Whenever my mom used to get mad at my sisters and me for not cleaning our rooms or the dishes well enough, she used to tell us to "put some elbow grease into it." What a strange choice of words when you take it literally. And cleaning isn't the only thing it applies to, apparently. I now have to lose weight the old-fashioned way, with lots and lots of elbow grease. I forfeited my place in the Combat the Fat challenge, as funds were lacking, and now I realize that Hunny's travel schedule was not very accomodating to a Monday THRU Friday program. Oh well. Bummer, but I'm still determined to get this weight off finally. I talked to sis B today and we are gonna do this, elbow grease and all. I wonder something, though: why is it when I watch The Biggest Loser, or similar shows, that I get both inspired like crazy and totally depressed? It's like I'm in awe THEY can lose the weight, but somehow I am excluded. And I feel this way across the board... that other mommies are the best mommies, that other smart people truly have something intelligent to say, that God only loves others. Somehow, I know in my heart this isn't true, but there are times when I'm hard to convince otherwise. Anyway, self-image issues aside, I'm trying to learn-and believe-that I am not the exception to every rule out there. And I'm assuming at the end of the day, elbow grease and conviction are simply that: elbow grease and conviction. I've got to want to lose this weight so badly that I will do nothing to compromise that goal and everything to attain it. So far in my life, I've wanted that but not badly enough to change my habits. I mean, I am an excellent baker, people. And I love food... I secretly consider myself a real foodie, though I don't always have opportunities to exercise this quiet passion. I'm sort of a hodge-podge, make-myself-up-as-I-go-along kind of girl in that I am a vegetarian, but not for everyone else's reasons, and I love natural, holistic living as long as it is convenient (!).... so basically, I am going to have to learn to pick a side. Learn to love one side a little more than the other, and I think it's gotta be healthy living, natural, unpolluted foods, and a lot of hard work. However, I'm totally going to reward myself for my successes along the way, and I think that alone will build me up and help me realize that I don't have to be like the people on Biggest Loser or even fit into an all-natural camp; all I have to do is live my life one day at a time, be about my business both in my home and in my "temple," and maybe, just maybe, all that elbow grease applied in the right areas will come together and pay off! This starts with my making good eating choices and choosing to do the hard thing, and not the lazy thing when it comes to getting off the couch and DOING physical things. I'm sure I will be my own worst critic, and that's ok, too, as long as I love myself in the process. I think that's what I want to walk away from all of this in the long run anyway.