GRLTAZ   40,685
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Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I am always happier walking outside and I have a route near my house that is just perfect for my 12 pound dog and I. We get to see many beautiful yards, homes, pets, parks, birds and other sites. So these things are just ordinary things and sites but they make me smile and I enjoy my walk more seeing the things I do so I thought I would share. My walk starts in my back yard where I was lucky to catch a bird mid flight. Awesome !!

Several of my neighbors used their front yard as a garden.

This was found in a shady alley. I pick shady areas to walk my eskimo dog since she has long hair.

This was definitely a doggie dog day heat wise and dog wise. The one behind the fence likes to bark at mine. LOL !

If I walk around the hospital it is 1 mile and that is why I add the neighborhoods in my walk. The hospital used to be Mercy hospital run by the sisters of mercy so I saw virgin mary every where.

And how can I not smile when I am reminded of this every day on my walk ?

Some interesting things seen.

This is a cool idea where the sump pump pushes water out of the house and down a hill.

Part of the reason I am blogging about this is because I get depressed in the winter and I will be able to refer back to this and smile. It will help me through the dark cold winter months and help me look forward to spring and summer again. I also just wanted to share how grateful I am for all 4 seasons of the year for they all have a purpose, just like my decisions on my health journey impact my route, how fast I get to the end (goal weight) and whether or not I enjoy the journey. I have a plan and am sticking to it because I am worth taking care of myself and I really am tired of the yo-yo effects. I know there will be bumps or detours but I am trying to have a plan and not just react to the problems or potential problems that may arise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANBENT1963 9/3/2014 12:14PM

    Love the photos! When winter comes have you ever considered snowshoeing or cross-country skiing? Living in a 4 season state all my life I've learned to adapt...I am an outdoors person and can NOT and will NOT be cooped up in the house for 6 months a year due to imperfect weather. Fresh air is good for the soul regardless what the temps are emoticon I was lucky and found an almost brand new pair of snowshoes at a yard sale last summer for $25 can you imagine? I bet the owner paid at least $100 they are a nice pair of Kodiak's...lucky me! I took my grandchildren for the first time this February and we also went cross-country skiing together. The family that plays together--stays together (true story) have a great day!

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GETUP-N-GOGIRL 9/2/2014 10:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZANYGIRL1 9/2/2014 8:34AM

    I love walking outside too. There are so many beautiful things that you can see every day, and I love when I run into the neighbors and get to chat a bit!! emoticon

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SUNSHINE5268 9/2/2014 12:57AM

    what amazinggggggggggggggggggg photos, wow! emoticon

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STARLITNIGHT 9/1/2014 3:30PM

    I always enjoy looking at all the gardens as I walk by in my small town. I would rather walk 5 miles outside then 1 mile on a treadmill any day. I hope this winter goes okay, and is not to brutal.

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RX_2_RV 9/1/2014 11:31AM

    Love the photos!
So nice to get a more personal perspective on where you walk, my FitBit buddy. I also enjoy the simple things I see on my walks. I love to watch the birds...a real treat when I come across a road runner..."dinosaurs" DH calls them, since they are so pre-historic looking.

I don't have a dog now, but the neighborhood dogs still bark when I walk by...doing their job. emoticon
I usually say something like "hello pups" in a sweet voice and many times they stop or at least pause, I know this person?

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16TO10 9/1/2014 7:10AM

    What a cool idea. Thanks for the virtual walking tour. emoticon

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CHALLENGER15 9/1/2014 6:20AM

    Love the pictures, TC, and very good idea about looking at them this winter. I already know that I am going to make an order from a seed catalog this winter to have that to look forward to in the coming days as well. That was so much fun to receive!

Was Mercy sold to a corporate entity? We still have a Mercy in the Springfield, MO area - I much preferred the "St. John's" name that it was previously. My DB is in St. Mary's in our state capitol of Jefferson City, and I have been quite pleased with his treatment. IF we get him to Pensacola to live with/near my other sister, he has already been accepted as a patient by a doctor within a cardiology practice which also is under the church affiliation.

I am very excited to meet you, my friend!

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KAREN608 8/31/2014 11:03PM

    The rocks on the hill for drainage are so lovely!
Are their a lot of Catholic people in your neighborhood? I have not seen so many of the statues since I left Chicago where they were popular. There is a Catholic church in my town but their people don't seem to put up statues outside their homes.

Thank you for sharing the views from your walk with us!

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ELLIEJOSIE 8/31/2014 8:59PM

    I sure enjoyed your "walk" - thanks for sharing it with us. It is fun to see what others see as they walk, I may have to think about doing that too.

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ALICIA214 8/31/2014 8:24PM


emoticon for sharing your great pics..


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What a challenge means to me

Monday, June 02, 2014

Last week of the RV Enthusiasts group challenges ! It has gone fast this time. This blog is part of that last challenge. I am not as adventurous as some but I love to try new things sometimes. First time I joined spark, I did not find a group that I felt was "family". I just could not relate to them, some did not have challenges or support and as a result, I ended up losing a lot of weight on my own and leaving just to come back heavier than what I had left at.

This time around, I was lucky enough to find "my" Rv group and I just love them. They are a fabulous group of people that support one another through thick and thin. Some have known each other for years, some have left and returned. Some are newer members like me, but I feel like we are family.

The challenges are like a bonus. They help me focus more on the journey or task of the week rather than the life long journey, which can seem quite daunting at times. To have a goal of 324# down to 130#- 150# is darn right scary at times. I enjoy the challenges whether I do well or not. It is learning about something new and testing myself to see if I have what it takes to make it through those challenges, that helps me focus and see my journey as one day at a time instead of the "life long diet" mentality that occasionally rears its ugly head.

I also get to see what helps me along my journey, what is not as helpful, and that we are all human. We do well, we fall down, and we pick ourselves back up. That, in my opinion, is what life is all about. We improvise, we overcome, we willing adapt to succeed in our spiritual journey through life and for me that includes taking better care of ME. I am all about taking care of others being a nurse, but I have found out the hard way, I do not want to be a burden to anyone else, so that means taking the time to make me a priority and get to healthy and stay there.

I think it is hard to run a spark group all by yourself and I have the utmost respect for Sharon for doing it and again, bonus, that she does it so well. I love these people and truly feel blessed to be part of this family. Thanks friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANBENT1963 8/27/2014 4:25PM

    I hope that we, too, (Black Panthers) will be a "family" group for you and that together we can rock this challenge and also make some great friendships in the process. Looking forward to getting to know you! emoticon emoticon for joining the Blue Team! Together, we can do this!


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STARLITNIGHT 6/14/2014 6:04PM

    That is wonderful TC, we all want to feel like we are Norm in the show Cheers. Were everyone knows our name, and they are always glad you came. Best Wishes

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NOILEDNWAD 6/12/2014 10:58AM

    The groups at SP are such a benefit! I'm glad you found a group that resonates with you! And I love what you get out of the challenges! emoticon

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BOOBERRY 6/8/2014 10:16PM

    Love having you for a part of this team your are so encouraging and up beat love your spirit keep up the good work

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FANNYMANSON 6/4/2014 1:58PM

    Positive support really does help! Glad you found a great team to motivate you!!

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BOOBERRY 6/3/2014 11:02PM

    Tc all though you just joined us a while back you feel like part of the family I enjoy reading all your good saying and you encourage everyone to do their best and pick themselves back up . So glad you came to our team keep up the good work on your weight loss journey emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/3/2014 11:03:31 PM

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    Proud to be part of your team :)

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GLASSART43 6/3/2014 5:20PM

    I really like this quote from your blog,

"We do well, we fall down, and we pick ourselves back up."

Not quitting is important to me, thank you for expressing yourself so well!

emoticon emoticon

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ZANYGIRL1 6/3/2014 9:22AM

    Good teams are hard to find sometimes, but when you do, it helps so much!!!! emoticon

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    A team is only as good as it's members and you do our team proud! You are an inspiration to so many and we love to see you and your mom reaching weekly goals and becoming healthier every day! We enjoy being supportive and love to encourage you. I hope I can continue to motivate you as well.

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    That's great that you have found something so supportive!

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CHALLENGER15 6/2/2014 6:33PM


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RUTHANN05 6/2/2014 5:55PM

    You have a great way with words. Thanks for being there for us too. We welcome you with open arms to our family.
This is the only way to go. with friends and Family.

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    Finding the right team is so important

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MTN_KITTEN 6/2/2014 5:04PM

    We are gonna get there ... one at a time!

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    You'll get there! I started at 320 and am now 112 lbs lighter. YOU CAN DO THIS!! We are panthers! Hear us roar!

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FOXXYROXXYD 6/2/2014 4:09PM

    emoticon and you are Freakin' Awesome!

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MASTERCARE 6/2/2014 3:07PM

    They are a good group of people...they are....but you know what? So are are apart of those people that are friends and family.

Proud of you!

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Vision of my future

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I think everyone struggles at one time or another. Negative Nellie gets very loud in my head sometimes and if I am in a good place, I can tune her out but let me be under just a little stress or be a little tired and she becomes quite pushy, takes over and I end up binging or not exercising. This can last hours, days, months or years, depending on where my head is and whether or not I can see my future (goals).

I have been strong in the past, lost a lot of weight a few times, and have put it back on. I have always had the high blood pressure and high cholesterol but now the kidneys and diabetes thing has cropped up. I knew it could if I did not take care of me. I foolishly ignored my own fears and continued doing everything in my life the easier softer way. I ate out too much ( too much fat & salt), I sat around too much (surprised I did not get a clot), I chose to blame everything in my environment but me ( insert excuse here). I ignored the situation until my legs swelled up and I could not breathe (think congestive heart failure).

I am 52 and am way too young for this kind of crap. I have not worked this hard for this long to retire and die. I want to travel and see the states. I want to hike, swim, and if I can conquer my fear, zipline. I never made any plans or goals. I just let life do what it would or could given my health and size. Well, let me tell you, my head is in the game. I am an active player now. I am taking that bull (poor health habits) by the horns and I am flipping him upside down. I am in charge.

I still have days or hours where lazy tries to sneak in and on those days I have a plan. I look at my vision board. I say my mantras or positive quotes. I look in the mirror in my eyes and ask what is my reality right now ? What will I do right now ? Do I want to be in that bad pace again where I can not breathe, I can not walk, I can not tie my shoes, I may have to have 6 people to lift me into the ambulance ? It is cold and hard but that is what I need.

My mantra's change but right now, these are some I use. It brings me focus on those days I feel blah, do not want to exercise, am craving sweets, feel bad about my body, etc.






I MOVE TO STAY HEALTHY ! (which saves me money in pills and Dr. visits).


I SEE MYSELF HEALTHY FIT & FLEXIBLE ! This one helps when I am being negative about a particular body part.

MY BODY NATURALLY SHEDS UNNEEDED FAT ! Love this one, that means I do not have to work, right ? WRONG !


Live in the moment. Be kind to yourself. You only have one body. It is your house. Keep it clean with healthy food. Move it to clean it and get rid of toxins. Remember food is fuel and we are becoming like the hybrid cars and require much less fuel to be more efficient. I do not want to struggle with my health for the rest of my life. I want to be excited in every moment my God and angels bring me. So, for now, this is helping and I will continue to educate myself and try new things. Keep sparking friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESHARA43 6/4/2014 11:56PM

    How can I say this but here it goes, Wow, Awesome and it is truly motivating, You have a great perspective on life. Your Blog is really and truly full of Determination and I will read more from you. Thank You so much for sharing your wonderful Blog with all of us

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IMGLAMRUS 5/21/2014 6:54AM

    What a GREAT a blog!!! Thanks for mantras, you're such a positive person and such a great motivator. Keep working for the prize....A healthy lifestyle!!!!

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FOXXYROXXYD 4/26/2014 12:08PM

    Right on my friend! YOU are an inspiration and you are ROCKING this journey!

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FANNYMANSON 4/26/2014 12:33AM

    Yes. Weight loss is a mind game as much as a food/fitness game. You are on the right path! Keep pushing!

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TROOPER1961 4/24/2014 7:48PM

    I am so proud of you 2!! Keep up your focus,, you are doing awesome!! emoticon

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TAMNIOWA 4/24/2014 12:24PM

    I so get this blog. You and I have a lot of the same thoughts. We can do this we are worth it. Never give up.

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JCARR75163 4/23/2014 1:20PM

    Daughter - What a terrific blog!! When you lost all that weight years ago I was so proud because you became so pretty on the outside (always were beautiful on the inside). But most of all I was relieved that you were getting healthy and active, giving me hope that you wouldn't end up with the health problems I have. When you regained the weight I worried constantly about your health and inability to be active comfortably. You have always been very generous and I am proud you have given away over 50% of your former weight. (I'm sure there are many people who actually could use some of that weight!) You have been such an inspiration to me. Thanks to you, I have lost 40 lbs., have brought down my cholesterol & BP and am able to walk more than 10 ft. without getting out of breath. You have a great attitude toward living a healthy life and judging by the other comments it is infectious! I hope there is no cure for it :) Love you, Mom

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BOOBERRY 4/23/2014 10:39AM

    Great blog TC You are doing so good keep the positive thoughts going and stay strong you can do this , we all can just one meal one day at a time. And enjoy the life God has given us to the fullest. Thank you for the great Blog & sharing your thoughts with us emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PANFRIEDTROUT 4/23/2014 1:05AM

really good blog. it can be discouraging to lose weight just to have it come back but it sounds as if you've had a big reality check in your life. sometimes that's what it takes to get going & not look back.

it helps that you have goals and a plan for those moments of weakness.

keep going!!

Marie (Legendary Lemon & Determined Daisy)

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MARAGRAM 4/22/2014 10:15PM

    emoticon and emoticon

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STARLITNIGHT 4/22/2014 7:07PM

    I liked your Blog! You are fierce, you are strong, and you are one of my most favorite sparklers! Thank you so much for this blog. I have my target back in sight. Because you kicked my bottom into gear last night, I have almost 5 miles in already today. You ROCK!

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CHALLENGER15 4/22/2014 6:22PM

    TC, I hope this gets enough "Likes" that it makes a Blog of the Day post.

Very, very, very good, my friend.

Zipline - they do have some in Branson..... emoticon I will ask my students which one has the most training of the attendants....

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RX_2_RV 4/22/2014 12:42PM

    Thanks TC. I needed to hear all the things you said just now. Isn't it funny how the guidance shows up, when you need it, if you are paying attention.

I can feel the fire and determination in your words. It is practically jumping out of the page! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, your struggles, and your determination to do whatever it takes to have the life you want. You are right. It IS your choice. It IS my choice. We have the power...we make the life we choose through a combination of our actions and our inactions.


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BSTMAMAS 4/22/2014 12:42PM

    What a wonderful blog TC. I can so relate

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SHARONSPARKLE 4/22/2014 12:22PM

    TC - thank you so much for this blog! I feel like you were writing it for me. I see myself in all you say. BUT, I am also tired of being obese and unhealthy. You give me hope that I can also change my destiny! I will take it one day, one meal at a time and enjoy the journey along the way to my final destination.

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Still on track & celebrating me

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I am feeling so blessed. The past few months have been a whirlwind. There has been so much happy today, I can hardly stand it. I am celebrating me by sharing my blessings. I hope you do not take it as bragging. I am learning it is ok to celebrate me some times, so while it is a new feeling, it is also a good feeling.

When I joined The Living healthy Iowa Challenge through work, i never imagined we would win (my 72 year old mom & I). I did not even know they had prizes. I just knew I needed something to keep me motivated to continue on my healthy path and I had to have another person to make a team.

Mom was wanting motivation to change also so I added her as my teammate, introduced her to Spark and we got started. I never knew how motivated she could be when she had a goal in mind. Well, she sure showed me, and a lot of others. She is down 38# and 3 dress sizes in 10 weeks.

I "relearned" that there is a direct relationship to how much you lose, how much you move, and how good you can feel. I knew this. I needed a reminder because I was only doing 30 minutes of easy exercise. I am still doing only moderate exercise but now 60-90 minutes, and I am being more consistent with strength training. I am happy with the energy I have now. I still get winded easy but not as fast. I walk faster and definately farther.

I have worn sweats for the past 2 years because of my weight. I bought size 32 jeans but did not like that they were being pulled down in back by my hiney being so big so I never wore them. Today, we get our prizes so I tried on my jeans. Since I am down 71#, I decided to try the size 28 first, 26... nope, 24...FITS !!! OMG, IT fits and I can sit, I can breathe. I am so happy. Talk about NSV. That is anawesome one.

I started my day attending a mindful eating class through work (part of a decrease in insurance rates). I learned more than I thought I would. I had my snack questions answered since I struggle with what is a good for me vs. what sweet do I want. was recommended by the dietician as a very informative site. I will check it out tomorrow.

I had some time before my health coach meeting (also through work), so I went to the mall and walked 45 minutes. Lots of people there and they were all smiling, happy, and EXERCISING. Go figure... another direct relationship.

Health coach meeting went well. My weaknesses are sweets (duh !) and I need to do more ST. I have a plan, I have the support of work, family, and Spark family. How can I fail ? I won't.

This time around, I am doing this for me, not to meet a guy, not to be promoted at work, not to fit in an airplane, and not to keep up with skinny friends. I want health and if that means I will still be overweight by BMI standards, then so be it. I can live with fluffy as long as I can move, breathe easy and still be active and have fun with the rest of my life. So today, I celebrated me and I feel good about it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN608 4/11/2014 10:36PM


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TAMNIOWA 4/11/2014 10:08PM

    Way to go! I love NSVs. Keep it up you are doing great.

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SHARONSPARKLE 4/11/2014 12:44PM

    Have I told you lately how proud I am of you! Both you and your mom continue to be an inspiration for so many. I have no doubt that with all the support and knowledge you are gaining through these classes, you will reach your goal and we will be their to help encourage you along the way!

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PDQ1203 4/11/2014 9:44AM


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TROOPER1961 4/11/2014 6:40AM

    emoticon Amazing job TC!!!

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SOON2BCOURTNEY 4/10/2014 11:37PM


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BOOBERRY 4/10/2014 11:19PM

    Congratulations TC I am so happy for you sound like you have a good plan and advice from work that is so helpful.. again congrat s and I love your positive attitude keep up the good work emoticon Brenda

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MARAGRAM 4/10/2014 11:10PM

    emoticon You are making fantastic changes and are improving your outlook as well as your health!

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STARLITNIGHT 4/10/2014 9:16PM

    I know you will get there, you have the right priorities and attitude! I am doing the same and it feels so much different than any other time I have tried. Because this time it is about increasing health into every part of our lives.You are an amazing person!

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RX_2_RV 4/10/2014 9:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for sharing your joy! It really comes through the page. I am soooooo happy for you. You earned this!
Keep up the good work!

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RAPUNZEL53 4/10/2014 9:12PM


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Emotions rampant = move more.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Today is an odd day. I am crying at happy, sad, laughing at happy. I feel off somehow. Emotions are up front and speaking out. I probably need to burn some energy. Some people I know are going through rough times, like we all do but they are finding it hard to see the light, the positive, that changes us and makes us who we are. I wish I could help more but I can not. They need to see it and embrace it and learn from it and all I can do is pray they do. Facebook is wonderful and horrible all in one. It is hard to not get caught up in the drama that is always being expressed. This day is testing my "tolerance goal". I am not in their shoes, I do not see their story, I can not judge.

I know part of my emotions are because I am doing everything right but the scale goes up, then down, same 4 pounds past 3 weeks. The number does not define me. It does not rule my day. It does sit on the back porch of my mind and occasionally the swing there moves and catches my attention and I have to turn back towards the future and my dreams & goals. It is distracting and I need to stay focused.

I will remind myself change takes time and I have time. I am in process like a file on the computer. I am growing and getting healthy one day at a time. I know moving will better my mood so I will go and exercise now and get some emotions out the healthy way and who knows, maybe that scale will be lower tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBBUL67 3/10/2014 12:52AM

    It is really hard to keep pushing forward when you feel that way! I'm sorry also to read about the loss of your pet. They are our furry kids. When I lost my Ashlei a year ago, it was rough. Sending you positive thoughts to emoticon through the ups and downs, you have a strong drive to succeed and you will!

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KAREN608 3/6/2014 10:49PM

    Exercise is the best mood enhancer! That is why I walk in place, I feel better. My cold is about gone. LOVE how you write. Back porch of your mind! Sigh so poetic.

FB... the only drama I had slightly was my step grand daughters defriended me since the 'real' naughty gramma is slightly online and so I laugh and be glad for her. They are in the big drama years in early 20s, and I don't think I want to know. They are five hours away and a world away.

Maybe the scale won't move but you will be more fit, energetic and healthier which is the most important of all.

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STARLITNIGHT 2/7/2014 8:11PM

    Great attitude, I am trying to walk through all my ups and downs mentally about the scale not moving fast enough myself. That's all we can do, go forward, because we do not want to go back!


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CHALLENGER15 2/7/2014 3:46PM

    Yes, that exercise does help those endorphins, doesn't it? I think that is one reason that I am now such a walking fanatic; I certainly would never have thought that I would see some movement as a necessary part of my day.

As for FB, oh my....I have a love/hate relationship with it, and if I am getting drawn into the drama, I sometimes I have to limit my time there. That's just me. I am SO glad that when I was younger that I did NOT have FB.

We can do this, my friend!

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JUSGETTENBY42 2/7/2014 3:34PM


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GETUP-N-GOGIRL 2/7/2014 3:30PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Wish we could sit, have a cup of tea and visit with each other!
. . . s u s y . . .

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