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Wow, I fell hard, but I dusted myself off and I'm back up!

Monday, December 09, 2013

When I last wrote, I was trying to find a way to continue the momentum of the health and wellness program we were having at work. I joined another Sparkgroup thinking it would help as it was already set up as a program...and I tried but failed. Truthfully, I work hard at my job and it takes up a lot of hours per week (certainly more than 40), and was spending several hours a week also working out, meal planning, shopping, preparing, etc. The fact is, I was totally burnt out on all of it. So those new healthy habits went by the wayside, and I began to eat. I call it disorganized eating (when you fail to plan), emotional eating (layer cake and donuts of sadness and stress), tired eating (if I sit and eat I don't have to do the laundry, clean the house, etc.), not getting enough sleep (getting home from work at 8pm, eating dinner then, it's hard to get to sleep by 10), and the bad habits continued to snowball.

There was one major thing missing in all of this. The motivation. I lost sight of my goal. As I began to rack up a grand total of 18 additional pounds found...bah!...I realized that I'd forgotten why I was doing all that hard work in the first place. I will be turning 60 in August of 2014. And I want to be healthy, fit, and at my goal weight. It is achievable through hard work and perseverance.

Okay, phew, back on track...but wait! What really went wrong last time (and all of those other times I fell off the wagon)? I realized that what I was doing was not sustainable. I was tired of having to come up with meal ideas, substitutions, etc. So what was I going to do about it so that I can achieve and maintain success this time? Well, I need a less rigid workout schedule. I am adding short bursts of exercise into my life, mixing up the after work with some early morning short bursts, which I think would be more sustainable. How cool to leave work and just go home a night or two per week, knowing I've pretty much gotten in 45 minutes of exercise?

Also, I bought a new book, by Dolvette Quince of the Biggest Loser. He has an interesting eating plan, which is 3 days clean (about 1200 calories), 1 "cheat" day (about 1500 calories), 2 days clean, and one additional cheat. I've done it for six days now and am loving it.

I'm also incorporating more strength training into my workouts, per Dolvette.

And for an additional motivation and support, my daughter is doing this with me, which helps us both.

We weigh in on Wednesday morning, so I'll be sure to update you all as to how we are doing. I'm excited to see how it goes. Stay tuned...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJH2028 5/10/2014 1:03PM

    Dear A,
I'm sorry I am late in finding this blog of yours. You are a steady voice and friend for me always…. and I know we have MUCH in common.
I love this blog, and am grateful for it and your sharing which I so relate to.
"disorganized" "emotional" tired" eating…. Yep - that's where my FOUND lbs come/came from. And… Yep - Getting sights on my 'goal'(s) is a practice I super want to maintain with increasing goodness at it. I lost sight of my goals, partly because I tend to do that… and partly because I keep other people in my sights so much. It's MAY. Mother's Day. And we both have b-days in late summer. So… my emoticon --


emoticon emoticon
slow emoticon and steady wins the race


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TINKERBELL200 12/12/2013 8:21PM

    Hi Audrey,

I have your life! Jim finally got a job and it's after 8 I haven't eaten dinner and he's still not home! i have been stress eating since Thanksgiving and am afraid to step on the scale. I might have to buy that book as I see at this point, you have now lost 6 pounds! Kudos to you! That is awesome. It's so easy to go backwards and so hard to stay on track! The harder it is though the more determined we get. If it were easy anyone could do it! Keep up the good work and you will attain those goals! You can do it my friend! Rock on!

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WEBEZE 12/10/2013 1:54AM

    I too started eating all willy nilly and gained 22 pounds. Heading back down with 4 pounds lost this last month. Looks like you have a plan that isn't so strict that you want to give up on it. I am trying to find a happy medium between being really strict and all over the place. Once I find this I know I will be able to do this for life. I just turned 50 and am much happier in my own skin than I have been for years.

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MARILYNS66 12/9/2013 10:59PM

    Good to see that you have a look at what you were doing and decided to revamp - and found a plan that you seem to enjoy.

I am making small changes also and I am seeing results for the 1st time in a very long time. From my highest ever weight I have lost 13 pounds but in just the last 10 days I have lost 3. Just from the changes I am working on.

Would love to have you come to the group Changing my lifestyle is a challenge and share your thoughts - the group would love to hear from you.


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HUNGRYWON 12/9/2013 5:25PM

    I can always relate to woman who try so hard only to find they lose sight of their goals. I've done it a ba-zillion times (and sadly, that doesn't even feel like I'm exaggerating when I write that).

The best thing is to never give up, and I've learned this time (I hope), that one bad day does not have to equal total failure.

I'm going to go check out the book you mentioned - I've done similar diet techniques (a cheat day on the horizon always makes the strict days easier!).

Thanks for sharing and congrats on finding your motivation! emoticon

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EVIE4NOW 12/9/2013 2:01PM

  The good news is you are not letting it get you down. You fell, but you are getting back up. Keep pushing!

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KLMEIRING 12/9/2013 10:52AM

    I can relate to the too much on my plate idea. I took a one week break and used that to reset my eating habits and my sleeping habits. Too much activity definitely sets me up for burn out. I want to go the distance. In order to do that I have to do things in moderation rather than excess. I wish you well on your journey!


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    Glad to see you back!! I like the alternating lower days with some 'cheat' days - makes us feel less deprived (although I have had too many cheat days this past week with emotional stuff). Today's a new day.

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JESS0107 12/9/2013 10:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UMBILICAL 12/9/2013 10:07AM

  no more dust.

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ANNROW0354 12/9/2013 9:59AM


You are so right about so many "plans" simply being unsustainable. That is what I love about is sustainable because it is up to each person to find out what works best for his/her life.
By the way, I'll be 60 in October 2014 and I too am doing this to live an active life where I am comfortable in my body. I have spent too many years being "uncomfortable".

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I love this community and other random thoughts...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thanks so much for those of you who commented on my blog from yesterday. I appreciate the early birthday wishes, support and encouragement.

I did want to address a concern that some of you had regarding my caloric intake. I'm one of those people who does not lose any weight at all if I consume too many calories, even though I'm fairly active. I lose best between 1200 and 1350 per day. I can gain on 1500, even though SP tells me it's the top of my range. When I have super active days, if I'm hungry, I will take in more calories than the 1200 - 1350. If I'm not terribly active, I keep it to the lower end of the range. Too many years of yo-yo dieting messed up my metabolism, big time! So this works for me. I can't recommend it for anyone else. I'm a petite (5 1-1/2) smaller boned post menopausal woman. It is what it is. I appreciate the concern though.

Gym Etiquette is a mystery to me. Sometimes people spend a great deal of time sitting on a machine, not working out, and talking to people on other machines who are also not working out. Now I do understand that after doing a set you need time to recover. But to sit and chat when others are waiting? Not cool at all. If I see someone waiting, I don't dawdle. I can't deal with people who talk all the way through a class either. One night at Zumba, this younger woman and her boyfriend were talking throughout the class. Between that, the loud pulsing music, and several new routines, I found myself stressed out. I finally asked her to keep it down. And got a death glare for my trouble. Sheesh.

Lately there is a new trend in the locker room in my club. Several of the younger women prance around the locker room stark naked. One had her leg propped up on the counter near the makeup mirror while she lotioned her body. My eye was drawn to her like a train wreck. I felt like a pervert. And part of my envied her lack of caring what anyone thought. But it made me very uncomfortable. There have been another couple of young ladies who have done the same recently. Is this a new trend? Is modesty a thing of the past?

And for the rest of it? You are all so right. Age is truly just a state of mind...unless you're faced with perfect young naked bodies in the locker room and you realize that age is also a state of body (sigh)! But I hope to be a role model for an awesome fit and strong middle aged woman who went through two natural child births and has lived in her skin.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOOKINGUP2012 8/15/2013 8:39AM

    Some people do not want to be held to any standards but their own. We have several private boothes in our gym where I would be headed, but I'm guessing you don't have them. : (

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MRSBETH99 8/14/2013 6:23PM

    My calorie range is very similar to yours. I figure for the same reason...lots of dieting which messed with my metabolism. Bleh. But it doesn't do any good to say poor me. I just have to get busy and get moving. :)

Reading about your locker room makes me glad I don't go to a gym!! Sheesh.

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CAROLLEE57 8/14/2013 12:40PM

    I work with mentally ill people all day so I guess I'm pretty tolerant lol, mostly I focus on myself which is a pretty intimidating all in of its' self.

I do speak up to the machine hogs, "May I do a set while you are waiting?" emoticon

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HAZELFRUIT 8/14/2013 12:10AM

    The gym is such a weird place. I love it but there are some things I wish I could forget! Your blog reminded me of at least one Seinfeld eipsode...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJR4HEALTH 8/13/2013 9:20PM

    Speechless about the locker room never had to be subjected to that one & I go to 2 gyms One reason I have been back at the all women gym it very rare if someone sits hanging out on a machine there unlike the co ed gym I belong to My pet peeve is people not doing the 30 minute circuit properly they wander aimlessly emoticon

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FALLNTENN 8/13/2013 7:39PM

    I'm speechless about the locker room etiquette. I had no idea it could be like that. As for your calorie intake I understand. Ever since I was treated for my Graves Disease my metabolism is messed up.

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TINKERBELL200 8/13/2013 7:36PM

    You are too funny my friend! Gym etiquette! LOL! I guess the girls are just comfortable in their bodies, but I could see where that would make one totally uncomfortable.

As far as the calories go, Sparkpeople suggests that you don't go to the top of the calorie range they give you anyway, so I'm sure you know your body better than anyone, so if you are losing and it's working for you keep doing what you are doing!

You can do it!

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PATRICIAAK 8/13/2013 5:02PM

    I totally agree with your re: gym and locker room etiquette. Have you thought of talking to the owner or manager?

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CHERIJ16 8/13/2013 4:08PM

    My exercise room at home is not fancy and it doesn't have everything a gym would but it is enough for me! There I only have to deal with my cats staring at me! I might like a personal trainer, and a massage, etc. LOL

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ROCKYCPA 8/13/2013 1:30PM

    I know exactly how you feel - people can be so inconsiderate. Thanks for venting what everyone is thinking!

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    My gym is at home (or outside) for those many reasons - dealing with attitudes, chattiness and some flat out uncomfortable streaking - not my thing lol.

Like you - I know my body is not perfect. But someone posted this and I think we should live by it:
I'm not hot or gorgeous. I don't have an amazing figure or a flat stomach. I'm far from being considered a model, but I'm ME. I eat and love food, love my shape, love my PJs and will go without make up. I'm random and crazy and I don't pretend to be someone I'm not. I am who I am, love me or not, it won't change ME! Ladies, put this on your status if you are proud of who you are

Another friend also told me that every body is like a piece of art - unique in its shape, size and form. There's beauty in all of us!! emoticon

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PEWTERBUNNY 8/13/2013 11:14AM

    Oh man, you cracked me up! I avoid the locker room like the plague! In fact that is one of the reasons why I refused to join a gym for many years. People should have some decency. It's too much for this Catholic girl to take!!

I hate it when people use gym equipement to hang out on and chat with their friends. Some of us are busy!!

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Things are looking up...

Monday, August 12, 2013

I have tried a new way of eating that is supposed to be wonderful for us post-menopausal women. It's a plan through Rodale/Prevention magazine and it involves eating fairly clean and every two hours. This is more of a challenge than you might imagine as I get up at 5:15 every morning, which generates an extra snack per day with a calorie allowance of 1200-1300 daily. The snacks are generally fruits, vegetables, nuts and occasionally whole grains. And while I'm at work and not always hyper-aware of the time, I am finding it great to have a snack or two mid-morning. My calories per meal are slightly less than they were, but I made it through a somewhat stressful week without doing ANY emotional or tired eating - AT ALL! I thought about it once or twice, but it was weird. With all of the healthy stuff in my system, and some steady exercise, I had no desire to undo my good I didn't.

In about 11 days, I will turn 59. This aging thing has been tough. I look and feel better than I have in years, with 20 lbs. left to lose. I'm firming and toning, and have great cardio sustainability, of which I'm proud. But there is some loose skin (hello, belly!) and the muscle is sometimes buried under the flab...the hair is almost completely gray (but still a brunette, thanks to hair color). And there are a few more character lines than there used to be....but inside I feel 35! A vibrant, confident, fit and fabulous 35!

It made me think about my grandmothers and how "old" they were in their early 60's. I'm not my grandmother's 60. I'm not matronly. I don't wear housedresses (if they even still make them). I don't play cards or get my hair done weekly. I work out. I craft. I work. Maybe today's 59 is the new 35?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PKBOO3 8/14/2013 9:40AM

    I'm 55, 56 in November; and I mentally feel around 25, but physically, probably around 40. I say 40, because I do feel the creaking joints now-a-days. I'm healthy and slightly active; but still need to improve in both of those areas. Like you, my gray is colored, and I don't wear my hair like the "matronly" women did and many older women still do. So I can agree with you that I don't look as old as my grandmother did. My mother never looked old either up until her death at age 63 of lung cancer.

Congrats on your healthy eating and exercise. I'm proud for you and glad you're doing so well.

Happy early birthday!

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GRANDMASHUNGRY 8/13/2013 10:24PM

    Wow, I saw your picture and thought you were in your 30's.
Your doing something right.
I know what you mean about grandmothers looking old while we were growing up.
Mine always looked old to me when I was a kid and she was probably in her 40's or 50's.
I hope my grand kids don't think I look really old! (I have 7 of them).
I take them swimming and to amusement parks and so far I can keep up with them.
Here's to 59 being the new 35!

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TINKERBELL200 8/13/2013 7:40PM

    Yep I agree, but you know I just became a grandma!

And by the way I haven't seen you in awhile, but when I did, I must tell you, You look fabulous!

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PEWTERBUNNY 8/13/2013 11:10AM

    I agree. We act so much "younger" than our parent's generation. I can't imagine my Mom jumping around in Zumba at 50. I'll turn 51 on Sept 8.

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STEVEN2GO2 8/13/2013 8:35AM

    Great job with the diet working so well. Being 48 with a head full of grey hair, I am greatful to have a head full of hair! I feel in my early thirties and am as healthy as I was in my mid twenties. But I too still have that extra skin around my belly, so I usually cover that up with shirts.

Happy birthday, you are living healthy, so good luck with many more enjoyable birthdays!


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MISSY455 8/13/2013 2:45AM

    emoticon making it through a week without emotional and late night snacking is no minor feat, you should be very proud of yourself!

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PATRICIAAK 8/12/2013 11:57PM

    Early Happy Birthday

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LJR4HEALTH 8/12/2013 9:47PM

    Age is a state of mind emoticon but isn't your calorie range really low for someone who is active?

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NANCYPAT1 8/12/2013 10:45AM


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    Age is a state of mind. I am turning 47 soon and don't feel older than somewhere in my 30's and I agree with you - looking back to even my own mom at this age or your age - we are so very different.

I met up with my aunt (my mom's youngest sister) and she's the picture of health and very active - in comparison to all her sisters - out of which besides her only one is left.

The plan you're following is how I generally work - eating every 2 to 3 hours but I have a hard time staying at 1200 to 1500 and with the activity I have read it's best to change that because too low also stops weight loss. Gotta keep pushing to find 'our' formula. You sound like you're doing emoticon

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AMBERLICIOUS88 8/12/2013 10:22AM

    Good for you! I love this blog. I'm 37 and want to make it the new, maybe 29

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I figured something out....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I am in the throes of poor menopausal sleep, as well as a sufferer from Restless Leg Syndrome (had a sleep study done and was diagnosed years ago). I've been hot/cold/hot/cold covers on and off, several nights in a row. Last night, I came home from work later than planned and really tired. The rain (it's rainy season here in southwest Florida) hit about the time I was heading home. So instead of the invigorating walk or bike ride, I'd envisioned, I sat my tired achy body down on the couch (the good news is that I'd already put in my hour of strength training first thing in the am). Then I ate my healthy and delicious dinner of grilled salmon, asparagus and carrots....and kept on eating for the rest of the night. I was not eating emotionally, but from being tired, something I've noticed I do over the past few weeks.

I read an article on Sparkpeople today that did state that lack of sleep increases the cortisol hormone in your system and causes you to overeat. It's really an unpleasant feeling. I ate past the level of comfort - just totally overdid it. The good news, is that my calories were low in my range for the day and I didn't eat anything unhealthy. But it did put me way higher than I'd hoped.

So now that I'm on to something here, I just need to figure out some coping mechanisms to combat this. Because when I'm that tired, it's hard to want to get involved in something else. But I'm sure going to try it out. I'm hoping that making jewelry, a quiet but pleasant activity, will help things along.

Anyone have any suggestions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAZELFRUIT 7/17/2013 9:37PM

    I haven't been diagnosed with RLS but sometimes get jumpy legs and have lots of trouble sleeping, especially at my time of the month. Sometimes ibuprofen at bedtime helps. Yoga and stretching usually help. It seems like the jumpy legs happen when I've been really uptight, either a stressful work day or having to pretend to be a prim and proper lady at something like book club, legs tucked together instead of splayed out like the men are allowed to do. You could try turning off the TV and give yourself a half hour of stretching and reflecting.

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MAGGIE101857 7/16/2013 10:07PM

    I'm right there with you, to the point of exhaustion. I finally went to the doctor and told him I can't function on 4 hours of sleep. He gave me a mild - very low does, to try for 30 days. I'm sleeping more, but still restless sleep. Hoping it will get better as the month wears on.

It has wreaked havoc with my weight..20 lbs of havoc. Working to get that off again! emoticon

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FLAMENM 7/16/2013 10:03PM

    Yoga helps me get ready for sleep. As do string bedtime routines.

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PATRICIAAK 7/16/2013 8:11PM

    This site may help

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CAROLJEAN64 7/16/2013 11:38AM

    I found that knitting really helps because it occupies my hands and I don't want to get anything on the yarn.... same with embroidery. I am also amazed by what a glass of warm water or a cup of tea can do for me.

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FIT4MEIN2013 7/16/2013 11:26AM

    Taking a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc supplement helps the restless leg syndrome.

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My Wellness Challenge Results

Friday, July 12, 2013

First, let me say that it was hard for me at the end of this challenge as so many of my co-workers who are new to the ways of healthy eating and exercise had some very dramatic results, while I, who have been towing the mark for six years, had positive results, but far less dramatic. I had to take a moment to think about my journey and all it has encompassed and to realize that much of my "dramatic" progress happened years ago (and in the past 60 lbs.).

Now for the results:

I have shaved 4 years off my "real age" and it is 4 years less than my real age, which is where I was when we started the challenge. Yea!

My blood pressure, triglycerides, and most of my other bloodwork were all down.

My cholesterol was a bit higher, but at about 175, well under 200. My good cholesterol was low, but no different than it was. It always is, no matter what I do.

My eating habits were input honestly and deemed "Excellent".
My treadmill cardio workout test put me at the "Elite" level, as high as it could be. These were both true three months ago. Hooray for consistency!

I dropped 8 lbs. I now comfortably wear a size ten, from a twelve.

I lost inches (again yay!) and gained muscle. Happily, my BMI is almost to the normal range, with 20 lbs. left to lose.

So overall, I am really happy with my efforts and the results.

My company is offering the challenge again, but not to those of us who participated this time. I will be in charge of heading it for the next round.

But I've been thinking about the basis of Sparkpeople and this Wellness challenge. I am going to develop my own challenge to begin on August 1st. I am going to incorporate some new exercise, eat more cleanly and see if I can't get closer to my goal weight at the end of 12 weeks. I will take measurements and do the "at home" exercise tests and see where it takes me. I'm sure I'll be seeing my doctor for blood work in August and sometime again after my challenge.

So if you have any ideas to share that I can incorporate in my challenge or you wish to join me, please let me know. And when I rejoice for my co-workers dramatic results, and wish mine were more dramatic, I think back to the woman who six years ago weighed 205 lbs., couldn't be on the elliptical for more than a couple of minutes, couldn't run a 5K, wore a size 18-20 plus, had no energy, didn't enjoy wearing clothes.....and wouldn't trade being where I am at now for anything in the world.

Stay tuned...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWSCHUYLER 7/14/2013 9:16AM

    What a great, consistent job you have done. I hope to do as well! emoticon

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LJR4HEALTH 7/13/2013 5:08PM

    wonderful results you had ! emoticon forward

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TINKERBELL200 7/13/2013 10:45AM

    Go Audry! That is so awesome! I would like to join you. Maybe you could do a challenge, on a thread, on the Team and see who wants to join in. You are an inspiration to all! thanks for sharing your progress.

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LINDA! 7/13/2013 10:43AM

    Wonderful progress.

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PATRICIAAK 7/13/2013 1:59AM

    gradual changes are more permanent.congrats!

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NANCYPAT1 7/12/2013 9:57PM

    You are such an awesome inspiration. I will think about things to add to your challenge and let you know if I think of some that might work well in a work situation.

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JENSTRESS 7/12/2013 1:25PM

    Oh my awesome!!! That is FANTASTIC! First, some challenges to incorporate. Have you thought about doing some vigorous aerobics like the T25 or something?

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KNYAGENYA 7/12/2013 11:37AM


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    Great that you'll be leading the next challenge - as you can share your successes and the tools/resources that got you there!!

How do you calculate your real age?

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