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It Doesn't Matter What the Scoreboard Says

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yesterday my son's midget football team (full of 9-10 year olds) went up against another team that looked like they should at LEAST be in the 11-12 year old range. This kids were HUGE! Some of our kids top out at 60 pounds. They're small, but they're mighty. Our best runner is pretty tiny, but boy can his legs move! When he gets downfield and the kids behind him are out of reach, you just know he's gone and he'll be scoring some points. And he did that yesterday. Early in the first quarter, off he went, dodging blockers and in open field, defenders stretching out their arms but unable to get to him. In the endzone he went. Too bad it didn't count.

I wasn't disappointed with our team's performance yesterday. I was, however, disappointed with the refs, who decided that 30 yards backfield, where no action was taking place, where one of our kids got knocked down by a defender, somehow, in some weird way, that was a holding call against our team. They brought the boys back to try it again, and they didn't get their momentum or pride back the whole rest of the first 1/2. (Boo on those refs! It's the same ref that caused some problems in a couple of key games last year too. They'd already kicked one of the C team coaches (kids around 8 years old) off the field because he yelled at them...because they refused to call a penalty on the other team when one of their boys picked up one of our kids and slammed him on the ground into another kid. Uhm...excuse me?!)

Our boys fought hard, but with bad calls by the refs and a team that severly outmatched them, they just couldn't find their way over the hump. By the end of the first half, half of the sidelined players were seated on the bench (they rarely sit down) with their heads hung low...including my son, who was sitting right next to the first string quarterback, who had walked off the field when the refs continued to scream at him. (Stay out of it refs! If you wanna call something, call it. Otherwise, just stand there and officiate like you're supposed to!) The quarterback had tears streaming down his face, and my son, Mr. Sensitive who feels the pain and anger of those around him, was feeding into it. I could tell he was upset. I snuck up behind him, grabbed him on the shoulder and said in his ear, "Don't you DARE let your team think this is over! You have more than a half of game play yet. They haven't seen what you guys can really do yet! It's time to show them!!" He didn't want to snap out of his anger. I could see him look at me with that, "Yeah, whatever..." face. The quarterback turned to me and said, "I can't! They won't let me back in!" (He meant the coaches, who rightly benched him after he threw a fit on field and walked off the field, leaving his team behind.) I turned to the quarterback, a kid I just don't know (but I fight for this entire team, we all do...we may not know each others names well but we'll fight to the death for each other if it's us against them) and said, "It doesn't matter! You have a whole team out there still playing. Whether you're on the field or not you need to be rooting for your teammates!"

I started to walk away. I was afraid I hadn't done much good. Ethan was still glaring at me with this, "we CAN'T win this!" attitude and the quarterback slumped his head again. I turned back to Ethan and yelled, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't..." and walked away.

By the time I made it back to my seat, my son was no longer on the bench. He was back on the sideline, jumping up and down, cheering on his team. I guess I must've said something right. :)

It's been our football motto for him all year. He's had some trying times. They put him on second string defense even though he could totally hold his own on first string. He was replaced by a new kid who is about 20 pounds heavier and almost twice as tall as him. Not because of talent, because of size. That's why Ethan got booted from his spot. I told him that sometimes they don't play fair, and it just means you have to fight that much harder for it. That he needs to use every single practice and game to show him that he is a man they can count on to make the plays, to lead the defense, to hold his block and bring the linebackers through the line for sacks.

The first time we had this motivational talk, he fought against it. He felt he was being criticized, attacked, like I thought he didn't do anything right. It took a long conversation, some yelling, and finally some recognizing of each other's worth and feelings before he finally realized that I thought he was a GREAT football player, but I wanted to do my part to make him both a better player and a better person. That was my job as his mom, and I was following that onto the field as his number one supporter. I told him I could lie to him and say he was perfect, but then he'd know I was lying and he'd never get any better. He finally calmed down, turned to me and thanked me. (It was one of those life-changing parenting moments and I will never forget it.) During that same talk he had yelled at me, "But I can't beat him!" (meaning the kid who took his spot) I threw my hands up and said, "Well then you won't." He just stared at me, dumbfounded. I turned to him and said, "Someone very wise once said, 'Whether you think you can, or you think you can't...you're right.' And someone just as wise said something like, 'Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude...and nothing can help the man with the wrong one.'"

That "Whether you think you can or you think you can't" quote is one that Ethan has clung to. (Is it a little self-centered of me to think I see a lot of myself in his determined spirit?) So just popping those words back into his head, like my self-talk during my runs that keep me going when I just want to give up, got him out of his seat and back into the action. He was choosing to think he could.

The second half saw the release of a brand new team. They were fired up, energized, ready to fight back. They still had time to make it up, maybe. And even if they didn't, they were going to put up the fight of their lives trying. Within 2 plays I could see the balloon deflating again. And then the coaches pulled the brilliant move of putting in the second string defense. (See my big happy smiley face here? =D) I could see Ethan pumping up his teammates. I could see him encouraging them. And something magical happened...they stopped the very large, very abled offense of the other team. The same offense that had pounded first string weren't able to move a yard...they actually lost some! The second string defense was out there 2 plays and the other team needed a time out so the coaches could figure out what the heck had happened to their drive. *snickers*

Did my son's team win? NOPE. They still didn't score a single point (except those points early on that the refs took from them...BOOO!). But when Ethan came off the field with his head down, defeated, I looked at him and said, "Now you stop that. You KNOW you did amazing work out there." And the smile broke. Because it didn't matter that they didn't score. My son knew they had done everything they could to change their fate. I looked at another boy who looked like his chin was about to hit the ground and said, "I don't care what that silly scoreboard says, you guys fought HARD and you kept them out of the endzone. YOU are CHAMPIONS!"

As we walked off the field, I could hear similar talks from other parents to their kids. We couldn't fault our kids. They fought hard. It didn't mean a win, but they still fought...and they didn't stop until the ref said "game over." One kid argued about the crappy refs (seriously, some of the calls were ridiculous...example: one of our kids was on kickoff return team...the ball took some bounces coming toward him, and he could see an entire line of defenders headed for the ball, so he did exactly the right thing and landed on top of it on the ground. One of the defenders wrestled him on the ground, got the ball, and the refs yelled "FUMBLE"! Uhm, Huh? What rules of football are YOU playing with? He's down, completely down, on top of the ball...uhm, dude...you gots problems. The refs tried this all day, waiting a LONG time after our plays on offense to offer time for the defense to wrestle the ball out before blowing the whistle.) Anyhow, I digress...the kid tells his dad (who played football all through high school and is a high school coach, I think) that the refs weren't making good calls. His father struggled with words...and out my mouth popped, "It isn't always going to be fair...not in life, and not in football." His father latched on to that..."Yeah! Sometimes you have to play the refs too, and that just means you have to fight harder. That's what I did when I played!"

As for my son? I took him to Burger King and got him whatever he wanted (which turned out to be chicken tenders *lol*). His team didn't win, but HE did. He fought hard. He got 1 tackle and 2 assists. He got through that mean, big front line more times than I could count. I didn't have one foul word against his performance on the field because he played like a champion. So why didn't they win? Who cares! Maybe it's because the fight wasn't fair. Maybe it's because they allowed themselves to get wrapped up in the "can't" during that first end of the half. Maybe it's because the other team was bigger, stronger, and better coached. Maybe, even, our coaches waited too long to put in the second string defense (which, btw, at the majority of practice plays defense against 1st string offense...it only stands to reason why they understand defense better than the first string does!). Doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter what the scoreboard says, those kids won because they didn't let anyone take their pride and they never stopped fighting for it.

I learned a lot from my son this weekend. Sometimes I feed into it too..that discouragement from what the scoreboard (or, in my case, the scale) says. But that doesn't matter. The only way it wins is when I let it defeat me...when I let it keep me from continuing to fight for what I KNOW I can do. If I had given into the scale or my run stats so many months ago, I would've NEVER been able to run those 2 miles on Saturday. The only reason I got there was because I refused to stop trying. Hopefully our boys will get another crack at this team in the final rounds. Hopefully they'll have different refs too....but if our kids can go in with the right attitude, I really think they stand a chance of putting up a fight against these boys that are nearly twice their size. And until that day, if it ever comes, I will keep reminding Ethan what it felt like to fight when all the odds seemed against you. I will remind him how he was able to walk away from what seemed on paper to be a horrible loss with his head held high. He didn't give up. He didn't let his teammates give up. And while the scoreboard says they lost, they know in their hearts they overcame something on Saturday that's bigger than any scoreboard on any field in the world. That's something really worth cherishing!

I know our boys will remember this game, much like we remember the key game against a similar team (and the same bad ref) last year that our boys lost. That game, like this one, they walked out having lost, but not as losers.

I felt I needed to share this with all of you today because I'm thinking we could all learn a little something from a group of 9-10 year old boys. Don't go on scores, go on gut and glory and fight and determination to succeed. You might not win this round. You might give it your all and still lose the fight...but if you keep fighting until the whistle blows, you will NEVER be a loser. Fight like a champion, and you are one.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEGSFITNESS 9/20/2011 11:26AM

    Great lessons! "they walked out having lost, but not as losers"

Such an important thing to learn--it just helps to reinforce self worth, self confidence and teamwork.

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TARANITUP 9/20/2011 10:04AM

    Great observations! I love football - it must be so cute watching the peewees. Can't wait til my daughter starts sports!

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KKINNEA 9/20/2011 10:01AM

    Yes, and those kids are learning the lesson early and hopefully will avoid the mistakes we've made. Awesome blog!

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FROGGERHKC 9/20/2011 9:48AM

    Thank you for sharing, and I love that quote... Imma write it down and keep it :)

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DETERMINED_SOUL 9/20/2011 8:20AM

    Thank you so much for sharing! I really did see a lot of my journey resembled in these words. It is awesome how "the fight" seems to be similar in any tough situation.

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BLACK-PRINCESS 9/20/2011 6:50AM

    keep it up

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SARAWALKS 9/19/2011 5:31PM

    Aw, this is the BEST blog ever. And the BEST TEAM EVER!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Can't wait to hear what happens at the next game! What a great lesson for us all to learn... emoticon

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ALYSSA40 9/19/2011 4:34PM

    Good job Mom! I'm a soccer mom of a Christian team. They're always pumping out great cheers and motivation to the boys. It's so nice to see that instead of the parent's fussing and cussing for the kids. It's bad for us and for the children to see us that way. Props to you Mom for leading and hopefully other parents will follow suit.

Okay, now good for you too. It's great advice after the weekend I had. No matter what, I refuse to quit either. Thank you for sharing.

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ERIN1128 9/19/2011 3:28PM

    Oh, what a wonderful story, thanks for sharing. I love that all your team's parents were so supportive - that's how it SHOULD be, but so often it isn't, sadly. So glad that your son came out feeling like a winner! Isn't it amazing how much our kids can teach us?

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POLSKARENIA 9/19/2011 3:09PM

    Keep it up Mum!!! you're doing a great job there!

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RICHILA 9/19/2011 2:41PM

    You are awesome and raising a wonderful young man.

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PAANDRUS 9/19/2011 2:11PM

    Thank You! Wonderful story. Yes we can learn from the 9 10 y/o group. Will remember the "I think I can" as I walk up my Biggest Loser hill!!

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WILDFIREKRISTIN 9/19/2011 1:38PM

    I am a sports mom too and I can tell you that you are a good mother for letting your son know that it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you play your best. Our team is always trying to win, so when they lose they take it so hard including the coaches, but we have to remember it is not everyone's day and everyone should have a chance to win.

Great mom you are!

Thank you for sharing this blog!

Kristin

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Weigh-In Day: You Can't Always Get What You Want Edition

Sunday, September 18, 2011

emoticon
Weigh-In Day

Weight Last Week: 317.2
Weight Goal for This Week: 315.2
Actual Weight This Week: 316.0
Loss/Gain: - 1.2 pounds

So last week was a rough week, and I was hoping this week was better. Well, I guess it was in the fact that I didn't gain any more. Still, I was hoping for more. Can't always get what you want, right?

So what happened?

Sunday - Went alright I guess. I do remember there was a trip to Wendy's that probably shouldn't have happened. :/

Monday - Went pretty well, I was feeling on task. I ate within my ranges and then did my ST and TRIED to run...which didn't work out so well.

Tuesday - Went alright. I ate pretty well, and got in a GREAT workout!

Wednesday - I had a bit of a meltdown and then ate some of my feelings. Not so great. I did force myself to get my bike workout in, so at least I got that little sticker on my calendar.

Thursday - Eating was a tiny bit better. I skipped my workout and took Logan to dinner at Bob Evans so I think I went over on calories a little bit.

Friday - I had every intention of getting back into the gym and finishing out my ST workouts for the week. Problem was that I got stuck on a project at home (building shelves for my stockpile, which required me to clean the kitchen and scrub the floors, etc.). I was at it for hours, cleaning so much I could feel it the next day. Does that count? Didn't eat so well, was still quite frustrated.

Saturday - I woke up and ran. It was a victory day. I went over my calories but I honestly can't fault myself because I will not diminish my accomplishment from yesterday. For the first time in my entire life I ran 2 miles straight without stopping. I ran a total of 2.25 miles in my Saturday 5k and felt amazing to finally have that one under my belt. And later I took the dog and the kids and Hubs up to the park for a walk and some fun in the fall chill. :)

What else should I have done better? I didn't get my water down so much every single day. That MUST improve. I also had Chinese last night for dinner so I'm sure that's adding some sodium to my body this morning. All in all, though, I cannot fault myself for the week I had. I worked hard. I worked out. I did a good job of working through the tough stuff. I knew when my body needed rest and I gave it that rest. And this week I'll keep plugging away at it. It's a new life, not a diet. I'm still making progress and getting stronger. (HELLO! Running 2 miles straight?! I know skinny, skinny people who can't do that!) So it wasn't a wash.

"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll find...you get what you need."

I can't explain how much I needed the lessons I learned this week about my emotional eating habits. I can't explain how much I needed yesterday's running victory. It's help building my confidence in myself again...and I NEED that.

So, goals for next week:

emoticon Workouts
SUNDAY - Walk the dog. Clean. Laundry.
MONDAY - Legs ST and 1 Mile Run
TUESDAY - Push ST and Zumba
WEDNESDAY - 22 Minutes on the Bike
THURSDAY - Pull ST and Run
FRIDAY - Abs/Shoulders/Biceps ST and either a Circuit or something active at home
SATURDAY - 5k with 2 Miles Running straight again...maybe 2.25 straight if I can manage


emoticon Other Goals
emoticon Drink my water! No less than 32 ounces.
emoticon Eat healthy meals within my calorie ranges.
emoticon Pack my lunches.
emoticon Check the garden.
emoticon Meal plan for the week and STICK TO IT!

This week I'm feeling something pumpkin-y so if you've got great pumpkin recipes, send 'em over. I'm feeling fall, y'all! I'm also thinking another round of Stir Fry Pad Thai just because it's SOOO good and filling and healthy! :) Also have some split chicken breast in the fridge right now...gotta figure out what to make with that.

emoticon Weight Goal for next week: 314.0 pounds

Have a great week, y'all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPUNKYDUCKY 9/20/2011 2:22PM

    Sounds like a great plan - hope you have a good week!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 9/19/2011 9:34AM

    emoticonon the emoticonBeing able to reflect on your week is awesome and will get you far in your journey.

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DARE.DIVA 9/18/2011 6:13PM

    GREAT JOB! You've lost, you've learned something, and you've conquered a huge milestone (running 2 miles straight is HUGE!) You've got a great plan for next week...I know you'll succeed.

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LUVMYCRAZYKIDS 9/18/2011 5:10PM

    The scale went in the right direction! Keep thinking about the positives and work on the negatives...it IS a lifestyle now. Great Job on the loss!!!!

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SWEETBEETL 9/18/2011 4:17PM

    EVERY POUND COUNTS!!!

Good for you. I am an emotional eater too. Really starting to see it now try to cut it off at the pass so I don't indulge. I do something else, anything else.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/18/2011 4:10PM

    WISHING YOU A SUCCESSFUL WEEK AHEAD!
WANTED TO SUGGEST A CHINESE MEAL THAT IS SUPER HEALTHY
AND SUPER LOW SODIUM!! I ORDER EITHER CHICKEN CHOP SUEY OR CHICKEN SUBGUM CHOP SUEY "STEAMED ONLY" (NOTHING ADDED)!!! ONCE YOU TRY IT AND SEE HOW FRESH AND HEALTHY IT IS, YOU WILL REALLY ENJOY IT. I PREFER IT AND HAVE IT WEEKLY. I ORDER ENOUGH FOR TWO TO THREE MEALS (1/2 CUP RICE, WITH 2-3 CUPS VEGGIES AND CHICKEN). THE CHICKEN YOU CAN PULL OUT AND WEIGH 3-4 OZ. BUT I FIND A QUART USUALLY HAS APPROX 6-8 OUNCES TOTAL AND JUST DIVIDE IT. IT IS A GREAT WAY TO GET IN YOUR VEGGIE SERVINGS. BEFORE YOU ORDER, ASK WHAT VEGGIES ARE IN EACH DISH, THEY VARY FROM PLACE TO PLACE. USUALLY CHIC CHOP SUEY HAS MORE BEAN SPROUTS, BUT I HAVE A PLACE THAT INCLUDES CARROTS, PEA PODS, MUSHROOMS, WATER CHESTNUTS, BAMBOO SHOOTS, AND CELERY. OTHER PLACES ONLY PUT THEM IN SUBGUM OR MAY DOMINATE THE DISH WITH SAY, CELERY, SO DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK TO GET WHAT YOU LIKE!! IT IS DELICIOUS AND NO WORRY ABOUT MSG OR TOO MUCH SODIUM AND A WATER WEIGHT GAIN.
TAKE CARE!
MARY
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/18/2011 4:13:02 PM

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SARAWALKS 9/18/2011 1:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
TWO miles without walking! emoticon emoticon
And a pound a week is GREAT! Rock on!

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BLACK-PRINCESS 9/18/2011 1:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MENNOLY 9/18/2011 12:35PM

    I'd say you had a pretty successful week. You lost a pound. The healthy goal is apound or 2 a week. You are a lot of your meals out so your salt intake was on the high side which makes you retain water. Since I usually eat at home and rarely add salt to my food and use very few prepared foods, I frequently find eating out will cause me to gain 2-3 pounds of water weight. The biggie seems to be increase water consumption. You exercise a fair bit (I call scrubbing floors building shelves etc. exercise). You do need to drink a bit more. I've started to take a water bottle with me to the gym. Between each strength machine I do I take a swig of water. That makes me drinl a lot more water than if I only use the water fountain.
So I say emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADDYSGETTINFIT 9/18/2011 12:27PM

    Wow. Sounds like you're on the right track! And you know what... as soon as I read the words "chinese last night I had a hunch that you're body is retaining water today because of the sodium (which can be compounded by not getting adequate water earlier in the week, too).

Lol, I've learned the hard way to NEVER EVER eat high sodium on a day before weigh-in. I bet if you do 2 days of low sodium and processed foods, while upping your water intake (so long as you keep moving and eating well), you'll be pleasantly surprised!

And not to forget... a loss is a loss, right?

You're doing great, hon. Keep it up!

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PRINCESSBEITER 9/18/2011 12:11PM

    Yes, your house cleaning DOES count.

Just remember that one pound a week is the best way to lose. That's something sustainable and you can keep it off better if you lose slower.

emoticon

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THOMS1 9/18/2011 11:59AM

    emoticonon the weight loss. Have a great week this week! emoticon

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ONCEUPONADREAM 9/18/2011 11:02AM

   
You're down 1.2! Thats great!

You did what you were supposed to. Watch your calories but enjoyed yourself, did your works out and got in your ST. You are making major changes to last for a lifetime and seeing progress. That in itself is awesome.

I know next week you are going to rock it out!

Btw, I am currently working on a way to de-fat-a-fy Jamba Juices Pumpkin smoothy goodness. If it doesn't come out tasting like hospital food, I'll be more than happy to shoot it over! :)

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ERIN1128 9/18/2011 10:56AM

    Tough week, but you still lost a lb! Cool. Have a good Sunday!

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When the Going Gets Tough...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

...the tough get tougher.

I sure hope you've heard that phrase before. Yesterday was emotional. It wasn't health related, but that was part of it...it was life related.

My husband has been out of work (per se) for about 3 years. He fell when the banks fell because, well, he worked for a bank. He'd worked there for 10 years and for the past year or two of his employment he still worked there even though we lived a state away. He'd drive up for work for a few days, and then he'd drive back home for a couple days with us. He worked hard. He made it to Supervisor and worked on creating manuals and managing things and the whole 9-10 yards of the business world. And then the bottom fell out and they called him one day and told him not to bother coming back up because the department was getting laid off. He was one of the last to go, so he had that going for him, but still he had to go.

He worked for a long time trying to find work, but in this market and trying to find a technology job in a state that isn't known for technological advances, well, it was nearly impossible to find anything. He went on interviews he thought went well, but all we could sort out was that the supply/demand (something my 9 year old just learned about) was WAY off. So, while he continued to search, he made strides in doing his own thing online...and he was quite successful at it. He got to a point where he was making more at home than he had made in his 10 years at the bank. Life was good for a while. We bought a new car, we felt good about ourselves because we were finally getting ahead.

And then that fell apart too.

This morning I attended a work seminar on the book Who Moved My Cheese? And I guess that's why I've been thinking about this a lot lately. You see, I'm a Scurry (you'd have to read the book to get the reference, but he's the mouse who moves quickly to adapt to change). My husband? I think he might be a Haw...the Littleperson who takes a bit to learn to adapt to the change, but finally moves toward it. So it's been time for a change again and me, always scurrying, I have been desperately searching for more sources of income. Last night we had one of those hard talks where I poured my heart out and he tried to give all the right answers and I was still upset. It reminded me a lot of that scene in The Break-Up where Jen Aniston tells her man, "I want you to WANT to do the dishes." *lol*

So, yeah, it was a difficult day. And in some ways I gave in. I had a little trouble controlling my eating last night. I'd grab some food and then spend the first few bites questioning myself trying to figure out why I was eating. It finally stopped when I finally got it out to him. I yelled a little too much, but eventually I said what I needed to say and he listened and we were better by the time I went to bed.

But I learned something about myself last night. I learned that I can choose to give in or I can ask the hard questions, say my peace, stand up for myself, and then find a resolution. Guess which one is healthier? Letting things rot inside you is NEVER a good idea.

This whole weight loss journey has been a viciously emotional one for me. As I tell people all the time, it's more about the mental journey than the physical one. It's about learning how to like and love myself. It's learning to ask the tough questions about what I want to change about myself.

Today I said something aloud in our seminar. We were all going around with these "magic wands" and saying what we would change in our work or lives. Everyone was picking things personal like, "I want to be more forgiving." And then it gets to my turn and out of my mouth pops, "Since this wand is magic, mine is a little different. I think if there are things I want to change about myself then it's fully within my power to do that. I can change myself. What I can't change is other people. And if this wand is magic, that's what I'd do." I talked about changing the system of our state government so that we could reward those employees who work hard and do a good job (because it's hard to be ambitious and fight for the cause of the company while knowing that your efforts will NEVER be rewarded because whenever you do get a raise working for the state here, everyone gets one -- even the person in the cubicle next to you that doesn't work as hard as you do, doesn't search out opportunities to help the agency succeed. It's a level playing field, and I think that is one thing about state government that makes most of the employees hate their jobs and take that out on the public they're working for...sad, but true.)

I said this without really thinking, but after I thought about "Where did that come from?" I realized that my journey here has inspired that. I've learned that we have the power to change ourselves...the power to create who we want to be. I know that wishing for a smaller tummy won't get me one, but hours in the gym and taking care to track my calories and eat right and make good choices, all that effort over time can lead to the change I want. It takes more time than a "wish" would, of course, but it's inevitable...a wish ain't ever gonna happen!

The going got tough last night...I got emotional. I STILL did my 20 minutes on the bike. I STILL did my yoga stretches after. And I STILL asked the tough questions throughout my emotional eating outburst and made the situation better by even binging mindfully. (I think that's a HUGE step in emotional eating btw. We all want to skip ahead to just quitting cold turkey, but it usually doesn't work out that well. Sometimes we have to just be okay with being better at handling the situation than we were last time. Learning from our mistakes and all that and taking STEPS...baby steps...to improving ourselves.)

So I have one question for you. When the going gets tough, are you ready to fight? Are you ready to get tougher? Are you ready to create the change you want through hard work? Or are you going to just sit back and wish your worries away? Are you going to wish for change or are you going to make it happen?! You've all heard the joke about pooing in one hand and wishing in the other, right?! I guarantee that change will happen if you take the steps towards making it happen, and keep taking those steps unrelentlessly. But I also guarantee that no amount of wishing will ever get you what you want without action behind it. It's like a guy who hopes to win the lottery but never buys a ticket. If you don't play, you can't win.

Next time you think about skipping a workout or just throwing in the towel and eating that piece of cake...ask yourself, is this the change I'm hoping for and what steps am I taking RIGHT NOW to make them happen?

Get tougher.
Fight for it.
And never stop fighting... Because another thing I've learned along the way? The fight is never over. The journey ends at your last breath...be glad you're still alive and keep fighting!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 9/18/2011 10:30AM

    Enlightened....you really have thought it out, and are making it happen!

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SARAWALKS 9/17/2011 2:47PM

    Thank you, Esther. I shared this on FB...you make a number of good points and it's good to have some GOOD things said about state government employees. Keep going, hang tough... emoticon

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SUGIRL06 9/15/2011 9:01PM

    Wow I just loved your response in your class. You are right! You can change anything about yourself without wishing for it! You don't need magic. What an eyeopener!

Sorry to hear things are crazy for you in life. Things always work out and it seems like you guys do well to adapt!
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~Ang

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SWEETZMIX 9/15/2011 7:57PM

    Love the blog! When it gets tough, you man up and stick around no matter how long it takes. I been on my journey for over 3 years. Thought I made it, but you know what I didn't make it mentally. But I haven't given up the fight! Keep on fighting!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/15/2011 4:30PM

    You are so right--the mental part of the journey is the hardest of all. And until we are willing to make the changes in how we think (about ourselves, food, stress, etc.), any success we achieve in losing weight will be temporary. Get tougher. Fight for it. And never stop fighting. Yes.

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TIGERJANE 9/15/2011 4:24PM

    SO, so good!

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KKINNEA 9/15/2011 3:42PM

    I like how you boiled it down - "get tougher". It's something that I need to meditate on every day.

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POLSKARENIA 9/15/2011 3:19PM

    Great blog!! keep it up!

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FROGGERHKC 9/15/2011 3:01PM

    Wonderful blog! It really hit home with me today, so thank you for sharing! Hope you are having a better day today girlie! emoticon

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LISSOME 9/15/2011 2:33PM

    Esther, that magic wand bit is just - well - brilliant! Did anyone's jaw there drop when you said that? Because that was like a 100 watt lightbulb in my face. In a good way.
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MENNOLY 9/15/2011 2:25PM

    Powerful blog! I hope the economy improves for you soon.

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 9/15/2011 1:46PM

    What an amazing blog, and something I was just thinking about today, as I voiced on my own blogs my shortcomings of this week. These blogs are inevitably followed by how I plan on changing, but you voiced it perfectly:

"Get tougher.
Fight for it.
And never stop fighting... "

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SUGARSMOM2 9/15/2011 1:42PM

  Hi.
great blog. loved it . 'we all need to learn to say what we want . to be in the minute . day dreams are nice but they dont pay the bills as you know . money makes the world go round . we all need to have a bit of magic in our pockets . to pull out when needed .. stand tall tell it all . good job .

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BANDMOM2012 9/15/2011 1:42PM

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing so honestly. You've inspired me today.

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ERIN1128 9/15/2011 1:37PM

    SO proud of you for not letting the stress run you off the rails! It's so true, the biggest part of all this is mental. And what you said at the end is the mindset I'm really trying for right now...thinking each time I reach for food about whether it gets me to that goal. Hugs!

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SENIOR62 9/15/2011 1:19PM

  I loved your blog. It's all so true and gives us all food for thought. Good job emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 9/15/2011 1:19PM

    Great blog today. I love what you said about the magic wand. It is that thinking outside of the box that will help you reach all of your goals. emoticon

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Getting My Grove Back...I Hope

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Last night I felt something I hadn't felt in a LONG time....good. Around lunchtime yesterday my mid-back started hurting. I did a few stretches, did the best I could to make it better, but as soon as I got the chiro, guess what part he focused in on? He asked me whether I'd every experienced that before. I told him that it's been happening off and on for as long as I can remember. Sometimes my back just gets tight and then it's sore. Don't tell CC but Hubs usually works it out for me if the pain gets too tight (he fancies himself a Chiro in training as his parents worked for a chiropractor for a long time and learned a few of the tricks...don't worry though, he's careful and doesn't do anything beyond what he knows - which is VERY little, but just enough to help me). Usually, I can ease the tension with stretches for a day or two. CC said that it's not the bones misaligned when it gets like that - it's muscle tension pulling on my spine. He asked if I do a lot of work over my head in workouts. "Some...not a LOT." It's just something else I'll have to look out for but didn't seem to be much to worry about it.

CC then moved to my hips, which didn't hurt as bad as it has been hurting for a week and a half when he pushed on it. He actually said my hips are looking better...and I knew I'd been feeling like it was getting better. By the time I left his office, I was feeling pretty darn good. This time the adjustments made me feel better rather than worse...kinda like on that first day. I really wanted to capitalize on the "feel good" feeling, so I headed straight to the gym for my ST session.

Before I left work yesterday I sat in my car and told myself (aloud...yes, I talk to myself sometimes...) "Okay, chiro, then ST, then you can do your cardio while dinner cooks, then off to the store." I was in for a long night and I didn't know how long I would make it, but I prioritized. ST first, because of the challenge. Home-cooked dinner next, because it's so easy to crap out on this! Then cardio fit in somewhere, because I do want to keep it up, but if I skipped Tuesday I could just make it up Wednesday (which I usually skip). Finally, groceries - because it could certainly wait until Wednesday night.

I got to the gym and something got into me. Not sure if it was the fact that I actually felt good and had little to no pain or soreness (that was probably it) or what it was, but I couldn't stop myself from running. I'd walk a lap, run a couple, then walk a couple, then do a set of pushups (my ST warmup move for the night). Then I'd head back out - walk a lap, run a couple, walk 1-2 more, then pushups again. Then I walk/ran/walked another round before heading downstairs for the rest of my ST. (You can see my log of what I did on yesterday's blog, which I updated.) By the time the decline crunches came around, I was back upstairs by the track, so I started my circuit again, subbing my crunches for the pushups. By the time I was rounding out the workout, I was starting to feel the drag of my feet signaling that my body was nearly out of muscle power (i.e. I was near "failure"), and that felt great! I pulled myself to a corner and did my yoga stretches (and nearly got whacked in the head by a stray racquetball (racquetball ball?)).

By the time I was leaving the gym, I was feeling a bit more Superheroine. I had accomplished two of my goals for the night already - cardio and ST were DONE! I went straight home and got dinner started and popped in the shower while it cooked. Hubs came home with Ethan, who was kept in the ENTIRE practice (see! he's getting SOMETHING right) without having to be put out to sub someone, and we ate dinner. (It didn't go as well as I wanted...this recipe needs tweaks!) Then we all piled in the car, coupons in hand, and spent the next hour or so getting $226 worth of groceries for $103. :)


(FYI - I need shelves! My stockpile has taken over the pantry and the table and under the table. *snort* MUST GET SHELVES!)

First of all, yes, you can diet and clip coupons and save money all at the same time. My haul included stuff that I can work into my healthy diet, and even included some things that people would consider "diet" food. I have like 8 boxes of Total, which is one of my favorite (and a healthy) cereal. I have 5 cartons of Almond Milk (my oldest has problems with lactose so I've been buying this for him to drink and use in his cereal anyhow). I got some Ritz munchables that are totally doable as a little snack, some granola bars, granola thins, 90 calorie Fiber One bars, and 2% milk cheese slices. Yes, there are cookies, and I snuck a couple last night, but only one package. And, yes, there are chicken nuggets, but I doubt these will last very long in my house because my youngest nearly peed his pants with glee when he realized they were on the list. *lol*

So, there ya go. Got it all done. And how do I feel today?
Sore! *lol* Of course. I'm going to need some stretching sessions today.
Also needed today? Lots of water.

Plus, I need to figure out what to do about lunch because stupid me thought our training seminar was today, but it's tomorrow...so I didn't bring my lunch and will have to either pull something out of my drawer or go get something. Sucks because I have a crapton of great, healthy, tasty leftovers in my fridge! *pouts*

Plan for the night?
Just 20-25 minutes on the bike. Tonight is supposed to be an easy night...sounds easy compared to what I normally do, right!? NO! 1) I'm not a HUGE fan of the bike. 2) My leg muscles are totally not used to the bike...last time I lasted 5 minutes and it HURT! 3) I have wimped out of this singular workout no less than 3 weeks in a row...and I've only been on this program for 3 weeks. *lol* I always seem to find something else more important to do than go to the gym on Wednesday nights for "Bike Night."

I know what you're thinking - don't do it if you hate it. Sorry, I have to. While I *hate* the stationary bike, I actually enjoy the real thing. I used to spend HOURS on my bike as a kid...I'd leave the house after school and wouldn't come back until the street lights came on at night. I got so good I could ride my bike without holding on to the handlebars. I remember how great it felt on that thing, and I want that feeling back. Problem is, I don't actually OWN a bike. For years I felt I was too fat to ride a bike (and I was). Last year I finally tried to ride on Hubs' bike and it HURT and was really hard. I tried it again some months and pounds down later, and it felt better. So, yeah, I was too fat to ride a bike...but I'm starting to think that might be changing and I think it would be great to be able to go for a bike ride with my kids and husband at the park. If it's anything like I remember, I'll lose track of time and be out there for hours really enjoying it. Still, I have this thing where I feel like I need to EARN a bike. Like I need to make sure I can physically handle it before I go spend the money on it - and that means training at the gym on the stupid stationary ones. (I think it's less about the bike and more about that feeling of being trapped and being inside. The best part about running and bike riding is feeling the wind and seeing all the colors of the world around you and moving through the world with purpose and function. I also hate the dreadmill for this very same reason. It's not a workout to me...it's recreation...so being in the gym doesn't work for me...)

So, yes, I do need to complete this workout. I need to get in the habit so when I do get my bike, when I'm finally brave enough to say, "I CAN ride a bike again," I'll be ready fitness wise to handle it. (I cannot tell you how ridiculous this sounds to me simply because of the phrase "It's just like riding a bike." I have a whole new set of thoughts about that phrase now...)

One final note...last night I pulled into the driveway and this was on the radio:

Comedown - Bush

CHORUS:
ĎCause I donít wanna come back down from this cloud
Itís taken me all this time to find out what I need yeah
I donít wanna come back down from this cloud
Itís taken me all this all this time

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Yeah, I sang my little heart out to that part (and teared up a little). I haven't felt this pain-free in SO long and it just felt so good to finally be there. I've been suffering from near constant pain of one variety or another since November of last year. That's nearly a YEAR of fighting through the pain and still managing to lose a few pounds in the process. I don't think I gave myself nearly enough credit because last night, finally, I remembered what it felt like to feel like I had more control of my body and to feel "normal" in a sense. I'm so scared it's going to be taken away again but, for now, I'm just using this time and enjoying it and hoping against hope that it sticks around for a VERY long time and allows me to fully blossom into the person I want to be and already am.

Onward!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMAZON 9/14/2011 11:01PM

    I'm just getting to know you but your coupon craziness and biking aspirations are melting my heart!!!

I'm so glad you're feeling better. If we see our Chiros or PTs and do what they tell us to, we get better! Keep up the great workouts.

As for the coupons, I'm on my knees in admiration. I really try to do this, and I do good at least one trip per month. My budget says I need to be doing it every week though. I LOVE LOVE LOVE those fiber one 90 calorie bars, and the 90 calorie brownies? Shazam!

And the biking, it is one of my favorite things! I have been a big girl on a bike for the last several years, and I've been riding a hybrid and doing triathlons on it. The hybrid bike was so comfy! That padded seat and those shocks made it a sweeet ride. This past winter I upgraded to a fast, lightweight road bike and I haven't gotten swept up in riding longer distances like I thought I would. Back pain has been part of my problem too, and riding down low in an aerodynamic position on my new bike has been a BIG adjustment. And then there is that new tiny little seat that my lady parts aren't very fond of. I like going fast and not having to wear my legs out as much, but it's been hard to get used to! Just know you can shoot bike questions my way anytime!
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ERIN1128 9/14/2011 12:33PM

    Awesome! 'bout time, huh? :-)

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BLACK-PRINCESS 9/14/2011 12:22PM

    emoticon

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 9/14/2011 12:02PM

    Wonderfully uplifting blog. You have so much energy now--isn't it wonderful? I feel the same way--I can do so much more now than I used to be able to get done. And...I try to put myself first...as far as exercise goes. I get that in as a priority, because I just don't feel right if I don't do it. I was telling son last night that on my new training for the Spark Virtual 5K (I'm trying the walk/jog--first time jogging for me), the final run segment always comes at the end, which means I have to run up my fairly steep rocky driveway. It's a little less than 1/10 of a mile, and really kicks my butt. But I told him, I am just determined that I will run all the way to the top. I remember when walking up the driveway at the end of my walk about killed me--so running up it (sure it's pretty slow running, but still....) is quite an accomplishment/

We WILL get there, we have to. Because no matter if we put ourselves first or not, we're doing it for them, cause that family depends on us. We make the whole thing work, don't we? Women really rule the world! Just don't tell the men.

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FROGGERHKC 9/14/2011 11:48AM

    So happy you are feeling better! Way to go at the gym and prioritizing! I should really start clipping coupons, you can save so much!!!!

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ALYSSA40 9/14/2011 11:45AM

    I'm glad to hear that your back is easing up on you. Also it's nice to see how you saved so much for yourself and family. My family spends a bit of money but my husband, son and brother in law are wasteful. Half the stuff they eat, I don't touch, except when I'm making it. We still spend about the same amount of money though. Glad to see you're both feeling and doing better!

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BRIAEL 9/14/2011 10:19AM

    Glad your back has eased, it makes life so much more appealing. :)

See you're a Cheerios fan - have you tried the Multigrain version? I used to think the regular version was great until I tried the MG one. I even like them dry with a glass of water as a snack!

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PAANDRUS 9/14/2011 10:10AM

    I am new to your blog and only have read two or three of them. Enjoying hearing other people who are going thru the same things! Sometimes we "think" we re the only ones. Congrats & keep up the exercising..moving forward & keeping moving.

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KKINNEA 9/14/2011 9:57AM

    Sounds like your chiro sessions are really working. Bike for next spring maybe?

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SARAWALKS 9/14/2011 9:55AM

    emoticon emoticon Happy for you! emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLISE 9/14/2011 9:49AM

    emoticon to you for doing all that! emoticon
Being in pain all the time must be so awful. I hope it completely goes away!
Have a great day! emoticon

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MENNOLY 9/14/2011 9:45AM

    Wow what a great blog. Dood for you on sticking to your workout. About the bike, have you considered looking in freecycle? If you have that where you are from it would be a cheap (free) way to get a used bike. Keep it up! emoticon emoticon

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PMP Part Two

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FYI, whenever I see "PMP" I don't think Pimp...I think PUMP. I'm from Ohio and Arnold used to come every year and threaten to PUMP...US UP. So that's what I think of...and it certainly helps me when I'm surrounded by the young guns in the weight room who think they are SO macho and I see them wincing while pressing a 15 lb. dumbbell. Hey, bud! I want to PUMP, YOU UP! *snickers*

Anyhow...here's the second week stuff...and this will be a kind of place holder so I can come back and edit and update.

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1. By the end of Thursday, September 15, you are challenged to do 2 HOURS OF STRENGTH TRAINING OVER 4 DAYS. This can be broken down to two sets of 15 minutes per day, which ANYONE can make time for if they want to. Between Friday and Sunday night, clock AN ADDITIONAL HOUR. That's 20 minutes on Friday, 20 on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. THis is the minimum I expect you to spend on strength training if you are serious about changing your body and health.

No it will not be easy, THAT is why it is called a challenge. If I told you that you had until the end of the week to do 15 minutes total of free weights, it would be so ridiculously easy, that it wouldnt do much for your body.

You can do more than one muscle group OR you can concentrate on just one group for the entire two hours AS LONG AS YOU TAKE REST DAYS BETWEEN THOSE WORKOUTS SO YOUR BODY CAN HEAL AND GROW AND BE MORE EFFICIENT.

**no die hard stupidity please. It is best that you do not work out your arms for two hours tonight just to get it out of the way, esp if you have not been following an ST plan for an established amount of time yet**
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This is where I will be making this happen...
emoticon Well, I started last night with about 35 minutes of ST. (LEGS)
emoticon 2 sets of 15 Freehand Jump Squats
emoticon 3 sets of Plie Dumbbell Squats (reps/weight: 15/20 - 15/30 - 15/35)
emoticon 3 sets of Narrow Stance Leg Press (R/W: 15/340 - 12/360 - 15/360)
emoticon 3 sets of Dumbbell Lunges (R/W: 15/25 - 12/30 - 10/30)
emoticon 3 sets of 20 Calf Raises (weights: 20 - 25 - 30)

emoticon Tonight, it's the PUSH strength training. - about 45 minutes
emoticon 2 sets of 15 Pushups (regular)
emoticon 3 sets of Machine Bench Press (R/W: 15/90 - 15/100 - 8/110)
emoticon 1 set of Butterfly (Pec Deck Machine) (R/W: 8/40)
emoticon 3 sets of Incline Dumbbell Press (R/W: 15/15 - 12/20 - 15/20)
emoticon 2 (HAHA!) sets of Tricep Dips (reps: 15 - 2! *lol*)
emoticon 3 sets of 20 reps of Decline Crunches

I did something a little fiery last night and pulled in a circuit for my warm up and during my crunches. I walked a lap around the indoor track, then ran a couple laps, then walked one or two more, then did my set of pushups, then headed back out on the track. I ran a lot last night, actually...which I think makes up for my poor performance the night before. ;) Certainly feeling everything today! ;)

Thursday, it's PULL.
And then Friday, it'll be Abs/Shoulders/Biceps.

emoticon Total Minutes: 80/120

(Yes, I'm counting Friday too, but I SHOULD be done with it by Thursday anyhow. I had to cut last night short and experienced a bit of "failure" while trying to run after...it's hard getting back into it after just 1 week off!)

I usually spend anywhere from 30-45 minutes in the weight room. I lift a set, then rest for a minute, stretching out, and then lift another set. For the past few weeks was the first time I started chatting/joking with the macho guys and gals over there (seriously, there are a couple women over there that could lay some of the guys out FLAT! *lol*). It felt good to feel a bit of that "belonging" which I've also been getting with head nods from the regulars. *big grin* Anyhow, got off track, but I'll get my 2 hours in for the week if I follow my plan.

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2. WRITE ON YOUR CALENDAR/CHART/WHATEVER WHICH GROUPS YOU WORKOUT AND FOR HOW LONG YOU WORKED THEM OUT.

You will need to look back on this next week. You will need to see how often you work each group. You will need to do this so you can learn to keep balance.

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I've already got it written down and will log it here as well.

FYI -
LEGS = Well, legs, duh!
PUSH = Mostly chest
PULL = Mostly back
And then of course SHOULDERS/ABS/BICEPS = Shoulders, abs, and, well, biceps. ;)

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3. MUSCLE FAILURE CHALLENGE. Before Sunday, September 19th, pick !!ONE!! of the exercises from your starting line (pushups, situps, planks, squats, etc) and, instead of seeing how many reps you can do in one minute, I want you to (going SLOW and keeping proper form) see how many reps (or in the case of a plank, how many minutes:seconds) you can do before you reach muscle failure and have to stop. I am giving you until Sunday to do this so that it will not interfere with any of your ST sessions unless you want to count it as part of your 2 hour challenge.

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Okay, so I'm totally terrified of this because I'm DOMing like crazy already. *lol* Anyhow, because I NEED to do crunches like woah! I'm going to probably go with that one. I am going to allow breaks to catch my breath, but not long ones, just like my minute breaks between sets (because I've heard anything over 20 reps is just not helpful anymore). We shall see how that turns out... I'll likely tack it onto my Friday routine since crunches are already on the menu for that day anyhow.

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4. Take this week to finish getting measurements or taking pictures if you need to!

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Yes, I still need to do this! Going to try to get it in tonight, but if not, certainly tomorrow!!

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5. BONUS! Take pictures of your sweaty workout afterglows, of your healthy beautiful food, or how you spend your rest day doing happy active things!

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Confession: I ain't felt all up to taking pictures of much of anything because my iPhone is bogged down and needs cleaned out and my computer I put my pics on to clean it out is bogged down and needs cleaned out. *lol* It's going to be a long process just to get my pics cleared off my phone. :/

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

And other stuffs?
* I found out I get another week to try to get my weight down before the gym weigh-in this month! YAY!
* I feel MUCH better! I did some Yoga stretching last night after my cardio (a sad, sad, 10 minute walk/run) and it's amazing how much better I feel. I don't think I've been stretching enough lately, but that 10-15 minutes of yoga following a workout is going BACK IN!
* Now that I'm feeling better, I've got another chiro appointment today. *face/palm* *snort* Hopefully it's not too bad.
* I'm still trying to figure out in my head how to get everything done I want to accomplish tonight.

I leave here at 4:30pm for the chiro.
If he gets me in and out I should be done by the time my 5:30pm appointment time comes around.
But I also need to get to the grocery store.
And Zumba is at 7pm.
But I'm going to take a little bit of time in the grocery store because it's a couponing trip.
And I have some ST I have to do either before or after Zumba.
And I'm cooking Chicken and Dumplings tonight (healthy version, don't worry!).

So...wtf!? Can someone please invent a cloning machine now so I can get everything done in such a short amount of time?! PLEASE?!!?! MMkaythanxbi!


TUESDAY EDIT: FYI - I got everything in after Zumba was cancelled. *big grin* Scale was mean last night (was SOO swollen/bloated, I could tell!) but was nice this morning. :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/14/2011 4:51AM

    Just reading all you are doing burned a good 200 calories off ME!!!
Good heavens girl...
Whew, I gotta go lay down!
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CALLIKIA 9/13/2011 4:20PM

    Welp, Zumba was cancelled, so it's down to ST, my own cardio (which doesn't have a time limit on it other than "before I pass out from exhaustion for the evening"), grocery shopping and dinner. I *THINK* this is doable. First? Off to the Chiro! And that man better watch his hands this time or his cute face won't be so cute when I leave!!

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FROGGERHKC 9/13/2011 3:13PM

    Wow girl you are busy!!! Hope the chiro goes well. emoticon

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BLACK-PRINCESS 9/13/2011 3:05PM

    emoticon

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ALYSSA40 9/13/2011 2:07PM

    You are doing an awesome job lady! Keep it up!

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PHEFEY 9/13/2011 1:25PM

    I'm gonna PUMP up with you!!

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KKINNEA 9/13/2011 1:24PM

    Yep, it's the puzzle piece problem - how do you fit in everything you want and should do? PMP is looking good!

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 9/13/2011 12:57PM

    Busy girl, but sounds like you have a great plan and are totally prepared for the day. Fingers crossed you don't hurt too bad after the Chiro, and I'm with you, I need to get back to stretching.

Have a fabulous day, I know you squeeze the things that need to get done, in today.



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