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A November full of Thankfulness #10

Monday, November 12, 2012

This might be the last one before "road trip". I'm heading into the last rush before take off.

I have random thoughts running through my head as I shovel the piles of junk off the dining room table and get things set up for my sister's stint as cat-tender. You see, my sister, the one who will be taking care of the cat, the one who is the survivor when we go do the "pink" walks... is a total neat-nick. Still, she's more mellow than she was in our youth, because she no longer cleans in response to anxiety as as frantically as I used to (and sometimes still, unfortunately) stuff my face in response to it.

I am the slob in the bunch, the one who doesn't notice clutter until it is pointed out.

Would you believe we nearly died sharing a room as kids? Yep, you would. No matter which side of the "cleanie / messie" divide you live on, you get it. Trying to explain what it's like to live on the other side of that divide is kind of like as a addict trying to explain addiction to a "normal" person.

So... here I am, putting the recycle boxes into the car for a trip to the center, shredding the piles that were already marked for shredding... and packing up the remainder of "unmade decisions" into a box for when I get back.

And packing. Packing road trip food, too, which is pretty much the same stuff I pack for a work day. Times about ten, to allow for up to ten days on the road... 3 down, three there, three back, and one to spare. All shelf stable, except of course for the freggies, for which I cart a cooler, and limit myself in amounts, intending to augment with judicious purchases on the road.

So... in all this turmoil of procrastination and making up for it, what's today's thankfulness?

Today I am thankful that I can laugh at my foibles instead of beating up on myself for them. I can shake my head and say "when will I ever learn?" But I can accept them, try to do a little better, and applaud progress without demanding perfection.

I'm pondering what comes next, too... but that's for a later blog. Hopefully it will "gel" as I drive! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/14/2012 9:15PM

    I am the schizo who can't make up her mind which side to be on, which perhaps is the worst as its a constant vacillation whether I will try to get things in order and be neat or have every square inch of space covered with to do or to read projects :P I think it may just be less stressful to be one or the other..I shared a room with my sister, but fortunately, we were both middle of the road..

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KANOE10 11/13/2012 7:43AM

    Have a great trip and a great race. My house can be a mess also. Fortunately my family is Ok with that.

Great blog. emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 11/13/2012 7:37AM

    you would feel right at home in my messy house!

have a great trip and be safe!

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MOBYCARP 11/12/2012 9:38PM

    You're down to one cat? Somehow I missed whatever happened to the Prisoner's litter mate.

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 11/12/2012 8:08PM

  This really resonates with me. I'm a not so neat freak who wants to be neat and organized. On top of that, I'm not sane. My DH says to get a housekeeper but I can't because I don't want anyone to ever see the house less than perfect ... I'd clean it before they get here and then be tired and pissed off at myself.

The only thing that seems to work for me is entertaining - frequently, so I'm on the hook for keeping up.

Hope you have a great road trip and can forget the house ... It'll survive!

emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 11/12/2012 7:50PM

    I have to be vigilant about clutter or it will take over my Studio apartment. Have fun on your road trip. I hope you have plenty of laughter along the way!

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WATERMELLEN 11/12/2012 7:16PM

    I am so delighted to know that there is someone else here who is a messy housekeeper!! The Martha Stewart/Betty Crocker gene just got left out of my makeup completely. It's embarrassing, sometimes . . . but there it is!!

You will have lots of driving time for reflecting . . . and so much fun with Marsha!! We will keenly await the blogs!

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LVMAMAW 11/12/2012 7:12PM

    Hope you have a safe and fun trip!! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 11/12/2012 6:27PM

    I can relate to your blog having shared a room with one of my sisters. I think we went in phases, sometimes neat and sometimes no so neat.

Have a safe trip.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/12/2012 2:45PM

    wishing you a safe trip. And wishing you good luck getting ready for your road trip.

OMG, I just had to laugh out loud at the "cleanie/messy" divide. Oh yeah!!! LOTS of sibling arguments about that one. "Well, why should I clean it up . . . I didn't make the mess." "I'm going to tell if you don't clean it up". "You are such a pig." UGH Memories.

It's not easy living on either side of that divide as you've pointed out!

HUGS

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SLENDERELLA61 11/12/2012 2:15PM

    Oh, what an interesting blog!! Which side of the line is me?? I would love to live in a spotless world, all neat and orderly. But -- and this is a big BUT -- I am unwilling to spend my life as a maid trying to achieve it. I have 2 messy and funny and active kids here 50+ hours a week AND a husband who couldn't care less if the whole house was filled with junk. He just doesn't want me to throw anything away no matter if it hasn't been used for 10 years or is broken. So there are times I look around and want to run away!! I swear. Hoping I can rest about it and come to terms with it and quit stressing about it. I'd like to feel good when I clean, not disgusted!!

Are we running away from home?? Or just running?? Change the subject. Turn the page.

So glad you are almost on your way!! Can't wait. This is going to be so much fun!!
See you soon!!

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DLDMIL 11/12/2012 1:52PM

    Have a safe trip and a great race. emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 11/12/2012 1:38PM

    emoticon
All there with you on being the slob half of a room-sharing arrangement with a sibling. My too tidy sister even laid out masking tape to divide the room, including the closet, to exact measurements.

Laughing at ourselves and realizing when we cross the line into strange compulsions and behaviors seems a lot healthier than being very serious about them.

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ANDI571 11/12/2012 1:12PM

    I told someone one time when they commented on me being a germaphob, that I still have a sense of humor about it, and as long as I could laugh at myself that I was ok. It's when I forget to laugh that I get into trouble.

You have a safe trip and lots of laughter to go along with it. emoticon

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DEBRITA01 11/12/2012 1:06PM

    We're all a work in progress and it's always good to be able to laugh at oneself. Life is way to short to sweat the small stuff anyway! Have a safe road trip and good luck at the race. You're a real inspiration, Barb... emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 11/12/2012 12:58PM

    Have a wonderful trip and a great race. Take some time to smell the roses :)

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A November full of Thankfulness #9

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today I managed to get the act together to stop by and visit my sister in law. I've written about her here before. She was diagnosed about a year ago with ALS. In some ways visiting her is hard, because I can so clearly see that the essential HER is so very much still there. But she is trapped in a body that is increasingly weaker and less functional as the months go by.

Since a recent surgery, she can no longer text or type, and she can write on a slate or notebook, but cannot even read what she has written because her sight isn't functional enough.

Each event I run this year has been in her honor, and my son's. She says she can feel that. So... today's thankfulness is for the agencies and organizations that are helping her. She is under hospice care during the days while her daughter works. And of course the ALS Association helping get the ramp, the wheel chair, the various support services organized and coordinated.

I love this sister in law, admire her courage, and pray for her every day. And also for her daughter, my niece, on whom the burden of physical care falls, much of the time.

Counting down the days now... emoticon is only a week away from Sunday morning! Carol, this one, too... is for you, and for my son.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 11/15/2012 6:45AM

    Hi again Barb--looking over yer old blogs trying to figure out where you are going-Lynda

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_LINDA 11/14/2012 9:22PM

    So very sorry to hear of your poor sister-in-law's condition deteriorating so much. It is distressing to see some whither away right before your very eyes and know they are fully cognizant of what is happening to them :( My firend Dorothy finally passed away Sunday and is free from her horrible suffering. It was shocking to see how far down she had gotten to. Such awful diseases out there. Cancer has stolen so many precious lives out there :(
Hoping these organizations will be able to keep your SIL as comfotable as possible in the disease progression.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEST_LIFE_NOW 11/12/2012 8:18AM

  ALS is such a hard illness. My dad had it. My prayers go out to you and your family.

I have been reading your blogs . You are fascinating. emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 11/12/2012 7:40AM

    WooWoo Barb!! Another marathon! You are amazing! So sorry about yer sister-in -law---must be such a brave person---Lynda emoticon

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COMETER 11/11/2012 10:27PM

    What a horrible disease--it certainly puts some things in perspective.

Wishing you, your sister-in-law and niece well.

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LINDAKAY228 11/11/2012 4:20PM

    Prayers for your sister-in-law. It's so hard to watch those we love go through some of the struggles they do. I'm glad she has good support.

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LESLIELENORE 11/11/2012 1:21PM

    emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/11/2012 9:32AM

    So good of you to visit. It is really hard. So glad she can understand your dedication of the races. And, yes, the time is counting down! Can't wait!!

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EBEAMS 11/11/2012 7:51AM

    Sending you big hugs as you are moving through this journey. You are such a kind soul, so thoughtful and generous in your spirit. I am blessed to know you ... May your light continue to shine bright on those who need uplifting.

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MSLZZY 11/11/2012 7:26AM

    Prayers for all for the strength it takes to carry
on each day despite the enormous challenges.
You will do well in your HM as you are doing
this for others as well as yourself. HUGS!

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KNEWMETODAY 11/11/2012 6:08AM

    Your sister-in-law is a lucky woman to have you in her life. Blessings to you both.

Kathy

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NEW-CAZ 11/11/2012 2:59AM

    Prayers for your SIL and your entire family, it's wonderful that you support each other. My heart goes out to her.

Good luck with the marathon

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DLDMIL 11/10/2012 11:55PM

    Prayers for your SIL and the entire family.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/10/2012 9:58PM

    It really is a very devastating disease and my heart goes out to your SIL, your niece and all your family helping to care for her.

Wishing you much success with your preparation for the marathon!

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DEBRA0818 11/10/2012 9:27PM

    Such a devastating disease; I am so sorry to hear that your sister-in-law is suffering it. She is lucky to have a daughter to care for her and a sister-in-law to run for her. You are a grace note in her life.

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WATERMELLEN 11/10/2012 9:08PM

    Such a devastating disease: I am sure your support means a great deal to her. And to her daughter.

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ARUSHING2 11/10/2012 9:08PM

 
Thinking of your S-I-L.

It is as you say rough to visit, but so important.

Pulling for you on the approaching date - best wishes for a great day.



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A November full of Thankfulness #8

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today I am thankful for many things, among them being a public school education that taught me a LOT.

Think about it, growing up in the 1950's, in Nebraska, I learned some pretty sophisticated stuff in public schools. Besides learning how the electoral college works and how to be a responsible citizen / voter. Besides learning how to calculate (we used to have to do it all by hand, folks... remember long division? Slide rules?). In fourth grade, I learned to be a musical snob.

This is a joke, folks. Seriously, they bused us to the symphony and besides being encouraged to "dress up" for the event we were instructed when to applaud and when NOT to. Later in life, going to symphony concerts in larger cities, I discovered that most places were not quite that picky. They applauded between the movements of a symphony! And caused a longer pause in the performance. I was shocked.

Tonight I went to the symphony with my sister the music teacher, and it was one of those more popular programs, an evening of Mozart. The final piece was a full symphony in four movements. When a smattering of the audience began to applaud at the conclusion of the first, most of the folks kept their hands in their laps, either being musicians themselves or experienced concert goers in OUR town.

Anyway... what's that got to do with Spark? Being me, I had to ponder this on the drive home. Bottom line for me? There IS no inappropriate time to applaud someone's efforts at Spark! There is no "between the movements" of the Spark symphony of your journey. Applause is always OK! So go ahead! Encourage each other! Give a Spark friend or a newbie a pat on the back. It's really all right.

Spark on! Spread that Spark! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBEAMS 11/11/2012 7:56AM

    Yep, we're all in this together!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/10/2012 8:17PM

    Love the way you can connect almost anything to our Spark life very convincingly. And, of course, you are right! One of the beauties of SparkPeople is that we applaud effort and results and planning and execution and all the steps and effort it takes to accomplish our healthy, fit lives!! Isn't it great??

Oh, yeah. Counting down to the big day!!! Can't wait. -Marsha

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KARIDIAN1 11/10/2012 8:14PM

    Here is a pat on the back for a good blog.

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TINAJANE76 11/10/2012 8:04PM

    I completely agree! I once had a fantastic and really charismatic leader at Weight Watchers who used to follow up every positive comment with "give her a round of applause" and I think that was a great lesson in being generous with the compliments and kudos we give to others.

Cheers to all that you've achieved and for being an inspiration to so many here on SP!

emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 11/10/2012 2:44PM

    so true----Spark keeps us going----I too had a public school upbringing---and it was good--- emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 11/10/2012 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/10/2012 9:22AM

    Yes, indeed! And here's a round of applause for all YOU have achieved and the way you encourage the rest of us! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/10/2012 9:12AM

    Totally agree: applause is always appropriate here! More like jazz applause . . . every individual riff!!

I'm so glad I had my typical "little girl in the 50s" piano lessons and went to concerts and theatre and art galleries from as young an age as I can remember . . . memories stretching back literally to the time I was still in my stroller!

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MAGGIE101857 11/10/2012 8:07AM

    Your blog reminded me of being told that we have to hold our applause during graduation ceremonies because it would take too long to hand out diplomas - how can you not applaud your own child????? Crazy world we live in!!!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/10/2012 7:59AM

    Great analogy, great blog! I grew up in the 50's also, and it was a much different time than it is now!

Thanks for bringing back memories to me of my "growing up" days.

HUGS and have a wonderful weekend, Barb.

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MSLZZY 11/10/2012 7:03AM

    Excellent advice!

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DEBRA0818 11/10/2012 3:36AM

    I am also very thankful when I think of the incredible education I received in some very good public schools -- low on indoctrination, very high on reading, writing, critical thinking and science. It has made a life of the mind possible (to the degree I live one) and life infinitely more interesting to me than it otherwise would be.

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NEW-CAZ 11/10/2012 2:58AM

    Great analogy Barb and so well put! I love the way Sparkers support and encourage each other.

Incidently, there is a row over here about kids using calculators in exams instead of doing long division by hand. At first I thought "you need the basics" and we had to use slide rulers for other calculations way back when. Then I learnt you can do long divison on a calculator- I have no idea how emoticon

Progress LOL
Have a good weekend emoticon

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DAWN14163 11/10/2012 2:44AM

    Well said! emoticon (praying hands - closest I could find to applause!)

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MEDDYPEDDY 11/10/2012 2:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 11/10/2012 1:12AM

    emoticon

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DALID414 11/10/2012 12:50AM

    emoticon

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KKLENNERT809 11/10/2012 12:41AM

    I agree with you on Sparkpeople--I like this site. I liked your blog, thanks for sharing.

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A November full of Thankfulness #7

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Yeah, we all know the Godfather quote: "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!"

This has been applied in so many ways, we almost groan when we hear someone intone it. Depending on just what you're being pulled back in to... this can be a good thing!

Today I awoke to find in my e-mail a message from SparkPeople.com that I'd been named the motivator of the day. What? After last night's "confessional" blog that I'd been having troubles with my program?

Well, this is a good thing I'm being pulled back in to: the Spark community... this is something to be really thankful for... that when I speak up about my foundering... my spark friends "pull me back in", remind me of where center is, of what today's featured blog (follow the link, it's really good) tells us "What I really, really want." Extra link to it, in case you don't get the e-mails:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5127390


Today I am thankful for the Spark, fro SparkPeople.com, and especially for the kindred spirits who are my Spark friends... who, "just when I think I'm backsliding..." pull me back to where my head is on straight... they reel me back in.

Thanks guys and gals... and... of course... Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBEAMS 11/11/2012 7:55AM

    emoticon

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COMETER 11/10/2012 8:20AM

    You've been an inspiration to me, and I thank you for it!

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DLDMIL 11/9/2012 8:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are an emoticon motivator.

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WATERMELLEN 11/9/2012 7:53PM

    You motivate me pretty much every day: so glad that's recognized with the "motivator of the day" coming along in a very timely way!!

We're in this for the long haul, no matter what. Little blips/deviations aren't going to stop us.

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COMPUCATHY 11/9/2012 6:38PM

    SP friends are the best! Glad you're here!...inspiring away! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 11/9/2012 7:24AM

    Oh Barb!!!!--Cpngrats on the reward!!--No, I won't reel you in---I have you way up there ----such an inspiration to us all!-Lynda emoticon

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SYNCHRODAD 11/9/2012 6:53AM

    Congrats on being part of the "MOD Squad" It takes a while of "in" to erase a short time of "out." Joey Toucan knows about this, but remember how it ended for Mathew Broderick and the Komodo Dragon.

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PHATPAT18 11/9/2012 6:43AM

    Congratulations on being a motivator.

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MNTWINSGAL 11/8/2012 10:57PM

    Congrats again! You Rock!

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KARIDIAN1 11/8/2012 7:16PM

    Congrats on the award. Very cool and very well deserved.

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NIKKICOLE83 11/8/2012 5:59PM

    Congratulations! Even the strong have tough days and showing your vulnerability is empowering and encouraging to others.

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LESLIELENORE 11/8/2012 4:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/8/2012 2:03PM

    You are a powerful member of this wonderful community! So glad your "head is on straight" again. Of course, I had no doubt. You've come too far. We've come too far. The Motivator of the Day was well timed. And the blog you referred to was another powerful message that a incident of overeating does not define us. It is just an incident. Our usual healthy daily habits matter far more. We are committed to health and fitness and the Spark community!!!

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WORLDSERIES11 11/8/2012 12:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 11/8/2012 11:19AM

    Congratulations on being a motivator! You definitely deserve it!!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/8/2012 9:25AM

    You ARE a motivator!!! HUGS

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SPARKLISE 11/8/2012 8:09AM

    emoticon I love your honesty. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 11/8/2012 7:34AM

    emoticon glad you're back with us and on course emoticon

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DEBRITA01 11/8/2012 7:10AM

    It's a great community, isn't it? emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/8/2012 7:05AM

    emoticon I got your back! HUGS!

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A November full of Thankfulness #6

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I've been having a hard time with my program the past few days. My brother's tag line "you can't out-train a crappy diet" is definitely in play as something in me snapped over the weekend. And once I start down that path, it's very, very hard to come back.

So that leads to today's "thankful". I am thankful that I KNOW I have the brain of an addict, when it comes to certain foods. I may even be thankful that I *DO* have that brain of an addict.

Adversity we face here on earth helps us grow spiritually. It certainly should teach us humility. This is my own rock / boulder to push up the hill. To find the motivation to ask for the willingness, and then the ability to follow my program.

Because as of right now... I need that divine help to get it back. It would be nice if I could say I'm back on top of my game. But there are no guarantees. Only choices.

Back... to... living... life (which IS good)... one Spark at a time! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBEAMS 11/11/2012 7:55AM

    Ahhh ... the brain is a tricky little thing, isn't it??? We can convince ourselves of ANYTHING if we just listen to that little voice that whispers to us. One thing that I think people don't pay enough attention to is that we are rebellious by nature, even those ones that are meek and mild. In some way, we all have those things that cause us to dig in and get our backs up. I find (generally) that not having control in one area causes me to "act out" in another area, using the old "coping habits" that I am so used to.

I believe in you ... and even with all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season bearing down on us ... YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Hug and prayers!

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DEBRA0818 11/8/2012 7:02AM

    Well, this is what we do, isn't it? I hope that you find the spark within you that longs for health and well-being enough to give up the far more comfortable and easy way of extra food so that you can return to the plan that created so much success for you.

Extra hugs for you today.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMSPARKER 11/8/2012 3:29AM

    i love all of your blogs, they are so thought provoking. you are right, I also have to recognize the addict part of my personality.

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NEW-CAZ 11/8/2012 3:02AM

    emoticon Barb emoticon

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DAWN14163 11/8/2012 1:19AM

    Amen! I could have written this blog....although I'm doing well at the moment, I've "fallen off the wagon" more times than I care to remember! *offers hand to pull you back up on the wagon with me* Come on lass, we can do this!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 11/7/2012 8:33PM

    Keep fighting, you will come through it and push that boulder up the hill. We are here for you as you have been our motivator. emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 11/7/2012 8:20PM

    HUGS! You have come such a long way and you certainly have helped LOTS of us who have the same struggles. Just knowing we're not alone -- you're not alone -- I hope that helps.

Keep on pushing, Barb.

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WATERMELLEN 11/7/2012 8:17PM

    That Marsha is such a wise gal: all her techniques are good! We struggle with this over and over and over again: the battle's never won, always still to gain. Yeah.

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DEBRITA01 11/7/2012 8:11PM

    Given life's day to day challenges, it is easy to slip. And, those old addictive behaviors are right there...ready and waiting. You've been here before and you know how to ride it out until willingness and motivation kick back in. Hang in there! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/7/2012 8:07PM

    Sorry for your struggles. So appreciate that you are willing to share, because I can relate so well. There are times I feel I am so far past all that overeating, and then.... And it is hard to get it back on track. That yucky feeling in your mouth and your stomach seem to demand more food/junk. But you do look in the mirror, and look in your eyes. You see a healthy body and you find determination in your eyes. You drink water. You eat veggies. You brush your teeth over and over. You look at the small clothes in your closet. You look at pictures of yourself - before and after. You read your own sparkpage and some of your favorite blogs. You blog. You did good today with this blog. I think the blog means you're half way back on track.

I have no doubt you'll make it the rest of the way -- right away. And you'll put it all in perspective, learn the lesson of today, and be stronger for it. -Marsha

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KARIDIAN1 11/7/2012 8:06PM

    I am at a low level too. Stressed out from work and I turn to food to compensate.

Hang in there.

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