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Feb 2012 Week 3 - Long-Term Health and Fitness Goals

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Health
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Expand beyond macro-nutrients to ensure I'm getting enough of other important building blocks.

Vitamin A for the eyes, for example, is something I was told by my mother that we seem to have a hereditary need for more. No idea of the truth of that, but I don't even know if I get enough in my day to day eating.

Part of this will happen when I start to migrate off tracking on SparkPeople to using the recipe, menu, kitchen inventory, menu planner, grocery list software I bought. Another part will depend on when I move into a place with a more full "my kitchen" setup and cook more from scratch rather than depending on boxes and containers that only have to give basic info.

I do take a multi-vitamin sporadically. I don't consider that a good replacement. For optimal health, I need to know where I might be coming up short in my nutrition.

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Fitness
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Being able to do normal situps as well as crunches in proper form.

I've always had trouble with situps and crunches hurting my neck. I eventually learned to do crunches with my arms stretched straight out above me rather than crossed at my chest or behind my neck. It forces me to lift my shoulders using my abs only. Weight machines help as well in the same sense, as long as they "force" use of the correct muscles.

I would like to get to a point where I could do situps or crunches for a full 30 seconds or minute without having any issues with form because my abdominals and obliques are strong enough.

I already feel pretty good about my progress. Even with laughing at myself for how week I am on the machine, I've been really feeling the difference in the lower part of my torso and my posture. My gut will take a long time to burn away, but if I can get that underlying tone, that will be a good sign of my fitness.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIFFY0906 2/22/2012 10:52PM

    Good goals - keep up the good work

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LIVINGFREE19 2/22/2012 4:15PM

    You are doing really well.
You know what you have to do and are writing them down!
emoticon emoticon

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HYDROQUEEN 2/22/2012 1:17PM

    You probably already know this, but you can modify the tracker here on Spark to include vitamin A. I would supplement A with caution. Too much can be a very bad thing. Nose bleeds, hair loss, vision damage and more. Not trying to "sound the alarms" just please watch for any weird symptoms if you do decide to supplement.

I have the same trouble with crunches fatiguing my neck and have found that if I set my gaze about four feet or so above where my eyes would be if I looked straight up, it helps me keep a space between my neck and chin which reduces strain. Hope I described it so it makes sense. emoticon

I enjoy your blogs very much and would like to thank you for being such a strong motivator! emoticon

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REALLY_ROBIN 2/22/2012 12:17PM

  Awesome Goals! You are doing so great!

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LGAR519 2/22/2012 11:02AM

    Good goals! I really need to work on my abs. The last time I used a stretch band in my workout, I tweaked something in my right side. I've been afraid to try again.

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LUZITAE 2/22/2012 10:39AM

    Very good blog. I think I need to really sit down and think of my goals. If I write them down, I may be more likely to follow thru.

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SASSY5468 2/22/2012 10:01AM

    Strong abs = strong lower back! So many people have problems with their lower backs, including me. That's why I'm really trying to focus on my abs, too. Not JUST because I hate my belly flab :) Fantastic goals yet again! Keep up the good work!

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SHERIO5 2/22/2012 9:33AM

    Great plan on strengthening your core. I know I FEEL so much better because my core is strong and supporting the rest of me...it really is the center of the body.

Keep up your great work!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/22/2012 9:19AM

    Keep up the good work. emoticon

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TMCLEOD4 2/22/2012 9:08AM

    emoticon

Just keep up the hard work and it'll pay off.

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-SONIA- 2/22/2012 8:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SBNORMAL 2/22/2012 3:39AM

  Good work out information!

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B-LYNN1ST 2/22/2012 2:16AM

    Wow, great blog. I like to share some ab advice that takes you off the floor. You have a resistance band right. Well, if you do. I got a tip that will keep you off the floor. I was thinking. I need to start doing these more, and stop hurting my neck. You want a good high level resistance cord. I have a black one, and it's ranges as 25lbs of resistance, anyway. You are going to want to stand on this cord with each handle in your hands. You are going to reach upwards, and rest each handle at your shoulders "side by side" and you are going to twist left to right, bend forward, and then lean half way back. Do 2 combo sets, rest the arms, and then repeat. Make sure you are standing on the resistance band with both feet, and about a 12" apart. You can do up to 10 of these, and then build yourself up to 20. Really works the abs. You can also use a 5 to 10 pound weight and do the same. Sorry, my sparks is acting up. emoticon for the non finish comment.

Comment edited on: 2/22/2012 2:35:40 AM

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Answer for Angelwendymama from Valentine's Day post

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm trying to catch up on responses to some of my recent blogs. I started writing an answer to this set of questions by ANGELWENDYMAMA and it's long enough I decided it would just be easier as its own blog.

== Just curious, are you still follow the Jehovah's Witness faith? I am not judging you in any case, I'm just wondering. It sounds like it may have been hard as a kid to feel like an outsider. Did you feel that way or if so, did it bother you or not? ==

No, I’m not a Jehovah’s Witness any more. I think by the time I was in my mid-teens, I knew I didn’t believe in the teachings at all. Even knowing that, I went through the process to get baptized because it got my father to ease up on restrictions and trust me. (Jehovah's Witnesses do not get baptized as infants / children. It is meant to be a conscious decision of dedicating one's life to Jehovah God - and the baptism the public demonstration of that.)

I was disfellowshipped (their form of excommunication) about a year after I’d left home for having pre-marital relations – aka I got pregnant out of wedlock – and having absolutely no desire (or feeling any need) to “repent”. (( NOTE: I've made my choices and actively. I will never try to tell anyone that their faith is wrong, because if they honestly believe in it, it is RIGHT. I simply don't share the same belief. ))

I suppose in some ways I felt like an outsider as a kid in school. I was an oddity with not standing to salute the flag or sing the national anthem. (Jehovah’s Witnesses are absolutely neutral. They follow the laws of the nation in which they live, but don’t show reverence to the government or patriotic symbols – reserving that for Jehovah God.) And certainly when the holidays came around and I didn’t do the class activities, it made them curious and made me "different". I didn't get my first vaccinations until I was around 10 or 11 because of the way they were made which involved blood - and Jehovah's Witnesses do not take in blood in any form.

But it was never really a negative situation that I recall. I was precocious (reading at three), so I could remember and quote scriptures and explanations of why we did or didn't do things. So any attention I got for not doing things was a way to tell someone about it. That same witnessing about it was highly thought of in the Congregation, which was its own reward of sorts.

I think being a cussedly independent personality was key to that. Recess would often find me off doing my own thing, playing some game in my imagination such as caring for my horses in the stable I made with fallen leaves. I bumped into one of the boys one recess, had him say "Jenny Germs!" and try to wipe his sleeve, and instead of being mortified that turned into a recess game for weeks - a variation on tag in which I chased a group of them around to smear germs on them and any I caught were also it and trying to smear the germs onto someone else. It was hilarious fun for me ... but easily something that could have had another kid in tears.

I'm also a loner by nature. Most loners who are such because of social difficulty are lonely. They want human connection and contact and miss it, feeling almost a pain for the lack of it. Me? I am often happiest somewhere that no one can reach me, alone in nature. I love the night sky and how it is just me and stars that are so many light years away. I love hiking alone. I've gone to movies alone and preferred the peace of my own thoughts and reactions to having a companion to discuss it with and mesh our opinions. I feel lonely only very rarely. (My version of lonely is a craving for someone to share my space with, like sitting next to each other on a bench, cuddling in bed, just someone I'd be 100% comfortable with.) Most of the time I'm more likely to feel the opposite - oversocialized.

So feeling like an outsider, different (weird was my usual term for me, still is), hasn't ever really been a bad thing. It's, for lack of a better world, natural and as it should be. I am different. I am unique. I am an outsider. I like the perspective that gives me.

Hope that made sense.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGELWENDYMAMA 2/21/2012 1:42AM

    Thanks for answering my nosy questions. :) I enjoyed hearing more about you.

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AHEALTHIERME444 2/20/2012 10:49PM

    Wow..so refreshing to hear your story. You are most certainly not weird...you are a independent soul who knows what you like and are not afraid to be yourself.

It has taken me many years to stop seeking approval from others...I still find myself stuck in this rut at times and have to catch myself. I believe this stems from my upbringing and a father who would never give his approval or acceptance of me--he has since past away and I have accepted this.

Thanks so much for sharing with us...it is nice to learn more about my Spark friends.
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TAMPATINK67 2/20/2012 5:51PM

    I think you are perfect!

Your motivations are well thought out, you are not judgemental, and comfortable in your own skin.

The world would be a much more pleasant and peaceful place if everyone was confident in themselves and withheld judgement from others.....

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-SONIA- 2/20/2012 4:43PM

    I think alone time is very nice. It gives me time to think and learn more about myself, and grow as a person -- which in turn helps me help others. emoticon

Great blog! emoticon emoticon

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GETMETO50 2/20/2012 3:32PM

    I have been accused of being anti social and it isn't that I don't like people but I just like being alone...I am an only child and had no cousins growing up or anyone my age around the majority of the time so I learned to like being alone and actually prefer it.
I love your views on others' beliefs...if more people had that attitude there would be a lot more peace in the world!



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LGAR519 2/20/2012 3:25PM

    I have always been a loner. Very few friends. I enjoy quiet activities that I can do by myself. I love to read, garden, and crochet. I love my cats. Hubby is seldom home.I was always a completely different person at work. Very social. Go figure!!!

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I just sneezed, had to say OW!, then laughed for another OW!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What am I talking about?

Yesterday at the gym I had my usual strength training. I used a machine I'd never tried before and didn't use another that has been part of my normal routine.

See, if you go around the internet or even just here on SparkPeople reading articles, there's sometimes little warnings that this or that weight machine isn't good, you can hurt yourself, the motion isn't natural, etc. One of those is a "Rotary Torso" machine. (While I don't buy into every "this machine is bad" comment out there, there is definitely some concern with this machine and the kind of pressure on the spine from rotating too far with that kind of pressure. I do obliques already, so it's not a necessity.)

Well right next to that machine at the gym is one that is designed for crunches that target the abs and some of the obliques. It has me lie on my back, feet between a pair of rollers so knees are at a 90º angle. Then I grab handles above my head with elbows on pads so they're also at a 90º angle. Weight set, I have to pull my knees toward my elbows. Typical crunch, but on a machine. ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2gKm6k411c This isn't the exact same machine, but close enough to give an idea.)

I get all set up, low weight of 10, and start ... and oh my goodness was it not as easy as I was expecting. I did manage to complete one set of 10, laughing at myself after every 2 or 3 because it made me feel sooooo weak. (The other ab machine I use I can normally do 3 sets of 12 with 35 pounds. But that has me sitting rather than prone like this one and is a lot harder to be sure I'm not "cheating" with other muscles.)

I also do 3 sets of 15 crunches with my feet up on a balance ball during my stretching session at the end of the workout, and I did those as well.

Today ... I'm feeling my abs. Really feeling. Not hurting or anything like that. But when I use them naturally, like doing post- cardio stretching of my achilles tendons/calfs today, they remind me that they worked hard yesterday.

So I'm now sitting at my laptop and I sneezed. You never realize you use your abs when you sneeze until you do and immediately follow that with a surprised OW! Which made me laugh at myself. Oh, and you never realize how much you use your abs when you laugh until you do and follow THAT with a second surprised OW!

Yes, I'm laughing at my pain. At the same time as I'm really looking forward to getting stronger and better on that machine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIFFY0906 2/20/2012 8:35PM

    I love the feeling when my muscles feel the work that I've put in.

Good for you trying a new machine

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CHUBRUB3 2/20/2012 4:16PM

    LOL!
GOOD FOR YOU!
Hugs,
Angela


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HYDROQUEEN 2/20/2012 2:30PM

    LOL. Had my first cardio class today...it kicked my butt. I'm guessing I will have a new awareness of some muscles tomorrow. emoticonWork it Girl!

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CHRISTY2BTHIN 2/20/2012 10:33AM

    I love that feeling. I love the feeling that I worked hard and really gave my muscles a good workout. It can be a struggle to do basic household things, but it is so worth it!

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LGAR519 2/20/2012 9:45AM

    I'll probably choke to death trying to see if I use my Abs the next time I sneeze!!!!

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SHERIO5 2/20/2012 9:03AM

    Good for you trying something new, and keeping a sense of humor in the process!

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AHEALTHIERME444 2/20/2012 8:36AM

    Love that you were laughing as you were challenging yourself....Better then bemoaning how hard it is...good work! It is amazing the muscles we don't realize we don't use until we try to make them stronger! Keep up the good work and your amazing attitude :)

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-SONIA- 2/20/2012 7:48AM

    emoticonPower Sneezing!!
How many calories do you think it burns? emoticon
Great job with your workout!! emoticon

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RORYLYONS 2/20/2012 4:01AM

    emoticongood going keep working it.. emoticon

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SASSY5468 2/20/2012 12:50AM

    Yeah, I felt like that ALL OVER after my body sculpting class last week! Good for you!!! :)

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NATE-JANINE 2/19/2012 10:37PM

    I love that feeling actually. I call it the "Hurts so Good" feeling. Always gets the gigglies.

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OVERHAULING-ME 2/19/2012 10:30PM

    It's an emoticon feeling when the muscles feel like that. Great job! I need to be more adventurous with the weight machines at they gym, there are only 5 I use.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/19/2012 10:06PM

    emoticon Way to work those abs.

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How on Earth did I manage that?!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

So today I got up early for a Saturday (9am ... early), had a cereal bar then hit the gym for a couple hours and showered after. Grabbed a strawberry milk after the gym, then met up with DDa and DS. We ate lunch at Johnny Rocket's then headed to the mall. Got him a matching phone to ours, then wandered the mall for her to buy him a birthday present and him to spend a gift card he had still from Christmas. Wandered so much I think we went around the whole place twice. Dinner at Jack in the Box, and finally home after 11 pm.

The big shock, what has prompted my blog title?

I ate "in range" today. I even have calorie room for a veggie to up the carbs if I wanted ... because they were somehow low. In fact, the only thing over was fat. Without trying, I'm normally mid-range on fat, so one day over won't kill me.

How in the blazes?

AHA! I forgot something.

Turns out I'm around 500 calories over. Cold Stone ice cream is not "cheap" in the budget.

But that isn't worrisome at all ... because somehow I did more cardio than I thought this week and was almost 750 burned over my planned cardio. (Not to mention the hours of walking today that I'm not counting as "exercise".)

What a fun day, and meals well enjoyed with water aplenty. That I managed to stay under my sodium goal (higher than the recommendation, but lower than I've averaged in the past) and rock my protein goal easily without doing any planning or tracking until I got home makes me smile. Not a normal day at all and yet I managed to do quite well by my reckoning.

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Oh, yeah! One last super fun thing to have come up. My DS when he got off the train and saw me was all "OMG, you look so much thinner." He and DDa were agreeing that every time they see me, they can tell I've lost some more. emoticon them!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIFFY0906 2/20/2012 8:00PM

    Great to have fun out with the family

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46SHADOW 2/19/2012 10:00PM

    Sounds like a great day!

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PAULSSHAR 2/19/2012 9:57PM

    Great job! emoticon

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 2/19/2012 8:13PM

    Sweet that your DS notices and tells you so!! And that your DDa agrees! That is terrific!

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SHERIO5 2/19/2012 5:23PM

    Aww! So nice to have a great day with people we love AND have our eating stay in a tolerable range! So great to get a compliment too!!

Have a great week!

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AHEALTHIERME444 2/19/2012 3:36PM

    Always a nice surprise when things end up better then we think they will! Keep up the good work!! emoticon

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BENCGDL 2/19/2012 12:42PM

    Glad you enjoyed your day. Great job on your weight loss. Keep it up!

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AKRONEWITTER1 2/19/2012 12:20PM

    Sounds like you had a great day. It is so great they are noticing all your hard work.
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SASSY5468 2/19/2012 12:11PM

    That's so fantastic!!! I'm very happy for you and your wonderful day with your kids :)

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HDHAWK 2/19/2012 9:44AM

    What a great day!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/19/2012 9:39AM

    How cool your son noticed your loss. emoticon

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KANOE10 2/19/2012 9:34AM

    What a nice moment when you son complimented you on your weight loss.

All of your hard work is paying off!

emoticon

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ELLIE-1220 2/19/2012 8:58AM

    AW - the response you are getting is great! You must feel sooo proud!!!!

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-SONIA- 2/19/2012 8:54AM

    Great job balancing the calories with all that exercise! emoticon emoticon

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ICEHOUSEGUITAR 2/19/2012 8:27AM

    Love your posiitivity and attitude!! emoticon emoticon

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LGAR519 2/19/2012 7:39AM

    Glad you enjoy your kids!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

My shiny new toy and pictures, pictures, pictures!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Well, almost a week old now. emoticon



It takes considerably better pictures than my previous phone. These three shots were with the old phone, all about the same time of day (morning on the way to work) back in late November to Early December:




This one is from the new phone, same basic location, this week:


I think the difference is pretty notable.

This picture I took yesterday with the new phone. This is what my desk at work looks like. Yes, I actually manage to keep it that clean or cleaner - the vast majority of my projects are sent to me by email or over the server, so I don't have a lot of "paperwork". And I work best with a clean spaces.

You can see the mug for water on the left, the water filter and the gallon jug in the middle. By having water that easily accessible, I usually have 6-8 glasses during my workday.



Oh, and one last picture from the old phone. Our work restroom has this odd little side room with a full length mirror. I think that's the first time I've taken a picture of myself in a mirror. I'm behind the times!




It's also mid-month. Five full months of using SparkPeople daily. Uploaded new pics in my swimsuit and one in my gym clothes on my page. It's my new low today, so I may bounce back up a little before I go down more, but as of today I'm touching 40 pounds lost.

emoticon

(LOL! That emoticon is 40. How appropriate!)

It's been a fun ride so far, for sure! Thanks everyone for sharing this journey - the companionship makes it better.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLIMBERS_ROCK 5/12/2013 12:51PM

    Nice.

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RUTGERSM0M 3/10/2012 9:47PM

    emoticon

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DENISEFULLER 2/23/2012 1:28AM

    So what kind of phone is it?

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EUNIQ3 2/22/2012 1:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DIVASPARK 2/21/2012 11:02PM

    great phone !

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LOGOULD 2/21/2012 1:11PM

    emoticonon your weight loss and your new phone! How FUN!

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JULIESJOURNEY12 2/21/2012 12:44PM

    Congrats on your progress and new toy!

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CREECE1 2/21/2012 1:19AM

    I know what you mean. I do the same things with new gadgets. I congratulate you on your loss of 40 pounds.
emoticon emoticon

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CREATIVEGMA 2/20/2012 12:50PM

    Gosh I hope I can do that great!! I have been trying to loose 40-50 pounds for a while now just not sure what is wrong with me. Anyway CONGRATULATIONS!!! emoticon emoticon emoticonKEEP GOING TILL YOU GET WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!!

Comment edited on: 2/20/2012 12:53:19 PM

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CAROLINA_KOUKLA 2/20/2012 12:47PM

  I love it when I get a new phone!

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WOLFKITTY 2/20/2012 11:25AM

    Fun! Congrats! :)
Jocelyn

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CASILAYNE 2/20/2012 10:50AM

    Way to go! You're doing awesome! Love the new gadgets! :)

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DEBLYNN323 2/20/2012 8:24AM

    emoticon...keep working your plan! Great job!

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NYARAMULA 2/20/2012 7:39AM

    I wish my desk looked that neat. Enjoy the phone and happy sparking.

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ROSALINDAW 2/20/2012 7:38AM

    WOW! 40 pounds means a lot of commitment and being steady at doing the right things. I'm impressed and inspired! Thanks!

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SANFORMRN 2/19/2012 11:56PM

  I love stories like yours. Congrats!

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DEEEBEE 2/19/2012 10:30PM

    Wow! 40 lbs. is a lot to lose. You are doing great. The phones ARE a lot of fun. I depend on mine for so many things, not the least is taking pictures. Keep on snappin' and keep on Sparkin'! emoticon

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TUBLADY 2/19/2012 10:19PM

    Congrats on your success and enjoying the new phone.
I just got a new one too and have been learning all about it and yes taking pictures. Then I can e mail them to me and post them. So much fun.
Take care and keep having fun.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TECAVINESS 2/19/2012 8:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEPTLEFTY 2/19/2012 4:38PM

  Im so proud of you. Keep up the good work.

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LUNA72 2/19/2012 4:00PM

    Way to go keep it up and enjoy your new toy!!

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ASLMERE 2/19/2012 2:24PM

    emoticon
i love new shiny toys!!!

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ANDBEYOND 2/19/2012 2:19PM

    nice phone and an even nicer weight loss!

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KARENE10 2/19/2012 1:58PM

    emoticon

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BESCATS 2/19/2012 1:30PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss. You should be very proud of yourself for that accomplishment. I like your pictures too. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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KRISTEN_SAYS 2/19/2012 12:51PM

    Congrats!!

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AEROGIRL1594 2/19/2012 12:41PM

    congrats on your weight loss :) I know that you'll keep up the good work, and reach our goals!

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WARMSTRONG2 2/19/2012 11:56AM

  I went six weeks before I even knew I could take pictures with this thing. You are advanced in my opinion.

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KELLYBEANER77 2/19/2012 11:47AM

    You are doing awesome....I also envy your clean work space :)

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SARAHTAIT 2/19/2012 11:23AM

    So happy for you! I enjoyed seeing your photos!

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SWEETSOUNDS11 2/19/2012 11:22AM

    Congratz! I envy your skill of keeping your desk tidy and supportive of healthy habits!

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REGSHAR 2/19/2012 10:34AM

    Great attitude! and you are looking good. Keep it up.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THISTIMEMYWAY 2/19/2012 7:37AM

    Looking good :) emoticon

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MICHELLESMILES_ 2/19/2012 7:00AM

    Congrats on your loss! Love the pictures!

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PIMPINELLAN50 2/19/2012 4:18AM

    Congratulations on losing 40 pounds ! emoticon

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JUSTYNA7 2/19/2012 12:14AM

    Good time to take pictures and appreciate them!

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CKAYTHOMAS 2/18/2012 11:24PM

    Thanks for sharing and congrats.

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MARYJEANSL 2/18/2012 10:23PM

  Congrats on the weight loss!

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BELDONDOG1 2/18/2012 8:35PM

    Kudos! Keep up the good work!

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INGMARIE 2/18/2012 6:45PM

    emoticonthanks for sharing, i enjoyed it.

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KBITZNELSON 2/18/2012 6:40PM

  Congratulations on the loss & being willing to take pictures in your suit, I don't think I'll ever get to that point.

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NOTFATCAT 2/18/2012 6:19PM

    Congrats on your to date success. Keep moving.

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GOING-STRONG 2/18/2012 4:14PM

    Photos are great and you are right... I see improvement in quality. I still haven't taken a picture of myself in a mirror so you are one ahead of me lol. Spark on and congrats on that 40 pound loss!

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TEACHEROF4TH 2/18/2012 3:44PM

    Loved your blog!

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GRAMPIAN 2/18/2012 3:15PM

  Well done. emoticon

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KRYSTALLA 2/18/2012 3:15PM

    Nice new phone and pics. Congratz on loosing the 40lbs. Hoping to do that and more myself. Looks like you are well on your way, keep up the good work.
emoticon

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MARYETTA985 2/18/2012 3:09PM

    Awesome phone. I am ready to upgrade my phone as well.

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SEAJESS 2/18/2012 2:23PM

    Fun! Thanks for the smile.

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JUSGETTENBY42 2/18/2012 1:41PM

    emoticon enjoy

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DANCEMANIAC 2/18/2012 1:36PM

    I am about to change my phone too, I am between the razor or the Iphone, which one is yours? Your desk reminds me of mine, I do most of my work thru e-mail and on the server. I WOULD love to be able to say I lost 40 lbs too!!!! Hopefully some day. Good job....
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