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Sheer Will and Determination to a "Better Me"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I had started Sparkpeople in July, 2012. Before I had begun my diet, I had no intention of "dieting" or exercising. But, in a few short months, my whole thinking had changed to more of a diet and exercise mentality, and now I am "back in the groove!" What changed my perspective was I had gotten diverticulitis, and was hospitalized for two days. Upon leaving the hospital, the nurse on duty gave me the instructions to follow upon being discharged, and she instructed me that I would need to go on a diet and to lose weight. She said I would not need any dietary restrictions, but that I needed to change my way of eating, and my lifestyle to form healthier habits, like eating less and exercising. Well, when I got home I started right away! After having being given such a scare as having to call an ambulance at 1:30 AM. for abdominal pain and fever, I am so grateful that it was not worse, and that I know now that I have the power inside of me to be able to change this destiny for myself to a "better life for me". A better life for me, and a better me. I started by watching portion sizes. I started reading nutrition labels to read what exactly and how much is "one serving size". I was shocked at how small it really is actually. I was just eating because every bite tasted better than the bite before, and before I knew it I usually eat maybe 4 or 5 serving sizes. Well, that certainly changed overnight! I started eating only one portion of everything, one hot dog, one hot dog roll, one serving of veggies, one small baked potato. And I continued this until I lost 6 pounds. Then I was online one day, and decided to look for a free diet website. I didn't think that I would actually find one, since Nutrisystem cost money, Jenny Craig cost money, even Weight Watchers charges a meeting fee, and sell their food at the meeting locations. I really didn't think a free diet plan actually existed, but I figured with the power of the Internet, really anything is possible. So, I looked until I found Sparkpeople. I joined, and right away started to read motivational articles, one after another. I never had liked to exercise prior to joining Sparkpeople. After reading more and more motivational articles about motivation, and fitness articles, I was starting to get all "pumped up". I knew that this was within my reach - I could do this. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phillipians 4:13. I wanted to read all that I could. I started earning Sparkpoints to send sparkgoodies to Sparkfriends or to use to inspire myself. The next day, I started to exercise. It all began with a ten minute walk around the corner. That ten minutes turned to twenty, and then thirty. Before I knew it I had joined a gym, and was going on the treadmill over thirty minutes every day, then thirty-five, then forty, then forty-five, and now I do fifty minutes on the treadmill. I am aiming for an hour and I have almost reached that goal. Once I reach the one hour goal for myself, then I want to increase the incline. I am also slowly increasing the pace that I had started at for myself, and that too has steadily increased. I recently started incorporating some strength training into my workout, push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, and jumping jacks. I also do the lat pull-down at the gym, about thirty repetitions. I have been feeling like I have much more energy that I usually have. I usually feel lazy and lethargic, and I don't really know why. But, since working out that has changed for the better also. I feel much more energetic and alive now. I can actually feel more life inside of me and that is a wonderful feeling. I had been suffering for so long, thinking that it just was "the way that it was". Well, that's not the way that it is! Because I have changed all of that. I am concentrating on the "here and the now" because the present is where we all are living in, and the only thing that we can change is the present. I have accepted that I cannot change the past, nor is worrying about the future going to change anything either. I have to take control and starting changing today, and let tomorrow worry about itself. Then I will be making some "happy memories" that I can look back upon and reflect one day, and then I will not be so unhappy about the past having been so unpleasant. Because I will have created for myself a happy past. That is what I intend to do! I also decided to change my appearance as well, besides my weight, I got a nice short bob of a haircut. It looks so cute, and I love it! I will be including some photos of myself with my new haircut, once I get some film in my camera. Don't know how to operate the new camera phones, or digital phones. Sorry, but I still have a 20th century mindset in a lot of ways, a lot of things are hard for me to learn because of my age. But, a lot aren't. I know how to operate computers, dvd players, vcr players, printers, cell phones, cordless phones, speakerphones. I'm just not the 21st century techy-type. So, you won't see me with a I-pod. Actually I have one but I can't figure it out how it is supposed to play songs. Oh well, I listen to music on cable television music stations, and on the Internet radio. Isn't it funny how nobody really listens to a AM-FM radio anymore? Seems like the radio might soon become an antique. Hey, hold on to your radios, everyone 50 and up! You never know how much you will be able to get for it one day when it finally is recorded as an antique! Oh, well, enough joking for today! Everyone, do your best and live for today. Keep an open mind. My mind was always closed to exercise, and I finally learned about the most beneficial things that I could do for my body and I was opposed to it for so long. Be open to learning new things. You never know what you might be able to learn or to take from the experience. For me the best thing I could have learned about is a good workout, and daily inspiration from a free Internet website called Sparkpeople. It has helped me, and I hope that my inspiration helps to "spark" countless others to "join the spark". Why not? You have nothing to lose but the weight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POORGIRL_DIET 9/22/2012 9:16PM

    You are doing very well, I try to push myself every day too although its not always the time that you do its the effort that you put in. Someone that does 15mins and really works hard gets the same workout done as someone doing it for 45mins. Keep pushing you know you got this

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MARLINDA5 9/22/2012 7:56PM

    Thank you - you are an inspiration - I will try and catch up with you with the threadmill. I am stuck at 45 minutues but will change it up next month.

You are doing great and look forward to seeing your new hairdo.

When I was working I listened to my AM/FM radio & at home - I also listen to it when I am cleaning & even in my car. I guess I am old fashion. I do listen to my CDs also.

Have a great weekend & keep up the great work.


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DISKATDREAMER 9/22/2012 2:59PM

    It's good to see you are doing so well. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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WALKSINLIGHT 9/20/2012 12:38PM

    Thank you for sharing - what a great read and how wonderful to hear your story and know that you are doing so well and it is making you so happy. Congratulations and keep with the mindset - you inspire US!

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    Your doing awesome especially with your fitness. Just a few short months ago you had the mindset of not doing any and now you are almost up to your goal of one hour. Its great that you have future goals in mind too. You will succeed!!!

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DOTTIESPLACE 9/19/2012 8:46PM

    emoticon emoticon Glad to hear you're sparkin away!

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SELLESTAD2 9/19/2012 7:54PM

  Way to Go!! I did not diet just tried to start eating right. I used another website to track my food and yet another site for exercise. I have done a lot of reading at various places on the internet and books. I love spark people. Just joined and am finding new info. Love it. Keep it up!

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FERGSGIRL2 9/19/2012 7:54PM

    Awesome, and much success to you on this journey! You are doing great!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Food Pushing Family and Friends

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Have you ever experienced "food pushers". There are drug pushers who persuade others to take illegal drugs, and then there are "food pushers" who push people to stuff fattening and often (unhealthy) food in their mouths, and help to encourage them to become overweight until they become obese, and then continue to press until they become morbidly obese, and then out of the blue one day when they are so overweight that it brings tears to their eyes, and the eyes of those closest to them, they will blurt out at you in the most hurtful way, "When are you planning to start a diet?" I could just bash them in the face! The answer is, "I would have but you insisted that I had a piece of chocolate cake. I told you I was on a diet, but you would not accept no for an answer. Oh, and then you said, "As you eat that piece of cake, tell me all about the gym you joined!" These are the types of family members that I have had experience with all of my life. My mother bugs me on a daily basis, "When are you coming to visit me and your father?" I try to push her off, oh maybe in the Spring, Oh, maybe in the summer, Oh, maybe when the weather gets cooler. The truth? Oh, maybe when you stop pushing food! What does my mother love to do when I visit? Does she bring out home videos, or old family albums and reminisce like you are supposed to on a visit? Maybe make me something healthy and diet-conscious to eat since I am on a diet, or if that is too hard, maybe buy me a Lean Cusine meal or a Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal and dessert. Or a cup of fruit salad and a cup of tea for dessert. That might sound like a nice visit. Time to remember fond memories, a healthy meal, and a healthy dessert, cup of tea, nice company, good food, good conversation, a few laughs. That is what a visit is supposed to be like. But, my mother is a certified food pusher, so she will never offer me a "normal family visit". My father says, that my mother does not feel like cooking. She wants to go to the local diner. The local diner that cooks like the "best diner in town". And everyone knows that all diners serve up extra large portions that can literally stuff a cow! And, of course the bread that they put on the table before the meal! I can never resist the bread. And I love the chick peas. I cannot pass up the bread, or the chick peas. Then the meal comes, and I stuff my face. Oh, and them my mama wants dessert. She orders ice cream for everyone, and the waiter says he will bring us something special, and he brings a big, beautiful ice cream tray for us all to share. Very nice. But the only one who is benefiting from all of this is the diner owner, and the waiter, since he gets a big, fat tip from my dad at the end of the meal. And what do the rest of us (including me) get? A five pound weight gain every time we visit. And do you know that everyone is so busy stuffing their faces, that not one bit of conversation takes place during the entire visit! So, tell me other than looking at my face in person, and forcing (or coercing) me to eat, and eat, and eat, and not talk and not do anything else but engage with food, why did you actually need me to spend money on gas, spend money on tolls, to come all the way to visit you, including putting mileage on my car! What did we accomplish by this visit? My mother will say, when I call, "Oh, we had a nice time!" A nice time doing what? Stuffing your face, because that was all that you did! Then she'll say, "We'll have to get together soon, and do it again" Do what? I'm still looking at her! What did we do that we had such a nice time? Did we reminisce about old times? No. Did we converse about recent things? No. Did we say anything at all? Nothing much other than, hello, good bye, and see you soon, No we did not. What did we do other that eat, eat and eat? As the Italians say, manja! All we did was manja! And I am fed up with it! You know what I did? I called my mother and I told her that I felt that these "visits" were not beneficial to me, my weight loss, or my quest for a healthier self or a longer life. I told her that I purchased from QVC a food storage container that I can carry food in that I will prepare at home, that I will bring with me when I visit for the holidays. And I will bring a healthy dessert, whether it is fruit and tea, if I even have to bring that, and if it comes down to it, I will! I told her if she does not feel like cooking she does not have to, and there is no reason why we have to go to a diner and spend money that we don't really have anyway, just to get more and more obese and unhealthy. I told her that this has to stop, and I am putting my foot down, and finding a way to stop it. I told her, I never said I can't visit you because you want to go to the diner. I said I found an alternative way of having a meal together." You would think I made perfect sense. She knows I am on a diet. She knows I got diverticulitis in the middle of the night and had to call an ambulance at 1:30 am. She knows that the doctor told me that he cured me of diverticulitis, but that this was a wake up call. I had to stop overeating. I needed to go on a diet. I could have died from diverticulitis, if it had gotten worse, or if I did not go to the emergency room in time. If I had waited until the morning, my fever would have been so high, I might have died all because of food. She says she loves me. But, I wonder, does she know what love is? Love is putting the welfare of the person you say you love before all else. Their health comes first, their well being comes first, their life comes first - not the fact that my mama wants to eat, eat, eat and no stopping going to the diner! No, a person who does not put the person who they say they love before all else, does not really love them. She loves food. She loves herself, and what what they want which is food. Which is exactly what she proved with her response to me. "So, what do you say, mama? Can I bring over my home cooked diet food?" She said, "Oh, you can order something diet from the menu, can't you?" And I want to take her and rip her face right off of her head! No, mama, you never loved me. And I don't take offense at that, because mama, you don't love anyone or anything but food. Mama, you are a glutton. And that is why you have a myriad of health problems. You are 83 years old, and it is too late for you to change. You will always be this way. I have to accept you as you are, and not force you to change. Because if you would not change for yourself when you where young, and had young children growing up, why would you change now? Mama, good luck with your life. I wish you the best. I only wish that you would wish and (truly want) the same for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POORGIRL_DIET 9/10/2012 4:13PM

    Oh god I so know what you mean! They are probably just jealous of your progress just kindly say 'no thanks' and hopefully they will get the hint. Well done on staying strong

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KRYS210 9/3/2012 11:47AM

    From an article I read:
"Peer pressure can be a difficult influence to overcome, even as an adult. But remember, overeating and neglecting your health hurts your body just as much as using recreational drugs. So-called “friends” who are offended by or tease you for your new healthy lifestyle aren’t really your friends at all. And those who support and encourage your new endeavor are the ones you should hold onto for a lifetime."

A Diet Isn’t the End of Your Social Life
By Jorge Cruise

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MARLINDA5 9/3/2012 11:20AM

    You are very strong and will continue to be strong. You are on a journey to be healthy and stay healthy.


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JULIEEG81 9/2/2012 10:46PM

    My mother is the same way. Constantly telling me how fat I am and then pushing reese cups in my hand the next.
I've learned to just avoid going over there and when I do go I usually take my own food to eat
Good luck and stay strong! I know you can do it

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FITGRL124 9/2/2012 9:57PM

    I know how food pushers can be too. In fact, my mom was one too until I rubbed off on her and she's lost 4 pant sizes. We now eat a lot of healthier food options together including fruit and tea for dessert. Good luck to you with your mom. I hope that things get worked out and she understands now.

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GOOZLEBEAR 9/2/2012 7:28PM

    I feel your pain in this as it has happened to me also. I don't really have many answers except to just avoid these people when you can. It is hard though when it is your Mother.

Stay strong!

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NEWYEARME 9/2/2012 5:54PM

    I too have a toxic relationship with my mother. You're right when you say they won't change... they won't. The usually don't see that they are doing anything wrong. Just stick to your guns and do what's right for you. She'll just have to deal with it.

Good for you!!!!


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FRAN0426 9/2/2012 5:07PM

    It took courage and soul searching to write this blog---Awesome. Howver, you need to take ownership for eating all the food put in front of you at the cafe, and believe you are now doing so which is a great step. If you do go to see your parents, bring your own food, refuse to go with them or go and only eat what you need for substance and no more. Show your mother you are changing your ways, that she will not break you. When you go ask to see the family pictures and talk about your growing up ----make comments like yes we ate alogt of food back then and now I have changed my ways; I need to get healthy for myself. Your right your mother most likely will change---she's not ready and may never feel that need. You can she her by example--just never know what the out come for her will be. Continued success on your journey.

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CHICCHANTAL 9/2/2012 4:32PM

    Yep. My mother's a complete feeder. she doesn't eat much herself, she gets a kick out of watching other people eat.

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VTMAID 9/2/2012 4:11PM

    What a powerful post! You stick to it--she will never understand. My kids come to visit (all three out of state) and if we go out there are no diners involved. It has to be someplace where I can look up calorie counts online ahead of time. What I get a kick out of doing is making over traditional family food into healthy food. I figure I am 62, obese and a cancer survivor. I want to make sure I am around driving my family crazy for a good long time!
Good luck on your next visit home!

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CHOCOHIPPO 9/2/2012 4:10PM

    Wow! Thank you for your openness and honesty. I have dealt with food pushers and I generally make them uncomfortable when I go out with them and order a cup of fruit with a glass of water while they are eating appetizers and drinking alcoholic beverages. I am no longer in contact with my stepmother because she treated me much like your mother treats you. Just know it's not about you, its her illness. It took me a long time to stop blaming myself for her emotional sickness. My goal is to take care of myself and that includes limiting or removing toxic relationships, eating healthy and working out. And both of my daughters are working at getting healthy and I honor their needs even if what they are doing is very different than what I do. Meals pass very quickly. Family memories last forever. Good luck and keep staying strong!

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Monday, Monday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today is Monday, and there is not much to do. I have been active on the Sparkpeople website. I did forty minutes of my Leslie Sansone walking dvd, and then went for a twenty minute walk in my neighborhood with hubby. Been drinking my water. Following diet plan - have not overate. However, I noticed I did go up one pound on the scale. This does not really upset me, rather I am working to take the pound back off again with plenty of exercise. I plan on working out 6 days this week for one hour each day, with one day off on Sunday. And then, on Sunday weigh-in day, I will see if I made any progress. I am keeping my chin up, my fingers crossed, and taking a positive approach with a positive mindset, that I will not only lose one pound by next week, but that I will lose two! Have a great day, everyone! And think only positive thoughts! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POORGIRL_DIET 8/29/2012 1:27PM

    Love your thinking well done

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MARLINDA5 8/25/2012 1:36AM

    Sounds like a good plan - you can do it - it is great that you are not discouraged. emoticon

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WALKSINLIGHT 8/22/2012 4:56PM

    Oh yes, there are those days when the pounds go on instead of off for no apparent reason - great attitude for not letting it become too important or get you down. Let's see what Sunday's weigh-in has to say .. I will be rooting for you !

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LITTLEDUTCH 8/21/2012 1:47PM

    Sometimes no matter how right we do things our bodies don't show it right away. Sounds like you are doing what you should and it will show. You have a great attitude!

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Rainy Days in New Jersey and Keeping Active With Walking Dvd's

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I haven't been blogging or being too active on Sparkpeople lately, since I had a cold and a cough for a few weeks. I'm starting to feel better now, so I'm starting to get back at Sparkpeople's website, and being more active on the site than before. It has been soooo rainy here in New Jersey lately. Every other day it seems like there is a big rain storm out here. Once in a while when the sun shines I take a walk in the neighborhood after lunch with my husband, or we go to the gym together to work out. But on these rainy days, I have been working out with my Leslie Sansone walking dvd's. It feels so good to get the blood flowing, and the energy going, and get in a good walk, even if it is inside your house! Leslie Sansone has a way about her, she always helps to motivate me, and encourage me to do the workout. In the past though, it was not so. I used to do the entire 40 minute workout, and then feel depleted, and not wanting to do the workout again, until maybe like three weeks later once, and once in another two months, and then not at all. But this time, since I joined Sparkpeople, I decided that this time it was going to be different. I figured maybe the two mile walk was too much to tackle from the very start. I figured if I started with the one mile walk, and did that for a few weeks every day, I would not feel so depleted of my energy, and left with no encouragement. So, that is what I did. I did the one mile walk, and just as I had imagined, every day I felt encouraged to do another mile that day - just one mile. It was a small goal that I set for myself, and one that I was able to reach. After, around a month had passed, I started doing the two mile walk with the cool down exercises. And, every day I felt inspired to continue with the two mile walk and the cool down afterwards. So, I learned my lesson, not to push yourself beyond your limits when you haven't exercised in a while. Set small goals for yourself to reach, then set larger ones after you've reached them for awhile. Life is all about setting goals, attaining them, and then setting a new challenge for ourselves to reach. I feel proud of my success. And also inches have been coming off of my waist, and pounds are dropping when I go on the scale each week. So, I feel motivated, and I feel that this is the best diet plan that there ever was. It not only shapes you on the outside, but it also helps to revamp you on the inside, or at least to encourage you to "stay on the right path" in your emotional life. It has helped me in so many ways, and I recommend Sparkpeople's website to all my facebook family and friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBYJOAN 9/23/2012 12:08PM

    I love the Leslie Sansone dvd's as well. I try to switch them up with the wii fit and dance. They are really fun.
Keep up the good work!

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MARLINDA5 8/25/2012 1:44AM

    When I started doing my treadmill I started slow and have increased the time and speed - it is good to take it slow and build up. I walk with my sister every Tuesdays & Thursdays for an hour and that has helped me. I will also sign up to do two fitness classes on - Wed and Thursday - those really get me tired but it's nice when I can keep up :)

Good job on your walking - emoticon

I need to check out Leslie Sansone on the iternet to see if this is something I can do at home other than the treadmill.

Have a great weekend :)

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My First Week on Sparkpeople.com

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My first week as a new member of Sparkpeople turned out to be very successful. At first, I immersed myself in the website, soaking up all of the information on nutrition, fitness, and motivation that I could. I viewed other members blogs and made comments, and added some Sparkfriends to my Sparkpage. Other members added me as their Sparkfriends, too. I joined in and participated in the Sparkgroups, where I found more support and encouragement. I began to drink more water, tracking my water intake. For the first two days of tracking my water, I could not reach the eight glass requirement, but I was getting there slowly, at 6 glasses, and then 7. On my third day of membership, I reached my eight glass requirement. I have so far reached eight glasses of water per day for two straight days, now. Also, I have been tracking my food intake, and I have been within the caloric range for my size. I also started to work out by walking in my neighborhood for three days in a row, gradually increasing my walk time. Then on the fourth day, I decided to join a regular gym, and become a member. I joined Retro Fitness and paid my membership dues that were required in order to sign up. The next day, me and my husband went to the Freedom Fest State Fair in Allentown, New Jersey. But, not to worry, because I had my mindset in control, and in control I was. I walked around the perimeter of the fair with my husband over and over for one hour's worth of walking time. Then we had some lunch. I did not overeat. Then I got a big bottle of cold water, which was 24 ounces of water. So, after drinking the water, when we returned back home, I logged into Sparkpeople, and tracked the three eight-ounce glasses of water onto my nutrition tracker. I also added my hour's worth of exercise into the fitness tracker, as well as my caloric intake. The next day was Sunday, which is today. After having breakfast, and logging my food intake into my nutrition tracker on Sparkpeople, we went to church. I asked for God's forgiveness for having been a glutton for so long. The priest offered me absolution. I then received holy communion. After mass, when my husband and I returned home, I made a small sandwich for myself and for him and a tall glass of water for myself also. I then tracked my food on the nutrition tracker, and then decided to go to the gym, and start to train for the 1 mile beginner's virtual walk at Sparkpeople. So, I walked for 32 minutes, and did 0.80 mile. Tomorrow is Monday, and I am going to the gym again, and I am going to do the entire mile walk at the gym. I got weighed in on my weigh in day, and I had dropped two pounds, and lost two inches in my thighs. It is true, when you are accountable for what you are planning to do, it can make all the difference in the world, rather than just talking the talk. I found out that people who win, actually don't just talk the talk, but they walk the walk! Also, sometimes we need to repent and ask God to forgive us, as an extra help and for added strength. Thank you Sparkmembers and Sparkfriends for all of your motivation. Any time you call on me, I will be there for encouragement and support, as you have all been there for me. Have a great week! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONTA3372 8/14/2012 6:49PM

    This is awesome!! I've hit the ground running!! lol. I'm inspired from reading this blog. emoticon emoticon

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MOTHEROFBOYS5 7/15/2012 9:18PM

    Great job!! Your first week sounds fantastic. Keep up the good work and the great attitude!! emoticon

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SPARKGUY 7/15/2012 7:26PM

    Woohoo -- congrats on a great first week. Keep this up and you might end up reaching goals you never thought possible.

R>Chris (SparkGuy)

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WILSON1926 7/15/2012 7:16PM

    Welcome to the group. Thanks for the great post.
You CAN do this. Remember , it's not how many times you fall but how many times you get up
Good luck

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