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The gadget... sigh.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Remember how excited I was to get my new techno-tool, the BodyMedia Activewear Fit arm band? Well, folks, I am allergic to base metals. Costume jewelry doesn't have to have much in it to make me break out. Turns out the sensors on this little gadget, while fairly high grade, still caused my arm to break out by Friday. I started wearing it Wednesday, wore it for the bulk of the day. I took it off for the travel, as it says NOT to wear it on airplanes where it behaves like one of your "electronic devices" that they want you to turn off, just by being on your arm.

Halfway through leg one, I became conscious of my arm itching. When I undressed later, I saw the beginnings of a rash. I have not put the gadget back on. I'm dosing my rash with cortisone cream, and it is clearing, bit by bit. But for those of you considering this, the instruction book DOES say if you have known metal allergies to consult with your doctor. Too bad I bought it before I read the instruction book. Sigh.

Anyway, I'll probably be looking to sell it used. I'm sure there is SOMEBODY in the world who does not break out, or they wouldn't have a market! In any case, I've been doing fine with my little pedometer and Spark, and I'm sure that's enough... just the geek in me is a little bummed out.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/21/2011 7:56AM

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LINDAJOYWK 1/21/2011 6:45AM

    I'm with the return group-can't hurt to try.

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TURTLETALK 1/20/2011 4:05PM

    Thanks for the info! I can't wear metals either. Even high dollar jewelry gives me issues.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/20/2011 2:57PM

    Bah.

What a disapppointment. Good luck in returning or selling it.

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ANDI571 1/20/2011 1:44PM

    I would definitely try to return it first. All they can say is no. From a mother who has dealt with hives from her daughter's major allergies. Benadryl or Claratin should take care of them the rest of the way.

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MOMOF2TONI 1/20/2011 12:42PM

    Sorry, that's too bad. emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/20/2011 11:16AM

    Maybe this would wreck it, and maybe it wouldn't work properly if you did, but I wonder if a very thin coat of clear nail polish might be enough to prevent an allergic reaction. I know of people who do that with earrings, etc., but not sure it work with an electronic device. I bet if you googled it or called the company, maybe they could tell you.

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CONCHA77 1/20/2011 11:01AM

    I also have allergies to metals. sorry it didn't work out for you. Other than that did you like it?

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BUGGYS 1/20/2011 10:45AM

    I would try to return it too...most companies want you to be satisfied and if not, don't want you to be telling everyone that it causes a rash!!!

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WISEONE68 1/20/2011 10:08AM

    Bummer!! I hate when things we think are going to be GREAT, end up either being CRAP or things like this happen...but:

These are the reasons "E-Bay" exists!!

Good luck with clearing the rash, finding a way to use it over a shirt or something, or getting your money back somehow!!!

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SUNNY332 1/20/2011 10:02AM

    Can you wear it over a t-shirt?

Hope they will take it back.

Good luck on this.

Sunny

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GRYPHONQUEST 1/20/2011 9:57AM

    Definitely try to return it first - you haven't had it long. My mom has a similar problem - her skin EATS anything but gold or stainless steel. (Dad thought it was just an excuse for her to get Good Jewelry for the longest time - until he tried giving her an alloy watch, and saw what just wearing it for a month did!)

Hopefully, *someone* out there makes something with stainless-steel sensors?

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LALASLAND 1/20/2011 9:29AM

    What exactly does it do? Is it a heart rate monitor? What would you sell it for? emoticon

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SHARON2014 1/20/2011 8:31AM

    Disappointing! Maybe you can take/send it back?

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DEVILISHDEE4269 1/20/2011 8:17AM

    Is it possible to strap it on over top of a thin sleeve? Would it still function the same? I really don't have a clue what the gadget is but it was just a thought.

Good Luck!

Dee

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DAISY443 1/20/2011 8:10AM

    It is always sooooo disappointing when a gadget doesn't live up to it's hype for one reason or another! Hope you find someone who won't get a rash with your gadget! Don't give up on being a geek, though!

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Reintegration

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The military uses this term to describe the time period when a deployed service member returns and takes up life "at home".

Extending WalkingAnnie's concept of "home weight", is not the transition to maintenance, once we've figured out what our "home" weight is, a little like bit like this? Some readjustments are easier than others. A shorter trip might require only modest adjustments. A year-long deployment? Maybe more.

How long did it take you to get to "home weight?" Was it over a year? Several months? How different was your life before you started this change to a healthier lifestyle? It is a matter of learning what works in the changed world "at home". The journey has changed you. It has also changed those around you. It may have changed your home environment, too.

Some self-checking may be in order: Have I become hyper vigilant around food? Do I surround myself with the dietary/exercise equivalent of loaded weapons? Do I get really stressed out away from a scale? Have I tipped over into the OTHER side of unhealthy, under eating, over exercising and fear of food?

As with the skills of a person who was deployed, the skills of a "dieter" may have been extreme, but they also may have saved his/her life, allowing him/her to drop the excess pounds and maybe some disease symptoms in the process. "At home", finding a comfortable balance and level of vigilance is what our own version of "reintegration" is all about.

Here's to balance and re-integration, here at "home"! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 1/23/2011 8:57AM

    Balance can be a "slippery slope" for me sometimes, Great Blog, Barb. I will start paying more attention. Thanks.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/19/2011 5:14PM

    Wow. Interesting concepts - as usual - Barb. You understand and articulate the issues so well. I always love your analyses.


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MOMOF2TONI 1/19/2011 4:03PM

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MSLZZY 1/19/2011 3:55PM

    Pretty deep stuff and I need to think about this. Some days I think my balance is fine and
other days, I find I need to have more. Great blog! HUGS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/19/2011 11:50AM

    Very interesting. I'm a long way from "home," but you make very good and valid points. Even now, things are different than they were a year ago. But there are still big changes that need to be made yet. No doubt 2012 will be different than where I am now. But I'll get there in time.

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ANDI571 1/19/2011 10:49AM

    I am trying to decide if where I am at is my "home weight", or is it just where I am satisfied with. I am not having any trouble maintaining where I am at, but in my mind, I want to lose a few more pounds. The winter months and my attitude about it is in the way to know for sure right now. I am going to keep on keeping on until I know for sure.

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SUNNY332 1/19/2011 8:41AM

    Here's to balance as we work towards our home weights. emoticon

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Sunny

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BUGGYS 1/19/2011 8:22AM

    I haven't been at my "home weight" for several years and I can honestly tell you that I don't know how I'll feel when I get there but, I WILL get there! I am learning balance and patience and all that goes with living a healthy lifestyle...a work in progress!

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After Action Report: YR Phase V trip

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I trekked out of here after a week of fretting over the reservations and "travel orders" not showing up 'til the last minute. In fact, they arrived in my son's e-mail about 13 hours before takeoff. Talk about cutting it close. I stressed over that more than I'd like to admit.

I have updated my background photo.. this is a shot of the pool from the 10th floor of the hotel. I swam in this gorgeous heated body of water on Sunday afternoon and loved every minute of it.

As has happened with trips to Florida in the past, I froze a good portion of the time. I have a philosophical thought about that: Floridians are so used to cooling themselves, their whole architecture and landscaping, and all that goes with it is built to cool, not to heat. So when it DOES dip to the 50's overnight, it just "feels" colder. The landscape of palm trees and flowers says "heat", but the ambient air doesn't feel like 80, so the brain tells the body "I'm cold".

Despite this, the afternoons in the 70's with a heated pool? Very swim-able for those of us from the frigid plains. That was the best thing we did!

The rest of the trip: emotionally draining, long days in meetings, but saw some great people that I may have seen for the last time in... years, if ever again. And some others whose paths will surely cross mine again.

Oh, you want to know how the food & exercise plans went? emoticon Ah, yes, this IS Sparkpeople! Food... buffet style. The plan was to watch portion sizes and do my best with the selections. I wrote it down on paper, but obviously didn't weigh and measure. The plate size... yep, the normal almost-platter size of restaurants/hotels. So I filled most of them up with fresh salad ingredients.

Friday dinner was with a Lt. General, so they seemed to pull out the buffet stops and I treated it like a special occasion and even had half a slice of chocolate cherry cake (which was excellent), but then I pulled in my horns after that, and didn't do the desserts that they served every lunch and dinner!

I took my own morning snacks, as I knew there would be pastries served with the coffee... so that was a plus. I free lanced at the hotel deli or at Walgreen's to get what I really wanted for "normal" meals, and chose carefully for the times I did eat at the buffet and for special meals.

Sunday afternoon I took my son and his wife out for Caribbean dinner: blackened Mahi-Mahi on jasmine coconut rice with seasoned broccoli, a little Johnny Bread with guava butter. Excellent.

Exercise: Well, let us say that the pre-training for the half marathon took a side trip. Since there was no measured treadmill distance, I'm not sure if I walked the requisite 3 miles on Saturday and five on Sunday, but Monday... I had over 20,000 steps just with travel crud. By the way, we did NOT get home as scheduled... stuck at Chicago O'Hare overnight. I booked us two rooms at the air travel assistance discount rate because there was NO WAY my daughter in law would have survived a night in the airport after our flight was canceled. Our checked bags? Well, you can't get 'em when you're stranded. My son's wife learned this lesson the hard way: don't put your prescription meds in the checked bag: carry it on!

Let me say this: I have traveled a lot. In my younger days the hotel amenities of pool, TV, fancy fitness centers, etc. were what impressed me. Last night? Shower and bed. Very comfy bed. That's what a body really craves. I slept well. And even putting the same clothes back on in the morning feels so much better after a shower!

We got home late this morning. I collected the dog. And now I'm catching up here. It's good to be home (even if the high is below freezing). Tomorrow, back to work.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUGGYS 1/19/2011 8:26AM

    Welcome home...it's always nice to get away and break from routine once in a while and it seems like you did awesome!

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MSLZZY 1/18/2011 9:13PM

    Glad you're back! Swimming in a pool in January? It's doable in FL but I think I'll wait until it warms up here. It would be a shame to get a "snow burn" LOL!

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TURTLETALK 1/18/2011 8:44PM

    Glad you are back. The food and the sunshine sound fabulous.

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PENNYAN45 1/18/2011 8:27PM

    Congratulations on being in charge for this whole trip. You handled the food so well - with a treat now and then - but mostly watching closely. You also handled the stranded at the airport so well.

I love the picture of the heated pool - and I'm glad you got to take advantage of it.

Overall, it sounds like a successful trip! HOORAY!!

...and it's nice to have you back again.

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MNTWINSGAL 1/18/2011 7:19PM

    Glad you're back, Barb, and even more glad you had a nice time and stayed more or less on program. I'm no stranger to being stranded at airports....sometimes camping out at the airport, other times getting a cheap hotel room, (The perils of flying "non-rev" as an airline employee) and always without your luggage. I try to keep all my necessities (including spare undies) in my carry-on. Sounds like you were prepared in that way, but I hope your DIL did ok without her meds!

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SUNNY332 1/18/2011 5:32PM

    Love the pool and so glad you took time to enjoy it. Sounds like you had a good trip and managed to stay within your spark plan of eating.

Good Job! Welcome Home.

Hugs, Sunny

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WALKINGANNIE 1/18/2011 5:16PM

    Welcome back! I missed you.

Congratulations on managing a good balance while you were away. I was especially impressed that you, "even had half a slice of chocolate cherry cake (which was excellent)" but then pulled in your horns. That, my friend, is just how it should be.

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BESTSUSIEYET 1/18/2011 3:58PM

    Welcome Home! Sounds like a good trip, all in all! You made the best choices you could, indulged a little, and are back on track. That's LIFE as a Sparker! Hooray bor Barb!! emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 1/18/2011 3:48PM

    Boy do I love that pool. I'd rather swim than eat so my theory is that if I had my own pool, I'd be slim and trim!!! LOL

Glad you had a safe trip and got home alright. Right now it's snowing in Columbus, and probably Lincoln as well. Not sure as I haven't turned on the weather channel of late.

Take care, and keep up the good work. You are awesome Barb.
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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/18/2011 3:36PM

    Well it doesn't surprise me in the least that you fared so well with your trip, diet and exercise. You are awesome, Barb! And, oh, how I wish I could bring you with me as we head down to Florida next week. Wanna come? I'm really nervous about a month away from the comfort of my home and routine. But I've got to learn how to do this, and one month will be a good start. Glad to have you back -- I've missed your blogs and comments!

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Out of Spark for a few days

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No, no... I'm not giving up... I haven't lost my Spark. But I do have this trip planned (although it's coming up to the last minute whether it's going to really happen or not!) So... if you don't see blog entries for a few days, or message board posts tomorrow through Monday or Tuesday... no worries. I don't know that I'll have internet access after tonight until then.

Miscellaneous on the topic of rewards:
Y'all know I'm a geek. I've also probably written about my tendency to reward myself with things that support my fitness efforts. It's a mind-game: I will reward myself for good behavior with things that encourage more good behavior!

The latest really big one arrived on Tuesday. I'm so excited: it's a body media GoWear Fit armband. So... I've been trying it out. I've been drooling over these toys for some time (like over a year), reading about them (and their cousins, the Body Bug, etc.) online. But it's a significant financial investment, and I just wasn't willing to put out the $$.

Still, I had a great 2010, I've had good results, and my curiosity finally overcame my frugal nature, and I sprang for it.

For those of you who've never heard of these devices, you wear them on your arm and their sensors measure various things to determine how many calories you are burning. They can DO that? Then you upload the data to a web site where it shows you a timeline of your day: when were you moderately active, DID you rise to intense activity at any point in your day? How much sleep are you getting when you're sleeping? Whoa! Can they DO that?

I'll let you know after I've played with it for a while. But based on that one day sample? Looks like they can! It detected my break walks at work as moderate activity. It took my treadmill work (an hour) as 40 minutes intense and 20 moderate. And, unfortunately, it told me that when I slept those 6 and a half hours, I really only got about 5 hours of really good sleep. I spend periods of time just "lying down".

I kind of knew all of this without having the gadget to tell me. But being a geek, I love technology and wanted to see how well it pulled it off. You don't NEED one of these to succeed. Which is why it's in the "reward" category for me. But AS a reward... pretty cool!

Wishing all my Spark friends and anyone who drops by a great Thursday.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 1/16/2011 3:36PM

    Hope you're having a great trip Barb.

Look forward to hearing about the new gizmo. You worked hard for the reward so you deserve the fun!

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KASEYCOFF 1/14/2011 6:15AM

    Love the gizmo, even tho I'm lo-tech - sounds like it's very user friendly. Keep us posted as to how you get on with it. Hope you enjoy the break - and seeing your background picture makes me hope you're going somewhere WARM and SUNNY, lol! emoticon

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SAMI199 1/13/2011 11:29PM

    Have a great trip!
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MSLZZY 1/13/2011 8:22PM

    Really curious about the new toy! Can't wait to hear how it works for you. HUGS!

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CONCHA77 1/13/2011 5:23PM

    Enjoy your trip, Barb. and your new toy. I know it will all turn out for you. Have fun!

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PENNYAN45 1/13/2011 11:57AM

    It sounds like an interesting and worthwhile device. I'll be curious to hear more about it as you use it more.

Enjoy your trip. I'll miss your words.

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TURTLETALK 1/13/2011 10:52AM

    Enjoy your trip and I can't wait to hear more about your new toy.

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BUGGYS 1/13/2011 10:31AM

    Have a great trip and let us know about your new gadget...I bought the Fitbit last year....same type of thing only you wear it like a pedometer...at the end of the day it records everything...even sleep...guess I have to remember to wear it to make it work!!! emoticon

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ANDI571 1/13/2011 10:24AM

    I would probably pull up the results and it would say, For shame, for shame! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/13/2011 10:18AM

    Wow, that's fascinating. I have heard of the body bug but never really did much research on them. I'm not a good sleeper so I'd be interested in that feedback. And, I'm not real active, so perhaps that would spur me on. I may have to consider this as a reward for myself at some point. Sure sounds interesting. Enjoy using it and enjoy your travel. Looking forward to hearing from you when you return.

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SUNNY332 1/13/2011 9:53AM

    I love it that you treated yourself to the "body bug". Do keep us posted on how it works. I think you definitely deserved it. You have worked hard so enjoy the rewards.

Have a great trip. I am still in hopes that it will fall into place for you.

Hugs, Sunny

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LALASLAND 1/13/2011 9:30AM

    Have a great trip and Spark On! emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 1/13/2011 8:04AM

    What ever works for you is the main thing. Have a safe trip.

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4DOGNIGHT 1/13/2011 7:32AM

    Interesting gadget. Might be too much information in some catagories! Enjoy your trip!

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Remember when I said I didn't have more energy?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I think I lied. Not intentionally, mind you. But going out and tackling the snow at 4:30 a.m. on Monday? I never would have done that 70 pounds ago!

The back muscles that reminded me they had been used in all that snow shoveling on Tuesday? Are recovered now... less than 48 hours since the third and last shoveling in 36 hours.

I find myself *doing* more things, simply because I notice they need doing. Spontaneously.

Yes, I lied, or rather, I didn't see it. Those folks are right: being fit *does* give me more energy!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 1/13/2011 12:12AM

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ANDI571 1/12/2011 10:56PM

    So true! I am not as fit as I would like to be, but hoping to get there. You are awesome!

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MSLZZY 1/12/2011 10:42PM

    Ah, you noticed that too! Isn't it amazing LOL!

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MOMOF2TONI 1/12/2011 2:21PM

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BRENDA1995 1/12/2011 12:03PM

    That's great! I hope to get there.

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PENNYAN45 1/12/2011 11:10AM

    I agree. It seems that using energy gives us energy!

Quite amazing - a discovery I was happy to make.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/12/2011 10:54AM

    Absolutely -- ain't it great?!

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GONNABEFIT27 1/12/2011 9:51AM

    Yay! It's great having more energy...and being more productive :)

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WISEONE68 1/12/2011 9:01AM

    Yeah!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/12/2011 8:55AM

    Here's to energy!
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GOOFYGIRL48 1/12/2011 8:50AM

    What a wonderful discovery/realization!
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SUNNY332 1/12/2011 8:47AM

    GREAT post. Yes, being fit does give us more energy.

You are doing awesome.

Sunny

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BUGGYS 1/12/2011 8:43AM

    I actuallu love shoveling in the early am...so quiet, so pretty...shoveling doesn't seem to be such a burden...that's great that you are enjoying those moments 70 pounds lighter!!!

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DEBRITA01 1/12/2011 8:23AM

    emoticonThat's great! Can you send some of that energy my way? I'm heading out to shovel...lol

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KATHRYNLP 1/12/2011 8:16AM

    You just didn't know the NEW YOU then!! WTG hun! We got a foot of snow last night.. OoooH Caan-aaa-daaah! emoticon

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LALASLAND 1/12/2011 7:42AM

    emoticon emoticon You ROCK, you know that!? emoticon

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BRASKIN 1/12/2011 7:38AM

  Good for you! Never really thought about how "easy" some of the more difficult tasks become as you shift towards healthy.
thanks for sharing.

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NERVOUSWRECKIAM 1/12/2011 7:38AM

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