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Best compliment EVER

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today I was a stress ball because I had a HUGE meeting with a possibly very lucrative client and if it went well it could be very good for me financially and with my company because it would give me cred and make them money. I went in with this huge spread of food ranging from our basic drop off lunches to full on hors d'oeuvres and items for more expensive events. It was very elaborate and the clients freaked out. They said never in recent memory had a caterer brought in a more amazing presentation and I already got 2 parties from them. Small ones but it is a great start. They are a large university in Boston and spend millions on catering a year so I hope they were impressed enough to be sending a chunk of it our way lol.
So at the end of the party I always ask people to take food to go so that I don't have to throw it away. With people starving in the world it makes me nuts to throw food in the trash. This guy was packing container after container and telling me how delicious everything was and he looked at me and said...

"How are you not overweight when you eat food like this all the time?" emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I still can't stop smiling. Today I have reached the point that to an outsider with no agenda I am normal. I can not even use words to describe how amazing that feels. I know I am still very overweight but this guy was not charming and did not have great social skills so I know he absolutely meant it. I laughed and said I used to be big but I am careful about what I eat now. I.USED.TO.BE.BIG

This rocks my SP friends. Lets do this and lead the lives we were meant too. This life is a choice and the rewards are worth it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 10/11/2010 9:42AM

    That is a tremendous compliment. Bet you are still on Cloud 9.

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KJCIPSWICH 10/10/2010 5:52PM

  That is so great you earned it. Congratulations.

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BLUETIGGER33 9/29/2010 12:37PM

    That is so awesome. I think those are the best compliments. When people don't have a clue that you used to be bigger and are surprised that you aren't when you are surrounded by lots of yummy food.

emoticon

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SANDHSMOM 9/29/2010 12:09PM

    Awesome! emoticon emoticon


emoticon

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NEENSTER1 9/29/2010 8:01AM

    emoticon emoticon when a guy notices. Guys don't notice hardly anything. So yes it was a genuine compliment. emoticon smile on girl emoticon on. emoticon

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SEESTARS 9/27/2010 9:10PM

    I'm so happy for you! What an amazing "you made my week" compliment.

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ANAJAK 9/26/2010 6:31PM

    You are so right. Best. Compliment. Ever. emoticon

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ALOFA0509 9/25/2010 5:38PM

   
Mmmmmm.Hmmmmmm Girl you look Good!!! Your doing soo GR8, keep it up sista friend.. emoticon

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SARAHBBROWN 9/25/2010 2:53PM

    Ho great is that? Cool compliment!

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SARAHBBROWN 9/25/2010 2:53PM

    Ho great is that? Cool compliment!

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SARAHBBROWN 9/25/2010 2:53PM

    Ho great is that? Cool compliment!

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SARAHBBROWN 9/25/2010 2:53PM

    Ho great is that? Cool compliment!

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GRACEISENUF 9/24/2010 9:25PM

    Love it...I am woo-hooing with ya!

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CARILOUIE 9/24/2010 7:38PM

    emoticon

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JANLEH 9/24/2010 7:34PM

    So incredibly wonderful - I love the compliment but I really love that your pride and happiness is shining through! Congratulations on your success!

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STARFISH619 9/24/2010 6:20PM

    That must have felt good to hear. It means you are absolutely doing something right!
Very happy for you and the positive energy that is going your way. :)

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COOKWITHME65 9/24/2010 5:57PM

    What a great story. emoticon

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SMOCKON 9/24/2010 5:23PM

    Were you wearing that black dress? emoticon So glad someone in the same room with you is noticing and commenting on your new bod. I mean, we can cheerlead and ooohh and ahhh, but we aren't right there with you and completely ignorant of your struggles. AWESOME!

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KARLYNCANDOIT 9/24/2010 5:04PM

    This is great!! Way to go!! And it seems as though great things will be happening for you~~

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HEALTHYONE2008 9/24/2010 3:14PM

    emoticon emoticon
Don't you just love those remarks!

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ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 9/24/2010 3:07PM

    Gotta love compliments like that!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 9/24/2010 12:27PM

    AWESOME!

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BTINTERNET 9/24/2010 12:09PM

    WOOHOO!!!!!

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BJW-FARMGIRL 9/24/2010 11:17AM

    I got goosebumps reading this! emoticon So great for you! I had a client here at my work today call me "Skinny Minnie". Now he knows what I looked like a year ago, so he was being nice. Doesn't it feel good? What a way to start the weekend. You go girl!

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LADYGWEN25 9/24/2010 11:08AM

    OMG that is SO AWESOME!!

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CYNDER 9/24/2010 10:45AM

    That is so awasome :)

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FRECKS96 9/24/2010 10:45AM

    Woot!

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GIRANIMAL 9/24/2010 10:38AM

    This is awesome! emoticon



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PRETTYINPUNK_04 9/24/2010 10:10AM

    WoW, that must have been an amazing thing to hear! emoticon You deserve every positive compliment that comes your way as you've worked super hard emoticon

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MEL_UNRAU 9/24/2010 8:41AM

    That is great!!!!

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JENN26POINT2 9/24/2010 8:39AM

    Congrats! That's so cool!

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KJDOESLIFE 9/24/2010 8:39AM

    Fantastic!

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KATHLOW 9/24/2010 8:21AM

    great! gotta love that guy:-)

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LITTLEONEJLC 9/24/2010 8:16AM

    emoticon Very cool!

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POOKAQUEEN 9/24/2010 8:11AM

    Wow! That's so awesome! Good job on all fronts, good job!

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SERENEART 9/24/2010 8:01AM

    Woohoo!!! Congrats! emoticon

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TREASURINGLIFE 9/24/2010 7:48AM

    That is freakin' AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

- Michelle

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MRSSIBRAT 9/24/2010 6:36AM

    such an amazing compliment and you deserve it! you look great!!

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AMOHAME2 9/23/2010 10:22PM

    AMAZING!!

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RHONDA_11 9/23/2010 10:10PM

    emoticon

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MADEMCHE 9/23/2010 10:07PM

    I am so thrilled for you Ash! That is amazing news, and it is so true! You are fantastic woman and I am so happy that other people are seeing the same thing that we all do! Love you!

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ROBINSNEWNEST 9/23/2010 9:32PM

    Congratulations! Seems like you sure deserve the amazing emoticon you're creating for yourself... emoticon

sending you big emoticon --
Robin

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UHYEAHABOUTTHAT 9/23/2010 9:30PM

    That's so cool! Good for you!

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MCSNYDER1 9/23/2010 9:27PM

    I got chills reading this!!! I am thrilled! You had a great day. You impressed people who can be important to your business. YOU got a great compliment that YOU deserve!!!!
Now, take the confidence that you regained today and use it to MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!!
You have helped to relight my spark!! Thank you!!!
Mary emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/23/2010 9:23PM

    I would be high on that comment for a month! You have to be reeling... still!

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MSANITAL 9/23/2010 9:17PM

    I think that is amazsing.. good for you.. and you know the more you look in the mirror and say that to your self every day ove and over and learn to love your body you will be more amazed.. keep up the good work..

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BIGMAMAT 9/23/2010 9:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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REM-CYCLES 9/23/2010 8:59PM

    Congrats - you're making consistent progress... emoticon

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BARBARACT 9/23/2010 8:58PM

    That is an awesome compliment! emoticon

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AMYHOLLIDAY 9/23/2010 8:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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I lost sight of why I was doing this

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It is no secret I have been frustrated with the process this month and have been struggling with not losing as much as I would like and seeing my weight yo-yo around on the scale. Yes, last week I lost 3 lbs which was my first significant loss all month only to see 2 lbs back on the day after. Last night I was grumbling to myself about it and then I realized I had slipped back into diet mode. Trying to see how far I could push it and "still lose weight" not watching my portions enough, mindless eating "this bite won't hurt me". I started to see glimpses of the old me and it scared me. I haven't been feeling so great and then it hit me like a slap in the face.
I have not been eating healthy the way I was when I started. I ate those darn swedish fish yesterday and so many people were kind and told me its ok and to learn to work them into my life. The reality is I don't want them in my life. I want to eat healthy because it makes me feel better physically and emotionally. I don't want to pollute my body with synthetic chemicals and colors and all that dang sugar. I had reverted to my old diet mentality of sneaking "bad" foods and not worrying about my veggies or the fat in a meat. Yesterday when I looked at my tracker I was embarrassed by my macros. I ate about 60% carbs and it was all due to sugar. I don't want to live a life of worrying about calories but not the quality of the food I am eating.
SO, my plan is to stop focusing so much on calories again and back on the quality and freshness of my foods. Get back to basics and drink my water and not worry so much about my scale. I will have my fiancé hide it if I have too!

On a different note I got a call last night at 10 PM. My gym was served a cease and desist notice yesterday from the court. Apparently they have been fighting with their landlord over something and without their knowledge he went to court and got their business shutdown. They literally padlocked the door. The owners are friends of my mother's and she works for them part time as a trainer. They were hysterically crying and saying now they have no income etc and can't even take their gym equipment somewhere else until all of this is resolved. I feel awful for them and for my mom who is out over a thousand dollars and all of our friends who paid for their memberships. I luckily didn't have a lot of money with them so the worst I lose it my gym! I am pretty upset about it and I haven't found one near my new place that I have wanted to spend that kind of money to join. I refuse to spend 80 a month for a gym membership. Not going to happen. Saturday my fiancé and I are going to look at a bunch and make a decision as I can't let it go for too long. Mostly why I am sad is this was the place I went to spend time with my mom and some friends I won't see otherwise. Huge bummer.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMANTHAJT 9/29/2010 5:32PM

    I have been struggling lately...I like your honesty in all of your blogs, so thank you for sharing. Also Congrats on your success so far.

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MAURAK 9/23/2010 10:47PM

    Great blog post,,, as so many have mentioned, Where's your background photo from? It reminds me of Spain.

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REM-CYCLES 9/23/2010 9:03PM

    Your post here is great - we all hear the phrase "such and such -- is like a journey"... besides how canned it sounds, this is the truth. And on a journey, we occasionally have to refer to the map - get our bearings and that's what you are doing.

I'm having to do the same thing - I got more sleep last night, I was so exhausted yesterday. I'm doing better today and I think the running theme behind all you wrote is focus on the long-term of this journey, the basics, the "why" we do it, for health like the points you mentioned

Thanks for the blog

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BLAHNIK27 9/23/2010 7:00PM

    I'm with you about losing focus this month. I've decided to write it off, and have an awesome October.

And i've had my husband hide my scales on several occasions :P


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MCSNYDER1 9/23/2010 2:42PM

    Ashley, I'm sorry about the gym, especially where your mom is concerned.

But, as far as YOU, my girl, we could be twins. I have been eating like a crazy woman and rationalizing it by telling myself idiotic things like, "you walked and ran over 4 miles today, so eat that entire pizza--you deserve it!" or " you walked 9,000 steps at work today, so go ahead and skimp on your fitness tonight."

Well, it has caught up with me, too!

I am checking into 2 things---a book called Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. It's about mindless eating--you know, eating because the clock says to even though you are not hungry, that kind of thing. There is also a website called WhyAmIHungry.com. It's along the same line. SP has a mindless eating team, but they don't seem very active and I'm on enough teams already.

The 2nd thing is Clean Eating. I eat way too many processed foods and the sodium is ridiculous! I am overloaded on carbs and not getting enough of the fiber that I need.

If you would like, we can share our experiences, moods, eating (good and bad), or just vent. I would be glad to be your cheerleader! And Lord knows, I could sure one!

Come on, let's make it happen--together!!!
Mary

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLY-EVA 9/23/2010 11:22AM

  So sorry about your gym. Look into Planet Fitness if they have them in your area. Its $10 per month and open 24 hours. They have tons of equipment and everyone is so nice there. Prior to Sept 30 there is no registration fee which is normally $30 I believe.

Good luck,



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MAMADWARF 9/23/2010 11:16AM

    Sounds like a good plan, Ashley. You are right, do not get into diet mode, that is a sure fire way to fail! That sucks about the gym, hope things get worked out for all of you!!

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JENN26POINT2 9/23/2010 10:06AM

    If I may, I would like to recommend Anytime Fitness. I pay $30 a month for 24 hour access to ANY anytime fitness gym in the US. It's a great deal, really. unfortunately, it requires a 2 year agreement, but that being said, you're allowed to use ANY of their facilities across the country. Good luck getting your gym back.

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MAIA2011 9/23/2010 9:39AM

    I am so sorry about the gym. This is the kind of thing that sends me around the bend. I think you are better than that, though, so good luck finding a new gym. You can do it!

emoticon

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COSMOS 9/23/2010 9:33AM

  Once you focus on quality and freshness of your food the desire for Swedish fish will decrease. You've got a good plan to re-focus and recharge. Good luck finding a new gym!

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SMOCKON 9/23/2010 9:20AM

    I think you are right on target with the healthy eating versus simply counting calories. Sorry to hear about your gym. What a bummer! I'm sure you can find something else that meets your needs, though.

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AEBROWNSON 9/23/2010 9:08AM

    I hope the gym situation is resolved quickly for your sake and for your mom's as well. I know how important the act of going to the gym is for me...I just can't get motivated to do DVDs or use the equipment I have at home--like the Wii. I'm sending good thoughts your way that you find a new gym on Saturday.
Regarding the Swedish goldfish...I know you can get over this hump...if you keep working the program, the weight WILL come off and the sort-of plateau will be over. I had six weeks of losing only a little bit, and now two weeks straight of losing 3 pounds. It will happen! emoticon emoticon

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TREASURINGLIFE 9/23/2010 8:21AM

    Ugh - it's way too easy to fall back into our old ways, isn't it? Yeah - it sucks! Good for you, however, for realizing what's happening and getting back to the core basics of healthy eating and tracking. If you do that, and drink your water, the scale will eventually show you the signs - but in the meantime I definitely think focusing on what you're eating is going to be key. As you said, eating well makes you feel better, and it's obviously healthier...and that's what we're trying to become - healthier and happier, right?

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

By the way, $hitty deal on the gym thing. That's so sad for everyone involved. :( Good luck finding a new place!

- Michelle

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SPOOKYTHECAT 9/23/2010 8:18AM

    OmG that is awful. I can't imagine what a pain it would be to have to find another gym, especially when you have friends & family there. I hope everything works out, in the meantime I hope you can walk, or maybe pick up a Yoga or Pilates class as a drop in somewhere?

I also can empathize with the food quality~ I know that I should be snacking on healthy veggies, hummus~ but choose ice cream bars. It's Weight Watchers so I think it's ok,
but I know my body needs protein & veg~ not dairy.

Wishing you well!!




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SHAWFAN 9/23/2010 8:13AM

    I'm sorry you lost your gym, and hope you find another to take it's place that is safe and responsible. I hope the owners get the problem resolved quickly.
I'm glad you recognized where you need to improve in your weight loss journey. emoticon emoticon

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/23/2010 8:08AM

    I'm really sorry about that situation. It's crappy. Maybe this is something where they can take their clientelle and start their own PT business? My trainer is proof you don't need machines to get a good workout, everything is done with your own body weight resistance. Chin up honey.

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New Goals and My Real Estate License

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It hasn't been a secret I have been struggling this month. I have lost only around 5 lbs which is really disappointing to me. I know some people will think "I would be so happy with 5 lbs" but at my weight that is not good. It should be at least 10. I have been doing a lot of thinking about why this is happening and I think I am falling victim to the 3 month curse. So many times I see people be so focused the first 2 months and have amazing results and then you start to let things slide. A few mindless bites here you don't record, 2 glasses of water less than normal, not tracking dinners and then all of the sudden the weight loss slows. Then people quit. Since this is a new life, not just a temporary fix, I have been putting a lot of effort into finding a balance that works for me. Baked goods and sugar are my downfall and I have been trying to find a way to incorporate healthy items into my normal diet that will give me that satisfaction I used to get from a donut or candy or other garbage. Even when healthy I find it hard to control portions. All I want to do is eat that entire loaf of pumpkin bread at home but I have been forcing myself to eat the right portion. I really wish I could understand why I lose all my self control in the face of these items.
My goal for myself this week is to figure out why I have this problem and a solution to work on fixing it.
I am going to be more conscious of the water
I am going to be more conscious of mindless eating
I am going to be more conscious of my portions

Then I will see how my weight loss goes from there. I still haven't found a local gym I like, the ladies gym was too small and yuppie for me, so I am seeing a privately owned gym this week that I have heard mixed reviews. You either love it or you hate it. Hopefully I love it. My fiancé is going to come with me some days, which I like, it makes me work harder when I feel like he is watching me. I am so competitive lol.

On the work front. I was talking to a lawyer friend of mine at the gym, he specializes in real estate law, and he was telling me that home sales are finally picking up again and he is so busy with closings that he is overwhelmed. Then he asked if I had reconsidered finally getting my real estate license. My line of sales, events for catering, took a really hard hit in the recession and about 25% of the people I knew in the industry got laid off. (I was one of them) Unfortunately, we still haven't recovered to the pre-recession levels and I am just not making enough money. I frankly don't think we will see a return to prior levels in the near future. I had been considering looking in a new direction in for awhile and had been hesitant with real estate because it has so many risks. The guy who sold my house for me, whom I loved, just opened his own company and he is doing quite well. The work as a team instead of individuals and if 2 people take turns showing a property they split the commission. Apparently they feel I have the personality and skills that they would be looking for in a new associate and I could do it around my current job. I got really excited because the money can be great in real estate and with part time there really is no risk. When I mentioned it to my mother last night, we have weekly check in chats, she immediately shot me down and was completely negative. She literally never leaves her house, eats out, goes on vacation etc because she doesn't want "to waste money" and she will never take any risks. I am exactly the opposite of her. You can't become wealthy by huddling around your nickels. It takes risk and hard work. Very few people acquire wealth through their 9-5 job. Her father was a CFO for a fortune 500 company and he invested very well. It makes me laugh that she she's him as her conservative financial example because the investing he did was very risky. I guess I am more like him than she realizes. It hurt me to hear her be so negative but I have come to realize that is just who she is and it isn't going to stop me from doing what I want to do. My fiancé is fully behind me and I am going to give this a shot. I can get my license in a weekend and I have an appointment to chat with the owner of the real estate firm this week. I love houses and I can't wait to get started. I know it won't be easy but I like the idea of some day not being tied down to an office and a 9-5 job. Anybody who is a real estate agent or a broker, I would love to hear from you. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANA_IS_BACK 10/12/2010 11:09AM

    First of all.... every family has it's "Debbie Downers". It took me a long time to ignore mine and I am still struggling with it. So, hugs to you.

Second, I am not a real estate agent, but I do work in the homebuilding industry. I was laid off almost 2 years ago from one homebuilder and spent about 19 months without employment. I am not mentioning that to discourage you, but rather encourage you because I was hired in August with another homebuilder and it does appear to me that it is picking up.

I also have several friends who are realtors. While they are split on whether the market is picking up or not, they all seem to agree that they are not exactly starving either. I know of only one who gave up her license and pursued another career.

Good Luck!

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GOLIGHTLY344 10/12/2010 10:59AM

    I'm a mom and I must admit I adore my 'Kids'. But they are adults who will live in the future and it will not be what I experienced over my life. Plus, their personalities and goals will impact their results. All I want is for mine to Live their dreams. I was really blessed. My husband and I enjoyed following our own dreams. We had a ball! We are retired and still have goals and fun reaching them.

And just save a bit of the income for the down times. emoticon

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SIMPLE_TAILOR 10/7/2010 12:16PM

    I know that my wife enjoyed it when she did it. Go for it!!!

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FARLEY_GIRL 9/23/2010 1:13PM

    Ashley, you got to do what feels right for you! It sounds like something you may enjoy and be good at. If you don't go for it, you'll never know!!!! emoticon

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CARILOUIE 9/23/2010 7:19AM

    Good luck!

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TRACYZABELLE 9/23/2010 6:01AM

    Sounds great .. you need to follow your heart

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ILUVTOTAT 9/23/2010 1:22AM

    That's great! You go girl!

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JENN26POINT2 9/22/2010 9:14PM

    I'd like to get into real estate and personal fitness training. Good luck and let us know if it pans out like you'd like it to.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/22/2010 1:15PM

    Ashley,
my daughter, also an Ashley, is a certified event planner. since she has moved back to the states it has been very hard for her to find work. so, i totally agree, you do need to supplement with another job. I think you would do great at real estate! and love it too! my Mom and my husband were both realtors and they loved it. i do wish that my husband would go back in to it for the entertainment value alone!


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MCSNYDER1 9/22/2010 12:48PM

    Go for it!!! My husband has a real estate license and only does it part-time. Just last week, he landed a big commission! They are not real regular, but they add up! I've thought about getting my license when I retire. Let us know how it goes!
Mary

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EXCUSELESS 9/22/2010 12:01PM

    I say go for it. I am currently looking into getting my real estate licenses as well. I've wanted to since I graduated high school (ummm 9 years ago) and I had so many people talk me out of it. I think now is the perfect time to get into real estate. I'm currently in nursing school but who knows maybe real estate is my calling. Good Luck!!!

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MAIA2011 9/22/2010 11:57AM

    Re: pumpkin bread. Pack up half and mail it to me here in central California. That will cut your calories by half.

Re: real estate license. Go for it! I have done sales myself--stockbroker, office supplies, automotive service--and I rock! If you are good at sales then you are good regardless of economic conditions. You have a great attitude and you will shine.

Re: negative moms. Can't help. I had to fire my mom from our weekly chats so I could recover from my emotional wounds. I am not sure if that is healthy but my anxiety level has gone way down.

Good luck!

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MADEMCHE 9/22/2010 11:45AM

    I am super excited for you and the real estate idea. I think you would be wonderful at it, you have a warm personality that will draw people in but you also don't take crap that will get you sales. I think you would be fantastic at it! Fingers crossed for you!

As to the mom issue, I am sorry she isn't supporting you on this. Hopefully she will come around. Like you said she isn't a risk taker and that works for her. But that isn't you and you need to do what makes you and Alberto happy. That is what matters. And he is behind you, so I say go get 'um tiger!

Congrats on your 5 pound loss! I know it isn't what you wanted but it is something. I am right there with you in the 3 month rut. But together we will get out of it, kick our butts into high gear, and get back to losing weight!

Love ya!



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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/22/2010 11:15AM

    I think you're doing a great job with your weight. 5 lbs is 5 lbs. Even if it takes 3 months to come off! It slows and starts again, it'll get better. As far as the real estate thing, how do you know if you don't try? If you have as much passion for that as you do weight loss, you'll do great!

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LOOKY-LOU 9/22/2010 10:36AM

    I am an accountant and over the years have done the books for a LOT of Realtors. The ones that are good, are REALLY good and seem to do well no matter the economic climate. The rest...well there are a lot of people who just see the dollar signs...don't really care about what they are doing and they don't do well, ESPECIALLY when the economy is bad.

So I think the key is how much YOU want to do this. Obviously you have the right type of personality, but do you CARE about the people you sell to/for? Do you feel joy about matching a buyer with their perfect first home, or is it all about the cash?

I think you will always do better when you have passion for what you do...

Just an opinion...

As for the weight loss...5 pounds really is great! I know you will continue to do well, it has been so much fun reading your blogs and cheering you on....

Have a wonderful day!

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SMOCKON 9/22/2010 10:34AM

    First, I think 5 lbs. is great! Even if it's going slower than you want, you are still heading in the right direction.

As far as the real estate license goes--if you get the license and never sell anything, then you are out the money you spent getting the license. That's it! Go for it! I was about 35 years old before I realized that it was my mom who always doubted my ability to do something. She would say, "Are you sure you can do that? I don't know how you're going to do that . . . ." My dad was the one who said, "You could do that, Julie. You'd need X, Y, Z, but you could do it." I think our moms try to protect us, and that includes protecting us from the possibility of failing. As a mom myself, I can tell you that it's really hard to let your children do things on their own when there is the possibility that they will get hurt or get it wrong. As soon as she sees that you're doing okay, she'll come around!

Personally, I'd love to have you for my agent. Good luck!

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CYNDER 9/22/2010 10:30AM

    With regards to only 5 lbs this month, I've been at this for 2 months, eating good 90% of the time, a bit slacking on the Cardio (I am working on it) and I'm only down 7. IN the past at this weight I was able to lose that in one week.

Good luck with the RE license if you choose to peruse it.

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MAMADWARF 9/22/2010 10:29AM

    First of all, if you are not doing as good as you think you should, then I think it is good you are looking at what you can improve. I have not made the pumpkin bread because this week is hectic and I dont want the added temptation to eat the whole thing. I used to bake every week, cookies, cakes, brownies, breads etc... ( I also do a whole week bakathon in december for some companies we deal with. I am already worrying about it...LOL).
You probably just need to tightten up your eating and tracking a little bit and you will be back to where you want to be. I had a mini goal of 10 lbs in 6 weeks but I dont usually worry too much about how much I am losing as long as I am losing. I do want to be at my 50 pound loss by next Tuesday on my birthday.

Real Estate: I like it. I think in todays economy, you need to look at options and alternatives. You need to make your own destiny. You have nothing to lose by going for it. If it works out, there are a lot of benefits. If it doesnt, what have you lost? Not much, maybe some time but at least you tried. I would also tell Mom, thanks for the advice. I thought about what you said but I am moving ahead anyway. I will let take you to lunch when I sell my first house!

I am proud of you Ashley, You want a lot out of life and you are gonna go get it! Woohoo!

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CNICHOLE518 9/22/2010 10:27AM

    It sounds like you are on the right track! Keep up the good work and you will see results. (I need to follow my own advice!)


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SANDHSMOM 9/22/2010 10:16AM

    My father got his real estate license several years ago but never used it. Regardless of that he is still happy he got it because it is proving helpful now that he and mom are looking at moving. If you feel an interest in it and a push towards it and the person or people in you immediate every day life (like your fiancé)are behind you and you can afford it financially, go for it. You may find you niche in life where you are happy and successful and fulfilled. And if it doesn't work out it may still be worth it in the end. We all continue to grow in many ways every day. Good for you for consciously picking the way you want to grow today. I wish you worlds of success.

Also take the compliment to heart that they want you because they think you have the right personality for it. Obviously they see you as friendly, approachable, responsible, and trustworthy.
All wonderful traits. emoticon

Go-get-em!!!

emoticon

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40PLUSANDFIT 9/22/2010 10:03AM

    Sounds like the only risk you have there is you might make some money and you might actually like it. I would have loved real estate if I had stayed in it and it wasn't so crazy. The only downside I have to it, is the traffic since I live in the DFW area and you NEVER know when you get gridlocked. I love driving, I don't love traffic.

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GIANTMICROBE 9/22/2010 9:11AM

    My mother is very negative too. She laid into me when I quit nursing school to major in biology. Sure, I'd probably have an easier time finding a job as a nurse, but I would be MISERABLE. Money isn't everything. To me anyway. Good for you for going for it!

People do start to slip after awhile, and while it's important to stay focused, it's also important to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and have expectations, because sometimes things simply won't work the way you expect them to.

Have a great day today!




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COOKWITHME65 9/22/2010 8:52AM

    II was recently laid off also. I have a friend who has a real estate business down the Cape and said things are picking up also and mentioned I should get my license. I am considering this also.


With regards to only losing 5lbs this month. Its better than gaining 5lbs. I don't like sweets but my down fall is leftovers. So I now pack them up in individual lunch size tubberware containers and put in the freezer right away. It's not so easy to eat a frozen block of meatballs at 2 am when I get up in the middle of the night to use the rest room and take a peek in the fridge just to see whats there. I may grab a pickle, a cheese stick or a glass of diet cranberry juice instead. So far this has helped me.

Good luck on your gym search and keep me posted on your RE liscence. I think its a good idea. Don't listen to your Mother. Mine said the exact same thing.

-Kristan emoticon

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Relearning to cook: Pumpkin Muffins/Bread

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last week I made Pumpkin muffins with the intention of blogging about them and frankly, they sucked. One of the things I hate about healthy baked goods is that chewy texture they get. These muffins had very little pumpkin taste, chewy outside, spongy dry middle, and they really weren't worth the 164 calories. So I decided not to bother to blog about them once I made this next recipe.
I used to bake wedding cakes professionally and baking is something that has always been close to my heart. The thing I miss most about eating healthy is pastries and muffins etc so I am determined to find some recipes that I can enjoy. Some people have emailed me and told me they really want to learn to cook so I am going to use a lot of detail. Baking is a precise science so be careful in your substitutions if you decide to change the recipes.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Yield:2 loaves for 32 servings
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin (if you can't find pumpkin near you mashed sweet potato or butternut squash would work)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup fat-free vanilla pudding ( I used fat-free greek yogurt)
4 large egg whites
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used more like 3)
1 tsp ground clove (not in original recipe but I think it really added something)
1 tsp ground ginger (also not in original but again added something)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate (I left them out but the recipe had amazing reviews with them so if you are a chocoholic try it out and let me know how it is)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees bake

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

When you first put all this stuff together it looks really oily. Do not leave out the oil to lighten it because it will affect the crumb of the cake and make it really dry.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, clove, and ginger in a medium size bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make sure to mix the dry ingredients it makes for even distribution throughout the batter. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. (Do not overmix it will make the bread tough) Stir in chocolate chips if you want to use them.

Spoon batter into 2 (8X4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Different ovens can run hotter or colder so keep an eye on it when you get close to finish time) Cool for 10 minutes in pans on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.


Doesn't that look amazing?

Calories per slice 152, fat 5 g, Iron 1 mg, cholesterol 0 mg, Calcium 10 mg, Carbs 26.5 g, Sodium 137 mg, Protein 2 g, Fiber 1.1 g

Rating
Taste- 5, absolutely delicious. Seriously this is the best low-fat baked good I have ever had
Visual appeal- 5, it tastes as good as it looks.
Time to make-2 at slightly over an hour baking time it isn't quick but it is all waiting time so no biggie
Difficulty-1 all items are easy to find and other than a boxed mix it doesn't get much easier
Texture-5 moist, delicate, exactly like a full fat version
Portion Size- 3 a little on the small side so it can be easy to overeat this item.

Overall, this is so worth it. I adore pumpkin items in the fall and with the dunkin donuts pumpkin muffin weighing in at 560 calories I haven't been able to enjoy them. This is definitely my new replacement. If you make it let me know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 10/6/2010 9:42AM

    We have a can or two of pumpkin in the cabinet that just might be calling for this.

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GIRANIMAL 9/21/2010 11:06AM

    I made a very similar bread this past weekend for a friend's birthday treat, and I want to share my surprise about how YUMMY and not chewy ( I hate that too) it was even though I substituted applesauce for the oil and half whole-wheat flour instead of all all-purpose flour. Baking's close to my heart too, so I was really pleased with this. Also: Chef Meg's zucchini muffins. Holy cow, they are soooo good and just about totally guilt-free!

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WORTHEYMOM 9/21/2010 11:01AM

    I can't wait to try. My family LOVES pumpkin bread! I will definately give the recipe a shot this weekend! Keep up the great work - cooking and weight loss!

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CYNDER 9/21/2010 10:35AM

    That looks yummy. I love pumpkin muffins in the fall (I usually cheated and use a can of pumpkin with a box of spice cake mix) and I'll have to try this out.

Quick baking question, do you think substituting pumpkin pie spice for the other spices might work? I keep that on hand for my oatmeal in the mornings, and don't think I have any of the others fresh.

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FARLEY_GIRL 9/21/2010 10:05AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this delicious sounding recipe!!!! I may just have to try it!!! emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 9/21/2010 9:17AM

    It sounds good enough to make me anxious for fall! I will certainly try it, but probably leave out the chocolate chips....

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BAYBELIEVER 9/21/2010 9:08AM

    This looks great! I will have to try. Do you put your recipes in Sparkrecipes?

Congrats on the weight loss too! That is fantastic!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/21/2010 9:05AM

    You know what is weird. All my pics disappeared....

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GIANTMICROBE 9/21/2010 9:00AM

    Thanks for the tip about stirring. I think I overstir sometimes because I am worried about not stirring enough, you know? I'll be more careful about that.

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JEREMY723 9/21/2010 8:52AM

    Thanks for sharing! Story in the paper says canned pumpkin should be in good supply before Thanksgiving. (Still out here from last spring.)

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/21/2010 8:52AM

    Wheat flour will also change the texture but it is worth a shot. I tried it with white flour to start but I would love to hear what you think of it with wheat!

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LADY_KATHY 9/21/2010 8:37AM

    What if you substituted wheat flour instead? : ) a little more healthified. : )

•*´¨) †
¸.• ¸.•*´¨)¸.•*¨) †
(¸.• ♥ Kathy ♥

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/21/2010 8:30AM

    16 slices in a loaf, it does include the chocolate chips in the nutritional information and I would not use apple sauce as this is already a lightened recipe and it will have a weird texture.

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 9/21/2010 7:37AM

    Sounds yummy to me!! I love baking as well.

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DEDRACD 9/21/2010 1:44AM

    Sounds delish! I just bought a pie pumpkin today so that I can make some yummy baked goods. Thanks for the recipe. About how many slices are in a loaf?

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/20/2010 11:46PM

    yummy goodness!! and it is going to be baking weather very soon! okay, it was 101 today, that is not quite hot enough to bake the bread in the car, but it's getting there!!

seriously, do the calories include the choc chips? also, can apple sauce be substituted for the oil?
i am NOT a cook, so i am always looking for easy recipes that i can doctor to suit my needs!

Thanks so much!!

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NOT_BIG_BONED 9/20/2010 11:32PM

    Looks good hon. I'm always trying new recipes like this... I'll try it for sure v

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GAGEJ11 9/20/2010 10:09PM

    Hey have you happened to try substituting the oil with applesauce? I have done that in many of my recipes it is really the only cool baking tip I know. My dad who is a fat loving sweet tooth kind of a guy loves german chocolate cake and we made him a cake with applesauce instead of oil and he couldn't tell the different that speaks to me haha!! Thanks for the recipe I will have to give it a try once I regain my control over baked goods lol

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/20/2010 9:51PM

    I left out the pudding! If you wrote down the recipe before sorry!

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MAIA2011 9/20/2010 9:28PM

    Hey! My quick bread never looks this good. WHATEVER!

emoticon

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JUST_SIMONE 9/20/2010 9:22PM

    That sounds fantastic!

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MADEMCHE 9/20/2010 9:12PM

    Looks amazing Ash! Totally going to have to try it! I have never made pumpkin bread, so I am super intrigued!

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BYTHEBOOKS 9/20/2010 8:53PM

    Wow that looks tasty!!

The extra spices you added sound perfect!



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MAMADWARF 9/20/2010 8:42PM

    Thank you Ashley, cause I was just looking for a pumpkin bread recipe that was less fat and calories! Woohoo!

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LOUFANJESSICA 9/20/2010 8:42PM

    oh wow - these look delicious!! definitely going to have to try this recipe out. thanks!

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Inspirational Story and Rant/Crisis Averted

Monday, September 20, 2010

I headed home from work today a grumbly angry mess ready to unleash the rant of all rants up all of you. I have been bottling up my feelings for awhile and I had just about boiled over. Then a friend posted this on facebook. Please watch it before you read the rest of my blog
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SbXgQqbOoU&

I sat in the bathroom, yeah I don't know why I like to cry in the bathroom, and I bawled hysterically through the entire 5 minutes. I cried because it reminded me how hard I have been working and why I am doing this. How far I have come. This past weekend I didn't eat out of control, I ate out but I controlled my portions and made good choices, I only drank 2 glasses of wine, and I still got up this morning and had gain 2.2 lbs. Now, I know all the reasons why this can happen, but it just sent me over the edge. Then add some personal problems, financial issues, work problems and I just lost my mind. I was ready to just give up. Then I got all of these awesome messages, spark goodies, texts from MADEMCHE (thanks girl, I love you) and then I watched that video and all the stress melted. I am doing this to be happy, to be inspired, to change my life and eating and quitting is not going to give me that life. SP is as important in this journey as the water, exercise, and eating right. Even on days when I am stressed I need to log on and blog it out and support my friends and it will keep me going. Thanks guys, I really need all of you today and it means a lot to me that you rallied to the occasion. I have to get over this need to be perfect and not admitting when I need help. Hugs, Ash

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 10/6/2010 9:09AM

    You mean other people have problems admitting when they need help? We should form a support group.

We are here whenever you need us.

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NEENSTER1 9/22/2010 8:41AM

    emoticon girl. emoticon for sharing the video. What an amazing inspirational story. It touched my heart to see that he did it just by running and no surgery. He did it the right way. Not a quick fix but just wanting to be happy with who he is. emoticon to. Keep up the hard, hard work. Your emoticon emoticon

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TRIP2HAPPINESS 9/21/2010 9:17PM

    That was a great video...when I saw it the other day it reminded me of what I am doing and why I am doing it. Everyone deserves a time to sit alone and just let it all out. I'm glad to see it made you feel better. emoticon

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BTRTHANEVA 9/21/2010 8:57PM

    ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DO IT!!!

Believe!!!

Star
t thinking about your own video for you tube... What's your finish line gonna look like?

In the mean time, your peanut gallery will be here to cheer you on!!!




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JUST_SIMONE 9/21/2010 8:12PM

    I watched that video too and it had the same effect on me. Sometimes we get so focused on the calories that we forget about the big picture. This video, to me, is about the big picture.

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SEESTARS 9/21/2010 7:29PM

    Great video! And I'm glad you are feeling better and focused on your overall goal of doing all of this to be happier. Go you!

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LOOKY-LOU 9/21/2010 2:06PM

    Wow, great video. Thank you for letting us all share.

emoticon

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FARLEY_GIRL 9/21/2010 10:12AM

    I saw that video yesterday on FB as well. Very motivational....definitely a rejuvenator....a help get your mojo back type video. It is possible for all of us to do it. We just have to have it in our heads that we CAN DO IT! WE WILL DO IT! WE ARE WORTH IT!! As a side note...I'd love to know exactly what was his entire exercise regime....from barely running to Iron Man in a year's time? WOW!! That seems almost unbelievable....especially when I'm whining about trying to start running for JUST a 5K!!!

Keep up the good work!

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COOKWITHME65 9/21/2010 8:00AM

    Hey from one Boston girl to another. Great blog and video. Thanks for sharing.

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 9/21/2010 7:46AM

    I'm glad you feel better. I could never have gotten where I am with out all of my spark friends!!

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BIGMAMAT 9/21/2010 7:09AM

    Wow. OMG. as I sit here this morning, crying like a baby, I am speachless. Thanks so much for sharing. I am inspired.
keep on your journey my friend. Don't let the stupid scale bring you down. You are beautiful! emoticon Tricia

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BRIAEL 9/21/2010 5:38AM

    Can't thank you enough for sharing that video, it's a really powerful message that we needed to hear.

I'm glad you're feeling more positive! You can do this! We can do this! We can all do this together! :)

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DSJB9999 9/21/2010 4:14AM

    thank you for sharing the story, it shows anything is possible!


emoticon emoticon

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ALOFA0509 9/21/2010 1:50AM

   
This video made me very emmotional too.. I was soo taken back becuz I've been in a Funk these past couple of days,, after watching this I seriously laced up and ran 4 miles in the RAIN!!! lol-- Hang in there sista friend, we got this-

Hugs,
Alofa

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GAGEJ11 9/20/2010 10:25PM

    I so desperately needed that myself today thank you so very much. Thank you thank you thank :) Now I have to explain to boyfriend why I am crying over that video lol

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MYOWNHERO 9/20/2010 10:24PM

    Absolutely wonderful! I loved this video!

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MNGIRLIE 9/20/2010 10:22PM

    I saw that from someone on SP just this past Saturday. Just fresh from my bummer of a week last week it was exactly what I needed. I cried!! I also was happy to see I wasn't the only one who cried when I looked at the comments.

I agree that it's an amazing video.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/20/2010 8:57PM

    Loved it! Thank you!

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JENN26POINT2 9/20/2010 8:35PM

    They busted me and wrote me up for using SP at work (I've only been working there since the 2nd week of June), so I have to stay away for a while and can only log in at home. I wish I could have been there for you today. :( I'm so glad you feel better.

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MAMADWARF 9/20/2010 8:02PM

    Dear Ashley, Thank you sooooo much for posting that video!! I am smiling sooo big and so hard that my cheeks hurt! I had tears in my eyes but didnt want to cry cause I might miss something. He is beautiful. I am so happy for him, I could scream. That was so powerful and talk about putting it in perspective! I love it and am so happy we got to be inspired too!!

That is going to be us. One day at a time, Princess. One day at a time. Jan

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CARMINACG 9/20/2010 7:51PM

    It is so easy to get wrapped up in the numbers and the stress of the journey but this video just said it all - were all in this cause we just want to get to that happy place where we are content and healthy. If you ever need anything please ask we are all here for you hunny! lots of hugs!

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MCSNYDER1 9/20/2010 7:49PM

    Oh, Ashley,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I also needed to see that. That video may be the most powerful thing I've ever seen! I am here whenever you need me!!!
Mary

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BNSPIRD 9/20/2010 7:37PM

    I know! That video is so touching!! One thing I have always found hard watching any movie about struggle is that you always see the end result within 1.5 to 2hrs. of time... but in reality, some of those struggles are years and years and more sweat, blood and tears than they could ever show on a screen! This video is touching and moving, but we have to still realize that it took a long road with lots of work... probably many days like you had, and I have had of wanting to give up... but instead, making the same choice that he made... you are keeping on going... good for you, because then you can get the results too!!

Keep going... it is sooooooo worth the journey! If we never struggled, how could we ever appreciate, I mean really appreciate our success!

Did you see his ironman story? I'm posting it here for you, if not...
http://bendoeslife.tumblr
.com/post/1044220739/august-29t
h-2010

emoticon
Rachelle

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CARILOUIE 9/20/2010 7:29PM

    OMG I cried like a baby when I watched that video. I saw *me* when I watched it. How much my life has changed... it's amazing. I might just watch it again. So thank you for reminding me of it and making me cry - AGAIN. emoticon

You are amazing. You are strong. You are worth it.

emoticon

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FUZZY1TOO 9/20/2010 7:27PM

    That's what we're here for, Ashley. Lean on us when you need a hand. We've all been there and we want to help you through your rough patches.
emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 9/20/2010 7:15PM

    I probably shouldn't have watched that at my desk at my office. It's hard answering the phones with a knot in my throat and tears streaming down my face. What an amazing video - THANK YOU for sharing that with all of us. For all the right reasons I needed to see that. My run will be a little easier tonight.

Thank you too for sharing 'You' with us too.

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PRETTYINPUNK_04 9/20/2010 6:54PM

    OMG such an amazing video! emoticon for posting emoticon It really gives me hope.

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BROOKDOESLIFE 9/20/2010 6:48PM

    This is what it's all about, and you are doing it. You are learning to overcome these little inconveniences and push forward.
I cried like a baby while watching that video and then I cried some more reading your blog. Just seeing how inspired you were from that video. You just gave me some inspiration today. Thank you for sharing this and your thoughts and feelings.
I hope that you have a great rest of the night.

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 9/20/2010 6:42PM

    Great attitude!! Here's to being happy, inspired, and changing our lives!!

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LJRW170 9/20/2010 6:40PM

    emoticon

Take care friend!

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TIGGERJEAN 9/20/2010 6:37PM

    Throw your scale out the window! It is not the measure of you or your success!

I know how out of control it can seem when you are really stressed. Please ask for help if you need it! We're here for you!
emoticon

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MADEMCHE 9/20/2010 6:35PM

    Love you right back! So proud of you!

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