FITFOODIE806   52,555
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what have I got myself into this time?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today I ran in the snow and ice for the first time ever. major milestone! It was almost 7 miles, but let's round up and say 7 miles. It was half terrifying, half invigorating. I was really worried about slipping and falling on the ice. I suppose I should invest in some of those Yak Trak dealies. Any suggestions? experience?

I want to avoid the treadmill at all costs. I can't imagine running for over an hour on the treadmill. I know I'll have to do some short runs on it come January, but that's to worry about later.

Last week I ran 8 miles. total. My goal is 15-22. I also ate too much even though I said I was going to focus on nutrition. I don't get why I react this way: I start to track and I become crazy obsessed with food, think about it non-stop, and end up over-eating. Feel free to psycho-analyze me on that one. I've done it several times. So then I quit tracking, go back to mindful eating and do well for a few weeks. Then I see a gain on the scale and think that I must go back to tracking. And repeat. ahhhh!

This weekend was a Hmong New Year celebration and a dinner party. Too much food. Not the way I wanted to head into Thanksgiving week. At least now I have it fresh in my mind of how horrible I feel when I over indulge. It's not worth it! I will eat slowly on Thursday and Friday. I will not shove entire cookies into my mouth.

Back to the running... I have not met my mileage goals since the time change. It's dark in the morning. It's dark at night. It's too cold to take the kids in the jogger for more than 3 miles. What's a girl to do? Well, here's where things get crazy.

I have become friends with a girl at my gym. (The one that gave me her half marathon bib a month ago). She has asked me to run with her a few times. I've always had excuses. Truth is I am terrified to run with her. Not only has she run multiple marathons and triathalons, played soccer at a D1 university, and has calve muscles of a Greek goddess... she completed an Ironman in August. A real freakin Ironman. A true athlete.

Clearly I need some help to meet my winter running goals. I agreed to run with her and her friend on Tuesday morning. At 5:45am. gulp. She said they usually do 6-8. Perfect. Well, I just got an email that the plan is for 10. Now I know that 10 is only 2 more than 8. And I know that I have run 10 miles a handful of times. But never in the winter. Never with people I didn't know. Never with people that have completed an IRONMAN!

I thought about backing out. But then I thought about being strong. And I thought that the only way to gain strength is to train harder. I know I have a lot to learn from these girls. Deep down I know I can do this. But I'm also scared sh*tless!

Send me happy, positive running vibes on Tuesday morning! And have a great week Sparkers. We have much to be thankful for.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROUNDTOWNMOM 11/22/2011 7:37AM

    YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!

Vibes being sent your way..............................yo
u are more of an athlete than you are giving yourself credit for being, my friend. emoticon

Go for it!!!!! emoticon

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FITFORMYFAMILY 11/21/2011 9:38PM

    I hope that as I am typing this, you are already in bed preparing for your run tomorrow morning. And I hope that your run is absolutely amazing! I think you have gotten yourself into a GREAT thing!

I have had trouble with the time change and all the darkness, too, and I don't even get to run outside very often.

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MICHSTATE 11/21/2011 7:41AM

    OK, don't be intimidated!!!! I train with people that run Ironman triathlons, and even place in them, for that matter!!!!
As for winter running, I love it!!!! I don't know of ANY reason to run indoors!!!! I run outside even when it is -15!!!!! At that temperature, your eyelashes freeze and you get icicles all over from sweat, it's great fun!!!!!
I have Yak Traks, and I like them a lot for running on icy roads, but I don't use them a lot. I don't think they are needed for snow, only ice. Make sure you get the Yak Traks Pro, they are more durable for running.
Have fun on your run!!!!!:-)

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A-STRONGER-ME 11/21/2011 5:43AM

    Girlfriend - you have chopped down every Challenge Tree you have come across - go out there an kick ass!!


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RUSSELLORAMA 11/20/2011 11:51PM

    Because I'm clumsy and fall every winter, I got the Walmart version of Yak Trak just for walking around. LOL They worked really well, so I imagine they would do just as well for running.

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RUNJEWELRUN 11/20/2011 10:57PM

    You will do fine

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PASTAFARIAN 11/20/2011 10:37PM

    For a $2 investment (enough to buy 20 sheet-metal screws), you can do much better than yaktrax. If you need more grip, add more screws! Here's a pic of mine:


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RJSAMS 11/20/2011 10:31PM

    I felt the same way when I met with my run club the first time, and they couldn't have been nicer! They really helped me! I still feel intimidated, but I'm always glad I go with them. You will be, too!

You are a rock star, I am so impressed!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 11/20/2011 9:56PM

    Oh 10! Its the perfect long run!!! Tap your inner ironman!!!! I am the exact same way with food! ahhhhhhhhh emoticon emoticon

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 11/20/2011 9:46PM

    Oh exciting, you always keep challenging yourself!! You can do it! Just go out there and run, forget the rest, you're a superwoman yourself! emoticon emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 11/20/2011 9:30PM

    oh can't wait til you try yak trak.. ran/walk in snow with DD 10k able.... but it didn't stick ;p slushy at some places...walked half of it

let me know ;p not excited to run around track

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KJMAZ2011 11/20/2011 8:54PM

    Sending you all the strength you need! That's so brave. You can do it!

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RUNNER12COM 11/20/2011 8:51PM

    Can't wait to read your follow-up blog where you tell us all how much you enjoyed your long run!

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You need to read this

Thursday, November 17, 2011

When you're having a so-so week and can't figure out why, this is what you should remind yourself:

Such wise words. I immediately feel better. Tomorrow I will give more. More effort, more love, more energy, more happiness. I bet I'll get something in return.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 11/18/2011 7:16PM

    Of course, you will get something in return, my friend.

When you are engaged in your life, the most simplest acts from others can be a big deal.

Definitely words to live by. I love how you love life.

Cheers chicca!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYL1 11/18/2011 12:21PM

    thanks for posting emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 11/17/2011 9:08PM


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stronger you are = better you feel

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Confidence and poise are admirable. Arrogance is annoying. I was reminded of this during a tough yoga routine yesterday. A super tough routine. I overestimated my strength and was feeling cocky. The handstands blew some humility back into me.

I can't do that. I'm actually not even CLOSE to being able to do that. And I'm actually glad because it gives me a new goal. I like to be challenged. I like to see progress. I'm not looking for an end result. It's not like when I hit some number on the scale, I'll be done. This is a way of life. And I feel better day to day when I am active and strong.

There are about 7 weeks until 2012. That's when the "tourist season" begins at the gym. (And my guess is that it'll happen here on Spark too.) Here's a crazy stat: 80% of people that join a gym in January, quit by March. (That's what they said at my training clinic.) What a bummer. I think people do too much, too soon. They are looking for "Biggest Loser" results. Or they think that there is some end date. We need to convince people that this is a way of life.
emoticon Eat less.
emoticon Move more.
emoticon Every. single. day.

For the next 7 weeks my focus is going to be on getting stronger. I know it's the nutrition piece that I should focus on to lose weight. But let's be honest, it's the holiday season and I like cookies. I'm going to practice moderation. But I'm not going to give myself an unrealistic weight loss goal. That's what crushes people. They don't see the results they want on the scale so they give up.

Yes, it's frustrating that I'm basically the same weight now as I was in July. BUT... I can run further and faster now. My yoga practice has improved dramatically. I can do a back bend. A back bend people! I couldn't do one when I was 8 and in gymnastics. But I can now and that's pretty flippin awesome.

Back to the goal. By 2012 I want to weigh 145. It's been my goal for a long time. It's 2 pounds. I can do that.

I want to do yesterday's yoga routine in 7 weeks and feel strong. I want to hold crow pose for a full 3 seconds.

Right now I can hold it for a half second. Maybe.

What's your plan to end this year STRONG?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDY27 11/15/2011 9:39AM

    Great goals you have. Keep up the great work!!! emoticon

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 11/14/2011 2:16PM

    Great blog as usual! Love your goals! You are one fierce woman!
So I have a question that I've been meaning to ask you. You're super healthy and fit, you do amazing things every day and now you're going to be a fitness instructor. Why do you still feel the need to lose weight? I am genuinely interested in your answer, I'm in no way trying to criticize you or question your desires, I'm just curious to know how you decide that it's time for maintenance. Perhaps it's before you reach your goal weight but you're happier and healthier than ever and your weight is maintainable. Just curious :)

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 11/14/2011 8:31AM

    My goal is to get stronger too.
Stronger legs
Stronger arms
Stronger abs
Stronger willpower

For the next 7 weeks, this is my focus.


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LIL_EZZY 11/14/2011 6:09AM

    You rock.

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 11/14/2011 2:21AM

    What?? A back bend-look at you, all bendy and stuff-LOL! ya to yoga!

I love how you say *tourist season* which is totally true.

2lbs..2 freakin can sooo do this!

I want to run another race by the end of this year so I can have 2 races checked off in 2011. I've been thinking about this one for a couple weeks now and need to formulate a plan-thanks for the reminder!

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KKINNEA 11/13/2011 3:05PM

    Maybe it should be to conquer crow pose - I do the super-modified version!

I'm with you - moderation until the New Year and continue to follow my best fit and healthy routines. Can't wait for my Spark cookbook to arrive - I think it should help.

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ALL4MYSPIRIT 11/13/2011 1:36PM

    Live it! I'm gonna own the holidays and I'll be proud of my efforts come 2012.. Onederland is 22#s away - I can do it!

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VICLAF 11/13/2011 1:30PM

    My plan is to run 3 times a week...

Enough with the laziness!!!

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RUSSELLORAMA 11/13/2011 1:28PM

    That is a great goal! I love yoga, it definitely makes me feel stronger. My plan is to keep up strength training three times per week.

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FRACTALMYTH 11/13/2011 1:19PM

    Brilliant plan. December will be my first month of the second trimester. My goal is to eat WELL (to provide little bug with healthy body-building-blocks) and MOVE specifically for the sake of MY body (walking, swimming, ST or yoga - but no backbends, crow poses or handstands lol... can't afford to drop myself on my head right now... I will get back to the super-challenging bodyweight stuff next December lol) EVERY SINGLE DAY!

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HEALTHYL1 11/13/2011 12:57PM

    Great plan! My goal is to keep improving my running and get faster little by little. I feel so great after seeing results that it keeps me motivated to keep going. emoticon

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MICHSTATE 11/13/2011 11:41AM

    Great plans!!!!!!:-)

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REDDIRTRUNNER 11/13/2011 10:46AM

    Great Blog! I love how REALISTIC you are! The non-scale goals are the ones that really seem to work for people. There are few people who can meet their goals when all they are using is the # on the scale. - and this journey is about so much more than the #. This is a lifestyle to continue on forever. What certification are you going for?

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APIRLRAIN888 11/13/2011 9:49AM


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A-STRONGER-ME 11/13/2011 9:23AM

    My plan is to drag you back to the Warriors!!! LOL

Love your attitude and ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING!!!

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abs are made in the kitchen

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the balance between nutrition and exercise. I wish it were as simple as: calories IN, calories OUT. It's not. I wish the elliptical at the gym or the fitness tracker on Spark told me an accurate number of calories I burned. But they don't. There is so much guess work in this whole weight loss thing. It's frustrating. It's obnoxious. It's a different scientific equation for each individual. It's not fair.

I work out a lot. And I work out hard. I vary my workouts to keep my body guessing. I eat whole grains, I don't drink calories, I eat very few processed foods, I get way more than 5 servings of freggies a day, I have a list of the superfoods on my fridge, I skipped out on the staff potluck for dinner last night, I passed the cheesecake in the lounge today. I'm doing the work. I am not losing weight. So what gives?

Food. It's all about the food. I don't track food daily. It makes me CRAZY! I do my best to follow my hunger instincts. Intuitive eating is the nutrition jargon, apparently. I feel I have a solid enough background in nutrition to make smart choices for my body. I'm learning more about what runners need to fuel. I understand that not all calories are created equal. But I'm clearly human and make mistakes. And too much of good-for-you food is still too much.

Here is a little experiment I just played:

Chicken Breast, no skin, 1 unit 78 calories
Sweetpotato, fresh, 1 5" long 137
Chicken stock, home-prepared, 0.5 cup 43
Apple, 1 large 125
Apricots, dried, 0.25 cup 78
Almonds, 20 139

total: 600

This is what I had for lunch. (No greens. I'll get those in tonight.) This is fairly typical lunch for me. Notice that the almonds are the highest calorie. I usually don't count them out exactly. I just grab a handful and throw em in a tupperware with some dried fruit and that's dessert.

Now here's a very similar meal with crazy different results:

Chicken Breast, with skin, 1 unit 150
Baked Potato, with skin, 1 large 278
Apples, fresh, 1 large 125
Almonds, honey roasted, 20 337
Dove dark chocolate, 6 pieces 220

total: 1,109

509 calorie difference! That lunch does not sound all that bad. It is shocking how quickly calories add up.
On Tuesday I ran 4 miles in 36 minutes. Spark says I burned 420 calories. Just for perspective. I need these reminders.

And just for fun, even though I said I don't drink my calories... (I do spurlge on a latte once a week.)

tall non-fat latte, 12 oz 100 calories
vanilla latte Nonfat Tall , 12 oz 170
Tall Vanilla Latte Whole Milk, 12 oz 240

I feel fine with the 100 calorie drink. I actually feel better about that than a 0 calorie diet soda. But think how easy it is to throw in a shot of vanilla and tell yourself, "I got a non-fat latte." 70 calories here and there adds up. I need to cut out the little add-ons.

Exercise makes you hungry. It also leads to excuses for me. Oh, I can eat that, I worked out this morning. I need to stop that. Right NOW!

I keep reminding myself of something JENSWIMS wrote last week in a blog: It's easy to eat 4,000 calories. It's really hard to burn 4,000 calories.

Time for a full weekend of honesty with myself. I'll check in on Monday. Happy weekend Sparkers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREGGIEQUEEN 11/15/2011 9:47AM

    I posted a blog a long time ago about ways to cut calories at Starbucks (I used to work there). Check it out!

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 11/14/2011 2:07PM

    I know it's a bit of a splurge, but have you thought about getting a HRM? I finally got myself one (as a reward a few months back) and I love it! Of course you can never be sure about it's accuracy, but I'm sure it's more accurate than the trackers (in the gym and on Spark). For example, I'm not a fast runner, I usually run about an 11 minute mile, and for me that's working hard! My heart rate is around 165-175 when I run at that pace. The Spark tracker doesn't consider it as hard of run, so according to the tracker I burned 730 calories on my one of long runs of 70 minutes. According to my HRM, I burned 950 calories! That's 220 calories more! And it adds up with all the other discrepancies! I'm not saying that it's so crucial to have a HRM to lose weight, but if you're doing everything you're supposed to and still not losing weight, maybe you should consider it :)

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RUSSELLORAMA 11/13/2011 1:30PM

    It's definitely not that easy. Honestly, even with the tracking, I'm never quite sure exactly how much I'm consuming and burning, but it at least keeps me mindful. I wish it was an exact science because I'm good at following the rules! :)

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MICHSTATE 11/11/2011 8:33PM

    I know!!!! I wish that this wasn't so!!!!! I have a Body Bugg, but stopped wearing it because I think it gave me a false sense of accomplishment. I would burn 3-4000 calories a day, or more according to my BB, but I don't believe it!!!!

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REDRUNNERMOM713 11/11/2011 4:10PM

    I am SO bad about making excuses to eat this or that because I ran earlier or am going to run later, etc. I'm a carb junkie and once again make the excuse that I "need" the extra carbs for running. Yes I need carbs, but not all the extra I eat! Great job on resisting the cheesecake & potluck!!

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FLGIRL1234 11/11/2011 3:15PM

    I love this blog! Made me jump and scream YEs Yes Yes I get it. I need to watch that too, Way to it out there. They say acknowledgement is the first key in anything. Great job!

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KKINNEA 11/11/2011 3:13PM

    Food is so tricky - it's actually easier to exercise. I'll be pondering these things myself.

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SHOOPETTE 11/11/2011 2:23PM

    I admire your willpower, can never say no to a potlock and even less cheesecake

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SUPERMOM8482 11/11/2011 2:10PM

    This is great!!!!! In this same rut right now too and I am baffled I am tracking my calories and everything......uggghhh O well maybe i just need to push harder :)
Thanks for writing this!!

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APIRLRAIN888 11/11/2011 1:56PM

    Same! This year is all about the food or nutrition, working on it, no answer for u

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SMARTQT05 11/11/2011 1:51PM

    Im in the exact same place! My weight hasnt budged for 8 months and despite the fact that im currently training for a half marathon its not moving AT ALL. It seems amazing to me that i am consuming that many calories a day, but i must be. Good luck this weekend and i hope you can break through!

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DZSWEETIE2005 11/11/2011 1:48PM

    YES! after tracking for a while I get to the point where I stop measuring, stop tracking because I get so confident and then TA-DA the weight loss stops! I'm GREAT at maintaining at that point, but no more weightloss! I have to realize that even if I'm eating the right things, portions still matter!

"You can't out-exercise a bad diet" :)

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I only exercise when...

Monday, November 07, 2011

I've been going to Bodystep for about 5 years. It's a Les Mills program, like Bodypump. It's obviously on a step, but this is not your mother's step aerobics, I promise. It is serious HIIT. There are 4 releases a year and there has been a big change recently. Much more athletic and I love it!

I've talked to a few of the instructors about teaching over the years. But then I got pregnant. We talked again. And then I got pregnant. That's the easy excuse. The real truth is that I never felt like I was in good enough shape to do the routine AND talk at the same time. Now, thanks to running, I know I can handle it.

This past weekend I was at a Group Fitness Instructor Development Clinic. long way to say: lots of lecture, some motivational speaking and major fun workouts. On Friday night we did Bodypump (60 min strength endurance class using barbell). On Sat. there was some yoga and Turbo Kick. I finally get why so many of you are Chalene fanatics. Turbo was awesome!!! The instructor is a regional director and has quite the reputation. Then we also spent some time practicing our own choreography. Holy fitness minutes!

There was lecture on basic anatomy, nutrition and exercise science. Boring, but good info. We had to take a little multiple choice test to get our certification.

whew, I proved that I know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, exactly why no-carb is bad and some YMCA history. And I unfortunately was told by several trainers that yoga is not enough for ST. I need to pick up the weights. OK, OK, fine. (Yes, Jan, I know you're smiling right now.)

Sun. morning started with 60 min Bodystep and 45 min spin before lunch. My legs were dying. DY-ING! But then it was time to practice our routines again before auditions for a panel of group fitness directors. Not scary at all, right???!

I was super nervous, but felt good the minute I got to put on the fancy pants mic headband. It is so much fun! Granted, the participants were all cardio dance girls like me so they were really into it. Energy galore! I know it won't always be that easy. And I only had to do 10 minutes, not 60. I got to be a participant for Zumba, Latin Hip Hop, Hip Hop Hustle, and Turbo Kick. Tons of fun programs out there! Try something new. And give it at least 3 chances.

I got good feedback from the directors that evaluated me. Now I wait for all the paperwork to go through some national certification board and then there is an interview process. I am in no hurry. I will still have to take a Les Mills workshop, which will be another whole weekend sometime this winter. For now, I'll just live on the high of this weekend.

Here's my favorite quote from one of the speakers:
emoticon I only exercise on days when I want to have more energy.
emoticon I only exercise on days when I want to be more creative.
emoticon I only exercise on days when I want to sleep better.
emoticon I only exercise on days when I want to feel more attractive.
emoticon I only exercise on days when I want to have more confidence.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REDRUNNERMOM713 11/11/2011 4:15PM

    Sounds like such a fun weekend! Congrats on your success and I can't wait to hear more as you continue.

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FITFORMYFAMILY 11/10/2011 9:31PM

    As always, this is a great and helpful blog. I'm glad you had such a wonderful weekend!

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JOYCERN12 11/10/2011 2:53PM

    Awesome, I had to laugh because I thought of Jan even before I read the ( ) after! Congrats and I really like the quotes at the end. (formerly tjmnk95)

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 11/10/2011 12:15PM

    Wow!!!!!!! You are such an inspiration! I've needed some good, swift kicks in the pants lately to get me going..............this is one of them. I've been SUCH a slug...........................!!!<
Miss you....................but so glad you're stilll HERE!!!!! emoticon

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MATTERJT 11/8/2011 9:29AM

    Wow, girl! You do more exercising than most people I know. Congrats to you! You must be one hot fit momma! :-) This all sounds like so much fun too. All of my exercise is by myself and can get quite boring at times. Sounds like yours is a blast. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! HUGS!!!!

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MICHSTATE 11/8/2011 9:10AM

    WooHoo!!!! Sounds like fun!!!

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 11/8/2011 8:33AM

    Awesome girlie!!!!

Look at you, accomplishing your goals and stuff-LOL

WOW-to get on stage and perform your routine takes alot of courage AND you did it!!

Love all the quotes-got me smiling.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A-STRONGER-ME 11/8/2011 5:30AM

    You bet I was smiling emoticon

Sure wish you could bottle all that energy for me - I am really needing it right now.

You are magnificent!!!!!


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RUNJEWELRUN 11/7/2011 11:31PM


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GETSTRONGRRR 11/7/2011 10:16PM

    Sounds good, congrats on your success.

My favorite saying goes like this; "There are only 2 time I have to work out, when I want to and when I don't want to"

Keep at it!

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APIRLRAIN888 11/7/2011 10:08PM

    Love it

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SUPERMOM8482 11/7/2011 8:52PM

    Wow congrats on the opportunity I am sure you totally rocked it!!!! If you liked chalean's turbofire you should check out her chalean extreme for your strength training :D Good stuff I tell ya!!!

You are so totally rocking the fitness minutes for this month will all that exercising. Way to go!!
Love the quotes thanks for sharing emoticon

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