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Monday, November 10, 2014

This week on the CAMO Crew team of the BLC 26 we are talking about motivation. I was going to post this in the team thread but it got a ďbitĒ long. So Iím going to turn it into a blog

Motivation - Do I have it? Yes, but probably not in the traditional sense. I have motivation... I want to be healthy and active, to avoid living with pain and stay out of a wheel chair. These are all motivating factors in the reason I am here on Spark People, the CAMO Crew BLC team and trying to lose the excess weight. But...I'm not feeling it. I often don't want to, I often just want to curl up in a ball and whimper that it hurts, that I just can't do this anymore. But...I want/need to be healthy and active and that only comes with dedication and consistency. During the long dark days ahead I usually quit for awhile. I move less and eat more. I go into hibernation. It may be SAD has something to do with it although it hasn't been formally diagnosed. It may be that it is colder and damper which affects my joints making it tougher to get moving.

Either way I have opposing wants sometimes. I think that we all do actually. There is an article on another website (Nerd Fitness) that I think helps get this across. It talks about what motivation is and isnít. What to use in place of motivation to keep moving.

You see, while I do have the motivation I donít have the enthusiasm right now. Iím not all gung ho, letís get this done! What I do have though is dedication and determination. This leads me to be consistent, which leads to progress.

Doing: Read these Articles

Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation - Part 1

Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation - Part 2

Identify the regular actions that you can do which will help you lose weight, ones you can make conscious decisions each day to do or not do. You can write these down, blog, them, or post them in the chat thread.

Action 1: Eat right, including eating Gluten Free.
This means good quality food including vegetables and fruit. I donít always remember to eat them, especially when Iím scrounging or just making food for me. I often choose fast over quality, but I am getting better at choosing to have the quality foods at home so itís easier to eat them.

When I eat consistently good (healthy) food I feel better. I have more energy. I can focus on what needs to be done and do it better.

Action 2: Exercise consistently 5 days (min 20 minutes) a week in the morning.
We are in week 8 and Iím still streaking. When I get up and exercise before work I feel better about myself, have less pain overall and feel accomplished. It IS still a struggle every morning. As it gets colder and darker in the mornings I know it will get even harder to get out of the bed and move it. But I also know that by getting up and moving I feel better for the rest of the day.

Action 3: 91 + (13 a day) minutes of ďactive walking a week. This fits in with exercising consistently as the only way I can get these minutes in is to walk with a beat (like w/LS in my living room). Focusing on the work incentive program where I get a discount on my insurance premiums and extra $$ for meeting goals helps keep me moving even when I donít ďwantĒ to.

Action 4: Drink more water than tea. Yes, I know tea is healthy/bad depending on where you stand. I am not going to commit to drinking only water. It wonít happen. At least not right now. I choose for the most part to not drink my calories. I do occasionally like a hard cider or a glass of wine, so I wonít say I donít drink my calories unequivocally. And I do hate to make absolute statements. That way lays madness for me. If I truly forbid anything I will break my word to myself and eat/do whatever Iíve banned. So it is easy for me to drink the flavored water and caffeine over just water (even carbonated). Therefore I focus on balancing that out by drinking more water than tea. I always get enough water that way and stay hydrated.

Action 5: Make the time needed to eat healthy and exercise consistently appointments. Make them hold the same weight as going to work. I need to work to earn money to eat, have a safe place to sleep and have a little fun with friends, buy things etc. I need to eat healthy and exercise to live the life I want. Just like going to work. So this is something I have to doÖ forever. I am the most important part of this therefore it MUST be a priority to take the time needed to make it happen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 11/13/2014 10:34PM

    Cyndi, a lot of what you wrote resonates with me--particularly about being determined but not enthusiastic, and the part about the struggle between being active in order to feel better when moving hurts. Not to mention the winter part--I was doing really well until the time change and then it was like hitting a wall, and I know that's because it's dark suddenly at 4 pm.

I love your goals--they are good ones I think for you and totally doable!!!

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BARBIEE52 11/11/2014 11:48PM

You have some terrific goals....you have alot of strength, and I know you can do this!! emoticon emoticon

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1MIN17SECB412PM 11/11/2014 6:58AM

    This may sound strange, Cyndi, but maybe/possibly switching your physical activity focus to change up for the seasons, would help.
SparkPeople Article
4 Signs It's Time to Change Your Workout Routine
What to Do When Your Workout Isn't Working for You
By Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer

or... if you need a little "Motivation..." here ya go . . .
Want to Get Up Earlier to Work Out? Here's All the Motivation You'll Need.

or... could you use a sauna/hot tub for muscle relief ... maybe the "Y" has something like that, or even a hotel/motel you could use ... somewhere the WARM can soothe and you can relax...

Best of Luck on your *map*out* emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 11/10/2014 10:54PM

    I am so there with you on the darker colder days making it hard to want to get out. This morning it was only 5 F (-15 C) with a wind. It was the coldest 15 minute fast walk ever in my thin workout pants to get to my 9 am fitness class. But I know once I made it over the inertia and pain, I would feel much better exercising and did. But my Mom's couch is so warm and cozy and comfy. I have not always won the battle to just get up and do it. The frustration with my slow healing painful right arm is a factor, but so is the bad back and hip (another surgery to look forward to).
The cold dark winters are my biggest challenge, we had two record breaking ones last year, hoping for a better time this year.
Wishing you all the best with your challenges!
emoticon emoticon

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Goals, Goals, Goals

Friday, September 19, 2014

Itís that time again. Once more I am looking to find my goals (and motivations) for the Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC) that Iím involved in. We took our first weigh in (WI) on Wednesday. I am not where I wanted or hoped to be, but Iím not far off from where I expected to be.

I took the summer off. I rarely exercised. I just lazed the summer away. It was my choice. I needed the rest I think as even with getting on average about 3,000 Ė 4,000 steps a day (and many days less than that) Iím still within 1 lb of where I ended the last round. Thatís a tribute to my eating habits I think. And they are just that, habits. I eat the same things most weeks and so I know how many calories are in the foods and eat pretty much in a consistent range now that Iíve gone gluten free. Losing those desperate cravings, those (to me) undeniable urges to eatÖ everything in sight has made a huge difference.

But now is the time to start moving forward again with my plans. Iím tired of maintaining. Iím TIRED of being 10 Ė 15 Ė 20 lbs above my goal weight. I want to live between 140 Ė 145 lbs. That is 10 Ė 15 pounds from where I am right now. Iíve revised it upward by 5 lbs. I donít think, realistically that I will make my previous goalÖ ever. It is unrealistic to expect my 50 + year old body to go back 20 + years and be what it was. It will never happen. Even if I get back to that weight my body wonít look the same. 145 is the top of the BMI healthy weight scale for me, so that is where Iím aiming. I am not giving up or giving in, not really. I am looking at my lifestyle, what I am willing and able to do. I can always reevaluate later. But it sounds so much better to only need 10 Ė 15 lbs to goal than 20 Ė 25. Iíve been trying with limited success to lose that same 20 Ė 25 lbs for years! The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

If I lose 0.25 lbs a week Iíll be within striking distance of 150. If I lose 0.5 lbs a week I will be below 150 (a sticking point in my mind. If I lose 0.75 lbs a week I will be below my top end goal. If I can lose 1 lb a week I will be at my low end goal by the end of this challenge.

I havenít been below 150 since before 2003 and I was only at 150 for about a month in 2003. So I have my mental work cut out for me. And Iím going into that time of year that is traditionally hard for me to do anything other than maintain. Yup thatís right. Fall and winter seasons are usually colder, damper and less sunny. Thatís when I go into extreme hibernation mode normally. I have to find a way to counter that.

So I am going to have to make some changes. Something has to give and itís all mental at this point or at least mostly I think. I know what works. If I eat better foods like fruits and vegetables more home cooked and less prepackaged foods I feel better and do more. When I exercise consistently I do & feel better as well. But, when Iím tired and achy it becomes really challenging to do so.

What can I do to motivate myself during the upcoming challenges? How can I overcome this mental block that keeps me from accomplishing my goal? What am I willing to do and to change to make this happen?

I have already made some great progress. Iíve eliminated gluten and soda pop from my diet (I know I mention this a lot, but as they are one of my few long term successes I need the affirmation that I CAN make changes that stick). Right now Iím ready to make sweeping changes and commit to them, but that doesnít work for me. I eased into the gluten free eating and have been eating this way for almost 1.5 years now. I have no intention of going back. In fact we just bought a large amount of gluten free emergency foods for me, so even in times of emergency I wonít fall back into that habit that hurts more than just my waistline.

The only extreme change I made that I was able to keep long term was giving up sodas. I *had* to do that all at once as that is an addiction. The combination of sugars/caffeine make it impossible to have just one. I have been soda free for 6 years now (I think). I have tasted regular and diet Coke/Pepsi products. They now just taste nasty. The diet sodas have a horrible aftertaste and the regular sodas are now waaay too sweet. Yea for change tastes. My biggest downfall there was the fizzy sensation on my throat. This time I found soda/carbonated water. It quenches my thirst and has that soothing fizzy sensation I crave. So now all I drink is tea (both iced & hot depending on the weather) and water. I will have the occasional glass of wine or hard cider (maybe 1 or 2 on average per month).

I toy with the idea of going paleo or cave man. After all both are really gluten free, but Iím not willing to give up dairy or grains. I feel better when I eat them. Therefore I will not eliminate them from my diet. My diet is one I plan to keep for life, not just for a short time to lose the weight, but to feel my best.

But I digress. This is blog is to be about the goals Iíve set for the next 12 weeks and how to achieve them. I think Iím avoiding having to commit to anything. Once itís in writing I can fail. Silly me.

I will lose weight this round. I will lose somewhere between 5 & 10 lbs.
To do this:
I will exercise regularly. This means 5 times a week.
I will include strength training 2 times a week.
I will enjoy my rest days and not feel guilty for taking them. Rest is as important as exercise.
I will rock climb 1 time a week. We just rejoined the climbing gym, now utilize it.
I will walk an average of 8,000 steps a day.
I will eat to live. That means more foods prepared at home. I need to work out the specifics on that as our eating habits have changed. We now eat our main meal at lunch rather than dinner. So I need to find ways to work with that new dynamic that doesnít involve a lot of fast food or frozen prepackaged foods.
I WILL listen to my body and eat accordingly. If I am truly hungry I will eat. If I am not hungry I will not eat just because itís my normal time for food.
I will read motivational/inspirational books and not just pleasure reading books.

This is MY time. I WILL find a way. I will live my motto. Never give up, never surrender. I WILL succeed! (Scary as that is.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 9/22/2014 4:19PM

    Sounds really good! You can TOTALLY ROCK THIS ROUND!!! I know you can!

Some food for thought that I thought of when reading your post:

1) I can really sympathize with the shifting expectations. My average weight until I hurt my hip was 125 pounds, and there is a part of me that wishes I could get back there... but I don't think that's a realistic goal. I'm not even sure the 135 that I have set up as my spark goal is realistic, which is why I am re-evaluating my goals once I hit 155 (which is the upper end of a healthy BMI for me). Part of this is because I'm older and creakier and part of it is because muscle is denser than fat. I want to fit, not just light weight on the scale. So anyway, my point is that your re-evaluations make a lot of sense to me and that even if you don't hit your dream weight you were when you were younger, that doesn't mean that you are giving up--you are being realistic about the body you have NOW and more importantly about being healthy, active, and fit in the body you have now--which is more important than what the scale says.

2) I have nothing against the paleo diet per se, but there's nothing paleo about it (says not just this anthropologist, fyi). So if you do it, don't think you are being healthier because you are eating the way ancient man ate. And if dairy and gluten free grains makes you feel better, then eat them! The important thing is doing what works for YOU.

3) Your conquering of the pop gives me hope... so I certainly don't mind being reminded that you had struggled and struggled to over come it... and you did!!! Because I still struggle with the soft drinks. I had almost given up pop entirely before Pennsic.... and then back slid. And am struggling to give them up again... and it is a struggle. For me, cold turkey doesn't work so well because then I feel angry, deprived, and punished for being fat (not a healthy or productive mind set, which tends to result in rebelliously binging on what I was trying to avoid having) but effectively drinking other things. The carbonated water has been a HUGE help for me, too. I don't know that I could do it without the carbonated water because the fizz is what I really want, especially when my allergies are acting up... which is something like 9 months out of the year.

So whoo hoo for everything you have accomplished, and I'll be cheering you along on your goals!!! emoticon

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MONETRUBY 9/21/2014 10:21PM

    This all sounds emoticon to me. You have very clearly defined goals, and you're being realistic about where you stand, and what will work for you. That is most of the battle, I think, realizing what works for you and what is doable for your lifestyle. I believe in you!

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JENSHAINES 9/20/2014 7:58PM

    It sounds like you're focused and ready to rock 'n roll!!! And emoticon that you've created several healthy HABITS! That's emoticon . Have an amazing round!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/20/2014 11:55AM

Good for you! You are very clear and precise about what you want to do and how you can do it.

And good for you--giving up soda is essential. I had to give it up cold turkey too. Sometimes I drink carbonated water when I feel at risk for a relapse and it really helps.

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ZELLAZM 9/20/2014 6:43AM

    The motivation is just jumping off my laptop screen (and hopefully it's contagious)! Have a great round!

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_LINDA 9/20/2014 12:47AM

    All sounds very good and doable! Mom and I always preferred our big meal of the day at lunch and a light one at night. It just makes sense -will let you sleep easier.
Best tip for exercising -do it first thing in the morning before fatigue and excuses build up. It will also loosen you up and rev up your energy for the day.
Good luck with your goals -you got this!
emoticon emoticon

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CIPHER1971 9/19/2014 6:41PM

    Awesome plan I wish you success this round, and I think you will do it.

Have a great weekend

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HILLRUNNER 9/19/2014 6:14PM

    This is such a well thought out plan. You really nail the areas you want to see a change in and are very honest! emoticon and emoticon

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BLC 26Ö starts soon!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Biggest Loser Challenge (also known as the BLC) is a 12 week challenge that was INSPIRED by, but not based on the TV show of the same name. We have been around for 8+ years encouraging HEALTHY weight loss and fitness by helping you on your journey towards your goals.

I have been involved with the BLC for several years now. It is one of the most motivating and positive teams Iíve been involved with. It has kept me moving and focused during those times I was tempted to give up and give in. I have made wonderful friends, learned a lot about nutrition, exercise and how important it is to really live each day.

Do you want a team to hold you accountable? Do you want a team to help you learn more about nutrition? Are you a butterfly who likes to try different things? Do you have a plan that works for you but need some encouragement to keep at it? Well, thereís a team for that here.

Register now to become part of the Biggest Loser Challenge and compete in the 26th round of our Weight Loss Challenge. Meet new friends when you join a Team which you choose based on your needs. There is no better program to give you the accountability you need and the support you deserve, while having FUN together getting to goal....sign up today!

Come on and check it out!

The registration team, for those that were not in in the last round, is at:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEAWILLOW 9/8/2014 9:56AM

    Never give up!

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ZELLAZM 9/5/2014 4:07AM

    Have a great round!

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MONETRUBY 9/4/2014 8:13PM


I don't think I can take on another challenge right now, but I do have fond memories of the several round of the BLC that I went through. Some of the folks I met through those challenges are now some of my closest online friends-including you! Good luck with the upcoming round!

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BLC 25 Silver Lining part 2

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

3. Make a PLAN for maintaining or losing over the BLC break then post or blog about your plan
My plan for the break between rounds (which is extended this time as we wonít start again until September, with new contestant sign-ups starting in mid August) is to continue using the CAMO Crew weekly template. This template has us committing to weekly goals to focus on. This format has shown real promise for me in getting results. So here are my weekly goals for between rounds.

(Note, I have stopped tracking my goal of eating gluten free every day as it has become a habit and I choose to eat only gluten free foods every day without thought so it is no longer a goal but a lifestyle)

1. Walk an average of 7,000 steps daily.
2. Bring lunch 2 Ė 3 days a week
3. Track food 2 Ė 3 weekdays
4. Track food 1 weekend day
5. Complete 140+ intentional fitness minutes weekly
6. Strength train 10 minutes (+) 3 days a week
7. Morning exercise 4(+) weekdays

We also add in a special ops focus for the week which rotates between exercise, water, food, relaxation and sleep, or something we have declared in our weekly challenge depending on what we need special help with.

I will continue to focus on one healthy living aspect a week to focus on.
I will also continue to weigh in on Wednesdays to check any tendencies to slack off during the break. This is just a break between rounds, not a break from my chosen healthy lifestyle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/28/2014 7:45AM

    Hope it's been a good break for you and that you've been successful in working the plan!

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MONETRUBY 7/24/2014 9:19PM

    emoticon plan! It sounds like you have this one in the bag!

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    Not a break - just changing it up a bit! You don't NEED the official WI every week and you still have your team for support! You've got this! emoticon

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CIPHER1971 7/23/2014 2:49AM

    My plan for the break is really similar, it is great that you have found what works for you and are sticking with it.

Have a great day

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_LINDA 7/23/2014 2:04AM

    Good luck with your break goals!
emoticon emoticon

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MRSP90X 7/23/2014 1:12AM

    Isn't the weekly template for goals just the best?! When I switched teams in the beginning of this challenge, there was no real direction and felt lost. The template is the results getter!!

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ZANNACHAN 7/22/2014 11:33PM

    I like this idea! This sounds like a great plan--focused, but adaptable. I hope you have a hugely successful break!

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BLC 25 Silver Lining Challenge part 1

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This is the final week of round 25. As part of the last challenge we are to do 3 things in a blog. I will tackle the first 2 parts in this blog and then once Iíve considered the plan a little more post a second blog with part 3.

1. Post or blog the best thing about your experience with the BLC this round or about the progress you made due to your participation in BLC
If youíve seen the TV show you may have some very strong reservations about belonging to a group called the Biggest Loser Challenge. After all, the show is all about doing anything (including tearing others down to what some would consider cheating) to win the top slot.

Well, this team isnít quite like that. Yes we are divided into different teams. Each team, while focusing on healthy living, has its own focus. Some teams focus on getting in a lot of exercise minutes; others target nutrition and eating within your range; while still others focus on social aspects and support. You choose your team and your team chooses you (you give your top 3 choices, usually but not always, you are given your top team choice) depending on where you want your focus to be for that 12 weeks.

I have been on 4 different teams over the years Iíve been involved with the BLC. Each fit my needs at the time, and there is a time that change is good because I get too comfortable and then stop trying as hard. Every team I have been on is full of people (mostly women, but there are men included) who are trying their best to live happy, healthy lives, to support and be supported by their teammates.

It is really tough for me to single out just one thing as best. I could talk about how motivating it is to be involved in a group dedicated to getting healthy, exploring different avenues to that goal and supporting each other. These were all big components in my success this round (as in round past). The support and camaraderie made this round fun.

But the thing that stands out for this round I think is that knowledge is power. On the CAMO Crew (my team this round) there was a lot of health talk. Talk about vitamin deficiencies how these deficiencies can affect out moods, energy and life. There are those who focus on strength training because it helps them maintain their mood as well as bones, muscles, etc. How drinking too little or too much water can also affect a number of things. As a result, I had my doctor do a more extensive blood test. I was diffident in vitamin D. Once I started supplementing my vitamin D I began feeling more energetic. I was able to exercise more which in turn helped manage my pain, which made me feel better and an upward cycle begun. I have only missed a handful of scheduled exercise sessions since. If all goes well with my final WI on Wednesday July 23, I will end this round with a loss. Granted it will probably be a small one, but thatís perfectly fine by me. Ending with a loss, any loss is a victory for me right now and can be built upon for next round

2. Post or Blog at least ONE NSV (Non-weight Related Victory) or accomplishment you did the round
The biggest (or at least the one that stands out most this round) is finishing 500,000 steps in 3 months. I had let myself forget this challenge for work during the first two and a half months of this challenge and needed close to 200,000 steps by the end of June. Well, with the encouragement of the CAMO Crew and pushing my body to the limit, finding out about a vitamin D deficiency and correcting it, I DID it. I managed to actually complete the challenge 2 days early.

I did not complete the week 12 fitness tests (as done in weeks 1 & 6) as I have been sick for the past 2 days. I plan to repeat the test sometime in the next week once I am healthy once again and post the results.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon Huge smile maker my friend. Change can be good! Here is to a loss and moreover to feeling BETTER, STRONGER, FITTER! emoticon

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CIPHER1971 7/23/2014 2:45AM

    Awesome, it is so wonderful that you have made such strides with your health this round.


Have a great day

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_LINDA 7/23/2014 1:38AM

    I have heard nothing but good things about these Biggest Loser Teams. They are inventive, smart and supportive, never bullying like the show. Congratulations on your success with them! Its a great idea to focus on the area you need help the most!

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MRSP90X 7/23/2014 1:16AM

    The BLC is the best team ever IMHO that helps daily in getting me and keeping me on track. For me it IS SP. It is what I spend my time here at SP on. Sorry to hear you are sick! emoticon emoticon BTW, I am SO HAPPY I met you on the CAMO Crew!! You are emoticon emoticon !!!!

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ZANNACHAN 7/22/2014 11:31PM

    I didn't complete the fitness test either, partly because I just ran out of time (another busy busy busy day that had me going non-stop until... well, really I'm not done yet), partly because I had a combination of ugly cramps and a hormonal migraine that made the idea of things like crunches seem... nightmarish. I did get a lot of fitness minutes though carrying stuff back and forth, though!

I agree but the information--I've learned a lot, and I found the stuff about the vitamins particularly interesting. And the cortisol. Lots of interesting and informative conversations!

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POPSY190 7/22/2014 7:32PM

    Great blog. The bullying nature of the TV programme is something that deters some SPers from joining the teams, which is a pity. I've put this in my blog too, and I think some others have addressed the issue as well!

Like you, I've lost only a small amount of weight but have gained a lot in many other ways. See you on Round 26? Panther Penelope!

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