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Cryptic Statuses Explained...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I know that I've posted some status updates recently that weren't very informative, and perhaps, they may even have been enticing in their mystery. I've been wanting to blog about this situation since it first erupted (Oh, God) four days ago, but with my work schedule and Copa America and Judge Judy and Jem and going to the gym and trying to keep up with all you beautiful people just got away from me.

Well, now the situation is (more or less) resolved, and so I'd like to share it with you.

I'm going to warn AMYLONGHORN right now that, if any of this looks familiar, it's because I'm taking quite a lot from the first email I sent you about this. I'm just going to remove all the f-bombs (this'll take awhile), other curse words and information that are too identifying as to where I work.

I have a client that needed to get a bunch of documents taken care of through another department within my organization. And the process is so DUMB. I can't just take the stuff down to the necessary department and say, "Here, handle these," and have them call me when they're ready and I can go pick them up. NO. I have to get my translator to write a cover letter, then the documents go up to the top floor, where they get registered and signed by the second-in-command at the organization (who, by the way, is a bully, to use a Spark-friendly word--in real life, I'd use something more colorful to describe this piece), then they get sent down to the appropriate department. When they're finished with the documents, the same thing happens to get them back to me. Ridiculous.

Anyway, so on Monday, I sent these documents with the guy who walks stuff around the office. And I'd forgotten to get the cover letter signed by my boss.

So I get called later on Monday by my boss's secretary, and she's saying that I forgot to get it signed, so the guy called her and chewed her out and demanded to know who had sent this letter. Like, what's the big deal? It's not like these documents are soooo hot-button that I had to slip them past my boss, right? I mean, I OBVIOUSLY just FORGOT.

So apparently, before the secretary gets to say this to my boss, he heads up to the top floor, where I believe he gets a butt(?)-chewing from this guy, too, or Tuesday wouldn't have happened. Because my boss is a smart and nice man, and he wouldn't normally make me cry.

And so his secretary was telling me all day on Monday that he wanted to talk to me about it, but I thought, whatever, fine. I'll take my butt(?)-chewing, but I got to get these documents back so I can take care of the client. My boss is not one to actually discipline people, so my "little talk" with him would probably entail him saying, "So next time, do your best, yes, and okay." And anyway, my boss is smart, so I'll tell him that this is RIDICULOUS, and exactly what I think of the temper tantrum had by our little friend upstairs, and it'll be fine.

Then, there was an emergency with one of my colleague's clients, and I'm covering for her. I talked to my boss on Tuesday, and thought, okay, well, OBVIOUSLY this guy has bigger fish to fry than something so small as a STUPID, UNSIGNED LETTER. Right?

Apparently not. Because, maybe, 20 minutes after I talked to him about the client, he calls me up to tell me that I embarrassed him. And he told me that he is always available to sign things when they're urgent.

And I totally buckled, because he didn't say, and second-in-command said this. He just said he was embarrassed. So instead of telling him that second-in-command has too much EFFING time on his hands, I told him that I was sorry, and that it wasn't like that, that it wasn't because I was in a hurry so I just decided to skip getting his signature. That I JUST FORGOT. And I told him twice I wasn't trying to slip anything past him, and he said he knew. And I mean, REALLY?

WHY THE EFF do I have to explain this? WHAT THE EFF is the big deal? And second-in-command wrote all over the letter, so it was destroyed. I had to ask my translator to write a new one.

PLUS, the hold-up on this is ridiculous, because second-in-command decided to dress down my boss, instead of just sending the documents back downstairs with the guy that walks around the office, it took more than A DAY to get the documents back to me. And my client NEEDS this stuff taken care of! It's not supposed to take A WEEK to do this!

So that's why I was weeping at my desk, because my beloved boss was mad at and disappointed in me, my client's stuff still wasn't done, and, in this particular office culture, one mistake just negates all the good you do, so I'm basically worse off reputation-wise with my boss than I ever have been.

So, I get the new letter signed, and give the documents BACK to the guy who walks stuff around the office at 9:00am Wednesday morning, and I tell one of my friends what had happened the previous day. She told me that second-in-command is far too stupid to have noticed the letter by himself, and that he doesn't open the envelopes anyway, so who opened the envelope? When I tell her, it was this lady, because second-in-command's secretary was out, she said, "Oh, that lady likes to start trouble. I bet she noticed it and told him about it." When I asked my boss's secretary about it later, she confirmed that indeed, this person, whom I've never met, was the one who spotted the error at first.

Come about 90 minutes before the end of business, I call the guy that's doing the work downstairs, and he says, "Brenda, where are the documents? I don't have them." And I said, "OH, MY GOD, I sent them upstairs at 9am. WHY don't you have them yet?" So he said, "Calm down, I'll go get them."

A few minutes later, he calls me. "Brenda, I got the documents, but there's something missing. The money orders for processing the certificates, they're missing."

"The hell they are! I specifically remember putting them in the envelope, because my translator started to write the wrong information on the envelope, and when he pulled the stuff out of the bad envelope, I reached across him, grabbed it, looked inside, took the two money orders out, and put them in the new envelope. I SPECIFICALLY remember doing this. Now someone is MESSING with me, and I don't LIKE IT!"

"Okay, okay, calm down. Are you sure there was an envelope?"

"No, there wasn't AN envelope. There were TWO envelopes. One for the certificates, one for the authentication."

"Okay, I have the one money order for the authentication, but not the certificates. And I didn't get them in envelopes. I got them in a loose folder. I'll call you back. I'm going upstairs."

A few minutes later, I get a call. "Bad news."

"Oh, no."

"She threw them away." And by "she," he meant THE SAME WOMAN WHO GOT ME AND MY BOSS IN TROUBLE!


"Yes, she forgot to check the envelope with the certificates for the money orders, so she threw the envelope away with them inside. She's looking through the trash right now. And Brenda, you know, they pick up the trash in the morning, so she isn't even looking at the trash, you know, under your desk. She's looking downstairs in the basement."


A little while after that, she found them. But this b-woman, WHOM I'VE NEVER MET AND NEVER DONE ANYTHING TO, had to make a big deal to second-in-command about the lack of signature, then she turns around and throws away money. So, tell me, who made the bigger mistake? I guess Ms. Perfect isn't so perfect after all.

I went home with something on my face. What was it? It seemed so foreign...I think it was a smile! When you dig a hole for someone else, you will fall in. Ha!

Now I'm trying to decide whether or not I should devise a strategy to ensure second-in-command is notified of this development. After all, I didn't set the rules of this little game--she did when she tried to get and succeeded in getting me and my boss in trouble. On the other hand, I imagine her digging through the trash and FREAKING OUT because obviously second-in-command is very volatile, and if she hadn't found the money orders, he would have had to have been told, so there's the double-whammy of her wallowing like a pig through garbage and the fear, and I wonder if that's enough. In these moments, for a fleeting second, I feel sorry for her. But on the other hand, I had the second worst week in that job on account of her. So I don't know.

If you're still reading, you're a total champ, and can you tell me, what should I do?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 8/2/2011 2:46AM

    Well, I found out who she was, which just kind of made me even madder about the situation. Then, I told everyone about it, making sure to include "wallowing like a pig through garbage," so I hope it gets back to her that I'm calling her a pig, because that would really piss her off.

The problem is that the second-in-command guy left town shortly after all this, so I didn't get a chance to finish my strategy. I thought about telling his secretary, "Oh, I'm so glad you're back, because you know, I don't mean to criticize, I'm sure she's a REALLY nice lady, but while you were gone, she threw away money orders for one of my clients..." and hoping she'd spread the word, but then he was gone. For now, I'm just glaring at her whenever I see her and try to stare her down. Not working so far, I'm not sure she knows who I am, but it makes me feel a little better.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/1/2011 4:24PM

    Hey, I must have missed this blog over my anniversary weekend, and just discovered it when looking for your Ramadan blog. Sorry this comment comes so late, then. I don't recall you addressing this again--- so what did you do?

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CYNDIDAVISUSA 7/22/2011 10:56AM

    Karma is such a b!tch! Take the high road and be like an elephant. REMEMBER.

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KKINNEA 7/20/2011 12:54PM

    Definitely high road. And if you ever meet her, remind her in a subtle way the day she had to dig through garbage :)

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HAKAPES 7/19/2011 6:09PM

    What you should do is track your food, and squeeze in 10 min exercise every day!


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ANNASBF 7/19/2011 1:16PM

    I have nothing cogent to add to that experience or to the advice you received from your other Sparkfriends.... I just know of all the people contained in that event you described in your blog above.... I like you best.

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KAREN_NY 7/16/2011 11:43AM

    It sounds like a pretty large office, so maybe you don't have to talk to her. If you expect she could be involved in future scenarios, or if you suspect she'll now be in a cycle of resentment, I'd go talk with her. I'd ask her for her side of the story, get her motivation. You might learn something for dealing with her (or keeping her out of it) in the future... and have the opportunity to remind her that you're both there to take care of the company's clients. High road. ;)

Otherwise, I agree with ASHL and Ruth... Karma.

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BETTERJULIA 7/15/2011 5:04PM

    I'd say go talk to her - make sure she KNOWS you know and that you are the one she made a HUGE deal about a missing sig for and not say anything to the bosses. I mean is she new in the position and just trying to show her boss that she is detail oriented? But by talking to her she'll sorta be indebted to you so if you have a little mistake that she sees next time she'll probably give you a heads up instead of making heads roll.

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KRISTA64 7/15/2011 12:06PM

    I agree....the thoughts of her digging through garbage is funny!
Being the "better" person is harder but in the end shines brighter! Keep shining!!!!

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AMYLONGHORN 7/15/2011 9:29AM

    Let me know what you decide to do, but I just wanted to commend you for the edit! You did a GREAT job of removing the foul language!! LOL

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MUNCHIE718 7/15/2011 5:08AM

  When you say trash, do you think there were coffee grounds involved? or banana peels? For some reason, it would be much better if it involved a little food trash, not just paper. emoticon

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RUTHXG 7/15/2011 12:15AM

    I agree: you're bigger (in the GOOD sense) than she is, so you can leave it to karma, which seems to be doing a pretty good job thus far. Heehee!

Sounds as if 2nd-in-c & the never-met lady deserve each other, you know?


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ASHL_84 7/14/2011 10:24PM

    LOL I'd say just let Karma take care of it. No need to sink to her level. The thought of her digging through the trash makes me laugh though! Hope your workday tomorrow is less stressful than the last few!!

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Cups of water yesterday. Holy geez.

I wish it were water week on 5% Challenge!

So, apparently, that's what happens when I quit drinking soda. I drink an aquarium of water. And for substitutes, if I get tired of water, I just don't drink, I guess. I saw in the cupboard that my husband has some packets that are kind of like Crystal Light, but I guess they're flavored-tea flavored. I don't know. Could work in an emergency.

This is my third day with nothing carbonated. We only have one Splenda-sweetened soda left in the house, and it was seriously injured in an accident involving paperboard and rainwater. It's sitting in the fridge, and maybe once I have the courage to attempt to open it, I'll drink it. But for now, I need to let it rest. =)

When I was putting on my make-up this morning, I noticed my skin looks a little better. Maybe it's my imagination...or maybe it really does.

I haven't weighed myself yet, and I'm not totally convinced giving up a calorie-free item is going to make a difference, but I read an article the other day to that effect, so I'm a liiiiiittle hopeful.

What else? There are some other good changes. I FINALLY got a new exchange student. He's from Niger, and he's super-cool and super-TALL. What's nice about having students from this particular organization is, we're required to provide host-prepared meals, which means, sitting at the table and eating together like a family. I LOVE it, but I never do it if it's just my husband and me (or an exchange student who gets to fend for himself, like my German kiddo that I had for 10 months).

I've been dragging at the gym, though. I guess it's just hard at the beginning of the week, because I'm breaking up my sleep, and it wears me down just enough to make a difference. Yesterday, I tried to focus on my fat crying, and pictured REBEKAHJOHNSON kickin' serious butt on the elliptical, but even those images just got me through another 10 minutes. Last night, I got to sleep through the night, and Little Sammy didn't even bother me, so hopefully, today, I will be fresh and ready to rock!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 7/11/2011 7:48AM

    Wow 21 cups. That is far more than I. If you use the crystal light packets don't use a whole one. Just enough to give the water a little flavor. I used about 1/3 a packet for a water bottle that holds 3 cups of water.

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HAKAPES 7/9/2011 7:49PM

    Any healthy Nigerian menu options?
Way to go with the water! I switched long ago, only water, and sometimes cola light!

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GOLOPTIOUS 7/7/2011 12:48PM

    Wow. 21 cups in one day? You are my hero!

Make that fat cry!!


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/7/2011 12:18PM

    Great job on the 21 cups! that is crazy!
I've been super slacking at my workouts too, but I think I'll be better now that our house guest is gone. Glad to hear your transition to no-soda is going well and that you have a new guest to cook for! I love family meals at the table, which John and I rarely do!

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AMYLONGHORN 7/7/2011 9:07AM

    OK so you drank 21 cups of water yesterday (which is AWESOME BTW), but all I can think of is how many times I would go to the bathroom if I did that! LOL

Oooohhhh I am glad you got your new student! That is very exciting!! I have been dragging at the gym/exercise, too. emoticon DOH!! I *need* the challenges to stay on track!!! Anyways, I'm glad you got a full night's sleep and I hope that makes for a great day!! *hugs*

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Sunday, July 03, 2011

I haven't gotten the headache.

I've been off the aspartame for three days. After one full day, I expected to have the terrible headache I'd gotten in the past when I was unwittingly off aspartame.

But, nothing.

I can't imagine why not, but I sure am thankful!

It kind of makes me feel a little regretful that I waited so long. How much money could I have saved!

I have had one side effect, namely, I've been quite tired since I gave it up. I've been offsetting that with the Splenda-sweetened soda my husband has. It works wonders! I've only been having one a day, and only when I'm feeling very lethargic.

So, so far, so good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congrats on the no headache. When you need some fizz, sparkling water is your friend. If you read the labels, you'll see that some brands (not all), like Pelligrino, have small amounts of calcium which will help you replace the calcium that sodas deplete. emoticon

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AMYLONGHORN 7/4/2011 10:20AM

    No headache?! Wow!!! That's GREAT!! WTG on sticking to it so far!!

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JMCADE 7/3/2011 6:10PM

    WTG getting off the aspertame. Congrats on no headache. Go forth and conquer!!!!!

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JECKIE 7/3/2011 1:21PM

    Yay for no headache! :) That's great news.

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JSPEED4 7/3/2011 1:00PM

    I tried a few of those things at times, short-term. The only one I feel right on is stevia powder. It helps in a lot of things--not much in others, so I just ignore the others in my diet now.

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Goodbye, Aspartame

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I think I'm ready.

I've been planning for the last several days to quit diet soda. I told my husband to not buy any more Diet Dr. Pepper, because I lose all control when I see it. So I've been drinking his soda since. I had two on Monday and Tuesday. I had one yesterday and today.

I'm going to get a crazy bad headache that won't go away with medication or sleep. I decided to do it today because I have a four-day weekend. I hope that the headache doesn't last that long. From the past experience, I'd say at least two days.

I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of everything. For instance, what do I drink when I am tired of water? I generally drink between 10 and 15 glasses of water a day. I'm going to get tired of it. I did last night. None of the usual answers sound interesting to me. Not Crystal Light, not cucumber, not lemon, not mint, especially not sparkling water ('cuz that's gross!) I don't know!

And the other thing, and I call it a "thing," because I don't know if it's an "issue," a "problem," or a "solution," or anything else, but I realized that some of the husband's pop is sweetened with Splenda.

Could I have one of those a day? Or is that a cop-out? What if I have a regular pop if I have calories leftover? What if it's a Throwback with real sugar? Do I really have to give it up altogether? I'm a little scared.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Perhaps instead of saying, "It's not that bad" you might want to ask yourself, "Is it GOOD for me?" Sparkling water answers yes to that question. When I got rid of my daily soda habit I found that within a couple of weeks the bubbles in sparkling water were enough for me (and some brands, like Pelligrino, even have small amounts of calcium, which soda depletes) I have a soda very rarely now, and when I do, it's a child size regular one, preferably made with sugar.

In time, I don't think Splenda will be shown to be all that safe. It hasn't been around long enough to really know, and it's a highly processed lab product just like any other fake sweetener. I remember when Aspartame became all rage early 80's as a replacement for saccharine, and that people were saying aspartame was a safe product made of "amino acids". Given my own adverse neurological reactions to aspartame after it had built up in my system, no one will ever convince me that it's safe. Splenda gives me headaches, too, so that's "proof" enough for me!


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JECKIE 7/1/2011 7:15PM

    I think Splenda is better than aspartame as well, but if you're looking to give up caffeine just quit the soda all together (I refuse to give up caffeine. It's my one vice and dammit, I love coffee!) Double check DH's soda, though. Even some sodas that say they're made with Splenda have aspartame in them too.

I just stopped drinking soda on a regular basis and I have no idea why. Very strange. I have a Throwback once in a while if I have the calories to spare, but otherwise I just have very little craving for it.

Seltzer water with some juice, perhaps? Or I've been on an iced tea/lemonade (about half and half) kick lately (I make lemonade with Splenda). Or iced tea with crushed fresh raspberries in it.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 7/1/2011 2:39PM

    I would try to give it up somewhat completely, at least at first. While I do enjoy the occasional diet soda, I rarely if ever CRAVE it and I definitely don't have any withdrawal symptoms at this point. Maybe schedule a regular soda pop in once a week. I have a feeling you will actually start to be grossed out by it. I had a glass of regular sugary pepsi last week and it hurt my stomach.
Here are some other drinks I enjoy from time to time - Honest Tea brand (i love almost all of them), those kool-aid fiz tablets in some water, regular old green tea, juice mixed with water. Regular juice is sometimes to strong/sweet for me, but I love to water it down, especially cranberry juice.
I crave water and only once in a while do i "need" one of my alternatives :) emoticon

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    Alternatives to water...tea, milk, almond milk, juice. As for having to give it up all together - well, I don't personally give (or plan to give) anything up all together, but I understand your desire to do so because of the "addiction" per say. If it's the caffeine you're addicted to, then perhaps a caffiene-free, sweetened with real sugar pop alternative (if calories are available) could be an occasional option for your. Provided you can keep it in check.

Good luck.

- Michelle

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AMYLONGHORN 7/1/2011 8:22AM

    I have no advice for you, because I still love me some Diet Dr. Pepper....I KNOW it is bad for me, but I'm just not ready to give it up. But GOOD FOR YOU for trying!!!! Let us know how it goes...and sorry I can't be of more help in the what to do when you get sick of water department!!

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RUTHXG 7/1/2011 12:51AM

    Is it the caffeine withdrawal that gives you nasty headaches? or is it something else that your body reacts to when deprived of diet soda?

I'm not enamored of Splenda as an alternative . . . As you know, I really like things made with actual sugar/brown sugar/molasses/honey, & despite the downside of those, I'd rather have them in small doses than artificial sweeteners of any kind.

Because my workplace is quite air-conditioned, I drink a large mug of hot herbal (or decaf) tea 2-3x a day--I keep my water bottle beside me & drink hot tea or cold water, whichever I'm feeling more need of. There are several great varieties that I never get tired of: Earl Grey decaf, coconut rooibos (or Celestial Seasoning's decaf Chai Tea Sweet Coconut Thai), Trader Joe's organic red (rooibos) chai, peach, decaf Constant Comment--& a recent discovery, lavender! All unsweetened.

My experience is that after a while without soda, you just lose your taste for it. It doesn't appeal to me at all anymore--too sweet or too chemical-tasting, or both. So good for you for quitting, & strength & good cheer to you!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2011 3:22:10 PM

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SASSACAIA 6/30/2011 10:14PM

    Personally, I think Splenda is a better option than aspartame. I don't know if it's actually been proven healthier, but I'm banking on the fact that m stomach doesn't react within seconds of ingesting the stuff. I can't drink diet because it makes me sick to my stomach. So I think if you need to wean yourself off of the diet, the Splenda version might be a good way to go. But in any case, I commend you! I know kicking that habit is a hard one. I used to drink Coke like there still was cocaine in it, and still allow myself one once in awhile, as a treat. (The full leaded stuff, mind you!) So it can be done! I promise!!

Oh, and we joined Gold's Gym yesterday!! I went for the first time tonight and I love it! AND there IS a pool! I'm so happy!!


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An ounce of prevention...

Monday, June 20, 2011

I have every intention of going to the gym today. I really do!

I have a new book to start on the bike, and I read the back before I got out of the car this morning, and it looks supremely interesting. I took a day off yesterday from working out, and two days is pushing it, especially if I want to duplicate last week's success.

I am in a really good mindset for the gym today. I really am!

But I am still going to ask a favor. Please comment on this blog like I'm trying to weasel out.

I am SO TIRED. And while I'm totally feeling it right now, I can totally see myself later saying, "I'm too tired. I did so good last week, I can take another day off. I won't eat too much tonight, promise. Com'on, let me go straight home if I promise not to smoke! But I have to go to bed early, and I want to spend time with Sammy, Judge Judy and Jem. My book doesn't look THAT good; I should have brought my magazine instead. I'll bring my magazine tomorrow. Then, I can go to the gym. My arm still hurts. I'm hungry. I'll do strength training at home...really, I will! Even though my arm still hurts..." and whatever else.

I know me. I've spent many a morning into early afternoon being jazzed about the gym. Not just resigned to it, but actually happy to be going, just to see it fizzle with the afternoon slump, a bad phone call, or a traffic jam. And my afternoon slump is starting early, like, an hour and a half ago.

If it happens that I start to feel weasley, I'll have your comments to look at. And because I asked for them, I can't disappoint, right?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMYOMG 6/21/2011 10:18AM

    So glad you made it to the gym!!!! I've been in that slump too but I also made it to the gym yesterday! :o) Going back tomorrow! Good Job! emoticon

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TAICHIDANCER 6/21/2011 12:18AM

    Good job! Now do it again tomorrow!

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BEATLETOT 6/20/2011 6:51PM

    Thank you, guys! I made it to the gym. And the book I'm reading isn't as good as the back says, but that's okay. I'll keep going in case it gets better. It's called "In Praise of Prejudice." It's a series of short essays, and the back said things about "style" and "wit," and I'm not really seeing it.

I think I may take the magazine tomorrow, anyway.

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BALOOSMUM 6/20/2011 2:00PM

    Thou shalt not WEASEL!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 6/20/2011 12:58PM

    This happens to me all the time. BUT YOU WILL GO. You will feel so good after and happy that you got to read your book - that's awesome multi-tasking!
Plus, you know we need the MILES!!
PLUS, if you work out today you can get through the week knowing you can take a rest day if needed later this week and not feel crappy about it!

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RUTHXG 6/20/2011 12:52PM

    Exercise at the gym will help you shed the nasties of the workday . . . they will all melt away with your sweat.

You are on a roll with exercise hours & weight loss--keep it up!

Do tell what the new book is! I find books much more enticing than magazines, myself.


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CARLYG8 6/20/2011 12:41PM

    How many days off will it take you to get to goal??????????

(you know I love ya...go to the gym!) emoticon emoticon

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TREASURINGLIFE 6/20/2011 10:35AM

    Just do it - you'll feel supremely wonderful afterwards. You know it. That proud, accomplished feeling is WAY better than the feeling of "ugh" you get when you don't follow through...and you spend the evening sitting on the couch. Right?! RIGHT! :)

Stay focused and WORK towards you hitting the gym and leaving with a huge feeling of pride after the fact!!

- Michelle

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JECKIE 6/20/2011 9:18AM

    Well here's the thing...

- You KNOW if you go to the gym you'll actually be LESS tired. ;) All that energy will make the evening better, AND you'll sleep better.
- "I can take another day off" leads to TWO days off, leads to FOUR days off and pretty soon you're back in bad habits. Don't do it.
- How awesome will it feel to have some SERIOUS celebrations the end of this week when you can look back on all you've accomplished and be proud?
- Do you bike with your arm? No? Then a sore arm is NOT a reason to skip out! ;)

So what book is it?!?! emoticon

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AMYLONGHORN 6/20/2011 9:14AM

    You WILL go to the gym today, you silly goose!!!

Have a good day and get on it after work!!

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