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Blogging from my mom's house.....let the food wars begin!

Monday, November 21, 2011

So I made it to Boston tonight....balmy, blustery, wintery, Boston...I love it!

This is home, this is where I grew up, and there's nothing like the cool, dry, wintery New England night air. Makes me yearn for a bowl of hot clam chowdah and a roast beef sub toasted in the pizza oven!

But enough of food fantasies....this is war! I'm on a business trip, but staying at my mom's for Thanksgiving. And my mom means food....lots of food.....all-the-time.....around-the-clock food. 83 years old and still, her greatest joy in life is cooking for and feeding her kids.

I'm in big trouble here people!

Tonight was OK. She baked some salmon fillets in the oven, made some asparagus, but also whipped up a batch of her famous rice pilaf.....cooked with sticks of butter at a time. I resisted as best I could, but I've had a childhood fondness for her pilaf, and so........

It's post-dinner that things get rough. Out comes the chocolates, the nuts, the cookies, and every other thing she equates with good mothering and good smothering. I stood my ground till about 9:00 PM, then conceded defeat with a few handfuls of far, so good.

But she's spent the last 2 weeks planning her menus and most of them include lots of butter, olive oil, sweet, syrupy desserts, all cooked in sufficient quantity to feed a starving army of marauding cossacks.

So I fall back upon my only defenses in this battle of 2 powerful wills; blogging and exercise.

As always in these tough times, Sparkepeople offers me an outlet where I can carve my daily travails into the fabric of cyberspace, acknowledging my weaknesses, heralding my victories, and facing the hard truth of each day's caloric totals. And even though you can't work off a bad diet, I've found it very therapeutic to commit to a daily cardio routine on these oh-so-public pages.


This Thanksgiving season will see your humble author working off all the madness his ever-loving mother throws his way! Yes, there'll be set backs, but for every sugar pill mom throws my way, there'll be an extra 20 minutes on the bike, or another 5 reps with the dumbells, or whatever it takes to keep those demons at bay. And you, my trusted Spark friends, will be able to read all about it....all the news that's fit to print!

A blogging and cardio streak....all this week!

Pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd.....hell no, no driving for me, I'll run all over Harvard Square if I have to!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/26/2011 2:38PM

    oh for the love of mothers... :) gotta love them!!

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/22/2011 7:23PM

    Stay strong & good luck!

Fortunately for me my mother is not a great cook so I'm generally pretty safe when I visit my parents.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/22/2011 2:20PM

    Woohoo! Great commitment! And good luck avoiding all those goodies! You can do it!

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BILL60 11/22/2011 10:01AM

    Hang in there and enjoy it. Your Mom will love you all the more for it.

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JECKIE 11/22/2011 9:35AM

    My mom is the same way. :) "Oh, I know you're watching what you eat, so just have a few cookies!!!" *sigh*

I must say, though, I wouldn't be able to resist hunting down some chowdah. With the butter floating on top of the cream... yum.

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COLLINSCJ2009 11/22/2011 2:40AM

    I watching a comedian talk about food issues and he would throw bites of food into a napking on his lap when people weren't looking. Just a thought.

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/22/2011 1:23AM

    Two thoughts: drink water and lots of it! and be thankful you still have a mother--many of us do not and would gladly trade a few days of prepared-with-love, bad-for-us food to have her back. (he says with a gentle smile)

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ADVENTURESEEKER 11/22/2011 12:52AM

    Good luck! Hold it together, stay strong! emoticon

Oh, and enjoy the family time emoticon

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JUDYAMK 11/22/2011 12:26AM

    My Mom is the same way about feeding us,no matter how many times I tell no sweet stuff, she comes off with something. I know she means well & she is 81, goes to all the work of making something & I say no I feel bad & take it anyway. I feel I will not have Mom forever so I know when that time comes I will be wishing I had my Mom back for just one more meal.What I do is eat half & take the rest home for the next day. I will have Thanksgiving dinner at my home.Mom cooks everyday & everyday she wants you to have something I visit her all the time.Even if it is after Dinner she will have something wrapped up for me. That's our Mom.'s Have a Blessed day with your Mom
Judy emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/22/2011 12:27:29 AM

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MARYHENNIG 11/21/2011 11:24PM

  Drink lots of water!!!!! Your blog is way too funny. I feel for you. Hang in there and good luck. emoticon

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Getting comfortable with hunger

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gosh this has been a busy week! So far I've just been able to make my regularly scheduled gym times Mon & Wed night. Got too busy Tuesday, I'm hoping to do better and make it there Thursday, but La-De-Da.

Somehow I went non-stop from about 11:30 till 5:00 today with nary a break to fill up a cup of coffee or grab a bottle of water. Back-to-back meetings kept me on the go. But I finished up and was shutting down the computer when I looked over at my lunch bag and said, "Holy moly, I didn't eat any lunch!"

So here I am 30 minutes before lifting weights and on the horns of a dilemma; go to the gym hungry and weak, possibly jeopardizing effective training, or eat and go in well nourished, ready to lift?

Of course I ate my sandwich.....I chose poorly.

Aside from going zoom-zoom-zoom all day and jumping right into a physically and mentally demanding workout (see 24 Oct blog about evil, sadistic bastard trainer guy...
) I ended up lugging around an extra pound or 2 that should have stayed in the office.

Which leads me to say out loud a thought I've had running around my head lately.....being hungry is not really a bad thing.

As I look inward during those ever brief introspective moments and ask myself, "what's really going on here with this food & weight thing" I realize that I spend a lot of effort avoiding hunger, even the slightest pang of hunger. I'm not sure why. I've never lived through a famine, I grew up with most all of my basic survival needs met, and I've never been stranded in the wilderness having to hunt lizards and bugs to stay alive.

So why the fear, why the worry, why the extraordinary concern with NOT GETTING HUNGRY?

Hell if I know!?!?

But I think at some level I need to get comfortable with being hungry. I need to avoid wanting to always be full. We do fairly well and lack for nothing. We've got way more food in our house than we need, and I'm fairly confident that I can make due even if an asteroid hits the planet.

I need to dig into this some more, but that's why I like blogging, it helps me clarify the thoughts that have been floating in my brain, typing them out into some semblance of coherence.

Stop avoiding hunger......there I said it!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYHENNIG 11/21/2011 11:30PM

  I was told once that when you are hungry is when your body is feeding off the fat. This is probably totally untrue, but that's my story, and I am still going to stick to it...because I can tolerate hungry if I am dropping pounds (millipounds!!!).

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REBECCATKD 11/20/2011 9:37PM

    "Stay hungry...Stay foolish." -Steve Jobs

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JUDYGREG 11/17/2011 1:05PM

    I think eating BEFORE the workout was a good idea.

You do need some fuel to burn when you are having a serious workout. Better than thinking about the food you should have eaten.

Not eating all day is not supposed to be good for you. But it happens when we are distracted.

Not thinking about food and not being hungry is a good thing, but once you remember, the urge to eat can become overpowering, and if there is no healthy choice nearby, watch out! I know this happens all the time to me when hubby reminds me to eat. If I am not in a good spot, I choose unhealthy food, rather than the planned meal I might have had if I had thought about eating before I got very hungry.

There is nothing wrong with eating when you are hungry, or not eating when you are not hungry, but try to hold off the really bad munchies, when you do get really hungry.

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JULIAMOONCHILD 11/17/2011 12:49PM

    Whoa! I think we are siamese twins!

I actually FELT hunger, yesterday, too. I mean, REAL PHYSICAL hunger! Maybe for the first time ever in my (wanting for nothing) life!

Not busy on a job (a real job) like you, but, nonetheless, sitting here on my kister for nearly the entire day, yesterday, blogging my arse off for all of my well deserving fans emoticon until I realized that I HAD TO leave my comfy chair and head for the gym (had to rack up more points, ya know). And, like you, I had to ask myself the same question - to eat before I go - or not to eat.

I ate.

Now, unlike you, had I not eaten I would have died. (sad face).

Yes, I am telling you that my hunger was so great, without food coming before the gym, my hub would be cashing in on my life insurance right now.

However, like you, (my twin), that feeling of real HUNGER was actually quite nice, and even though I gave in to the screaming demands of my hungry body, the food, so quickly consumed, seemed for the very first time ever like real fuel. And that was a dang-good feeling!

Wow, I sure hope that I can get hungry again some day ... emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/17/2011 12:50:00 PM

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BILL60 11/17/2011 8:48AM

    Well said.

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BRADOS 11/17/2011 8:15AM

    there is something to that.....or at least, something on the other side of that equation that I always dislike, never seems like I am running at peak efficiency wherever a "full" feeling is in me - I notice that when I am really watching my calorie intake, I seem to be firing an all cylinders when engaged at work, where a full feeling from lunch is much more lethargic....

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SMILDE 11/17/2011 7:55AM

    I've actually learned to like the feeling of being slightly hungry. Not hungry like "I skipped a meal" or feeling hunger pains, but just a little hungry. I find if gives me more energy and makes me feel lighter, and not like I'm being weighed down (the way I feel when I've eaten a bit too much). I say embrace the hunger feelings!!

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ERIKO1908 11/17/2011 12:11AM

    very insightful blog...made me wonder on the hunger vs. low blood sugar feeling...quite often the line is not that wide for me, especially when I'm doing a task that takes brain power. I find it amazing how quickly my blood sugar will go low when all I've got going on is the stress of actually thinking about something or through something...being hungry only puts me at a point where I feel more susceptable to this...I think that is why I snack through the day...mostly healthy I will add...but snacking I said...insightful blog...I will think more on it...

Have a great night!!

Happy Sparking!!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 11/16/2011 10:00PM

    Exactly, right?? I can so relate to this blog. I've never actually died of hunger, a hunger pang or two won't kill me. lol Be one with the fuzzy hunger feeling. Ommmm...


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BEATLETOT 11/16/2011 10:00PM

    Very interesting way to look at things...and very valid. Definitely food for thought.

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Singing the White Cliffs of Dover

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Well we had a very interesting Saturday.

It started off nice, slow, & relaxing, watching the news, drinking coffee, getting caught up on Sparkpeople. Then we went out for lunch. I've written before how our boy, when he gets good grades, which he did, decides on our restaurant adventure.

Today he picked Fuji, a combination Chinese buffet, with hibachi grill and sushi buffet in Destin, about 15 miles down the Florida coast. Arrrrggghhhhh!

It wasn't so bad, just overly salty, but still about 500 more calories then I wanted to have by lunchtime.

SWMBO and I then had to put our heads together to plan the coming weeks through the holidays. We've got a bunch of events to go to, dinners to host, guests to invite and take care of. I've got a couple of big kahunas visiting in December, and oh by the way, I made plans Friday to go to Virginia and Boston the week of Thanksgiving on business, where I'll spend an extra few days to visit my my mom in Massachusetts. This of course leaves even less time to plan all of our December events, leaving a big chunk of it to SWMBO. Pray for me.

After all that, I made it to the gym around 3:30 where I got in a good solid hour of hi-tempo cardio on the bike, elliptical, and rowing machine. Came home, showered, shaved and got ready for our date night....the old folks home up the road. Let me explain.

Yesterday we went over to this assisted living facility where they have a lot of widows of veterans ranging from 50 to 95 years old. It was a nice little community service thing we like to do every Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Well while we were there they kept telling us about the Variety Show they were putting on Saturday night and wouldn't it be great of we could come.

It was like a bunch of puppies at the pound staring up at you, guilting you into taking them home. Finally, after the third human wave attack, SWMBO and I looked at eachother and said "Yes, of course, we'd love to come!"

So I wolfed down a smoothie (after the Chinese lunch buffet I had no room left for any more food) and we drove back over.

It wasn't so bad....they sang, they danced, recited poetry, played ukeleles and banjos, then corralled everyone into singing Chattanooga Choo-Choo, The White Cliffs of Dover, and God Bless America.

In the end, we had a good time. We laughed in the car on the way back joking that we might need to make reservations now to get on the waiting list for when we'll need to move in there!

That's all for now Spark friends, have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:31PM

    You and your lovely wife are one truly amazing couple! I love what you did for those precious 'puppies' - That you could carry the laughter home with you afterwards, rather than sulk on your drive home about time being wasted, would be admirable for any couple, but for someone who has a schedule like yours, well my feelings go beyond admiration for your deed. In fact, I salute both of you and hold you now in the highest regard of anyone I've met here at SP! (not that my regard matters all that much) emoticon

Wow, and even though you are actually abandoning your wife during Thanksgiving and leaving her with much of the December Holiday planning to take care of on her own (although I seriously doubt that you will do this), and that you are a 'MAN' who is actually aware of his inconsiderate and beyond thoughtless behavior, leaves me to believe that there really are miracles still occurring in this world today. How did she ever train you in such a short amount of time? I mean, you're not even 75 years-old, yet you act like someone who has been under the influence of a woman's guiding hand for a whole lot longer. Most men never reach your level of thoughtfulness awareness, and even the ones who do, reach it at a much later stage in life.

I think your wife should be writing some Spark Blogs of her own - We could all make use of her 'man' training techniques, I'm sure. emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/14/2011 12:49PM

    I need to make a plan of action too - the holidays are rough! good job at the buffet and not going totally crazy! The variety show sounds so cute - I love old people!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 11/13/2011 4:42PM


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LULUTU 11/13/2011 10:29AM

    What a great post. Your Veteran's Day service (and beyond!) sounds wonderful. For Chattanooga Choo-Choo and God Bless America I would have been fine, but I would have been stumped on The White Cliffs of Dover after a few lines....

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BEATLETOT 11/13/2011 10:16AM

    Jeepers! How often does your son get graded? It seems like he gets to choose restaurants twice a week! =)

Glad you had fun and made GREAT CHOICES at a BUFFET! You are my HERO!!!

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HAKAPES 11/13/2011 1:20AM

    These buffets always need more vigilance! But if we look on the other hand, I am sure, before, you would have eaten 2000 kcal over without an issue. Now, only 500 kcal. And well done for the smoothie afterwards.
I find it great reward to be able to pick the restaurant with good greats! Must be a good motivation for him. ;-)

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JUNEBUG1944 11/12/2011 11:41PM

    Yeah, good idea to plan ahead...

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ERIKO1908 11/12/2011 11:27PM

    that sounds like a beautiful date night!!

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The Shadow

Friday, November 11, 2011

So I'm at the gym today, working on chest & shoulders, and as I'm doing some presses I look down and see a black mark on my forearms. Note to self, wipe off that scuff mark with a towel when I'm done.

I finish, put down the weight, grab towel, get ready to wipe....but the scuff mark is gone. Weird.

I start the second set, and there's the scuff mark again. A three inch long dark streak along my forearm. What the hell!?! OK, make a mental note and focus on the exercise.

Finish, grab scuff mark. Make a fist, rotate arm.....there it is!!

It's the shadow of some recently uncovered muscle groups, released from their epidural concealment, proudly projecting themselves out into the world and obscuring the rays of light along their path!

Well, well, well so all this hard work is paying off.....visually and mentally. More incentive to not miss workouts

All this was a nice top off to an already nice Veteran's Day. SWMBO and I took some time off to go to a memorial service at a local cemetery. There were about 20 people there, including a whole row of WWII vets and and even larger number of Korean & Vietnam vets. #2 son was off from school so we took him along, then went over to an assisted living facility in town that houses a number of veteran's widows and spent some time there chatting them up, drinking coffee, with me turning down multiple offers of freshly baked sweets & cakes.

All in all a very nice day.....have a great night Spark friends


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:36PM

    I am keeping a close look out for some of my own scuff marks to appear. I know they're coming ... I can almsot feel them coming to the surface. Seriously. I think. emoticon

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NEEBREW 11/12/2011 11:19AM

    That's so FABULOUS! I wonder if I'll ever see the day that my hidden abs come out? I'll be looking carefully at every little shadow....

That was a great thing you did for the veterans. It is an unimaginable risk and sacrifice they make for us :)

I hope you have a great weekend!!!


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BILL60 11/12/2011 9:16AM

    Girl?? I think that you're a guy, right. Anyway, congratulations on the great results from your hard work. Well deserved.

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ERIKO1908 11/12/2011 1:16AM

    sounds like a great day!! I was thinking about you and if you made it to the gym today...I like the answer that I know now!! :) Have a great weekend!!

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BEATLETOT 11/11/2011 9:22PM

    DAY-yum! Awesome! And good for you spending so much time with veterans and their loved ones today. Good luck with the weigh-in tomorrow! Go Starfishes!!!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 11/11/2011 8:18PM

    YOU GO GIRL YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Annual Physical....Arrgghhhh!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Well I finally went to the doc and had my annual physical done. I'm always in a bad mood at the end of these things.

Had to do the standard fasting for the blood tests starting at 8:00 last night. They didn't get me to the lab till 10:00 AM (I showed up at 8:00), so I was hungry, dehydrated, and craving caffeine all morning....I usually have them draw blood first thing, but somehow the schedule got messed up.

Then I got poked & prodded, received my flu shot, left them some blood and other bodily fluids, squinted into the the vision tester, listened closely during the hearing tests, answered a million questions on family histories, allergies, smoking, drinking, and sex, then listened politely as the doc ran through his checklist. I finally walked out of there with a raging headache and a craving for food, fruit, water, and coffee around 11:00

All in all it went well. My pulse and blood pressure are quite good (62 pulse, 115/72 BP), weight is surprisingly good (Go STARFISHES!!), and apparently I'm doing all the right things that my parents never did in their 50s.

Detoured home on my way back to work, drank a 20 oz glass of water, blended up a smoothie, chugged it down on my way to Starbucks for some Joe, and jumped right in to the day's business. My headache finally went away around 3:00, but I tried not to inflict my pain on the people I had meetings scheduled with in the afternoon. I think I succeeded, but I'll have to ask them tomorrow...there was this annoying guy who was not very well prepared or articulate....

By the time I got to the gym tonight though, I could tell I was beat. May have been the flu shot or getting off my routine, but everything felt tougher today. Not that sadistic bastard trainer guy gave a rat's ass about how I felt. We went through our regular high-rep, short break routine with only minor modifications for my weakened state. ("OK Nancy, I'll take a plate off, but you owe me 15 reps"....What the hell, I'm paying this guy right?!?!)

But then again, what I left out above is that the doc, who I've known for about 2 years (we compared surgeries last year....he's a tri-athlete who's had both hips replaced, me, I'm a marathoner who's had one "re-surfaced") did say, "Hey dude, whatever you're doing, it's working, you're slimming down and you've got a good V-shape going" which I know he meant in a totally heterosexual way. I told him I started on a new modified push up routine in the evenings. Before I get totally stuffed at the dinner table, I push away from it with both hands. Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk, we're just a pair of cards!

I know I've been harping on my new little smoothie machine these past few blogs, but I've got to tell you, it's the best 20 bucks I've spent in a long time. SWMBO has stocked the fridge with tons of fresh and frozen fruit, and I just go to town chucking whatever the hell I spy with my little eye into that bad boy and it gets crushed into a deliciously sweet, tart, and frothy breakfast....I call it my "Mug 'o Love"

That's all for tonight Spark friends, have a great night.....and don't forget to thank a Veteran this Friday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULIAMOONCHILD 11/14/2011 2:40PM

    Glad you got such a great report and, finally, that much needed jo. I know they agony of a morning without caffeine. Pure hell!
Hey, the smoothie machine sounds awesome. May have to check that one out.

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/11/2011 9:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good news on the physical, although I'm with you in that they are incredibably annoying. Every year I have to tell them that my family history has NOT changed (that is why it is a "history", it was in the past and CAN'T change) because they want to start in with the million questions which I already answered and which answers are right there in my record if they would only look.

I'm glad I don't have a personal trainer, I would probably wind up with my picture on the post office wall after one too many "drop & give me 50" type remarks.

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HEALTHIERKEN 11/11/2011 12:33AM

    Hate that 12-hr fast before bloodwork! You're a better man than I am, though. After my fast and bloodletting, I go out for a full-on bacon and eggs breakfast and all the caffeine I can consume then home to bed to sleep off the starvation-induced headache. That is, I sleep off the headache if I'm lucky. Sometimes I'm popping extra-strength tylenol and/or T-3's after the nap because the headache just will not subside. Glad bloodwork typically only happens once a year!!!!!!

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BILL60 11/10/2011 8:25AM

    You've more than earned your "Good Health Certificate". Keep it up.

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BELSNICKEL 11/10/2011 7:04AM

    sounds like you did well today. you are projecting a program that seems worth following. Even when you don't really want too.

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JUNEBUG1944 11/9/2011 11:56PM

    Of course your physical went well...did you have any doubts? Mmmmm, you're making me think I need to start having smoothies again, haven't had one for awhile.
emoticon Oh wait, I don't need a knife and fork, do I?

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W5VEOTX 11/9/2011 10:48PM

    Looking good - I don't think anyone likes going to dentist or medical doctor but we all should periodically. Good news is always good!

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BRADOS 11/9/2011 10:21PM

    great news at the physical - hard work paying off for you - congrats

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ERIKO1908 11/9/2011 10:19PM

    wow!! I had my physical today too along with my flu shot...I got home and couldn't for the life of me figure out why I committed to 60 minutes of cardio...felt more like giving 20 max!! gonna get it done though...say it = do it!!

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BEATLETOT 11/9/2011 9:32PM

    Great blog! I'm so happy you are loving your smoothie maker! And you are doing awesome!!!

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