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Spring brings lovely flowers and a shift

Sunday, April 13, 2014

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo Coelho


Scenic Central Park with a nice view of Manhattan behind us.


Pre race smiles with a track club friend. I had no idea what I was about to do.

Well, I just got home from my third half marathon in the past 6 weeks. And it was by far the hardest race I've run, but I PR'd at 1:50! I really can't believe it. It was two loops plus a bit of Central Park, which is a very hilly place to run indeed.


Can you feel my quads screaming?

It was beautiful weather, sunny but not hot, beautiful flowers blooming everywhere, daffodils, tulips, cherry and magnolia blossoms - what a treat!

Today is the 7 month anniversary of my husband's death and I'm really happy to say that something is shifting in me. Though I miss him, of course, spring has sprung in NY and I'm starting to feel whole again.


Happy finisher!

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
― Emily Dickinson

Happy Spring to you all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EJOY-EVELYN 4/16/2014 9:58PM

    Praise God for good shifts that make living life a little more enjoyable. Great run! Great attitude! Great shift into Spring!

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LCERVERA 4/16/2014 5:21AM

    Congrats on your PR! I was thinking of you Sunday when it turned out to be such a lovely day. I'm so glad to hear emoticon that you're feeling your healing taking place.

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WENDYANNE61 4/15/2014 11:34AM

    Congratulations on an awesome run! I hope Spring helps you to heal some more and that you and your daughter can draw delight from all the good memories!

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PGHP31CK 4/15/2014 10:57AM

    Congratulations on finishing your race!

So thankful that your heart is beginning to heal -- glad to hear it!

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MINIUM 4/15/2014 1:08AM

    You look radiant! Good job!
Take care,
Nan

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KRICKET4 4/14/2014 6:30PM

    Time is such a great healer.
I'm so very happy that you're getting back to feeling better.
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TINAJANE76 4/14/2014 5:57PM

    Love it, Julie! I can totally feel your joy and sense of accomplishment shining through!

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KLWALDON 4/14/2014 11:16AM

    Way to go! You are awesome!

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CHRISTINATODAY 4/14/2014 10:51AM

    Wow, well done! You're a special person.

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KANOE10 4/14/2014 8:37AM

    Happy Spring to you. What a great way to enjoy spring with your running. You look happy. I like that poem also.

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NUOVAELLE 4/14/2014 1:44AM

    I am relieved to read that things are getting better and better for you. It's so good to see you smiling in the pictures!
Congratulations on your PR and thank you for the wonderful quote and the beautiful poem.
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LE7_1234 4/14/2014 12:02AM

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_JODI404 4/13/2014 11:18PM

    Happy Spring to you!!

This blog makes me smile with happiness for you Julie!!

Congrats on your awesome race PR! That is a very hilly park!! emoticon

Love your pics. I am so happy that Spring is bringing you this feeling of shifting and a renewed sense of feeling whole again. How wonderful.

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POSITIVEHOPE 4/13/2014 10:46PM

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MIRRORBALLMOON 4/13/2014 8:51PM

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Congratulations, Julie!! :)

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WATERMELLEN 4/13/2014 8:18PM

    I'm so glad that something is shifting for you: that Emily Dickinson poem is one that speaks to me too. Congrats on the PR!

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CHERYL_ANNE 4/13/2014 8:04PM

    Happy Spring to you!

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 4/13/2014 7:36PM

    Congrats on your 3rd half in 6 weeks! Awesome. emoticon
Thanks for sharing the pix, too.

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OOLALA53 4/13/2014 7:11PM

    Delightful news!

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GLORIAMAJDI 4/13/2014 5:52PM

    Congrats on your PR! I am so glad that things are looking up. Spring is indeed a time for happiness and new beginnings.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 4/13/2014 5:17PM

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WAY2GOCAT 4/13/2014 5:06PM

    Cool!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 4/13/2014 4:43PM

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 4/13/2014 4:42PM

    Spring has such a sense of renewal. Glad you are feeling it in your soul.Wishing beautiful experiences for a beautiful lady.

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Comment edited on: 4/13/2014 4:43:39 PM

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ALEXSGIRL1 4/13/2014 4:22PM

    you look amazing so happy you are feeling more at peace hugs

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DOGLADY13 4/13/2014 4:22PM

    I didn't see screaming quads in that picture. I saw a fit, happy runner.

Great race! I'm so glad you are taking a new step in your journey through life.

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PHOENIX1949 4/13/2014 4:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 4/13/2014 3:56PM

    emoticon emoticon Outstanding time! emoticon

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SUEPERWOMAN 4/13/2014 3:42PM

   

I'm happy for you Julie!

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KRISZTA11 4/13/2014 3:42PM

    I'm so glad to see you happy!
Congrats to your 3rd Half Marathon,
and thanks for sharing the pictures.
Central Park and Manhattan is beautiful.
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WORKNPROGRESS49 4/13/2014 3:37PM

    emoticon emoticon

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New day, new week, new month, reboot!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.” ― Arnold Bennett

Today is Monday, a day that signals the start of a new week and new beginnings. And tomorrow is April 1, a new month, hopefully spring weather will soon come to NY for us to enjoy.

So today I dust myself off and begin again, forgiving myself for many turbulent months, poor choices in terms of using food to cope, and the added unwanted pounds that came with that behavior. Today I recommit to self care, to mindful eating, to getting proper rest, to facing, feeling, and processing my feelings, to making choices that give me more pleasure over time and more energy for life.

Oh, and on a very positive note, I ran another half marathon this past weekend, in the rain, in a garbage bag, and came in fourth for my age group! 1:53:19!! Not too shabby! I'm loving the half marathon distance and the community of runners. It's such a positive, life affirming activity, and I'm meeting great people!


Post race, wearing our "Ladies First" medals. I'm in the middle.


Crossing the finish line in the last half marathon.

Here is to new beginnings everyone!!

"Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning." Desmond Tutu

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 4/7/2014 9:32PM

    Alright, it's ridiculous that I've only just now seen this--a full week after you wrote it. I've subscribed to your blog now, lol!

I know I've already congratulated you privately, but I just wanted to add my public kudos here. As someone who's pretty much a non-runner, I'm totally in awe not only that you were able to finish the half marathon, but also that you came in fourth in your age group--and in NYC no less with so many other very fit people running alongside you. Fantastic, Julie, simply fantastic!

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SLENDERELLA61 4/1/2014 7:28PM

    Congrats on another great race. Impressive time, too. Your use of quotes is exceptional. You must be very well read and have a great memory &/or organizational system!! You definitely don't look overweight in the pictures, either, although I know achieving the weight you really want is a worthwhile pursuit. And your finishing smile is gorgeous. You are so right about the running community being positive and life-affirming. So glad you have jumped right in. Clearly you are suppose to run. Think of you often; admire your strength. -Marsha

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 4/1/2014 4:55PM

    You are off to a great start! Great attitude! Great to have supportive friends to run with and here on Spark!

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BECKYLIZ 4/1/2014 8:59AM

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_JODI404 3/31/2014 10:42PM

    Congrats on your great finish time!! You said you were already hooked -- and you definitely are! Great pics!

I definitely need to reaffirm my focus with the start of this new month tomorrow.
I am with you Julie!! All such important areas to having a healthy lifestyle!

I also "recommit to self care, to mindful eating, to getting proper rest, to facing, feeling, and processing my feelings, to making choices that give me more pleasure over time and more energy for life."

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Spring is near ~ hang in there!! We've got a nice week here...but this sneaky winter can't be trusted... never know what it may sock us with after that!

Always love your quotes. One of these days I will take the time to start a quote journal. Something I keep meaning to get around to doing.

BEST wishes to you for a very successful RE-boot in April and beyond!!
Take care!
xo,
~ Jodi

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/31/2014 9:19PM

    emoticon Love the opening quote, and the closing one... and everything in between. Bootstraps and determination, and the smiles of accomplishment... many happy returns!

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WATERMELLEN 3/31/2014 8:39PM

    Love the pic -- you look so cute!! Glad you are enjoying the running, glad you are rebooting and LOVE the idea that time cannot be wasted in advance. How comforting is that!!

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CHERYL_ANNE 3/31/2014 7:12PM

    Way to take care of yourself!

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MJREIMERS 3/31/2014 6:47PM

    emoticon Wow, your time is awesome!!! Keep up the great running!

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DOGLADY13 3/31/2014 4:17PM

    WooHoo! Way to go on th Half Marathon!

I would never make it through life if I didn't have the present moment to start over.

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OVERACTIVEELBOW 3/31/2014 3:30PM

    emoticon
Good plan

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PHOENIX1949 3/31/2014 3:04PM

    Love the Bennett quote and have added to my collection.

See Julie. See Julie run. See Julie run fast. (take-off from Dick & Jane series)

Run Julie run. (take-off from Forrest Gump movie)

emoticon on the race.

emoticon on the reboot.


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GLORIAMAJDI 3/31/2014 2:53PM

    Julie, congrats on the half, you are awesome! Good look on your reboot. I think I need to take a look at my eating and do a reboot as well!

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KRICKET4 3/31/2014 2:21PM

    How wonderful that you found running as your outlet.
Congratulations on finishing your second half marathon. I can't imagine even running 5 miles...
Love the quote. What a great reminder, that we have so many chances to begin anew.
Have a great SparkDay.

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MINIUM 3/31/2014 2:08PM

    I think you did wonderful and you look amazing! Congratulations!
And I love your first quote - it makes me feel so good! It reminds of a sentence I keep repeating in my affirmation: 'my future begins now'. Everything's possible so let's dream big!

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 3/31/2014 12:19PM

    Way to go! I'm so proud of you!

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DAYSPRING-STAR 3/31/2014 10:24AM

    Yeah Julie! Atta girl on your half marathon!!!

Read your blog just moments after resetting my Spark goals for my own new beginning. Feeling the positive energy...
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EJOY-EVELYN 3/31/2014 10:10AM

    Congratulations on a great run! You're beautiful (in many, many ways)! I love the healthy perspective you have to running your personal race and reading your words (for me it would be walking) would fit with my need to also enjoy this new day, new week, and new month. You give us hope! . . . and for that, I thank you! Hug, hug -- Evelyn

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PIXIE-LICIOUS 3/31/2014 9:36AM

    emoticon Congrats on coming in 4th and also for giving yourself a fresh start. Have a healthy and successful April!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 3/31/2014 9:03AM

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PHEBESS 3/31/2014 8:45AM

    YAY for doing half marathons, and for rebooting!

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 3/31/2014 8:43AM

    emoticon And here's to our REBOOT!! No looking back!

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SUEPERWOMAN 3/31/2014 8:38AM

   
Wow, your running is going so well !!

Is it snowing near you? Long Ialand got a good dusting this morning.
ARGH !!!!

Cheers, to a new month.

Love, Sue

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JAROL7 3/31/2014 8:13AM

    Never give up .... keep marching toward your goal.

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KANOE10 3/31/2014 8:12AM

    What lovely pictures! That is great that you finished 4th in your age group. How nice that you have found a community of runners.

April is a perfect time for new beginnings. I am continuing on my own reboot and will join you.

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LE7_1234 3/31/2014 8:11AM

    Go, Julie!!!!
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Love the quote.

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Turning the page

Monday, March 17, 2014

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Emerson

This past week was very loaded for me. March 13 was the 6 month anniversary of my husband's death. March 15 was what should have been his 44th birthday. And on March 16th, I ran my first half marathon.

The sadness I experienced on my husband's birthday knocked me down. I cannot articulate the emptiness I felt inside and the extreme sense of loss and isolation that I felt. It was unbearable. My daughter and I hosted a cupcake party (cupcakes were my husband's favorite dessert (yellow cake with chocolate frosting to be specific)), to honor him and give her a chance to celebrate his day in a way that felt loving and joyful. So though inside I felt like crying and crawling up in a ball, on the outside I put on a smile and entertained his closest friends, former music students, and music colleagues. There was a lot of love and it was a beautiful event, but I found it very difficult.



And then I stayed up all night long. I have never suffered from insomnia, but that night I couldn't sleep a wink. I was overcome with grief, sadness for my daughter, and also anxiety about the half marathon I was about to run. I had never done one before and though I trained well, the temperatures were going to be really low and the race started early and I felt unsure of what to expect. Plus, the later it got, the more anxious I grew.

However, at 5AM, I put on my running clothes, and scarves, and mittens, and legwarmers, and layers and layers and layers, and a fleece blanket, ate a solid breakfast, laced up my sneakers, and met my best friend to do the run.

And I'm so happy to say that it was fantastic! The NYC Half Marathon, aptly called "Run for Life", starts in Central Park, and then goes through Times Square (which is shut down to traffic), along the West Side Highway, ending in the Financial District. There were bands playing all along the way, and when in life do you have Times Square all to yourself with no cars??? I felt so exhilarated and was so moved by all the spectators cheering us on, despite the cold.



I am now hooked. I love that distance and I loved the experience. So I've signed up for three more halves in the next two months and joined a track club. It feels like a wonderful way to embrace life.



The real champion...my beautiful little girl.

The Uses of Sorrow
by Mary Oliver
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
 
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand

that this, too, was a gift.

 
                                         

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEPERWOMAN 3/30/2014 8:16PM

   
What a beautiful blog and I am sorry that I am just reading it now, after so many weeks have gone by.

Your husband was a real talent (I looked him up) and his music and his love will be his legacy. I am so sorry that he is gone. I am happy that your running is such a good fit for you.

Love, Sue

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LCERVERA 3/29/2014 7:23AM

    What a moving blog. I am so sorry that your husband's birthday was so hard for you. You are so brave and such a good mom to plow through and host that cupcake party, showing your daughter that although grief is normal and natural, life does continue. She is so blessed to have a mother like you. Congrats on your 1/2 marathon! That's amazing that you did it, especially on no sleep! Signing up for more of them sounds like a wonderful way to relieve stress and keep on going. You are such a strong, brave, and caring woman. When I was reading your blog, I was reminded of the book I'm teaching my class this semester. Have you read Tuesdays with Morrie? It's a quick read and really beautiful. I think you might enjoy it.
God bless you guys.
Lisa

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 3/23/2014 9:52AM

    I am so sorry....you are coping like a rock star with the absolutely uncope-able.

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SUNSHINE20113 3/22/2014 7:02AM

    Congratulations on the half marathon! I've signed up for my second one in April. I like the distance, too. It's definitely a challenge, but not quite as daunting as a full marathon.

The celebration of your husband's birthday sounds beautiful. Such a great way to honour his life and a wonderful thing to do for your daughter. My thoughts are with both of you.

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MARYANNGI 3/20/2014 9:26PM

    Congrats you running the Run for Life!! What an incredible accomplishment.

Celebrating your husband's life on his birthday is a wonderful thing. After my DD passed, we started a tradition of doing this each year. We tell stories about her, some of the funny she did and her wonderful/weird sense of humor. Someone once told that when you lose someone, that for a long while it is your first thought in the morning and your last thought at night. As time goes on, it becomes your second thought of the day and next to the last thought at the end of the day. It takes a while, but it does happen. Jenn has been gone 10 years and I miss her dearly, but I also know that she is in a better place and she doesn't have to fight for every little thing.



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TINAJANE76 3/19/2014 8:10PM

    You're turning new pages with each passing day, Julie, even if you don't always know it. Just look at how you were able to move past several emotionally charged days and still find so much joy in your half marathon. Time WILL help you to heal and take the edge off of your pain and sorrow. In the meantime, keep embracing the things that give you joy, especially your beautiful little girl.
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KRICKET4 3/19/2014 6:41PM

    You're honoring your husband by celebrating life.
Bet he'd be proud of you.
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SLIMKATIE 3/19/2014 6:17PM

    I love the idea of the cupcake party to honor your husband's birthday.

You should consider doing the Heartbreak Hill Half with me! The whole weekend is very "family friendly", so your daughter could even do a race, too. :)

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GLORIAMAJDI 3/18/2014 10:20PM

    What a beautiful way to honor your husband Julie, and though it is painful, it is healing for both you and your daughter. And congrats on the half - you are such an inspiration!

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ALEXSGIRL1 3/18/2014 6:26PM

    so glad you found running it will help with the sadness . what a special way to celebrate life

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SHERYLP461 3/18/2014 4:29PM

    What a wonderful way to work through your grief. Your daughter is lucky to have such a wonderful mom.

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KRISZTA11 3/18/2014 3:13PM

    Congrats to your first Half Marathon!
It is wonderful you had the strength and motivation to complete the training and run the race, despite your grief and sadness.
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MINIUM 3/18/2014 2:50PM

    Beautiful blog... I'm still so very sorry about your loss. However, I love the way you celebrated your husband's memory. How sweet!
And congratulations for your first half! You did awesome!
What's more, you look wonderful on those pictures and so does your daughter.
My heart goes out to you...

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MISSB8604 3/18/2014 11:01AM

    Absolutely amazing. CONGRATS.

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KANOE10 3/18/2014 8:32AM

    Your husband would be so proud of you for that run and for giving your daughter her day of commemorating your husband with the party.

I am happy you had a great run and look forward to hearing about your next ones!

That was a lovely poem. It is hard to learn that darkness is a gift. Beautiful words.

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THINFITKINDVGAN 3/18/2014 7:42AM

    Having your husband in his body no longer with you is definitely sad. Your husband was not his body. Celebrate the gift that Love continues on no matter what perception tells us.

In deep respect,

Karen

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PHEBESS 3/18/2014 5:06AM

    Big hugs, and yay on your first halfie!

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NUOVAELLE 3/18/2014 2:33AM

    I'm sure your husband would be really proud of you and your little girl. You're honoring his memory in the best possible way and you're teaching your daughter some really important lessons about life.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem.
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RUNNERRACHEL 3/18/2014 1:20AM

    I think you are so brave to process and share what you're going through. I don't have words but I have empathy and a big breath of pride for you and running your first half marathon. And celebrating your husband's life and honoring him even though it was hard for you, and being strong for your daughter.

I stand with you in sympathy and send you hugs and healing and prayers for the process.

Running is a great way to challenge and strengthen yourself and run for yourself and your daughter and your future. emoticon emoticon



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LE7_1234 3/18/2014 12:59AM

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POSITIVEHOPE 3/18/2014 12:46AM

    You celebrated his life and mourned his loss all at the same time. What an emotional roller coaster. Glad you came through whole.

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EJOY-EVELYN 3/17/2014 10:29PM

    You and your girl are truly inspirational and winners! May you be richly blessed during this difficult time. You've been such a trooper and your husband would have been proud.

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_JODI404 3/17/2014 10:20PM

    Julie,

I'm so sorry for the unbearable pain and emptiness that you are feeling. That was a loaded week for sure, and I'm not surprised it was so difficult to bear. Your love was BIG. And therefore your loss and your grief and immense.

It was so lovely of you to honor your husband with the cupcake party, and to allow Sasha to celebrate his day in a special and loving way. I hope you were able to let those tears flow later on.

Yes, it sounds like you are completely hooked! That's awesome!! My husband has done several marathons, but he is preferring 1/2's as well. Congratulations on completing the first of many more13.1 mile races!! No sleep, and a heart heavy with grief. Hopefully pouring yourself out physically was therapeutic. And I hope your sleep cycle is getting normalized again for you.

Mary Oliver. Oh my. How I relate to that.

Sending a big hug to you!!

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Comment edited on: 3/17/2014 10:21:09 PM

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LOFLLAMA 3/17/2014 10:04PM

    Julie,
You are so inspirational. Your daughter is so blessed to have such a wonderful mom! I am proud to know you.
Love
Lisa

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 3/17/2014 8:40PM

    6 months isn't very long. It's OK to grieve some more. Take your time. You're very strong, yet vulnerable.
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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 3/17/2014 8:24PM

    Your joy will lead you to "who you really are"

Follow that feeling. From the sounds of it, it really does not have ANY chance of out running you!

XOXO

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DOGLADY13 3/17/2014 8:07PM

    Oh my... The Mary Oliver poem blindsided me. I gasped audibly and then wept for about 5 minutes. I have been moved deeply by other poems she has written, but that one is in a class by itself.

I am so happy you found some joy through this very intense week of grief. Your daughter is beautiful. You must fall in love with her all over again every day.

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/17/2014 8:01PM

    OMG... we have Sparked another Half-lunatic! Congrats on your first HM, and it sounds like an epic one! emoticon emoticon emoticon

May God give you peace and comfort as you move forward... anniversaries are hard. emoticon emoticon

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KRISKECK 3/17/2014 7:45PM

    Thinking of you and sending love your way.

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Kristin

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MARILYNROBERT 3/17/2014 7:36PM

    Yes, your beautiful little girl emoticon

emoticon on your half marathon finish. I loved running all distances but can't do it anymore because my knees and feet have had enough pounding. I love to hear about it when my friends complete a run. emoticon

Thinking about you thinking about your husband emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/17/2014 7:35PM

    Sorrow does indeed have its uses: but I'm sorry that you have had such an overflowing cup of it.

Your grace and dignity and sheer kindness in making it possible for your daughter to celebrate her father's birthday . . . what a cost to you, but you can be so proud of yourself.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 3/17/2014 6:58PM

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SUNNYRUTH 3/17/2014 6:29PM

    I also find running to be very therapeutic and energizing. Good for you for being so healthy and moving forward!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/17/2014 6:29PM

    So sorry for your pain. Admire your smile for everyone and the cupcakes and the joy and the poem. So glad you enjoyed the half marathon! That is a tremendous accomplishment. Great going!! Hope that each half you run will be more and more joy-filled and all your good memories will be a comfort to you. -Marsha

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KELLIEBEAN 3/17/2014 6:10PM

    I smiled and had a tear reading this. That was wonderful the way you celebrated his birthday. You gave your daughter such a great gift!

Very inspirational making the half. Congratulations!!

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PHOENIX1949 3/17/2014 6:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 3/17/2014 6:00PM

    Big congrats on your half marathon and condolences on the loss of your husband. You are being a great mom to celebrate his life for your daughter.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 3/17/2014 5:59PM

    So happy to see you pursuing new passions!! What a wonderful way for you to celebrate your husband's special day... Your daughter truly is an angel and will always have part of him with her. emoticon

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Keys to Success

Saturday, February 01, 2014

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi

Happy February everyone.

This blog today is based on a Tiny Buddha blog I read and loved called "6 Lessons from Nature on Living a Peaceful, Fulfilling Life" By Alexis Evans
tinybuddha.com/blog/6-lessons-natur
e-living-peaceful-fulfilling-life/


This wonderful blog was about learning from nature in order to live a great life. I loved it, and I felt that these 6 lessons were very connected to living a healthy life with regards to food/body issues.

Here is my take:

1. Determination
"Nature is pretty hard to stop...With determination, it doesn’t matter how fast (or slowly) you move through life. If you are determined, if you have a goal and a plan to reach that goal, you’re already a long way toward it."

It's absolutely true with regards to our health. These changes I've made are for life, not for a week or two until I get to a certain weight or until a big event passes. I'm in this forever, so really, though I have a goal weight in mind, I'm already living the life I want to live.

2. Strength in adversity
"In life, when things seem tough, we usually have two choices: give in or give more.
Choose to mirror nature and decide to face problems rather than run from them."

This is so true again when it comes to living in a healthy way. My husband just died. LIfe has been quite adverse to put it mildly. But I've continued to exercise, eat healthfully, meditate, journal, connect on spark, connect with friends, etc. Because giving in isn't an option for me.

3. Adaptability
"You might not be able to control life events, but what you can control is how you respond to them."

It's all how we view our what we are doing. I see eating well and exercising as my way of indulging! I love to move my body, I love how I feel when I eat well. And I've had to give up certain foods along the way. I see that again as taking great care of myself, never as deprivation.

4. Storing inner strength
"Take a leaf out of nature’s book and nurture inner strength when times seem sunny so that when the clouds appear, you don’t give in."

All of the years of self care, even with the ups and downs, came in very handy as my husband was ill and then died. Because it's second nature to me to exercise and eat well, it's almost automatic, and when things get really bad, taking care of myself is my way of feeling safe and grounded.

5. Collaboration
"In so far as you can, see people as teammates rather than competitors or adversaries."

I'm a firm believer in the power of community and I'm so happy to be a part of Spark People as well as other wonderful supportive communities. I get inspiration and support daily from all of you!

6. Consistency
"Whatever your thing, be consistent."

This is again crucial to healthy living. Eating well and exercise are my norm! Day and day out I shop for and prepare nutritious healthy foods. Day in and day out I exercise. Day in and day out I meditate and journal. That consistency pays off and makes living healthfully part of the fabric of my life.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ― Rumi

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXSGIRL1 3/2/2014 5:55PM

    what a great and beautiful blog.

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CHRISTINATODAY 2/12/2014 1:16PM

    Beautiful blog. I particularly like the quote at the end. Thank you.

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SUSANNAH31 2/4/2014 9:26PM

    Thanks for sharing these wise lessons from nature.

Wishing you well.

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_JODI404 2/2/2014 10:44PM

    Happy February!

I loved this. I always love what you share!

I especially liked:
"In life, when things seem tough, we usually have two choices: give in or give more.

You've got great consistency going! I'm getting there.... day by day I'm going to get all the fitness I desire to fit into my day. Routinely. Consistency is a really powerful!

Hope you are doing well!

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ALEXSGIRL1 2/2/2014 5:07PM

    what a wonderful blog many great messages thank you

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GAELENEC 2/2/2014 9:42AM

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

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MINIUM 2/2/2014 8:15AM

    Aren't we lucky to like all the things that are good for us - journaling, meditation, working out, clean eating?
Have a wonderful February month!

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JACKIE15108 2/2/2014 4:17AM

    emoticon
I think number one was written for me.....determination keeps me going even though it is going very slow.
I'm sorry to hear about your husband. Take care of you now.

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 2/1/2014 10:25PM

    emoticon Happy February!

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TINAJANE76 2/1/2014 10:00PM

    These are great lessons that we can all incorporate into our daily lives. Thanks so much for sharing them with us, Julie!

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MJREIMERS 2/1/2014 9:19PM

    Thank you for this! All of your blog hit home, but #3 and #5 really hit home for me. They are points that I have need to work on. It is very interesting, to me, how adversity often leads us to a place that we never thought we'd be or to a lesson that we didn't know we needed to learn.

Thank you again. You are doing great! emoticon

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DOGLADY13 2/1/2014 7:14PM

    Beautiful lessons. You seem to be feeding your self with lots of healthy, life-sustaining foods as you heal.


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MARILYNROBERT 2/1/2014 4:21PM

    Wonderful lessons for all of us!
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PHOENIX1949 2/1/2014 2:50PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CARDAMOMMA 2/1/2014 1:51PM

    Thanks again for your wisdom and inspiration. You write beautifully and meaningfully.

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 2/1/2014 1:28PM

    emoticon

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MEMKEEPR 2/1/2014 1:04PM

    emoticon Thank you - that was very good advice!

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LCERVERA 2/1/2014 12:58PM

    Wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing! Enjoy your weekend and have fun with your daughter!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 2/1/2014 11:18AM

    One moment, one act of self care at a time!

We can do this! Let's jump on that 2014 Year of the Horse and ride it to success!!

☆´¯) ¸.☆´¯)
(¸☆´ (¸.♥´´¯`•.¸¸.☆
☆• ☆ ……… ☆ • ☆
┊┊┊ Keep Spreading the Spark
┊┊♥
┊♥


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OOLALA53 2/1/2014 10:42AM

    My spiritual teacher is a reader of Rumi. I guess I should hop on the bus!

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LE7_1234 2/1/2014 10:12AM

    emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 2/1/2014 9:50AM

    Happy February to you as well!!! emoticon

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KANOE10 2/1/2014 8:28AM

    I love that quote..when you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you..joy.

Those are excellent tools for healthy living. I like the way you say that you are already living the life you want. You have established healthful eating and exercise as part of your life. Your consistency is inspirational.

Thanks for sharing some very useful ideas. You sound positive and strong.

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/1/2014 8:03AM

    Looking healthy and healing today, my friend! emoticon

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Reframe!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." Ida B. Wells

My truth: I've been struggling, I've gained about 13 pounds, and I've been hurting myself with binging. I've also been wrapped up in that behavior, obsessing about it, making it all that I am at the expense of taking in the world around me and enjoying life.

But recently I had a great conversation with my best friend who said, "You know you keep calling yourself a binger, that you have binge eating disorder. And though I know you have been binging, is that really who you are? I mean really? What if you call yourself a mindful eater and start believing that?"

This was a very powerful conversation for me. As we talked, I realized a few things. First of all, it's so true that whatever we give attention to grows stronger. So the more I fixate on binging, the more attention and energy I give to that behavior, the more it takes over my life.

But further, when she brilliantly asked me to call into question the label I had given myself, I realized many things.

I am not a binge eater! I do not have a disorder. Yes, I have been binging, but that doesn't define me.

The truth is, I am a mindful eater. I am most happy when I make time for regular meals which I eat seated and slowly at my table, with flowers a candle lit, and nice dishes (not super fancy, but dishes nonetheless). And I make a point of doing this for every meal and snack I consume. When I'm out, at work or on the go with my daughter, I carry foods with me, and I eat them when I can be seated and eat mindfully. I wait until I can do that or I don't eat.

I LOVE healthy food. I really do. I lovingly prepare all of my meals and snacks. I have my own particular foods that work for me. I find them delicious, satisfying, and nourishing. They give me sustained energy for all I do in a day.

I exercise daily. It's like breathing for me. I never miss because I truly love how I feel and also because for me it's the best emotional boost I can get. It's my way of staying sane, grounded, and available to my daughter.

And even during this extremely difficult period of my life, from my husband's diagnosis, through home hospice care, through his death, and these four months after, I have continued to eat mindfully, prepare healthy food, and exercise.

Have I also been binging on nuts? Yes. Has that happened way too much? Yes. Have I put on 13 pounds? Yes.

I am here, where I am. But in relabeling myself as a mindful eater committed to self care, I feel better. I feel I am in my truth and can go forward trusting that my body will now come back to itself.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYANNE61 1/24/2014 1:47AM

    So glad to hear you have changed your perspective! Being a perfectionist sometimes misleads us to thinking negative thoughts when we fail to function perfectly. Be kind to yourself and listen to your inner child. emoticon

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TINAJANE76 1/22/2014 9:53PM

    Like you said, Julie, you've got so many wonderful habits already in place so it's a shame to focus so much energy and attention on the one negative. Focus on the positive and you will truly BE the positive!

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ONYX_SHADOW 1/22/2014 7:59PM

    You're so lucky to have such a smart and honest friend.
Keep up the great work and keep those positive labels going strong. emoticon

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CUTENHEALTHY 1/22/2014 7:16PM

    Yes, you ARE a mindful eater! And nuts are not Doritos!

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SUEPERWOMAN 1/22/2014 12:55PM

   
Isn't this great, and what a wise friend you have!! Reframing is everything. Perception is everything. You already have so much of the framework for living a healthy life!!

Love, Ginger

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HOOKEMBABY422 1/22/2014 11:12AM

    This is such a great blog. I'm going to try to reframe some of my negative thoughts about myself going forward.

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MIRRORBALLMOON 1/22/2014 9:54AM

    This is great, Julie. Yea for good friends who really know us and can go beyond just listening and actually help. By embracing this idea, you're starting to see the Julie we see: a strong, healthy, positive, inspiring woman who's going through a truly difficult time.

Last night I was listening to a guided meditation and the leader said, "The pain you feel will not last forever. Every moment you feel pain is a moment that you are getting through it, moving closer towards relief." This was meant for physical pain, but it applies to emotional pain as well.

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KANOE10 1/22/2014 8:34AM

    That is an excellent insight. It is so true for you. You really are a mindful eater. Plus upi love healthy food and really take the time to enjoy it. You are dedicated to exercise and follow it. All of these wonderful tools you have continued all of these months despite incredible stress. You are amazingly strong. You are not only a mindful eater, but you are a mindful person in your exercise and in your life.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/22/2014 6:36AM

    May you be happy.
May you feel my goodness and share my love well.
May you love and accept yourself just as you are.
May my happiness lead to your happiness.
May I honor your life's journey.

You can apply these phrases towards yourself, and those you love, and those in the world around you.
---------------
Well, I edited this a bit for person and tense, but guess what...you shared that little gem with us a while back. So...back at ya!

Your friend was right. You can to reach back across space and time and have a chat with the "you" that was grounded and centered and in control of nuts. I know she's in these blogs somewhere!

I'm sure she has a lot of wisdom to offer you!

XOXO and thanks for the goodie and the kind words dearie.

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
;¸.•*´¨
`*♥☆ Spread the Spark!!!


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_JODI404 1/22/2014 12:06AM

    Way to "turn the light of truth" on this binging label! emoticon

Consistently eating healthy foods and exercising are much more accurate descriptions of your lifestyle!

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SUNNYRUTH 1/21/2014 10:24PM

    Thanks for sharing your wise insights with us. Blessings to you and your daughter as you journey through this stage in your meaningful life.

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KAYTIE22 1/21/2014 10:01PM

    This is a great blog and something I really needed to read right now. What a wonderful way to move forward. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and valuable information with all of us. All the best to you and your daughter.

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DOGLADY13 1/21/2014 9:24PM

    What a blessing your friend is to you. She gave you a big gift to see yourself with new eyes. You should offer yourself that gift of mercy every single day and see yourself as a new, God-given treasure. Because you are.

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HDHAWK 1/21/2014 8:35PM

    You have great tools in place that you can and do use. I know you don't want to continue to gain, but you do have to cut yourself somewhat of a break. You've been through one of the worst things any person can go through. I'm sure you also spend a great deal of energy caring for your daughter and helping her through this as well. Be gentle with yourself. emoticon

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MARILYNROBERT 1/21/2014 8:34PM

    You are an exerciser and you are a healthy eater!

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/21/2014 8:33PM

    You are making me think. Hmmmm.

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DAYSPRING-STAR 1/21/2014 4:06PM

    Holding an affirmation close to my heart that called out to me from your words...

I am in my truth and can go forward trusting.

You can and you are. Thank you Julie.



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MINIUM 1/21/2014 1:57PM

    Here's my label for you: you are wonderful! Honestly!
Keep up the good work in the right direction, meaning some renewed happiness because you deserve it.
Have you read Triangle-Woman's latest blogs? They are about empowering ourselves simply by our attitudes. Great blogs!

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DIANESAV3 1/21/2014 1:00PM

    Your blog is so true on labeling ourselves. I have been quilty of that many times.

So sorry to hear of your husband's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Considering everything you have been through, it is amazing that you only gained 13 lbs.

Great quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

You can do it. Hugs



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KRICKET4 1/21/2014 12:39PM

    Dang those labels we give ourselves and others... I think we will always be a work in progress. Moving through life's ups and downs, we actually do define who we are and who we want to be. Glad that every day is day 1, a new day to fine-tune.
You're on the right track.
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FIFIFRIZZLE 1/21/2014 12:37PM

    emoticon
Beautifully put!
It reminds me of the story about the two wolves. We are all born with two wolves inside us, one with power for good and one for ill. As we feed the wolves, they grow bigger and stronger.Which wolf do we want to feed?

Your story has helped me to see why I find thinking about binging disturbing. If I see my eating behavior as part of an ingrained pattern, yadda yadda, altering it seems like an enormous complex job. I lose heart, I am not sure even how to begin. But if I just start to tackle it, putting my eating right one bit at a time, and keep moving, nek minit, I am making wonderful progress. The behaviour I don't want just falls away!
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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 1/21/2014 12:20PM

    I did this exact thing and shifted my focus OFF the alcohol issue and onto things I want to do and it's been amazing the difference. We are who we decide to be - and our words, our self-talk is telling us - GOOD FOR YOU for reframing : )

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PEGGY11 1/21/2014 12:15PM

    Not only are we what we eat, but also what we think we are. How we label ourselves. I love my body. It has kept me alive these past 70+ years in spite of the abuse I have given it. I am not slim and sexy, I am a work in progress and proud to be doing well. You too are a work in progress. All is a learning curve and you are on the right track. emoticon emoticon

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CARDAMOMMA 1/21/2014 11:16AM

    What an insightful friend! Thanks so much for sharing.

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EJOY-EVELYN 1/21/2014 10:50AM

    Love the reframe. You've got a great plan and will find the right strategy for those healthy nuts. When I buy unsalted almonds and the like at the warehouse club, it's a bit challenging for me not to dip in them too often. I was thinking it might help to track them in advance and experience the joy when you adjust you portion back. Hug, hug -- Evelyn

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 1/21/2014 10:10AM

    Great job refocusing your mind. You can do it!
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PROUD-GRANDMA 1/21/2014 9:47AM

    Love it! Thank you for the reminder!

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GLORIAMAJDI 1/21/2014 9:36AM

    Wow, very thought provoking blog ! We are advised not to label our children because of self fulfilling prophecy, but that is what we are doing to ourselves...instead we need to think positively about ourselves.

You are an inspiration Julie. Through all that you have gone through you have remained thoughtful, positive and you have stayed the course...okay, you have binged on nuts and you have gained some weight. But that doesn't make you a disordered binger. You are a healthy intelligent beautiful woman!

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PHOENIX1949 1/21/2014 9:15AM

    What an awesome best friend. This blog is a great motivator for turning statements into positive affirmations. Thank you.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 1/21/2014 9:13AM

    emoticon emoticon blog!!! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/21/2014 9:06AM

    What a powerful blog!

And you're living it. Good for you.

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ANDREWMOM 1/21/2014 9:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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