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The Week in Review: I'd tap that. ;)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

I had the most productive week I've had in a while this past week. My eating may not have always been spectacular, but I had a great workout week, practiced my saxophone quite a bit, and overall felt pretty relaxed.

I got through almost all of my planned workouts this week, which is pretty good considering I plan on at least 3 Jiu Jitsu classes (did it!), 1 Muay Thai class (didn't do it), 3 strength training workouts (did it!), and 3 runs (I did 2 runs; I made the second one a longer run). I also stretched in some form every day, although I did not do my Pilates workout or a formal yoga workout.

I had an excellent week in Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu can be a fairly frustrating and defeating art at first, and I know it will continue to be this way for some time. But now that I have been doing Jiu Jitsu for about 5 months, I am starting to get more of a grasp. I have doubted myself a lot in Jiu Jitsu. I tend to psych myself out when I get into an offensive position and let my opponent take over and get a dominant position. Two of my good Jiu Jitsu friends keep telling me to be more aggressive and to not have the thought in my head that I can't get a submission. On Wednesday I was rolling with a guy who is considerably better than I am. I got into a dominant position and set up a submission. I would not give up. I pictured just sitting there until he tapped. Sure enough, he tapped. That is the first time I have gotten someone who is significantly better than me to tap out. I was very excited.

Eating--meh, still here and there. My diet is not horrible overall and I eat tons of fruits and veggies and drink tons of water every day. I have still not been diligent about completely avoiding wheat, although I don't have wheat daily or anywhere near as often as I used to, but I still think I have some bloating because of eating it. Of course, the wheat-containing foods were all impulsive and unplanned foods, so if I just stick to my food plan I could fix the bloating. Wow, simple as that! So, this week, no wheat--period. I have no good excuse to include it; it just happens that my trigger foods are wheat-based. If I avoid eating impulsively, I'll avoid wheat.

Overall, I am satisfied with this past week. I plan on making this next one even better. I might even get those boys to tap.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JITZUROE 4/11/2012 11:00AM

    Congrats girl!!! You are doing great!

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    Yay! Another submission! Congratulations!

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SMILINGTREE 4/9/2012 1:06PM

    The wheat thing is hard! I find that I do well for several days in a row, but then find myself out for dinner or whatever and have something silly like fried chicken - or beer, that's a big one for me. Not much wheat in there, but still messes up my streak. It doesn't bother me too much, but like you, I think there is some bloating that would otherwise go away.

Great title. I love reading your posts. You really do write well.

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EMFRAPPIER 4/9/2012 6:09AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JSALERNO 4/9/2012 6:01AM


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SEATTLE58 4/8/2012 11:03PM

    emoticon for you having an awesome week over-all! Now you have that power behind you to go again and all the more this coming week! Yay for you! emoticon and you will!! Got get 'im, Tiger! Grrrr!

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SYZYGY922 4/8/2012 10:01PM

    Wheat is so hard to avoid! It's in the weirdest things. I would NEVER do this now, but once a couple of years ago I got nachos at 7-11, and I found out that their nacho cheese has wheat in it. WHY?!

I eat wheat all the time now. I gave it up once but most of my trigger foods have wheat in them, too.

I may also have to give up dairy in the near future.

Good job with all the workouts, especially your Jiu Jitsu victory on Wednesday!

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    it sounds like you are doing really great to me. Loved the part about you getting the submission tap. emoticon

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emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The Week (and Month) in Review: Boyfriend and 50 Pounds

Sunday, April 01, 2012

March was all over the place. I had about 2 weeks of allergy issues and some blues that came with it. Of course, this was in the latter part of March right after I had surpassed the 50 pound weight loss point and was feeling very strong. I was a little afraid of losing momentum and backtracking. Although I did have a few days of of overeating and missed a week at the gym because of the massive allergy attack, I snapped out of it pretty quickly and returned to the gym last week as soon as my energy returned.

This past week was probably the best workout week I had in March, but that is pretty pathetic considering I only got to Jiu Jitsu twice and did no strength training or running. Now that the allergies seem to be tamed, I want to return to going to the gym at least 3 days a week (3 days of Jiu Jitsu and 1-2 days of Muay Thai) and running 3 days a week.

I am going to take another stab at Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System staring in April. For those who are not familiar, here is a link to her website and to a review blog I wrote about the program
. It is a 3- or 6-month progressive strength training program. I will need to be a bot more disciplined to get through it. I have used the excuses that it takes too much time and that it requires a lot of equipment, but neither are valid excuses. This type of hardcore strength training will help my martial arts training and will give me lots of lean muscle mass to help blast off some more fat. I may end up doing a bit of a hybrid program incorporating STS, but either way, I am going to start this week. My workout schedule will include the following each week:

emoticon Yoga, stretching, or "moving meditation" every day; moving meditation is simply fluid-like stretching
emoticon Jiu Jitsu at least 3 days/week (these workouts are 1-2 hours)
emoticon Muay Thai 1-2 days a week, either in class or bag work (about 1 hour each)
emoticon Running interval workouts 3 days a week (about 30-45 minutes each workout)
emoticon Kettlebells once a week (any length workout)
emoticon Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System for strength training (3 days a week, about 1 hour each workout)

I feel the most energetic when I'm working out in this manner, so I need to be more disciplined. Despite not being the most disciplined, I am noticeably stronger (I hear it from my Jiu Jitsu pals a lot recently) and I am improving in Jiu Jitsu. The guys at Jiu Jitsu have also noticed my weight loss and are very supportive, although they have always treated me like an athlete.

My eating has still been all over the place. I have done a lot of stress eating over the past few weeks. I think I'm really burnt out from my job, because the stress eating has been after work. I am trying to focus on the week I have off in May and that there will be some reprieve soon, and just try to hang in there in the meantime. My goals for eating in April are to have more readily-available healthy foods so that I am less prone to turn to ordering food or shoveling in junk. I haven't had cereal or protein bars in the house for several weeks, and I now realize that both of these tend to save me from stress eating because I can grab them very quickly and allay emotional eating. I do make a lot of homemade foods, but when I don't have something made and ready, and I'm actually hungry, and I am stressed...well, you know the rest. I need to get back to being diligent about avoiding wheat and having more food readily available. This will require some more planning on my part as well as having a few convenience foods on hand so I can grab something quickly when I am truly hungry.

Come to think of it, I have not been meditating at all over the past few weeks, so it's no wonder I have been turning to food for comfort. So, in April, I will meditate every night (anywhere from 5-30 minutes) before going to bed. I was feeling a lot better when I was consistent with meditation; I guess I got caught up in stress eating and kind of forgot about it. Hmmm, and just when I could have used it most...

Okay, so I suppose I am ready to talk about the boyfriend. I have alluded to him or mentioned him here and there over the past couple of months, but haven't really talked about him. There are a couple of reasons for this. First off, I wasn't really looking for a relationship. I had a profile on OKCupid and would go on some dates with guys if they wrote to me. Nobody was very promising. I was looking for some casual fun perhaps, but I couldn't picture being in any kind of serious relationship. I had become rather jaded and cynical after my string of loser jerk "boyfriends" (or whatever they were) and had kind of given up.

In mid-December I received a message from a guy and so I checked him out. He could write coherent sentences, seemed intelligent, enjoyed writing, and seemed decent enough. I figured it couldn't hurt to meet the guy. We met at a wine bar near my house. In walks a 6-foot tall, well-muscled guy in a long trench coat and a fedora. After talking with him for only a short while, it was clear that he was very, very smart. I felt very comfortable with him. I am not going to lie, there was not any "love at first sight" or any major sparks; I thought he was just all right. I was in a place that was too cynical regarding dating to have any feelings like that. We had a nice first date and at the time I felt neither here nor there about seeing him again (again, too jaded...).

Now, to backtrack a little, romance was another area of my life that I allowed to be overtaken by my weight. I blamed my weight for the fact that I was not meeting a decent guy back when I was really trying to. They were all the same guy: arrogant (without any particularly great traits to back up their cockiness), uncaring, and usually had some sort of addiction. They were all the same guy. Now, I am NOT bashing men, not at all. I know lots of great guys and have a ton of guy friends. But when it came to dating, I built a wall around myself that would no one could break through even if they were interested in me romantically. In my eyes I was too fat, too unattractive, too unlovable. Depriving myself of a good man was another way to punish myself for being overweight. I settled on these jerks, feeling lucky that any guy was giving me the time of day (and they seemed to exploit this fact). Over the past year or so of taking a good, hard look at myself, I came to realize that my weight was an excuse for not letting a good man near me.

"Perhaps love is the process of my gently leading you back to yourself."
-Antoine de Saint

I knew in theory what I was looking for--a smart and kind guy who was also autonomous, their own person. This time, I was determined to be a little more patient, with myself and with him. Rather than pinpointing some minor perceived flaw and running for the hills, I tried very hard to objectively address any concerns with him. I have been trying hard to assess whether the concerns were really about him or if they stemmed from my own insecurities. Any time the thought crossed my mind that I wanted to stop seeing him, I stopped and assessed why I was feeling that way. They were all fear-based reasons.

We started out pretty slowly. I didn't hear from him for a week after our first date, and he sent me a text on Christmas day. I didn't see him for about another week. Our second date was the best date I had ever had. We spent most of the day together. We didn't do anything major--we had coffee and chatted, went to his friend's house, and went out to dinner. It was more the way he treated me that made it special. For starters, he didn't seem embarrassed of me. He introduced me to his friends right off the bat. He wasn't hesitant to be affectionate with me in front of others. I always felt like the guys I had dated tried to keep me a secret and I had never really met their friends or family.

We continued to see each other once or twice a week, which was fine with me as I am a person who does like to spend time alone. However, when we spend time together, I feel like we complement each other. I have always felt like I am a "whole" person and have never been prone to seeking out a relationship to find someone to "complete" me. However, I am starting to see the value of having someone who adds that special something and who I can ask for help if I need it (and hopefully help him in return). He makes me a better person by helping me find myself in ways I haven't before. For instance, he is the one who introduced me to meditation. He has been supportive about my weight loss, too; I never thought I would talk about SparkPeople or weight loss with a guy I was dating, but I didn't want to hide any part of myself from him. He is also making an effort to eat more healthfully and exercise more. It is in these ways that we complement each other, although both of us were already whole people to begin with. He doesn't "complete" me, but he is helping me become a better person--and isn't that ultimately the point of a relationship?

A lot of this is still new to me, because even when I have had long-term boyfriends, they just added stress to my life. I am still getting used to the idea that a guy I'm dating may actually not be mean to me. Sad, I know, for a 33-year-old woman, but I credit SparkPeople, and oddly enough, my Jiu Jitsu guy friends for getting to a point where I can have a healthy relationship. The guys at the gym have been a combination of a good example of what nice guys are like as well as a sounding board for my confusion. They have helped me build my confidence like never before, both in body and mind. The exploration I have done over the past year and a half or so on SparkPeople has made me the healthiest I have ever been. I am now in a spot where I can let a nice guy in.

We have been dating for a little over 3 months and officially use the terms girlfriend and boyfriend. It is a young relationship, but I am enjoying it very much and am glad I took a chance. We are even planning a weekend getaway in May, and I am looking forward to traveling with him.

So, enough of the mushy stuff. emoticon I hope everyone has a great April. Here are some parting words of wisdom to keep in mind during the splendid month of April:

Image from

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
-Thomas Edison

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 4/15/2012 12:54AM

    When I was single and "looking" I was embarrassed to admit that. It was liberating when i finally admitted that I wanted the love of a good man, and to marry (again). One of the things that struck me about my husband was his willingness to commit to me, and to let me and everyone else know that. So, here is to the sweetness of love - you are both indeed fortunate to have one another, to make each other's lives a little fuller, and a little easier, and, ultimately better together than apart. emoticon Thank you for reading my "miles to go" blog - it was a great trip but I was a bit surprised that it took me nearly a week of being home to get back into my exercise routine. I was SO tired though, so I am glad I listened to my body and really rested before plunging back into the world of weights and running.

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    Yes, a good man shouldn't add stress to your life! He should make life easier :) Nice to have a good man to lean on when your job and other things are stressing you out. I feel like being in love with a caring man has turned me into the best version of myself.

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    Love the blog, Erin!
I wish you continued success with the new man! Sounds like you have done some great life changing and growing!
Love and Hugs!
Mary emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 4/2/2012 8:49PM

    I'm glad you took the chance too! I didn't want a relationship either when I met my husband. He was (and still is) so thoughtful and nice to me it took a while to get used to being treated that way. It sure is nice though!

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DOODIE59 4/2/2012 7:23PM

    It is lovely to hear you have found someone who enriches your life. Just enjoy the fact that you have done the "homework" in the past year which opened you up to healthy relationship possibilities. Life is all about possibilities;)
Enjoy the moment:)

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SMILINGTREE 4/2/2012 6:27PM

    It's not sad that you are 33 and just figuring out how to have a healthy relationship. It's awesome that you are acknowledging there is a lot to learn and that you are open to risking yourself emotionally. Relationships are scary, but so is taking on a new sport, pushing yourself musically, learning to meditate, and so many of the things you've been doing for the last year or two. Thanks for sharing so openly as you always do.

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    Good job on getting back on track!! I hate allergies! Good luck with your plan. I am glad that you found someone and I hope you both are very happy.

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DDOORN 4/2/2012 10:01AM

    What a wonderful turnaround to your March!

And hat's off to a 1 + 1 = 3 relationship...may it FLOURISH! :-)


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LIOCORO 4/2/2012 1:55AM

    This blog truely made me smile. I know so well what you are talking about with issues really being issues with yourself. I'm so glad you have come to this place, where you can whole-ass those things! emoticon
He sounds awesome, by the way :)

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JITZUROE 4/1/2012 5:23PM

    So inspiring! And thank you for finally giving us some deets on this guy!!!
You have always been a whole person, that's for sure. This guy is a bonus track in the song of your life though. Let me explain... You know, when you get a CD, love the whole thing, and then after a quiet spell, another song starts up? He's that special bonus track in the song of your life darlin'! You weren't expecting him, but there it is, and it is GOOD!
Rock out!

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SEATTLE58 4/1/2012 4:18PM

    Thanks for your really heartfelt blog! It was a good read and inspiring too! Oh, and I am so happy for you with your boyfriend! woo-hoo!

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SHOOPETTE 4/1/2012 4:06PM

    wonderful blog to read, and inspiring at that!!

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The Week in Review: Springtime Blues

Monday, March 26, 2012

I have no excuse. The weather has been incredible. I have a great boyfriend (I haven't talked a lot about him, but have been meaning to). I have cool friends. I have great buddies at the gym. As we all know, that doesn't always prevent us from feeling down sometimes. Actually, allergies have been known to be liked to depression, so I believe that allergies may be linked to the funk I have been in over the past couple of weeks.

I have just been "blah" this past week. Yes, I was sick last week, most likely from allergies, but beyond that I've just been feeling a bit down. I don't feel like socializing too much, including going to the gym for my martial arts classes. I know I would be fine once I get there, but getting up and getting out the door has been too much. I haven't been to the gym in over a week; today it was because I was just too tired to get up. I haven't worked out much at all over the past week except for a few walks with the dog. I just want to be a couch potato; I want nothing more than to plop down on the couch the moment I get up and watch T.V. all day, and overeat while I'm at it, apparently. This is unlike my personality, so I know something has got me down. I know I would probably be better off if I were doing more exercise, though; inactivity is really feeding into these springtime blues.

My eating has not been good--I haven't been tracking accurately and have been overeating a lot. Despite the binging, I was surprised to step on the scale today to find I haven't gained in the past 2 weeks. I have still been eating lots of fruits and veggies, drinking my green tea and water, and eating a lot of whole foods, but I have not been careful about avoiding wheat. I feel pretty bloated. Over the past few days, I have had a stronger desire to return to my healthier eating habits and will work hard this week to transition back to tracking and eating healthfully.

Anyways, I don't mean to be a downer, I just wanted to jot down quickly my thoughts about this past week. I am feeling better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but have not had the energy to really focus on eating well and working out hard. I can't even muster the creativity to say something clever or meaningful in this blog. I will have to experiment with what will give me an energy boost while dealing with the allergies. Well, here's to a new and improved week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEWHENRYSMAMA 3/31/2012 3:08AM

    Hey Erin! Somehow I got off your subscription and had to go find you! Sorry 'bout the allergies...I hear you and have Been sick for the past few days! You know we all go through the doldrums! I think between allergies and wheat you may have a system overload! Take care of yourself...when you feel Better come back and dish on the new boyfriend!
Love & Hugs,

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ALISHAB3 3/27/2012 7:57PM

    The likelihood is that its the wheat contributing to your feeling blue. The feeling of depression is how our brains feel when you are losing brain cels, its basically cellular death (your body not your phone!). The reason (not the only one!) that exercise assists with depression is that it improves your brains ability to absorb nutrients including but not limited to glucose and oxygen. If you just switch some potatoes in for the wheat based foods, you may start to feel much better. emoticon

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DDOORN 3/27/2012 9:37AM

    Yeah, tough to fess up to those "blah" or "meh" days...but yep, they've been "springing" up 'round these parts too...ugh! So inexplicable, but very real!


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JSALERNO 3/27/2012 5:24AM


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SYZYGY922 3/27/2012 1:22AM

    Don't worry about being a downer! I'm a downer probably 75% of the time. emoticon

Sometimes we get into these funks but if we keep pushing through (even minimally) eventually they pass. You're still in the game, so keep chugging along!

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    I would chalk it up to the allergies and maybe even the change in season. Whatever it is, I hope it passes soon for you.
Take care!


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SEATTLE58 3/26/2012 9:53PM

    Sometimes it takes longer to get out of a funk than other times, and it wants to just take the time to get out of it on it's own, it seems. I've been there, done that. It's not the best feeling either, but sooner than later, it can turn around on you, and you feel brand new! I hope this is soon for you and you'll be back sparking to beat the band! We all want you to feel better, we all need you to be on SP with us. We just need to know that you're here with us! Each one of us fails and we're all in this boat together. I'll be picking myself up after failing today! Ugh! That's the best I can do! So, I'm hoping that you will be soon back on the saddle again too! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 3/26/2012 9:46PM

    I hope it passes quickly. Sometimes we just have to get through those sorts of blahs, but hopefully they will be fewer and farther between. That's my hope anyway ;-)

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SPOONGIRLDEB 3/26/2012 9:34PM

    I hate feeling blah like that but I think we've all been there (more than once LOL). Just keep focusing on positive things, and do try to make yourself get up and get out and exercise. Do it for the dog's sake!

I hope your allergies and your funk get better soon!

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The Week in Review: Ah...ah...ah-CHOO!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I am not someone who has ever had any particular seasonal allergies, but I have been hit very hard with hay fever over the past week. It seems like a lot of people have been hit hard with allergies thus far this spring. I have been a sniffly, itchy-eyed, lethargic mess. My workouts have gone a bit to the wayside and I skipped the gym today. I made it in Monday but "only" did an hour of Jiu Jitsu and that took it out of me (I normally workout 2-3 hours on mixed martial arts training days).

I have still been fairly active over the past week, but my body clearly needed some rest. I was finally able to sleep a lot today and feel a bit better. I have also been taking loratadine and using eucalyptus and tea tree oil for aromatherapy. I try to avoid drugs whenever possible, but I need to hit these allergies hard with some antihistamines.

Now, allergies are no excuse for the binging I did this week (ordering from my favorite pizza place), and it goes to show that I still battle with balance (either eating well and working out, or not doing either particularly well). It was "only" 2 days of poor eating, but it could have been avoided with a little forethought. I am low on food at home and need to get to the grocery store.

Not much else to report--I've been resting whenever possible. Nothing exciting this week.

I'm already out of steam. Now...*sniffle*...could you please pass the tissues? Ah...ah...ah-CHOO!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Take care of yourself Erin. I have had allergies all my life so I sympathize.

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DDOORN 3/22/2012 3:36PM

    Yuck, hope the allergy demons leave you alone soon!


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    Same thing going on here. It is too early for these warm temps and the pollen.

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CANNIE50 3/21/2012 10:22PM

    emoticon emoticon You have my empathy - I am all too familiar with allergies. My strategy is to pretend I don't have them and their strategy seems to be to remind me that I do indeed have them. I am glad you got some much needed rest.

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MUSICALLYMINDED asks: lose weight or gain health?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My good SparkPal MUSICALLYMINDED asked in her blog today whether we are on this journey to lose weight (especially for vanity reasons), or to gain health? My honest answer is that it is for both reasons. I do look better now than I did 50 pounds ago, but that is also because I look much healthier. While the scale may not always move in the right direction or may stagnate for a while, choices that are good for health can be made every day (as she shows in her Good Choices blogs). I have taught myself patience so that I don't get too concerned about the vanity part, but I am happy when I am losing weight. It usually means that I am doing well with making healthy choices.

Check it out and let Tracy know what you think:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I agree. Both are important and we should be rewarded for our efforts with both.

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DDOORN 3/16/2012 9:30AM

    Agree...these hardly have to be mutually exclusive goals...! :-)


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JENJESS48 3/16/2012 9:16AM

    I think most of us are in the "both and" category - I know I am. Different days bring different motivation needs; sometimes I can get by on health-related motivation and other days I just want to look good in that new dress, lol.

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2BE-MY-BEST 3/14/2012 9:19PM

    I will do that. Thanks for sharing. Joy

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SEATTLE58 3/14/2012 9:16PM


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