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Lessons from Week 1 of 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

I really can eat less.

This first week was important to me because of a challenge I started on my Over 60's team. So I kept that challenge in mind constantly all week. All I have to do is lose. Not any certain amount, just lose something. To stay in the challenge, I have to do that every week! (Or at least stay the same.)

With this in mind, I had lots of realizations. First I realized that I haven't been very serious about actually losing weight since I got to Spark People. I didn't have that much to lose and I had some real issues with pain, so I didn't focus much on LOSING.

I also realized that I CAN be happy with less of the food I like. To achieve that end, I've been sure to buy everything in the smallest packages I can find. Single servings. I also divided everything I cooked into single servings.

I eat more slowly and focus on the eating and the enjoyment of it. This really makes a difference.

I have also made "presentation" important in my meals and try to serve myself as if I were serving a dinner guest. (Thank you, Marianna!)

I found a new dessert. SUGAR FREE GUM! I pop some in my mouth as soon as I'm done with my healthy portion of food! This has become a signal to me that I'M DONE EATING and there's no need to even give food another thought. I really think this is going to be a very important habit for me.

I try to make my last meal of the day a little higher in protein and without any white carbs. Those carbs my body really reacts to by wanting more, more, more. (Pasta, Potatoes, Hot Bread, Sugar, White Rice) If I eat any of those foods, I do it at lunch.

I have stopped thinking of eating out as a "time out" from healthy eating. I have a friend who has stayed at the same low weight for over 20 years and as I observe her eating out, I notice she chooses the same lower calorie, healthier meals at a restaurant as I do at home.

Mostly, I've made the connection that I'm not losing a few pounds so I can once again eat all I want. I'm losing a few pounds so I can be healthier, move better, look better, FEEL BETTER.

It's a full time job. And very rewarding when I accomplish it for an entire week.

When I eat healthy meals every time, my body feels so good. I don't need the calorie count or carb or fat or sugar count to know I've done well. My body tells me. And my body doesn't lie or fudge a little on the totals, lol. My body knows what I eat and it reflects what I eat. Can't get around it.

So this week, I feel great because my body feels great!

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAJASHREE108 1/30/2010 9:23PM

    Thank you Karen for sharing some wonderful ideas. In the next few days I will be incorporating them in my days.

Rajashree

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DGILBRIDE1949 1/10/2010 12:09AM

    Great advice! Thanks!

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GABY1948 1/9/2010 9:53AM

    What a great blog and great ideas. I even copied it and emailed it to myself. I agree so much...I always eat peanuts in my oatmeal for the MUFAs in them but nuts are a problem for me but now, when I open a jar, I weigh them ALL out into snack bags of one serving size to put in oatmeal and no longer have a problem just a cupboard shelf full of bags of peanuts... emoticon
I also love the gum idea...I always rinse with Listerine as my "signal" but the gum would work as well.
Again, thanks, Karen!

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CHRYS13 1/9/2010 7:44AM

    I agree....when you eat right, you feel right! It's great! Thanks for the insight into this being a full-time job...but what a rewarding job!
Thanks so much for a great blog!
Chrys

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SERENITYSEL 1/8/2010 7:56PM

    emoticon

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SOPHIEMAE2007 1/8/2010 3:38PM

    Great first week! emoticon

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 1/8/2010 10:05AM

    You've been a great cheerleader for us, and now you can cheerlead for yourself too. We will keep you on your toes now! emoticon

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NANCY- 1/8/2010 8:54AM

    Ah yes.... the body knows.
You are off to a wonderful 2010!
emoticon

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PJSTIME 1/8/2010 8:47AM

    Karen, Great blog and great tips. You are doing an awesome job. I always have to remind myself of some of the things you have blogged about. I eat too fast and I have found gum to be a big help also. Keep up the great progress. PJ emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 1/8/2010 8:44AM

    emoticonSounds like your Aha moment has arrived! You are doing a super job. Enjoy the journey.

Linda

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JUSTJO66 1/8/2010 8:39AM

    Great weight loss this week. Great blog,too. Thanks for all the tips. It really does help to be reminded of ways to work this journey. :o) You're on a roll....just keep it up. emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 1/8/2010 8:15AM

    emoticon job Karen. You have a positive attitude. You have set your mind to be healthy and you are doing what it takes to get there. I am still working on my positive Self Talk. I just need to be a little more motivated. You inspire me and I am working harder now. emoticon. Your the best emoticon. I am so proud of you.

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KAYYVAUGHN 1/8/2010 7:35AM

    Thanks for all your tips. You are a great example!
Kay

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INKEDSHUTTERBUG 1/8/2010 6:54AM

  Awesome Job Karen, and some great tips to boot!
I'm really proud of you :)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NUTRON3 1/8/2010 6:50AM

    Alright!

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Taking Care of Mother

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My first project for the new year is to find a place nearby for my Mother to live. She's about 3 hours from me now and there's no straight route to get there. It's one of those places that you can't get to from here - you have to go somewhere else first, lol.

She's a very independent soul and can't/won't live with anyone. In fact, she has never been able to live with anyone, not even my father who died long ago. Not even me as a child, really.

So she's been living alone all her life, although always very near her sisters and her brother. She was one of ten children and there are only 3 sisters left and one of them is far away in Oregon.

She's 87 and her health has always been good but there are limits once you pass 80. Things that have always been good become a problem, so now she has some diabetes, some high blood pressure, some high cholesterol, etc. etc. The biggest problem is macular degeneration which has left her legally blind. She sees the tv, mostly in black and white, and she can see far away so she can take a walk and go shopping, but the close up view is pretty much gone.

This makes it hard for her, impossible really, to read her mail and write her checks, and the 101 little things we do each day within an arms reach.

So I want to move her here close to me and my oldest son. I'm going to be researching and looking for a community like the one she is in now. She lives in a place run by Volunteers of America. It looks like a large sprawling motel with many units. She has a nice living room, kitchen/dining area, a large bedroom and bathroom. There are emergency pulls in all the rooms. It's not assisted living, you have to be over 65 and live independently to be eligible for housing there, but there is someone on duty at the little community center they have and there is a maintenance man that does all the little odd jobs for them. Rent is based on income and most of the people there live on their social security so rent is pretty low.

If you are looking for a place for your parent(s), Volunteers of America seems to have their act together. They have many potluck dinners and ice cream suppers at the community center and she goes to more Christmas parties than all the rest of us put together.

The best part for her is everyone there is over 65 and home all day. In other neighborhoods people work and there are no neighbors at home, but here she has many friends to talk to all the time. The first time I visited her there I said I couldn't wait until I was old enough to live there, lol. It's a fun place for old age to carry on.

But Volunteers of America doesn't have any communities near me, so I'll be investigating what other ones I can find. Once I've found a good one and put her on the waiting list, my son will help me figure out how to get her to decide she needs to move closer to us. It has to be her idea, you know, or she'll be against it on general principles, lol.

Mothers are always right, you know.

Karen



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNY888 1/6/2010 5:35PM

    I hope you find the perfect place for your Mom (and that she agrees). I have a very independent Mom also so I know what you are talking about. My Dad, who had Alzheimer's passed away a couple of months ago. I am amazed at how well my Mom has been doing.

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SERENEMOM71 1/3/2010 10:11AM

  I will be praying for the right community for your mom. Let us know when the right place is found. I'm sure it is there, some place!

Both of our parents have deceased so we are only taking care of our children and grandchildren, LOL.

God Bless. Amy

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JUSTJO66 1/2/2010 4:06PM

    Karen, I will be thinking about and praying that you find just the perfect place for your Mother. My Mom is 80 and very independent as well. She still mows and weed eats her entire large yard. So far she is very healthy and active with her friends and church. I am very fortunate that my younger sister lives next door and helps her out with things as needed. I dread when she does get where she can't do anymore.... she's always been so independent. I know this will be a very stressful time for you, but once you find "the place" you will be able to rest in the fact you have done everything you can for her. I guess it's a rite of passage for a lot of us...but not one anyone relishes.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 1/2/2010 2:52PM

    I wish you and your mom the best. This is such a hard thing to do, and I dread thinking about what will happen to me when I need help. Sure hope there are still nice places like you just described .

Martha

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DGILBRIDE1949 1/2/2010 11:29AM

    Let us know where your Mom finally moved to. Someplace close, I hope.

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BELTONWALKER67 12/31/2009 10:56AM

    Hope you find something that will make everyone happy! Both my parents have passed on, so have never had the experience of caretaker for elderly parents. Wishing you the best.

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CT-FL-SNOWBIRD 12/31/2009 9:12AM

    I'll be watching for updates about your Mother. I'm the legal guardian for my 76 year old mentally handicapped brother and housing has always been an issue for us.

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INKEDSHUTTERBUG 12/31/2009 8:07AM

  I hope you find the perfect place for your Mom Karen, I'm sure even though she likes to spend time alone, it will be a great comfort knowing you're not too far away.
She's a lucky lady to have you looking out for her.

emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/30/2009 8:52PM

    I wish you luck with your endeavor. My parents have been gone for a long time. I remember all the things we had to do to get my mother a place too. Keep strong.

Comment edited on: 12/30/2009 8:55:23 PM

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PJSTIME 12/30/2009 7:33PM

    My mom and dad got settled into their complex about 5 weeks before mom died from COPD complications. Dad is still there. It sounds a lot like what you mom is in. It is run by Holiday retirement corporation. He has his own apartment, they have a dining area which serves 3 meals a day, cleaning of apartment 1 time a week, pull cords in the apartment. He is content sometimes I think to content because he doesnt get out and do anything.

It sure is hard to know how and what to do for our aging parents. Dad is 85 and really in excellent health, but his mind is starting to show signs of Alzheimers/demential.

I'm sure you will find something close that will work and that your son can help convincing her to move.

Good luck. PJ emoticon

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GABY1948 12/30/2009 6:48PM

    I wish you much luck, Karen and am thankful that she is in such good condition, generally. My mother went from AL to AFC (Adult Foster Care) within 4 months because the first move pushed her over the edge and she was developing Alzheimer's which blossomed after that. My dad had died 9 months before. All in all it amazes me when people actually enjoy their parents' golden years.

You are so resourceful that I know you will find the perfect place for mom and she will love it.

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/30/2009 6:07PM

    I understand what you mean. There are some good Assisted Livings. I volunteer at some. At one time, we were looking for one for my dad when he was living. I got some questions from a man that owns an AL. So I was prepared when I visited several. Dad didn't ever go to one.He died before we moved him.
There are also some questions to ask on the internet. Good luck.

My mother is almost 87. She has health problems, but still lives at home. At this time, she has 2 caregivers. One comes 3 days a week and the other one 2 days a week. She is used to having one five days a week for five hours. At this point, five hours is enough. Fortunately, my brothers live not too far away. They work full time, but help her on the weekends. We go down once a month, unless she needs us more. I like the agency that we use. Kay

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Unhealthy Habits

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I was reading an article on CNN about healthcare, which everyone in America knows is a big issue in our government right now. But the article pointed out that the bottom line here is that we have very unhealthy habits.

As I thought about that, I realized how true it is. We overeat more often than not. We eat tons of sweets and foods high in fat. We don't move our body much. And on and on.

We do eventually get concerned about how we look, but it often takes a major health crisis or frightening warning from our doctor to think about what we're doing to the inside of our bodies.

THIS YEAR, I'm really going to try to focus on my entire body. When I put food in my mouth, it's going to be received by various organs and tissues and fluids in my body. Is it going to be premium fuel? Or is it going to be like putting sugar in the gas tank? I think a lot of sugar in the body has about the same effect. What about colas? They're good for cleaning battery acid, lol. What does that tell you?

We all want a major overhaul and we want it now. When really, it's not the overhaul but the LONG haul we should be thinking about. Our body is one whole entity and everything in it is affected by everything else.

My body tries to let me know when I eat the right thing. It feels so great! It also tries to let me know when what I've eaten has been pretty hard to handle. It complains. And when it complains, I complain right back, instead of seeing it as a tender warning that my body and I are not working together well. And who's fault is THAT?

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYYVAUGHN 12/30/2009 1:44PM

    Karen,

I agree with you. It's obvious to us when we eat unhealthy. We are normal, and sometimes we slip. It's important to remember that the slips shouldn't happen too often. Being aware of what we eat, and exercising regularly does pay off. Sometimes, it takes patience and time.

That's difficult for me. I need to lose inches, and they are coming off so slowly, but I'm not giving up. emoticon

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DGILBRIDE1949 12/30/2009 1:18AM

    Food for thought. (It isn't fattening is it?)

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 12/29/2009 3:29PM

    Thanks for somethng important for us to thinkik about.

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PJSTIME 12/29/2009 12:12PM

    We are to treat our bodies as temples. I am trying to be better at taking care of my temple. I definitely feel better when I take care of myself. I don't think there would be nearly as many sick people if we just learned to take better care of ourselves mind, body and soul.

Have a great day. PJ emoticon

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AMBUDMAN 12/29/2009 10:19AM

    Great post and so true.

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NANCY- 12/29/2009 10:16AM

    emoticon
So true is it the long haul that we need to address.

Keep Sparking!

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BELTONWALKER67 12/29/2009 10:01AM

    Great Post & So True! I think we all know what is the wise choice to make it's just making that wise choice when life gets in the way. I seen an email recently where God made fruits & veggies and Satan was right behind him inventing McDonalds, etc..Maybe we just need to stick with the basics of fruit, veggies & water! emoticon

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GABY1948 12/29/2009 8:15AM

    Very good blog, Karen. A health scare is exactly what made me get healthy and lose my weight. Now it is about health and not skinny.
One thing though, I believe that people depend too much on government for answers. Health and what we eat is like everything else in the world...a DECISION. We make decisions every minute of every day. That is why God gave us a free will. Ultimately everything, including what goes into our mouths or what movement we do is OUR decision.

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SRFRGRL7163 12/29/2009 8:14AM

    Funny how inside you know these things, but it takes someone else pointing it out for you to have a "WOW" moment. Thanks for giving me a kick in the pants -- I'm going home to exercise, lol! Have a great day and good luck to you!

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DRUSILLA56 12/29/2009 8:06AM

    THE GOVERMENT IS A PART OF THE PROBLEM.
IT'S ALLOWED VERY BAD FOOD INTO OUR SUPPLY. WE CONSUME IT THINKING IT'S GOOD FOR US SINCE THE FDA APPROVED IT. "NOT!".OUR PRESIDENT IS RIGHT IN AMERICA HAS GOTTEN FAT & UNHEALTHY. BUT IT WASN'T JUST BECAUSE WE HAD COKES IN THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA.
WE DON'T DO MUCH IN THE WAY OF EXERCISE IF OUR JOBS DON'T REQUIRE IT OF US. MORE N MORE PEOPLE ARE GETTING HEALTH MINDED AND STARTING TO EXERCISE. I FOR ONE AM ONE OF THEM. I SIT AND DRIVE ALL DAY, AND IT'S HARD TO MAKE MYSELF EXERCISE AFTER WORK. BUT I HAVE TO DO IT TO GET HEALTHY.IF IT TASTE GOOD,WE EAT IT. WELL THAT USUALLY MEANS IT'S NOT GOOD FOR YOU.LOL
GOOD POST! THANK YOU.

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INKEDSHUTTERBUG 12/29/2009 8:06AM

  Excellent Post!

I like the way you always get me thinking, so glad you posted this
!

emoticon emoticon

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HEMILLER8 12/29/2009 8:04AM

 
So true. We need to eat healy.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

"To give beyond reason, to care beyond hope, to love without limit;
to reach, stretch, and dream, in spite of your fears. " Mike Dooley

This is my wish for us all.

Merry Christmas!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITYSEL 12/25/2009 9:41AM

    I hope your day is filled with surprises, love and happiness. Merry Christmas!

emoticon

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NANCY- 12/24/2009 10:32AM

    How wonderful!

Merry Christmas too you and yours.

emoticon

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AMBUDMAN 12/24/2009 10:30AM

    Thank you and have a safe and happy Christmas.

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INKEDSHUTTERBUG 12/24/2009 9:15AM

  Thank you and I hope you a have a wonderful Christmas as well!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/24/2009 8:46AM

    This is a wonderful quote. May your Christmas be Happy and memorable.. emoticon

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JUSTJO66 12/24/2009 8:28AM

    Merry Christmas to you, too. emoticon

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PJSTIME 12/24/2009 8:04AM

    I love that quote. Have a wonderful Christmas. PJ emoticon

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GABY1948 12/24/2009 8:03AM

    And what a wonderful wish it is! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Gaye

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Pictures don't lie.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words. But how many calories is a photo worth?


Found this blurb somewhere on CNN:

Snap before and after photos of each meal with your camera phone.
Keeping a visual food diary is a more accurate way to see what and how much you're eating, United Kingdom researchers say. Afterward, download the pics so you'll have a record.

I don't have a camera phone. Still, this idea really struck me as the ultimate of diet strategies.

To have a photo collection at the end of every day of every bite you put into your mouth! Wouldn't THAT open your eyes!!

For now, I'll just visualize every plate of food, every snack. What will that pile of food look like at the end of the day? Of the week?? Wow!

Does that idea open your eyes, like it does mine?

Karen

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

--KREN 12/24/2009 4:08PM

    Martha! That's FUNNY! LOL Karen

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JANDREWS031 12/23/2009 12:00PM

    I like the idea, I might give it a try I received a new digital camera for christmas. If I get brave I might try it.

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CHRYS13 12/23/2009 5:19AM

    Wow....you're right! What a picture!

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 12/22/2009 10:14PM

    How about the snacks???? Somedays I might run out of pixels!

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SERENITYSEL 12/22/2009 5:31PM

    I have a camera phone, but I like the food tracker and to be honest, I wouldn't remember to use the phone. Good idea for those who want to use it.

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GABY1948 12/22/2009 5:26PM

    I am sure it would open my eyes...but even more so if I could see what I USED to eat! Thanks for posting this and getting us all thinking, Karen!


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PJSTIME 12/22/2009 3:01PM

    I won't do pictures the nutrition tracker has already openen my eyes. PJ emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 12/22/2009 12:35PM

    I don't have a camera phone either, but that sounds like a emoticon idea. I can visualize it in my mind. This sure makes you think twice. Thanks Karen for sharing this idea. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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KAYYVAUGHN 12/22/2009 8:45AM

    It would probably be overwhelming. I can just picture the snacks in my mind. Since Saturday, we have a counter of Christmas cookies, candy, etc.

So far, I've limited myself. It's difficult. With my husband's help, my favorite is almost gone.

Karen, have a terrific Tuesday.

Kay emoticon emoticon

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INKEDSHUTTERBUG 12/22/2009 8:43AM

  That's a very good idea!
I think the visualizing alone would scare me though, even well thought out meals piled up high on one plate is making me shake in my boots haha!



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MZ_CUPCAKE 12/22/2009 8:38AM

    Wow... that is an eye-opening idea... and maybe a wee bit scary... LOL! Thanks for the great post!

emoticon

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