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Monday, October 13, 2014

I just tracked my weekend food this morning, but I did pretty well! Too much sodium here and there but really not bad.

Weirdly I seem to be having trouble eating *enough*, which has never happened to me before... I am doing really well with trying to eat MORE healthy foods rather than trying to eat LESS "other stuff." But some of my healthy stuff is really low-cal, so I end up being able to stuff myself at lunch and dinner and still being kind of low on calories! It's good, but WEIRD.

Down another pound-ish - going to go track it and see exactly.

Another swim this morning.

I am feeling good! It doesn't feel like work right now, so I'm just going to enjoy having things go well.

I did almost fall down the basement stairs this morning for no apparent reason and now my knee is a bit grouchy, but it will feel better soon. This just strengthens my Swimming Instead Of Running For Now plan. Heh.

Last random thought - there was a woman at the pool this morning celebrating her 91st birthday. Pretty impressive. 91, still independent, living at home. She walks with a cane but is much better on her feet than anyone in my family was even in their 70s. MOTIVATION. Happy Birthday Roz, you bad@ss.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIMMO 10/16/2014 7:27PM

    OK, You shamed me into it. I'm going to go Christmas shopping in green bay tomorrow, but I will go hit the pool first...if I can drag my butt out of bed when the alarm goes off!! I'll go pack my bag now...

Big hugs and noisy kisses for turtle puppy.

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MINEA999 10/14/2014 11:49AM

    I got in the pool this weekend too - so I smelled like chlorine, just like my hero.

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SDLEE514 10/14/2014 11:07AM

    what inspiration! the 91 year old--AND you! keep it up!

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JENSTRESS 10/13/2014 10:14AM

    I have that problems sometimes, trying to get enough calories in when you feel like you are eating so much!

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CRUISEGAL55 10/13/2014 10:09AM

    I love to swim. No-impact! emoticon

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how is Turtle Puppy

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


Mostly, her tongue (it's spelled TUNG when it's hers) is poking (POOKING) out:

She sleeps a lot because she is lazy and wants to cuddle. So instead of human-style bed head? She gets BED FACE.



i love my dog.

edited to add:

moar tung



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIMMO 10/8/2014 2:47PM

    Glad she is doing well. Give her hugs from us emoticon

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MINEA999 10/8/2014 12:05PM

    hahaha, thanks for the Turtle Puppy update. She's looking mighty adorable!!!

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PICKIE98 10/7/2014 3:02PM

    R U kidding? What a face!! I could just eat her right up!!

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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

OH, Hi.


So yeah. That happened. That being summer. Bleh.

Remember how I was all "I am going to recommit in July!" ?

Yeah, no. In July, I was teaching summer camp.

I will just make a very long story very short: NEVER DO THAT.

12-14 hour days, some cute kids but mostly HORRIBLE ones, kids today, they're all going to grow up to be serial killers, etc.

Also a couple weeks before summer camp started, Mr. Turtle got laid off. So that was also horrible and stressful and we were like AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

We still have our house. We are okay. He started a new job this week. AHH of the "whew" variety rather than the screaming kind.

If he had not been laid off before camp I would have quit my job on the spot in the middle of it. That's how bad it was.

Right AFTER camp I had the startup of a huge project that will be taking up tons of my time for the next, oh, eight months. Hence the 14 hour days - I had to work the whole camp day, get ready for the NEXT camp day, then do a bunch of work to get ready for this project. AWFUL. All this considering I make about half of what I should make for my education and experience...

So there's been some grouchiness, lots of stress, some soul searching. That is my boring life.

If you care I have gained about 25 pounds back. Meh. I guess it's only 10-12 considering where I was in June. But overall I'm feeling sort of zen about it. Yeah I could stand to learn to handle huge stress in my life without emotional eating, but I'm not super inclined to beat myself up about it right now. It is what it is. Whatever!

I did track my food for today just out of curiosity.

I don't especially care... I'm above what I "should" be eating, but that's for what I weighed back in June. Gotta update that!

Mostly what I have been trying to do the last couple weeks is focus on health. It's okay if I eat some cookies or whatever, as long as I reached my goal on healthy stuff. I had to start feeling good about that before I could even THINK about coming back here or tracking. Right now I am not about tracking calories, I am about cramming healthy business down my face.

What healthy stuff?

**#1 most important BFF = Greens! RAW GREENS. I'm not so much trying to cut "bad" things out of my diet, as eat as many greens as possible. This has the interesting effect of crowding other stuff out of my diet. It goes "You can have whatever you want, as long as you eat your salad first." "Make that salad BIGGER." "you can cook that... how can you add green stuff to it?"

Since I have started this, I have several times skipped eating some of the stuff I packed in my lunch because I was too full. I don't have to tell myself not to eat it, or check if I have the calories for it; I literally can't fit it!

I have discovered if I chop up stuff like kale, cabbage, etc., really small in the food processor, two things happen:

1) it looks and smells like something that came out of a lawnmower (just keepin it real!)
2) I can fit a LOT MORE salad in a smaller container, and smaller pieces means less chewing means it doesn't take me an hour just to eat salad. And I don't have to eat it out of a bowl so big people point and laugh.

okay, I guess that was like six things.

And incidentally, Lawnmower Bag aside, it tastes really good with my yummy homemade dressings. So, win. (%*****% see disclaimer, y'all)

**Nuts and seeds, for healthy fats. I was throwing some flax seed in green smoothies, which is sometimes good and sometimes gross. Now I have in my freezer a huge tub of Seed Mix - flax + a bunch of other nuts & seeds, food processor to "crumbs.". I sprinkle it over my Lawnmower Bag and it adds a nutty flavor and some nice crunch. Also many of my dressings are nut based. Today's is pad thai inspired - peanut, lime, SRIRACHA YUM. (incidentally it has 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. MY FREAKING SALAD DRESSING WHAT)

**fruit - not too much, but snacks or dessert. Or both.

Pointless sidebar #1 - I learned to take a green smoothie from hit or miss (good or gross) to always good WITHOUT adding so much fruit it's like 700 calories. The secret? Half a lime. Something about that little sour punch makes it tasty even with more green and less fruit. I am a freak who doesn't mind if my smoothie kind of tastes like kale, though. But don't use collards! Toooooooo bitter. Cook those muthas.

I have a new app on my iPad (did you know I have an iPad? I forget when I got it. I have an iPad mini. It is adorable. I should name it.). It is a recipe app. IT IS THE GREATEST THING IN HUMAN HISTORY. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating.... I can save recipes to its little recipe cards DIRECTLY FROM THE INTERNET or type them in. I have been using it to save & toss random recipes on random sheets of paper, but also to obsess over a few recipe sites.


Anyway, I have found I can eat more & feel happier without eating a ton of calories if my meals are more bean - and - veggie based, plus beans are healthy on their own. So I've been saving bean and lentil recipes like a madwoman. Last weekend I made:

7 huge things of Lawnmower Bag (a head of purple cabbage, a big bunch of purple kale, an absurdly huge bunch of green kale, some red onion, and carrots)
washed & chopped Snack Veggies (3 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, lots of carrots, a bunch of celery, and four peppers)

AND! two big loaves of Beanloaf (not meatloaf!), a big pot of yellow split pea soup (YAHM!) aaaaaaaaaaaaand - Sausage Flavor Beans.

What are Sausage Flavor Beans?


It is a recipe I found while obsessing over my recipe app (REMEMBER THAT FROM UP THERE? AND YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS UNRELATED) that uses breakfast sausagey spices on cannellini beans. They are super tasty alone or over grits. (it also includes red bell pepper and a crapton of spinach. eat your colors, + GREENS)

When I was cooking them, Mr. Turtle was all "What is that smell? And is it for DINNER??" So we had some for dinner. Then I had some for breakfast. Then I ran out, so last night I made a giant double batch pot. BEANS!!!

I am liking this new beans for breakfast thing. I know it sounds weird, but they are good. When I eat cereal I just want to eat again 10 minutes later. When I eat toast I want to eat the entire loaf of bread. (and can. and have!) When I eat fruit I eat too much AND I'm hungry again soon. It's getting too cold for smoothies. Oatmeal... ain't nobody got time for that! Plus I want to put a crapton of sugar or peanut butter in it. So, BEANS. This morning I had beans and grits + mushrooms. More beans than grits. WOOT. Precooked it's so fast, I just scoop a bit of each into a bowl and microwave it while Turtle Puppy is eating her stinky dog food.

I totally forgot what I was talking about because BLAH BLAH BLAH RAMBLE RAMBLE but that's how you know I'm really back and it's not some stranger who hacked my page, riiiiiiiiiiiight?

oh yeah, healthy crap. ** # whatever, drink water. I'm working on that too. It's going pretty well.

So that's what I'm doing. Trying to eat a ridiculously embarrassing amount of vegetables.

Also exercise. I ran a training run last week, but meh. It's daaaaaark in the morning. I'm out of shape. I was careful, but it made my knees a bit sore due to the out of shape + extra weight again. So I went ahead and ran my 5k on Sunday (YEP. took a lot of walk breaks though) but now I am in the swimming zone. I'm having some weird insomnia thing where I wake up at 4am every day (WHYYYYY AHHH) so I might as well get up. Today I swam for almost an hour - over an hour but I'm not counting the many many stretching breaks I took. All the stretching and time in the water was good, though - all my sore bits from the 5k are sooooo much better.

That's the news. I will be around, some, maybe. Probably. I may or may not track. I can't decide. Today's food, chosen by my new Cram Your Veg Face plan, calculates out realllly nicely. So maybe I will just track a couple times a week to see where I am. I don't want to get all obsess-o all or nothing about it again.

Hi. Missed you. Smooooooches.

%*****% Important Disclaimer: If you are thinking about trying The Lawnmower Bag Diet for yourself, a few things to keep in mind:
1) you will POOP YOUR BRAINS OUT. You need to know this. I do not want you to be surprised, because that is the kind of surprise NOBODY LIKES. I am telling you now. Increase your serving size of Lawnmower Bag SLOWLY. And maybe on a day you're, like, home. Near the bathroom. And don't say I didn't warn you. I can hear you now, all "Lola, I've been on Spark for however long. I eat my vegetables. My intestines are a rock! We got this!" Your hubris will be your downfall.
2) If you have never eaten any raw kale before ever, do not expect to make the same recipe I describe above (kale, more kale, even more kale, why did you buy so much kale, and cabbage) and like it. Start with lettuce and spinach and mix in a little of the more hardcore greens. Increase the proportion slowly. (lettuce and spinach processed don't last as long in the fridge without slime so don't make 5 pounds in advance like I did. I'm a professional, ok?)
3) If you turn your greens into moosh don't come crying to me. I'm not here to teach you how to use your food processor. DIDN'T YOU READ THE MANUAL? Look for you tube videos or something. And drop that ruined sH*Z in a soup or something.

Lawnmower Bag: no one is recommending you try this at home.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AHTRAP 10/11/2014 2:03AM

    Well, you took the time to come back, why not stick around? I mean, really, you might as well. All the cool....well, screw the cool kids, but we're here, aren't we? :)

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_MOBII_ 10/8/2014 9:18PM

    Missed you chickie!

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SENIMMO 10/8/2014 2:45PM

    Yay!!! You're back! !! I missed you. Have a great day.

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ADARKARA 10/7/2014 1:45PM

    HOLY CRAP I laughed so hard. I missed you! I love my food processor! But I don't think I would like lawnmower bag, haha.


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MINEA999 10/7/2014 1:17PM

    Yes it's definitely YOU that wrote this. I'm not sure I could get on your greens bandwagon, it sounds like a lot of work and dishes.

I'm so glad to see you back. Like SO glad. Like I literally said 'oh yay!' out loud when I saw you were back.

Stick around a while. emoticon

(why pow? well... why not huh?!)

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Rational Numbers/Irrational Numbers

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The hatred of the scale is going around Spark these days!

For me, I was 262 yesterday morning. 262 at the doctor's office yesterday evening. (!!!) Usually I weigh more, sometimes a LOT more, at night, so I was pretty happy with that. Even though I'd so rather be 250 and dropping...

I got some other numbers yesterday, though. BETTER numbers!

It's been years since my last annual physical (leading to me joking about going in for my "semi-decadal" physical...). So I had my cholesterol tested then, and the last couple of times I gave blood, which I also can't remember but were at least a few years ago.

Last physical: Cholesterol (total) around 190-200
not high, but could be lower.

Giving blood: after losing some weight? or starting to eat better? I forget which? 180

Yesterday, the numbers from my blood draw the week before: 165


I knew my blood pressure had gotten better (from 140/80 to 120/70 to 114/70) from my annual gyn appointments. That change happened as I started working out more. My resting pulse has also gone down.

But this is the first time since I really started getting healthier that I've had my cholesterol checked. I was all worried about my bloodwork for a couple of reason:

1) I'm coming off a few months of on-and-off as far as healthy eating goes, and what feels like ages of crap eating, which I know was really only a week.

2) I have this weird thing for the past couple of years where I can't eat as much sweet stuff/carbs or it makes me feel lightheaded. I used to love pancakes or waffles for dinner, with lots of syrup! Starting a couple of years ago, if I had pancakes or a waffle as my dinner, I would start to feel lightheaded or even nauseous afterwards. I started getting eggs on the side for protein, getting a single waffle instead of a stack of pancakes, only eating half, and putting on less syrup. Healthier overall! But mostly to avoid that awful "dying of sugar" feeling. That feeling made me scared! I was starting to think maybe I was pre-diabetic or even diabetic.

Anyway. My blood sugar was fine. Should be 65-99, mine was 90, which is on the high end, but not over. So even more incentive for me to eat healthy & exercise to keep it there!

Also, boring story even more boring, my last physical a few years ago + a coworker once commented that my thyroid looked enlarged. Blood test shows it's fine. Yay!

Basically everything looks good. So I may have one number I'm not happy with (weight!) but all my other numbers look good. I may be fat, but I am healthy! I'd to stay that way, though, so more healthy foods & workouts! Less grouchiness and crappy snacks!

Additional incentive - my total cholesterol & triglycerides are good (triglycerides are kind of awesome - 57!!!! that DEFINITELY used to be much higher!), but my LDL could be lower (111, could be less than 100) & my HDL could be higher (43, over 60 is better). Neither are bad, just not "ideal." But I bet I can improve them even further with more veggies & more sweating!

Partially related update - we got air conditioning last week!!! (ductless, but way better than window units!) so I can have my morning living room dates with Jillian more easily now. Muahahaha. and ow. she hurts me. LOL.

Yep. Way more fun than the scale. This is where I see my hard work of the past year and a half, not the scale or the pants size.

To help me break free from scale related grouchiness, I am rereading one of my favorite blog posts of all time (hence the title of my post!). Here is a sample to entice you to read the whole thing!

"If you were trying to learn Spanish, you’d understand that your progress was best measured by looking at a variety of factors, right? Your vocabulary, your reading comprehension, your ability to speak and be understood? You wouldn’t stand there tracking the number of words you understood on the Spanish-language news broadcast that night and do all the math, and if you understood 46.7 percent tonight as compared to 47.2 percent last night, you wouldn’t conclude that all your efforts were in vain and the enterprise was best abandoned, right? And you wouldn’t conclude that you needed to spend $500 on Spanish immersion classes, right?

And yet.

I don’t know how it works in other places, but Weight Watchers measures weights in 0.2 pound increments. So they’ll tell you you’re up 1.2, or down 2.4, or down 0.4, or whatever. It used to be, of course, that nobody tried to get any trickier than a half pound. No more. Someday, I’m sure, scales will go to four decimal places, so that they’ll be able to tell you, “Congratulations, you lost 2.4337 pounds this week!” And I can equally guarantee you that someone will react to that development by saying, “But last week, I lost 2.4339 pounds! Why are my losses getting smaller? Why? WHY, WHY?”

And they won’t want to hear the answer, which will be, “Because the underwear you wore this week was more linty.” "

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 7/16/2014 9:38PM

    I love your blog. We can do this.

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POMATOJUICE 7/8/2014 9:02AM

    Hooray doctor's visit!!

I used to dread them, because my doc would just tell me to lose weight, but wouldn't actually tell me how to do it. It's like "Duh, thanks! But HOW????"

My triglycerides were very very high, even though most of my other cholesterol was ok. They were talking about putting me on medication or it, and that was something that initially spurred me to get more serious about my health.

So, I'm very happy to hear that your bloodwork got better! If you keep it up, I'm sure the blood sugar will come down even more :D

I know that "UGHH BLAH GROSS" feeling. I get it from eating too much sugar/ too many processed foods. I get it a lot from... pringles. :x Pringles are an abomination to God, but they taste good :( Seriously, one measured serving makes me feel like I'm dying. I noticed that those Special K popchips do it, too. I tried them once when they first came out, because I really thought they'd help with my weight loss. They just made me feel sick. Just goes to show how much "diet" food is unhealthy and bad for you!!

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LISAN0415 7/8/2014 12:02AM

    NON SCALE VICTORIES are very exciting- especially when we see our health improving. We only get 1 body, we need to take care of it!

Great work! Keep it up! Results are coming!


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SENIMMO 7/4/2014 8:26PM

    SO. Now that the two teens I now have think I am totally insane for laughing like a maniac, I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July.

I was honestly laughing so hard I had to grab my inhaler. Wonder how many calories that burned? emoticon

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_MOBII_ 7/3/2014 9:56AM

    Boo for linty underwear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SHARBEAR100 7/2/2014 4:24PM

    emoticon You're doing great, and that quote from the blog post is awesome! Just a tip, if you want to increase your good cholesterol try taking fish oil capsules. I've been taking it for years because of a condition I have. It will increase your good cholesterol, which helps remove bad cholesterol from your body, so it's a win/win. Or you could just increase the amount of fatty fish you eat too if you don't like supplements.
emoticon emoticon

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MINEA999 7/2/2014 1:19PM

    Nice numbers lady!
My numbers in that realm are all good. It's just this damn scale number that rattled me this week.

I'm SO glad you're still here. I just don't know what I'd do without your rambling blog entries. LOL

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RENLLY 7/2/2014 12:16PM

    Hee hee - I am sure that I have had weeks where "linty underwear" was the reason I went up 0.2. I will have to tell my WW meeting leader about that, lol.

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ADARKARA 7/2/2014 11:13AM

    And they won’t want to hear the answer, which will be, “Because the underwear you wore this week was more linty.”

This made me lol, seriously. It really is true though! There are SO many factors to weight loss that a gain just isn't worth worrying about unless you're trending up over time. So many people just see a gain and FLIP OUT!

I'm so glad you're feeling better this week, and your numbers prove you HAVE improved your health.

(BTW, you not having air conditioning for a while could definitely have contributed to a water weight gain. Especially in the Jersey humidity. Is it AWFUL up where you are today, too?!)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

My last cranky post, when I was feeling stressed and unmotivated and like a failure?

That was my 2nd Sparkiversary. TO THE DAY.


I missed my first Sparkiversary. I think it fell in the middle of a long streak of not tracking. I remember thinking a few weeks ago "I should pay attention and do something on my Sparkiversary this year." Well, I did something. I gained weight and crabbed about it. Hahahaha.

I had a week of... I don't know. Rebellion? I didn't, like, madly binge on everything in sight or anything. But I didn't track either. I guess I was feeling like "I can't get anywhere so why bother."

This weekend we were in the car all day Thursday and half of Friday (NJ to OH Thurs, then OH to MI Fri). Hang out with my grandma (Yay!!) Saturday & Sunday, and in the car Sunday evening MI to OH. Then drive to NJ on Monday. So it was a lot of just sitting in the car.

It was great to see family!

The worst part (besides the traffic yesterday... shut up, NJ.) was putting on my size 18 jeans at my grandma's one day when it was cool, and they were uncomfortably tight.

So I've gone from my 16s being uncomfortably tight, which didn't take much because I'd only just gotten into them, to my 18s being uncomfortable!




So yeah. July is going to be some kind of recommittment. I don't know how yet... putting pressure on myself to be awesome and re-lose a bunch of what I've gained TOTALLY BACKFIRED in June so I'm sort of not sure what to do with myself right now.

But I don't want to be back in my size 20s!

It's weird... I'm sure it was hard work at the time, but looking back? That first 7 months on Spark when I lost the bulk of that first 50lbs (40-44 or so) must have been easy, relatively speaking. Or something has changed in me, biochemically or physiologically. I really didn't work out that much, either. The small changes made a much bigger difference then! Now it feels like... unless I am PERFECT - 10 servings of veggies 10 cups of water no bread lots of protein, etc, and workout 6 days a week, I lose NOTHING. Those first 30 lbs??? pffft. Please. Right now it feels like IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. And by "it" I mean losing another pound ever again. Which is probably at least part of my problem...

Anyway. I was 262 this morning. So I didn't gain anything since last week's grumpout. But if I keep not tracking I probably will gain more.

To answer your comment, ADARKARA, I mostly do weigh every day! Lately it's been making me grouchy as h3ll, but for the first long chunk of my Spark journey I absolutely did it! I didn't log my weight into Spark every day, but I at least step on the scale & look at it. It didn't bother me either, I was just kind of keeping an eye on it. Maybe I need to start logging it in excel again so I can see if there is any trend. It doesn't **seem** to have any rhyme or reason or anything to do with TOM. When I was doing great for those 2 weeks (week before last & the one before that) It was like... trending down by 0.1 or 0.2 every day, and then suddenly jump up. Other times it goes down 0.2 down 0.5 up 2 down 1 up 1 down 0.4.... it's totally senseless.

But maybe charting it will help, maybe there's some kind of pattern I can find so I know when to ignore it...

Either way... Gonna do some serious thinking about how to tackle July.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 7/16/2014 9:33PM

    You can do it. I have the same problem right now I don't know why it felt so much easier before but it doesn't feel easy any more. But I know we can do it.

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SENIMMO 7/4/2014 8:21PM

    Totally get it. The weight I lost came off easier right after the knee replacements when I was in all that pain! Now? yeah. It's my own fault for gaining so much of it back, but still. WHY SO HARD THIS TIME????

Yeah. it stinks. But we can do this!!!

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AHTRAP 7/1/2014 1:02PM

    Know exactly what you mean about the first few pounds feeling like they were freebies, the first time around. Back when I jumped in on this site, the first ten came off easy, I had to work for the next ten, and the last ten+ I earned. And now that I've put near the entire amount back on in the past 15 months or so, I'm a little haunted by the statement I put on my spark page saying "1st 20 pounds came off relatively easily, guess it was extra excess weight". Now, it feels like I'm trying to go the wrong way down a fast moving up escalator.

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ADARKARA 7/1/2014 10:14AM


I know you can do it! Don't make any lofty goals, make small ones. Remember: as long as you're moving in the right direction, you're a success, no matter how slow!

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NANCYPAT1 7/1/2014 10:07AM

    You can make this happen for YOU. You are worth the effort and the time to make it right for you.

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