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Exorcising demons...or finding that sweet spot between exercise and nutrition.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I had a 5 day long binge this week. Fortunately, there wasn't much damage from it, and I was able to press on.

The problem is that I love being active to the point that I'm burning an INSANE number of calories, which also means I have to eat a bunch of calories to make sure that I stay healthy. With the number of calories, I am headed towards that slippery slope of compulsive overeating again, which scares me.

However, I am at a loss as to what I give up as far as exercise, since I'm training for a half marathon, need to continue the strength training to preserve my muscle, swimming and stair climbing help my VO2 capacity, plus stair climbing will help me with climbing those hills during my races this year, and I love my spin classes. It's definitely a struggle to figure out how to cut back, but if I don't, I worry about going back to some of those old habits.

I know I'll figure it out, but just needed to put it out there in words and vent about my struggle a bit.

Hope all of yas are having a great weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IJUSTNEED10 2/18/2013 3:38PM

    Congratulations on your determination, i think balance is defiantly something we all have to learn how to do, just keep at it and defiantly watch your behavior.

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HLTHYLIVN_BAM 2/14/2013 9:32AM

    There was an interesting SparkRadio segment in Episode 7 about "7 hidden signs of over training" that you may want to check out if you haven't already. I *think* they had said that once folks start training over 750 minutes there are diminishing returns.

I have to admit over training is not one of my problems so I remember the point to exercise at least 250 minutes to get better results, so you may want to listen to see if they had any good suggestions for cutting back. They may have just said, "cut back" which you seem to recognize, but maybe listening to the episode will give you some more motivation/reasons for giving up or postponing one of your activities. (I'm not sure you should think about "giving up" something rather than switching some of your activities week to week which your body might like too!)


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BIGPAWSUP 1/23/2013 12:50PM

    You'll find your balance! I have faith in you.

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THESLIMMERME1 1/21/2013 12:52AM

    emoticon on your efforts to date!
Wishing you all the best with finding your calorie in - calorie out and exercise 'balance'. emoticon Small Changes Mean Big Rewards emoticon

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PASTAFARIAN 1/20/2013 7:24PM

    I'm in the same situation. KRISZTA11's answer was pretty close to what mine would be except I recommend flax seed oil instead of olive oil. And I have to be careful when it comes to chocolate as I can't fall asleep if I have it late in the day.

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WATERMELLEN 1/20/2013 5:43PM

    Really a difficult problem. I have to say that exercise (and although I am not as active as you, I AM active: cardio and ST at gym, XC skiing, golf) it really doesn't make a big difference in my calorie burn. I still can't eat much more than 10 calories a day per pound I want to maintain . . . that's my metabolism

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TAGSUIT2 1/20/2013 11:17AM

    I hope all work out for you either direction that you take.

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KRISZTA11 1/20/2013 5:03AM

    I understand your feelings, as I had a similar situation last winter.
It is not easy to fill such a big calorie budget with enough healthy foods, and it is very easy to exceed with eating crap, and eating crap induces cravings and so on...

At that time I added high calorie density foods that are safe, meaning not inducing cravings.
Walnuts, almonds, cheese, olive oil worked very well for me.
Dark chocolate worked well most of the time, but I got into trouble a few times (well, they do induce cravings sometimes).
Another trick was eating enough during the day, in order to have a reasonable number of calories left for dinner.

Good luck to finding the balance!

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FAVALL 1/20/2013 1:03AM

    I recently experienced an abrupt cut in my ability to exercise due to a broken ankle. It really threw me into a panic because I had been exercising so much with very slow weight loss. My fear was that I would gain weight fast without the cardio. It turned out to be a good thing. I had to change the SP fitness setting that lowered my calorie ranges and adjusted my meal plans. I learned that I COULD loose weight without all of the exercise and that I was less hungry,, too. I had been exercising to eat more (verge of compulsive behavior).

You may want to try cutting back and train your mind that it is ok to eat less and workout less. Best wishes to you!

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PEZMOM1 1/19/2013 8:18PM


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CARRAND 1/19/2013 7:07PM

    I understand. I spend a lot of time at the gym (I go every day) but I enjoy it all and don't want to stop. You sound even more active than I am!

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LATTELEE 1/19/2013 6:41PM

  Good luck!

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My love/hate relationship with a "healthy" BMI.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anyone who knows me knows that I don't have a lot of love for the BMI measurement, because it doesn't take into consideration several things that impact me personally: the fact that I have a large skeletal frame, and the fact that through strength training since day one of my weight loss journey, I have quite a bit of muscle on me, and of course the density of muscle is greater than the density of fat, so more muscular people weigh more.

However, despite the fact that I have a healthy body fat percentage as well as blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers that are within the healthy range, I couldn't help but be excited that I am inching closer to that magic 24.9 BMI number (or for my height of 5'5", 149 pounds). Granted, the only advantages that I can think of are that if I maintain it for 6 months, I can apply to get my life insurance rates decreased and I would be a more acceptable candidate for plastic surgery in order to get the extra skin removed from various areas of my body, but it's still exciting to get back to a weight that I haven't seen since I was a freshman in high school and to achieve another goal per se (and I'm DEFINITELY a goal-oriented person!).

So I'm still in weight loss mode, looking for that 24.9. Yes, even those who have disdain for such an arbitrary measurement can be suckered in. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEMARIE77 1/16/2013 7:42AM

    I hear you I HATE the BMI number too I'm smaller Leaner than I've ever been in my adult years (i don't weight less once for a very short amount of time 124) but yes that dumb BMI number I've been maintaining a just healthy 5'4" 144 lbs BMI (wanting to weigh 135) so
magic BMI #24.7 just at the average just. gain 3 lbs over holiday no big deal it will come off but guess what I'm overweight according to BMI And I keep trying to lose weight so if I gain a pound or two I will not have to think about being over weight. Sorry long winded it just on of those numbers things that work me best of luck

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EBURGITE 1/11/2013 10:38AM

    it is a battle, for sure! yay for all you've accomplished!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/11/2013 12:00AM

    It's "normal" BMI that is medically defined as between 18 and 25.

That's why I use the term "healthy" BMI because I get to define it.

And my position on BMI is that just about anything between 18 and 30 can be considered "healthy." Once a person is under 30, it's time to focus on body composition, rather than weight.

Just my 2 cents.


P.S. I'm going for a follow up DEXA scan next Wednesday for an uber accurate assessment of my body composition.

Comment edited on: 1/11/2013 12:01:56 AM

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WALKINGMAMMA 1/10/2013 5:29PM


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CARRAND 1/10/2013 4:47PM

    It's not a perfect measurement, but it can be a useful guideline.

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CATMAGNET 1/10/2013 2:45PM

    @ Azul

Unfortunately, it's the one that a LOT of people go by in order to determine health, including the life insurance industry, because it's quick and cheap. Taking caliper folds to determine the body composition of prospective risks takes a lot more time, which equates into increased underwriting costs and less profits. As most life insurance companies these days are publicly traded, profits are the most important thing, since they'd rather please their stockholders than their customers. emoticon

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AZULVIOLETA6 1/10/2013 1:55PM

    Add to that having a ridiculously long torso and 20# of breasts that aren't going anywhere and I that's where I am with BMI. It just does not apply to my body type. At all.

I am hearing the same things as you from my doctors...and the concensus is that my goal weight, with a BMI of 27, is going to be just fine. Heck, I am still technically obsese and all of my numbers (A1C, fasting glucose, cholesterol) are in a really healthy range even though I am pre-diabetic and have a bunch of other health issues.

BMI is just not a very good measure in a lot of ways. It's far too simplistic.

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CATMAGNET 1/10/2013 1:52PM

    @Holly, I thought the same thing as well and also had discussed it with my doctor, but until you've actually gone through the process, you don't know what you'll end up doing once you get to that point. TRUST ME on this one. You may end up changing your mind and going for it as well!

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HHB4181 1/10/2013 1:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HFAYE81 1/10/2013 1:41PM

    emoticon Someday I hope to be in the sprint toward a healthy BMI--haven't seen it in about as long as you!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 1/10/2013 1:24PM

    I have no desire to be in that "healthy BMI" range. I discussed everything with my doc and we decided on a number together. It's still in the overweight category, but as long as my blood work and everything continue to come back normal, she's happy with it.

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CATMAGNET 1/10/2013 1:00PM

    @Earl: I do use fat calipers every 4 weeks, which is why I know I have a healthy fat percentage. You must have missed that part in this blog entry...because it's in there!

As I said, it's a love/hate relationship, because there ARE some advantages to using the BMI, and since I'm almost there anyways, I might as well get that number to go along with the rest of them I've racked up along the way (healthy fat percentage, healthy blood pressure/blood sugar/cholesterol numbers, etc.). However, I still think the measurement is a bit too arbitrary for my tastes.

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ANDREWMOM 1/10/2013 12:52PM

    Whatevery you have to do... as long as you keep it going!

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BIGPAWSUP 1/10/2013 12:50PM

    It's a goal! Go earn your BMI number!

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NEPTUNE1939 1/10/2013 12:40PM

    Forget the BMI - use fat calipers - they are about 98% accurate. Earl

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Why losing weight this time ended up being different...

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I'm a little emotional saying goodbye to 2012 and saying hello to a new year with new challenges.

2012 was a HUGE year for me, because I lost 125 pounds and gained a whole new life for myself that I never thought was possible. However, this blog entry is not about me getting all sentimental and dramatic about the changes in my life. This entry is about something I wanted to share that most people would find surprising...

When I saw my family at Christmas, I really didn't hear anything about my appearance. And for the first time in my life, I was fine with that. When I told my co-workers about this, they were very surprised, but I also live in an area where people tend to be a lot more demonstrative with their emotions than my family is. I'm far and away the most demonstrative person in my family when it comes to expressing my feelings, and it was something I struggled with for years, since my expectations from my family were a lot greater than the reality of the situation.

Yes, the last time I saw my dad and my brother and his family prior to my trip a week and a half ago, I was at my fattest point EVER. The last time I had seen my mom was in May when I was still over 200 pounds. But they really didn't say anything about the dramatic changes in my appearance when they saw me this time. However, they also didn't say much of anything when I was at my fattest either. They love me, no matter what the package wrapping looks like; they just want me to be happy.

I talked to my mom about this last night and how it wasn't a big deal to me like it was in the past, because I know that ultimately, I lost the weight for ME. NOT to impress anyone or make anyone else happy or to improve my dating prospects, but for one person and one person alone: ME. My own sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that I can do so many more things that were so difficult before eclipses any compliment that I may receive. Granted, I'm grateful to receive the compliments, but that's not why I did this.

So I look back on 2012 and feel good that not only am I in a healthier body, I have a healthier mind, with an attitude of gratitude, and less of a need for external validation. That is priceless.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTHOMURE 4/1/2013 11:27PM

  You have done so well, you are an inspiration!

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CASSANDRA1 1/29/2013 11:35AM

    Wow, what an accomplishment! You are a great inspiration.
I, too am in Memphis.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 1/4/2013 4:57PM

    You had a great year and I am mightily impressed. Keep it up! emoticon

We went to see some friends not long ago. I had lost 36 pounds and my husband had lost about 5 pounds--he has been ranging about from 140-150 and up and down for a few decades. Well, they raved about how much weight he had lost and said nothing to me.
I was bemused and not offended. Because I know the numbers!

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ANDREAG89 1/4/2013 3:08PM

    What fantastic accomplishments you've achieved in 2012. Thanks for sharing your story and for letting us all know that it's possible. Great work, and best wishes in 2013!

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LOVESTOWALK49 1/4/2013 11:08AM

    Best of luck. Have a good year. emoticon

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ELAYNE39 1/4/2013 10:00AM

    Congratulations. Fabulous journey! Wonderful accomplishment. You seem to have it right!

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NUOVAELLE 1/4/2013 9:31AM

    That's a wonderful attitude! A balanced mind in a balanced body!
I'm wishing you all the best for 2013!

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CARRAND 1/3/2013 8:30PM

    Wonderful blog!

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DARLENEK04 1/3/2013 6:55PM

  Congratulations on your loss of weight and also on the great sense of self
you did it for you....which is what we also should do.

Blessings, Happy New Year,

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JEANSHEP2 1/3/2013 5:27PM

    What a wonderful attitude...and 2013 should look all ways different for you.

Great thoughts for we who are more demonstative than others around us.

God bless.

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    Wow--what a great attitude you have. I tend to expect too much from others. I want them to gush over me, make a big deal out of my weight loss and laud me with praise. I realize some people do not have that in them, and to them, MY weight loss is not the over-riding factor in their life, like it is in mine.

I like your reasoning, that even though your family didn't say much about your weight loss, they also made no comment when you were heavy. They loved you anyhow. My husband is kind of like that. he has loved all the accolades I have received since my weight loss, and all the media attention, but is a little embarrassed that I am so willing to share (IN PUBLIC) how fat I actually was and how miserable and unhealthy being that fat made me. However, he never bugged me about being obese. He loved me through thick and thin. He always made me feel desirable and that says a lot about how much he loves me I think. He told me once that he saw beyond the fat, he saw what was inside. I'm glad he did, or we might not still be together and still madly in love after 42 years.

So even though today he might not make a big deal about how much better I look, I'm going to take your attitude and remember how good he was to me when I was heavy and realize that to be demonstrative is just NOT in his make-up. And like you, I'm okay with that. Cause I know he will love me no matter what--and I am so grateful for that kind of love.

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TINAJANE76 1/3/2013 4:39PM

    That's fantastic! I wish you all the best in 2013!

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LEB0401 1/3/2013 3:19PM

    emoticon Fantastic blog.. you did it for YOU and that's gotta feel good!

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EILEEN828 1/3/2013 3:18PM

    Well I think you got it right, they just want you to be happy. Perhaps when they get a little more used to the new you they may finally say something about it. Right now it probably felt as awkward as would saying something when you were overweight. They didn't want to appear as if that would matter to them. That's because you being you is far more important to them. I do understand the need for a high five though. So I and everyone else here, are giving you one! Great job and good luck for the new year! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/3/2013 3:19:36 PM

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MCONFESSOR 1/3/2013 2:27PM

    It's great to be able to see how importantly and profoundly mental, emotional, and physical health are so intertwined. Congratulations on the weight loss and the self discovery!

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CHEETARA79 1/3/2013 2:15PM

    That IS priceless. You are awesome!

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BIGPAWSUP 1/3/2013 2:13PM

    You had an amazing 2012! Hope 2013 eclipses your wildest dreams!

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CATRIPL 1/3/2013 2:04PM

  Congratulations! Here's to a great 2013!

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JULIE700 1/3/2013 1:45PM

    Congrats on your success! emoticon

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MIATIA1 1/3/2013 1:42PM

    Congratulations on all your successes mind and body... HAPPY 2013, may it bring you all that you hope and work for...... emoticon

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    Here's hoping 2013 is just as wonderful a year for you as 2012.

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Sprinting, Sledding, Spaetzle and Snow...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

So I traveled to Upstate New York this week to spend time with my parents. My trip started with a delayed flight from Memphis to Detroit, a 10 minute sprint from A11 to C22 in order to catch my flight to Montreal (yep, my folks are THAT far Upstate that I fly to Canada!), then the realization that my flight to Montreal was delayed due to an inept gate agent. I was winded and dripping sweat for nothing. *sigh*

It was a wonderful visit with my family, including my brother, sister-in-law and nephews that drove up from Pittsburgh. There was plenty of snow on the ground, so my nephews played in the snow a bit, being pulled by their aunt on the sled (something I couldn't do a year ago when I was 285 pounds), and we also went sledding 3 days during everyone's visit.

We also admired the tree and got some pictures of the boys in front of it:

On Boxing Day (the day after Christmas), we went to Ottawa to the Museum of Civilization and the Children's Museum. They had a nice motorcycle that my younger nephew and I posed on:

I also discovered another NSV that day: because I'm so much smaller than I was last year, all 7 of us fit in my brother's minivan for the drive up to Ottawa! It was much nicer to all be together for the trip rather than take two separate cars. HOORAY!

Of course, my mom fixed all of our favorite foods while my brother and I were home: Hungarian goulash with homemade spaetzle, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, plum pudding, and of course, her amazing Christmas cookies. I did enjoy all the food I ate, though I made sure that I kept the portions reasonable and exercised every day. My sister-in-law and I did some fitness DVDs and did a long walk around the village while we were in town together, though due to the ice and snow, we didn't want to risk running.

Then there was the snow overnight on Wednesday into Thursday morning. Fortunately, my dad had done a pre-emptive strike and re-scheduled me onto an earlier flight on Thursday morning, so I was able to get out of the Northeast before it got too bad with the snow. When all was said and done, the village where my parents live got 20 inches from that storm! They even got more than Syracuse, which is typically one of the major places for snow!

So although my trip was cut a few hours short, it was definitely a good one. I hope to visit with the family again in May when my older nephew turns 7 and my sister-in-law runs the Pittsburgh Half Marathon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGSBETH 12/31/2012 11:31AM

    Sounds like a great time!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 12/30/2012 5:22PM

  What a blessing to spend time with your family especially on the seasonal celebrations of Christmas and New Years, look great

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BIGPAWSUP 12/30/2012 1:07PM

    How wonderful! Sounds like you had an awesome time. Congrats on the awesome family time and great pictures.

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EILEEN828 12/30/2012 1:00PM

    Family fun, what could be better? Glad you had such a great time. Good luck in 2013!

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KANOE10 12/30/2012 10:34AM

    What a wonderful visit with your family. How much you have changed over the year..and how active you now are with your weight loss. Wonderful job of getting healthy!


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TORTISE110 12/30/2012 7:07AM

    What a wonderful trip and a "marker" of how far you've come since last time. Thank you for sharing your happy news! Made my day.

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KRISZTA11 12/30/2012 6:46AM

    I'm glad you had such a wonderful and active vacation with your family!
That big snow is beautiful, but it's great you got on the plane before it got even bigger : )

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NEWKATHYNOW 12/29/2012 9:33PM


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RUN4FOOD 12/29/2012 7:13PM

    Glad you had a great trip.
Sounds like your weight loss played a big part in making it better, congratulations!

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Planning ahead for 2013...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Now that I have proven that I can fulfill a New Year's resolution (learning to eat healthy and exercise regularly so that I can get healthy was the one I made in 2012), it's time to think about a resolution for 2013.

I've decided that I really need a more balanced life.

Planning my food and exercise has really been a HUGE part of my life this year, to some respects at the cost of my focus on work and my personal life. I know that I need to cut back a little on the exercise (been doing a TON, especially the past few weeks) and work on those aspects of my life.

It will take some trial and error, and I will probably make some mistakes, but I figure with the amount of monitoring that I do, they're easily correctable (well, unless it's an injury, but I don't want to think about that!).

I just know that I need to be more emotionally healthy than I am at this point, and that means working on my social relationships. My first step is going to a New Year's Eve party when I get back after Christmas. It should be fun....and I'll just make sure that I commit to at least one social activity a month for now with at least one of the social groups I belong to here in Memphis (Fabulous Women over Forty and the Memphis Movie Group). I've also started dating again after a 3 year hiatus, though that's more of a side-burner thing. Men may come and go, but girlfriends are forever!

Alright, got to get in the shower and start getting ready to head to the airport. Have a terrific Saturday, everyone and if you travel this weekend, BE SAFE!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 12/24/2012 9:26AM

    You have had a wonderful year of exercising and eating healthy. I also have focused more on my exercise and maintaining my weight loss, more than social obligations this year.

Have a wonderful holiday.

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RUN4FOOD 12/23/2012 7:42AM

    Best of luck to you meeting your new year's goals.
I agree with you that to be emotionally healthy we all need to work on our social relationships.

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EILEEN828 12/23/2012 2:00AM

    Way to go! Those are perfectly wonderful goals. Enjoy your trip to your parents. Happy New Year!

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BIGPAWSUP 12/22/2012 6:38PM

    Congrats on 2012! You are going to have an awesome 2013

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BROOKLYN_BORN 12/22/2012 1:41PM

    Good for you. I know I can be a bit of a hermit unless I make a conscious effort to do otherwise.

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GARDENCHRIS 12/22/2012 10:08AM

    you are soooo right girlfriends ARE forever!!!

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