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13.1 - GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


It all started with a 5K! I started this weight loss journey on SparkPeople officially right after New Year’s 2008. I was reading posts about others who had run in their first 5K. That totally inspired me and I thought, why don’t I give it a try! I found a 5K in my area and then completed the Couch 2 5K program found here on SparkPeople. I remember running that first half mile and nearly dying!!! And also thinking….how am I going to possibly run for 3.1 miles!!! Fast forward to April 5th…I completed my first 5K. While walking from the finish line I made the following comment to my family, “Well that wasn’t too bad. I can do a half marathon….it’s only 10 more miles!!”

So that’s where this hair brained idea all started. Once I think about doing something….look out. I set my mind and go after it! So I started running more races. Then I met some other ladies in my local town who were training for the Philadelphia Distance Run, a half marathon, and I told them that I would really like to run that race also! At the time I was suffering from Plantar fasciitis so I hadn’t registered yet. Then I finally just decided to suck it up and register for the race….if I had to walk the entire thing I was still going to do it!!!

So this past Sunday, September 21, 2008 I ran my first half marathon! It was truly an amazing experience that I will never forget and one that I can check off of my “bucket list.” I started the experience on Saturday afternoon. Allen, Collin and I headed to Philadelphia around 1:30pm. We had Michele, John and Alyssa following us to our hotel. After driving through stop-n-go traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway we finally got to our hotel around 3:30pm. We checked in and immediately headed down to the Expo to pick up our race packets. After that we enjoyed a great dinner at the Hard Rock Café. Then we headed back to our hotel room. With two children and two couples in one room, I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. I was wide awake at 2am and then pretty much tossed and turned until about 5am when I got up to take some Excedrin for the massive headache I had. Michele and I got ourselves prepped, ate some “breakfast” (a banana and piece of bread with some peanut butter) and then made the 2 mile walk to the starting corrals. We were in different corrals so we hugged and went our separate ways. I decided to wait in the never-ending port-a-potty line and luckily managed to use it just before we headed out. Fortunately, Cheryl, one of my Tastefully Simple team members, spotted me just before we “started” the race. So I managed to work my way into the crowd to her. And then we were OFF!! It took us 15 minutes to actually cross the starting line. For the first 3.5 miles I ran with Cheryl. We talked and chatted a bit and really took in the sights and the bands along the way. Cheryl was so excited because this was her first time in Philadelphia!!! I remember seeing an old gentleman with the following sayings on the back of his shirt, “At 76 I still have some kicks and at 75 I still had jive!” I made it a point to run up alongside him and pat him on the back and said, “Way to go sir!” He thanked me and told me that “He was older than John McCain!”

I continued running until mile 5 and then I took my first walking break and ate some of my peanut butter pretzels that I had pinned to my hydration belt. I remember thinking to myself, Okay Amy…now just run to mile 7 and then you can take another break. Which is exactly what I did. After that mile, I pretty much took walking breaks every mile or at every water station. We crossed Falls Bridge just before mile 9 which was another unforgettable moment for me! I gave a hi-five to an Eagles fan with a large green, foam hand out. And then crossing the bridge was such a beautiful view of the Schuylkill River and the trees! I thought, how cool is this to be running over this bridge. There was also a man playing the bag pipes at the end of the bridge. Somewhere around mile 10 my right leg just above my knee was starting to cramp up. I stopped to stretch as much as I could. Luckily it got better with each stretch. I also remember around this point in the race seeing two women, each on a separate emergency buggies, with oxygen masks and IV’s of fluids being hooked up to them. That was a bit scary!! I made sure to grab extra waters and the remaining stations!! Mile 12 seemed to last forever and I walked quite a bit of it. Once the crowd of spectators started growing I knew that I must be getting close to the finish. I figured I needed to look like a runner so I better start running!! So I ran until the finish line. I remember seeing the 13 mile marker and getting very emotional!!! I was so relieved, proud, and excited to see that number! I couldn’t cry for some unknown reason…maybe because I had sweat so much by that point. So I started to almost hyperventilate! Then I also spotted my husband Allen and my son Collin in the crowd which made my emotions rumble once again!! I ran as fast as I could to the finish line and put my arms way up in the air as I crossed the line!! The best part of this whole experience was that I had hoped to finish this race in two and a half hours…..and my final chip time: 2:30:23!!!!! WOWZA!!! I couldn’t believe it…I had met my goal!!! What a fabulous feeling!!

I never would have thought that I would be a half-marathon runner! But I can proudly say that I completed my first half-marathon with flying colors for my short running experience of only eight months. I hope that I can continue running for the rest of my life so that I can experience this great feeling once again!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLGREER 9/29/2008 4:11PM

    How cool is that?! You are AWESOME!

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ROSET491 9/28/2008 7:29PM

    I loved reading your story! All I can say is WOW. I have the half idea in the back of my head right now!! Completed the C25K program in April and ran 3 races this summer and ran my 4th one yesterday! I still get somewhat emotional crossing that finish line,because who would of thought I could ever do this! !Keep up the great work!!
Rose

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SOOKIE 9/26/2008 1:55PM

    emoticon

That's awesome! Keep up the gr8 work!

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GAIL461 9/26/2008 11:34AM

    Way to go Amy! Your the best!
Gail

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MISSJCISRUNNING 9/25/2008 4:19PM

    Thanks for sharing your amazing experience!!! I felt myself well up as I was reading!!! I am running my first 1/2 in 2 1/2 weeks and only hope I can do as well as you!!! Congratulations on a great accomplishment!!! Jackie!!!

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JOHNBABJR 9/25/2008 1:02PM

    That was a wonderful narrative, Amy. We're very happy for you. Like you said, this is just the start. You'll have many more happy runs to feel great about!

Congratulations again.

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SHADOW38 9/25/2008 12:09PM

    Wow, congratulations! A great report!

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CHEYJOECAT 9/25/2008 12:08PM

    Amy, great race report...I was getting choked up reading your story. You *ARE* a halfer and ran a beautiful race. We'll have to get some Sparkers together on that one in the future...it'd be really fun to run with the people here. I thought about it, but I don't think I could do back-to-back half marathons...my 3rd on is next month (10/11). Any way...great, awesome, fanTABulous job!!!!! I'm sure you'll run many more.

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MARYRN1956 9/25/2008 12:06PM

    Amy, Your story made me emotional. Now I can't wait for my first 5K next week and my 1/2 marathon at Disney in March. I was getting wary that I would never be able to do the 1/2 but you have given me much inspiration! You go girl,! By the way, I'm not sure you are a stay-at-home mom when you own a business and substitute teach! I think you are probably an amazing mom and working mother who can juggle many things.

Mary

Comment edited on: 9/25/2008 12:07:50 PM

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BRUIN2 9/25/2008 11:44AM

    emoticon

YAY!! What a fabulous journey you had - this year, and through the race!!

The Excedrin probably helped your body through the race too... It's one of the tricks that people kept telling me about before my half - kind of treating the pain before it comes!

Congrats on reaching your goal!!!!

Enjoy this high!!!

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SO_THIN!TEACHER 9/25/2008 11:44AM

    Sooo amazing--thanks for sharing. This will keep me motivated for my 1st HM in November. Great use of taking walking/stretching breaks.....way to go to not only finishing the race but to meeting your personal goal!

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CELIACCHRIS 9/25/2008 11:35AM

    Amy-- congratulations on a race well run. I am sorry I missed you as well-- it was utter chaos at the start/finish. I am so happy the race went well!

You are a half marathoner! Be proud of how far you came. When is the next one? :)

Chris

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COOPERLEDGEN 9/25/2008 10:20AM

    Your blog brought tears to my eyes! You and I have much of the same story and I will be running my first half marathon in 8 days. Congratulations on your accomplishment: "Less than one-tenth of 1% of the world's population has ever dared to run a distance of a 1/2 marathon or greater." Consider yourself an amazing woman!

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LANC92 9/25/2008 4:57AM

    FANTASTIC AMY!! I feel so proud of you too, knowing how hard you've worked at this and how it was not always easy (especially the hydration, eating, huh?) What a great idea to walk to the start line. That was a perfect warm up. YOU GO GIRL!!! emoticon

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JKHEIMBACH 9/24/2008 10:36PM

    Way to go Amy!!!! I am so incredibly proud of you!! You worked so hard over the past few months and now you can say you did the 13.1!!!!!!!!!!

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2008 Belmar 5

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Back in March I booked our family vacation to Neptune, NJ. This was the closest "participating" hotel to the beach that I could find. I earned a 3-night getaway through my Tastefully Simple business...so that's how this vacation came about. So anyway...Neptune was the closest town to the beach....and the closest beach was Belmar.

Now fast forward to the end of June as I am surfing the net to find info. about Belmar. Up pops a RACE the weekend we are there!! Of course I immediately read all of the race information and wanted to register right NOW!! BUT...then I remembered that this was going to be our "family vacation." So I thought about it for a week or so and then the week of our trip I brought it up to my wonderful husband. Of course he thought I was totally insane. I think he said something like this, "Why would you want to run a race on vacation?!?! That's like me wanting to mow someone elses yard while we are on vacation." Okay I have no idea where he was going with that one but he was nice enough, with some bribery, to let me run the race!!!

So Friday night we get to Neptune to our hotel and check-in and unload all of our stuff. I ask the front desk directions to Belmar and off we go!! We got there and there were people EVERYWHERE!!! They had all kinds of festivities going on for the race participants! I registered and then we found a place to eat and then we headed back to the beach so my son could have his first experience on the beach!! HE LOVED IT!! We watched the end of a kid's movie on the beach and finished the night with fireworks!! What a great experience all around!!

RACE DAY!!!!
I set the alarm for 5:50 am so that I would be up by 6ish at the latest. I started drinking lots of water right away so that I would be hydrated and thank goodness I did that!! We had breakfast, complimentary, at the hotel at 7am. I wasn't quite sure what to eat...so I opted for a bagel with peanut butter on one half and jelly on the other. Fillled up my hydration belt bottles with half gatorade and half water. Then we were off!!

Finding a parking space in the little beach town of Belmar was CRAZY!!! We ended up parking on 15th Avenue about 4 blocks from the beach. However the starting line was between 2nd & 3rd Avenues!! Start time was 8:30am and it was now 8:05am and I was 12 blocks away!!! So I did a very brisk warm-up run to the starting area. Off course when I reached it....I HAD TO PEE!! The lines were LONG but I waited and stretched at the same time. Got out of the john and had 2 mins to spare so I headed directly to the starting line!!!

One word for the starting line: PEOPLE!!!! This was my biggest race so far and it ended up with 2,354 participants that finished the race!! I went all the way to the back of the pack. The wheel chair racers went first and then we were off!!! I had a really tough time getting started because of the amount of people....but I eventually got into a groove. Unfortunately I forgot my heart rate monitor watch to see my time....but they did have clocks at every mile so that helped.

The first two miles were good. We ran up Ocean Avenue and then took a big loop around Lake Como. Then we headed back down Ocean Avenue and took another really big loop around Silver Lake. The last mile was the toughest for me because it was so HOT and HUMID!!! At each water station I took two cups....one to drink and one to dump on my head to cool off!! Luckily some of the residents were also out with hoses to cool us off too!! This was probably the hottest weather that I have ever run in....and man, my body was feeling it!!!

I did walk/run the last half of the race because of the heat. Since I didn't have my watch I didn't know how long I was running or walking but I just let my body tell me when would be a good time to walk again. My goal was to finish in 50 minutes figuring on a 10 minute mile pace. Well, I didn't factor in the heat and humidity so my finish time wasn't where I wanted it....but that's okay!! I finished the 5 miles!!! Got my long run in while on vacation and helped support the Belmar Fire Company.

So here are the final stats for my race:
TIME: 55:38
PLACE: 1949/2354
AGE DIVISION: 97/127
FEMALES: 723/979

They are posting pictures of the race tomorrow....so I will add one if I find one of ME!!! And the best part of the race...my foot felt great!! I got inserts for my shoes (Superfeet) and they have really helped my plantar fasciitis!! So hopefully I can continue to be a running fool!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEYJOECAT 7/31/2008 10:29AM

    You did great. I'm trying to schedule a trip to Vegas in December because they have a marathon then. How cool will it be to run down the strip?!?!? I'll let you know how that goes with my hubby.

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ITCHYSUIT 7/21/2008 10:10PM

    AWESOME! That's incredible. Commendations to you for thinking of running a race on vacation! That's how you know you're a spark person :) Keep kicking butt.

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TURTLEGIRLPA 7/20/2008 11:11AM

    WAHOOOO! Amy! I am so proud of you for entering and finishing this race! Just a preview of our 10K in August (talk about hot AND humid AND in NYC!). I ran throughout our vacation in Avalon with my longest run at 6 miles. It was supposed to only be a 5 miler but I wanted coffee afterward and was too "lazy" to walk to get it so I ran an extra mile! Glad to hear, too, you are able to do your running with your foot. My greatest fear is injury and then what? Running is really the only thing I like to do - probably because to me it's not exercise. Congrats again on an awesome race!

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LANC92 7/15/2008 1:41PM

    GREAT, FANTASTIC, AWESOME JOB AMY! Heat and humidity definitely affect pace, no doubt about it. But, you didn't let it stop you, you just kept cranking. So glad to hear your feet are feeling better!

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My first 5K!!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008


Today I ran my very first 5K!! And it totally ROCKED!!! I was so excited and nervous that I didn't sleep real well last night. Got up and decided on what to wear because the forecast was questionable. Ate a big bowl of oatmeal with some apples and some flaxseed oil. Then headed out to Kutztown with the family. We were there plenty early...but I'm glad because it gave me lots of time to warm-up and stretch. The husband to one of my good friends also registered for the race. So we took some pre-race pictures(check out my photo gallery).

The 10 Miles racers took off at 9:00am. Then 5 minutes later off we went. I remembered to keep it at my own pace and not get all caught up in the BIG race. At first it was a little tough to get my pace with everyone around me and passing me but about 1/2 mile into it we were starting to spread out. Then came the first little hill....no problem. Then it was pretty much flat or small downhills till the turn around point.

Coming back on this course was the tough part. I had done 3 practice runs prior to race day. On the third practice run I was finally able to run the entire course thanks to the help of a fellow Sparker Kelly!! I did really well today on the way back until the killer hill!!! I was determined to run the whole course so I slowed my pace down and pumped my arms. I also kept my chin down and looked down at the road (thanks for that tip Helen). Got to the top of the hill and my heart rate was CRAZY!!!

Then I headed down and ready to finish the last leg of the race. I had a really tough time getting my heart rate back to "normal" again. So I just slowed down again until I got everything under control. Got closer to the finish line and my Hubby, son and Mom were cheering me on!!!

Finally checked my watch to see how I was doing on time......29:58.....I yellled out "Holy $h!t!!!" I couldn't believe how fast I was running.
Then it was time to kick it up a notch to bring it home to the finish line.

Ran across the finish line at 31:14!!!! Totally awesome time!!! The best that I had done in practicing was 35:48!! I am so proud of myself and I can't wait to run another race!! I am even considering doing a half-marathon in September!!! I am now officially addicted to running!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ITCHYSUIT 4/22/2008 2:58AM

    Congratulations!!!! That's awesome! I keep telling myself I'm going to run in a 5k to work on my endurance, but never get the guts.. Keep going at it!

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BABYLUVMONKEY 4/10/2008 11:42PM

    I love your face in that picture!! I am so incredibly proud of you! You are doing so so awesome! I am inspired, and I would love to join the "runners" club with you and Kelly!!! I also wanted you to know that your accomplishments help the rest of us see that we can meet our goals too!!

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CHEYJOECAT 4/7/2008 2:30PM

    Amy, great race recap. Again, you did amazing...and I'm sure you're still on that runner's high. I think you're hooked now. ;-)

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CELIACCHRIS 4/7/2008 10:17AM

    Congratulations on a great first race and an amazing time! You should absolutely consider going for a half marathon, and I look forward to cheering for you in other races as we get to know each other in the BLC6 Running club.

Chris

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RUNTRILAUGH 4/6/2008 7:19PM

    That is great!!! You have every right to feel proud of yourself!!! Here's to many more!

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LANC92 4/6/2008 6:10AM

    Amy you did FANTASTIC. I'm not sure I ran my first 5K that fast. Good job on the hill and great job on warming up. Most new runners don't even think to do that. I also got hooked on running after crossing my first finish line -- welcome to the club!!

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NISAELAV 4/6/2008 1:44AM

    You are absolutely a true inspiration. That is certainly something to be proud of !! Keep up the good work!! Kirsten

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RESHAPEMYLIFE 4/6/2008 1:04AM

    Amilia you are amazing. I love how you were able to think about advice while you were in the midle of the tourmoil. that start thing is hard. I hope to put myself in a better postition in the pack next time now that I know how it works.

I am so thrilled for you . You did so great ! I'm glad that someone was there to get shots of you in action and to cheer you on to that strong finish.

Much sweaty love,
Teresa

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***LISA*** 4/5/2008 10:12PM

    That is so awesome!!!! You did great!!!! Ok so I sound silly but I am serious. I think you are a great motivator and an inspiration to us all! I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors!! Lisa

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SONICKRISTIN 4/5/2008 9:46PM

    Way to go! I've been kicking around the idea of doing a 5K...your story is very inspiring!

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MRS.LAND 4/5/2008 9:35PM

    Way to go!! That is AWESOME!! I am also training to run in my first 5K! What an inspiration! Keep up the great work.

GO SILVER SPARKLERS!

Michelle

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Common Causes of Overeating

Friday, February 01, 2008

1. EMOTIONS
I don't really overeat but I do eat and snack when emotions are tested and triggered...especially stress, anger and procrastination. I will eat instead of working.

2. REWARD
This is a BIG one for me! I would reward myself with sweets for getting through the day, doing well with my business, working out, etc. .... you name it, I found a reason to reward myself with food!

3. SEEKING ACCEPTANCE
This really isn't an issue for me.

4. EXTERNAL CUES (eating after seeing commercials of food)
Not a problem for me.

5. MINDLESSNESS (totally not paying attention to what you are eating)
I used to eat whatever I wanted and not even think about what it was doing to my body.

6. BOREDOM
Sometime I will do this but now too often. I would eat instead of working....so the procrastination comes into effect once again.

Hope this helps someone else too. If you know what your triggers are, you can develop ways to get through them WITHOUT FOOD!!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TSBYIVIE 2/19/2008 12:22AM

  Emotional eating is my downfall. I also struggle with rewarding myself with food. I learned to join the clean plate club!!LOL--Now I need to unlearn it.

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SWDOTB 2/2/2008 7:24AM

    I'm working hard at this, breaking old patterns and responses and trying to look at food as fuel instead of as comfort. And I'm struggling right now with this mind set that I think I deserve a slice of dessert because I'm made it so far. But I have to say no to the extra calories if I want to get where I want to be. I need to work on a list of rewards for myself that do not include snicker doodle cookies and pecan pie. Thank you for your blogs, it's got me to thinking, maybe a dress, maybe a new workout top. Maybe a trip to Chicago's Hard Rock Cafe' to get a new pin for my collection.................

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CABS*MOM 2/1/2008 6:08PM

    I agree with Patty, my biggest problem is emotional eating. I eat whether I am happy, mad, stressed, tired. I think it will always be a problem in my life, just need to think of other ways to make myself feel better :)

Another trigger are those darn late night Taco Bell commercials. Have you ever noticed that they do play the commercials late at night?? It drives me crazy. I remember before I started SP, Me and my Husband would be laying in bed at midnight, a commercial would come up...and we would get so hungry and cave in and go! Now I can look at the commercials and realize that it isn't worth it. That is why so many americans are over weight, Taco Bell is advertising for a 4th meal now....grr :)

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STEPHANIE_JEAN 2/1/2008 4:37PM

    This is really interesting! Did this come from an article? I would love to read it. Thanks for posting it on your blog!

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PH45109 2/1/2008 4:25PM

    Amy:
My biggest problem is eating out of emotions. I feel stress, i wanna eat. I'm sad, I want to 'happy' myself up with food. I'm happy, I want to celebrate with food because I'm happy. This is a constant challenge for me. But, I'm getting better.


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SELF-TALK: TURNING NEGATIVE INTO POSITIVE!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Here are my answers to the questions that I posted in the previous blog!

1. DO YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE SELF-IMAGE?
I am stocky and big busted. I don't have a pretty face. I have an ugly peg leg. My arms are big and fat.

TURNING NEGATIVE INTO POSITIVE
I AM A STRONG, VOLUPTUOUS WOMAN. MY SMILE LIGHTS UP A ROOM. MY LEG IS VERY UNIQUE AND WILL HELP OTHERS WITH SCLERODERMA. MY ARMS ARE POWERFUL AND MAKE ME A GREAT SWIMMER AND TENNIS PLAYER!

2. DO YOU LACK SELF-CONFIDENCE?
I don't believe that I can be successful. I always doubt my abilities.

TURNING NEGATIVE INTO POSITIVE
I HAVE GREAT KNOWLEDGE, DRIVE AND DISCIPLINE TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING I WANT! I AM A VERY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMAN!

3. DO YOU FEEL POWERLESS?
No, I can achieve it!

4. DO YOU LABEL YOURSELF IN NEGATIVE OR SELF-DEPRICATING WAYS?
I sometimes call myself "crazy"....that's part of my username for Spark!!

TURNING NEGATIVE INTO POSITIVE
I AM A FUN AND WILD WOMAN!

5. HOW IS THIS NEGATIVITY SERVING YOU?
It is keeping me from achieving my dreams. It is an excuse for me to not work up to my potential. It is my comfort zone.

This "exercise" was really an EYE OPENER for me. I really want to treat myself with respect. So I am going to drop kick that little nasty gremlin in my head whenever he decides to say these things to me!! Hope this helps someone else too!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TSBYAMBER 2/6/2008 1:59PM

    Amy, now that I have the mindframe to post.... I just want to say I am a bit choked up reading this.... You are doing such a great job on your goals and I want you to know how proud of you I am. You are going to be where you want to be very soon and the more you say those positive things to yourself, the more you will believe them. BIG HUGS coming all the way from Indiana!!

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JKHEIMBACH 2/1/2008 4:37PM

    Amy- I just have to tell you how proud I am of you! You have come a long, long way this year in all aspects of your life. Your business is booming and you have take control of your health and life!!! I have heard you say lots of those negative things about yourself so it's great to hear the new positive spin on it. Stay positive and keep up the great work. Can't wait to give you a big hug in Harrisburg!!!

{{Hugs}}, Kel

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