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EMERALDELEPHANT's Recent Blog Entries

Disco Prom!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Weekend Challenge is almost over, and I'm frantically trying to get my Disco Prom stuff in!! We camped all weekend, so I'm just now getting home!

First up, my prom dress:

Isn't it great? And because he'll hate the color, I'm going to take Jimmie as my prom date. I suppose that's kind of a no-brainer, huh? He's a good dancer, and usually a lot of fun though, so I guess I could do worse!

Since we camped all weekend, my pampering was a LONG hot shower when I got home, followed by painting my nails (glittery purple) and toe (turquoise). Both colors actually kinda go with my dress, believe it or not....

Now off to slow dance with Zoe before calling it a night!! Hope everyone enjoyed the Disco Prom!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNFUNJEN 5/28/2014 12:58AM

    Amazing dress! Great color too! I'll bet no one will be wearing the same dress!

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CIPHER1971 5/27/2014 5:50PM

    lovely dress. dance the night away.

Have a great day

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ZELLAZM 5/27/2014 5:44PM

    Spectacular dress and color - it would look just AWFUL on me, but I can imagine you would do it justice. Glad you enjoyed your cyberprom!

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SUSANELAINE1956 5/27/2014 4:21PM

    It was a fun prom. Hope you enjoyed it, too.

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ZANNACHAN 5/27/2014 8:27AM

    Love the dress! I hope you had a great time camping!

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    Hope you enjoyed camping!!!! AWESOME dress; I can so see you dancing the night away!

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BLC 25 - Goals and Fitness Test

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I'm a day late in posting this (shhhhh!!!) but I wasn't going to let that stop me from getting my BLC 25 goals down!

I'm keeping it pretty simple this time. Three things I want to focus on, with a plan to get there.

emoticon I want to run a mile (the entire thing) in under 13 minutes by the end of Week 12. This means I need to be able to run half a mile in 6:30 in Week 6.

emoticon Water is a constant struggle for me, and I'm going to get that down this round. I will increase my intake so that by the end of Week 6 I'm drinking 32 ounces daily, every day, and this is no longer a struggle. Then, by the end of Week 12 I'll be drinking 64 daily, every day.

emoticon I'd like to lose 10 pounds this round, which means I want to be down 5 by the Week 6 weigh-in. To do this I'm going to work on tracking my food 4 out of 7 days at a minimum, and aiming for my calorie range.

I think those are doable, but challenging. We'll see where I am in 6 weeks!

I also did the fitness test, which I think is a fantastic idea!!! I was pleased with some of my results, but also surprised. I thought I'd be able to do more crunches than I was.

Pushups - I did these on my knees, and got 28. They got pretty tough around 20, and almost unbearable at 25.

Crunches - Was hoping for more than 28, but it just didn't happen. I could have kept going, but obviously I'm pretty slow!

One mile - I did use my treadmill for this, even though the test said not to. But, my goal is to be running the mile, and so stamina is more important to me than speed. I did run/walk intervals, and ended up with a time of 13:30. I ran a total of 9 minutes, walked 4.5, at a speed of 5mph. And I was hurting, both during and the next day. (In hindsight I may have pushed a little too hard, but at least that gives me a goal to beat!!)

Step test - this was boring and surprisingly challenging. I knew my heart rate would be high, and it was...151. I felt ok afterwards though, so I don't know if this is a good measure of my fitness or not. We'll see in Week 6.

So, some good, some not so good, but all have room for improvement!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 5/7/2014 7:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSANELAINE1956 5/7/2014 2:17PM

    Great goals. I know you can do it! emoticon

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FUNGIRL81005 5/7/2014 1:30PM

    Wow!!!Great Goals!!13:00 Minute mile that is great

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ZANNACHAN 5/6/2014 10:43PM

    Great goals--and even if the score isn't what you were hoping for, it's a baseline to improve upon!

For me, the biggest thing that helped with water was buying 2 refillable 24 oz water bottles. That was all but 2 glasses worth of my water (the rest of which I get when I take my meds) and it made it so much easier for me to 1) keep track of and 2) drink because I could take them with me wherever I went.

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CIPHER1971 5/6/2014 6:30PM

    Great Goals and way to go on the fitness tests

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ANDINIKKI08 5/6/2014 4:54PM

    You're so organized! I envy you! But with motivatoin, goals, and orginization skills like you, there is no way you won't reach those goals! Keep up the great work! You can totally do it!!


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JAMBABY0 5/6/2014 4:50PM

    good luck on your goals

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Effort Takes Effort

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I posted this on my Wordpress blog a day or so ago, and one of my lovely Azuritas suggested I post it here. I decided she was right when she said that others would relate to it! (If parts of it don't quite make sense, it's because I've copied it word for word - well, minus the cursing - from my permanent blog.)

Nearly every day I hear (or read) someone talking about how they want to do this or need to do that.

They need to get out more, spend more time with the girls.

They need to start exercising and eating healthy.

They need to make more time for crafting and DIY and creative pursuits. Read more, cook more. Take more pictures, get off Facebook, call the relatives. Wear the fancy clothes, use the fine china. Stop saving that wine for a special occasion.

I used to be one of those people. A wisher. Content to bemoan my not-quite-miserable existence, unwilling to work at changing the things I was railing against. Wishing for my life to one day be different.

I got fed up.

I annoyed myself, and I disgusted myself. So I stopped.

Oh, I didn't stop wishing....definitely not. But I stopped letting it consume me. I started doing. I started trying to change the things I hated, adding in the things I was missing. I took responsibility for my own sorry state and vowed it wouldn't continue.

It started with this blog, but I wrote that first post months before publishing it. I thought it was silly, that I was just trying to get attention. That I was making a big deal out of something nobody would care about.

Then one day I realized I didn't darn well care what anyone else cared about.

So I post. Sometimes the posts are fluff, and even I get bored reading them. Those are the posts I write to stay connected, and to remind myself what I'm working toward. And sometimes the posts are eloquent, and say something. Those are the posts that bring it all home, that remind me that what I'm doing is working. That I'm making the changes I needed to make.

No, I'm not there. I have a lot of changes left.

Here's a secret....it's f*cking hard. It's so much easier to piss and moan and blame everything except myself and my own actions (or inaction, as is more often the case). It's so much easier to wish time and space away than it is to get off the couch, put down the cookies, and do something. It takes effort, and sometimes it doesn't seem worth the energy.

It's hard to exercise. I edited that sentence....I first wrote "it's hard to exercise when you don't feel like it." But the truth is, no matter what the crazy fitness junkies tell you, it's hard. It's even harder when you're overweight, out of shape, and addicted to Ramen noodles. Does it get easier? No. Do you get better? Eventually. Does it make a difference? Yes, though it takes patience and an open mind. If all you're focused on is the scale, you'll miss the fact that you feel better, you have more confidence, and you're sleeping better. But it's still hard.

It's hard to make time for friendships. Unless you live or work together, you have to actually make an effort to see someone. If you want girlfriends, you have to work at it. Sure, you can be a one-way communicator, but eventually people get tired of never getting anything back. Everyone has a family, everyone has a job, and everyone is busy. Make time. News flash....friendships don't run on Facebook. Most of them don't run on once-a-year hellos, either.

It's hard to be creative. Better yet, it's hard to make time for yourself. It's hard to allow yourself that time. Do, and you'll feel rejuvenated. Throw aside the guilt and recognize that to be a fully functioning person you need things that are your own. We don't stop having hobbies and interests just because we have to pay our own bills.

As for reading, cooking, and calling the relatives..well, the same principles apply. Put in a little effort.

You want change? Do something. It doesn't have to be big, and it doesn't have to happen all at once. Take a step, any step. Stop just wishing...take it a step farther. Cut the excuses.

What's stopping you, but you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great blog!
My Mom always said...."If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."
She's the only person I ever heard say this. Maybe it's a translation of an old German proverb?

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LACRESHAH 2/3/2014 3:23PM

    Oh Casey, I just love it. It says everything that I say to myself. This is an issue that everyone has and it does take effort, you are right about that but it is rewarding!

I finally took the time to paint some wooden butterflies that I had gotten for Christmas and put them on the refridgerator (they are magnetic) and even though it took me an hour and a half to do them, they are something that I can look at, feel proud of , and enjoy!

My mom always tells me to forget the laundry, dishes, and other mundane chores; they will still be there when I get done doing what I really want to do.

Thanks for sharing!

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NEWJEANSDAY 1/29/2014 7:13AM

    Just stopped by to say hi as we're visiting your cabana this weekend. Glad I did. Wow what a great blog! You're previous blog had already inspired me to join the 100 days exercise challenge. I was planning to start it after BLC24 but I guess after reading today's blog I ought to start the challenge today?! Ok I will! Thank you!

PS Love the doggies! :-)

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PREDEL 1/28/2014 3:08PM

    Whoever encouraged you to post this here, thank you. And thank you for writing this and putting it all out there. It's blogs like this that make great building blocks for change. Thank you for giving me another one. I'm stacking it front and center in the foundation I'm working on. You are truly an inspiration. I know it's not easy, but you're succeeding!


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ZANNACHAN 1/27/2014 10:33AM

    Well said. Relationships take effort--whether they be friendships, family, or marriages. Exercise and healthy eating take effort. So do other things most of us want in life--clean homes, earning that coveted degree, reconnecting with one's religious faith, meditation, etc.

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JAIZWAYS 1/26/2014 11:23AM

    emoticon emoticon I can totally relate. It made me re evaluate some stuff.

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LADYOLIVER 1/25/2014 10:15AM

    emoticon thanks for sharing!

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ZELLAZM 1/25/2014 7:19AM

    You said it. I'm doing it today. "Cans into plans" was my fave.
I like your new profile pic. I think. Kind of scary emoticon

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BELLSES 1/23/2014 11:56AM

    I needed to hear this! Thank you!

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JENSHAINES 1/22/2014 9:24PM

    I'm SO happy you posted this here! I think you have really important things to say that so many sparkers would be inspired by!

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FEISTYOWL 1/22/2014 7:05PM

    Really well written!! And I couldn't agree more. I make an effort when I hear myself saying (to myself) I don't have the time, to change that stupid voice to it's not a priority right now, or I'm choosing not to the make the time for x. So much of ourselves is in our mindset!! :)

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FUNGIRL81005 1/22/2014 4:44PM

    You want change? Do something. It doesn't have to be big, and it doesn't have to happen all at once. Take a step, any step. Stop just wishing...take it a step farther. Cut the excuses.
emoticon emoticon

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TEKRU1 1/22/2014 8:57AM

    emoticon Well said and the timing couldn't be better!

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FIT4MEIN2013 1/22/2014 8:36AM


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CIPHER1971 1/22/2014 8:15AM

    Love it, it is so true.

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ALIIDA 1/22/2014 5:09AM

    Thank you for this great blog. Your friend was right. I relate to everything here, too.

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STONECOT 1/22/2014 4:18AM

    I especially liked the bit about being focused on the scale means you miss the fact that you're feeling better! It's all too easy to get obsessed with that number.

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REFORMDEB 1/21/2014 11:57PM

    You are right the only one stopping me from doing the things I want and need to do is me by making excuses about why I can't do them. I, like you I am working on this and making changes but I have many more to make. We do have to choose to stop making the excuses and just get it done! Amazing post, thanks for sharing it!

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DOLLFACEDX 1/21/2014 10:13PM

    Thank you for sharing this - I found myself relating to just about everything you wrote here. I'm borrowing some of your pics to create a Vision Collage for my Battle Board....and using your last sentence in 40 font across the top.

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100 Days Of Fitness. Done.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This is a copy of a post from my blog, Fearless Creative: thefearlesscreative.wordpress.com/20

Day 1, I was pumped and excited and ready to go.

On Day 33, I hit the first wall.

Day 40, I ran 10 minutes straight.

On Day 56, I counted a drunken walk downtown after Brewerís Jam.

Day 64, I ran 20 minutes.

On Day 66, I stopped running.

Day 82, I bought a new yoga mat.

On Day 90, I almost quit.

Day 100, I finished.

I finished. 100 Days of Fitness. Done.

Nobody thought I would. Not even me. But I did.

No, it wasnít easy. No, I didnít push myself every day (or even most days). No, I didnít set any records. No, I didnít drastically transform my body. And no, I really didnít lose any weight. (Though both Jimmie and I can see a difference in how I look.)

Support from my loves on Day 100

Yes, I submitted this to dogshaming.com.

I did 2,351 minutes (39.18 hours), 41.88 miles, and 61 yoga practices.

I lost 4.2 pounds, and 5 inches.

I gained a habit, a love of yoga, and a belief in myself. I gained confidence, and a sense of peace I never knew I was missing. I feel stronger, longer, and tighter. I feel slower and looser. I feel proud, and yes, I feel humbled.

3 months ago, I couldnít run a mile, and I couldnít do Pigeon pose. Today, though I wonít win any awards for either, I can do both.

Next yoga goal Ė king pigeon!

I can feel my body, feel when things are working and feel when things are off. When Iím holding myself at an odd angle, or Iím walking funny. When one leg is longer than the other (confirmed by my chiropractor), and when my posture is slipping. When what Iíve eaten was for nourishment, and when for taste. When my stress levels and blood pressure are rising. When Iím holding my breath.

I love the feeling of accomplishment I get from knowing that no matter what, no matter how easy or how hard my workout is, Iíve done something. EVERY DAY. For 100 days. On business trips and camping trips, while sick, while healthy, and yes, while slightly intoxicated. While happy, while sad, and while angry. Iíve done something.

And Iím still going. Because I canít stopÖ..because I wonít stop (cue Miley....). Because itís making a difference in how I look, how I feel, and how I think. And I love it.

Iíll leave you with thisÖ.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITINGRUNNER 4/12/2014 10:34PM

    I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say a huge well done! I hope you are still feeling fantastic.

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    Congratulations on your accomplishment. Are you going for 200?

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ZELLAZM 12/18/2013 5:48PM

    Congrats! You've done fabulously!

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LADYOLIVER 12/18/2013 1:41PM

    emoticon emoticon You have completed this phase. I'm so proud of you, and happy to be watching you create a longer, leaner, stronger, healthier YOU!

Amazing! 2014 is not prepared for what you are getting ready to storm it with. LLLLLEEEEEGGGGGOOOOO emoticon

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FEISTYOWL 12/18/2013 1:23PM

    You are so, so full of awesomeness. You do know that, right?!?! What a wonderful post - so full of inspiration. Thank you for sharing your journey. I particularly love the noted days in the beginning and the plant eating dog pic!! Congrats to you - you really accomplished so MUCH, mentally and physically.

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FUNGIRL81005 12/18/2013 1:01PM

    AWESOME!! Love Love the blog!! You Go GIRL!!
Congrats emoticon

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CALLMESALLYG 12/18/2013 12:51PM

    WOOHOO!!!! Way to Go!!! You're doing such an awesome job at sticking with it and you are such an inspiration to us all!!

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CHANGINGEMMY 12/18/2013 12:17PM

    Awesome job!!! Great accomplishment!! Keep up the hard work:)

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ZANNACHAN 12/18/2013 12:07PM

    WAY TO GO!!!! I knew you could do it.... one day at a time! Whoot!

And for the record... I still can't do pigeon, nor can I run a mile *grin* I miss yoga, though. Do you have any yoga dvds you'd recommend? I enjoyed taking the yoga class but it isn't a good time for me any more.

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FANCYSIMAGES 12/18/2013 11:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 12/18/2013 11:02AM

    Great job. I'd like to do 100 days of fitness, but maybe after I go on vacation.

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BELLSES 12/18/2013 9:55AM

    This is absolutely wonderful! What Kal said... you are an inspiration! YOU DID IT! Congratulations to you!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 12/18/2013 9:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are a rock star - a SHEro - fitness fanatic! What an inspiration Casey! You did it!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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100 Days of Fitness

Sunday, August 18, 2013

***This is a copy of a blog originally posted here: thefearlesscreative.wordpress.com/ .I'm moving my blog over to Wordpress, so will post all updates and progress there!***

Ok, Iíve been avoiding this post for a whileÖ.the first ďneed to get in shapeĒ post.

But the fact is, I really need to get in shape.

Iím overweight. There, I said it.

Why? Because I like spaghetti and cupcakes and beer and sitting on my couch. Um, yeah.

But part of this Fearless Creative journey is about being happy with myself, and the only way to do that is to be healthy. And Iím not healthy. Itís not even as much about losing weight as it is about taking care of myself. I mean, sure, Iíd be lying if I said I didnít want to look better in a bathing suit (but really, what woman doesnít?). But I want to feel strong, I want to feel like I can do anything I want without worrying that my body is going to let me down.

This is a hard post to write. Itís not something Iím sharing lightlyÖ.but Iím putting it out there because I need to be kept accountable. And because maybe itíll inspire someone, maybe someone reading this will feel a little less alone.

Iím on SparkPeople, and have been for years. I do challenges, I have SparkFriends, and Iím relatively active with it. But if Iím honest, Iíve been coasting by. I havenít been trying, I havenít been working at it. And the scale is going the wrong direction, and I refuse to buy more clothes.

I stick with SparkPeople because I love the philosophy, that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet, and that everything is ok in moderation. Thatís what Iím going for. No fad diets, no deprivation, no unrealistic exercise programs I wonít be able to stick with. Just a slow and steady overhaul of my eating and exercise habits. Or in some cases, creating habits to begin with.

Last week I started tracking my food again. I hate hate hate doing itÖ.but it works. Yeah itís a hassle, and yeah itís depressing to see that Iíve eaten 2400 calories when I was supposed to stay somewhere around 1400. But itís in your face, and all of a sudden that second cupcake doesnít sound so good when you know youíve gotta enter it in your tracker.

I forgot to enter yesterdayís food in there, but hereís a snapshot of the last weekÖ.I havenít been doing so well, though you can definitely see improvement over the week!

So yeah, not the greatest, especially at first. And yeah, I havenít entered todayís either. Iím working on it! Anyway, so that yellow bar? Thatís my calorie range Iím supposed to stay in. Based on SparkPeopleís recommended numbers according to my fitness level (ahem, sedentary) and weight to lose per week (1-1.5 pounds). I WILL get there.

And since eating alone wonít make me healthy, I suppose I should exercise.

In the past I was a runner. Iíd like to get back to that someday, but sadly, itís a whole lot harder to get excited about running when youíre carrying an extra 60 pounds (yes, seriously). In college I did yoga, and was super flexible. Like running, yoga is more difficult when your stomach gets in the way. Then I tried Zumba, and hated it. It made me angry because I was so uncoordinated. Most recently, I did Les Millsí Combat, and got through 3 weeks. I loved it. It made me feel strong, made me hurt in places I didnít know I had, and was FUN. Then I got distracted and didnít like feeling like I was on a schedule or some other nonsense.

All excuses. All bullsh*t.

Itís time to turn that around. Itís time to get back into running, itís time to be flexible again, itís time to work on my dance moves, and itís time to be a warrior. And anything else.

So here it isÖ.my challenge to myself to exercise 15 minutes every day, for 100 days.

Anything goes, but it starts today. 100 Days of Fitness. I can do any workout, but I have to do at least 15 minutes. Iím not going to map it out. Iím not going to beat myself up if I donít do more than 15 minutes. Iím going to embrace it, and Iím going to be proud of myself for sticking with it. And I WILL stick with it.

And Iím going to chronicle it here.

Donít worry, Iím not going to post every day. Iíve created a new page for that (look up!). Iíll hit the high points, when I try new workouts or have some really great achievement, or hit a milestone.

Iíll be done on November 25th. I can do this.

So hereís to Day 1!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STONECOT 8/23/2013 3:15AM

    Well done Casey, that was a hard blog to write.

I never actually made a decision to change, just one thing led to another, but I did find out that one has to start doing the exercises you enjoy doing, even if you feel that's somehow 'cheating'. I discovered that for me, it's no good setting a goal of 10 minutes on the elliptical, when I hate the damned machine. it just won't happen.

I started with walking round the block. Then tai chi, which is hardly exercise at all in a physical sense, then I added going swimming after, as it was in the same building, and so it evolved. So pick a couple of things that you can do easily, and work from there.

Good luck and don't forget to update us.

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JENSHAINES 8/22/2013 4:29PM

    YAY, Casey! This is GREAT. I may well join you. I always find that if I get that start in then I end up wanting to exercise more. I'm so glad that you're doing this!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 8/20/2013 8:03AM

    Casey, I think it is great that you are making this new committment to yourself! I was also inspired by the 100 day walk challenge while we were traveling this week, and tried to start , but then got derailed. I am thinking of starting again, and like your idea of making it flexible as far as what kind of exercise you are doing. I know you can do this! You are a fierce force to be reckoned with when you set your mind to something, and having a goal of your body not letting you down when you want to do something is a fabulous motivation! emoticon

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SUSANELAINE1956 8/19/2013 10:49AM

    Great blog! I can read your determination in every paragraph. You are inspiring. I've been thinking about stepping it up a little lately so I'm glad I read this. I definitely want to start now. Just think how great we will feel by the end of those 100 days. emoticon

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MSPATOOTY 8/19/2013 10:35AM

    I feel much the same way you described ... kind of coasting, not really sticking to any exercise schedule. Just sort of floating. Not good.

I love your commitment to establishing consistency. You're inspiring me to do the same!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIKA07DK 8/19/2013 8:43AM

    Today is a new day! You have a great plan, you know what to do and you CAN do it! I believe in you emoticon emoticon

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    Casey, you CAN and you WILL and you are NOT alone! You've got this girl! Today is Monday by the way and I said that on Monday we were going to start over on the challenge group. See you THERE!

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