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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #5

Monday, September 07, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #5

Days Remaining: 135

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#5 - Consider Howard Stern and Live "As If"

Before I conquer #5, I have to confess a few things.

1) I'm slipping a bit on the exercise and food, for no reason other than I'm a little bored and the scale has not changed (we all know how that one works), and

2) That closet experience (#4 in the book) has been a bit of a failure, which caused a few days of procrastination.

This morning I decided that it was time to strategize. That said, I need to step it up a notch and determine how I handle #4 and then how I handle the bigger problem . . . my dwindling "Spark."

First, I've been a constant failure at hitting stumbling blocks and giving up. THAT IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME ANY LONGER. I am admitting it to anyone reading and asking you all to please to send me the encouragement to suck it up and continue. Here is where the rubber meets the road for me, because I've had a lifetime of giving up. A quote from "Apollo 13" sums it all up for me. "Failure is not an option."

Second, the closet issue. I refuse to let that be my brick wall and stop me from moving on in my project here. So here's the plan. I am placing a plastic bag in the closet. I have a "marker" which is a piece of ribbon that will mark my place in the closet. Starting with the hanging items, I will make my way around ten items at a time. Once I finish with the hanging items, I'll move on to the shelf above, and then to the floor. I will not give up on this, and I'll post on my progress until it's finished.

And so moving on to #5 - Consider Howard Stern and Live "As If". I know little about Howard Stern. I mean sure, I know who he is and I've heard him speak and seen him on television. But I'm not a huge fan that follows him on a regular basis. It appears as though this famous person draws a parallel to those of us who feel we aren't worthy. He apparently has fame and millions of fans, but still wants those who didn't love him in his past to love him. It's similar to our thinking that everything is going to be perfect when we're thin. But when folks lose the weight and get thin, life is the same and they still are not happy.

Well first, I've never lost the weight. For me, quitting was usually because I gave up when the scale wasn't moving in the right direction or I got bored with eating the same foods. But the premise is still the same. Did I not think that I was worthy enough to treat myself with kindness. We need to live "as if" we deserve the things we only think that thin people deserve. So each and every single day we need to say to ourselves, "Yes, I deserve _______." And fill in the blank.

Something I've noticed about myself recently is that I don't think I'm worthy of eating in restaurants. I think that the entire dining area is full of people thinking that the "fat lady" really shouldn't be there. It will often keep me from ordering an appetizer or dessert. I know that this feeling is something that I inflict upon myself, and that most people in a restaurant really don't care that I'm there. Hopefully, they're engrossed in their family dinner. And frankly, I deserve to eat out just like anyone else. But I superimpose this feeling upon myself. So yes, I deserve to eat out once in a while.

Here's another one . . . my discomfort with being in a gym setting. I hate the gym. No bones about it; let me repeat it in case you didn't hear it the first time. I HATE THE GYM. One of the things I hate about the gym is that everyone else is far more fit then I am. Is it that I'm embarrassed, or do I not feel I deserve to be there? Or, do I just hate it that much? This is one for me to ponder for a while longer. My husband pays for my membership, and I don't use it. This one surely needs some work.

Today I deserve the opportunity to get myself back on track. I deserve the opportunity to do something crafty (which will improve my mood, for sure). I deserve a healthy meal . . . something that I'm craving (perhaps some cheese . . . I can fit this in).

What do you deserve?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PFLEEG 9/15/2009 12:49PM

    As far as measuring your progress, have you considered tracking measurements over pounds? I find I'm losing inches faster than pounds, which helps keep me motivated.

In dealing with your closet, do you have a girlfriend who can help you with this task? My mom used to keep EVERYTHING. When she bought her condo, her best friend came over and informed her she was going to help her get rid of the excess before she moved. My mom said it was a liberating experience, although I'm sure she was in hyper-stress mode during the process. lol

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MYMAWSCRAPS 9/11/2009 8:04PM

    Okay that self employed, hubby of mine needed help now I'm back to my reading, I was sad when I started reading about your lack of "get up and go" Put on your emoticon and lets get going. I've read all the comments about following you and I'm gonna change that a bit. Come on Girly, Take my hand and let's set out on this journey together. You might be feeling a little down a little discouraged but I will walk this windy road with you emoticon.

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TALLTABBY 9/8/2009 11:19PM

  Keep it up! I know that you can do this! Think of this as a weight loss journey, and not a straight line. There will be times where your road will wind this way or that, but in the end you are headed the right direction. Also don't let anything or anyone make you feel like you should not be some where. I remember when I first started going to the gym, I thought that people where looking at the tall fat girl and wondering what the heck I was doing there. Now I realize they where just getting there workout in for the day. Keep up the good work, and always keep your goals in mind. You can do this!!!

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HEIDIODIE123 9/8/2009 11:36AM

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! A lot of people fear the gym, or restaurants for the same exact reason you do...
I used to be so bad that I would hate even going to the grocery store because I thought everyone there would be disgusted that I was there...
I've since gotten over that phobia, but I still feel self-conscious about going out to eat sometimes (I still make myself go...but until I sit down, I feel like everyone notices me), and I most DEFINITELY HATE going to the gym!!!
But like you said...we deserve to be there just as much as the other people there!!! So hang in there and don't give up!!!
If you need to vent, come on over to my Sparkpage! I'm here for ya!!!

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NESSAGIRL67 9/7/2009 9:54PM

    I really like your blog. Hang in there and make sure you do everything you can to stay encouraged. I am here for you if you need a partner to work out with. emoticon

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SPIRITSEEKER2 9/7/2009 8:24PM

    KEEP GOING !!!!!!!!! you are a great person ,we are all in similar situations- slip up and then get back on the horse so to speak..
I am following you in this journey, and it is helping me too.. so keep going.. :0)
Do something you like to do instead of the gym- I love the gym and can not go as I want because its far.. I do not care what other people think and never have, sometimes thats good sometimes its bad.. So I eat where and what I feel like.. I try to eat as healthy as I can right now, health issues, so I have to ..
I am also learning line dancing at 53 and fat, with painful neuropathy- but its something I always wanted to do. I laugh and my friends laugh and are encouraging too.. I am still not good- I can not remember the steps.. they turn left and I turn right...
We care about you and your blog is really great, so KEEP GOING, PLEASE..... Hugs

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BLOSSOMKITTY 9/7/2009 2:52PM

    you are on the right track as you prioritize and evaluate the things you put into your life. i am on this journey with you having to do the same things. the good news is that we are at least on the journey instead of doing nothing about the things we know we should!

HAppy labor Day


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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #4

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #4

Days Remaining: 141

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#4 - Give Away Clothes That Cut Off Your Circulation

Seriously? In this economy? I don't know about this one. I could lose all of this weight and be able to wear some of those clothes again. I especially want to get into that dress that I bought a few months after my daughter was born. It was two sizes too small when I bought it and was my incentive to lose weight. I used a gift certificate to buy it, and while I got a bit of a discount, it was one of the most expensive dresses I ever purchased. It has a rich looking black skirt with a maroon and green floral pattern, a beautiful cream blouse, and a maroon crushed velvet belt. I love that dress. The tags have always looked so nice hanging from the neckline, and they're barely creased or folded 21 years later. Yes, I said it. It has been 21 years since I bought that dress.

Sure, when I first read this one, my initial reaction was that I just couldn't do this. With the amount of weight I have to lose, this would mean I might have to buy two more wardrobes for myself, assuming I lose the weight (which . . . I am determined to do this time). How can I financially manage two additional wardrobes? It could leave me in financial ruin. I need some of those "thinner" clothes to assist me on this journey.

Putting aside my financial burden, I took the time to really read the intent of this task. Those "thin" clothes are a constant reminder of failure. I share a small walk-in closet with my husband, of which he occupies one side. I get the other two sides. They are crammed with clothing I will never wear: dust covered reminders of thinner days that were many, many years ago. When I go into the closet, I'm surrounded with reminders of my failure at weight loss. The beautiful 21-year old fall fashion that I purchased as incentive has done nothing but remind me of my lack of willpower and fortitude.

My closet is like a playground filled with school-age children at recess who are snickering and making fun of the fat girl. I got enough of that as a child. It stops now.

In the time it took me to write this, I realized a few things. I would more than likely not wear half of what I have saved in my closet from my thinner days. They are not in the best of shape and the dust on them alone is reason for me to "dump and run." In the insurance world, we've gone business casual. Every suit or business dress in my closet has to be from ten years ago. Styles have changed. Do you really want to lose the weight and then applaud yourself by wearing something from ten or maybe even twenty years ago?

Reality check: My "21-year Incentive Dress" with the tags on it has shoulder pads . . . a reminder of power dressing in the 80's!

I'm on board with this one. In the next couple of days, if you need me, I'll be in my closet saying goodbye to reminders of my slimmer days. When I lose my weight, I will reward myself with comfortable clothing that doesn't portray some type of shoulder disorder.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PFLEEG 9/15/2009 11:42AM

    Love this blog! LOL... Good luck with your closet trashing. There is a weight loss support group here in our town that donates their too big or too small clothes to a community closet that other members have access to when they're ready to change sizes.

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MYMAWSCRAPS 9/11/2009 5:21PM

    LOL, It's good that I'm just catching up with you girly, I at least know that the mound of "skinny" clothes did not bury you. I have accomplished this step of the journey. I had an ebay attack and sold everything that those "skinny" girls would bid on. Everything in my closet fits me and everything like cool jeans (approved by the teenager in my life) and "cute" bermudas and the little black dress went in a dresser or closet in the guest room. I think I managed about 5 days (3 or 4 pants 3 or 4 shirts)in 2 or 3 smaller sizes it will get me through about 6 sizes smaller and then...Ebay here I come. I just purchased 7 pair of american eagle jeans for my daughter for 33 bucks.

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TALLTABBY 9/2/2009 10:30PM

  I think its great your getting rid of those skinny clothes in your closet. Honestly you will not wear them. I had a few things in my closet that I thought I would wear, when I got to that size, I put them on, and it just was not the same. So I got rid of the all. I also got rid of those things that are now to big for me. Now I have alot more space, but its not easy to get rid of everything.

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NINE_PURRCENT 9/2/2009 5:12PM

    I originally popped onto your page to say HI to a fellow Black Panther team member so HI!!!

Reading your blog was like hearing me talking to myself about the clothes in my wardrobe from 20 years ago. I had to have a little laugh at myself because, I still think 20 something years later they still look pretty cool! I know they are so waaaay out of fashion that its not even funny, but I want to keep them. And I want to keep my fat clothes too. I love my fat clothes. They protect me, they hide me, they love me!

I think we're kindred clothing pals, and Im going to add you as my SP pal.

Oh BTW, love the blog

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SPIRITSEEKER2 9/1/2009 6:37PM

    I have this- first I did give away the clothes when I had lost the weight and bought all new- then I started gaining, and bought cheap clothes to get by- thyroid, COPD, then diabetes and a ton of stress.. so I saved the large and xlarge clothes, because I am going to loose the weight- well that was in 2001.. its 2009 and I am now in a small trailer and have to let go of the small sizes because I have no room to keep them. My son said to keep a few special ones and let go of the rest.. I thought I could buy newused at the thrift shops when I loose weight.. thanks for another good reason to let go....

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Turning on the Light

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Taking a break from my diet book today to blog on my progress.

My spark has continued . . . not without a detour here and there. But the detours have been mostly planned. I guess you could say that I'm using a GPS on this journey. I've had moments where I could have had some emotional eating, yet I persevered because I planned ahead. Case in point, a stressful doctor's appointment. Stopped at a deli in advance to pick up a healthy sandwich for my dinner, and a bag of Glenny's Sea Salt Potato Crisps. Also picked up a treat . . . pre-cut diced cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple. Worked it all into my calorie budget. Then had that stressful appointment. Had I not planned ahead, I could possibly have made an unhealthy choice on the drive out of the appointment that would have been based on emotion, not thought.

This morning I was scanning my e-mails and I had one from Spark. Some of you may have seen it. It was "Reading as Brain Food". I scanned it. Then I claimed my Spark Point for reading. I was ready to move on, and yet something I had read made me go back. The subject was on thoughtful reading, and I felt as though I cheated when I claimed the point because I didn't really digest the words. So I went back and read it again. . .

"The benefits of a lifelong love of reading are endless. However, these benefits diminish greatly if you neither read productive works nor let the words sink into your mind. Reading the funny papers over a classic novel is almost incomparable. Do the books, papers, and articles you read nourish your mind? Do you reflect on the material you are taking in? Often discussing a passage with a friend or journaling about it on your own can leave a lasting impression on your mind. Make sure that the information you are taking in is not only full of "nutrients" but is also being properly digested. "

Someone just turned the light on! I found this powerful. As I read each word slowly and really digested it, I made so many connections. I made a connection from reading to eating. I made a connection to my "Julie & Julia" assignment blog. I made a connection to my poor reading habits. As a person with A.D.D., reading has always been tough for me. As both a child and an adult, I have read entire chapters of either assigned or pleasure reading and not digested anything, only having to go back and read again. If you have A.D.D., you know exactly what I'm talking about here. You suddenly realize that there are characters in your book who had no introduction. Who are these people? And then you scan back a few chapters and realize that you didn't digest anything in Chapter 18. Yes, you read it. But you were thinking about all the things that happened that day, or what was to come in the next day.

So today I learned that I need to read more thoughtfully, and digest the words on the pages of my books, my Spark e-mails, my Spark Friends' blogs, everything!

I have lost 20 pounds now, which is fabulous. I have a long way to go. But what I'm learning along the way is profound. This commitment . . . this free site . . . this "spark" is just an invaluable tool that is teaching me something new every single day.

I've made another valuable connection. Someone just turned on a light. Today is a good day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SALDRU 8/31/2009 8:56AM

    Great blog - you're right, I skim the articles and then claim the points.

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NESSAGIRL67 8/30/2009 10:40PM

    Thanks for writing this blog. I really appreciate what was written in this blog. I really believe I have to take time to read before claiming the points for it.

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TALLTABBY 8/30/2009 7:36PM

  Thanks so much for this blog. There are too many times that I am guilty of quickly reading something, then claiming the points for it. Your completely right that we all need to slow down and read. I can't wait to get home and read that spark email. Thanks again!

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #3

Friday, August 28, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #3

Days Remaining: 144

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#3 - When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair

So this third one is where the book derived its title. And on this one, I have to admit, I have mixed feelings. The suggestion is one that I've heard many times. You should sit down to eat. But for those who stand at the refrigerator perusing the contents, picking at items and eating leftovers, etc., you should pull up a chair.

Well, here's the thing. I'm not a leftover kind of gal, so I rarely find myself picking through things in my refrigerator. I'm a "cook it" kind of person. So what I do is go to the refrigerator, pull items out (quick items), prepare them in a toaster (perhaps some toast) or microwave (edible leftovers), and then go sit down and eat them . I somewhat have this one conquered already, merely because I'm picky and not apt to just eat anything in the refrigerator.

When my husband cooks dinner --which lately is pretty often--the questions are usually pretty typical. The other night, he made a healthy wrap of chicken, apple sausage, peppers, onions and cheese. It wrapped up to be around 380 calories of deliciousness. My question before I took the first bite . . . did you check the date on this sausage? When did you buy it? Were the peppers fresh? How long were they in the refrigerator? Did they look wrinkly? Were they crisp?

Yes - he is not so picky. He's one of those guys who will eat anything. I always tell the story of when we were engaged (many, many years ago) on our way to my cousin's wedding. It was a two to three hour drive, and he lay in the back seat in agony. "What did you eat?" I asked. He said his mother had cooked up some kielbasa, and while it smelled and tasted kind of funny, he ate it anyway. He was sick as a dog! Well, it turns out that it was old kielbasa in the freezer that she was cooking for the dog. How fitting. And trust me when I tell you that if it is out of date, he's going to eat it. Unless he sees true signs of mold, he's going to eat it. He may even cut the mold away.

Well, not me. I'm a "fresh" kind of girl. So he's been trained to check dates, because he knows the questions will come. He is one of the folks who will stand at the refrigerator. He should be pulling up a chair!

But the premise is a good one. If you're going to eat at the refrigerator, pull up a chair because it allows you to really think about what you're doing. Treat yourself with kindness. By pulling up a chair, you might actually notice the things you shouldn't be eating. You might actually notice what's not worth eating.

So, when eating at the refrigerator, pull up a chair. It's silly, and yet it's smart.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PFLEEG 9/15/2009 11:33AM

    Eating mindlessly....that's definitely one thing Spark nutrition tracking is helping me overcome. Plus, trying to learn vegetarian cooking is also helping keep me more focused.

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MYMAWSCRAPS 9/11/2009 5:09PM

    I'm joining in with the it's a guy thing hubby eats everything...last night he ate roast and potatoe I cook 2 Sunday's ago hummmmmmmmm last night was Thursday. Too bad we don't keep the chocolate in the fridge, I might consider pulling up the chair then.

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HONEYDRIPPER 8/28/2009 6:52PM

    I don't eat at the fridge either but I get the concept. It's just that you should stop eating mindlessly which I do.

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TALLTABBY 8/28/2009 2:17PM

  My husband is the same way, I guess its a guy thing. If it not moldy he will eat it. As a matter of fact there are many times where he will tell me that somethings don't go bad. To make it worse one day his mother told me that sour cream does not go bad because it is already sour. I looked at her, but I was good and did not say anything. So trust me I understand.

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SPARK-KELLI 8/28/2009 11:35AM

    Great advice! So many times I've seen my husband wander into the kitchen and try to "land on" a snack -- usually something unhealthy. I'm working on changing that!

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DREAVG 8/28/2009 11:33AM


My husband is the same. In fact, and you will laugh, just this week I gave my husband some watermelon out of the fridge. I bought it at the farmer's market a week ago. IT was still nice and deep pink. He ate an entire bowl of it and the entire time he was saying how good it was, how sweet, and mmmmmmmm. I was tempted. It looked so good to me that I had some with my lunch. In my first bite, I could tell it had gone bad. After one bite, my stomach turned. I could taste it starting to ferment. I learned my lesson listening to him.


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GOANNA2 8/28/2009 11:29AM

    Hey, now that is an idea. Pull up a chair to eat .
My goodness I will need to do that as I have trouble bending. I don't throw things out and make sure I only keep things I should be eating. But there are a lot of times when I think I'd love something more exciting,,,,, like chocolate. emoticon

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #2 (admitting the truth)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #2

Days Remaining: 146

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#2 - Cultivate Curiosity

For those who read yesterday's blog, I still had some work to do on this one. This is the point where I put the book down last time, and so yesterday I asked myself some very serious questions.

Why, "Girlie" (that's me) are you avoiding regular exercise? The answer is just not that simple. First, I hate to exercise. Second, I'm lazy. Third, moving this body is just not that easy. All of that said, the bottom line is that I need to exercise in order to be healthy and the combination of those three items above just does not bode well. I need to make it a priority, and I need to make it a priority on a weekly basis without excuses. And when I make an excuse, that is when I need to "Cultivate Curiosity."

Why, "Girlie" are you spending too much time on the computer? Excellent question. Aside from Spark (which I will allow myself), I do spend too much time sitting in this chair, right here. It is pure avoidance because there are so many other things I need to be doing that I'm not. So the avoidance needs to stop. And the next time I'm sitting here surfing the web when I should be working on a project or doing some cleaning, I am going to "Cultivate Curiosity" and remind myself that I need to get some things done BEFORE I sit at the computer.

Why, "Girlie" are you avoiding major household issues? O.K., so some of it is financial. And some of it is being married to someone who doesn't really help the situation. I was not always like this, but I think that I've allowed my spouse's procrastination to really drag me down even further, because arguing about things doesn't do any good. So, before I cultivate my own curiosity, I need to cultivate my spouse's as well. We need to come to some agreement on what the priorities are, and work together to get them done.

And now the really, really big one. Why, "Girlie" do you think that you don't have to ask yourself a question about why you overeat? Is it just because you didn't overeat yesterday, or anytime in the last month that you've been "Sparking?" I didn't think this one applied to me, but it absolutely 100% does, and here's why. First, because I didn't get to be the weight that I am if I didn't overeat. That is a scientific given! I can talk about metabolism and medications that I am on, but the truth is that in order to lose the weight I have to stick with healthy eating every day of my life. I have to not be frustrated when I'm not losing, provided I know that I stuck with it. And if I fall short and go overboard, I need to forgive myself and get back on track that very moment. Not the next morning. Not the next Monday. Not the first of the month. I need to make this work, and only I can do it.

So I will continue to cultivate curiosity and ask the questions. But right at this moment, after posting this entry, I will get up from the computer and take care of business that doesn't involve this chair, this keyboard, this monitor.

You get the idea.

And by the way . . . thanks to those who are sharing this journey with me. Thanks for your comments and encouragement. I really appreciate the support and camaraderie.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PFLEEG 9/15/2009 11:21AM

    Love the blog so far! I think getting into exercising is going to help with the other areas of curiousity. Just like the idea of being 'on' a diet rather than my diet is part of my lifestyle, we should look for forms of exercise that we enjoy and can incorporate into our healthy lifestyles, rather than having to exercise 30 minutes a day in order to lose weight. Once our bodies get used to moving, they will start to crave movement.

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MYMAWSCRAPS 9/11/2009 5:03PM

    Moving Along With you!! emoticon

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SPIRITSEEKER2 8/26/2009 11:27PM


your blog is really good, makes me think too- keep it up !! I really need the exercise ..

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TALLTABBY 8/26/2009 8:54PM

  I think these are good questions that we should all be asking our self. I know there are thing that I should be doing, but sometimes I just don't feel like it. Thanks for the great blog.

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BERGIE8771 8/26/2009 6:22PM

    I want to subscribe

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MOOKBALL 8/26/2009 6:21PM

    Get movin" Girlie

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BERGIE8771 8/26/2009 6:21PM

    WOW That is very heavy (pun intended). I am (for almost all parts) in the same sinking ship, but excitedly looking for the lifesaver ring (that we find here!) to be thrown in and grabbed by me. Thanks for some truths that need to be faced and dealt with.

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