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Don't Let Difficult Stand In Your Way!

Thursday, June 06, 2013



I really consider myself fortunate that I have this outlet here on Spark with all of you. A place where I am able to come and open up about what is going on in my life. There have been plenty of times in my life when I have kept things that are going on with me inside, and in the end, really wish I had that outlet, to just be me. I have that here. I have met some really wonderful people here over the last year that I am lucky to call friends and for those of you reading this that I don't know, maybe I will be fortunate enough to call you a friend real soon.

This particular blog is going to touch on a subject that I really haven't opened up much about here on Spark, and that is my relationships or "love life" if you will. I have to admit that I am feeling a little vulnerable but I want to share my life with you all....good and bad.

You may recall from my last blog "Suck It Up & Ride The Roller Coaster", I ended it by saying that I was going to cross off another "what if" on that Thursday (May 30th). I also said that particular "what if" scared me even more than the height of the roller coaster. I said I was going to put myself out there and try. No more "what ifs"!

I am happy to say, I did it. I put myself out there. I told a particular young lady that I was interested in her as more than just friends. I told her that I thought she was great. I thought she was smart, funny, pretty, strong, and caring. I told her that I was interested in her! She is someone that I could really see having something really special with. I think that highly of her.

So in the words of one of my favorite movies, 'Good Will Hunting', "I had to go see about a girl."



Some background is probably necessary at this point because that really may not seem like a big deal. Trust me when I say that it is a huge deal for me! I have only asked out one girl in my life. Let me repeat that, ONE! Yes, I have had 3 relationships in my life (4 + years, 4 + years, and 1 year) but those just kind of happened. I didn't just flat out ask any of them out. The one time I did was about 2 1/2 years ago and she still hasn't answered me! At the time she said, "I'm not saying no, but I will call you tonight and we can talk about it." Well, I still haven't gotten that phone call. STILL! Maybe she lost my number? Doubt it.

My biggest fear was always rejection (and being alone, but that is another blog for another day). No way I could handle rejection! But what I should have been fearing the most was NO ANSWER AT ALL! That feeling is far worse than rejection.

As for me, I am a hopeless romantic. I am sensitive when it comes to matters of the heart and take relationship stuff seriously. I don't do casual. I want something real. I'm the guy who wants to be married for 50 years! Of course I am 34 and have yet to be married! I want to wake up in the morning and see the same pretty smile and beautiful eyes every day for the rest of my life! I want all the little things that only couples have between them like walking up behind her and wrapping my arms around her or those looks that couple have where they don't have to say anything because the look says it all. The little things. That is the good stuff!

Back to last Thursday. There was one other hitch. It would be a long distance relationship. It would be about 300 miles worth of a long distance relationship. I have met her in person and we hung out as friends a couple of days when she was in Louisville so I knew her and she knew me. As much as I enjoyed being friends with her, I felt like there could be something more and I didn't want this to be another "what if" in my relationship life like I have had so many times before. There have been plenty of times where I have been interested in a girl only to never say anything and be eternally stuck with the "what if". Not this time. Not with this girl. Not now. Nope.

So I told her what I thought of her. I said, "I know you are there and I am here, but that doesn't have to get in the way of something between us. I have never done any sort of long distance thing but I'd be willing to try for you."

She said, "Thank you. I'm not going to lie, long distance things suck and I don't know where I am going to end up."

I said, "I know you don't know and I am not asking you to figure it out. I am just letting you know how I feel. I want you to know that I think you would be worth the effort.

She said, "I appreciate your honesty."

I said, "I know it would be difficult, but I think something that has the possibility of being great, is worth the difficulty."

She said, "I never really looked at it like that."

We talked some more and she said that we could continue talking and see where it goes. So, we have been talking over the last week but to be honest, it doesn't seem like the interest on her side is nearly the same as the interest on my side. That doesn't feel good to say. But, I could be wrong but at this point I would say that it probably isn't going anywhere, unfortunately.

I will take the positive of at least I tried and I don't have to wonder "what if?" Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up but I at least know that she knows where I stand and how I feel. I still really hope something can work out but I don't have to sit here and think about what would happen if I actually told her how I feel. For better or for worse, I did that.

Maybe won't get the desired outcome from this situation but I hope that you can take two things from this blog...

First, if you have a significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or whatever, don't take them for granted. You may get sick of them from time to time and you may get tired of dealing with their crap, but they are with you! They love you! You love them! DO NOT take that for granted because there are people in the world like myself who would give just about anything to have to deal with someones crap because that someone is the love of my life. Don't forget that. Don't ever forget that! Cherish it because it is all good stuff.

Second, remember, if there is the potential for something great in your life, it is worth going through difficulty. That is true for so many of us here on Spark who came here to make real life changes. It is difficult, but isn't it worth it? Isn't it worth going through some difficulty for something that can be potentially great? I think so! Don't let difficult stand in your way wheather it be losing weight or going to see about a girl.

No more "what ifs"!

Embrace Your Possibilities

Good Day Sparkville

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEEPINGANGEL74 6/16/2013 12:01PM

    What a beautiful and heartfelt blog! Not something usually seen on here. I can relate to so much of what you've said and you are right but its definitely not easy. I hope I can get to that same point as you one of these days and just go for it.

You seem a wonderful, caring man and I think you will make a very lucky woman extraordinarily happy when you find each other!

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PATRICIAANN46 6/12/2013 2:16PM

  This is wonderful advice!!! emoticon
And.........Good for YOU!!! You put yourself out there and won't have to wonder, WHAT IF? If the relationship does work........GREAT! If it doesn't.........at least you tried and can move on to someone who will be willing to commit.
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LIZ324_NYC 6/12/2013 11:28AM

    Wow! Great blog! What you did was very brave and I'm proud of you!
The worst regrets we have in life are those moments when we don't try and let fear rule us.
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KLMEIRING 6/12/2013 4:36AM

    This blog struck a chord with me this morning, a very timely read. Thanks for putting this out there and sharing your experience. I wish you all the best in your journey!

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TEDYBEAR2838 6/11/2013 10:06PM

    Well, done. I'm so proud of you. You are taking life as it comes. The
good, the bad and the ugly. It all plays in the big picture.

I always say: If it's not right for both, then it's not right. Does not make
it wrong or right, good or bad, it just is.

In the future you will look back on ones that didn't work out and realize
why and see what good things the future holds.

You are you, I know you've heard that before, but see where this goes, give it
time, it's all new to her too. And you haven't actually spent time together after
she knows how you feel.

So, chin up. Take life by the horns, embrace it, enjoy it. Don't rush it.



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BARBIEE52 6/8/2013 11:05AM

    Oh, Brad, reading this gave me goose bumps all over. I admire you because you were speaking from the heart, and not everyone can do that. You took a big risk, and put yourself out on a line, but you are right, if you don't take the risk, how will you ever find out the result. Thank you for reminding me not to take for granted all the beautiful people in my life, and to be thankful for each and everyone of them, whether it is family or friends. Cheers to you for being able to be so honest with her, and to all of us. That alone takes honesty, and courage. I am so proud of you. Many emoticon emoticon emoticon !!!!

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GEORGE815 6/7/2013 5:35PM

    Glad you took a chance!

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LSDALOIA 6/7/2013 9:25AM

    Thanks for the great reminder about not taking our SO's for granted.

Whoever you end up with is going to be the luckiest girl on earth! I suspect that after this blog you may just meet her here on SP!

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LOSIN_IT4GOOD 6/7/2013 1:50AM

    Wow...whoever you end up with will be a VERY lucky lady! You are thoughtful, sensitive and HONEST. I hope you find someone just like you: A realist, who is full of love and willing to take a chance! Keep it up, keep putting yourself out there, and you will find that special someone. I just know it!
I have yet to have a long distance relationship work out, but that doesn't mean it can't.
You never know unless you try, right?
I wish you all the happiness in life that you deserve and I'm glad you have the support of your spark friends.
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REGILIEH 6/6/2013 11:47PM

    emoticon It will happen! Keep on keeping on and you will find THE ONE that deserves someone as neat and sweet as you! emoticon

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SIMONEKP 6/6/2013 9:57PM

    Hope it works out with her but even if it doesn't you took a step forward

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 6/6/2013 7:39PM

    Oh Brad... I wish I could actually give you a hug instead of those little icon thingys.
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I'm so proud of you for opening yourself up to that. It so hard to tell people how you really feel., especially when it pertains to matters of the heart. You are sweet, funny, and thoughtful, and you WILL find someone who loves and deserves you. You are awesome Brad... Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 awesome!
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STR458 6/6/2013 6:41PM

    You'll have it all- don't you worry !

Comment edited on: 6/6/2013 11:48:37 PM

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-AIMIE- 6/6/2013 5:21PM

    Just be patient and keep putting yourself out there even if it's uncomfortable. When it's the right girl for you, she will see the special things you could add to her life and she will be grateful. Sounds to me like you have a great job, awesome children and obviously a great heart, mind, strength... you get it. You seem like an awesome guy and if a woman can't see that or feel that then don't waste too much time invested in her. Move on to someone that knows a good thing when she sees it!

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CAROL_31649731 6/6/2013 3:57PM

    If only I weren't married . . . ! What a wonderfully sensitive, romantic, brave soul you are--just a beautiful person, period. I wish the best for you, but here's the but: what will be will be. She may or may not be the one, but whoever is "the one,"--and she is out there somewhere--is one lucky lady!!! emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 6/6/2013 2:28PM

    smart, funny, pretty, strong, and caring are great assets. Keep looking for smart, funny, pretty, strong, and caring.

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HAPPYERIN 6/6/2013 1:39PM

    Oh! I am so proud of you! That is definitely hard sometimes to put yourself out there and prepare for whatever may come, and it's awesome that you did it! (And as a gal, let me just say that any guy that tells a girl that they think she is worth the effort, that is a wonderful thing to hear and I am sure that touched her!)

Long distance is tough, yes. Andy and I did it -- granted, it was only an hour between us most of the time, except for one year where it was two hours, but it's far enough that we couldn't meet up whenever we felt like it. We dated that way for seven years before we got engaged and moved in together. One thing distance does, though, is encourage you to get to know one another and not move too quickly, and also appreciate the time you have together. If you really think about it, the work week is busy busy already, and you wouldn't get a ton of time to spend together anyway. You could set up day-long dates at a halfway point so the drive isn't as bad, and who knows where it would lead? Could be awesome!

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 6/6/2013 11:30AM

    My heart hurts for you. I want her to be everything you want her to be. If only wishing made it so. Congratulations on stepping out of your comfort zone, for taking such a huge risk. It's seemingly impossible to do sometimes, particularly when it is so damn hard to read the signs coming from another person. Keep focused on your journey. Love will come. You are too good a catch to escape Cupid's arrow forever. You are so tender-hearted and romantic and funny and generous of spirit. Some day you will make someone a very lucky lady. But (and this is a HUGE "but" here) you deserve someone who deserves you--someone who is willing to make the necessary sacrifices and love unconditionally. Hugs.

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MRSP90X 6/6/2013 11:03AM

    Excellent blog! I meet my husband on the internet. When I first realized where he was from, I thought forget it way to far! I am in WI and he was in NC, 800+ mile difference. He came for a visit and knew we were getting married. He also just turned 34 at the time. He went back home, tied up things there and came back to me. We got married within the year, and we celebrated 13 years last month. What I once thought was impossible turned into no impossibilities! Everyone's says the first year of marriage is difficult, well I had three years of that "honeymoon" bliss!

I will admit that there has been times that I did not like putting up with my husband's crap, but I have learned to appreciate it. He loves me, is faithful, and NEVER steers me in the wrong direction!


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SPARKLINGHOPE 6/6/2013 10:54AM

    emoticon Wishing you all the best!

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KATHY_NATURELVR 6/6/2013 10:20AM

    It's hard to put yourself out there like that. Good job and I hope you find your significant other. We all deserve happiness!! It's hard some days but I know I'm loved...
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BOROFITGIRL 6/6/2013 8:59AM

    Wow!!!! Great blog!!! I got so much from what you shared!!! First, I have felt vulnerable too sharing things in my blog on Sparkpeople---but I got so much support that it was liberating to find a place where I could be vulnerable. Second, it is great to know that there are men out there who want the same kind of couple stuff that most girls want!! I am hoping and praying that God has it in His plan for me to have the things that you talked about. In the meantime, I am enjoying my single life. Third, not letting difficult stand in your way!! Life is truly a journey with many challenges--we all have to persevere on this journey.

I must say it again--great blog!! And, if things don't work out with this girl--maybe God has someone else in mind for you. emoticon

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 6/6/2013 8:58AM

    Good for you for putting yourself out there!! I'm sorry to hear she may not reciprocate the interest - but as they say, when it's meant to be it will be. (I know I know - having been single for over 10 years myself - tired of hearing of it lol).

They say it will happen when you least expect it - when you are not looking.

I met a friend (and that's all I'll call him for now)... and for now it works. I'm also a hopeless romantic and wish for that fairy tale ending - but have learned that sometimes you have to take smaller steps to get to that and that it can develop when least expected.

Kudos to you for being brave. I have only just gotten to know you but can tell you would be a super catch... Your match is out there... and it's never too late to have that 50 year marriage!

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PUNKY100 6/6/2013 8:43AM

    Wow! Good for you!!! I know long distance relationships can be difficult, but like you said, if it's worth it, it can work. You do seem like a really great guy (from what I have read on here anyway, I'm looking forward to reading more!) and even if she says no, I'm sure there are many other pretty, smart, amazing women who would love to date you. :-)

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JAIMESIZED 6/6/2013 8:27AM

    As someone else had mentioned, you really do sound like a great guy. I wish you the best of luck with that girl, but even if it doesn't work out like you'd like, think about the fact that you did yet another thing you'd never thought you do! I mean, that's huge. I hope it goes well... keep us updated!

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LADYSMITHC 6/6/2013 8:09AM

    Wow, there's a lot there in that blog. You have already met many challenges within a short span of time.
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One thing I've learned is to not let one person dictate your happiness. I'm suggesting that you not let her answer or lack of answer be the single deciding factor as to how you are going to feel about yourself this week, next week and so on. How she feels is out of your control. Of course there are always things you can do to help a situation or sabotage it and most of us on SP know how to sabotage something!
I wish you the best of luck. Your heart is in the right place.
I work with those that journal and your posts are the equivalent to insightful journaling. This is a positive step toward growth. I always ask: How do you know how you feel? You don't know how you feel until you write about it.
You're doing that right now.
Continued success to you! Stay on the continuum. emoticon

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BRAVELUTE 6/6/2013 7:18AM

    You already have the difficult behind you. Is there an easier way to make this relationship happen?

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SANDYCRANE 6/6/2013 7:03AM

    Well said. You sound like a great guy, your day will come. I have a lot of what ifs in my life and I have never really fought for myself. Your blog was very insightful. My only advice would be to not marry for the wrong reason. Just take care of your 3 beautiful children, that is what is important.


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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Suck It Up & Ride The Roller Coaster!

Thursday, May 30, 2013



This thing. This journey. This lifestyle, is about true change. When I look back over the years of being unhealthy and gaining weight, I need not look any further than the lifestyle I was living. A lifestyle that included laziness. A lifestyle that included taking the easy road. A lifestyle that included unhealthy eating habit on top of unhealthy eating habit. It is no wonder I gained so much weight.

What is a wonder? What is a wonder is how I managed to make it out the other side.

It is easier to be lazy. It is easier to not watch what you eat. It is easier to just exist. That last part is really something to think about. It is easier to just exist...

I don't know about you, but I am done "just existing". I want to be the change in myself that I have always envisioned. I want to be someone that somebody can look up to and say, "because I've seen him do it, I CAN TOO!" I want to be the person who can look back on their life and not wonder "what if".

I have lived to many years of "what if". NO MORE!

Well, ok. How about one more "what if", for old times sake? What if I didn't live with "what ifs" anymore? What then? I can't say that I honestly know the answer to that question but what I can say is that I sure as heck going to find out because I am done with "what ifs". That is what I like that quote so much in the picture at the beginning of this blog...

"If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done."

I've never had a time in my life where I haven't wondered "what if". I have always been cautious with everything from my physical safety to my mental safety. I have never been one to climb trees or go much over the speed limit on the road. I have never been on to take that chance on asking a girl out that I probably don't have any business asking out in the first place because I was always afraid of "no". I have never been the one to put myself out on display in fear that other people would judge me harshly and I couldn't deal with that. I have never been one to push the envelope and take a risk.

Well, as Bob Dylan said back in 1964, "The Times They Are a-Changin'".

I have started "changin" a little bit at a time. Baby steps. Opening up to you guys on a more personal level in blogs (like this) is a baby step. I took another baby step this last weekend. However, by the picture, it doesn't look like a baby step...


The Voyage at Holiday World

That is The Voyage roller coaster at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. I took the kids there this past weekend to ride some rides and have some fun. Guess who is afraid of heights? Me. Guess who doesn't like tall roller coasters? (The Voyage has a Max speed of 67 mph and stands 163' tall!) GUESS WHO RODE THE ROLLER COASTER AND LIVED TO WRITE A BLOG ABOUT IT?

ME!

Sometimes, you have to suck it up and ride the roller coaster! I did! Baby steps. I don't have to ever wonder "what if" about that and that is just the beginning!

It isn't easy. It isn't supposed to be. That is what makes it so much sweeter when you accomplish it. So go accomplish it today. You have it within you to "Suck it up & ride the roller coaster"! You have the ability to conquer your roller coaster and cross off a "what if" in your life!

Thursday, I will be crossing off another "what if" that I can blog about next time. Honestly, it is something that scares me even a little more than the height of a roller coaster. It also has a better upside so hopefully the outcome will be another positive cross off of the list, but if not, at least I won't be stuck wondering "what if" I had tried...because I am going to put myself out there and try!

Don't fall victim to "what ifs". Embrace Your Possibilities.

Good Day Sparkville

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHITEANGEL4 7/3/2013 9:46PM

    Way to go.........great blog

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GARDENCHRIS 6/16/2013 7:54AM

    thank you!

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FLDEEZ 6/12/2013 10:40PM

    Fantastic! Look at all the people you've inspired just by putting yourself out there and writing this post! Count me as one of them - thank you!

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FLDEEZ 6/12/2013 10:33PM

    Fantastic! Look at all the people you've inspired just by putting yourself out there and writing this post! Count me as one of them - thank you!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 6/10/2013 10:58AM

    emoticon

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ROXYCARIN 6/9/2013 12:45AM

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TEMPEST272002 6/8/2013 3:49PM

    Great blog! Reminds me of my favourite quote:

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth. ~Katherine Mansfield

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BEJOYFULL 6/8/2013 3:31PM

    It looks like you're not in it just for the ride. Seeking adventure in this way takes untapped courage to the next level, which is that of being 'brave'.

You have inspired me. Thanks for the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. I'll be sure to move beyond my meek circumstances and reach for the stars on my way up!

What if I take one giant step towards that which challenges me out of my comfort zone. I wonder what ill happen. Hm.



Comment edited on: 6/8/2013 3:32:22 PM

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LEANJEAN6 6/8/2013 7:22AM

    Truly inspirational!------- I shall try ha emoticon rder---I want it too!-Lynda

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CORNERKICK 6/8/2013 1:04AM

  emoticon

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PENOWOK 6/6/2013 8:18AM

    good for you for conquering your fears!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 6/5/2013 8:40PM

    Great blog!



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SHANALFOSS 6/3/2013 10:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon best of luck on your new cross off, for your what if list.

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SUECHRIS50 6/3/2013 3:19PM

    emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 6/2/2013 9:07PM

    Ha! Riding the roller coaster figuratively AND literally! AWESOME! :-)

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TEDYBEAR2838 6/2/2013 6:58PM

    What an Excellent Blog.
We all needed that!

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ALIDOSHA 6/2/2013 4:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FIRECOM 6/2/2013 10:39AM

    A wonderful story and extremely well written. I commend your writing skill. You made a difficult task seem easy and readable.

Thanks, and happy coasting.

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CHARTHESTAR 6/2/2013 2:07AM

    Great quote!
Even better great way to get people following your odyssey.
I want to learn what the next thing you are crossing off.
Keep up The good work!

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MISSBOOBOOKITTY 6/1/2013 10:39PM

    emoticon

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JACKIE542 6/1/2013 11:04AM

    Good job, no more "what ifs" emoticon

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SIMONEKP 6/1/2013 7:49AM

    Good for you!

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SHANNONY84 6/1/2013 6:48AM

    Great blog! Set goals and make them!

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BLUEJEAN99 6/1/2013 1:48AM

    emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 6/1/2013 1:34AM

    Great job on the baby steps!

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JIBBIE49 6/1/2013 12:52AM

    Glad to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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JAMER123 5/31/2013 10:38PM

    Great blog!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PIPPAMOUSE 5/31/2013 7:27PM

    Thats great! You literally got on the roller coaster. Way to go!

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 5/31/2013 6:28PM

    emoticon

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CLIMBERS_ROCK 5/31/2013 4:14PM

    emoticon

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LISA_FRAME 5/31/2013 3:43PM

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PATRICIAANN46 5/31/2013 3:42PM

  Great Blog filled with Great Advice........... emoticon emoticon

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LEWILL1982 5/31/2013 3:37PM

    Well written, thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

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HEARTS116 5/31/2013 2:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/31/2013 2:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon blog.

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CICELY360 5/31/2013 1:43PM

  great blog

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JANEMARIE77 5/31/2013 1:28PM

    best of luck you are amazing the ride is so much more fun than the what ifs

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NEWTINK 5/31/2013 12:24PM

    That is so wonderful ... emoticon

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MINEA999 5/31/2013 10:59AM

    Congratulations! That's awesome. It is all about baby steps. The journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step right?

And coincidentally, your opening quote was what I posted as my status just a few days ago!

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GRIZ1GIRL 5/31/2013 10:50AM

    Very awesome -thanks!

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ABUFFKIN 5/31/2013 10:49AM

    Awesome inspirational blog, wonderfully helpful message!!!

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1SALLY2 5/31/2013 10:36AM

    YEAH!!!!! Love your blog, made me sit up and take stock of myself. THANK YOU!
emoticon Let's kick some butt!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 5/31/2013 10:15AM

    emoticon

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_JODI404 5/31/2013 10:14AM

    emoticon on no more what-ifs!! Riding that BIG roller coaster!!! emoticon

It is definitely not easy. If we are growing, we are always going to be out of our comfort zone. It's wonderful, and uncomfortable, but SO rewarding!

Best wishes on your next endeavor! Here's to putting yourself out there and trying, and embracing your possibilities!!

Loved this blog, emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERYLP461 5/31/2013 10:12AM

    Good for you, I'm sure I would have heart failure if I rode one!

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ROCKYCPA 5/31/2013 10:05AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOMMY445 5/31/2013 9:59AM

    such an inspiring blog! thanks so much for sharing and have a fabulous day!

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NEPTUNE1939 5/31/2013 9:56AM

    emoticon

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SHOAPIE 5/31/2013 9:52AM

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It Takes Work To Say...

Thursday, May 23, 2013



Someday, I honestly want to say, "I MADE IT". "I MADE IT". I MADE IT...

It is easy to sit around and complain about how hard things are. It is easy to sit around and complain about not being able to do this, or not being able to do that. It is just easy to sit around! Where will that get you in the long run? Right back to where you started.

That is not why we are here on Spark. We are not here to sit around and end up right back at where we started. We are here to forge new lives for ourselves. We are here to be the person that we know we can be. We are here to be the person we have always wanted to be.

I am not talking about just the number on the scale. I am talking about a lifestyle. I am talking about real change! We all came here because we weren't happy with a number on a scale but we can leave here knowing that we have the tools and resources to be a healthier and happier person. We know we can be that person we want to be. We know that we have it within ourselves to say that "I MADE IT!"

Did you fall down yesterday? Did you slip up? So what? Why not start today? I want you to think to yourself right now, what am I going to do today to make myself better than yesterday? What am I going to do right now to take a step (even a baby one) in the direction to meet my goal no matter what it is?



This is me on Wednesday, May 22nd. This is what I looked like 5 minutes after my workout. It is hard to tell with the picture but I actually took that shirt off and rung it out! That is one thing I did yesterday to make myself better than the day before. That is one thing I did to get one step closer to my goal! That is what I did to get myself closer to saying, "I MADE IT!"



I'm not saying that you need to go do Insanity and you need to sweat until you can ring your shirt out. That is NOT what I am saying. What I am saying is that this thing takes work! This journey takes work! Nothing is handed to us, it takes WORK! So let's go out and earn it!

Go take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself, what can I do today, to get one step closer to you saying, "I MADE IT!"?

Embrace Your Possibilities Sparkville

Good Day

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRECOM 6/2/2013 10:42AM

    emoticon

Maybe there is hope for me yet. I know that being 78 makes the road all uphill, but I will try.

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CAROL_31649731 5/31/2013 3:44PM

    You have great insight. Thanks once again for the inspiration. I think you're awesome!

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KATHY47802 5/28/2013 4:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are a great inspiration - What do you think about that!?!

emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/26/2013 9:40PM

    emoticon

Great blog!

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DOCKO56 5/25/2013 11:16PM

    Somehow, your baby steps have become GIANT LEAPS!!! Keep at it my friend!! You are leading others. emoticon

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HAPPYERIN 5/25/2013 4:18PM

    All good points! Always a great reminder that no matter what little discouragements we have along the way, every little bit of effort we put forth will get us closer to our goal!

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STEELKICKIN 5/24/2013 8:09PM

    And just last night I was telling you I didn't think I was going to be able to do this. I think I even said something along the lines of, "I'm almost 45 and my life is just about over." What I really wanted to do was sob; sob, sob, sob and tell you that I lost my way. Not only with my weight loss, but with the direction in my life. I have become so busy, so pressured by the very life that I have created for myself that I feet squelched, strangled, and cutoff from the very air I breathe.

In some ways I look at my recent weight gain as the PROBLEM. In reality, it is a symptom. Yes? A symptom of being too busy. A symptom of working too many hours in a day at a job that is numbing my real purpose in life. Money is good...but it means nothing if you lose yourself, lose contact with family and friends, become a zombie and watch the days go by. I am not living my potential. I am not living for what I was created for. I am simply not living.

I am just existing.

I fell down yesterday. And the day before. And the day before. Because of you, our friendship, your tremendous amount of support and reassurances, and now, because of this blog, I want to get back up. I want to grab hold of my own heart, shake it, wake it up and remind it of who it is. Of what it can accomplish. Of how big it is. Of how much it loves my family and my friends. I realize the expressions on their faces are ones of missing me...longing to have more time with me. It pains me. So it has manifested in over-eating to fill that void. I have to make a change.

"We are here (on this earth) to be the person that we know we can be. We are here (on this earth) to be the person we have always wanted to be."

"Go take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself, what can I do today, to get one step closer to you saying, "I MADE IT!"?"

My first step is realizing I need to take a step in another direction. Because obviously the path I'm on isn't working for me.

Thank you. I love you.


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LADYSMITHC 5/24/2013 12:36PM

    emoticon

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CORTNEY-LEE 5/24/2013 3:16AM

    Yes! Exactly!

Can I get an amen?

Thank you for this! It helps out a lot of things in check for me!

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KALISWALKER 5/24/2013 1:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

Brad you are so right. You've got me thinking about my time at the gym, I do need to push myself harder.

Be proud of your accomplishments!

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123ELAINE456 5/23/2013 9:48PM

  Awesome Blog!!! You are an Inspiration and a Great Motivator. It take work to accomplish want You want to in this Life and Journey. You Can Do It. One Step Forward to say I Made It to my Goal etc. Keep pushing Forward. This is the WTG!!! God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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123ELAINE456 5/23/2013 9:48PM

  Awesome Blog!!! You are an Inspiration and a Great Motivator. It take work to accomplish want You want to in this Life and Journey. You Can Do It. One Step Forward to say I Made It to my Goal etc. Keep pushing Forward. This is the WTG!!! God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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LISAMG1220 5/23/2013 3:57PM

    Awesome! :)

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EVIEKT 5/23/2013 2:38PM

    emoticon You are such an inspiration,and an awesome motivator emoticon

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BLPNANA 5/23/2013 12:25PM

    The inspiration I really needed that today and I'm going to do it!!!
Thank you for being such a motivator!!! emoticon

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REGILIEH 5/23/2013 11:24AM

    emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 5/23/2013 11:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/23/2013 10:09AM

    Exactly. Which is why I got nowhere last year. Decided to let up on myself. emoticon A little every day gets the circulation going, gets you ready for more of the same. emoticon for being an inspiration! emoticon on sticking with a very demanding plan! emoticon

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SPARKLINGHOPE 5/23/2013 9:20AM

    emoticon

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JESSERMOVICK 5/23/2013 9:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 5/23/2013 9:13AM

    Great blog! I totally agree on all points emoticon and I strive to 'make it' every single moment I can!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 5/23/2013 7:21AM

    "What have you done today to make yourself proud?" I used to ask myself that everyday, and lately I've become very complacent. I'm an all or nothing person, and it's really easy to forget that the little things add up. Even staying in calorie range can give great results. I set a goal for myself nearly 3 years ago, and I want to be able to say "I made it!!!" Thanks for the kick in the pants, uh, I mean, inspiration this morning!
emoticon emoticon

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CAT609 5/23/2013 7:04AM

    Woohoo! Well said! You are correct, we can do it, we just have to keep going! Thanks!

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 5/23/2013 5:51AM

    Take no prisoners, my friend.

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100 Day Hybrid Workout & Thank You Sparkville!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I am going to get to what my 100 Day Hybrid workout is in a minute, but first, I wanted to touch on something else real quick.

When I posted my vlog last week about losing 142 lbs. in one year, I had no idea that it would get the kind of response it got! Holy Toledo, you all here in Sparkville are AWESOME! I mean, I knew that you were already, but I think you all took it to another level last week! I have been kind of slow getting back to everyone and thanking them for all the wonderful comments, emails, messages, and goodies and I apologize. I really do appreciate every word! I have been reading them all and I will get back to you as soon as I am able to catch up. But thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart! The outpouring of support and love from you all was something else! Thank you!

Like I have said many times, I still have a hard time believing that I can inspire anyone because there was a time in the not to distant past, when I couldn't inspire myself! I will say, that if I ever even inspire 1 person along the way here, that will be a major accomplishment! I am completely humbled when I read comments about being an inspiration. Every single one of us on here has it within themselves to be their change that they need. You have it within YOU to be your change! You can do this! We can do this!

I could go on and on about that all day but I will get back to the subject at hand of this blog, my workout program.

As some of you may know, over a 10+ month period, I finished, Insanity, Tap Out XT, P90x, and Les Mills Combat. None of them were easy as each had it's strengths. For me, Insanity was the best of the four for cardio. Tap Out XT was the best for overall strength. P90x was the best for flexibility and balance. Combat was the best for core & leg strength.

When I finished Les Mills Combat back on May 10th, I really wasn't sure what I was going to do next. Do I repeat one of the programs I already finished? Do I start something new like Asylum, P90x 2, Tap Out XT 2, or Turbo Fire? I was really unsure of where my next challenge was going to come from.

I had an idea. Hey, don't act so shocked...

I thought, how about I combine the hardest and most challenging workouts of the 4 programs I already finished into a hybrid and I can do that! Bingo! CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I made a full workout calendar and when I was done, it was 100 days of the best and harderst workouts of Insanity, Tap Out XT, P90x, and Combat combined!

Crazy? Perhaps. I don't look at it like that. I look at it as the next evolution of challenging myself. I am always looking for that next challenge. I am always looking for the next way to step up my fitness. Not to mention I want to go ahead and knock of these last 25 lbs and hit my goal that I set back in May of 2012. So the 100 Day Hybrid is what I came up with and is what I am going with.

I kicked off the hybrid on May 12th with some P90x Yoga and here is what the entire 1st week looked like...



A few things with this program. One, I have already lost 6 lbs in the first five days! Two, I love it! Not just for the weight loss but for the mix of workouts. Three, doing the old workouts is actually fun! Some of them I hadn't done since last summer and it is AMAZING when I can do parts of them now that I couldn't do back then! Makes it even more fun for me and makes me want to push even harder!

The general rule for the program is 2 days a week of yoga, 2 days a week of cardio, 1 day a week of arms & core, 1 day a week of legs & core, and 1 day a week with all core.

So that is my 100 Day Hybrid plan! What do you think? I finished Day 8 (Tap Out XT - Yoga XT...Sunday is yoga day) and I am more sure about my decision to try this hybrid than ever. It will be a challenge but I really think that it will give me the results I want when it is over!

Thank you again for all of your support! You all help me push harder and farther every day and I couldn't be more appreciative! You all are the best!

Embrace Your Possibilities

Good Day Sparkville

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOCKO56 5/22/2013 11:56PM

    You are just DARN crazy!!!!!! In a good way!!!!

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KALISWALKER 5/22/2013 10:56AM

    Wow that must be such a feeling of acccomplishment doing the older ones and doing them well now. I have never done a home exericse program, instead I go to a gym. Reading your blogs inspires me to dig out some of those DVD's and actually open them and use them.

I am amazed at that you can lose 6 lbs in the first five days! Congratulations, you will lose that last 25 pounds quickly!

emoticon emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 5/21/2013 5:12PM

    You Amaze mE!

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KATHY47802 5/21/2013 2:07PM

    Great routine! I like what you said about always looking for the next step up for yourself/routine. I love plyo training but I twisted my ankle April 25th so have been working it back up to be able to handle plyo again. I do a long power walk every morning and strength training 3 days a week, along with Pilates on alternate days of strength. I try jumping jacks now and then and slow jogs in to my power walking but still too sore. So the warning goes off in my head and I take it back down. I don't want this to start all over again. I cannot wait to get back in to my Jillian dvds as she does a lot with plyo training.

Great job - Great workout - Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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LISAMG1220 5/21/2013 1:37PM

    That is amazing!! I am so psyched for you. Keep it up and thank you again for sharing my friend. I needed to read and see it. Hugs.

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LYNNWANNABE 5/21/2013 6:55AM

    I love it!!! (Not just the mix that your doing now; but how you completed each program to reward yourself with a list of achievements, that is totally awesom.. Amazing!!!)
emoticon m emoticon emoticon

Also, watched your vlog that you posted under this blog.. of the weight loss progress over the past year .. WOW!
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Comment edited on: 5/21/2013 6:56:24 AM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 5/20/2013 9:28PM

    You are AWESOME! You inspire so many because you're honest about your journey. You done some amazing things, things that most people, including myself, only dream of doing. You've lost more weight in a year than I've lost in nearly 3... AH MAZ ING!!! You're a ROCK STAR and you deserve all the attention you're getting, just don't let it overwhelm you. Believe, my, it's difficult to handle sometimes. That workout you have going, sound INSANE! You're definitely a better man than I. Uh, weird, but you get it, lol! Rock on Brad!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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123ELAINE456 5/20/2013 7:24PM

  Awesome Blog!!! Wonderful Plan. You Can Do It. You Have Come a Long Ways. We are Pulling for You. This is the WTG!!! You are an Inspiration to All Of Us. Keep It Up. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Super Great Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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1FARMER 5/20/2013 4:13PM

    Your plan is working already. You are very inspiring to the spark family. I tend to be in a rut and not step out of my comfort zone with my exercise. So I am going to mix it up for the next few weeks. emoticon emoticon emoticon Jeanne emoticon

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MARILYNROBERT 5/20/2013 3:22PM

    That's great and esp since you are into day 8 and you know you are enjoying it and losing weight...can't beat that! emoticon

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REGILIEH 5/20/2013 2:45PM

    Sounds good! I like it! Go for it!

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BRAVELUTE 5/20/2013 1:47PM

    I have no idea what you are talking about with all the parts of all the programs. But I like the concept and see how I could do something like that with what I am doing. And since I appear to be in a rut, in danger of getting bored, I am going to look into this idea. I'll have my own Hybrid Summer workout for June. My biggest problem is the sun and heat ramping up here in FL so I'll probably have to make up a plan that out at dawn and dusk but still combines the best of my best.

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CELIAMINER 5/20/2013 10:57AM

    Sounds like a great plan to me! I loved your comment about being able to do some of the exercises you couldn't do last summer. It reminded me of my first attempt back at a step class at the gym. It was awful! When we finally stopped to check heart rates, mine was dangerously high for my age...and then I hurt bad for the next week. So I went back to my own step DVDs and videos and slowly worked from the easier ones to the more challenging ones. I'm still not able to do some of the workouts I could do 20 years ago (yes, some of my Cathe Friedrich videos are that old), but I'm a whole lot better than I was that day in step class.

Keep on motivating!

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 5/20/2013 10:36AM

    As I have to keep reminding myself, NO ONE can do this for us. No matter how much I have dreamed about someone coming to my house each morning to wake me, drive me to the gym, cook my meals and follow me around to make sure I don't splurge (I mean that's how Oprah does it, right??), I know that wouldn't make any bit of difference any way. It is only when we can be our own change that magic happens. Sometimes it takes a little kickstarting to get to that self propulsion. Inspirational stories and motivators such as yourself go a long way in that kickstarting. In my first year, I relied so heavily on success stories to keep me moving forward--to provide daily proof that it is in fact POSSIBLE to reach previously impossible goals.

It never gets easy. The journey is life long and will continue to be a daily struggle. Some days will seem effortless. Some days feel like we are at the bottom of the mountain, looking up again. Sharing those ups and downs with the rest of us makes it even more inspirational because it shows the real side of this thing. It also shows that we can triumph over the adversity through recommitment and long term persistence.

I think your Hybrid workout is a great idea! You have truly embraced the lifestyle and are showing your creativity and flexibility by thinking outside the "box." It is so exciting to hear that you are able to do so much more now than you were able to do when you originally went through some of the earlier programs. Wonderful NSV! Congratulations on the Scale Victory as well!

(Sorry to blow up your blog comment section! emoticon )

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KCLARK89 5/20/2013 9:52AM

    LOVE doing hybrids of multiple programs!! And it looks good too that you're not pushing yourself every single day since you have a nice mix of just yoga days and strength days!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 5/20/2013 9:07AM

    You ARE an inspiration!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon Love your new pictures emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/20/2013 9:08:10 AM

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/20/2013 7:59AM

    Sounds like a wonderful idea, combining the strengths of each program! Awesome inspiration!

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 5/20/2013 6:07AM

    You're pretty emoticon

I have many full programs and have never fully finished (from start to finish) any of them. I like the idea of mixing up the best of all of them though. Sounds like it's working with your progress already. emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

1 Year. 142 lbs Lost. Before & After.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My recap of my 1 year journey in which I lost 142 lbs. and some of what I have done over the last year that has helped me lose 142 lbs.

This isn't the whole story. Plus, I still have more to be written. But thank you for taking the time to watch my vlog and for all of your support. I hope you enjoyed the video :)

Music from the video...

Band of Horses "The Funeral"
Macklemore ft. Ryan Lewis "Can't Hold Us"
Will.i.am ft. Justin Bieber "That Power"
Pitbull ft. Christina Aguilera "Feel This Moment"
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIESLIFE 6/16/2014 11:12PM

    Bravo! Amazing job.

Congrats to you for all your hard work & commitment. You have inspired me tonight. thanks for that :)

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TMCAT1129 5/29/2014 11:59AM

    WOW!! This is such a well put together & motivational blog/video! One of my favorites by far!!

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CATNCAG 2/6/2014 2:18PM

    U ROCK BRAD!!! U r an incredible inspiration. I hope to follow in your AMAZING footsteps & be a success story myself! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LBRAUN5 12/12/2013 1:38PM

  Amazing! Great job!

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SUPERSYLPH 8/8/2013 10:14AM

    Wow! Too awesome!

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GILBEY42 7/7/2013 11:25AM

  Needed something to help with some motivation. This was it. Way to go!!! emoticon

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JAIMESIZED 6/28/2013 8:13AM

    You are really inspiring!

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TDEMAIO2 6/28/2013 7:32AM

    Thank you : ) I really really needed this!!! Very inspirational!!! emoticon emoticon

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PROVERBS31JULIA 6/14/2013 1:50PM

    Very inspiring!!

and somewhat poignant, hearing Israel Kamakawiwo'ole "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", knowing that he died at such a young age, due to some weight-related health issues.

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PATJOONWW 6/14/2013 10:11AM

    WOW such determination. emoticon

emoticonMuch success on your journey! emoticon
emoticon~Pat


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LAVENDERLILY 6/6/2013 11:39AM

    Thanks for sharing your incredible story. What an inspiration!

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GEORGE815 6/3/2013 5:41PM

    Congrats on your Hurculean efforts!

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GUTSHOT 5/31/2013 4:34PM

    Nicely done!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/28/2013 4:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 5/27/2013 1:26PM

  Congratulations to you!

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IWUNDER 5/27/2013 4:16AM

    Thanks for the great Vblog. It truly is inspiring. I am only started my journey and I am hoping next year I am showing great results like you are showing. WTG, and keep doing what your doing. emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/26/2013 9:47PM

    Glad I played Spark Hopscotch and found your page and this blog.

Excellent!



..*) ♥.*)
(. .♥ (. .♥ (.*`* ♥☆.*`*♥☆
;.*
`*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!

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KIKIMAV 5/25/2013 12:46AM

    What a journey!!!! emoticon and thank you so much for sharing this!!!
You are the proof that whatever we dream we have the power to accomplish it!

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TAMMYAND 5/24/2013 8:01PM

    Amazing, inspirational, and deserving of

a million emoticon s !

So glad I stumbled upon your page!

Thanks!

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AMANDACOETZER 5/24/2013 9:18AM

    emoticon

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PRETTYDUNN 5/23/2013 9:17AM

    Way to go, Brad!! You're truly an inspiration to us all! Keep up the great work! emoticon

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TPETRIE 5/23/2013 8:15AM

  Incredible. Great job.

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ELVISINTHEHOUSE 5/22/2013 8:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRIGHT_EYD 5/22/2013 6:34PM

    Wow awesome and inspirational! Congrats on everything you've acomplished!

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RUNNING-TURTLE 5/22/2013 11:57AM

    emoticon You are inspiring. Keep up the good work.

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FUSIONFITNESS3 5/22/2013 2:33AM

    emoticon on a truly inspirational and motivational vlog. emoticon on your determination and guts to create a new life for yourself because without that the vlog would not have been possible.
Your story inspires me. emoticon for sharing your story with me/us.
emoticon
Maria

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LISAMG1220 5/21/2013 1:33PM

    I finally got to watch it and it was amazing! I am so happy and proud for you. You make me want to be more and do more. :) Thanks for the inspiration friend!!

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LJBKENT 5/21/2013 8:25AM

    You have an amazing story.

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BRADMILL2922 5/21/2013 4:34AM

    The support that you all have showed me over the last week with this vlog has been nothing short of incredible! Thank you all for the love and support! I read all the comments and I appreciate every single one of them!

Still a little hard for me to believe that someone thinks that this vlog or I are inspirational or motivational considering I couldn't inspire myself a little over a year ago! But it is humbling to see that people think it is inspiring!

If this even inspires one person, that would be worth everything to me! Thank you all again! We all have it within us to be our own change. If I can do it, you can do it!

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CORNERKICK 5/21/2013 2:59AM

  emoticon

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MYREALANA 5/20/2013 3:22PM

    Wow. Simply amazing!

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LRUSSELL6 5/19/2013 8:54PM

    What an inspiration, congrats and thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SUSIEMT 5/19/2013 8:51AM

    Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

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1BEACHWALKER 5/18/2013 10:44PM

    emoticon emoticon Truly inspiring! Gives the rest of us still going more hope!! emoticon


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TODAYIAM 5/18/2013 7:58PM

    WOW!! Congrats on your success!

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ACTIONHEROFOX 5/18/2013 2:03PM

    emoticon emoticon I cried while watching this. You are awesome. You hardly look like the same person. emoticon emoticon

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LYNNIERN 5/18/2013 1:21PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing your inspiring story!!

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CHATERJOY 5/18/2013 10:15AM

    Very motivational! thanks!

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ASCHU2 5/18/2013 8:54AM

    Thank you for sharing this! You're going to be around so much longer for those beautiful children!!!

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MANILUS 5/17/2013 7:29PM

    You're amazing, congrats on changing your life! I lost 187 in 2 years and that was on a strict program.

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PIMPINELLAN50 5/17/2013 3:16PM

    A truly moving and inspirational vlog, emoticon emoticon emoticon i teared up a bit at the end..your children are beautiful!
Thank you for sharing!





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TONYVOYAGER 5/17/2013 2:47PM

    You're a emoticon

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BANDMOM2012 5/17/2013 2:24PM

    emoticon

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JAZZERDANCER7 5/17/2013 12:30PM

    AMAZING!!!! Keep it up! :) Truly an inspiration!

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LINDERVEE 5/17/2013 11:16AM

    Amazing :)

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ROBB1N 5/17/2013 10:47AM

    emoticon

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 5/17/2013 10:46AM

    Thanks for sharing !! Amazing results with your dermination !!
Stayc

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ILIKETOZUMBA 5/17/2013 10:23AM

    Congratulations!!!!
(Also...love that Macklemore/Ryan Lewis song!)


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NEWTINK 5/17/2013 6:00AM

    There are so few things that make me cry but your video this morning made me cry tears of joy for you . You have done a wonderful thing for yourself and your family. Keep pushing and you will get to your own goals and achieve whatever you want in life. I know for a fact that if you can go from being severely obese to being fit then you can handle whatever else that life throws at you. emoticon

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DOTTY7267 5/16/2013 3:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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