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TGI Rest Day!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today has been the day I've been working toward. The day that I kept in mind while I was sweating buckets in spin class, while I was cursing my plyometrics instructor for making us do "just one more set!" of air jacks, and listening to my abs scream out in pain during Pilates on the Ball.

It's Rest Day!!! What a marvelous feeling. My body worked hard and now it's time to reward it and rest it.

Today's Plan for Rest and Reward:

- Go to the in-service (bleh - I HATE meetings. I generally find them to be a waste of time - and I HATE having my time wasted.)
- Go to the dentist and get my new Invisalign trays (only two more sets! Wahoo!!!!)
- Come home to pick up the honey, and then go out and look at new flooring. This is a really pressing issue since we're getting ready to sell our house. The flooring right now looks just awful.
- Clean up the house a bit - I've been slacking on this, and there is random stuff lying around. I get very anxious when there is clutter, so lately I haven't been as relaxed at home as I should be.
- Give myself a mani and a pedi - this is definitely going to be the "me time" of the day. It's one of those things that I'm always pushing off because it's "not important enough" to take time to do. But it is! I need my toes to look good at yoga. It might even get me through some of those tough poses.
- Go to bed a little early tonight. (Even earlier than my normal 9:00 bed time!). Last night I was feeling a little run-down, like I'm fighting off a cold. This morning I feel a little better, but I want to make sure this doesn't turn into anything worse. Water, here I come.

Goals:
Drink a ton of water
Do my best to participate in meetings today and not look too bored.
Listen to my lecture for this week's class module.
Get at least one area of the house super clean.

It's another week, and I'm already looking at areas of my fitness and nutrition that I can improve upon. I'm thinking that lunch is going to be my focus this week...

Happy MLK Day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EATNBOOGERS 1/18/2010 6:55PM

    Enjoy your day--you've earned it!

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HELLAVAHC 1/18/2010 2:55PM

    Sounds like a great day! Pick a pretty spring color for that mani/pedi and it will brighten you right up!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 1/18/2010 10:51AM

    Sounds like a great plan for the day.

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PINKCOCONUT 1/18/2010 10:32AM

    Happy Rest Day! It's my rest day as well, mostly because I have school tonight and I rest on school days to save my sanity.

And you're so right, pretty toes at yoga are a must!

Have a great day!

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JWENZEL723 1/18/2010 9:42AM

    enjoy the day off! those days are just as important as the ones we spend working our butts of at the gym!

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NANC304 1/18/2010 8:56AM

    Taking things one day at a time is the best way to go. Good job on planning time for yourself.

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LILYBELLE327 1/18/2010 7:58AM

    It's great you are planning me time!

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CFMOSS 1/18/2010 7:36AM

    Glad today is a rest day (lol) - if it were much busier you might not have time to turn around. Here's to enjoying the mani and pedi later on today.

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It's a Chili Sunday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Gasp - there was no more chili in the freezer! I am a chili-loving maniac, so I was really sad to see that it was all gone. This afternoon I re-stocked our supply, so now we have topping for pasta, rice and pizza (chili on pizza with some banana peppers and mozzarella cheese is delish).

Last night I whined about my body hurting and was hoping to get some pity from my honey - "Oh, you can skip swimming tomorrow. You've worked so hard." Oh no, no pity. He told me to go, that I'd feel really good when I was done. He was right. And even though I didn't push myself *too* hard in the pool, I did get some good thinking and reflecting done. When there is no one else in the pool it's a great time for me to think.
Thought about chapter 2 in The Spark, specifically the part where it asks you to think about your values and how you're working toward those values. I finally figured out what they are!

- Having access to fresh food (with a honey who's a chef, eating well is very important in our house)
- Leaving a smaller imprint on the environment. Right now, we drive everywhere. We don't have a choice. Biking is terribly unsafe, not to mention we live on a mountain. I can appreciate a little work biking up a hill, but a mountain?
- Helping others; specifically being an advocate for young children.

So then I thought about how some goals can relate to these values/beliefs.
- Move to a city where fresh food and farmer's markets abound
- Live somewhere I can bike more and walk more
- Continue my education in early childhood education. I've been thinking about what I'd like to continue studying, and this path will help me get to where I ultimately want to be.

This was a huge eye-opener for me... thinking about this in the pool really put me in a good mood and made my path seem so much clearer. It was hard for me to really pinpoint what was important to me; I thought for some reason my values weren't "normal" - thought that I needed goals like "make a lot of money, have three kids, live in a big house" but the more I thought, the more I realized that what is right for others may not be right for me.
I know I've blogged about this a lot, but Spark People has really helped to me to discover who I really am. And who I am now is nothing like I imagined I would be at this point in my life! But I like it. I'm happy, I'm healthy, and I'm secure. And I'm ready to really start going for my goals. There are going to be some big steps and big changes, but I'm ready.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTNINGRUNNER 1/18/2010 7:13AM

    Try adding Cinnamon to your Chili.

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ALLISON4EG 1/17/2010 9:40PM

    Turkey Chili yuum and healthy - but more importantly glad you found peace of mind through your work out. Nice that your bf motivates you too :)

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EATNBOOGERS 1/17/2010 7:57PM

    Move to Boulder! :-)

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JANEYINMADTOWN 1/17/2010 7:50PM

    Yep me too! I made a crock pot full of turkey chili! Nothing better during the winter!

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Teaching Philosophy and The Scale

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am almost done with my Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction. The courses have been very thought-provoking, and they have also been quite progressive. Our textbooks ask us to think about the current state of education, and do we really need standardized tests? I just finished writing a short paper about testing, and it got me to thinking about this morning's weigh-in.

I have been going back and forth between "I should weigh in every day," "I should weigh in once a week," and "I am going to forget about the scale." Much like a standardized test tests what a student knows on a particular day about a particular question, the scale tells you what you weigh at a particular moment in time. Like the test does not take into account anything *else* going on in your life, like family problems, learning disabilities, or if it's just a bad day, the scale does not take into account anything other than what your body happens to weigh at that moment in time. It doesn't take into account if you had too much salt last night, ate a whole pint of ice cream recently (oops), or if you just didn't get to drink as much water as you'd like.

So back to the title of this blog. I happen to think that standardized tests are for the birds (for too many reasons to write). They do not accurately portray the knowledge of students - there are so many more things to take into account than if they can answer very specific questions about a subject on a certain day. Assessment is important to see where students are, though. I keep notes on students' singing, if they can keep a steady beat, if they can figure out appropriate movements to music... but I do not use just one single activity to assess where they are. I look at the whole picture to see if they are getting better at music and progressing. I can use this in my own life - look at things other than the number on the scale to assess where I am. Am I progressing like I should be?

So this next part is just going to be a little part to make me feel better about my non-loss weigh in this morning. Other ways I can see progress:
My Pilates and Yoga classes are getting WAY easier for me.
I can swim my laps much faster and with less effort. (Time to think of a swimming challenge!)
My kitchen is full of way more good food than bad - and I think the worst thing in the kitchen right now is granulated sugar.
My honey rubbed my back this morning and told me that it felt really good and muscle-y.
I spotted a pretty nice shoulder muscle in the mirror this morning.
At least I'm not *gaining* any weight!
I feel very organized and successful in other areas of my life.

It's so easy for me to tell other people "hey, you're doing great! Don't worry about that number, it has to move sometime if you're doing all this great stuff!"
It is not so easy, however, to tell myself those same words.

So I suppose that I need to figure out when I'm going to face the scale again. I'll refer again to my teaching. Do I have a student stop trying to play a steady beat for a month and then come back to him? No, I know that one day - BAM - he will be able to keep a steady beat. I think I'll keep doing the regular weigh-ins (which right now are every other day or so, just to keep tabs) and hopefully - BAM - one day my body will just figure out that "dammit, she's been eating clean and drinking crazy water and working out, I'd better drop some pounds." But until then, I will have to face the fact (because it *is* a fact) that the scale just doesn't want to move right now. "It is what it is." Luckily for me, though, *unlike* standardized testing, I won't lose any funding if I don't perform well.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINABUG 1/17/2010 10:09AM

    Your students are so fortunate to have you as a teacher! And so very happy to hear that you are learning to evaluate yourself and your own success in the multiple ways you allow them to be evaluated. Funny, how we often hold ourselves to a different standard than we do others...

Persistence and consistency will be your friends as you continue on your healthy journey! I'll be here cheering you on.

Very well written and insightful Blog by the way. I think others would enjoy and benefit from reading this and reminding ourselves that there is more than one way to progress!

Progress...not perfection!

Blessings and joy to you today!

GinaBug
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EATNBOOGERS 1/17/2010 10:06AM

    A lot of wisdom here. A scale can be one good tool among many--we have to make sure we see it (and one's day's weighing) in the proper context.

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CFMOSS 1/16/2010 8:46PM

    You teach music??? Wonderful. Thank you for your perspective on standardized tests (I personally would like to take them and shoot them and put them out of my misery) - my daughter is planning to be a teacher and took the first Praxis today (3 tests at $ a piece and then she gets to take the next set - is it money or test taking skill) My son can't take a standardized test for beans - don't get me going on PSSAs. So...now I come down off of my high horse before I fall off with a bloody nose for having my nose so high in the air and say - you are doing an amazing job no matter what the scale informs you. You have set goals and you work towards them (in ways that I can't do). You have a great sense of humor to help keep you going through this amazing journey. You will accomplish what you want to achieve because you have focus and drive and most of all the will to complete the race successfully. Way to go:)

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PINKCOCONUT 1/16/2010 8:05PM

    Love the analogy! I found that, in the past when the scale wasn't moving (and I was actually trying to lose) my body toned up a lot more. I'm starting to think that plateau's are an almost necessary part weight loss, it's like your body starts losing all this weight but then wants a little bit of downtime to catch up with things before it starts moving again.

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LEARNING2LUVME 1/16/2010 8:00PM

    As women we are always so much more supportive of other women than we are of ourselves, and I think that's something we need to work on.

I keep telling myself I'm not going to let the number on the scale define me, and I try to focus more on the physical accomplishments and the way my clothes are fitting, but that scale sure can be a b*tch sometimes. emoticon

I hope you see a loss soon, but until then, great job on all the other accomplishments!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 1/16/2010 6:46PM

    I love your insight. I was really good for a good 3 months of not getting on the scale, then I gave in and it is back to every day. Now it's time for intervention again and no more.

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PHILLYEXPAT 1/16/2010 5:40PM

    I like the way you're thinking. You are exactly right that the number on the scale doesn't tell the whole picture. Two people can weigh the exact same amount, but one could be fit and healthy and the other might be unfit and unhealthy. Sounds like you've got a great attitude and a good plan.

And I am not a fan of standardized tests myself. :)

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HELLAVAHC 1/16/2010 4:16PM

    You've got to do what's right for you. You are working hard and you will reach your goals! You've got this!

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BLUSTAR 1/16/2010 4:01PM

    Hi. I enjoyed reading your blog, thank you for posting it..

Keep up the great work :-)
Glenda

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Suggested Serving Size and other thoughts...

Friday, January 15, 2010

I planned on having some hot cereal this morning, but instead I had my more filling breakfast of toast and an egg. Thinking about the hot cereal made me think about labels of food - the suggested serving size of the hot cereal is 1/4 cup dry. I thought "well I'm hungrier than that." Well duh, I am allowed to make more than that if I'm hungry! And if I only want 3/4 a cup of yogurt, not the 1 cup suggested serving size, then I'm allowed to do that too.
So anyway, I got thinking about what I can improve for the weekend and next week - I think serving size is it. I'm not going over my calories, but I can make smarter choices as to what I'm eating. (small steps!) For lunch, I know that a cup of yogurt is too much for me after a salad and whatever else I pack. Smaller yogurt portions. A whole sandwich is sometimes too much for me, but if it's there, I eat it anyway. And who the heck eats half a sandwich? I do! Today I was all ready to pack the Suggested Serving Size of two tablespoons of peanut butter for my lunch. And then I thought that I really wanted to use those calories later tonight for my dinner - I'm thinking about an ice cream night (I've been thinking about ice cream a lot lately) - so I put in one tablespoon of PB instead. Small steps.

This may all sound totally anal retentive, but it's the result of a year of hard work in tracking calories, learning about myself, and figuring out what works best for me. When I started SparkPeople, I was not anywhere CLOSE to being ready to pay attention to my food like this. So if you're reading this, you're kind of new, and you're thinking "God this woman is crazy," just remember it took a long time for me to get this crazy about my food. In time, don't worry, you'll be a little crazy too!

Last night was a killer leg workout - plyometrics and spinning, and a core class for good measure. Tonight is circuit training (kind of) at my chiro's office, and tomorrow morning is even more relaxed with a Pilates class (maybe a little TM run if I feel like it). I push and push and push because I know that Monday is coming (my rest day).
Yesterday at lunch I ate one serving of these delicious little cookies. One serving turned into two, and then another few cookies just to make sure I was REALLY feeling full. Bleh. But come plyometrics class, I was actually sort of glad I had them - last time I took the class I felt a little faint because I didn't eat enough before class. Last night there was no chance of that. I felt much better! And although cookies probably weren't the greatest idea, it did teach me a good lesson - I need to pack more carbs for lunch and eat fewer carbs for dinner. The silver lining!

Did I meet yesterday's goals?
Water - YES
Dinner plan - mostly. I was SO hungry after my classes that I added a teeny piece of pizza to my dinner (my honey made it for lunch - delish), but I *did* manage to keep to my 1/2 a tuna sandwich.
Hot tea - YES. LOVE the hot tea cue.
100% at the gym - YES. And today my legs feel like I gave 4809809%.
Compliment - YES. I focused on the good kids at school today and praised like crazy!
BONUS! School work - got some done at school. Wahoo!

Today's goals:
drink tons of water
eat a healthy dinner (I'm thinking pasta and a salad...)
Eat some ice cream (so I stop thinking about it!)
Clean up the dining room

This morning I:
packed my lunch
ordered some stuff for school - been on my To-Do list for way too long
drank a big glass of water
got my clothes ready for the chiro
felt really happy that today is Friday
hit the snooze button once and enjoyed every minute of it

Happy Friday and Happy Sparking!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HELLAVAHC 1/16/2010 7:57AM

    If you're crazy, then I am definitely insane. I think your ideas on portion sizes would sound crazy to a lot of people I know. They have fallen for the clean plate club and wouldn't dream of leaving anything in their lunchbox. I struggle with it, too- if it's there, how do I know I won't be hungry a little later? I'm getting better, tho!

Hope that ice cream was awesome- we all need treats now and then!

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EATNBOOGERS 1/15/2010 2:27PM

    I have to watch the serving sizes, too... I'm constantly rereading the guidelines.

One thing I have learned (major lightbulb for me, even though it sounds obvious) is that I'm getting full, I don't have to finish. (D'oh!) I can eat part of my breakfast, and if I get full early, I save the rest for mid-morning when I'm often hungry anyway. (I guess kind of a small frequent meals strategy.)

I've learned this with cheese, too. I know serving sizes are one ounce, but do I need a whole ounce on the salad or the pasta? Often, no.

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 1/15/2010 12:26PM

    Absolutely hear you on the serving sizes....although I still get kind of bummed out at how many calories 1 piece of bread has....which isn't a lot, in the big scheme of things, but when you're only working with a 1500 calorie limit, you don't have a lot of wiggle room - so everything you eat needs to count. But I will eat whatever is put in front of me (usually). So I have to make sure my portions are right, or I will overeat. I've been trying to get it into my head that I can always eat more later, if I am still hungry, but I can't "un-eat" if I eat too much.

Yeah - you are a machine!!! I skipped the gym today and did 2 Jillian Michaels workouts at home instead. Haven't been feeling the gym lately, with all the New Years' Resolutioners wandering around.

Kim

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JESSICAVZ1 1/15/2010 12:22PM

    Way to go on meeting your goals! You're doing a great job.

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 1/15/2010 11:34AM

    I think we all do that, we were taught to eat what was in front of you....so if I full sandwich is there - we eat the full sandwich even if we aren't hungry anymore.

You are doing great. Yocrunch has cute little yogurts 3.75 oz. My fav is the Cheesecake with Graham cracker bits.

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CFMOSS 1/15/2010 8:28AM

    Off to a totally great day. I am totally with you regarding serving sizes - understanding serving sizes was one of the biggest shocks as I started down the healthy living pathway - we tend to steer clear of pasta most days because a serving size is so small for how hungry we are. My son is big into eggs for breakfast because of less carbs. so even after a year, my measuring cups, measuring spoons and faithful scale are used daily - talk about anal. Hope your day goes well.

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MOXIE-IN-MOTION 1/15/2010 7:51AM

    You are not anal rententive at all....just a responsible person willing to listen to the cues of her body.
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PINKCOCONUT 1/15/2010 7:48AM

    I'm having the same realizations with servings sizes as well! I'm actually starting to find that buy going with serving sizes alone, I tend not to eat enough during my day. I don't mean that it's not enough calories but I just don't feel satisfied so I'm going to start and try experimenting with more food but smaller portions and see how that works!

I figure this whole process is a huge experiment that never seems to end!

Geez, spinning, plyo AND a core class?!?! You're a machine woman! I had a great spin class last night and my instructor is a 35 time marathon runner! That's enough to get me in the saddle every week!

Have a fabulous day!!!

Oh! Your post about the New Moosewood Cookbook! I just saw that advertised the other day so now I'll definitely go and pick it up! Thanks for the rec!!!

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KATZABELLAMAMA 1/15/2010 7:21AM

    A while back I had decided to only use 1 piece of bread for my sandwich, and fill up on veggies or fruit for the rest of my lunch. It certainly has worked, less carbs.

Sounds like you had a great workout!!

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JOPAPGH 1/15/2010 7:12AM

    Makes perfect sense to me.

I often have 1 TBSP peanut butter with 1/2 sliced small banana on 1 slice of bread with 1/2 c 1% milk. Make the perfect snack.

I'll also have a 1/2 c yogurt and add in fruit, ground flax seed, some raisins or cereal.

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The Pluses of Planning

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm almost finished with my second week of my New Year's Experiment - waking up at 5:00, doing my housework/ lunch packing/ gym clothes packing in the morning, going to the gym after school, and taking the evening to relax guilt-free. These past two weeks have been great! I've gotten in some really good workouts at the gym, planned my daily meals and have done well with staying within my calorie and nutrient ranges, and have felt really calm and organized. I think it's eliminated a lot of stress for me. I like when I have most parts of my day planned out, especially when they are packed full of stuff. The weekends are my time to ease off the planning and kind of let stuff just flow.
Mornings are a great "me" time - I can sip my coffee, pack a good lunch, check up on my Spark Buddies...
It's also helped me to keep my eating under control at night. For a while when I got home at night, I'd grab some random food for dinner. A piece of bread here, an apple there, some crackers and cheese... hoping it would add up to some semblance of a dinner. It never did. It just led me to too many calories and no sense of satiety. Now I know that I am going to have (X) for dinner. And even if I'm starving when I get home, I have a glass of water and remember that I have the evening planned out. One thing I *do* need to do differently, though, is drink even MORE water when i come home from the gym. I think I'm confusing my thirst for hunger, even though I know there is a difference.

Good stuff I've done today already (because I like to look at the positive!):

Drank a bunch of water
Packed a balanced lunch
Made tuna salad for tonight's dinner
Started a load of dishes
Packed up for the gym tonight
Entered my food for the day

Good stuff that I *will* do today (because I need to have goals every day):

Drink lots more water
Stick to my dinner plan
Keep using hot tea as my cue to stop eating (it's really been working!)
Give 100% at the gym tonight
Give someone a compliment

Goals from yesterday?
Water - YES
Class work - um, no. I think I need to write this into my schedule... it's so easy to put off until Saturday morning. Maybe at school today...?
Put away laundry - YES
Easy on the Hob Nobs - YES, amazingly enough.

Happy Thursday!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALLISON4EG 1/14/2010 10:49PM

    wow, what time do you go to sleep to wake up at 5 and have the energy to do anything in the morning? ;)

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HELLAVAHC 1/14/2010 8:45PM

    Love it! Glad the plan is working. Definitely inspired me to get my butt in gear earlier this week and I felt so much better for it!

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EATNBOOGERS 1/14/2010 2:10PM

    Good for you! Keep it up!

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GINABUG 1/14/2010 9:26AM

    What an inspiration you are! Thanks for sharing your progress. My small steps are not as ambitious as yours but I am learning from you and being inspired at the same time. I LOVE your enthusiasm and optimistic outlook at your new life changes! It's infectious!

Blessings to you and thanks, again!

GinaBug
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PINKCOCONUT 1/14/2010 7:51AM

    Morning m'dear! You've become like my required morning reading these days! Strangely comforting...you're still inspiring me to get up earlier. I haven't done it yet but I think it's going to happen this year!

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LEARNING2LUVME 1/14/2010 7:43AM

    Great job!! I wish I could do what you are doing, with the get up at 5:00 am to get things ready for the day, but my children are early risers (my daughter was up at 5:03 this morning.) There's no way I would get that stuff done, so as a result, when the kids are in bed I am exhausted and ready to collapse myself. That means messy house, which means stressed and overeating me. Ugh.

Anyway, have a super healthy day today!! You rock! emoticon

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