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So NOW what?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

After dancing around the "official" number for about a month, today the official scale finally caved and said "I give up, you did it... you're at goal". emoticon It has taken 9 and a half months to drop 57.5 pounds.

Beginning tomorrow, I'm on the "maintenance" plan. I've been a little scared of maintenance. Being a planner, though, I signed up for the "At Goal And Maintaining" spark team a month ago, and found a whole bunch of other people who share those concerns.

The one thing I know I have to guard against is the let down that comes with achieving a milestone. You all know the feeling: "Is that all there is?" I think I'm good, but I am cautious. How turtle-like, eh?

emoticon We're going to do it... we are doing it... and we are all worth it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 3/14/2010 9:52AM

    WOW! Congratulations. You know, Ive worried about the whole "can't lose it after 50" mindset, but I see it is incorrect. You are an inspiration!

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RUMBLETIGER 3/13/2010 9:48PM

    Congrats to you! How great is that - being at goal! Good for you. Keep it up!

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CYNTHIAF1976 3/13/2010 9:23PM

    Enjoy! Enjoy! Keep up all the planing and you will do yourself GOOD. emoticon emoticon

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PATRISNA 3/13/2010 8:53PM

    Barb! You did it! I am so happy for you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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DAMOTIVATION 3/13/2010 7:16PM

    Insert APPLAUSE here!

Now, take a minute to give yourself huge credit for reaching your goal. You did it!

Okay...did the :60 seconds go by yet?

All you have to do now is train to maintain. That's right. Do what you did to get here (maybe a little less fitness on some days if you prefer it that way, a little more slack in the calorie range 1-2 days of the week). Play around with the changes/variations until you hone in on what it takes to be this way for the long haul.

I believe the one thing that cannot change is the mindset to be healthy. That will never leave me now. It will keep me in a range and make me take serious stock before things get out of hand.

I do step on the scale a few times a week. I do watch the way clothes fit to make sure I'm not ballooning up and out of my new wardrobe. I am still using the nutrition tracker, but I think it has become more of tool for me to watch the protein, fiber, sodium than the calories in at this point. Helps me make choices throughout the day and isn't a real bother considering the rewards.

I've been maintaining for about 7 months and it seems to be working. Everyone is different, but you will figure it out.

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APRILLSCOTT 3/13/2010 7:02PM

    emoticon You are an example for us emoticon's to follow!
You've fought this battle, and you have won, and we're proud of you! Let's emoticon.

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CONCHA77 3/13/2010 6:41PM

    Congrats to you, Barb! You are inspiring and I couldn't be happier for you. I have come close to my goal, never made it. Good for you, friend.
Here is to continued success and health!

Hugs, Connie

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ANDI571 3/13/2010 6:03PM

    That is fantastic. There is no better feeling than of reaching goal. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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73STRAWBERRIES 3/13/2010 5:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/13/2010 5:12PM

    HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/13/2010 4:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So happy for you....


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MSLZZY 3/13/2010 4:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 3/13/2010 4:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am so happy for you. And you have nothing to worry about. You have joined a Team to help you with Maintenance, and you have already gotten familiar with the Tools here at Spark. You are making Plans for continuing this Lifestyle and I am so PROUD of you.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/13/2010 3:53PM

    Warm, heartfelt congratulations Barb. You so deserve this.

Debra_T has said it so well, but you know what this is all about now - more of the same, but aiming now for milestones of time spent at your home weight rather than pounds lost.

Your journey so far has been such an achievement and I'm so pleased that you're where you are now with the tools to keep the weight off for ever.


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DEBRA_T 3/13/2010 3:36PM

    Now (drumroll please) .... More of the Same! I hope you don't feel let down by achieving an incredible result, especially knowing that this gift was won by every piece of hard work you put into it, every fitness break you took instead of going to the vending machine, every meal you ate that was what you were supposed to eat, every minute you put into supporting others and sharing your experience, strength and hope.

We still need that, Barb, all of us out here who are smiling from ear to ear because you made it!

Congratulations!!!!!! And, keep on Sparking, my Turtle Friend.

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VEMAN1 3/13/2010 3:33PM


You are worth every minute! Way to go and celebrate your lifestyle. You can accomplish anything. Just look how far you have come!

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Morning musings over coffee

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Friday, so I'm wearing red. I was told about a grass-roots movement that started in Texas to wear red every Friday until all the service men and women came home. Of course, living in Nebraska, this nuance of WHY you're wearing red on Friday can get lost in the "sea of red" worn to support the sports team! emoticon

I joined the "Turtles" spark team this week. emoticon I figure I'm a slow learner over a lifetime, not in a hurry to get to goal, more important are the healthy behaviors than the number on the scale emoticon. Seriously, my last big successful weight loss, in 2003, I deliberately did not say I was trying to lose weight. I went on a "guy diet" with my son.

What's that? As my son explained, back then, "guys" don't diet. They go into training. For some sport. They improve their nutrition. They work out. They don't restrict, they make sure they get enough protein, for example. So I set out to "maintain" myself healthy. I read a book or two, I joined a gym with him, and over time, I found myself at my lowest adult weight ever, and at my fittest.

It worked. Of course, later something unraveled... and I stopped working out, let my eating get out of hand, and started feeling unworthy again. Back to "Fat City". I ended up in tears in my doctor's office in January 2009. He'd seen me lose the pounds before, and he asked me if I normally gained in the Winter and lost as the more active part of the year came around again.

I responded, "Doctor, my weight cycles don't last months, they last years." Brutal honesty. "Well, let's see if we can speed that up a bit." To skip the storms of figuring out what might be off, medically... that led to the surgery on the parathyroid gland in October, and here I am again, staring maintenance in the face, feeling a lot more positive and worthy.

And determined. For a lifetime. I know in my heart of hearts, as many Spark People know, that taking care of our health has to be a commitment for a lifetime, but it can only be met one decision at a time.

Here's to today's decisions... for all of us... may they be good ones! We can do this, and we're worth it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/13/2010 4:23PM

    I like the idea of being "in training". Have a good weekend and thanks for sharing!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/12/2010 7:21PM

    Love your musings! Wish I could just sit down with you and have a cup of coffee some morning. We're all going to take the solution-based approach to healthy eating now, rather than the punitive diet approach. It works better. We feel better about ourselves. We are healthier when we focus on health, not just on some number on the scale, which sometimes encourages very unhealthy behaviors to get there.

Congrats! So glad you are ready for maintenance agai. You are armed with all you learned last time plus all the knowledge and support you've gotten here on SP! Positive, Worthy, Determined -- you've got it all. It adds up to being healthy, fit women (I'm joining you, hope you don't mind) for the rest of our lives! -Marsha

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    One day at a time will see us to our lifetime goals!

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KALIGIRL 3/12/2010 12:55PM

    "taking care of our health has to be a commitment for a lifetime, but it can only be met one decision at a time"

This is so true and with the help of our friends, family and fellow sparklers, may we make the right decisions!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/12/2010 12:55:32 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 3/12/2010 12:51PM

    So many of us recognise your fat cycles all too well Barb and share our own variations of your current triumphs and fears. Yes, days and decisions are one at a time - but now that we have found a group of like-minded people who understand the issues, I think that we are all much more likely to make success permanent.

I have never ever had the level of understanding and support that there is here in SP. We are all responsible for ourselves but friends provide immense security that is every bit as important as the nutrition and fitness trackers. Just knowing that other, eminently sensible and capable, people are thinking similar thoughts makes me feel less stupid about temptations and mistakes. Friends' determination and practical experiences provide great role models. As long as we're not all having a bad day at the same time I think we'll keep each other on the straight and narrow because you're right, we are so worth it.

And, of course, we will continue to win small victories on our way to motivate each other.


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    Sounds like your son has a very healthy attitude towards his weight and nutrition. Kudos!

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DEBRA_T 3/12/2010 8:53AM

    Good morning Barb! I love it that you're part of the Turtle Team and that you have the kind of eye-opening attitude that you do. I also like what Ritarose said about losing the idea of what she can eat after it's all over. It's never over and that's the big difference and the great secret that we're all sharing here today because of you.

My husband's version of guy diet is treat food like cardboard and eat the same low calorie things over and over until the weight is gone. He thinks diets are one of the ways that women kid themselves. He's kinda right.

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RITAROSE 3/12/2010 8:29AM

  From one turtle to another, I think you are bound for success with an attitude like yours! Spark People is helping me daily to make good choices and to think of the long term, not DIET, but rather, healthy lifestyle. I started putting on the pounds during my fourth pregnancy and after. I haven't weighed this little (and believe me, it's not little!) since 1986!! Instead of focusing on after I lose, what I will be able to eat, I'm focusing on what is going to make me more healthy and help me to lose weight along with what kind of exercise will I do today?

Thank God for you and for others who are a constant encouragement!!
Have a super Friday in red! emoticon emoticon emoticonRitarose

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SUNNY332 3/12/2010 8:03AM

    We are worth all of our efforts!

Blessing to you too for a great Friday. I am also wearing RED.

Take care and have a emoticon day. Keep up the good work.


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VSWINGLE 3/12/2010 7:56AM

    Great blog...I love the "guy diet" idea. Thanks for sharing!

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PALEAN 3/12/2010 7:51AM

    Thank you for sharing this. We can do this and...we ARE worth it!

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One Word

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Copy and paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. It's really hard to only use one word answers. (OK, I'll play.)

Where is your cell phone?


Your hair?

Your mother?

Your father?

Your favorite thing?

Your dream last night?

Favorite drink?

What room are you in?

Your hobby?

Your fear?

Where do you want to be in 6 years?

Where were you last night?

Something that you aren't?


Wish list item?

Last thing you did?

What are you wearing?

Your pets?


Your life?

Your mood?

Missing someone?


Your car?

Something you're not wearing?

Your favorite store?

Your favorite color?

When is the last time you cried?

Where do you go over and over?

Favorite place to eat?

Favorite place I'd like to be right now?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 3/12/2010 6:52AM

    Fun! I love learning more about my Spark Friends.

Have a Fantastic Friday. I am going in today and work on assessments again. I got 5 done yesterday and hope to get that much done today.

Take care! Sunny emoticon

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APRILLSCOTT 3/12/2010 2:46AM

    This was a fun blog! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/11/2010 8:17PM

    Already played - although I didn't know it was just one word. Makes it much more interesting... (love the book store answer)

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So, how's that ten minute thing working out?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This day was a real challenge: I've had trouble the past couple of weeks maintaining that "ten minutes" exercise break thing. Part of this is outside of my control: I cannot stop people from scheduling me into meetings that disrupt my "normal" break time. Then I think I'll leave early, but of course I never do.

I've been trying to take the break walks whenever I can squeeze them in, but I have dropped back several days from the morning, noon, afternoon... to missing either the morning or the afternoon walk. Well, today I got both of those, through sheer will power taking the afternoon one at a later time than normal.

This was because my lunch break was disrupted by production issues that could NOT be put off. I ended up only taking a 15 minute lunch break, and only to eat and read a few pages in my book... because my next meeting was about to start.

This is the time in a project's life that is most challenging to my healthy living initiatives. Things are warming up, we are driving for deadlines... and I steal from myself to help out another team, or because there truly are priorities higher than the project for an hour here and there at a time.

And yet, today I feel triumphant, because I got on my treadmill for ten minutes this evening and did my Spark strength workout. I am so encouraged by keeping this one promise to myself today... that I hope it spurs me to keep another promise to myself tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. Never underestimate the power of ten minutes!

Day 73 soda free is now in the books! G'night all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 3/11/2010 1:28PM

    Your determination is such a credit to you Barb and your attitude spurs other people on as well as yourself.

Your work project has milestones and deadlines and your health project has milestones and deadlines. You are giving them both the high priority that they deserve.

Never underestimate the power of YOU!


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BESTSUSIEYET 3/11/2010 10:00AM

    Yes, the 10 min challenge is hard -- but so helpful! Good for you, finding ways to work it in through the midst of stressful work days! Hope you found the time on the treadmill a stress-relief last night! Keep on Keepin' On! You are doing great!!

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KALIGIRL 3/11/2010 8:53AM

    Wonderful that you are keeping a promise to yourself, especially with the pressures of deadlines, work priorities and colleague's needs. You continue to be a role model for me on those couple days a month when there are just not enough hours in the day.
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DONNALYNN22 3/11/2010 8:11AM

    I liked your determination and honesty on here. It sure does spark a fire under my butt to do it too. I know life gets in the way...I can tell you a dozen things I HAVE TO DO that eats my time every day. But, we MUST do this for US, as if we don't we won't be healthy, happy and maybe even HERE to do those other things later, ya know?
so..TEN MINUTE POWER!!!!! let's make that our theme! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/11/2010 7:37AM

    emoticon Day 73! WTG! Just do your best to fit in those 10 minutes. I sure hope work slows down a little for you. But if something needs to get done, I know you'll be in the middle pushing to get it there. Take care and have a great day!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/11/2010 7:30AM

    Your work sounds challenging, indeed! Love your commitment and effort. For me the 10 minute thing never worked because I was already in the habit of exercising in blocks of 30-90 minutes. Congrats on your soda-free streak!! -Marsha

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SUNNY332 3/11/2010 7:11AM

    It is difficult at work as we have to work around other people's schedules and the meetings. Don't you wish we could have "walking" meetings. It would sure help.

Keep up the good work and emoticon on 73 days of being soda free. That is awesome.

Have a great day.


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DEBRA_T 3/10/2010 11:18PM

    Awesome, Barb! It truly takes a Health Warrior of the highest order to put your time into exercise when there is so much pulling you away. I am beyond impressed that you are on Day 73 without soda too. You're going where I only dream to be.

Cheers, Debra
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Frequently asked questions

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fellow repeaters in the "losing" game, I'm sure you'll recognize some of these. Sometimes you're expecting them and pull off an answer of grace... other times you find yourself rocking back on your heels.

"You've lost a lot of weight, haven't you? How much?" Uh... which time? Uh, this time not quite 60 pounds. Yeah, I really had backslid from my best self, but I'm back. Let's focus on today, not yesterday.

"What did __(fill in name of significant person in your life)__ say when he/she saw you? Did he/she notice?"

Um, if I was doing this to get someone to notice, maybe I'd have an answer. And it might not have been an encouraging one. If you're changing your habits in an attempt to get a reaction from others, your motivation will not see you through the long term. It really had to be, as selfish as it sounds, "all about me" and my health.

The one whose reaction is most often asked about is of course, my son, newly on leave from a combat zone. Did he notice there was less of mom to hug? Hmmm. Well, if he did, he did not comment.

I have not lost that much more weight since he left (17 pounds). And, he's seen me fit before. When he graduated from BCT three years ago, he saw the change and applauded it. Now, I just look like mom to him... and I really like that he recognizes the fit me AS me! See where this is going? I want *this* me, this size, shape, and level of fitness to be identified as normal, not exceptional.

I think that is the key to long term success: getting the fit self recognized primarily by ourselves and secondarily by others as the normal, everyday self!

So, fellow Sparklers... thoughts on your own frequently asked questions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNA.MARIE 3/10/2010 4:43PM

    I think for me it is slightly annoying to be asked about it. I would rather someone just comment that I look nice (if that's what they're thinking) or that I look sick (if that's what they're thinking). I have always seen myself as a slim person trapped in a growing body so I guess that's why I find it annoying to be referred to as someone who is "losing weight". Maybe that's silly? Really, unless it's my direct family it's none of their business anyway! Just like Debra said, it's rude.

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    I think some of the questions I get are funny - after losing 90 lbs:

Did you get a new haircut?

New Glasses?

And I respect the people who ask if I was trying to lose weight. It isn't easy to ask someone if they have been sick. I would hate to tell someone they looked fabulous only to learn they had been ill for a year!

I forget sometimes that I have lost this much weight. I am so comfortable with this me that it feels natural!

Great blog!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/9/2010 5:32PM

    Probably the most uncomfortable question I get is, "Were you meaning to lose weight?" or more bluntly, "Have you been sick?" I think I look extremely healthy!! Oh, well.

You are so right to celebrate when those you love accept the slender, healthy you as normal! Way to go! Well said, too.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/9/2010 1:09PM

    "I want *this* me, this size, shape, and level of fitness to be identified as normal, not exceptional"

Barb, this is just the thought I've had in my head for a couple of days. Perhaps this IS the core of the maintenance challenge.

I'm glad that there are a few of us to work through it together.

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JENNIFERP23 3/9/2010 10:48AM

    So very true. At first, I liked the attention I was getting. Now, it is just plain annoying. I am trying to get back to the normal self I remember. It will be nice to be at my normal self again and stay that way.

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KALIGIRL 3/9/2010 9:37AM

    Since I announced to the world (and my wonderful friends), I was losing weight, I didn't have to face any comments/questions. My chiropractor and new physician (specializes in women's as opposed to men's health) both asked, but in a medical vein.

I so agree with you that where we are now is our 'safe place' size - that while our skin will sag, this is the shape that will define our aging temple.

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    I feel the same way ... that I'm losing the weight for me, not to get noticed. I don't mind the questions at all though. I find what's really bothering me lately is people who want to lose weight, yet don't want to do anything in order to do it! I've had people telling me how much they want to lose weight because they're so uncomfortable and blah blah blah, yet they tell me this as they eat a huge helping of fast food ... and I don't really know what to say!

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RENA1965 3/9/2010 9:07AM

    My boys lost their thin dad aged 8 and 10 years.. Kids hurt mentally alot and it gets worse when they get older, my kids will sleep peacefully that my weight won't kill me.. I will past the test and see them into manhood..
I don't care what other people think of me in dresses or if they study me to reunions.. I ain't doing this to conform to others peer pressure- just tired of lossing thin fat people in my family circle..
When thin people with normal BMI die out- it ain't about being fat it is about what we actually eat and think our throats are cut when we don't get it.. I am older and wanted to beat this problem and show myself I can develope into a responsible parent..

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XINIXINIX 3/9/2010 8:04AM

    This is what my brain regurgitated before I could shut the trap door:

"...I don't want to be noticed..oh wait, yes I do. Ok, I only want to be noticed on my wait, I like being behind the scenes..what do you want?..I don't know...I'll just be over here - hidden - until I figure it out..."

I guess my "fit self" still has some work to do.

Kudos on your "gains" towards health and wellnesss!!!

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SHARON2014 3/9/2010 7:58AM

    People are just starting to notice me, and I do get satisfaction from it ...I get the most questions from other women who are overweight, so I really don't mind. Their first question is, "what are you doing"...someone asked, "do you think I can lose 100# by June for a wedding?" and we had a good laugh. When I tell them it has been 1/2#/week, they groan. I don't mind the opportunity to share healthy lifestyle changes, but that's not what most want to hear -- they want it and they want it now and they don't want it to "cost" them anything...I know where they are coming from...I tell them it's a mindset, it has to start in the brain and the heart first...they just nod and go on to another subject. Oh well... emoticon

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DEBRA_T 3/9/2010 7:48AM

    From the fat end of the scale, the most frequently asked question I get is, 'Have you lost weight?" (Yes) "Oh, have you tried the Latest Crazy Diet That I Just Read About/Heard About/Saw on Oprah?" (No, I'm doing my own program using SparkPeople.) Thus commences an extremely tedious discussion of said diet and how "they" have discovered something crazy about how the body "really" works, etc. The obsession continues. *sigh*

I understand, according to etiquette, it is extremely rude to comment on someone's body no matter how much weight they've lost. This is a forgotten rule, I think!

Cheers, Debra

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CONCHA77 3/9/2010 7:42AM

    Love this blog!

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