CATS_MEOW_0911   68,424
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2 Years of Sparkin': 2 Year SparkVersary Celebration!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012







A little over 2 years ago, I saw the number 298 on the scale. I found this number utterly overwhelming. I knew I could not keep letting that number climb, but I didn't know where to begin. I already enjoyed exercise, but I was debilitated by a bad right knee and could hardly do any exercise. On the other hand, I knew my knee would probably get better if I lost some weight. So, I slowly started picking away at my eating habits and my thought processes. I started to learn how to stop feeling guilty about everything and to love myself instead.

For the first time in my life, neither food nor weight define me. Being an athlete defines me. My life revolves around exercise and training, not around the number on the scale. I have "only" lost about 60 pounds in 2 years, a number which I know to many may seem rather small. However, at no point have I made any major effort to "diet." Those 60 pounds have come off by making small changes and without me having to turn my life upside down to lose the weight. The weight will continue to come off, and for that I am happy...but then again, I have learned to be happy despite my weight.






Near highest weight (290+ pounds in these pictures).






Most recent progress pictures (although it is from March 2012--gotta get some new ones!)--around 240 pounds.



The biggest life-changer over the past year has been Jiu Jitsu. There is the workout factor--Jiu Jitsu works everything...and I mean everything. I trembled and gasped like I never have before when I first started. Grappling is unlike anything else, and rolling (sparring) against another person adds intensity that just isn't there with other workouts. I feel stronger and am more flexible than I have ever been.

I have also found that I am actually a decent grappler and did pretty well in my first competition, taking second place in my division (the winner was a woman who was significantly more experienced, but I crushed everyone else on my level). I had shed the "I'm the fat girl" mentality and started training and acting like an athlete, and the guys at my gym treat me like an athlete. Anyone who thinks they are too heavy to be an athlete has to remember that it isn't how others view you, it's how you view yourself. It's like I've said before, if you think and train like an athlete, then you are an athlete.






The best dudes around! I wouldn't haven't gotten this far without these guys in my corner.




You truly can be an athlete (and a winner) at any weight. More pictures from the tournament in this blog post: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4951633




I don't want to think of where I would be without SparkPeople. I started in a very dark place, and picked away until I started seeing glimmers of light. From there, the light started pouring in. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish over the next year.




Very proud moment!









  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSICALLYMINDED 8/24/2012 6:19PM

    Gotta agree with SMILINGTREE. You've shown us all that healthy living is more than just pounds lost and exercise minutes completed. It's about living your best life in all that you do.

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MUGGLE_MOM 8/23/2012 8:47AM

    You are soooo AWESOME!!! Huge Kudos to you!!!
Happy Sparkversary!!!!!!!

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RUNNER12COM 8/23/2012 1:36AM

    Happy Anniversary!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 8/22/2012 1:48PM

    Happy (belated) SparkVersary! I hope I can accomplish as much by the time I reach my 2 year SparkVersary (in one year), and can't wait to see what you accomplish in another 2 years!!! You truly are an inspiration!!

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PAMELA6289 8/22/2012 1:13PM

  Umm, I beg to differ, my darling, 60 lbs is in NO WAY a small #.

You have added years to your life, and you have completely changed your way of thinking. That is a HUGE accomplishment!

I am very inspired by and proud of you.

Way to go!

PS: I love the pic of you at the grappling tournament. You look fit, strong and badass - and you know I mean that in a good way!



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DOODIE59 8/22/2012 12:56PM

    I love, love, LOVE that last photo of you with your arm up. That tells your story. So far. Let's see where you are two years from now. Your journey is very inspiring. Keep growing, girl:)
Deirdre


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SMILINGTREE 8/22/2012 11:38AM

    The thing about your journey that I find most inspiring is that it has encompasses so much of your life. When we talk about a "lifestyle change" we sometimes forget that our lives are made up of so much more than what we eat and how often we exercise.

You have talked about meditating, playing the saxophone, writing, clearing clutter, stabilizing your finances, gardening, loving your home, dating, belly dance, and so many other facets of your entire life here. You remind us all that there is much, much more to this journey than calories in/calories out.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us over the last couple of years.

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JENNIFERH625 8/22/2012 10:23AM

    You have accomplished so much and should be so proud! Keep up the amazing work!

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TAICHIDANCER 8/22/2012 9:39AM

    Happy Sparkiversary to you!

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DDOORN 8/22/2012 9:38AM

    What an awesome couple of TRANSFORMATIVE years it has been for you!

The most important thought in your blog, which I continue to strive to hold onto and maintain?

"It's how you view yourself"...Major kudos to your success in this area!!

Don

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CMCBRIDE37 8/22/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon

Wow...Your path is your path. Sixty pounds isn't insignificant no matter how long or how short of a time it takes you that is 60 pounds gone.

emoticon

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MRSSCHENCK 8/22/2012 6:38AM

    Happy emoticon! What an inspirational blog!

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/22/2012 5:55AM

    emoticon Happy Sparkversary!!

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JSALERNO 8/22/2012 5:08AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILLYBEAN25 8/22/2012 4:29AM

    Happy emoticon!!! You've done amazing things on your journey to health. You deserve to be rewarded with wonderful things in your life and to be recognized as someone who is inspirational to others on this site. Super awesome!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/22/2012 2:29AM

    Awesome! You see the light...and that says way more than the weight loss!
Continued success on your journey, Erin! I am so proud and happy to be your SparkFriend!
Love,
Mary
P.
S. Love the last picture with the winning arm up!
emoticon

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EATVEGAN 8/22/2012 12:07AM

    emoticonYou have accomplished so much. emoticon emoticon
Janet

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SYZYGY922 8/21/2012 11:59PM

    Happy Sparkversary! It's great to see how much confidence you have gained! I LOVE that picture of you at the tournament!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/21/2012 11:54PM

    emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 8/21/2012 11:40PM

    A very merry emoticon to you!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/21/2012 11:14PM

    Happy sparkversary!! You have some a long way!!

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ELSCO55 8/21/2012 11:08PM

    emoticon

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The Past 6 Weeks (or so) in Review: The Short Short Version

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I have been trying to hammer out a blog for a couple of weeks and it just ain't happening. So, I will post a super-quick update blog.

I just haven't felt much like blogging recently, but I hadn't realized that I hadn't written an update blog in about 6 weeks, since my Jiu Jitsu tournament. I have mostly been in a holding pattern...no change in weight (hey, still better than going up), eating has mostly been good, still pretty consistent with workouts. I was a little down for a couple of weeks, and there was some overeating involved. I tend to get depressed in the summer, like most people do in the middle of winter, but have been feeling more myself again.

I have also undertaken a massive reorganization project at my house. I have mostly cleaned out my basement, which has been a monumental task, and mostly cleaned my front and back porches. My goal is to have my house completely in order by the time fall starts, and I am well on my way to that goal. I will talk more about the organization in another blog. In any case, I am very happy to be more organized and to get rid of stuff I don't need.

Jiu Jitsu is going well. I feel like I am continuing to improve and am retaining more information when we learn new moves. I could stand to be doing more strength training, as I have only been averaging 1 strength training workout per week. My goal is to do at least 2, ideally 3 strength training/kettlebell workouts each week. Despite not being very good about formal strength training, my upper body is actually getting pretty ripped. This is partially thanks to Jiu Jitsu and I have been doing modified pull-ups at home, which seem to be helping.

Anyways, just wanted to post a quick blog with an update. So, yes, I am still alive. emoticon The blog post I was working on is mostly about this organizing I have been doing, will hopefully post it this week.

Hope all is well in your worlds, SparkFriends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/20/2012 5:51PM

    You are a true rock star in my book! Organized and decluttered is where I'd like to be. Yesterday I spent two hours throwing out, filing, putting away, clearing up my bedroom and there is no discernible, visible difference so I need to keep at it

! emoticon

emoticon

emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/20/2012 4:29PM

    I really admire you for tackling the reorganization project. It's something I tend to put off.

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ALISHAB3 8/20/2012 4:24PM

    I love kettlebells! emoticon

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PAMELA6289 8/20/2012 3:30PM

  Great to hear from you, Erin, I was about to send out a search party! You are doing great!

Don't you think that the decluttering will make you feel lighter all over and rev you up for your next phase of fitness? I can feel it coming!

Luv u!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 8/20/2012 1:22PM

    Wanna come to my house and reorganize???? I swore this time when I moved (almost 2 years ago now) that I would be organized as I unpacked, and wouldn't leave boxes everywhere....but that plan went to heck in a handbasket!!! 2 years later and I still have boxes (unopened to boot) in the garage, in the spare bedrooms, etc etc etc. I want to get a heavy bag to do some kickboxing in the garage, so maybe that'll motivate me to clean it out!

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SMILINGTREE 8/20/2012 9:13AM

    Hooray for decluttering! Since my father-in-law passed away, it's been a chore to simply walk through my house. On Saturday I cleaned just one room and it changed my whole view of the world.

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JENNIFERH625 8/20/2012 8:59AM

    Great to hear from you! Keep up the great work!

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JSALERNO 8/20/2012 6:03AM

    I POST SHORT EVERY DAY JUST TO KEEP MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE ON EXERCISE.

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SYZYGY922 8/20/2012 1:52AM

    Glad to hear an update from you! I get depressed in summer, too. It's weird.

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LHLADY517 8/19/2012 9:37PM

    Good job on the re-organization.

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DOODIE59 8/19/2012 9:27PM

    I hope to be inspired by your organization blog:)
Deirdre

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CMCBRIDE37 8/19/2012 9:22PM

    I can't wait to see your post on organization.

We have cleaned out both boys rooms, their bathroom, and our living room...and done some work in the kitchen decluttering.

We have the dining room table (a mess), den, our master bedroom, our bathroom left to do. My husband was half way through cleaning out the garage and it just got too hot here in FL to finish up. I am hoping to get some of these other rooms done starting tomorrow because...it is the first day of school and I will have the house to myself from 8am-3pm!

I think that taking care of ourselves food and fitness has led us to looking around at other projects...our whole lives are improving.

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The Coolest Olympian: Sarah Robles

Monday, August 13, 2012


Weightlifter Sarah Robles.



I often feel out of place calling myself an athlete. This isn't as much the case as it used to be, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a game of "Which One Doesn't Belong?" Granted, I don't feel like I'm treated this way (at least not anymore), but I still feel a bit awkward in my martial arts classes. I don't often see other big martial artists, especially women. I do my best not to show how awkward I feel with all of these very trim athletes I train with, but sometimes I would like to see another serious athlete who also happens to be very overweight.

I didn't follow the Olympics terribly closely, but I did follow the journey of American weightlifter Sarah Robles. She weighs 275 pounds and has been touted as "the strongest woman in America." I have never adored an athlete more in my whole life. She persisted through training with little sponsorship, the ultimate in "if you want it, go and get it." She placed 7th when she competed on August 5th, and I am very proud of her.

I also love her because she makes no apologies for her body size. Sarah has advocated that fitness wear manufacturers produce clothing to fit every athlete. She has been outspoken about the fact that athletes can come in every shape and size. I look at her and I see a bit of myself (not that I'm an Olympian, though!), and I am grateful that she has come to the forefront. I think this is just the beginning for Sarah, and I can't wait to see more.


Check out her blog here:

prettystrongblog.blogspot.com/



Image from thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/07/0
9/512231/why-nike-should-sponsor-olymp
ic-weightlifter-sarah-robles/
; I would recommend reading the article, it talks about how Sarah deserves major sponsorship.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SYZYGY922 8/15/2012 9:36PM

    Heck yeah, she's the coolest Olympian! She is amazing. I've been reading about her lately. It's a shame that she's had to live in poverty during her training. She should be getting TONS of endorsements, but female athletes are so often neglected -- never mind "bigger" female athletes in "unsexy" sports.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/14/2012 4:55PM

    Wonderful! Thank you for posting this.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/14/2012 10:34AM

    She is really amazing!!

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BAZOOKABOBCAT 8/14/2012 8:28AM

    I love Sarah Robles. She is refreshing and honest and funny and completely unapologetic about her body. And she is INSANELY strong.

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ELPHABABLUE 8/13/2012 8:25PM

    I think she's amazing. When I took Muay Thai I felt like a giant at first, but I loved it so much I didn't care. It felt SO GOOD to feel strong and powerful.

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JSALERNO 8/13/2012 7:46PM

    I TOO WAS INSPIRED BY HER.

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Fifty (or maybe "Fitty") Things About Me

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hmmm, it has been a while since I have blogged. I have not been posting a "Week in Review" blog like I should, but I am working on a blog post. In the meantime, I came across this "50 Things About Me" deal on BAZOOKABOBCAT's blog and it looks fun, so here it is:



1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Nope! Came close to being named "Gladys" after my great grandmother, though.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Haha, probably at some point over the past week. I'm like a little kid, I cry if I'm frustrated or upset in any way.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
It's all right.

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I'm a vegetarian, so none!

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
No, and I don't plan on having any.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Probably. I'd like to think I do my best to be there for my friends.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
NoooOOOOOoooo, nevah!

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yep!

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
I'm afraid of heights, including standing on a ladder, so probably not.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Rice Krispies.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Not usually.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Heck yeah!

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Soy Delicious Peanut Butter Zigzag.

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their body language/posture--can tell a lot from that first glimpse.

15. RED OR PINK?
Red.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
I don't like when I'm not consistent with healthy eating or exercise.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My older brother Brian, who died at the age of 8 in a car accident (I was 5).

18. WHAT IS THE PAUL MCKENNA TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Who?

19. ANY TATTOOS?
7 of 'em...

19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Brown sandals.

20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A protein shake after my workout.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
The quiet between phone calls at work.

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Chartreuse.

23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Thunderstorms, chocolate, coffee, rose, vanilla, jasmine, lavender, and lemon.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
A rude pet owner.

25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Wow, super tough choice. Probably beach house--preferably with a view of mountains.

26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
UFC.

27. HAIR COLOR?
Dark blonde.

28. EYE COLOR?
Grey.

29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope!

30. FAVORITE FOOD?
If I had to pick an all-time never-going-to-give-it-up item, it would have to be black coffee.

31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Skeeeered!

32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Not technically a movie, but watching "Breaking Bad" on Netflix.

33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
None, wearing a purple dress.

34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Winter.

35. HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs.

36. FAVORITE DESSERT?
Anything with chocolate.

37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
I like to pump it up, baby!

38. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Computer.

39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
"Mockingjay".

40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Kittens.

42. FAVORITE SOUND?
The sound of my dog eating fruit ot veggies (makes the cutest crunching sounds).

43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Beatles.

44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
Florida.

45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I do an excellent impression of a cat vomiting up a hairball--always impresses on first dates.

46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Mountain View, California.

47. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Minneapolis, Minnesota.

48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
White.

49. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Silver.

50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?
Are we done yet?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 8/13/2012 6:44PM

    Love #45. ROFLMBO!!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 8/13/2012 1:10PM

    Gotta love #24 :-). Your job must totally suck a lot of the time LOL!!! I know I sure wouldn't want to do it. Cool blog, though, thanks for sharing :-).

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PAMELA6289 8/13/2012 11:45AM

  Glad to see you here again, I was going through withdrawals! :)


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MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/13/2012 12:42AM

    Loved reading this Erin! I wish all Sparker's would do it on their page! I will try to pu mine up soon! Have a great week!
(((Hugs)))
Mary
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 8/13/2012 12:15AM

    I always enjoy reading these. Thanks for letting us get to know you a little bit more, Miss Erin. PS Step it up on the blogs there, Sparkler - I miss them! PSS I refuse to apologize for being bossy emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 8/12/2012 10:06PM

    Stealing!!

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NSTARSMITH 8/12/2012 8:16PM

    This is a wild way to find out bits and pieces about someone - not sure how I would knit it together into a coherent whole picture of YOU, but it was fun reading!

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JENNIFERH625 8/12/2012 7:59PM

    Thanks for sharing. That icecream sounds like something I would like to try :o)

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KATD13 8/12/2012 7:24PM

    I love these 50 question blogs!
emoticon

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MILLISMA 8/12/2012 6:45PM

    emoticonthanks for sharing!!!

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TAICHIDANCER 8/12/2012 6:42PM

    emoticon

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Cool article on Mindful Eating

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I came across an article discussing mindful eating, which is kind of what I talked about in my blogs a couple of weeks ago ("The Impossible").

greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/ite
m/better_eating_through_mindfulness

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/5/2012 8:20PM

    Thanks for sharing, Erin!
Hope you have a great week!
Hugs!
Mary

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PAMELA6289 7/31/2012 11:54AM

  A good reminder on the benefits of mindful eating, thanks for posting!

I love the fact that being mindful will help me feel more satisfied with my food!

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CANNIE50 7/18/2012 1:21PM

    Thank you - you are always a source of great information! How are you? Sounds like things are going well - yay!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/13/2012 4:11PM

    I've tried practicing this on a small scale but have never stuck with it.

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JENNIFERH625 7/11/2012 9:14PM

    Interesting. Thank you for sharing.

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VALERIEMAHA 7/11/2012 5:29PM

    Excellent -- I subscribed to their newsletter!
emoticon
Maha

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ONLYTEMPORARY 7/11/2012 5:29PM

    emoticon

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JSALERNO 7/11/2012 5:20PM

    emoticon

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EDWARDS1411 7/11/2012 5:17PM

    Very interesting - thanks for sharing!

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DANIYAHMOM 7/11/2012 5:14PM

    were they helpful

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CAROLJEAN64 7/11/2012 5:10PM

    A terrific article.... thanks for sharing.

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