were not afraid?" I would run. I would go out there and enjoy my run. I would remind myself that while I can't be in Wisconsin with my girls, I can share this with them. I can join them for their runs by running here with them in my thoughts. I'm going to let their words of encouragement move me forward and push me on. I'm going to push past my fear, let go of it, and keep moving, keep looking for success.
One final note - even though I still haven't completed C25k entirely, even though I haven't dropped weight or noticed a considerable drop in my clothes sizes or my body shape (though I have a sneaky suspicion that my legs are getting smaller), I have improved my cardiovascular skills so much! When I first went to the Chiropractor last week they took my BP and pulse. My BP, again, was good. And my pulse? 49 BPM. *double take* HUH? That's like REALLY low! I was in the 60s range before, and now I'm at 49? WTF? Turns out that's in the "athlete" range. Yesterday with my EP, it was 52 and she confirmed it was super slow. Turns out that running has changed me inside more than out...and for someone who is still as big as I am to have an athlete's heart ...well, that's something good, right?!
So, yes...I "only" lost 10 pounds so far this year.
....I can now run over a mile.
....I have an athlete's heart.
....I fought through heartache and body aches and injury and didn't move backward.
....I've gotten myself back on track.
....I've done it all the healthy way. I didn't resort to those "fast result" stupid methods of weight loss that only lead to trouble later.
I'm hoping that tomorrow I can finally write my "100 pounds lost with SP" blog...and then I'll move on from there. I'm still afraid, yes, but I'm pushing past the fear of not succeeding. I CAN be successful...I just have to keep working what I know works. Maybe this year wasn't what I thought it would be, what I wanted it to be, but I've still learned a lot about myself. And maybe, just maybe, it was what I needed...
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