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Bonus blog... in which I declare myself *still* a genuine Army mom!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Yes, it's that time again... a holiday weekend. I'm trying to live up to my promise to myself from last November, and this was one of those designated dates.

Original goal post:

This morning I *passed* the Army Physical Fitness Test for females in my age range for the second time. Not as high a score as on July 2nd, but passed all three sections.

* I did 28 pushups, score = 100 (max). emoticon
* I did 29 situps, score = 62 (barely passing, but this has been my trouble area, so I'll take it!) emoticon
* I covered 2 miles in 20 minutes and 44 seconds, score = 91. emoticon

Combined score 253, which I'll take. Next target test date? Veteran's Day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/5/2011 11:33AM

    Well done! That is interesting you have an easier time with push ups then sit ups! usually for women its the other way around! You must be very strong, do a lot of lifting or heavy work, or just plain lucky?
You go girl!!
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MS.ELENI 9/4/2011 9:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHEBESS 9/4/2011 8:22AM

    Good job!

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KASEYCOFF 9/4/2011 3:18AM

    Barb, that's fantastic--!!! I love the way you quietly go about progressing and developing good health - what an inspiration you are!
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GOHUSKERS2 9/4/2011 12:49AM

    Way to go!!!! I fainted when I read 28 pushups.

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WATERMELLEN 9/3/2011 10:58PM

    OK, is anyone singing "You're in the Army now"???

That's fantastic!!

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KARIDIAN1 9/3/2011 9:32PM

    That sounds like a neat way to test your fitness. Thanks for the idea. Will check into it.

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BARBAELLEN 9/3/2011 8:16PM

    Barb, you are too much! You are taking such good care of yourself are a constant reminder about why staying on course really makes a difference. Thanks!

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DEBRA0818 9/3/2011 5:41PM

    Congratulations Barb on keeping fit over the year; you've truly developed a lifestyle and a wonderful encouragement to those of us admiring you from a distance.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 9/3/2011 3:10PM

    Awesome, way to go my friend.

You are such an inspiration.


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MOBYCARP 9/3/2011 2:57PM

    emoticon emoticon
You're giving new meaning to the term, "maintaning."

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WORDLILY 9/3/2011 2:01PM

    Sounds pretty good from here! :D

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I missed the end of the month again...

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Midweek is not a good time for me to be looking up my "year ago" and taking my "now", so I'm as close as I can get with the updated progress photos. End of August last year, and today. Hair's changed, but for the most part, maintenance is maintenance, and it's WORKING!

If someone were to ask "what's different this time" two years ago, or even a year ago... I would have said, "nothing is dfferent this time". Today I can say that something is different about this maintenance, from prior attempts at maintaining a loss.

The first time I lost weight, I foolishly thought that maintenance would be like life before losing. Well, predictably (I can hear you experienced folks laughing)... it WAS! All the way back up those 30 pounds, and more.

The first time I got serious about losing (as in asked for and got some help with the process... learned about exchanges and nutrition and activity)... I found myself sliding up and down a LOT in maintenance. I used activity to control the regains, but eventually, since I wasn't making it a priority and continued to be an emotional eater, I tossed in the towel and regained a great deal in a single rocky year.

That regain discouraged me, big time. Who gains 50 pounds in a year? Seriously! Dangerous! To your health! But I did, and I knew how hard I had worked to lose it. While it was happening I was exhausted, putting career and finances, child, faltering marriage, crisis of faith... all in a basket of bludgeons with which to beat up on myself... and adding weight to the arguments of my unworthiness.

Still, I got as far as to see what fitness was like. I had been bit by the bug. While buried, the flame never completely died. It kept getting stirred up. Changes in responsibilities and routines challenged it. But eventually I got here again... to the land of fit... and I've been where I am for a year.

What's different this time?
1) I truly got all the way to where my body wants to be. That initial 80 pound loss, as great as it was, got stopped before I was really, really done.

2) The fluctuations even over the holidays were smaller this year. Yes, I had some "bad" behavior days, even some binge-y behavior... but it stopped and returned to sanity faster, as in with a single day or a few hours. I think I'm finally becoming a believer in "Nothing tastes as good as fit feels."

3) If I had to pick just ONE behavior that's physically different, I have to credit giving up soda. The bubbles fed my binge behavior. If I don't drink carbonated beverages, I stop sooner!

4) I know I really, really want it, and will do anything to keep it. I've had a health scare or two, and I value health more, don't take it for granted. I'm treating my body better, in general.

What's different this time? I'm more conscious of the effort of maintaining. I'm not taking MAINTENANCE for granted. Because, dear friends, maintenance doesn't happen like magic. It takes vigilance. It takes, for me "keeping it green".

And it takes a Spark-village to keep me sane. Love you all, emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/3/2011 10:56PM

    "Spark-village": that's a great concept! For me to maintain, I had to learn to think like a thin person. And accept that it will have to be a priority for the rest of my life! But yeah: it feels so good not just to take it off, but to keep it off: and you're doing it!! Yay you!!

(And thanks for your comment on my trivia blog: it's addictive, actually!)

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KARIDIAN1 9/3/2011 9:35PM

    Still a way away from maintenance, but you have some really good thoughts in your blog.

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MOBYCARP 9/3/2011 2:11PM

I hope I can do as well maintaining (when I get there), as you have done over the past year.

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_LINDA 9/3/2011 11:29AM

    Well done! It has been said maintenance is far harder then losing it in the first place, and that is so very true! I am more diligent watching what I eat now then I ever did in the 'diet' phase. It is all too easy to have those pounds sneak back on, one little step at a time and before you know it, you are wondering where the heck they came from!! Pop wasn't hard for me to give up. I went from 2L non diet (hate the stuff) in my 20's to nothing the last 10 years. Why? One day, I just got plain sick of it and couldn't stand it any more. Guess tastes can change. I don't drink coffee or milk, so that leaves water, and I drink lots of it and is all I go to when I am thirsty. Nothing else will satisfy me.
Here is to happily maintaining our healthy lifestyle, and our weight, for the rest of our lives! We can do it!! Keep up the great work!!

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DEBRITA01 9/3/2011 10:34AM

    You will succeed this time because you are figuring out all the other pieces to the fitness/wellness puzzle. You have the right attitude and vigilance to keep you moving in the right direction. And, as you said, you "really, really want it, and will do anything to keep it"...that is the key. Congrats to you and continued success! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 9/3/2011 8:50AM

    I guess thats the big have to really want it and you did and just look at your know!!! You are an inspiration.

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HOT4FITNESS 9/3/2011 8:29AM

    And I bet onbe of the hardest wa giving up the soda. It has been a year now since I have had pop. And I would agree that i don't snack and binge eat as often. I think I m less tired too. You have a had a good year. Keep up the good work!!!

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By the way, blogging works

Friday, September 02, 2011

These little pep talks I give myself? They really do work. Yesterday I blogged about the recognition of my own needs, and how it was my job to make sure they were met so that I could then fulfil my other roles that include helping others.

When I wrote it, it was in recognition of getting close to the edge, with concerns about people I care about being high, and my usual work persona of allowing others to interrupt, making their priorities higher than mine for a bit (don't want someone else staying "stuck" on their project, as the whole team's work is important). But I had got to the point where I wasn't getting my own work things done! And by Tuesday afternoon late, I was just about ready to snap. There was NO WAY I was going to stay late. I wanted to go see for myself that my sister really was OK.

I found myself saying "no" at that point to an interrupt request for help, and then falling into the old pattern after the fact of feeling bad for having done so, stewing over the feelings the interrupter might have had.

Then Wednesday night I was in bed and the phone rang. Rather than going downstairs to look at the caller ID, I picked up. It *could* have been my sister or my son, both of whom are high on my priority list right now. But, it was NOT someone I know and care about... in fact, I have no clue who it was, probably some poor tele-surveyer or marketer or charity solicitor... but when they asked if I was available I snapped at them: I was asleep! If you don't know me personally, you should NOT be calling me. This number should be on a "do not call" list!

And again, rolling back over in bed... I had those bad feelings about having snapped at this poor person whose job it is to make those calls. What if it was some organization that I *do* regularly support? Or a survey I volunteered to take and gave my phone number to?

When I get to the edge like this, it's a sign that something is out of balance. I'm *not* prioritizing correctly or keeping things in perspective. Yes, it is also a bit of a sign of the stress I'm not handling as well as I'd like, too.

So, deep breath, write the blog. Remind myself that a) it's OK to put me first sometimes, and b) taking small moments and putting some interruptions off for a while is not only OK, it's my job to prioritize... this reminder helped me get through the day and back to a better balance point.

Today, I will have time for work, time for me, AND time for the people I care about. Oh, and I *will* remember to BREATHE.

Life's good. Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 9/4/2011 5:22AM

    Oh, absolutely - there's a reason journaling is often recommended as a therapeutic tool and as a way of getting in touch with our feelings, as well as developing some breakthrough revelations.

The other part is, sounds to me as tho you are gradually moving the balance back to 'moderation': no one thing taking up all your available time (and energy, and resources). Rather, partitioning out a section for work, a section for loved ones, and most of all, a section for yourself.

Ah... for what it's worth, Barb? I see no section in there for 'telemarketers who don't give a rat's about the other end of the phone as long as they get paid,' lol...
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FIT-AT-50 9/2/2011 9:56PM

    Ditto Watermellen! Your blog is just the reminder I needed too!

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BARBAELLEN 9/2/2011 9:55PM

    You aren't kidding. Blogging really does work. When I started blogging on SP, I figured the purpose would be to help and support others. As it happens, the only way I could blog is to just let my fingers go, since I didn't feel all that inspirational. I started getting responses like "you are so humorous" and "you are so insightful." It was shocking, as I didn't see myself that way. But it sure made me feel good that I was maybe was giving something back, and I definitely found a vehicle for catharsis. Win, win.

So, what I'm getting at is you should continue to blog just the way you do! Sometimes it will be profound, sometimes it will be musings, sometimes it will be venting, sometimes it will be just about YOU! All good things! I love your blogs and always look forward to them! Thanks!

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_LINDA 9/2/2011 8:48AM

    I have had an unlisted phone number right from the start, but those phone solicitations still find me and aggressively so, two kept calling me at all hours, several times a day, until they reached me, and it turned out they were from my bank, trying to sell me extra features and I have no wish to pay for or need.. I listened politely to their spiel and said no thanks and that was the end of that, but a new untraceable number has been calling and hanging up when I answer, strange and irritating. I have call display, and don't mind talking to these people and saying no so they don't keep calling me, but its hard to do when they hang up.
But I won't allow any interruptions of my exercise and thanks to call display, I don't have to as I can call them back when I am done.
Here is to putting yourself first!!

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DEBRA0818 9/2/2011 8:47AM

    Writing accesses a different part of me than speaking or thinking does -- and sometimes leads to surprising revelations. It's a great tool for developing clarity of mind and purpose. And it doesn't hurt that it sometimes helps others too.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/2/2011 8:34AM

    Yes, blogging does work! I don't even refer to it as blogging -- to me, it's "keyboard therapy." Just the process of typing my thoughts reinforces them in my head. And I need all the reinforcement I can get. I don't write them to enlighten anyone but myself. But if someone else is able to pull something they can use out of them, then that's a bonus.

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WATERMELLEN 9/2/2011 8:10AM

    Agreed! blogging works . . . and your blogs frequently work for me too, thank you!

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People pleasing, introversion, pushing people away

Thursday, September 01, 2011

What does all of that have to do with weight and fitness (and for that matter an orderly home life)? Again, forgive a mature gal for taking you down memory lane, while I give myself this morning's pep talk.

When I was seven years old we moved to a new town, and acquired new neighbors. One of the neighbor children was a girl my age, so naturally, you'd think we'd become friends and play together. Which, yes, to a degree, happened.

However, I was (and remain) a bit of a dreamer. I loved just sitting with my thoughts and imagining things, making up stories. Example: after seeing the movie Toby Tyler, bouncing on bedsprings and pretending I was riding barebacked horses... fantasizing that Roy Rodgers would bring his horse Trigger to town and I'd get to ride him... as you can see, yes, I had the young girl - horse thing going, as well as being the self-centered star of the fantasy.

Anyway, my friend next door was shall we say more grounded in reality than I was? There were times when I just plain did not want to play, prefering my solitary fantasy to the work of socializing! But I was a "good little girl", and didn't like to say no to people, either. One can see the conflict, in retrospect. There were times when "Chrissy" would come to the front door, and I would sneak out the back to hide so I wouldn't have to either say to her face I didn't want to play or actually play. Avoidance behavior is deep in the reperatoire of a people-pleasing introvert!

Here's where it gets really warped: my mom would give me a hard time about avoiding my friend! I know she probably had a different life lesson in mind, but what I learned was to do things I didn't want to do or if I did what I really wanted to do, I should feel guilty. I learned that "other people's needs (Chrissy's need for a friend to be there) are more important than mine (time alone to think)."

Over the years and decades since then, of course I've grown up, learned a few of these things about myself, and developed other ways of coping. The underlying conflict of needs remains. I am an introvert who needs a certain amount of time to process real life events into my mental universe... and that time has to be alone time.

Other introverts "get" this, and in our family, we are pretty good about saying when one or another of us is "over-peopled" as we laughingly call it. But there were years and decades of eating the guilt of having said "no" to an invitation or request for help, or eating the resentment of having said "yes" when I really wanted to say "no". Others might recognize themselves in there somewhere.

Having done this little reverie, I need to remember today to ask for what I need, and feel OK about having done so. I need to remember to prioritize and that it's my job to do so. I need to nurture my body with appropriate food and activity, putting that first, so that all the rest works. Because letting one's own needs go unmet for too long is not good for ANYBODY... even those we seek to please.

All that said, Life's good! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOODWITCH333 1/17/2013 10:33AM

    I think it`s high time we Introverts stopped apologizing for being Introverts! I am an Introvert and am PROUD of it. Our society praises extroverts and tries to make introverts think that there is something `wrong`with ourselves.
I could easily go weeks without people. I am happy `zoning`on my exercise machines and loath the gym scene. I shop alone and could care less about anyone Else's opinion on what I am looking at.
In the work place, the kiss of death is the phrase `:not a team player. Never mind that the introvert does more valuable work than the whole gang of extroverts!
When I am around people, I eat. When I am alone, I loose weight. Alone, I am creative, spontaneous and happy. In a crowd, I`m shy. As a kid, I wrote this on my binder:
When I am alone, By Myself,
I am at Peace.
For I am One with Myself and know not loneliness.
But when I am Alone,With Others Around,
Then I know Loneliness.

I came to realize that it was not that I wished to be more extroverted and have more friends that caused my loneliness. It was that all the `noise`shut the true me out.

If you want to understand Introverts, a great book is called `Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a world that can`t stop talking`by Susan Cain.

It makes me sad when I see comments like Introvert, Unfortunately``
I am Introvert, Fortunately! emoticon

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    Products of our upbringing! I can, and have, delved into the Mom thing myself. Also have listened to my brother talk about it. It's what we take for ourselves that is relevant to our present lives and what we are willing to throw away.
I turn the tables on the thought and wonder what I have given my children. One DD openly talks about my "flawed" lessons while the other is more reflective. We all have learned to laugh about the Mom blame game and try to take what's best for each of us.

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KASEYCOFF 9/2/2011 4:36AM

    I watched a bio-doc about (of all people) Benny Hill, whose private life was very different from his public personae. Periodically, he would retire to his apartment for a couple of weeks at a time, often to work on new scripts and ideas, but as likely as not to recharge his batteries. Several of his friends made comments like 'He was as much good company for himself as he was for us' and 'He was always a good friend to himself' and so on. He was aware, as were they, that this was part of his being, something that benefitted him and people he cared about.

That's how I see it. Being alone doesn't mean (as you well know) lonely or isolated or reclusive. Sometimes it just represents a facet that is part of being individual. :-)

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MSLZZY 9/2/2011 12:19AM

    There is room in this world for all of us but we all need our space. No shame in that.

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WATERMELLEN 9/1/2011 8:32PM

    Nothing to apologize for: being an introvert just means you enjoy your own good company! Gotta replenish the well to have anything to draw on . . .

And overpeopling leads to overweight, in my experience: so much of socializing involves "force feeding" at worst and almost always time sacrificed that's needed for exercise and rest . . .

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_LINDA 9/1/2011 12:46PM

    Number one introvert here! I see some of the same things in me as you described. My problem was being in a family of extraverts : The noise and chatter would drive me to take long solitary walks. It was reinforced by always being told to shut up as I was the 'baby' and had nothing important to contribute to conversation any way. Still can't get a word in edgewise with my chatty sis and Mom.
I have had only two friends, both in elementary school, and nothing since then, and had a boyfriend briefly, but when he expected to come over to my place every day to be fed lunch, that was just too much in my space and that was it for that. Everyone seems to get the message I am not to be disturbed so I haven't made any friends since then, and I am enjoying my own space and time :)
Enjoy your freedom!

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DEBRA0818 9/1/2011 8:53AM

    My DL and I are also introverts -- we get more energy from alone time than being with other people. Yet, today I wrote about how that natural introversion can lead to isolation can lead to consolation eating and so that balance we always talk about has to be formed. Connection requires getting together with people; my personality requires a lot of alone time. Balance, always balance, not always easy to maintain.


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KALIGIRL 9/1/2011 8:12AM

Here's to tending to our own fields in whatever manner works for us.

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This and that

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First thanks to all who have prayed along with me over my sister's surgery. The initial went really well, and they sent her home to recuperate while waiting on post-surgery results. They should know by Thursday, according to my niece, whether follow up surgery, radiation, or chemo is the next step in her journey to wholeness. For those of you who missed it, we're talking breast cancer, here, caught early, slow-growing, with all the signs as good as they can be under the circumstances.

The "one thing" effort has been flagging a bit the past few days, but I'm going to have to step it up as I've offered my house for the Labor Day gather if we have one at all.

Dealing with the "finish line" of the Mud Run? Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) has once again spurred me to sign up for another local outing... the 5 mile Buffalo Run. It is only a couple of weeks away, and I'm not in shape to run that far, but if Deanna can speed walk those hills... I can certainly give it my best shot! Besides... gotta keep the fitness up in case of half marathon dreams for next year, or at the very least that triathlon I keep promising myself is on the bucket list.

And while I was at it, I also signed up for a 5K in mid-October. So... no slacking allowed! Mr. "you can relax now" has been kicked to the curb. I have ZERO expectations of medals or placement in either of these outings, because they are ones where the real runners show up. I've had my moments in the sun. Now's the time to just show up.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 8/31/2011 8:29AM

    Spark On! You truly are a inspiration!
Will continue to pray for your sister's recovery. Keep us posted.

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MSLZZY 8/31/2011 8:04AM

    A very positive attitude to push you along. I admire your spirit and dedication! HUGS!
Praying for your sister and a complete recovery.

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/30/2011 11:48PM

    I donīt think I would be running in races even if I was fit to, but maybe I should start thinking about participating in bike races, in sesaon I have five-ten different races, 4-60 km in the distance of 100 km from my home...

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_LINDA 8/30/2011 10:27PM

    Glad your sister's surgery went well, here is hoping she only needs minimal treatment to finish it.
You are winner just signing up for those races in my book!
You go girl!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 8/30/2011 7:09PM

    Glad your sisters surgery went well. Having gone thru Breast cancer I can relate to what she is going through. Mine was caught very early and only needed surgery and radiation.

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BUGGYS 8/30/2011 1:26PM

    I didn't know about your sister's surgery but am glad it went well and am praying for her complete recovery. As for the 5k have and continue to amaze me, really are an inspiration and slowly, I am building my endurance so that maybe I can join you in a race!!!

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KIKI0531 8/30/2011 11:26AM

    5 mile run .. wow, that's impressive enough. I am still struggling through running a whole 5k - getting there slowly but surely though.

Glad to hear your sister is on the mend and of her good prognosis. I will keep healthy thoughts in mind for her.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/30/2011 9:42AM

    Glad your sister's surgery went well and I pray that she gets just the right treatment she needs to get well again.

As for the medals, I think just signing up, training and competing earns you a medal. In my book anyway.

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DEBRA0818 8/30/2011 8:26AM

    Just showing up is the total prescription for success!


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KALIGIRL 8/30/2011 8:25AM

    Here's to showing up for life!

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