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Routine is my friend... maybe

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

As I contemplate the habits of the workday... get up, shower, dress, pack lunch, put the oats on to simmer... Spark... go to work, take those vital walking breaks, come home, Spark some more, maybe exercise, fit in my "one thing" related to home, go to bed, I see a lot of positives.

But could they also be leading to some negatives? Like complacency? Or boredom?

It is important for me to remember a couple of things:

1. I need to remember the rewards for keeping at it. It's not enough to slog through and do it. I need to give myself credit for making the effort to keep at it! If I don't, the "why try" could come back.

2. I need to remember to speak up about my own needs: at work, with my family, and even... gasp... to myself. Routine is fine, and can be a servant, but it is not enough.

Let's keep on keeping on, but let's do a little non-food celebrating! Maintenance is a great goal, and especially a great one over the next three months! Heavy food-centric Holiday season ahead... time to strategize, recognize and most important ENJOY the journey!

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I may not always *follow* the plan, but I always do better if I have one... in the coming days I'll be thinking about how this year's Holiday season plan has to look to support my goals for a lifetime of health.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON2014 10/12/2011 6:50PM

    Now that we are both retired, I miss the routine of work! There does need to be a balance - I think that I substituted routine for self-discipline and now I have to learn that lesson!

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DEBRITA01 10/12/2011 2:20PM

    Having a plan ensures greater success, but deviating from the plan once in awhile or reassessment is necessary sometimes. (Rewarding myself is something I need to do more often, also)

emoticonYes, the holidays are fast-approaching...time to ready our plan of action to allow us to celebrate without over-indulgence. We can do it! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 10/12/2011 11:17AM

    I like routine and I like spontaneity--as always, there's a way to balance these things without either one of them throwing us off the track and, I suspect, it's calibrated differently for each of us. This puts me in mind of the Stoics who trained themselves to be indifferent to conditions around them. I suspect I'm a bit, okay, may a lot, too soft to emulate the Stoics, but I do like the idea of "doing the right thing" no matter what is going on around me (parties, holidays, etc.).

Should be an interesting season for all of us!


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BUGGYS 10/12/2011 10:34AM

    I need to plan out my meals and exercise to help me stay on track...if I don't, everything falls apart but that doesn't mean that I don't welcome change. We all have to find our own balance and plan accordingly!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/12/2011 10:01AM

    "Routine is fine, and can be a servant" The trouble begins, I think, when we become a servant to our routine. That being said, I need my routines -- if something throws my normal morning routine out of whack, the whole morning seems to fall apart.

As for a having a plan, I agree. I like the phrase: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Oh, so true. I need to start thinking about the upcoming holidays too. I think I'm in a bit of denial though. Usually by now my Christmas shopping is done. I haven't even started yet. Gulp. LOL!

As for non-food rewards -- it's something I haven't done yet. Not because I don't think it's important -- it is. But because I basically have no impulse control and when I want something, I go buy it. I will have to try to practice some patience and make myself wait for something to use as a reward. More for me to think about and plan for.

Good blog, Barb!

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SUNNY332 10/12/2011 8:26AM

    I like routine too but allow for changes when they come and don't get too upset about it. I know while I worked I was not as lenient as if I didn't have a routine, it wouldn't get done. I understand...

Today for me, flexibility is a much friendlier way to go. I like what someone said to leave room for spontaneity and joy. That was good.


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SHELL- 10/12/2011 8:19AM

    Routine has always been a double edged sword for me. The pattern is automatic so you don't have to think about how to fit things in but I fight boredom if I'm not being challenged by learning or looking forward to something I will let my guard down.
Thanks for reminding me about up coming Holidays and the need for a plan!
I already figured out Halloween, we just aren't buying any candy. We don't have trick or treaters so we don't need any "just in case" candy which we would of course then have to try......

I do need a plan for Thanksgiving, Christmas.... and New years. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/12/2011 8:17AM

    Variations on a theme: pattern plus changeup, leaving a crack or two for spontaneity and joy -- it's hard to hit the balance!

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MSLZZY 10/12/2011 7:04AM

    Yes, the holidays are coming and planning has to come with it. Find what feels comfortable but challenge yourself to do your very best! HUGS!

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Prepping for Winter ahead

Monday, October 10, 2011

It sure hasn't felt much like Winter is coming the past week. We've had 80's several afternoons. This morning, though, because the calendar says so, I had the guy out to clean the furnace, change the filter on the humidifier, and all that jazz to get ready for the heating season.

It was raining this morning and my sinus passages were giving me trouble, but I took advantage of the day off work to get on the treadmill early, anyway. I did not run, but I did walk a full 5K on that treadmill. A little more with warm-up and cool down. Still don't know if I'll do the Governor's Cup next Sunday afternoon... leaning toward it at the moment. I think I'm past my little rebellion. At least for a while.

And we shall see where we go from here. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada (and other places celebrating today)!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 10/12/2011 12:51AM

    I donīt like winter - my electrical bill will go high and it will be so cold to walk the dog...
yesterday I put my lawnmower away thus making room in the garage for the car...

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BUGGYS 10/11/2011 7:51AM

    We are in the process of closing down our summer cottage for the winter. It was hard to do on Sunday when the temps were in the 70's and the grand kids were swimming in Lake Michigan!!! Keep yourself open to this're body will let you know...sometimes we just push ourselves so hard that we need to step back a bit and reevaluate our goals! Good luck!

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/10/2011 11:34PM

    Well done! Preparing is key to success in any area! Keep up the good work!

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_LINDA 10/10/2011 10:55PM

    Sounds like you got it all figured out! Good for you getting the furnace ready -nothing worse then waiting for the first snow fall and find they are too busy to come right away..
The nice thing about a healthy lifestyle is you can makes choices to suit you. if you don't do this Governor's cup, I am sure you will find an alternate. It should always be about having fun and be interesting, not a just chore to get over with.
Enjoy your evening!

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SUNNY1432 10/10/2011 9:57PM

    Hope you take the Cup next week!! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 10/10/2011 9:01PM

    Finally got some rain today. Has been super dry here in Mn.

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MOBYCARP 10/10/2011 8:20PM

    Temps in the upper 70s here today; but the dusk at 6:30 after my run is a reminder that winter is coming. All of a sudden on Daylight Wasting Sunday, it will be dark at 5PM if we have cloud cover; and we get a lot of cloud cover this time of year.

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MSLZZY 10/10/2011 8:04PM


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SUNNY332 10/10/2011 7:24PM

    I walked 2 miles this morning and will do 2.5 tomorrow. DH and I are participating in a 5K this coming weekend in Kansas. It is a fund raiser so just want to "finish". It will be great walking with DH as the event is being held at the park where we walked for years. It will be good for us - we have a lot of memories there.

Hugs, Sunny

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/10/2011 7:02PM

    My son-in-law picked up our new lawn tractor from Sears today and delivered it to our door -- when he left he said 'Next time this truck is in your drive-way, it will be with the snow blower to clean your drive-way'. Then laughed ----

Oh no -- not snow!!!!!

Glad you got your furnace ready -- I'd rather be ready for 'it' than not. Good thinking!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/10/2011 5:21PM

    Oh gosh, I'm in denial about the "W" word. But sadly it will be here before we know it. Certainly before we're ready for it. (Can we ever be ready for -10 and a foot of snow?) But it feels good to know we're preparing, right?

Keep your mind open about this weekend. I bet you participate. I can tell you've started to turn the bend. Not so much for me yet. I'm getting my morning walks in and staying pretty close to my JC plan, but I'm just so darned tired and unmotivated. Beginning to wonder if increasing my morning walks up to 2.5 miles was wise. I've been doing that for a few weeks now and I seem to do well while walking. But I wonder if the distance is taking a bit of a toll on my energy for other things. I may have to experiment a bit to see. But for now? I'm dog-tired and headed for a nap before dinner.

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LADYCITY 10/10/2011 4:34PM

    I'd say if you really don't wanna do it and you don't think your body is ready don't do it, if your body ain't ready that would be just horrible to get an injury out there.

Just continue with your own personal pledge of getting fit and healthy and stay that way, that's the best prize of all and there is always next year for the cup.

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Grandpa would have loved this race

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Indulge me, I'm going to write about my mom's father. As a kid, I used to call him "mean", because I was a kid, and he was tough and gruff, and of a military kind of bearing. In fact, he had been to war, in WWII, and when he came home, he spent some of his hours and days and Summer weeks as a Boy Scout troop leader.

In high school, he was a track star. The family story is that he and grandma got engaged with a track medal as their pledge token. Of course, as a kid, the thought of grandma and grandpa *ever* having been young was... well... just not there. As I now look in the mirror or photographs and see thier features, it's a little more sensible to remember that they were once young, too.

One of my favorite memories of Grandpa is how active he was. I never thought I "was". Either you were or you weren't. On/off thinking, huh? On his 65th birthday, Grandpa celebrated, at Philmont Scout Ranch with a 60 mile hike.

Which brings me to the title line. The 2011 Ironman Triathlon in Kialua-Kona, Hawaii is about 15 minutes away from its cut-off, lights out. I got up to take my thyroid meds at the usual time, and turned on the streaming video. Now we are seeing the last athletes who will get the official timing/designation as "Ironman". They have swum 2.4 miles. They have biked 112 miles. And they have covered a full marathon 26.2 miles, on foot. They must finish by midnight... 81 year old just crossed the line. Lew Holliday just won his age division: he is an Ironman.

I contend that Grandpa would have loved this race. It is an extreme test of endurance and strength. I will probably never go that distance, myself... but never say never. The commitment to training, the investment in prep races, and the travel to exotic places. But I have a sprint distance one in my future... I can feel it in my bones.

Motivation rises, envisioning crossing a finish line with a grin... 80 year old just crossed the line with less than 10 minutes to the lights out! I can dream... and I can get fit and stay fit to the dreams!

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76 year old Harriet Anderson finished with minutes to spare, the oldest female competitor. Go, woman, go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 10/11/2011 9:59AM

    Makes me want to do our mini!
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MEDDYPEDDY 10/11/2011 1:06AM

    Love the dream - would never dream that myself, but can fully understand that you do... and I feel very insåired by 81 year olds becoming Iron women.

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MSLZZY 10/10/2011 8:06PM

    You've got to have a dream, right? What a super grandpa you had!

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LJCANNON 10/10/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon emoticonI am hoping that I will be "Able" to do things like that, although I have No Desire to do a Full marathon right now Like You I have learned to Never Say Never!!

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SHELL- 10/10/2011 10:52AM

    How inspiring! This story is why I love your blog! I have trouble just facing my stationary bike for 6 miles... and my rebounder..... I will push harder I'm only 59 I can do more. Use it or loose it. I have lost it and I'm trying to regain the active person I used to be.

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SUNNYWBL 10/10/2011 12:58AM

    Not only would he have liked it, he probably could have DONE it!

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KARIDIAN1 10/9/2011 9:10PM

    Amazing what you can if you set your mind to it.

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WATERMELLEN 10/9/2011 7:29PM

    Amazing!! An 80 yo friend of mine celebrated her birthday sky diving . . . she is soooooo fit and looks completely fabulous!

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MNTWINSGAL 10/9/2011 1:28PM

    When Jeff was a Scout, his Troop only did Philmont once every 4 years, so each Scout really only had one opportunity to go. When Jeff's Troop went when he was a junior in high school, he passed in favor of working at his part-time job at Subway. He was the only one from his patrol who didn't go....I'm sure he regrets it now. But wow - kudos to your Grandpa for going at age 65! You're right....he'd have loved the Ironman competition.

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_LINDA 10/9/2011 11:14AM

    I bet your grandfather would have rocked that race! There is sure hope for the rest of us if an 80 year old can finish an ironman. So much for excuses and I can'ts..
Thanks for sharing this very motivational blog to get off your butt and move it!!

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DEBRA0818 10/9/2011 9:21AM

    The human body was meant to move and there is no age cut off for that!

Go Barb!


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HOT4FITNESS 10/9/2011 8:27AM

    Tha'ts right never say never You never thought you would compete in a half marathon either. We just continue to amaze ourselves!

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SUNNY332 10/9/2011 7:14AM

    That is amazing - 81 years and 76 years. Wow.

Thanks for sharing and yes, I do believe, Grandpa would have loved the race.


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Saturday's pep talk

Saturday, October 08, 2011

We are facing the beginning of a three day weekend off work. I am determined that *this* weekend is not going to be like *last* weekend. I have taken steps to adjust my attitude and examine my feelings, my priorities and motivation. This morning was my monthly maintenance consultation at the JC center and I had a good talk with my consultant (who is, by the way, the greatest... and about to get married next weekend - congrats and best wishes to her).

Armed with all of this, I feel confident that the weekend will be a good one. I went for a brief walk as I was early for my appointment, and I looked up at the sky. My camera is too poor to take a picture that would do it justice, but it could have been a book cover... the strata of clouds with the rising sun playing on them is an amazing sight.

When I got home I went outside and while the allergies are bugging me a bit, it felt good just to be outdoors. For this weekend, I give myself permission to live, and to enjoy life, moment by moment, with no expectations for performance or for pleasing others... mindfully, with gratitude.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 10/8/2011 8:34PM

    Enjoy your weekend! I am working all three days. Just got back from our walk.

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SUNNY332 10/8/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Now - go out and have a GREAT weekend.


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GOHUSKERS2 10/8/2011 2:16PM

    What a great attitude....enjoy life!!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/8/2011 1:57PM

    I am sensing your inner peace returning, Barb, and that makes me happy. Wishing your a beautiful weekend in which you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

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NAVYMOM133 10/8/2011 12:13PM

    emoticon Awesome attitude going into the weekend!! You CAN!



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_LINDA 10/8/2011 12:02PM

    Sounds aweome!! You can survive this -just find fun physical activities to enjoy that will keep you out of the kitchen and boredom! Go for it!!
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ARLENE_MOVES 10/8/2011 12:01PM

    Enjoy your weekend -- with that attitude, you will!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2011 11:35AM

    Ohhhh, that attitude adjustment thing: when you've done tightening up the bolts, could you just send the wrench along to me???? Thank you kindly!

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Let's see if we can reinforce positives without stirring up the negatives

Friday, October 07, 2011

First off, Thursday was a decent day with the food. I didn't write it down, but I know the drill, and know what I ate, and it was all pretty routine stuff, so I know I'm in range. No "extras" or slipped ins... and I can do that when I am *not* in rebellion mode.

I consider that a blessing. Because it takes at least a certain amount of time to track, and it's more important to *do* than to write about. I took my break walks, because that's one point I refuse to give in on.

I ended up leaving work late. Not a good thing, usually, because lately it has been putting me in a foul mood, resentful. And we all know what emotional / compulsive eaters do with feelings. However, I came home to a ton of supportive comments on my last blog... and found some resolve for the evening hours in those. Thank you, Spark Friends! emoticon

This morning, I am pondering the resentment thing. When do I "eat" feelings? Don't know about you all, but I tend to "eat" instead of "speak" when I don't feel that speaking is "safe". So, mad at boss (i.e. not able to separate out the feelings enough to see the intellectual issues and reason / talk them through)? Hit the chips! Not good.

And since I'm "miss perfect goody two-shoes" I can't possibly ever hold feelings of "you're not holding up your end of the workload" toward my teammates, either.

So it must somehow all be my fault for not doing enough *myself*, right? (OK, chime in here... anybody else have this trap in their personality?)

It's not right to always blame the other fella. But it's also not right to always blame yourself.

Food, my drug of choice, has always been a friend, comforter, companion, to help me "avoid" thinking about the troubling emotions and how they conflict with the self-image I want to be me!

This isn't about the scale. The scale is just a symptom that appears when enough behavior drives it. This is about life. It's about behavior. It's about facing feelings, resolving feelings, and moving on, rather than displacing the feelings with food / exercise acting out.

Conversation in brain: "You overload me at work? I have to work late? So I won't get my workout in, and I might as well just eat." That is sick thinking.

Today, just for today... I choose to eat healthy, to plan for the good, to make sure I get those vital breaks with walking. Today I choose to speak my feelings, rather than eat them, if I can do so in a balanced, rational and kind way. And if I don't trust myself to speak that way, I will "take a break"; I will remember that "junk food" isn't going to make things better.

Every day is day 1. emoticon And life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 10/7/2011 11:11PM

    Well thought out and right on point! Good job!

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WATERMELLEN 10/7/2011 7:54PM

    "Food, my drug of choice, has always been a friend, comforter, companion": yup, that's me too. If I'm miserable, what could make me feel better than a whack of potato chips? Maybe some fatty salty dip with those fatty salty chips?? Yeah. Right. So that tomorrow I'll still be miserable AND bloated too.

But: something I have to learn and relearn over and over again. So: I really like this blog. And "liked" it too!!

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MSLZZY 10/7/2011 10:26AM

    I tend to get upset when someone else isn't pulling their weight (no pun intended) but then I find I will grab onto a project beyond my scope of capability and just do it. It might take me twice as long to do it alone as with help, but I work it out of my system. So don't tell me I can't do it because I will do it, just to prove you wrong. I think this a female thing becuase we always have to prove ourselves to the boss. Unless your boss is a female, we try to please those pesky males way too much.
Have a better day, dear friend! HUGS!

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DEBRA0818 10/7/2011 10:05AM

    Resentment is such a huge motivating factor toward self defeating behaviors and we go in a circle with it, spiraling down. I like the way you're thinking here about what is going on outside you, how you react and how you defend against that reaction. That is the whole ball game right there. Not easy to play, but I believe with enough practice, we can win.

Go Barb!!!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/7/2011 9:52AM

    Oh yeah -- you and I are probably twins who were separated at birth. I relate 100% with all you blogged about. "Sit down, be quiet, and be a good girl." Does that sound familiar? Doesn't quite build self-esteem or self-confidence, does it. But as long as we take it one day at a time and one choice at at time, we'll make baby steps forward.

And if you have to work late and miss your workout? Be glad you have the fortitude and will to take your walk breaks throughout the day. Something is better than nothing. You rock, Barb!

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NAVYMOM133 10/7/2011 9:18AM


"This isn't about the scale. The scale is just a symptom that appears when enough behavior drives it. This is about life. It's about behavior. It's about facing feelings, resolving feelings, and moving on, rather than displacing the feelings with food / exercise acting out."

You are so right on!! Every day is emoticon
Why not? We live in the present, strive for the best day possible, each and every day!

Thank you for this perspective!!!

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PATRISNA 10/7/2011 9:16AM

    Barb this was a great blog. I can always relate to your blogs. I think emotional eaters do hide their feelings with comfort food. I am still struggling with it.

"It's not right to always blame the other fella. But it's also not right to always blame yourself." really is so true.

You are right every day is emoticon


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HOT4FITNESS 10/7/2011 8:47AM

    Good thinking! taking it one day at a time is good too. I myself usually have no problems speaking my opinion or feelings at work. Gets me in trouble sometimes though. I tend to eat my stress. When I get overloaded or overwhelmed with things I tend to start eating and then can't stop.
But let's keep those positive vibes going, just one day at a time!

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DEBRITA01 10/7/2011 8:33AM

    "Speak my feelings, rather than eat them", there's a concept. I know exactly what you mean and can relate. Oh, how we often stuff our feelings down with food. Here's to talking it out when possible, and finding alternate ways to deal with our feelings when it isn't. It's Day 1 again...and life IS good! emoticon

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