BESSHAILE   44,176
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Whatís your Latte Factor?

Monday, March 01, 2010

If you are a fan of David Bach, the financial guru who coined the phrase Latte Factor, you may have already seen how he is to your finances what Spark People is to your nutrition and overall fitness. Heís all about making small changes, eliminating stupid stress, getting good habits on auto-pilot. If you are new to him, you might want to check out his website Finish Rich dot com.
His most intriguing concept is what he calls the Latte Factor Ė all the little things we fritter away that could be used to start up a rainy day fund or a retirement fund. (or a new bathroom?)

So. What is your nutritional latte factor? Is it chips? Cheetos? (my bete noire)
Is it dessert? What about your fitness latte factor? What frittery things do you do that suck up the time you could be exercising? Is it television? Computer games?

March is such a good month for spring cleaning; your life as well as your house. Iím spending the rest of this week doing a financial latte factor check-list but I am also looking at my other areas of frittery-ness. Maybe itís the brisk wind blowing away the cobwebs of winter, maybe itís the brighter days with more minutes of sunshine in them, but I seem to see an awful lot of dust in the corners of my life and Iím feeling the urge to find me some cleaning utensils.

May you identify your latte factors and swap them out for a richer investment in yourself. Happy Monday to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 3/2/2010 6:56PM

    I love the idea of spring cleaning to take care of the latte factor. I think mine is definitely soda at check-out lanes ($1.50/pop). Oh what I could do with that money. As for time, the computer sucks my time, but I gave up Facebook for Lent for that reason. I also quit running my work-out schedule around the tv and instead record my shows and watch them AFTER work-out!

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LUNADRAGON 3/2/2010 1:35AM

    Great idea. Time. That would be my latte factor.

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SANDYJAS 3/2/2010 1:21AM

    Lattes, mmmmm

Comment edited on: 3/2/2010 1:23:27 AM

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MSLZZY 3/1/2010 9:35PM

    Time to address my latte factors-thank you!

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MAURAK 3/1/2010 7:56PM

Great food for thought - the only kind we don't have to track here.

I remember once my mom told me that I paid the chef's salary at the supermarket because I bought convenience things like washed and bagged lettuce.
Our habits have changed so much that the other day in the supermarket I asked my daughter what something cost and she knew I was referring to it's nutritional value. We had a good laugh about that.
Thanks for the link!

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JLITT62 3/1/2010 3:54PM

    Oh, my latte factor is absolutely BLTs. And I'm working on it! I feel much more in control over them lately. At least I'm more aware of them. Like the one pita chip & smidgeon of garlic dip I had at the store today -- I wrote it down.

And I always know I'm bored when I start clicking my "get mail" every few minutes.

And sometimes sparking is a good way to fritter away my exericse time . . . like RIGHT NOW. So I guess I better throw the clothes in the dryer, change, and get my run over with.

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SHEILA1505 3/1/2010 1:50PM

    Your background of blooming daffodils is wonderful and particularly appropriate for today - St. David's Day - Patron Saint of Wales.

My latte factor was giving up smoking and not having to put in the hours of working for clients to earn the money to pay for them. And then the medical savings and the cleaning bills - the house and clothes and interior of the car - and having to replace linens &clothes that had burn holes from ash or match heads - all this increases my FunFund which is for travelling and dance classes.

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HARPERLADY 3/1/2010 12:49PM

    great post, thanks for the info

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MOOOOW 3/1/2010 12:31PM

    Again, another great blog! My latte factor is any carb that sets my insulin off and makes me crave...a diabetic problem. I am always trying to find that one thing (taste) that will take the urge away. I do not keep sweets or sugar around.

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HANSEEN 3/1/2010 12:07PM

    My latte factor is food high in fat as well and the TV. Although when the weather is nicer I will swap the TV for the garden or a walk.

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TESHIE4ME 3/1/2010 11:51AM

    My latte factor is snacking on fatty foods, especially CHEESY fatty foods. I found laughing cow light and put it on a whole grain cracker this is progress but I can't seem to stop at one serving. That is what I must work on next. Oh and my other latte factor = margaritas. I cannot completely eliminate them but I have cut back quite a bit. Now I just appreciate them even more! emoticon emoticon

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February Report - and what I learned from it

Sunday, February 28, 2010

First the good news. The numbers on official Weigh In and Measure day were not so bad. Weight 166 - which is down a mere half a pound for the month. Of course that's putting a good spin on it - it means weight was up 1.5 over last Sunday.
Bust - same
Waist - 33 down an inch
Hips - 38.5 down half an inch

Also - in February I began to learn yoga - for my faithful friends you already know this. I practiced yoga 27 out of 28 days which is a very good fitness streak. With yoga I feel like I've made a new Best Friend - A BFF ... Best Fitness Friend.

My Monthly Mile Posts were to:

Show Measurable Progress in at least one of the following areas emoticon

__X__ inches lost
__X__ weight lost
__X__ strength

Try a new recipe or food emoticon

Do one fun thing that celebrates my Health and Weight Loss Journey - this month - to create a visual

Devise on the first of the month and accept on the last day of the month a reward for meeting my monthly goals. February's reward is a candle lit bubble bath with champagne tonight. emoticon

At least I will accept it when I have tried this new recipe:

Roast pork was requested by Himself for dinner today - whew. Made this just in the nick of time. I had intended to make slow cooker yogurt and I may still do - but just in case, I'm glad there was a recipe for dinner that fits both the goal and the husband's desire.

And I will create some kind of visual today and even if it isn't my best shot it will suffice. And I think if I get over the hump I'll be able to continue with the concept till there is something I really like.

I'll come back later today and put in those emoticon's beside those two other goals when I can honestly claim them.

So. What did I learn from all this - and especially why didn't I lose more weight ... why did I derail my efforts that last week?

Here's what I think:

1. I didn't keep my goals in the forefront of my mind that last week. The first 3 weeks I spent just oh - 5 minutes a day imagining myself achieving each of my long term goals. Buttoning that dress, The doctor beaming at me and saying "I think we can lower the dosage on this", me at family reunions and other food laden events just calmly selecting exactly the right things to make me feel healthy and strong and part of the group. But that last week I stopped doing it. Oh - I would mentally list the goals but I didn't take those few minutes - and I promise you - it doesn't take more than 5 minutes a day to really SEE myself the way I want to be.

but with out that visual image really part of my daily life i really do tend to push the long term goals further into the future - to a Someday Off in the Distance.

Like brushing my teeth - I really can't afford to not imagine myself reaching each goal I want to reach. If I stop wanting to imagine it ... i have probably stopped wanting to have it.

2. I stopped being serious about what I put in my mouth each day. I exceeded the calorie limit almost every day this past week. Oh - I never went over the limit by THAT much - but you see - 100 calories here, 200 calories there and the next thing you know you've gone over by a LOT. I am sure this is how I put on all this excess weight in the first place. I'm not much of a binger, I'm a nudger. One day over the limit is never going to matter but one plus one plus one plus one plus one ... plus 365 in a row and those pounds will pile on. I think I need to lay down a strict limit of only one nudged day a week.

Plus I ate a lot of salty food this week. I love olives and I enjoy adding some to my diet fairly regularly but those olive bar olives are so salty they can make your mouth pucker. I like a little salt. I am not a salt-0-holic. I think if I'm going to have olives in the future I really need to have the ones with the least salt in them.

Also - there are a few things that I don't track on the nutrition tracker. They're little 20 calorie items but I don't know if they didn't all sneak up on me as 100 and 200 calorie Bites Licks and Tastes by the end of the week. The tablespoon of fat free half and half in my coffee - okay it's 20 calories but was it really only a tablespoon? Did I drink 3 cups of coffee? I can't honestly tell you but I think in March I shall get serious about those BLT's and be sure they're on the tracker so I can't forget about them.

3. and this is really a minor thing but it's something I learned nonetheless. I participated in the Spark team's 28 crash course through the book - and the spark people plan. Each week you go through one of the 4 segments of the total spark plan which was entirely too fast for me. I joined SP in October. I didn't really start working the plan for a month. I wasn't ready to move to stage 2 for at least another month and by golly I wasn't ready to move to stage 3 till this month. Not that I had to "obey" the 28 day crash course but I realize that I don't do well with other people's time table. A monthly challenge that has me exercise every day or drink water every day or some other small thing or even big thing - can be good but following an arbitrary schedule is not for me. I won't do that again.

So. I am much smarter today than I was a month ago. emoticon I'm a little smaller and even a wee tiny bit lighter. This is good. I'm armed and educated to move into March. I intend to look for the same monthly mileposts and follow the same daily routine I did for February but I will incorporate the knowledge I now have and be more assiduous about keeping those goals in the front of my mind and those calorie limits in place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACIWRIGHT79 3/1/2010 6:34AM

    Thanks for sharing! I especially appreciate your comments on the book, I am reading it right now, and I don't think there is anyway I can move through that fast. Glad to know I am in good company! Congrats on meeting so many of your goals! emoticon

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OPAL50 2/28/2010 6:32PM

    Your voicing what you learned helps me and others to learn through your observations. emoticon

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MOOOOW 2/28/2010 4:18PM

    Fantastic self-evaluation!!! You will get there if you continue this! Great! Great! Great!
Pris emoticon

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SHEILA1505 2/28/2010 10:46AM


with love


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CRAVE_FREE 2/28/2010 9:45AM

    Wow! Looks like you've learned a lot and have some great focus points for March! I hope your bubblebath is a great reward and fuels you up to earn your March reward.

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I can last longer - something to hold on to on a tough day

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Longer than what? you ask

Longer than any struggles, setbacks, hurdles, difficulties, doubts and frustrations. Today is a difficult day for me. It's tough because I snuck off with Mr.Scale and peeked at my weight and it is not what I wanted to see. I peeked because I know I have been slap dash with the program this week and I'm going to write about that tomorrow - on my official weigh in day and also the end of the month.

But today I am going to write about something else - something important for me to cling to. something I found on the SP message boards in the Staying Motivated Forum, topic Say One Positive Thing About Yourself Each day

I went looking because I can feel the frustration and disappointment with myself building inside. It's going to be a restaurant day, taking my wheelchair riding dad to some fat laden restaurant for our monthly visit. If I'm already feeling sorry for myself - or worse! - feeling like a weakling, like the fat daughter of fat parents from the fat family - well. This is a hurdle for sure.

Mind now - I love my family and accept them at any weight or size and I have a sister who's here with me on SP and we ARE making progress. But today is a hurdle day and I was on the lookout for something that I could hold on to on a tough day.

and sure enough I found it. When I tried to think o something positive about myself that I could use my mind cast back to the 1990's and the building of our new library - and there it was - the hand-hold I was looking for - right there within my personality.

Our community is not a poverty stricken one but it always falls in the Below the Median line whenever the state looks at economic factors. We're small - 10,000 people and back in 1994 we were even smaller. There are pleanty of other challenging demographics I could site but I like that 10K population figure because it's an easy number to imagine whenever I'm talking about the wonderful thing our community did. And with this story, I will take credit for being the single candle that never ever blew out no matter what.

When my library board decided to build a new library (in response to my constant prodding) the estimated amount of money we would have to raise was $700,000. Nobody in my county had ever raised that kind of money from local fundraisers before. The schools had all been built with federal money and the surrounding small counties like ours had all built their libraries with at least large chunks of federal dollars. Yes. I know that ALL government dollars come from the localities ... from individuals ... but it is easier to apply for a federal grant than it is to knock on your next door neighbor's door, when asking for money.

And on my board there were people who shook their head and said "you'll never get that much money out of this community - it just isn't here".

and my answer always was .... "There are 700 families who can donate $250 a year for 4 years because even MY family, paying for college tuition right now, can do that. It's less than a coke a day!" And right then I decided that I would NEVER give up. NEVER quit. No matter what things blocked our way I would out last them. I would believe and I would be positive and never once did I think "oh I'm sick of this. We'll never get there. I quit".

It took us not 4 years, but 6 years to raise that money. But we did raise it and more. In the end we raised one million dollars from the pockets of 10,000 people or about 2,500 families. And we gave them the most beautiful library - it opened 10 years ago and it still looks like a new building. The grand opening was the biggest event the county ever did and it wasn't till our high school football team became state champions this past fall that anything pulled us together quite so completely.

And we did it because we - especially I - never ever gave up. When someone would come to me down hearted I'd look them in the eye with steel and a twinkle and say "Don't worry. We'll do this because we can last longer than this problem. "

And we did.

And by golly - no matter what the official weigh in is tomorrow ... No matter how long this takes ... No matter what looms up ahead - I am going to reach my goals, because


And can't you see all sorts of SP tricks and tools in this story? Small steps, patience, positive self-talks, belief. They're all there. And if I did it before, by golly, I can do it again!

And now I'm going to go do some yoga to add the finishing change to my mood. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARPERLADY 2/27/2010 1:50PM

    good luck emoticon

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SANDYJAS 2/27/2010 11:13AM

    Bravo! Thank you for the inspiration about your library. You are a "Can Do Person".

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SANDY5882 2/27/2010 11:02AM

    You are amazing! If you accomplished the library goal, you can do this!

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CELEST 2/27/2010 8:10AM

    Incredible and totally true. Look forward to reaching the finishing line, looking over my shoulder and finding you smiling alongside me. emoticon

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JLITT62 2/27/2010 7:58AM

    Wow! What an amazing accomplishment!

I like to say that I can outstubborn any of my animals, and my husband will tell you it's true!

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MSLZZY 2/27/2010 7:14AM

    Very positive! It make take time, more time than we expect, but we will get to our goal if we are willing to invest that time to get there. emoticon

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SHEILA1505 2/27/2010 7:08AM

    And only you can get in your own way!
You've proved to yourself, and now to all of us, that you CAN do it, that you WILL do it and now you are just going to DO it.

We are with you all the way - and have some fun with your Dad today!

with love

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/27/2010 7:01AM

    What an amazing story! You did, and you can do this! You are bigger than any food at a fat laden restaurant! I have faith in you spark friend! emoticon

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The greatest non-scale victory of them all

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank you my dear spark friends for the swift rallying round me on yesterday's blog. I have to admit, I was of two minds about posting that story because, in truth, I wasn't all that upset about my straying on Wednesday. I decided to write about it, though, because I want this blog to reflect my real journey - which includes the successes and the failures. Or perhaps I should say the right turns and the .... left turns. (almost wrote wrong turns)

It was too bad that I couldn't resist buying (and eating) both the sandwich AND the olives, dripping in olive oil. Too bad I succumbed to the lure of freshly ground beef. Really too bad I'd left those chocolate chip cookies in the house when I could have shared them with my staff or ... for heaven's sake ... thrown them away. too bad.

but what is So Good - what is the greatest non-scale victory of them all is that yesterday I hopped up, ate healthy, did a gentle, slightly shorter yoga session, and breezed through the day in a cheerful mood. Not because I had to force myself to Do The Right Thing but because I couldn't wait to do it. As if Wednesday had been a trip and Thursday it was over and I was back home in my familiar favorite territory. Yup. The greatest victory of all is when - regardless of size, weight or anything else - the healthy day is the most fun!

May all your days be healthy ones. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPAL50 2/26/2010 1:47PM

    I really like MSLZZY's comment about taking a "scenic route" on your "mini vacation"... I LOVE Sparkspeople! emoticon You learn SO much from the blogs as well as the comments from others. Keep going! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 2/26/2010 9:34AM

Good olives are nothing to regret.... emoticon

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JLITT62 2/26/2010 9:28AM

    My biggest thing is not so much what I eat, but HOW I eat it. As long as I thoroughly enjoy it, usually I'm good with it -- whether it was on the plan or not.

And it sure sounds like you mostly did (except maybe those cookies -- I've been known to throw out food on occasion).

Before you know it, you'll be eating like a kid again!

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/26/2010 7:55AM


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ANTCOF 2/26/2010 7:19AM

    You're back on track, that is the main goal...that's what matters! Stay healthy.

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BAYSIDE07 2/26/2010 6:56AM


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MSLZZY 2/26/2010 6:55AM

    Your mini vacation was like taking the scenic route back home. You have arrived and are back in control. Good for you!

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HARPERLADY 2/26/2010 6:32AM

    sounds like you got it working for you, great job!

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KALIOPPE 2/26/2010 6:26AM

    Congratulations on getting your balance. I find that harder than anything else. Good luck and keep it up! emoticon

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SHEILA1505 2/26/2010 6:23AM

    Sounds like you are getting to enjoy the balance in your life


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BDENOON 2/26/2010 6:21AM

    Slip ups like the one you had are normal.
You're back on track and enjoying life....that's what matters!

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Tumbling off the wagon and thinking my way back on

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yesterday was a bad day

Or rather

It was a lovely day but not a healthy SP day for me. It started out okay but derailed in the late afternoon. It left me just a tiny bit shaken - but I am sure it was in a good way. Certainly it was a day that gave me lots of things to think about.

First off - I gave myself a day off from exercise. A tendon in my left hamstring was a little tender and I thought I'd give it a rest. I was okay with this but it was the first thing to sort of interrupt the routine. Planned interruption but still a change.

Breakfast was okay

Lunch was fast food. My favorite fast food lunch is Taco Bell's Fresco burrito - it is filling and usually holds me all day. I checked the nutrition page ahead of time and thought I'd try the steak fresco burrito supreme for a change - usually I like the bean burrito fresco style ... lunch under $1.00

Mistake - It did NOT fill me up. Even the apple I had in the car didn't help.

After shopping and 2 hours at a new doctor and lab work (always stressful for me - hard to find veins) I was STARVING. In addition - the doctor's scale first weighed me at 166 - with clothes on I am okay with this ... then, as the nurse started to write that down it leapt up to 171! then went back down to 170.

Now. I know it's just a machine but here is this machine just wiping out all the effort I've put in over 2 months! What is going on? (I'm a64.5 again this morning, naked, on my own scales, btw)

An inventory of my body to see what nutritious snack would make me feel good came up with Banana - but at the high end grocery store I stopped at (no point in going to Food Lion - we have that at home) their bananas were all green. Nary a ripe one in the store. I had to do some serious inventorying and but I was also fighting the deli section's aromas on this empty growling tummy. I decided on a sandwich and found one that looked good. Then I saw the olive bar - not something I have access to unless I go to the city. And filled a tub with treats.

Which I broke into in the car before I was out of the parking lot. The half a sandwich was also delicious and you know ... if I had stopped there I would have been just fine. Alas - it was not to be. I had also picked up some top quality ground beef - not lean, but so beautiful which I cooked up for my husband for his dinner when I got home - and for me. Yes I did not forgo dinner EVEN THOUGH I WAS NOT HUNGRY. Yep. I ate smaller dinner than I would normally have - but there wasn't any real desire for it. How can I eat when I am NOT hungry? why do I and what is the nutso message that flies through my brain at times like that?

Of course the final damage was the chocolate chip cookies that I ate after dinner - after nutrition tracking - after I was already full. Those, as I ate them, felt like sulking. They were true "I already blew it - what difference does it make" cookies.

Ugh. What a stupid way to end a day.

so. so. so we must get back on the wagon and thankfully the sun always does roll around and give us another day to do that - Today to be specific.

And what did I learn?

1. I will go overboard if i go into a fancy grocery store when hungry.
2. I probably ought to buy only ONE special treat at a high end grocery store
3. It's okay to eat when I'm hungry even if it ruins my appetite for dinner BUT
4. It is not okay to eat dinner when I'm not. My husband does not insist I cook for or eat with him if I'm not hungry. I do NOT have to eat a meal just because "It's Dinner Time".
5. It's always risky to have cookies in the house. It is better to bake only enough for one sitting. Then, when they're gone - they're gone.

Well. that was yesterday. This is today. All sorts of good things can happen today. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 2/26/2010 1:59PM

    Sorry yesterday was bad for you, but it sounds to me like you never abandoned all thought and just ate; you were mindful. That's still a step in the right direction. It is so great you learned from yesterday and you stayed positive and are looking on the bright side today!

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MSLZZY 2/25/2010 10:24PM

    Walk away from it having learned another good lesson.

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SANDYJAS 2/25/2010 2:28PM

    Well, I don't see it so much as falling off the wagon as I see it being human. I think we all just have those days. You did a great job just accepting yourself, and getting right back to plan. That little voice that says "you blew it anyways, you might as well _____" is the one that always gets me in trouble!

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HARPERLADY 2/25/2010 9:46AM


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JKTENTATIVE 2/25/2010 8:45AM

    I am soooo sympathetic to you...and I don't know what you could have done differently so that you would have had a different outcome. You could have been describing me...watching myself do stuff I know I don't want to do, and then compounding the problem. I am hopeful that someone can give you advice on an alternative path you might have taken that would have nipped this in the bud so that next time you find yourself in that predicament again, you will have a new tool. Other then getting on the computer and posting a "help me" SP message, I can't think of what you could have done.
-- In the meantime, be sure to drink lots and lots of water today and don't weigh yourself for a week.

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JLITT62 2/25/2010 8:04AM

    All sorts of good things WILL happen today.

We all have days like that. They are frustrating, to be sure, but they're just one day. They don't define us.

Guess what? I'm a hard stick, too. I don't mind a jab in my finger, but oh how I hate blood draws.

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/25/2010 8:00AM

    Awesome, I am not the only one who has bad days! Not that I wish a bad day on anyone, just nice to know I am in good company! Yesterday is over and today is a new day! This is a long term commitment to change that doesn't have to stop because of one bad day! If it does anything for you, we ALL have these days! I am so glad you are here this morning and self aware and ready to get back in the game! WE CAN DO IT!!!!! emoticon

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RITAROSE 2/25/2010 7:51AM

  I love how you reviewed what to do in the future! Sounds to me like you learned some valuable lessons. If, after we make bad decisions, we are brave enough to do the review and decide to follow a different route we are making successful choices and the lesson was worth it!! I still struggle with facing my failure and doing a review of what went wrong and how to fix it in the future. Little by little, and by others great examples (yours included!) I'm inspired to do the necessary work to change my bad habits!
Thank you so much for your blog, it helps me tons!! And, CONGRATULATIONS on facing the tiger!! Have a super day!! emoticon emoticon emoticonRitarose

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