BEATLETOT   73,432
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Something weird happened to my face last night...

Friday, December 09, 2011

I was on my way home from work. Not home. To the gym. In order to get to the gym, I take the same exit to get home, then, instead of turning left, I keep going to the end of the road. So I pass the turn home everyday I go to the gym. Often when I do this, I think, "Ah, too late. You're on your way. No going home now."

In time, it's become habit. I'll realize 3/4 the way down the road that I passed the turn without thinking about it, without debating it.

Yesterday, I was in the right lane, and I saw a car turning into my neighborhood at the left in the left lane, about, say, 50 yards from me. I thought, I have just enough time to swerve behind that guy and go home. But I didn't.

And then something weird happened to my face.

I smiled.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSLISA1973 12/18/2011 4:10PM

    That's awesome. emoticon

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LINDABENEDICT 12/15/2011 8:22PM


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KALISWALKER 12/11/2011 1:50PM

    Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going. Have a great week!

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URBANEWARRIOR 12/11/2011 11:58AM

    What a great habit to have. You're inspiring me too!

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LILBITWANNABE 12/10/2011 11:36PM

    That's awesome!!! It's amazing how well I can do if I don't give myself a choice, but you gave yourself a choice and still went...That's something to be proud of!:)

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ANNIEONLI 12/10/2011 4:22PM


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ROXIT22222 12/10/2011 8:46AM

    soo cool. It feels good when you realize that new habits have become second nature. Keep it up.

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PINKNFITCARLA 12/9/2011 9:04PM

    Good for you!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/9/2011 8:44PM

    Way to all the way to the gym!

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THISISIT-PA 12/9/2011 7:55PM

    emoticon Some habits are great!

Sometimes I automatically head for the gym even when I'm going to the store that's in the opposite direction.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/9/2011 5:24PM


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CARLYG8 12/9/2011 3:52PM just made me smile!!! emoticon

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JECKIE 12/9/2011 11:39AM

    Love it! I take the same exit for gym and home too, but have to pass the gym to get home.

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WESTIEGAL1 12/9/2011 11:35AM

    emoticon emoticon What a great blog!!!

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RUTHXG 12/9/2011 11:12AM

    I'll join you! emoticon This is a great little story. You go Brenda!

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LULUTU 12/9/2011 10:37AM

    Great post! Keep smiling!

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BETTERJULIA 12/9/2011 10:08AM

    Love it! Great job on making the gym a habit!

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Operation: Birthday Party

Saturday, December 03, 2011

We're going to a pot"duck" tonight. It's become kind of a tradition with a friend. Her birthday is in a few days, so she does a Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner where she serves duck and we all bring the sides. I'm bringing my dad's green bean casserole (which, Amy, I put it in SparkRecipes, and it's not as bad as I thought...143 calories for a 1/12 piece), my husband is bringing papas a la huancaina, and my roommate and her boyfriend are bringing brussel sprouts cooked with bacon and carrot cake.

I did some finagling on my nutrition tracker, and I can only have one ounce of duck (which is fine, because I don't really like it, anyway--too rich), a serving of the green bean casserole, and a fine, honkin' serving of the carrot cake. No home-brewed beer this time around. I'll be drinking water. I still have 48 calories to put toward if someone brings chips or something to snack on beforehand, or, if I forget the duck, I can have a glass of wine, but I'm going to have to be careful. But I decided what I want to spend my calories on (cake... emoticon), and that's what I'm going to do.

My plan is to be mindful...remember that I've already planned this meal, and remember what that plan is! Remember that it's about the friends, not the food. Bring games! Bring my water bottle even though it's ugly and weird.

Please post any support or tips for getting through. I'm really not used to succeeding in a situation such as this.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWNOMWE 12/5/2011 1:47PM

    emoticon planning is the key.

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LINDABENEDICT 12/5/2011 1:06PM

    Way to go !!!! That is a great idea ....track in advance and stick with it ...I am impressed !!!!

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BETTERJULIA 12/5/2011 12:20PM

    LOVE the plan! You can do this!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/5/2011 12:13PM

    ahhh papas a la huancaina!! I lived with a peruvian dude for a bit in college (he is now married to my BFF) and he made it for us once and it was soooo bad! But since then I've had it at peruvian restaurants and I like it a lot, he just made it weird I think. He also bought some weirdo cake called dona peppa (or something) and it had like caramel on top, smothered in sprinkles and other very random dessert toppings!
but anyway, good for you for being so mindful to track before you went. I had a dinner party on Saturday too and I'm positive I went over my cals because it's impossible to track EVERYTHING - but I did my best :)

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PINKNFITCARLA 12/5/2011 8:47AM

    Glad you enjoyed it. You will succeed! I can tell by your planning :-)

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LILBITWANNABE 12/4/2011 10:33AM

    Woohoo! Way to stick to your plan!

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AMYLONGHORN 12/4/2011 9:28AM

    WAY TO GO!!! You had an awesome plan and followed it and were successful! Woo hoo!!! How did everyone like the green bean casserole? It's good to hear it's not too bad for ya!! And what games did you guys play?! Glad you had fun!!

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ANNIEONLI 12/4/2011 7:52AM

    Saw the PS To the night! Now THAT is how you do it!!! And I bet you are loving the feeling of control too...because you had it instead of the food or the other people in the room.

Going in with a plan is half the battle...execution is the other 50%!

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MADAMES 12/4/2011 7:42AM

    Great job planning ahead and sticking to the plan ! I need to follow your advice during these treacherous days of holiday get togethers!!

:) Evelyn


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SHRINKINGLULU 12/4/2011 2:30AM

The great thing about good friends? They're GOOD friends. They are stoked for you and all that you are doing and trying to do and will be supportive of your plans and your determination to stick through them. Good friends think your water bottle is awesome. Good friends are proud of you for planning all of this out and being able to have fun and cake!

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BEATLETOT 12/3/2011 11:39PM


After tracking everything, I still had 100 or so calories left for the day!

I took an even smaller serving of green beans, added some sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts and huancaina, had a tiny sip of my husband's Lambic, and only ate half the size piece of cake I planned for.

All of it tracked...and even less than I expected.

And it wasn't too hard...


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KIM--POSSIBLE 12/3/2011 10:15PM

    Sounds like a great plan! Knowing what is worth the calories is important! Way to go.

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COLLINSCJ2009 12/3/2011 7:01PM

    A well thought out plan of action. Enjoy your cake.

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RUTHXG 12/3/2011 6:11PM

    Wait--I thought it was BRUSSELS SPROUTS cooked with bacon & carrot cake! Such a striking concoction would have to be tasted, at least . . . emoticon

I agree with Sydney: work around what you most want to eat/enjoy. Have lots of fun, & happy birthday to your friend!


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SYDNEYMELYN 12/3/2011 5:31PM

    Eat that cake, girl. And eat it SLOOOOWWLLYYY. You'll love it even more. (consider just eating the cake, maybe? if that's what you really really want. i had a doughnut for dinner last night.)

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Standing in My Truth

Monday, November 28, 2011

My status update from last Monday said I was regaining my footing that day.

Well, I lied.

I thought I might. I even got a few hours in, but in the end, I just didn't want to.

I haven't stepped on the scale yet to see what this has done, and I'm sort of afraid to, but I'll save it for the winter challenge first weigh-in. Give myself five or six days to get a head start.

Because now I want to.

I need to stop living in paradoxes. I think it's starting to mess with me. Well, I think it's been messing with me for years. Anyway, I need to stop living in them. I don't have time. Life is short and time is ticking. I have to start standing in my truth (which--give credit where it's due--I first heard from my hero Suze Orman), realize what I want and what is important to me, and start living in my truth.

I didn't want to still be smoking in my twenties. I'm 29. When am I going to stop for good?


I joined SparkPeople in 2007, when my graduate school weight started creeping on. That was four, almost five, years ago. When am I finally going to stop gaining weight?


But there are other, smaller paradoxes, too.

I don't like that I eat meat from sick cows. Cows' stomachs weren't meant to ingest corn, which is what most of them are fed. And who knows what your meat has been sitting in? It's a filthy, disgusting business. But I still do it. Eat beef, I mean. When am I going to insist on having more information, paying for quality meat?


I really dislike that so many of the foods I eat (even many so-called "healthy" foods) are laden with chemicals. It's gross. And that's why we as a nation are so sick. When will I start actually removing these foods from my diet until they're barely there, if at all?


When will I start standing in my truth, doing what I know is right instead of what is easy?

And there are other things as well. What do I want?

- I want to be healthy. I want to feel good and energetic and happy.
- I want to be strong.
- I want to stop torturing my body and the animals that nourish it.
- I want off my meds. I've long subscribed to the notion of "better living through chemistry," and I was unable to function at all right before I went on them. But why? I want to figure that out, and I want to stand on my own two feet without the help of a prescription.
- I want to stop self-medicating.
- I want to learn Arabic. Then Japanese. Then maybe something else.
- I want to stop depriving myself of what I need.
- I want my ultimate career dream. I can go into it with you someday, but this is already getting quite lengthy I think.

And most of all, I want to stand in my truth. I want my priorities and my actions to line up. It's going to take some time, and it's not going to be easy. I can't do it overnight. I need to educate myself. I need to change my way of thinking about money and living. I need to get my husband more or less on board. But most of all, I need to remember what I'm trying to achieve and how important it is to me, to my health, both mental and physical.

I'll let you know. =)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLYG8 12/4/2011 10:23PM

    Great blog Brenda! I believe you will accomplish every thing you set out to do. It really is mind over matter. I know, because I have been there. I haven't had a cigarette in almost 12 years. I haven't had a drink in almost 2 years, and only then it was a sip. I haven't eaten meat in almost, uhmmm...29 years. It can be done with the right mindset. You go girl!!!

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SYDNEYMELYN 12/2/2011 7:03PM

    Awesome! We're gonna kill this 5% Winter Challenge, I just know it!

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LINDABENEDICT 11/30/2011 10:20PM

    You are right ! And strong........

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MEMARE 11/28/2011 8:46PM

    Awesome blog.
I think you will achieve what you set your mind and heart to. emoticon

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BETTERJULIA 11/28/2011 3:43PM

    This is a beautiful declaration of self independence - by following these truths you will live your life in a way that makes you happy. I know it is hard to change habits but I have been doing it in my life and it really makes other things easier when I'm wanted to run out on my lunch and have something quick (which usually would mean unhealthy) that I'm concerned w/ it being clean food that I know where it comes from. And I end up eating the fruit or oatmeal or nuts that I have on hand already. I believe in you and I know that you can do this!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/28/2011 2:02PM

    Great blog. I want to stand in my truth too, and I think we'll have to make small steps to do the things we believe in - it can't all come at once, but I think your list is great and will get you moving towards it. PS - did you see that documentary "King of Corn"? it was really good (better than "Food Inc," IMO!)

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RUTHXG 11/28/2011 12:08PM

    Wonderful, Brenda--your aspirations are so admirable. I look forward to cheering you on as you stand in your truth!

emoticon emoticon

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HOPESINGH 11/28/2011 9:57AM

    It sounds like you haven't figured it all out yet. Which is completely normal, I believe. I mean, it is rare that a person really lives up to his/her ideals. They are here to guide us, we need to aspire to something. I know at least I am rarely on my best behavior, not in all domains of my life.
So really, I'd stick to the "one step at a time" strategy, not jump at career + husband + food + medicines all at once.
Keep updating, it is very inspiring to read, really.

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JDHAPPY 11/28/2011 9:29AM

  I liked this blog. I agree with almost everything you have said. May I ask what meds you are on? I ask this because I also fell into the trap of thinking that I could medicate myself into happiness, or at least if not happiness, then something close. Instead, I inadvertently checked into "Hotel California" at the swipe of my doctor's pen on the his prescription pad. After refusing to take another pill, I spent months researching mind bending medications that are supposed to help, but either numb a person out or do the exact opposite of what they were intended to do. I read and read and read, researched everything I could get my hands on about anxiety and depression, and just the research alone was enlightening.

I've learned many things about "thought process" behaviors that cause depression and anxiety. It truly is our way of thinking. It's taken me a long time traveling on the road to making changes in the way I think about things, but not near as long as I thought it would. Now I feel I've made some of the positive changes it takes to live with contentment. When I stopped expecting to feel great and happy every day and stopped convincing myself that if I didn't, then there must be something wrong with me, I started feeling happier every day. I know it makes no sense, but we over-expect that life should be a bed of roses and in truth, it wasn't designed to be. We are designed to feel joy, anger, excitement, sadness ....... and me finally accepting that made my whole world look different.

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." Thoreau


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1CRAZYDOG 11/28/2011 9:11AM

    Wonderful blog. One person @ a time we CAN make changes to demand healthier food by voting with our pocketbook . . . don't buy the unhealthy stuff!

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Call it sabotage, call it psyching myself out, call it subconscious planning...

Friday, November 18, 2011 it whatever you want. I'm not buying a present for myself tomorrow. I made today an epic fail. And I knew I was doing it, and I didn't give a damn.

It was a really bad day. And I shouldn't have let it railroad me, but I did, and it did. With gusto.

I found out today via Facebook that my "best friend" got married. Today.

We live on opposite coasts, and even though we don't talk *that* often due to the time difference, I still consider(ed) her my best friend. And it's not like we haven't talked in months...I talked to her less than three weeks ago on the phone. She said nothing about her pending nuptials.

I knew she was engaged, but she never told me a date. Ever. Apparently, this was the date.

I guess we aren't really best friends anymore. I can't be sure we're even friends at all anymore. How can we be friends, let alone best friends, if she didn't even tell me this?

If I hadn't gone on Facebook today, which I guess I hadn't in the last several days (since I'd miss all the little status updates before), I still wouldn't know my bestie was married. I wish I didn't know. I guess I don't use social media enough to be her friend anymore. My heart is broken.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/9/2011 9:34PM

    Wow, I am just reading this blog now. Weird that I missed this. Anyway, wow. That is definitely weird. Espesh since you just talked on the phone. Have you since confronted her or addressed this? I need to go back and re-read other blogs to make sure I didn't miss this.

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ANNASBF 11/24/2011 11:39PM

    I found this slight to be very hurtful indeed. I have no wonderful cheering up message to bring. This is a totally lame way to treat a friend let alone one who has been in the BF position. I'm sorry. That's it... I'm sorry. Geez.

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HAKAPES 11/22/2011 3:13PM

    That really sounds strange!

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TRACEYROCK 11/19/2011 1:37PM

    Ok- you dont forgot to tell your brest friend the date of your wedding. At least, I assume that your best friend would be invited to spend the day with you, unless its just the happy couple. Wow- I'm so sorry for you. I would be hurt too. Maybe you should buy the present, just so you do retail therapy instead of food therapy!

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HOPESINGH 11/19/2011 5:00AM

    that is such a disappointment! I'm so sorry. It does sound like she's not a best friend anymore. I'd get just as hurt and angry as you do. When my best friend got married, I flew from Belgium to Israel, just to be there.
emoticon emoticon

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RUTHXG 11/19/2011 12:42AM

    That is TOTALLY weird, & I'm so sorry. emoticon emoticon emoticon

People disappoint us, & sometimes in huge ways. You know that I know. Love & solidarity to you.

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COLLINSCJ2009 11/19/2011 12:40AM

    So sorry that she did that to you.

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BEATLETOT 11/18/2011 11:58PM

    No. She forgot. I posted on her Facebook status, underneath all the greats and congratulationses, "Are you serious? I have to find out like this?" And an hour later I got a text that said, "I was sure I'd told you..." How do you forget telling your "best friend" that? Maybe she knew a lot less recently that we weren't best friends anymore. God, I feel so childish, talking about best friends and getting bent out of shape over weddings and such, but it SUCKS.

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COLLINSCJ2009 11/18/2011 10:12PM

    It may have been a spur of the moment thing. Don't beat yourself up over it and don't make assumtions until you are able to talk to her. emoticon You still need to buy yourself that present you deserve it.

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SASSACAIA 11/18/2011 9:55PM

    Oh man, that sucks. Sometimes I hate Facebook.

I'm sorry.

emoticon emoticon

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NORCALCAT 11/18/2011 9:37PM

    Oh...I am so sorry about this...I wish I could just hug you! emoticon

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Picking a Fast Break

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm trying to decide what my next Fast Break goal will be. The ones that look most enticing and helpful to me are the nutrition ones, but you only get one from each category (nutrition, fitness, motivation), and "tracking my food each day" is one of my current ones. I don't think that one has become a habit yet, so I'm loath to change it already.

The two I keep looking at are "Don't snack mindlessly in the evening," and "Don't eat in front of the TV and computer."

I really should just pick one from the Motivation category, but many of them are silly to me and I'm afraid of failing at the ones that aren't, because you have less control over them. Take "sleep for 8 hours each night" for example. Sometimes, you just CAN'T sleep. You don't know why, but try as you may, you can't.

And I fear that if I don't follow through with one of my goals, and I lose my weekly reward because of it, I'll wind up sitting on the couch, smoking, and staying up late while eating salt and vinegar chips until the following Sunday. Maybe past the following Sunday. The success of this goal system I created is at least partly contingent on my being successful on it, because there's at least one addiction involved. How can I make failure less likely?

Maybe instead of making the precarious Fast Break goal required for my weekly reward, I can add an amount to my present budget every time I follow through with it. It feels a little like a cop-out.

I dunno. Any insight?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/18/2011 1:12PM

    I think some of those goals are weird - I had the eight hours sleep one but its like you don't just track it with a checkbox so it got confusing for me! I think just do what you want and make yourself accountable and only reward yourself when you truly know you did what you set out to do :) I think its good to just be aware of your daily goals and not obsess over them,... but i guess it depends on the girl!

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RUTHXG 11/18/2011 11:22AM

    You certainly COULD take on a "sleep x hours/night" goal--& check it off whenever you get to bed in time to allow that amount of sleep! You're not in control of your body's wiring, but you're in control of your bedtime & waking time. Well, most of the time you are, as long as you're not a parent of small children! Reward yourself for doing something right, regardless of results, yeah?

Also, you could make it incremental or give yourself a sleep range, just as you have a calorie/nutrient range: it could be 7-9 hours of sleep, for instance. Even then, you would get a check every time you parked your body where it should be for the requisite number of hours--NOT just when it was able to slide into instantaneous grateful slumber & stay there till wake-up time.

If the Fast Break goals are preset & you can't tweak them, you could just mentally (or in writing) redefine them as needed.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOPESINGH 11/18/2011 9:52AM

    Couldn't agree more with Betterjulia. You're kinda saying "if I don't achieve the goal perfectly, I just give up". Doesn't sound like the best, most encouraging attitude. any progress is a progress, even if it's not a success of a 100%.
Have a nice weekend!

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BETTERJULIA 11/18/2011 9:33AM

    I think that you have to do what works for you and not completely think of it as an all or nothing - 8 hours of sleep is a great thing to aim for and that's what those goals are so that you work hard towards them so that you improve even if you don't completely succeed. Keep it up and keep ROCKING It!

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