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Required: One sense of humor

Monday, June 28, 2010

You have to be able to laugh at yourself... or at least laugh at the process.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here. It wasn't as beastly humid as it has been, and there was a light breeze. I opted to take my training outdoors, at a nearby lake (background photo shows it). I fully intended to take pictures, so I loaded up the fanny pack with the camera, the cell phone (I have old technology, people), and my driver's license and drove down and parked.

Being conscious of hydration issues, I also took my stainless steel water bottle. And I was geared up in my favorite fitness wear, from head to toe. I was psyched... this would be my first outdoor attempt at some good interval training, I mean geared up to do so. Yes, I had done some informal breaking into a jog while walking the dog, but that was different... I was going to jog, snap some photos, walk recovery phase... you know the drill.

Only... the last time I wore this fanny pack? It was the ice skating episode early in the year. I seem to fuzzily remember NOW that it was on the loose side then. I snugged it up to as skinny as the strap would allow then. And I was wearing it over top of jeans and sweatshirt then.

So... I start my walk to warm up. I snap a few shots to make the blog interesting.


See where the path goes? Yep, under water. We've had a bit of rain around here lately. Detour around the flooded spots on the path. I didn't break into a jog until I got up to the top of the dam. And then the fun with the fanny pack began... you saw it coming two paragraphs ago. It's no longer a fanny pack. It slipped, it slid, it was off balance, and I was afraid it was going to knock the pedometer off, or worse, pull down my knickers as it slid over my "missing in action" hips.

Oops. So, no more jogging. Rest of walk around the lake was an adventure in experimentation. Part of it was "fanny pack worn above the boobs"... I DO still have a chest. Not very comfy, but it did allow some short interval jogging time.

Next time, I'll be better prepared. Guess it's not just clothing you shrink out of.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 6/28/2010 8:32PM

    Great blog! Wow, have you lost weight!! Can't even keep up a fanny pack. Thanks for sharing this great story. -Marsha

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NELLIEC 6/28/2010 4:55PM

    In my case, I would have to wear it around my neck. Ack! Even better, over one shoulder!

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WALKINGANNIE 6/28/2010 4:47PM

    Thanks for the laugh! emoticon

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BUGGYS 6/28/2010 3:49PM

    Wouldn't have worked on my boobs...I don't have any! Love the lake and the funny blog! emoticon

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REJ7777 6/28/2010 2:26PM

    Live and learn! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congratulations on your determination! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/28/2010 1:44PM

    Too funny (although I'm sure it wasn't @ the time).
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DEBRITA01 6/28/2010 1:28PM

    emoticon Thanks for the visual...too funny! Sometimes you've got to be able to laugh or you'll cry...good to chose the former. You are determined, I will say that for you...no sagging fanny pack or flooded pathways stopped you from walking. Sometimes you just can't plan for these type of situations, you've got to just roll with it...and you did!

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ALOHAEV1 6/28/2010 12:21PM

    Pfffttt that is weigh funny, and you may have started a whole new fashion trend -

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BLUEANGELLK 6/28/2010 10:16AM

    You are creative with your solutions. Maybe you should market the "boob pack" You could make a few bucks!!!

LOL!!

Congra
tulations on your non-existent hips

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SUSIEMILO 6/28/2010 10:00AM

    How funny! But also very good news.
We've always said there is more than one way to measure our weight loss, and you've added another method to the list!
LOL
Great blog -- thanks for sharing.
PS -- beautiful location for outdoor activity.
Maybe Kayaking or Canoeing next time?

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ANDI571 6/28/2010 9:34AM

    I think we needed a picture of the boob pack. To funny. I think you are the first on the fanny pack being to big. emoticon

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CONCHA77 6/28/2010 8:54AM

    So proud of you, Barb. You have come a long way since I first "spotted" you. Love your spirit. emoticon

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THIAGRAM 6/28/2010 8:50AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon
This is so funny!
Thanks for sharing!
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PATRISNA 6/28/2010 8:48AM

    Where there's a will there's a way...Great idea! emoticon

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BTW I loved your blog photo and the new background photo.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/28/2010 8:20AM

    The visuals are priceless -- thanks for putting a smile on my face bright and early this morning. So now you've made a new invention. Instead of the fanny pack, women can now purchas e abooby pack -- LOL!

Good job on the walking/jogging. I'll be going back to my old friend, the elliptical in a few minutes. No doubt I'll get another few chuckles when I remember your fannypack story.

Have a great Monday!

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KASEYCOFF 6/28/2010 7:55AM

    Oh, Barb, that is great! You no longer have a fanny pack, but a boob pack, lol... I wondered if it would work better as some kind of shoulder bag, as I read along, but I don't guess that would work when you were jogging. Your solution is priceless! :-D

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Six Months without a Soda

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Call it "pop", "Coke", "soda", whatever, depending on your region of the world, but I finally gave up the bubbles on December 27, 2009, having my last diet soda with my Christmas dinner. (For those of you who don't remember, Christmas dinner was delayed by snowstorm until the 27th.)

I knew yesterday that I would blog about this today, because it's a relevant factor of my motivational cycle. What I have noticed, is that getting closer to this milestone, and with hot weather in full force, the temptation to have one has been high. And just having this date staring me in the face gave me a little stop-gap strategy: "If I can just hold off 'til the 4th of July... I'll give myself permission to have ONE soda that day."

That got me through some difficult days, and now, I'm at the half-year mark, and facing decisions:

Is this really a permanent change? Have I become a non-soda drinker? For ever? Or... should I allow myself the possibility of becoming a "once or twice a year on special occasions" soda imbiber? As with 12-step programs, this is a decision that can be made one choice at a time... "for today".

To branch off in another direction: yesterday after my shower I became aware that my towel had worn out... it was developing a bare patch. This is a really, really old towel. I acquired it in high school, when my mom let me choose colors for my room. It's orange, a bright, sunny, cheerful color that spoke to my teen-aged self of energy and a future. Now, it's old, and thread-bare. It is destined for the trash (or to be a car-wash towel, rather). I think I've got my mom's money's worth out of this one!

But noticing the old towel and recognizing how long I've held on to it (we're talking 40 years here)... took the mind in the direction of "what else do I hang on to"? And that led to habits and coping strategies... sometimes we hang on to them beyond the point of threadbare, too. Or maybe that's just me.

When they stop being useful, what do YOU do with them? Do they hang around and get taken out from time to time? Or are they really, really gone?

The old towel and the soda habit. Will the towel be in the trash six months from now? And will I still be soda-free? To be continued... call me on it next Christmas, OK?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIESTY 6/28/2010 7:31AM

    Awesome blog! You are so where I want to be! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 6/27/2010 9:11PM

  One of the very most wonderful, marvelous things about this life is that we make our own decisions! The big trick is to know that we are making the decisions. So if you decide that 2 pops a year is what you want, then you would be able to carry that out and keep that commitment to yourself. It's all a matter of what you want to decide! You can decide to keep the towel as a reminder not to have pop or you could decide to have pop every day just because it's ok on the 4th of July or you could decide to make the towel into a teddy bear! Or you might decide not to decide and that is still a decision! Or you might to decide to never drink pop ever again. It's all a matter of what you decide! So have fun deciding!!
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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/27/2010 12:59PM

    Good job on the soda goal. If you have the self-discipline to allow just one or two for special occasions, then I say go for it and enjoy it. But if one or two will put you back in the habit, then you're probably better of just staying away from it.

As for the towel -- after having it so long, if it were me, I'd have a hard time throwing it a way. There'd be way too much sentimental value attached to it.

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WALKINGANNIE 6/27/2010 12:09PM

    Wonderful blog Barb.

You have done SO well with the soda. You might even find that your tastes have changed if you do try some? I know that some of my old favourites have lost their appeal now, especially if they taste too sugary. (Not everything has though!)

I love the towel analogy and will think about any threadbare habits and attitudes that I might be hanging onto.

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SLENDERELLA61 6/27/2010 11:39AM

    Congratulations on a major milestone!! As someone who has gone from 6 diet sodas a day to about 2 a week, I can join in this celebration. However, my admiration for you as a teetotaler is huge!! Whether you decide to go for moderation or abstinence, your life will be better because of the choice you have made.

As far as holding on to things, I'm going to have to ponder that one. Perhaps at the gym today I'll make a point to think about things I'm holding on to too much as I burn calories on the elliptical. Thanks for a great blog! And, again, congrats on your achievement. Those stars on your calendar are well deserved! -Marsha

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ANDI571 6/27/2010 10:16AM

    Oh my gosh, I am so proud of you. I made it 7 days when I tried to quit the diet pop addiction. Then I was doing really good at just having 1 a day. Then it went up to 2 a day, and now I am back almost in full swing. I am probably 25% better. I did have water for breakfast.

I have so much respect for you. To me it's easier for me to eat healthy than it is to give up my pop. emoticon emoticon

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SOCKS117 6/27/2010 9:23AM

  Personally, I don't really like soda, so I only have it on the rare occasion that a share a sip of hubby's or my sister's - I have never even finished my own can, since probably, oh, middle school. The bubbles make my tummy feel really full and unpleasant...

Anyway, if you feel you are strong enough to not start drinking it every day if you only have one, I can't imagine that moderation of soda will hurt you.

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KASEYCOFF 6/27/2010 9:21AM

    If it's the 'ghost' of the soda habit that hangs on, rather than a genuine desire for soda, maybe it would help if you thought about WHY you want one (maybe you already have thought about this, lol). What makes it seem a treat that you think you will allow yourself one on the holiday? Is it the caffeine that appeals to you? The flavor? The fizziness? If it's diet soda instead of 'full sugar,' is it the artificial sweetener that calls to you? And as for the old towel - yes, it still has use, as a car-washing cloth, as a dustrag, as something. It's one thing to hang onto old, but still usable, things... something else to hang onto habits that were long since unnecessary and left behind. IMHO :-)

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PATRISNA 6/27/2010 8:55AM

    Congratulations on your six months without soda pop! If you decide to have one you should drink one of the regular ones and make it a flavor or brand you really love. Pour it in one of your best glasses and savor the color smell and taste. It will be a celebration to your good health.

Have you ever seen the old ads that say Coca-Cola is good for you? I have seen one saying Ginger ale helps your digestion.

Your blogs always give me something to think about. Hope you have a great week.



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MAMOOAUG 6/27/2010 8:29AM

    emoticon It's hard to give up something that you love. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.

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CONCHA77 6/27/2010 8:19AM

    I have a old kitchen towel that belonged to my mom and I can't throw it away. It sits in my kitchen drawer and I even get it out once in a while and use it. You can see through it even, LOL. Once of these days I just might have to throw it away (but I doubt it)
I use to drink at least 2-3 diet sodas a day. I am so happy that I decided to quit that habit though I might drink a can or bottle once or twice a year. It's usually a root beer or a real coke, not diet. I figure if I am going to have one I am going to go full force, sugar and all.
Congrat to you for quitting your pop habit, don't you feel better now that you are not drinking them now?

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It's the weekend... must be time for that jogging workout.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's Day 3 of my "blog for a month" challenge. What I am discovering is that the commitment to blog brings some other good habits with it. In an effort to have things to blog about, I find myself keeping those promises to myself... and also because I'm writing about motivation it makes it easier to keep those promises. Sounds like a win-win.

As for last weekend's little lapse with the emotional eating, looking to avoid it this weekend, partly BY blogging. Accountability comes in many forms.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 6/26/2010 5:40PM

    Sure does sound like win-win! Blogging helps keep us honest. Honest with ourselves first of all. When we know we're going to blog about something, it helps us to be more aware and conscious of the fact that we are, in fact, making choices. Keep on blogging and making those healthy choices. You're getting great results! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/26/2010 5:40:41 PM

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KASEYCOFF 6/26/2010 5:24PM

    Yep, I think you've got a point there, Barb: it's these things that help keep us on track. Reading other people's blogs is a great way to learn, too - and motivating! You're doing great, kiddo. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 6/26/2010 5:20PM

    Love the new pics.

I agree that blogging is a great way to keep accountable. It works for me anyway.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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THIAGRAM 6/26/2010 3:18PM

  This is so true!! Thanks for sharing!

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LJCANNON 6/26/2010 2:22PM

    Accountability does indeed come in many forms. And the Criss-Cross effect of one good habit Sparking another one is much more real than I believed when I read Chris Downey's book the first time.
emoticonMight be time for me to go back and read it again?

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FRAN0426 6/26/2010 1:21PM

    Good job on the blog for the month challenge; and as for the lapse last weekend---we are humans who make mistakes, and once in awhile we just don't follow through with what we planned for ourselves. Learn from it and move on, thats how we get to making healthy choices---good luck to you.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/26/2010 12:50PM

    You are absolutely correct. I find that when I blog, I hold myself more accountable.

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Getting the Spark On!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 2 of the blog for a month challenge - my spark a day calendar tells me to journal about motivation today. Funny how the timing of things on a calendar can fit so perfectly at times!

Seriously, motivation is the key to everything, isn't it? WHY am I doing this? WHY do I care? Aren't those the little devil-voices that haunt our footsteps (and meal choices)... emoticon

I don't know how many of you are self-help junkies (like me), but there is this book that's been around for a while, so it's probably somewhat "out of fashion". It's called The Solution, written by Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D., the creator of the Shapedown Program at U of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Copyright 1997. The purpose of the program was to help adolescents with weight issues.

This book was an eye-opener for me, back in that time frame, and some parts of it I wasn't ready for yet. But it identified six causes and six cures, divided into three areas: MIND, BODY, and LIFESTYLE.

In the section on MIND, were the causes Weak Nurturing and Ineffective Limits. Their corresponding cures? Strong Nurturing and Effective Limits.

BODY outlined causes of Body Shame and Poor Vitality, countered by cures Body Pride and Good Health (that's the part I wasn't ready for at the time).

Finally, LIFESTYLE causes were Unbalanced Eating and Stalled Living. Their cures were Balanced Eating and Mastery Living.

The interesting thing about this and many other books that address those of us who struggle with weight issues over and over again... they all boil down to some combination of these factors. Pick your favorite metaphor, your guru, your program (even down to our friendly experts here at SparkPeople.com). All preaching the same stuff: this is not a one-dimensional problem!

Motivation must be addressed first and foremost... because if you lack that, all the knowledge in the world of "how" won't help!

All that soap-boxing over, just what is my motivation, today? Yesterday, on the drive to work, it dawned on me that this boils down to a couple very simple questions:

1. Do you want to keep living? Well, yes, of course, duh! OK, so not depressed. Passed that test. emoticon

2. What do you want your quality of life to be like for the rest of your life?

I want to be functionally fit... just look at what I rejoiced about it blogs recently... being able to climb stairs without hyperventilating... being able to help someone move without suffering for a long time after the effort. I want to be ABLE. That's the bottom line for me. I want to be independent, physically and mentally... the helper, not the victim.

A simple motivation perhaps, but it is abundantly clear for those of us in our second-half century. Even if we got away with some not so healthy behaviors in the past... has it served us well? How did I feel when I behaved that way long-term? How have I felt while "on program" (in whichever incarnation that was, dating back to, say 1989)?

Bottom line, I am doing this because it makes me a happier, healthier person. And that's for my own benefit and the benefit of those around me!

What's keeping YOU going today?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 6/26/2010 5:50PM

    Talk about motivation, what a motivational blog!

"What do you want your quality of life to be like for the rest of your life?" Sometimes, when we *wake up* and start taking care of our health late in life, we can become weighed down with remorse (which is as useless as excess fat!). This blog is a reminder that it's not about the past, it's about the future! I want to be *ABLE* too! Thank you. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/25/2010 12:32PM

    Great blog.
"Able" - that sums it up and if that's not motivation, I don't know what is...
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ANDI571 6/25/2010 10:03AM

    Hey Barb, I am one of those self-help people also. I drive my daughter and sometimes my DH crazy. I'm not perfect by no means, but at least I keep trying. I don't give up.

My daughter laughs at me because I am always buying a new "diet" book. But I told her it interests me. I wish I would have become a nutritionist back when.

After the liver scare, I bought a LIVESTRONG bracelet and wear it as a reminder of why I am on this journey.

Keep up the good work. emoticon

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PATRISNA 6/25/2010 8:14AM

    Barb,
I love your bottom line. I am going to write that in my journal for motivation! Hope you have a great weekend!

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KASEYCOFF 6/25/2010 7:57AM

    I'm with you on the 'self-help' books and articles: if I glean even one good suggestion, then it will have been worth my time to read it. And for what it's worth, I love your goal of '...I want to be ABLE.' Yep. Very worthy goal, that. Good one, Barb. :-)

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WCATAP 6/25/2010 7:49AM

    God has to be at the helm. He is our creator and my motivation is that I realized I'mnot being a good steward of the body he gave me. All we have and all we are is from him. Just as we should be financially responsible, morally responsible, care for our homes and kids, we are also called to care for our bodies. Not for vanity, but towards health.

Many blessings on your journey! Good blog. I teach a class called 3-D. I post each weeek the focus points. Check out my blog if youget a chance. It's a complete approach to health. Mind body and spirit. You can't omit the spiritual side. That is my motivation.

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Video games and Sparking

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Confession: While I've been in this little motivational paralysis place, I've been hiding out in some of the Facebook based video games, and neglecting my Sparking.

Realization: I haven't been getting my e-mail notifications of my favorite message board updates. I have to be more proactive getting my daily Sparks! And I really NEED those daily sparks! This morning I got one by going to my friend feed and finding someone else's blog... and seeing her turn herself around and write about it. It's important to share. It's inspiring to see that not only CAN it be done, but lots of people just like me, with struggles and challenges and real lives ARE doing it... one foot in front of the other!

Resolution: So, since I'm not getting the e-mails to get me going, perhaps a personal challenge and resolution will do it. I resolve to come blog six out of seven days for the next month... good or bad, whine or cheer, how it's going and any random thoughts. This will probably turn into my little pep talk to myself.

To the present, and living in it!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 6/24/2010 9:27PM

    Nice seeing you again, Barb. And I love that new profile picture too! You look great.

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LJCANNON 6/24/2010 7:31PM

    I am looking forward to your blogs. It really is a challenge to manage our addictions to Spark or FaceBook. It is a lot like Portion Control for the Computer. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/24/2010 1:31PM

    Glad to hear it!
Missed you.
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WALKINGANNIE 6/24/2010 1:23PM

    I have missed you recently Barb and look forward to your blogs over the next few weeks. What you wrote yesterday really helped me. In replying to you, I realised that I was giving myself some self-talk too.

Thanks.

We all have off-days and sometimes they come in groups. That's why I blog so often. It keeps me focused and accountable to myself. I'm much more self-reliant than I was but I still don't think that I can do this alone without constant reinforcement of the Spark lessons.

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ANGELZ96 6/24/2010 12:45PM

    I am a FB addict also, but I find myself spending a lot more time on SP now. I still get my daily fix of both, but at least with SP, I'm doing something positive for myself...besides, I need those SparkPoints. emoticon

I'm glad you took control & decided to challenge yourself.

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KASEYCOFF 6/24/2010 12:06PM

    WooHOO! I'm with Mary on this one: I love reading your blogs. You can count on having an enthusiastic audience, fer sher! :-D p.s. I wondered where you were. Bejeweled has sucked up hours of my time. Dunno how it happens, lol...

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/24/2010 11:02AM

    YEAH! Can't wait to start reading those blogs of yours again.

PS: You didn't get yourself addicted to FarmVille, did you? I was so bad and spending so many hours with it that I had to quit cold turkey. Haven't been back for nearly 2 months. And I just know if I go take a peek, I'll be right back "there" again. Fun, but VERY addicting. Bejeweled Blitz isn't much better.

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THIAGRAM 6/24/2010 9:37AM

  Those emails are what gets me here! It's amazing how motivating it is here on Spark!
I do Facebook too, but now I have been neglecting it. I check in occasionally so my friends there don't think I have fallen off the face of the earth!

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NEBRASKANURSE 6/24/2010 8:38AM

    Good for you!! Glad you back to sparking

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JHADZHIA 6/24/2010 8:34AM

    Lots of people seem to like that Farmville Game. I am on Facebook, but never use it. I only went on it because my relatives were all on it. So unfortunately, most of their messages, and game requests go unanswered. My addiction is to Sparks. I love it here a little too much, have too many friends and spend a lot of time keeping up with their activities and blogs. So maybe a little too much of a good thing here. It actually gets hard to find any me time on the computer to play at my own favorite game site I am so busy with Sparks.
Good luck with getting motivated, you can do it!!

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