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Thursday, November 05, 2009

I've copied this from my front page because I thought it might be helpful to have clickable links for some of this material.

I eat a high protein (30-40%), low fat (10-20%), low carb (40-50%) nutrition profile. The most important factor in my nutrition seems to be the protein. I aim for at least 100g per day to maintain/ build lean muscle while removing fat. I am lifting weights regularly.

I got the number from this formula:
[0.6 to 1.5 g of protein per pound of target weight]
Here's where the formula came from:

Getting this much protein into my body early in the day (by 5pm) also helps control my cravings and curbs night eating. My body seems to run really well on protein.

I spread the protein into about 4-5 mini-meals, since the body cannot absorb more than 20-30g per hour.

Here are my top 7 lean protein sources (in no particular order):

1) Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu
2) Poultry breast meat
3) Lean seafood (shrimp, tilapia, cod, tuna, etc)
4) Whey protein powder (and/or egg white powder)
5) Nonfat Greek yoghurt or Skyr
6) Seitan
7) Textured Vegetable Protein

For emergencies I stash low carb protein bars in the car, my purse, my backpack, my life vest, etc. I buy them online at bodybuilding.com , vitalady.com and netrition.com and freeze whatever isn't actively stashed. Sometimes for a treat I buy a Zone Perfect protein bar at the store - those are just like candy, so I can't be trusted to have them in the house, LOL.

In general what I look for is the # of calories equal or less than 10x the grams of protein.

So, for example, a Dixie Diner's Crunchy Apple with Flax bar is 90 calories and has 10g of protein. That's an excellent protein/calorie ratio. Compare that with a Promax Bar, which has 290 calories and 20g of protein. Not so good. You could have TWO Crunchy Apple bars and get the same amount of protein in 180 calories. You'd feel fuller and it would keep you going just as long.

My favorite flavors are:

Optimum Nutrition
- mint chocolate
- toasted coconut

- chocolate brownie
- lemon meringue
- cookie dough
- blueberry cheesecake

- Protein crunch peanut butter
- Protein crunch chocolate
- Protein crunch chocolate chip

Dixie Diner's Soy Rocks
- Crunchy Apple with Flax
- Crunchy Chocolate with Flax

- lemon meringue

You can also buy Pure Protein brand bars at pharmacies and grocery stores, and they have a really good protein to calorie ratio, too. I like the peanut butter chocolate, chocolate deluxe, and revolution chocolate peanut caramel flavors the most. S'mores is a bit too sweet for my taste. The other flavors are rare to find.

I've been trying different Optimum Nutrition and Syntrax Nectar whey isolate flavors and logging my impressions here:

See another blog post for information about whey samples and sources.

In case you're wondering, here is a ranking based on how closely the amino acid profile of various protein sources compares with human dietary needs (the higher the rank, the more "complete" the protein source)

The theory now is that the body stores amino acids so you don't necessarily have to have ALL the essential amino acids together in the same meal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALKYRIA- 2/12/2012 11:02AM

    Thanks for the info about completeness of protein. I have recently started eating high protein low carb and am finding it difficult to meet my protein needs. I do enjoy optimum nutrition whey protein, so that is a source I will likely continue with... and I will definitely try their coconut flavor now.

I have been reading through your page and blogs and have been truly inspired by your maintenance. I hope to be there with you in a little over a year.

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ALYFITN 10/27/2010 3:31PM

    Hey, this is a great discussion on protein. I eat a 20/40/40 split of my calories from fat/protein/carbs respectively. It fits in the ranges by Spark people--toward the high end for protein and low end for fat and carbs. I feel amazing. My energy level is fantastic. My cravings are GONE! I read about others having difficulty at Halloween. That would have been me last year, but now I have no desire for that kind of eating. I've been at social events and the same thing is true. I have CHANGED. It does not feel like a sacrifice. I don't pity myself. I don't give myself gold stars for "good". I've simply--changed.
Anyhow, I just caught up with your old blog from your comment to BOTZZ. Thanks for being you.
PS_Just now got in from a great kayak 'round the lake in the fall myself. emoticon

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    I had been focusing my protein before the workout to have energy to complete. In your experience, would you flip the protein injection to the end of the workout, or maybe do before and after?

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WILDRICE99 11/21/2009 11:38PM

    I need to get more protein in my diet. I think it'll help me tremendously with those last 10 pounds.

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LADY_SHERRA 11/10/2009 11:48AM

    Great Blog.

I have been increasing my protein as well. I have tried DESIGNER WHEY & a few Store Brands (Kroger). Like TWOCAN, I have tried the Body Fortress and I am hooked. This will now be my go-to whey protein powder. I am also slowly ading Protein bars as a substitute for candy bars. Usually these I enjoy over the week-end, when I am on the go all day and not as diligent in getting my 5-6 mini meals.

There is always room for improvement, and I am always looking for ways to add more good healthy, things to my diet.

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FIT_ARTIST 11/10/2009 12:34AM

    Good Protein! I vary my protein from 104-138 grams a day. emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/6/2009 7:06AM

LOL. That just goes to show that each has her own taste - I personally can't stand the peanut butter bars!

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CARRIE1948 11/6/2009 6:36AM

    I have learned to love the protein bars, especially peanut butter. I have one a day with a cup of tea after my longest exercise session. I also keep them for emergencies and they got me through a week of being at the US Open with only stadium food available.

I've been playing around with the getting rid of weight thing for nearly a year and find my success has been much greater since I stated paying attention to protein.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/5/2009 2:34PM

Good call. BF gets good reviews at bodybuilding.com


You can get plain unflavored unsweetened whey and other protein isolates. Those are processed, but they at least don't have extra weird things added, like artificial sweeteners, etc.

Here is an explanation for why many people take protein supplements when losing weight:


(Much of what is true for WLS patients is true for the rest of us as well, in terms of nutrition.)

Comment edited on: 11/6/2009 12:00:59 AM

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DDOORN 11/5/2009 2:33PM

    Hmm...tempting, but I have some qualms over the seemingly highly processed nature of these protein bars & powders...otherwise, I'm all for the foods you've listed although have to get into using tofu more often. I'm forgetting what seitan is...haven't had this.


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TWOCANS 11/5/2009 1:58PM

    Good blog! I too am keeping tabs of my protein and have increased it! I use as a supplement the Body Fortress Whey Protein that Walmart sells for $15.00 for a 2lb cannister; it offers a whopping 26 grams of protein per scoop!

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Calorie and Macronutrient Consumption by Country

Monday, November 02, 2009

I was chatting with my niece Martha on FaceBook late last night and we were talking about how my diet has changed since starting to lose the weight.

I remarked that I eat mostly vegetables and lean protein, and my daily average calories is somewhere between 1000 and 1200. My fat intake is on average around 15-25g per day. I try to get a minimum of 100g of protein per day. She asked what the average American eats. I didn't know.

So I went and looked it up.

According to the FAO, as of 2003 the average American diet contained
155g fat
114g protein
3753 kcal

(My own diet in 2003 was probably more than that on everything except the protein.)

Contrast this with Burundi, where the average daily diet contained
10g fat
44g protein
1647 kcal

What's particularly upsetting about a stat like that is that it's an AVERAGE. Which means a lot of people are getting a lot less. And not, like me, because they're trying to lose weight. They probably don't have any weight TO lose, in the first place...

Here are all the countries where people had less than 2000 cal per day on average:

country kcal protein g fat g
Eritrea 1519 45 31
Congo, Democratic Republic of 1605 24 26
Burundi 1647 44 10
Comoros 1760 43 41
Ethiopia 1858 53 19
Tajikistan 1906 50 40
Liberia 1929 30 54
Central African Republic 1932 45 66
Sierra Leone 1943 44 45
Tanzania, United Republic of 1959 47 32
Zambia 1974 49 26

Nowhere in the 2003 world did they have an average diet like mine, so high in protein, so low in fat. In all of the countries where they ate on average more than 100g of protein per day they also ate between 2557 and 3753 kcal and 55-168 g of fat.

Which is a measure of the luxury I have, to be able to design my daily food intake the way that I do.

Here is a handy interactive site that shows the amount of different macronutrients the average American consumes daily, and how it has changed since 1975:
I find the 50% drop in price of protein and sugar to be particularly stunning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETMUSIC 11/2/2009 8:55PM

    Wow. Thought-provoking!

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NRLB75 11/2/2009 8:34PM

    This is both interesting and depressing. I've been doing a crap job of documenting my food lately, so I'm not sure what my break down is, but I can guarantee that my old eating habits were way above the average Burundi.

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    Wow-- thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great day!


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EVETROY 11/2/2009 1:00PM

    Certainly eye opening!!!!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/2/2009 12:53PM


You're one up on me then; I've only been to these places (in order of most to least hungry)

country kcal protein fat
Dominican Republic 2280 51 72
2480 57 48
Côte d'Ivoire 2644 55 59
Japan 2767 9
1 86
Chile 2872 80 86
tralia 3134 111 132
Mexico 3
170 90 89
New Zealand 3199 92 118
Sweden 3208
108 126
United Kingdom 3449 105 134
Denmark 347
2 108 138
Canada 3604 104 14
France 3623 117 168
ly 3674 113 156
United States of America 3753 114 155

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THEWILBERFORCE 11/2/2009 12:28PM

    I have visited a ton of the countries listed and certainly even in the more affluent ones, there is a real difference in where we are as americans. Interesting stuff! Thanks for posting! I just need to eat like a Brazilian!

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DDOORN 11/2/2009 10:34AM

    Incredible documentation of where this "obesity epidemic" is coming from...argh!


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What a rolling lesson looks like...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Today we had our final session in the pool. Here's a video shot by one of the instructors while instructing me (I asked him to, so I could watch it later and see what I need to improve).

In the video I roll several times (badly) on my "on" (right) side, and at the end once on my "off" (left) side, which now unfortunately looks better than the "on" side. *sigh* These things can always use work! ...at least I'm getting up pretty consistently...

I tried rolling in the lake on Saturday but it was so windy I almost couldn't launch through the surf, and once I got out there (after paddling back to shore twice to communicate with the photographer) I was unsuccessful at rolling. The waves were pretty big and there were whitecaps on some of them. I ended popping out of the boat, which promptly was blown away from me while I tried swimming after it.

There is video of this fiasco, but it's not very exciting. I like the part where my friend Linda (who is holding the camera) says, "Oh sh1t." when I pop out of the boat. LOL. www.flickr.com/photos/origamifreak/4

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NRLB75 11/2/2009 8:28PM

    That is so freakin cool! I think I would drown. Does someone jump in to save you if you can't turn over?

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/2/2009 9:29AM

Oh, the water aerobics went well, I think - thanks for asking! They seemed to like it. Some even asked if I was going to be teaching regularly. If I do, I'm definitely picking better music.

I was sore yesterday (and even some today). Not sure if it was from the weight lifting on Friday or the water aerobics on Saturday. (or maybe both!) It took me a little time to loosen up in the pool yesterday so I could roll comfortably. (my lower back was tight)

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DDOORN 11/2/2009 8:55AM

    Great to see you going at it full steam ahead!

Oh, how'd the water aerobics class go...?


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YARELL 11/2/2009 6:55AM

    That's awesome!

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SUGARPUNK52 11/2/2009 2:22AM

  Looks like fun.Hard work too.Thanks for sharing!

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Inedible Halloween Treats

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Here's what the trick-or-treaters are getting from my house:

That's pencils, kaleidoscopes, erasers, and bubble bottles.

And when anyone asks, I've been happy to explain that I've just lost 155 lbs, and if I don't need the sugar, THEY surely don't, either! LOL
emoticon emoticon emoticon
One mom actually thanked me, saying I was saving her on dental bills.

Update: after hunting around online some, I found these, which look like a LOT of fun to hand out next year:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACHELRB 11/2/2009 11:38PM

    My DD13 just looked at the frogs and she is very jealous. She wants to move to your house next year.

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CARRIE1948 11/1/2009 9:29AM

    What a cool idea. The candy I bought is going to the foodbank.

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EMILY1721 11/1/2009 8:27AM

    yes... all the candy i bought for trick or treaters was gone well before halloween. lesson learned!

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DDOORN 10/31/2009 10:04PM

    That's the spirit! We truly need to orient kids toward something other than sugar and unhealthy foods for the holidays...!


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SECRETMUSIC 10/31/2009 9:20PM

    Good for you! In our small town, I didn't see any things like those, except for the pencils. Maybe if I planned ahead, we could look for some when we make a trip out of town....For years one of the dentists handed out toothbrushes.

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TIFFLE52 10/31/2009 8:52PM

    That is great -- it is wonderful that you are thinking about your needs first.

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GHW1968 10/31/2009 8:45PM

    Every school kid can always use pencils! Especially in my house! Great idea! :)

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WALKWITME 10/31/2009 8:06PM

    Nice !

I gave out Bottle Drinks(low sugar)

And they were Excited to get as I was to give.

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FROSTY99 10/31/2009 7:41PM

    What a great idea. I used to hand out coins, usually dimes but that was several years ago and that probably wouldn't work today. We don't have kids where we live now, so glad it isn't a temptation anymore, I just don't buy the candy!
More people need to do such as kids don't need that sugar high. I even used to freeze a large part of my boys treats and then would dole them out over several months.

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FEISTYMAMA 10/31/2009 7:37PM

    That's a great idea! A person down the road was handing out toothbrushes and the person across from them were handing out granola bars.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/31/2009 7:19PM

I must confess that I'm deliberately NOT handing out candy, not just because THEY don't need it, but even MORE because *I* didn't want it in my house, calling to me late at night in that little, insistent voice that sugar seems to have... LOL

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SASKATIA 10/31/2009 7:15PM

  Oooo... you're one of the houses kids hate at first, but then realize that they've actually been given a cool lasting present. Always a good idea, but I prefer doing both.

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AUNTBEE6 10/31/2009 7:15PM

    GREAT idea!

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MAMMABEAR-THIRY 10/31/2009 7:12PM

    That is a really great idea you have. I actually haven't handed out halloween treats in about 30 years as I have usually been out with my kids. In the future I will have to remember your ideas for halloween treats.

Take care and congratulations on the weight loss. Keep up the good work.

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Consignment stores ROCK.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Throughout this process I've been lucky that friends around me who have lost weight have generously donated their larger clothes as I shrank out of mine.

Now that I'm between a women's 14 and 12, though, that source of clothes seems to have dried up.

Desperate for warm clothes that fit, I visited a local consignment shop during lunch Tuesday and Wednesday.

This entire outfit (shirt, jacket, skirt, boots) cost approximately $30. Bigger version of the picture, here: www.flickr.com/photos/origamifreak/4

I spent $100 total and now have:

2 sparkly beaded sweaters for the holidays, 4 long sleeve shirts, a jacket, 3 skirts, a funky mola-style applique vest, a warm furry reversible winter coat, a pair of boots, and a pair of dress pumps. Because I got them all at the same time and place, most of them go with each other, so it's totally mix-and-match.
And even better, she wants to sell the plus-size clothes that I just shrunk out of, which means THOSE clothes might help subsidize THESE clothes.

Most of the things I just got will probably go back in a few months when I shrink out of them, too. Except this skirt, which a co-worker has already claimed. LOL.

Beside the price (which you just can't beat), what I found I really like about hunting through used clothes is that they come in all kinds of colors and styles from many past seasons and years. So I'm not stuck with whatever the designers decided a year ago I was going to wear this season.

I can pick color combinations that *I* like, in cuts that *I* think are interesting together.
I always used to H. A. T. E. shopping. But this I think I could get used to. And I like the idea of my closet being stocked like a rotating lending library. I'll accumulate less stuff that way.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONKEYBIZ12345 11/1/2009 5:44PM

    I also like consignment stores and better quality thrift stores because what you see is what you get. The clothes have been worn, washed, and faded (if they're going to) so you know that if it fits in the store it'll fit after you wash it (unless you've lost more weight by then emoticon ). And since everything costs less, I don't feel bad about shopping for things that fit me every time I've lost a few pounds.


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LJOHN44 11/1/2009 5:39PM

    We have a great consignment store up here- Lou's Back Door in Fairport. Next time you are up here (crazy cold kyaking on the big lake, perhaps?) you should check it out- Corner of 31F and Jefferson (next to the emptly lot that's aross from the Mobile station). Voted the best consignment shop in Rochester for a million years in a row (or something like that). Of course it will be hard to beat Ithaca, and some of the funky little shops on the Commons...I alway find good stuff down there.

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FROSTY99 10/31/2009 7:43PM

    That is the only way to go. I also love the big community yard sales as there are real bargains out there! Sometimes at the thrift stores I get virtually new clothing for $1-2 so I don't mind when they get too big. Now I am passing things on to other friends as I shrink. I was thrifty even before it was cool.

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DHOLLOWAY60 10/31/2009 5:11PM

    Very nice outfit.
I to shop those places.
And also donate alot of clothes there too.
Keep up the great work.
You look emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/31/2009 5:12:14 PM

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MOMFAN 10/31/2009 2:22PM

    I usually go and shop the 99 cent sale at the local thrift shop, but with working right now and other responsibilities I don't have time. I still have so much to loose that I don't want to spend much. I have gone through three sizes already this year.

I love the outfit, you look amazing! That is the size I will probably end up at.

Comment edited on: 10/31/2009 2:23:00 PM

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TUPPROACH 10/31/2009 4:51AM

    Way to go!! I have always loved consignement shops, yiu can find some really good stuff and for cheap! I am doing the same thing with the clothes that outgrow me. I already have 4 suits that just a few months ago I couldn't even get on and now have some room to move in! One still had tags from 4 yrs ago!! Keep it up you are such an inspiration!!! emoticon

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CARRIE1948 10/30/2009 8:32AM

    I donate to and shop from charity shops all the time

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YARELL 10/30/2009 6:57AM

    One of the ladies I work with has a friend swap... either clothes you outgrow, or in grow??? or are given and you wonder why... or you plain got sick of... and they swap out...

She tried it, but felt funny cause her friends are there and if something is gross and gets left... doesn't that make ya feel bad?
But I LOVE thrift stores... Rescue Mission just had their 50% off everything day.. wooohoooo

and I LOVE that outfit

Comment edited on: 10/30/2009 6:58:26 AM

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SECRETMUSIC 10/29/2009 3:24PM

    Very nice! In our very small, rural town, we only recently got a thrift store, run by the local sheltered workshop. I already visited there to get a pair of smaller jeans, but I have donated boxes of the larger stuff myself. I hadn't been able to put it into words, but I love your sentiment about not being bound by pre-determined styles. Especially since, in this town, there are only two places to buy clothes: WM and JCP. Continued best wishes, and thanks for giving voice to my feelings!

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KIMBEEJ16 10/29/2009 1:12PM

    Very nice outfit! I love our local Goodwill...it's huge! I can't believe how many nice clothes I've been able to find...most of them look new. I tend to buy clothes in 1 size smaller so I've always had a complete wardrobe waiting for me...such fun! I just tried on my closetful of size 12's and at least half of them fit nicely. Almost there! I also love taking my larger sizes back...never to be worn my me again. So much fun!

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MYFEETHURT 10/29/2009 12:51PM

  You look great! It's a very "put together" outfit. I love thrift shops. As my sister lost weight I loved looking for clothes as she shed the pounds. Now I want to do the same. Actually I've loved shopping for clothes at garage sales and thrift shops all my life. So much cheaper and a much bigger range of fashion. Huge congrats to you.

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WALKWITME 10/29/2009 12:11PM

    YOU LQQK Terrific !

N I C E Outfit

I went to A Few Thrift Shops And Consignments too when I was Downsizing.

I gave away my "Big Clothes to Family as well as donated them back to the Shops.

Now I go along with a few Friends to the shops.


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DDOORN 10/29/2009 11:42AM

    Looking SHARP!

Hmm...might have to think about that approach as well...I usually wait till the end of a given season until places like Sears, Penneys & Kohls marks clothes down 70-90%.

I like the notion of "recycling" the clothes...which I normally do by donating mine to Catholic Charities or Salvation Army.


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