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Finding my Balancing Point in Search of Maintenance

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm still learning, but I can feel myself getting closer. A BIG step for me is learning to set aside my all or nothing mentality and being content with doing my best everyday. Some days are better than others, but, thank God, each and every day is a new day to start fresh and most days I can see the successes and can build upon the healthy habits that I have been practicing.

I do so want to get to the point where I can say that I am happy with my weight and officially begin maintenance, but since the full onset of menopause, every ounce is a struggle, and where my hips and thighs ...and abs, of course, were previously always my hardest areas, that region has now spread to include my waist.

That's why I'm loving the At Goal & Maintaining + Tansistion to Maintenance Team here on Spark. I had lost 45 lbs with Spark, and then after fracturing my wrist, and without the motivation of consistently losing etc etc etc, I started to slide back into old habits and gained back nearly twenty pounds! Over half of that is gone and I may never see the lowest weight that I reached the first time, but I am learning to set goals that are not only acheivable, but that are MAINTAINABLE. Like we always say, this is a LIFESTYLE and I want to be able to keep it up for LIFE. With the help of all of you Sparkfriends and this ever improving program, I will!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMBERLY_Y 9/1/2013 10:46PM

    Great attitude! Congratulations on your continued journey of success! It is a journey and everyday is different. We all have our bumps along the way and learning from them is the best thing we can do. Many good wishes in health.

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_CYNDY55_ 8/29/2013 12:08AM

    emoticon
emoticon emoticonBlog!!

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HOLLYM48 8/23/2013 8:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Every day is a new day to make great choices and it sounds like you are making great choices! Keep up the great work. It is not easy, but we are worth the extra work!

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JSTETSER 8/23/2013 5:43PM

    Beautiful!


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CELIAMINER 8/23/2013 1:37PM

    Thanks for showing that health setbacks don't HAVE to result in weight gains!

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NELLJONES 8/23/2013 9:28AM

    Two difficult things: losing the thrill of a scale number moving down, and the hormonal upheaval of menopause. No matter what I do, my post-menopausal body will never again look like my previous body. I have accepted that (though I don't like it). I was told long ago in WW to see each day as a separate and discrete achievement, that the losses on the scale were just indicators that my days were working. I just concentrate on keeping to my Food Plan, the rest sort of fills in around it. Or on some days, doesn't. I have found that if I stick to my Food Plan no matter what, the scale will comply. Menopause was tough; I was living inside a body I no longer knew, but it's past now and I feel like myself again. And thanks to that wonderful WW leader of long ago, I am maintaining my loss One Day At A Time. So can you!!

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LRSILVER 8/23/2013 6:59AM

    It is a struggle keep pushing.

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AEHEGE 8/22/2013 10:26PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/22/2013 9:39PM

    Absolutely right...lifestyle!!! There are plenty of things to struggle with in maintenance...it's really nice to have a good group here to bounce our ideas off and to learn from.

Cheers!
Sandi

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WATERMELLEN 8/22/2013 9:01PM

    Maintainable is the goal for maintenance: congrats to you!

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BROWNCOFIDDLER 8/22/2013 8:36PM

    It's a learning experience for all of us. I embrace it. Way to GO!!! You've done a great job - it's SO worth it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOONCHILD8 8/22/2013 8:07PM

    Congratulations on losing and maintaining your weight lose. Thank you for sharing your story. Your story is definitely inspiring. I do not have a hurt foot or a hectic life. I am working to maintain also. Kudos and best wishes to keep up the great work. Linda from bean town emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GATORJOY 8/22/2013 6:53PM

    emoticon emoticon I believe you will get to that lowest weight! I know that once you have been successful, you are empowered to achieve your goals again, both mentally and physically! Go for it!

















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AMARILYNH 8/22/2013 5:50PM

    Kicking the 'all or nothing' attitude to the curb is a HUGE step!! A little is always better than none when it comes to exercise, a little is better than too much when it comes to food!! Its all about balance!!

I soooo understand how much harder weight loss gets as we get older, but I'm proof it CAN be done!! And in the process I feel better than I did 30 years ago!! THAT I'll take!! emoticon emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 8/22/2013 3:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMMY445 8/22/2013 2:35PM

    congratulations! woo hoo!

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DESERTJULZ 8/22/2013 2:07PM

    I'm loving our At Goal & Maintaining team, toO!

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DSJB9999 8/22/2013 1:55PM

    emoticon for sharing

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 8/22/2013 1:02PM

    Congrats to you on all of your successes. Balance has been key for me to maintain, and you hit the nail on the head setting goals that are ACHIEVABLE and MAINTAINABLE. Also eliminating the all or nothing attitude, really helps.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THOMS1 8/22/2013 11:47AM

    Great Blog!

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SLENDERELLA61 8/22/2013 11:41AM

    Great blog! Thanks for some good sense and for sharing your inspiring story!!

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-SHOREIDO- 8/22/2013 11:23AM

    You can always learn something new on any given day, right?? Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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FELINA 8/22/2013 11:21AM

    emoticon
Losing and maintaining when post-menopausal is not easy, I know, I'm there and have been for quite a few years. I agree with you to do the best you can daily. Great attitude and doing the best you can daily is being successful !
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SUSIEMT 8/22/2013 11:06AM

    Great Blog! Keep up the good job! I so agree with you! It is a lifestyle and once we get our heads wrapped around that idea it makes it so much easier. Like I said before GREAT BLOG!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/22/2013 10:23AM

    You said it all with the statement "learning to set goals that are not only acheivable, but that are MAINTAINABLE.". This is how we can stay successful

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TORTISE110 8/22/2013 10:22AM

    Great blog and so true. I'm with you in "post menopausal" bliss! The bliss is being able to feel strong, even though some would say our age is against us.

Keep Sparkin!!

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MILLIE5522 6/19/2013 2:36PM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 1/23/2013 8:55PM

    Excellent to set realistic goals that are realistic and can be maintained! You are so right! Congrats on your achievements!

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CINDYCHARLENE 11/10/2012 10:43PM

    emoticon emoticon Thank you so much for gaining some weight back. Now isn't that mean? LOL Just kidding. But I do appreciate knowing that someone else back slid a little and is now on the forward movement again. I don't feel so alone. And I am encouraged by your courage and determination to get the rest of the weight off. I hope I can reach goal. I was so close before I took a nosedive back into my old habits. I allowed my own personal trials to detract me from my goals. But I am back on track now and I will remember you and your strength and it will help me. Thank you for being you. I had decided you were flawless and I would never measure up. Now I can relate because I know you are human too. LOL Love you dearly,
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KANOE10 10/20/2012 8:43AM

    You are right..it is a lifestyle...Your whole life changes. I also struggled with that all or nothing attitude..but try to tell myself..focus on progress ..not perfection. As you say there is always a new day to stay on track. I think you h ave done a great job of losing and will continue to do so.

great blog.

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BACKTOTEN12 10/1/2012 11:39AM

    I think the mind set thing is the hardest, too, but the most important. We have to keep hanging on to keep motivated. You are doing great. I see you ran the Morton Arboretum 5k yesterday. I ran the Brooks has running on the Brain in Aurora ( for traumatic brain injuries charity) Are you running any more races this year? I'm doing the Fox and Turkey on Thanksgiving for sure. Will probably do one in October. I run early in the AM, usually in the neighborhood or on the treadmill at USA gym. You're on the west side, right? Maybe we could run on the Gilman trail one of these days.

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KERRYG155 9/28/2012 6:21PM

    Fantastic!! Hopefully one day it will be my turn to try that team!

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NUOVAELLE 9/28/2012 2:00AM

    You definitely capitalized the right keywords! Maintainable, lifestyle, for life. You know what it's all about and I'm sure you can do it!
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VIXSTERLU 9/27/2012 11:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1000 Reasons I Love Spark People

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This is not a part of the blogging challenge. In fact, I was just finishing up tallying my abismal performance eating today....the worst day in a LONG time....and thinking that, well, tomorrow is another day and I am very glad this is not a race. I clicked over to my spark points and saw that also, for the first time in a long time I managed to rack up 100 spark points today - that almost NEVER happens. I figured that I must have hit some kind of message board post or 30 days active bonus, so I scrolled down and saw that TODAY, I have been sparking for 1000 DAYS!!!

1000 days ago, if you had told me that I would still be checking in daily (or nearly so), still recording my food and exercise, still blogging and reading and participating in challenges, and measuring and setting goals etc etc etc, I would have fallen over in laughter. After all, at 177 lbs, I only had a couple of pounds to lose! Well, I lost those, and about 40 more - and, sure, I gain a few back, but they are almost gone again and you know what? I lost a lot more, I lost the need to turn to food everytime I'm bored or frustrated or angry or tired or sad. I lost the victim mentality that kept telling me I couldn't change. And, I gained, better health, self-esteem, interests, friends and a drive to share what I have come to cherish and a better way to live. Everyday, still, I learn something new, achieve a new goal or fine tune another aspect of this new lifestyle....and all along, I have a bounty of wonderful Sparkfriends, many of which I have now met, and some I have only come to know in this little cyber universe, but all have enriched my life. So, in honest reflection, I'm sure there are more than 1000 reasons that I love Spark. It is all of them and all of you that have me looking forward to the next 1000!!!!!! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LLLAWSON 9/12/2014 2:50PM

    emoticon emoticon That is fantastic.

oops just realized this was 2012.....

Comment edited on: 9/12/2014 2:51:21 PM

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KANOE10 10/20/2012 8:45AM

    I feel enriched and supported by Spark also. Great blog.

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SHARONSPARKLE 9/25/2012 10:06AM

    You are proof that we can and do change our ways! Congratulations on 1000 days - quite an accomplishment!

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SEABREEZE65 9/25/2012 7:34AM

    Congratulations..... Awesome.....I'll have to go and check and see how many days I've been on Spark....

I still struggle with this - "victim mentality that kept telling me I couldn't change." This is a difficult hurdle for me (not about weight, but other issues).

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DANILYNNG 9/24/2012 9:49PM

    emoticon

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ASHLEY_FOSTER 9/24/2012 9:15AM

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing. It gives those of us who just started some inspiration! emoticon

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TINAJANE76 9/24/2012 7:08AM

    Great job! Being active has allowed me to accomplish what I've never been able to do before--maintain--so I'm not quitting it!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/24/2012 6:26AM

    Congratulations! What a great attitude.
I also joined in 2009, but I've only been active for 24 days. This team has inspired me to do better.

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WISLNDR 9/24/2012 6:21AM

    emoticon

You've learned so much along the way and

emoticon for sharing!! Enjoy the next 1000 days!!


Comment edited on: 9/24/2012 6:22:05 AM

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SWEDE_SU 9/24/2012 3:52AM

    wow! 1000 days - what an accomplishment! emoticon

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BLITZEN40 9/23/2012 11:52PM

    Way to go on reaching 1000 days! Great blog! emoticon

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LJCANNON 9/23/2012 10:02PM

    emoticon Great Job!! And Congratulations on all you have Gained in the past 1,000 Days!!

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WILLOWBROOK5 9/23/2012 9:58PM

    Wow, 1000 days! That is amazing. Congrats on your many accomplishments!
emoticon

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KERRYG155 9/23/2012 9:56PM

    1000 days-fantastic! I need to check mine again to see where I am. I do like those surprise points, though.

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BLUE42DOWN 9/23/2012 9:49PM

    emoticon

What a emoticon reflection on how far you've come in 1000 days!

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Blogging Challenge....Current Fitness Goals 9/23/2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

As with any of my goals at this point of my journey, consistency is what I am striving for. When I first joined Spark, it was easy to center my life around food, tracking and fitness.....but, as the months (and years!) have passes, I have come to recognize that consistency is what will allow me to maintain my weight loss. This has required me to get very honest with myself, to let go of some of the perfectionistic tendencies, the all or nothing attitude and to persue balance and realistic goals. I would love to say that I manage to get in at least 10 mins of fitness everyday, but that simply isn't the case. Right now, I am managing to do fitness five out of seven days with at least two of those days being for over and hour to an hour and a half. In an effort to try to regulate my schedule and shoot for more consistency in this area, I am disciplining myself to make sure that I get 7+ hours of sleep a night and that I ban the use of the snooze alarm. So far, for the last three weeks, I am almost at 100% on the no snooze streak and the sleeping project is improved. The work schedule is making it tough and I am having to practice self disciple about staying off the computer too late, but I am making progress. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I will have a routine in place to insure that I get a minimum of 15 mins fitness EVERYDAY. Reality - and living there - now THAT'S A GOAL!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 9/24/2012 3:53AM

    that's a great goal! emoticon

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KERRYG155 9/23/2012 10:04PM

    Consistancy is definitley important-in every aspect-the food, exercise, sleep..... I need to work on it harder. Hope you can work around that work schedule.

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NELLIEC 9/23/2012 6:11PM

    I find that consistency is what helps me to make this a lifestyle change. emoticon

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Blogging Challenge...Just Challenges in General 9/19/2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The past couple of weeks have been hectic (as usual), but also stressful, to say the least. With my sister's recurrence of cancer, my friend losing her 18 y/o son and my boss being transferred and the work situation falling apart, I am grateful to have been able to avoid the stress eating during this time. I even managed to drop another couple pounds. I think the run yesterday (my longest of the year so far) helped to jump start the loss and to jump start my mood as well. I was supposed to meet up with a friend, but she cancelled. I went anyway and ran for and hour and 15 or so minutes.....by myself! Got three estimates for tires. Still had tread left, but they were starting to rot. Went to a Goodwill and got a couple really cute skirts, a blouse a couple of tanks and a duster and some workout clothes so that I can wait a week before washing if need be - not all of them are as matchy matchy as what alot of people at the gym were, but they fit and will be clean and that is all that really matters. Then I went to the local running store for a girls night out event. Won a sweatshirt and picked up a hand held water bottle and got a killer deal on a pair of Asics arm warmers ($11)!!! When I got home, I had a call from a friend from church who was inquiring if I would be interested in going to work for her company. I explained that I needed full time and benefits and she said that the business has really been growing and to submit y resume with salary requirements. It would be office work with regular hours, so there's no harm in send off the resume. Will work on that this weekend.
Today was work from 7-4 and got the tires done on lunch. Skipped the gym, but got dinner cooked, the fridge cleaned out, some Sparking caught up and will do some catch up reading before I hit the bed. Gonna wrap this up though so I can get that reading done and still get to sleep at a decent hour since I'll be back up at 5AM for work 7-4 and hopefully a run with a running buddy right after work.
I have noticed that I am being much more forgiving of myself and not trying to keep up with what everyone else is managing to do. I am doing the best I can to be the best I can be. If that means I am not as perfect as I think I should be in some areas, that's okay. Those are goals to shoot for and I don't have to be perfect, I just need to keep aiming for them.
Guess that's a new lesson......nearly 3 years in, and one that I need to keeping working on if this is going to be a lifestyle change for good. This maintenance thing is tough, but it is so worth it. If I can only learn to see past the numbers on the scale, without losing sight of them, toward all of the other goals that are out there, I will continue to make myself into the best me possible.
Spark Strong friends....thanks for allowing me to ramble.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE65 9/21/2012 7:02AM

    WTG on balancing and handling so many things.

I love Goodwill. I think it is such a fun place!
I've always struggled with the words "be the best I can be," because in my own mind I always fall short - always thinking I could have been better. It sounds like you see those words in a healthy human way. Good for you!



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NELLIEC 9/20/2012 4:41PM

    It sounds like you got some good bargains, plus perhaps a chance at a good job! Yes, seeing past the scale can be challenging. (I do have to admit that nowadays I am concentrating on my blood sugar since I have started taking a med that messes with it.)

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KERRYG155 9/19/2012 9:38PM

    Great job getting out and running by yourself! It would be nice if a new job that fits all your needs were to drop right into your lap-hope it all works out.

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Blogging Challenge - Do You Follow An Eating Plan? 9/16/2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What eating "plan" do I follow? I try to stay withing my Spark Range (calories, carbs, fat and protein) and have been doing quite well since I started tracking again. Most days I am toward the bottom or middle, but on special days or if I am in situations where I don't have as much control over the food, I may tend toward the higher end. I don't think I've gone over except in one category one or two days in the past couple of months. I also track my calcium, fiber and iron and try to stay in range or as close to it as possible. I usually do well on the fiber since I try to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies everyday and most days I get my calcium (plus I do take a supplement since osteoporosis runs deep in my family). My biggest challenge is getting enough iron, but there is also iron in my multi -vitamin. Good thing I like spinach in my smoothies!!! Other than that, I try to limit sugars since they will throw me into a binge faster than anything. Also, I prefer to make as much from scratch as possible, but I don't do too much baking, so wraps etc usually come from the store. Lots of fruits and veggies, as I mentioned, lean protein and I use peanut flour to make my own peanut "butter". The peanut flour is made from partially defatted peanuts that are literally ground into a flour that I mix with water and a touch of salt and sweetner. Very high in protein, lower in fat and that helps me keep my protein up and is an awesome dip for my fruits and veggies. It also makes a great snack on a low cal piece of toast, deli flat etc w/banana, chocolate (sugar free) etc etc etc. Excellent in the smoothies too! It is definitely one of my staples.

I still have a way to go (8 or so pounds) before I hit the goal weight I want to maintain, and I have not amped up my fitness burn to the point I want it - it is getting harder too, since the better shape I am in, the lower my heart rate, and the fewer calories I am burning. I am really appreciating the benefits of the pilates, yoga and ST I have been doing, but there is not even the calorie burn that Spark says I should be getting, so I need to find time to amp up the cardio.

Anyone know how to add another hour or so to each day? LOL!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOULDSGRANITE 9/17/2012 12:11PM

    emoticon emoticon
Thank you for the info about the peanut flour. I will look for it at the store this week. Keep at it, sounds like you are doing all the right things right!

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WISLNDR 9/17/2012 5:51AM

    Wow, peanut flour! I just did some reading up on it and I think I may have to add it to my pantry!

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DIET_FRIEND 9/16/2012 11:47PM

    Hungry Girl recommends a lower fat peanut butter. Interesting that you can make your own!

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MELROSE13 9/16/2012 9:56PM

    I have go to try that P-Nut butter, that sounds great!!!
Since you are in better shape try adding in higher intensity intervals to what you are already doing to get the extra boost??? Just a thought :) Good Luck!

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KERRYG155 9/16/2012 9:38PM

    You're doing great!! I really ned to get back to a set program-I think I have way too many choices which helps me to mess up. Keep up the good work!

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BLITZEN40 9/16/2012 8:43PM

    Wow! I've never heard of making your own peanut butter with peanut flour..sounds like a great idea since the flour is from defatted peanuts so you lose a lot of the fat you get in regular pb. WTG on only being 8 lbs away from your goal! I just started here so I'm a bit further away from my goal than that. But, while I may not have totally stayed on track this first week (read: I totally derailed), I know persistence does eventually pay, as evidenced by your success story. Thanks for sharing.

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