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100 Day Challenge - Third Week

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

At the end of my third week of this challenge, I'm down almost 11 lbs. I'm feeling better about myself and trying to make healthy choices every day. Keeping my promises to myself to cut out sugar and amp my exercise are also having the surprising effect of making me like myself more. I'm keeping my promises to myself, and that increases my self respect. I haven't done as well on the wheat elimination goal, but overall, not a bad effort. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/17/2014 1:52PM

    Sounds like you are making progress. Keep at it you can do it. emoticon

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EMSSBEARS 6/14/2014 11:11PM

    You're doing great keep on pushing thru. I am starting a new 100 Day Challenge took a one week break after the last one to see if I could get anyone else to join me and to set up a team on Sparks and a group on FB and I am going to do it that way this time I with week lt check ins will let you know how that goes and will keep checking on yours. Good luck to you. I admire you.


Comment edited on: 6/14/2014 11:11:54 PM

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ADRIENALINE 5/26/2014 3:12PM

    Wow, what fantastic news!

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EMSSBEARS 5/22/2014 2:33PM

    You are doing a great job I am so proud of you keep up the good work.


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REBECKY441 5/20/2014 11:53AM

    Great Job!! 11 #s is WONDERFUL Cat! Keep up the good work. Thank you so much for keeping me motivated!

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MSEMBERSTORM 5/19/2014 9:35PM

    Woot! Yeah! Keep it up!

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DOTSLADY 5/16/2014 5:13PM

    Congrats on your goals, Cat! I'm so proud of you.
emoticon emoticon

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DISPATCHER04 5/15/2014 9:41PM


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BIGPAWSUP 5/14/2014 1:24PM

    Keep pushing.

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LIVINHEALTHY9 5/14/2014 5:23AM

    That is fantastic!
You are doing great. Keep it up!
And give yourself a hug, you deserve it and you are worth it!

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AMBERBREEZE 5/14/2014 3:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon 11 lbs is great progress. You are also doing a good job on adding in those healthy habits and sticking to them as often as possible. It isn't easy, but often the best things in life seldom are. You can do this!

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CJBAGGINS 5/13/2014 11:02PM

    Congratulations on the weight loss, Cat.

But, I am more impressed with the self-respect, and the figuring out what led to the increase in self-respect. Some great insight there! I know I feel the same way when I keep promises to myself.



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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/13/2014 7:32PM

    You are doing fantastic!!!!!

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IRISHMUM3 5/13/2014 7:01PM

    Fantastic! Keep up the amazing work!

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JUSTME29 5/13/2014 6:58PM

    That's really great! The wheat will come, but keeping up on the rest of it is awesome anyway!

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CATHYGETSFIT 5/13/2014 6:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon 11 pounds is fantastic! Good for you for making those feelings from all of the crap you are dealing with into something positive! Even better that the something positive is something that makes you feel better mentally and physically! YOU ROCK!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 5/13/2014 6:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CIPHER1971 5/13/2014 6:25PM

    Awesome job, you are doing really well, I am stoked for you

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 5/13/2014 5:32PM

    GOOD GIRL!!! I am so very very proud of you!! 11 pounds is AWESOME!!! YOU ROCK!!!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/13/2014 4:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
That is fantastic news! That you are able to do this amidst the turmoil you live in is amazing! You rock!!

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Disappointed in Myself

Friday, May 02, 2014

So, I think anyone who follows my life knows that I have a difficult work situation. I work with some of the nastiest people around, and every day is a struggle to defend myself from emotional abuse, verbal attacks, and damage to my professional reputation.

I've tried to channel my frustration into self improvement, both for my own sanity and because I know it would really frost these miserable jerks' doughnuts if I came though with integrity and positive outcomes.

As in any bullying situation, the majority of people are bystanders who don't participate but don't help. With the *$#@heads, my shields are up, and I'm on guard. But sometimes, I let my guard down with the others, and yesterday, it came back to bite me.

I was reading a notice for an upcoming 5k on the bulletin board, and a "neutral" walked up and said in a surprised voice, "Are you thinking about that?"

I should have been guarded and said nothing. instead, I told him that I do races - mainly half marathons. I do not normally tell them ANYTHING about myself, because anything I say can be twisted and used against me. The moment I finished, I regretted my candor.

He exclaimed, "YOU?! How could YOU do that? Let's face it, you're carrying a LOT of extra weight -" I interrupted him and told him not to quit while he was behind. He kept going. I interrupted again and told him to quit digging.

He didn't. He was DETERMINED to make sure I knew that he thought that NO ONE as FAT as I am should even ATTEMPT to do anything. He would NOT let it go.

I want to write that I zinged him, walked away, and finished 100% on track. I didn't. I did. And I didn't.

I got home, intending to exercise, and instead ate. And ate. And ate. Then fell asleep. My classic numbing behaviour. I thought I'd conquered it because I've been doing so well recently in the face of exceptional hostility, but I guess I'm not there yet.

So, I'm up a pound and feeling kind of bad about myself. I slept a lot last night, got up and ate on track again, and I'm just going to have to take it from here. My only friend here returns today, and I am super excited that my "battle buddy"is back. I'm emotionally spent and physically exhausted, and I need reinforcement.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSEMBERSTORM 5/19/2014 9:34PM

    Hugs and prayers! I'm here for you. I hope that jerk learns his lesson some how soon! I am so sorry you are going through this. Big hugs!

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DOTSLADY 5/16/2014 5:50PM

    emoticon What a rude, immature, a-hole, bully! Keep rockin' it Cat. (I'm reading out of order, lol!) Keep reminding yourself how strong and amazing you are (you are to me!)!


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FLO2BTHIN 5/6/2014 6:43AM

    listen to nightskystar now that is the person who loves and knows you. WTG on finding such a great friend!

Run baby run emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 5/3/2014 6:33PM

    ok so i read this..and i read all the comments. and i dont agree on the "has to make himself feel better" thing. nope. hes just plain mean, rude, and a trotten person. i actually feel sorry for must be really awful having to be so critical of others. believe me, i know JUST the kind of person that is..and you know that i know.
I look up to you for your running. i wish i could run. i walk my best..and most of the time, when i want to give up, i think...Cat runs. she runs MARATHONS. and you are complaining about 5 miles WALKING? and i do it. you are an inspiration. and he is a wanker. sorry. tosser. sorry. i cant think of a word bad enough for what he is.
He isnt fit to breathe the same air as you, my dear friend.
and so you ate. yeah it was a reaction. one many of us would have done. its over. you are back on track..and i am proud of you. i think you should run that race. and challenge mr big mouth rude man to run it with you. seriously. and anyone else giving you trouble.
i'm so angry right now i could spit nails. i so wish i was there....i would love to have a go at him..
anyhow. i love you. head up. keep marching. we are getting there. and when we arrive it will be SO SWEET

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BBONET 5/3/2014 4:54PM

    emoticon emoticon We all those moments that we give in to defeat!! Don't worry now it is time to dust yourself off and continue on your path! Don't give any more thought to that ignorant bully!!! emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 5/3/2014 1:24AM

    so sorry this has happened to you..........
you are better than that jerk!!!
great you got yourself back on track....
turn this negative moment into many positive ones!!!
you can do it
bleieve you can and you will.....
blessings and hugs......lita

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AMBERBREEZE 5/3/2014 12:58AM

    emoticon I am sorry you are having such a rough time. You may have slipped, but you have owned up to it and gotten back on track. Everyone talks about 'internet trolls' but I swear there are some in real life and it sounds like you are in troll central there. Here's the deal, don't let those trolls ugliness spread to you or ruin your health or day. Seriously, you are beautiful, amazing woman. You work with trolls, you live with trolls, but you are not one. So next look in mirror and tell yourself you are a beautiful and powerful woman warrior - I mean hey you can do a 5k, and little troll man didn't think you could... but then trolls aren't known for their brains. So don't let the trolls gum up your plans. They are nasty, small minded creatures that don't deserve the pleasure of your time. You CAN DO THIS!

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IRISHMUM3 5/3/2014 12:20AM

    Super big hugs. Be kind to yourself. Look at how far you have come. We all have our human moments. What is important is progress, not perfection - you got right back on track, and that is stupendous.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 5/2/2014 11:17PM

    This bought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you have to go into this enviroment daily.
Please don't be disappointed in yourself,the person who should be disappointed in that poor excuse of a human being who treated you like that!!!! I agree with FLOWERDALEJEWEL, you should make the card. I am glad your battle buddy is coming back and please remember there are people here who care for and value you

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EJOY-EVELYN 5/2/2014 10:43PM

    I’m so happy for new beginnings that are made anew each and every day. You are both beautiful and light. “Each day as you leave your home to go into a dark, tasteless world, you can be the light and flavor it needs.” - The Love Revolution, Joyce Meyer Ministries

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GAILSMAILS 5/2/2014 10:05PM

    Oh my heavens!! Very, very sorry you have to live in that environment. Amazing how many truly rude people live in the world. You showed amazing restraint! You should really be proud of yourself for not knocking the ____ out of him.

Good for you getting back on track. You are strong and will prevail!!
The Teddy Bear team is behind you all the way!

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JUSTME29 5/2/2014 9:29PM

    I just can't even begin to understand people like that. Seriously. How does one even get to the point where they think it's ok to say something like that to another human being? What an idiot!

I'm so sorry you were put in a bad place. I'm glad your "battle buddy" will return and have your back - it really sounds like you need that where you are. I don't have a single suggestion as to how to handle something like this.

Many of us are here because of emotional eating. Good for you getting right back on track first thing this morning. All I can say its that karma can be a btch and people like this absolutely deserve what's coming to them.

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    I've always been amazed at people's perception of what a runner looks like. I was a runner when I was younger - more accurately a sprinter. I was thin and very muscular but not tall. Runners come in all sizes. Ignore the creeps at work, They are not worth the effort.

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CATHYGETSFIT 5/2/2014 8:52PM

    I like FLOWERDALEJEWEL's idea. It's too bad you can't find one. Maybe you should make one. emoticon

Kitty is right though, people like him say things like that because they feel crappy about themselves and so they have to try to bring you down so that they can feel better. This guy probably gets bullied by others I'm guessing. He probably tries to keep the focus off him by tearing you down.

You are not the only person to eat your feelings away. Lots of SP do it or have done it. You've been doing really well but because this guy is usually neutral you thought he wouldn't say anything. You've learned a lesson from this though. You also know that you only hurt yourself when you eat your feelings in the long run.

I know many people who run 5K's and more even though they are overweight. Weight has nothing to do with being able to run a 5K or half marathon.

How much longer will you have to be there?

You are a better person than them and you can treat yourself better than this. Today was a new day and I hope you made it a better day by treating yourself better.

Hold your head up high and know that all of your Spark friends are here for you! I'm glad your friend returned today so that you will have some support there. emoticon

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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 5/2/2014 7:09PM

    Never fear my little Teddy Bear buddy...reinforcement is definitely here!!! Sound the bugle and rally around all you Teddy of our own is being discouraged rather than encouraged. CatBear, you are going to be just fine. You've already gotten back on record time if you ask me. I won't even dignify the bully's action with a comment. I want to focus on you and not on him. Therefore...

Remember all the wonderful intentional progress you have made already. You are worth and capable of doing ANYthing you want to. Give yourself an achievable goal & then reward yourself (non-food reward) once you reach that goal. Then...come to my page and share with me the goal you accomplished and the fabulous reward you gave yourself so I can share in the victory. You Go Girl. emoticon Cuz YOU are emoticon emoticon emoticon BevBear

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ADRIENALINE 5/2/2014 1:16PM

    Unfortunately, we all have our demotivators, people have even told me that I've lost too much weight and look sickly. You gotta be your own best friend since it is obvious there aren't any candidates where you work.

*You know you are doing everything you possibly can to get healthier
*One bad day can't ruin the whole week
*You know you are the most compassionate, sweetest person there
*Don't let the mean idiots win!

So it doesn't matter what they think. Remember if they make you binge, they won.

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FAVALL 5/2/2014 11:26AM

    Likely that he is ignorant and highly opinionated. He may have even thought he was giving you good advice to "protect" you from injury. Too bad he wasn't listening to your request to change the subject.

It always catches me off guard when I react with negative internal dialog and emotional eating after a hurtful verbal exchange with someone else. But that is the same kind of reaction I have over and over. I've come to accept that as my hurt response mechanism and count it as part of the journey. I do now bounce back quicker onto MY PATH to health and fitness. Keep doing what you know works for you! Great to know that you can gather positive support from Spark friends, whenever needed. Hope you have a fantastic day!

Comment edited on: 5/2/2014 11:28:59 AM

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_LINDA 5/2/2014 11:22AM

    Oh Cat, I am so very sorry you had to deal with that. I couldn't get over anyone actually having the gall to even SAY something like that, let alone keep pressing it!!!! They would be slapped with a discrimination/ harassment suit so fast if they were back in the States!! I suppose they get away with anything they want over there :(((
Never mind stress leading to emotional eating, but even on its own, it can lead to weight gain and health problems. Is this job worth dealing with these sub humans? You deserve so much better! Can your skills not work in a healthier, more safe environs? I would love to see you in a better place, all around..
Please take care of yourself!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLORIDASUN 5/2/2014 9:05AM

    It hurts my heart that you have to contend with this's FAR beyond's really~ evilness! emoticon

Having dealt with those type of nasty, carping, MEAN spirited people myself from time to time it's good to remember that they are frightened little children that hide behind the screen of BIG flustering MEAN big mouths.

Sadly...they also run in packs. I also know that overweight people (and I've got a good 40 more pounds to peel off myself) are usually overly emotional, compassionate, and open hearted. Many times they self medicate from the meanness of the world with food in much the same way that an alcoholic or drug medicated person 'tunes out'.

You have also come to realize that this is only hurting yourself and that YOU...right along with THOSE...creepsters are ALL ganging up on YOU!

Not fair...and no good for you!

I also worry if you are even able to obtain REAL food depending on your food options. So much of the processed crap is laden with chemicals and additives that go directly to fat storage since the body has NO idea on how to process them for metabolism. emoticon

I say treat yourself with the respect that you so rightly deserve from others. When you respect won't put up with their antagonism You can just hold your hand up and say STOP...YOU are far from perfect...and THAT is totally obvious!

If you want to deride someone that AFTER you fix yourself FIRST.

That will certainly go MILES in making your stance known...I'm sick and tired of this and I'm NOT going to take it anymore!

No WONDER people go on killing rampages in the's a HORRIBLE environment to have to endure.

How much longer will you have to be there?

I say...just KNOW that you are a beautiful CAPABLE human being and you are SO far evolved from those prehistoric goons that you shine like the sun!

And I'm talking FLORIDA...HOT SUN! emoticon emoticon

I keep asking you what you'd like in your care package...I know one day you will tell me. I just don't want to send stuff that will not be useful or appreciated.

Hugs...dear one! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/2/2014 9:08:37 AM

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METALJEN73 5/2/2014 9:02AM

    I am so sorry for your situation. Please do not let others hurt you and your health. They are not worth it. I work in a situation where the boss is the biggest bully and is truly a mean person. We are all trapped and just have to deal with it. I have those days when I want to go home and eat my pain away. But then I let him win. So I just try to put it someplace where it cant hurt so much.

Hang in there you are worth it!

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CJBAGGINS 5/2/2014 8:12AM

    I like FLOWERDALEJEWEL's take on it!

I'm sorry that you were caught off guard and this jerk face was able to get to you. And yeah, we console with food. It's what we do, isn't it? I know well that behaviour.

BUT - I also know that we often, after binging, continue to do so the next day, and the day after that. I'm very proud of you for eating on track TODAY. For exploring, then sharing your feelings. And getting right back to it. emoticon

Enjoy having your friend and ally back in your corner!


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HAPPYMENOW58 5/2/2014 8:07AM

    Ohhhhh.....I can really feel your pain....Was in the same situation before.......There are such IDIOTS out there....who have no clue...... Hang in there and use the situation as fuel for motivation....You can do it!! You are going to SHOW these morons what is what, girl!! emoticon emoticon

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IDLETYME 5/2/2014 7:59AM

    Just use "that jerk" as your reason to stay on track!!! emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 5/2/2014 7:27AM

    I know it doesn't help much but try to remember that people like that just feel like crap about themselves. They have to try to bring others down.

I have people like that around me at work too. And I choose not to interact as much as possible.

Just know you are loved here and start today moving forward.

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AMUNET_RA 5/2/2014 7:21AM

    ((HUGS)) What a jerk! How do these people sleep at night?

Remember: 'Progress, not perfection'
-one night of consoling yourself with food won't ruin all your work; keep plugging away!


'Living well is the best revenge'
-imagine a day in the future when you see these horrible people and you slink by with your smoking, hot body and healthy glow and just raise your eyebrows slightly and walk away...

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CIPHER1971 5/2/2014 7:14AM

    emoticon what an idiot, and probably jealous and disbelieving because he can't do a 1/2 and needs to feel superior to someone.

I can't do a half so my hat is off to you, that is a major feat for anyone.

Here's to your buddy being back

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Definitely an asshole!!

You need a card that says

"I am overweight, you are an asshole, I can lose weight but you'll always be an asshole"

Flip it up everytime someone gives you flak, say nothing just flip the sign.

Comment edited on: 5/2/2014 6:49:34 AM

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LIVINHEALTHY9 5/2/2014 6:23AM

    What a rude A hole that person was. I got mad just reading what he said.
Good for you on being the better person. I don't know that I could have done that. I have too much of a temper and I would have gone off on him.
As they say "Don't let the Bast*rds get you down."
They aren't worth it.


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FLO2BTHIN 5/2/2014 4:39AM

    people like this are just evil they feel better about there own selves when they knock others down.
WTG on the not smacking him or kicking his butt. rude is a sickness also.

Your back on track so forget him, do not give him that power over you, you are worth more than that. emoticon

I will pray for you

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100 Day Challenge - First Week

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hi, everyone!

I am trying to forego wheat and sweets and to exercise every day. I was a few weeks into the challenge and failing every day, which was discouraging. So, I owned up to the poor results and decided to begin anew.

Sooooo, 100 Day Challenge Part Deux is under way. How are things going, you wonder? Oh, you weren't? Umm, you might want to skip the next bit then. emoticon

I did well on the sweets and pretty well on the "no wheat" and "yes exercise". Oooh, and I lost 5.2 lbs, too.

I'll be finishing the second week soon, and while the results haven't been so dramatic, things are moving in the right direction. emoticon

Work continues to be ... very bad. I'll stop there. I used to hide in my room and binge eat after a day of holding in intense feelings, but now I "vent" in the gym. Sometimes, I cry on treadmill, but I keep going. I have never in my life worked with a nastier bunch. Still, the upside is that I'm learning how to channel my emotions effectively, and that's a big step forward for me.

I do still work long hours, so I still sit at my desk much too much, but I'm trying to improve that, too. Day by day and step by step! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOTSLADY 5/16/2014 5:53PM

    Cat, I know you can do it! (YAY, no wheat! emoticon ) and of course, sweets. emoticon emoticon

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EMSSBEARS 5/1/2014 8:38PM

    You bet I am interested on how it is going and I am so proud of you for channeling your frustrations out thru the treadmill instead of thru food. emoticon on the weight loss that is emoticon keep on pushing forward and remember that you are so much stronger than they are. I wish that you didn't have to be around such nasty people, but I am so grateful that you have the gym to go to let it all out. You deserve so much better- hang in there. emoticon

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AMUNET_RA 4/29/2014 9:02PM

    Keep up the great work Cat! Progress: not perfection, right?

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IRISHMUM3 4/29/2014 6:10PM

    Woo hoo for the weight loss! Keep going. Progress, not perfection.

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CIPHER1971 4/29/2014 10:14AM

    Awesome job - and of course I am interested in how it is going.

as for the nasties at work - karma is a b*tch, and she will get them in the end.

Have a great day

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LIVINHEALTHY9 4/29/2014 6:27AM

    If something doesn't work, then try something else. emoticon
Good for you on losing 5 lbs. Yay!

Don't let all the negative people get you down. Hang in there!

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CATHYGETSFIT 4/29/2014 4:29AM

    Good for you on the no sweets and no wheat. emoticon emoticon emoticon It seems like there are more nasty people nowadays than there used to be. I'm glad you are finding a better way to deal with stress. emoticon

I still think you should stop in and chat with all of us teddy bears. I know you don't want to whine about things at work but venting is good for you and you might end up being in better spirits if you come chat with us even if you don't "whine" or vent about things at work.

As for sitting at a desk all day long...I know how that is. My suggestion to you is set a timer for 25 minutes. Do as much as you can in that 25 minutes and only do work. After the 25 minutes GET UP!! Walk around, do wall push-ups, or whatever but you must get up and move around for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes are up do another 25 minutes of work. After that get up for AT LEAST 5 minutes and walk around or whatever but you MUST get up. Just keep repeating the 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of moving around. You'll stay more focused and get more work done when do this. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/29/2014 4:34:34 AM

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DORIS39 4/28/2014 11:57PM



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SVELTEWARRIOR 4/28/2014 11:16PM

    Sorry about the work situation. It is hard to handle nastiness. It sounds like you are doing good with your 100 challenge!!!

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    Congratulations on getting back on plan.Sounds very difficult with the work situation you have to endure. But, you are tough and you can handle it! Good job on the weight loss!!

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MSEMBERSTORM 4/28/2014 8:48PM

    Hugs! Congrats on channeling your emotions and getting back on track!!!! I am so sorry that you are going through a bad time at work! I hope it gets better!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 4/28/2014 6:49PM

    I didnt want to tell you that I started over, too. So glad you are braver than me and say so!! I havnet been walking with this heart thing..and i need to. food is ok. back to it..and i'm so proud of you!!

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CJBAGGINS 4/28/2014 6:20PM

    I'm so proud of you for not eating your emotions. That is so difficult to do!

And feeling them sucks bananas sometimes, but it is preferable to binge eating.



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MAZZIE973 4/28/2014 5:42PM

    It's hard to stay positive around so much negativity. emoticon on channeling your frustrations through exercise! Keep it up!!

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WESTIEGAL1 4/28/2014 4:18PM

    Great weight loss and better yet-great way to work off some of that work stress. You're getting healthier by the minute! I'm so very proud of you!! emoticon

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ADRIENALINE 4/28/2014 2:18PM

    Go Girl and keep going. Gotta ask. Why are you giving up wheat? If you can commit to the whole grain variety it is all part of a healthy diet. Sorry work is so awful but it sounds like you are really dealing with it well now.

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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 4/28/2014 1:44PM

    emoticon Go Cat!!! You're Not going to let anyone or anything hold you back! I'll say it again ... emoticon I'm sooooooo proud of you. emoticon & emoticon too!!! You told me so, remember? And I believed you! Now believe in yourself, cuz I believe in you too. Gooooooooo Cat!!!!! emoticon

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MDMNINA 4/28/2014 1:02PM

    Sorry to hear about the work situation. Sounds like you are dealing with it beautifully.

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L*I*T*A* 4/28/2014 10:33AM


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ENDUROVET 4/28/2014 9:44AM

    Whew, now I feel bettah myself ;-) !
(I've been following my new plan - a compilation of resistant starch & Tim Ferriss' 4-hr Body plan - oh, let's be generous, maybe 70% of the time? Which understandably has resulted in precious little progress)
I wish I could escape my staff too - but I'm the boss!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 4/28/2014 9:00AM

    Great start- you can do it. Keep going, I know you can.

I can sympathize with work issues. I wish there was something I could say. You are funneling things much better. I'll congratulate you on that!

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JUSTME29 4/28/2014 9:00AM

    I'm glad you have the option to go work out your feelings in the gym. That is definitely progress.

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KARENE10 4/28/2014 8:26AM

    Sounds like you are doing well! emoticon emoticon . As for the "nasty" work bunch~I think people are getting meaner. Years ago work was actually "fun" to go to. Now you never know what your walking in to,lots of drama at my job too emoticon

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Elections in Afghanistan

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Today was a historic day in Afghanistan. Despite death threats from the Taliban and a surge in violence in recent weeks, Afghans defiantly went to the polls in greater numbers than predicted to cast their votes and elect a new president.

The Taliban threatened to cut off the fingers of anyone caught voting (the tell-tale ink does not come off easily), and they were especially hateful in their rhetoric against women. Instead of being cowed, women bravely defied the Taliban and voted in greater numbers than expected.

Donkeys carried ballot boxes to remote regions. Simple but effective!

Be thankful for what you have. ... And when it's time, I hope you'll vote.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NICKYCRANE 6/24/2014 1:43PM

    Well done women! I've lost my right to vote by not registering in time. But I am so out of touch with England that I would not be an informed voter, capable of distinguishing the lesser evil...

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WESTIEGAL1 4/7/2014 3:23PM

    When you're self involved and living in your own little world it's so easy to become complacent about the outside world. So often we don't look beyond ourselves to see the struggles and hardships of others. Thank you for sharing such amazing photos. What is happening there seems so sureal to us as it's so different here. Thank you for being there for them and what an amazing opportunity to witness history being made!

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EMSSBEARS 4/7/2014 3:08PM

    I am so amazed that there were so many of these people willing to come out under death threats to vote and what an amazing photo you captured to share showing the actual dangers there were these are amazing. I am so glad that you are safe.

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DISPATCH91 4/7/2014 11:35AM

    thanks for posting this

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CIPHER1971 4/6/2014 2:59PM

    I always vote, we are so lucky in the west to have that right.

Great job supporting such a great thing

Have a great day.

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FLORIDASUN 4/6/2014 1:34PM

    You are such a wonderful and profound human being my dear friend! I'm thrilled that you share your perspective in a country that is so rife with oppression and yet the willing human heart rises to rebel against the bullies!

I'm SO proud of those women and the message of hope they are teaching their families in bucking the system. I've done that my entire life...and as soft as our life is here in the states...we still fight the windmills.

That you share these lessons is so wonderful!

I want to get you a care present together for Easter...and I hope I make the deadline...but I don't want to send you just ANY old thing...please tell me what would be meaningful and appreciated and it SHALL be done!

Big hugs and prayerful thanks for your service, and your stout brave heart! You face the unfaceable...I'm so humbled to call you my friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTME29 4/6/2014 10:42AM

    That is so amazing! In this country people taking voting for granted, and so many just don't. I'm going to share this picture and the story with my Civics class this week I think. We've talked in abstract about oppressive governments and talked about the power of voting, but this might give them a more concrete understanding. I love the contrast between our digital world and the donkey carrying a ballot box under armed guard. The image is truly powerful.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 4/6/2014 10:07AM

    I always vote!!! Great blog..and glad you are safe my friend!

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CATHYGETSFIT 4/6/2014 5:15AM

    emoticon That's fantastic! That really takes a lot of courage and I think it's really courageous of the women to vote too!! I wish more people here in the states would vote. I always vote! I hope everything goes well for them. Thank you for sharing!

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EJOY-EVELYN 4/6/2014 12:20AM

    I too pray that the elections go well. Thanks for sharing. The ease and ability to vote is something we often take for granted.

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MSEMBERSTORM 4/6/2014 12:18AM

    Awesome and interesting. What a wonderful experience to share!

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_LINDA 4/5/2014 11:35PM

    I always vote. Makes me furious when cowardly sh**ts threaten people who just want a voice in their country.

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SNOWFLAKELILYM9 4/5/2014 11:33PM

    What courageous people!!! What courageous Women!!!! Most Americans have no idea what they have here on so many levels. I know from living in Ukraine, we take so much for granted in the USA. We once had to fight for freedom and the right to vote here too, now so many don't even bother. Thank you for sharing this blog and the picture. It's a good reminder. I just realized my girlfriend's husband is where you are. He has been there since last summer. Thank you for your service. Be safe.

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L*I*T*A* 4/5/2014 11:26PM

    wow.........thanks for your service and keeping the peace over there!!!
great reminder to always get out and vote when possible....
take care dear friend and stay safe.........
blessings and hugs.....lita

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Comment edited on: 4/5/2014 11:27:02 PM

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LIVINHEALTHY9 4/5/2014 9:26PM

    Thank you for sharing this story.

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BIGPAWSUP 4/5/2014 9:11PM

    I hope all goes well for them.

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IDLETYME 4/5/2014 6:38PM

    From our TV coverage it looks like the people are REALLY out voting. That's great. emoticon

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MOTHEPRO 4/5/2014 6:33PM


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IRISHMUM3 4/5/2014 6:27PM

    I am so glad the elections went well.

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ADRIENALINE 4/5/2014 6:21PM

    I vote every single election and have done my whole life! We have a lot to be grateful for here.

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    Isn't it amazing that we here, who have the privilege to be able to vote don't and these brave souls threatened with death and torture are risking it all to vote. We really should be ashamed

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    Great news. Once you have a taste of freedom there is no going back.

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TRAVELGO 4/5/2014 5:01PM

  What a wonderful system we have and still millions of Americans can't be bothered to vote. What a shame!!!

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Day 1 of 100

Sunday, March 23, 2014

As I said in yesterday's blog, I'm beginning a 100 Day Challenge today.

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emoticon 's Starting Stats:

Weight: 277.4
BMI: 47.6
First emoticon: 56
Waist: 54
Second emoticon: 58.5
Dress size: 26
Total Pounds Lost: 0
Total Inches Lost: 0

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******************************* MY CHALLENGE *******************************

emoticon emoticon emoticon No sweets emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon No wheat emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon A minimum of 60 minutes exercise daily emoticon emoticon emoticon

(I wanted to include a photo, but even though it's vertical in the upload, it keeps posted as horizontal. ARGH!)

Day 1

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 4/6/2014 1:37PM

    I'm cheering you on dear friend...with all you face every single day of your life in such a harsh environment...this little challenge will be a piece of cake! I'm rooting for you! emoticon emoticon

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CATHYGETSFIT 3/31/2014 5:50PM

    Sorry I didn't see this before now. Good luck in achieving your goals! emoticon

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 3/30/2014 3:16PM


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KALISWALKER 3/24/2014 6:10PM

    Go for it

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DISPATCHER04 3/24/2014 10:43AM


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SVELTEWARRIOR 3/23/2014 11:02PM

    YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!

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IRISHMUM3 3/23/2014 9:48PM

    You can do it!

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    Really great goals on the no sugar and no wheat!! Good luck!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 3/23/2014 7:55PM

    You can do it!


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DORIS39 3/23/2014 6:16PM

You can do this Cat. Once you put your mind to something, I know you'll will succeed.

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MSEMBERSTORM 3/23/2014 5:37PM

    You can do it!!! Wooot!

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_LINDA 3/23/2014 4:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
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CJBAGGINS 3/23/2014 2:27PM

    You have such support, Cat! Even Professor McGonagall is in your corner!
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I wanna see sideways emoticon


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BIGPAWSUP 3/23/2014 12:20PM

    We can do this.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 3/23/2014 12:09PM

    I'm right with you!!!

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ENDUROVET 3/23/2014 10:44AM

    Do you mind if I join ya??? (sounds like a great pledge for a great cause; I'm afraid I have nothing so inspiring)
I've been staying away from SP aside from logging my infrequent exercise - I feel completely stagnated... My 4 yr Sparkaversary is coming up next month, yet I feel as if I've accomplished next-to-nothing.
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BUBBALOOGA123 3/23/2014 10:13AM

    Awesome! Looking forward to seeing your posts as you work on your 100 day challenge!

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L*I*T*A* 3/23/2014 9:38AM

    we are all here to cheer you on............

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ZIRCADIA 3/23/2014 8:40AM

    I just read your last post and this one - you've got a really great motivation to stick with this. You can do it! :D GO CAT!!!

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AMUNET_RA 3/23/2014 8:18AM

    emoticonCat emoticon Cat emoticon Cat

I'll be cheering you on through your challenge!!

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PROF.MCGONAGALL 3/23/2014 8:15AM

    emoticon Sounds great! I'll be cheering you on! emoticon

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CIPHER1971 3/23/2014 7:10AM

    You are going to rock this.

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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 3/23/2014 4:50AM

    You have a healthy ambition! You Go Girl!!!

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