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Good workout day and interesting discussions

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Went to the gym my mom works at today as I do every Saturday. It is nice to get out of the city and I like to see her. If I didn't go their I probably never would and my competitive side makes me work harder if I know she is watching me. So I headed over in the unbelievable heat again. I don't know when Boston turned into Florida but we are on like our 12th 90 degree day in the last 3 weeks. Yuck.
Strength training as usual to start and I could definitely feel differences which were great and my workout clothes are getting too big. It is cool to be shrinking out of them. I was starting to get upset because I am losing so much weight and don't seem to be dropping sizes frequently but I might be down another one. I am a little nervous to go try on clothes because I know if it isn't enough it will be demotivating for me.
For cardio I did my usual cycling which I set on a higher setting today and it was difficult for me. I decided to try something new today so my mom helped me try new machines. I used the stepper for all of 1 minute and seriously thought I was going to die BUT when I started at 345 I couldn't even get on it. I would step on and sink to the floor and couldn't even work the machine. Today I did 1 minute. I am proud of myself. Next week I will try for more. Then I did different types of elliptical trainers which I also couldn't do before. The first I tried for a bit but the motion was too weird and I didn't enjoy it. The other I loved because it has settings that I could work my arms or legs more and it counts it out for you. I liked it because it broke up my boredom. That one I used to finish my workout. I feel really proud of myself. I broke out of my comfort zone and wasn't too shy to do new things and I really pushed myself. Yeah me!
Then we had a healthy lunch and I brought up the whole "I will have baggy skin how do you feel about me having it fixed" conversation. I don't think the work I will need is really big but I would like to have my stomach fixed etc if it doesn't go back enough and I really don't think it will. I am not looking to be in a bikini. Just feel normal. She is pretty much totally against it because she feels any type of elective surgery is too dangerous and that I will shrink back enough that I will be ok. It hurts to know she disapproves so much but my mom is the ultra cautious type. Never takes a risk, never travels, pretty much lives in a bubble. I am still torn up about it. I know this is a hot topic issue on here and for good reason. Many of us will face this issue and it is a very personal decision. I have a long time to think about it so maybe I will have a clearer idea of what I want when it is an actual possibility.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMACUBA 8/5/2010 7:18PM

  I agree with BEARDMUSIC--you needn't work about it just yet. And there is really not point, as you may change whatever choice you make now!

You may also find that there isn't the amount of excess skin you think there will be. Shauna Reid of lost 175 pounds, and had no skin issues. Who knows what you may find your skin does?

If you do end up with extra skin, my personal opinion is that if it gets in the way of your life (whether physically, or in how you feel about it), you should do it, if you want to. Other people can have opinions, of course, but it's your body, your money, so it's your choice.

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PERFECTVELVET 7/22/2010 11:33AM

    Your mom might have a different view when you reach your target weight and approach the subject again; if you really do have horribly saggy skin, she might think it would be a good idea to have it. Time will tell.

Keep up the great work! You are doing wonderfully!

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AEBROWNSON 7/22/2010 11:21AM

    I just talked to a plastic surgeon last week about having a breast reduction (which I wish I'd had 30 years ago) and also a tummy tuck. One thing I know for sure, after losing 75 pounds (with about 30 left to go) is that 54 year-old skin is NOT elastic. The surgeon was SO understanding and informative. It might be worth it for you to just schedule a consultation at some point, just to find out what might be done. It is kind of scary (and also VERY expensive!) but if it helps me to feel better about myself after weight loss and helps me keep the weight off, then it's worth it! Oh, by the way, the doctor said that the amount of skin and boobs I would lose is around 12 pounds!

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MADEMCHE 7/19/2010 10:22AM

    Sounds like a great workout day. Congratulations on accomplishing so much from when you started! Way to go!

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KATHLOW 7/19/2010 10:04AM

    enjoy shrinking out of your clothes!

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BEARDMUSIC 7/18/2010 9:42AM

    Great job with the workout!!! Don't stress out over elective surgery yet. Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones that has very elastic skin!

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I entered 200-ville!!!!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

So today official marks my passage into the 200's. I am happy it is 298 so that I can officially say I am really here. It feels funny to so happy to be 298 lol. A little over a year ago I can remember going to the doctor and being weighed. I remember the shock and horror of being my highest weight ever. The enormity of how much weight I needed to lose was crushing. I remember thinking if I do not stop this now I will end up like my aunt, 600 lbs and almost bedridden. That day I started eating better. Not following a plan but making significantly better choices. Out went my morning mocha lattes replaced by iced coffee with skim milk, no more soda or juice. In fact unless it is alcohol, which I drink pretty limitedly, I don't consume caloric beverages at all. My mother is a trainer so I also started a strength training program and cross training for my cardio. Boredom is a huge obstacle of mine for exercising so splitting it into 10 minutes per machine helps me keep focused. I lost around 35 pounds that first year without much effort and I never felt deprived. The problem was I also was not giving it my all. Hence joining SP.
In just 2 and a half weeks on here I feel like my life has changed so much. I have lost 9.5 lbs and reached my first weight loss goal. I will have to take some pictures this weekend and post them on my page. I can really feel and see the differences.
I am not winded just walking around the mall.
I am not embarrassed to be at the gym. I feel strong and powerful and I can take on anybody.
I am so adept at reading the labels on food shopping for healthy stuff is a breeze.
I have dropped 2 sizes!
I am approaching my next goal of 50 lbs lost, just 3.6 more pounds to go!
I can accept compliments without brushing them off or not really believing them!
I can actually picture myself thin!
I am excited for the first time to shop for a wedding dress next summer!
I don't flinch when my fiancÚ tries to hug me around my waist. My weight is my self esteem issue not his!
I am learning to separate my emotions from food. Food is fuel, not a pacifier or a solution
I am excited about the friendships I am making on here and I hope that we continue to support each other throughout this process and through maintenance
There are probably so many more things that I will think of after I post this. I hope that I am motivating to others and I am even considering getting my master's in nutrition. Maybe this is the future for me? We will see.
Thank you to all of you for your support. You rock. I wouldn't be this far without all of you.

I knew I would think of something else!
I have learned to stop being so militant with myself. When I was being crazy and not eating enough calories I only lost .4 lbs. When I relaxed and ate within my caloric range, even having a night of being force fed fried food, I still lost 2 lbs. Balance is the key to this mentally and physically.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADYSONSMOMMY 7/19/2010 1:32PM

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! emoticon

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EMPOWERED2DAY 7/17/2010 11:51AM

    Congratulations!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEEMMOM 7/16/2010 6:58PM

    emoticon That is wonderful! I am so happy for you that you will soon be meeting your next goal! You sound motivated and it is an inspiration to me!

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BEARDMUSIC 7/16/2010 10:28AM

    You went from the worst day to the best day all in one week!!! You are doing so awesome - I can't wait to hear that you have met goal #2 next week!!! emoticon

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MSILVER94 7/16/2010 10:26AM

    YEEEEEEEAAAAA!!!! What an awesome milestone for you!! :) You're doing great! Keep it up!!

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MADDEELOU 7/16/2010 10:18AM


What an incredible blog from an incredible woman! You are doing so well. Way to go.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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ALESHABEE 7/16/2010 10:09AM

    emoticon I just know that you will continue to be successful on this journey emoticon

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KATHLOW 7/16/2010 10:04AM

    great job!Enjoy your victory

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LIZZY63 7/16/2010 9:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMAFATBOY 7/16/2010 9:54AM

Wow! What an amazing change to your mindset. Your story IS an inspiration to others- Good job, and best wishes for your continued success in meeting your next goal.

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THINKNPRETTY 7/16/2010 9:53AM

    You are doing a great job! Thank you for sharing, it is motivating for me as well!


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JLWOF1 7/16/2010 9:49AM

    Congrats on your weight loss so far! You sound so motivated, it's very inspirational! Keep up the great work!

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Yesterday started as one of the worst days I have had in a long time

Thursday, July 15, 2010

So the evil that was July 14, 2010 started as soon as I got to work. Clients calling with problems, a strange millipede infestation that the exterminator told us "will take a few days to clear up" and a lot of other nonsense. Towards the end of the day my boss decided to send out an interoffice email making me the scapegoat for her own actions and making me look an incompetent moron. I feel completely betrayed and I do not know if I can recover the respect I once had for her. I feel so completely belittled and demeaned. I give my all to this company. I work much more than is required of me and certainly do not get compensated nearly enough for what i do . To then be slapped in the face like this is just devastating to me. I also managed to slam my own foot in the door (how is that even possible) and broke completely off 2 of my toenails. I know it is vain but I am upset I basically can't get a pedicure for months.

In the evening was a welcome party for my niece who just arrived her permanently from Colombia. Initially when I spoke to my brother in law he had said we would be going to a restaurant and I was not too worried about my food choices because I assumed there would be something I could find on the menu even if it was just a piece of chicken and a salad. When I arrived at their house I was told, no, we would be having appetizers only at their home. I knew at that moment I was doomed. If you know a lot about Colombian food it is delicious, however, they fry everything including pork belly aka Chicharron. I was presented with fried calamari, fried shrimp, a huge plate that they call Picata which is a huge pile of french fries covered in chicharron, fried hot dogs, fried chicken wings, cheese, and a tomato and cucumber garnish emoticon. The salads were a potato salad with cut up sausage (I despise this dish anyway, sausage does not belong in potato salad) and tuna salad in fried tortilla cups. I can picture you all laughing right now and it really was like a comedy sketch. I figured I could get away with just picking at the food and not really eating anything but nope. It was noticed I was not eating and I could tell it was really hurting their feelings. I never want make my new lifestyle something so selfish that it becomes an annoyance to my family and last night I really felt as though I was making a scene by not eating anything. This was by far the most difficult food situation I have been in in quite some time. How do you find balance for doing what is right for yourself when it is insulting to people you care about? I tried to explain I was eating better and losing weight but I really felt like it came off as "thanks for all the crappy food you are offering me, it isn't good enough for my standards".
I learned a good lesson last night. Sometimes you can be too zealous about a new lifestyle. I refused about 30 requests to have a beer but I did end up making a batch of margarita's for everyone and I had a small portion, around 8 ounces. It made me feel less like an outsider.
Last night was also new in that I was with my fiancÚ's family without him and I was the only none native Spanish speaker. Usually I feel pretty left out as they speak rapidly and his city uses a lot of unique slang so I tend to not understand most of it. Everyone was so sweet and accommodating helping me with words I didn't know. I even made a few jokes in Spanish got a lot of laughs. I never would have had the courage to do that before. For the first time I understood about 70 percent of what was being said. It was exciting to feel like it is starting to finally sink in. I love the language and it is useful to have be able to talk to each other privately while in a restaurant or other situation.
All in all I learned that when you fall on hard times it is family that is there for you and that doesn't always mean blood. After an awful morning and being presented with the meal of my nightmares I was able to eat a normal portion (and not beat myself up) and I left in a much better mood than before. I won't lie. I did jump on my scale this morning to reassure myself I did not blow up overnight and of course I had not. I did log all my food and was upset to see I was about 30 calories over my range but once in a while is not going to kill me. I packed a really healthy breakfast and lunch for today and I will be just fine. Ok that is the end of babbling rant.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEEMMOM 7/16/2010 7:13AM

    emoticon Wow! What a day! I think you did well to only go 30 calories over! I'm usually wrestling with a couple hundred when I deal with my family get togethers! I'm glad that you were able to laugh and enjoy yourself at the end of the tough day. I think you are doing great!

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BEARDMUSIC 7/15/2010 10:18PM

    You were only over by 30 calories - that is amazing. Family situations with food are tough! I think you handled it like a champ. As far as work goes, everyone has those bad days. Keep thinking about the glass being half full and things will get better!

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  Man what a day you husband brought home doughnuts and slurpee from 7-11 and i looked at him in a bad way, he smiled and said what...i said are you trying to ruin my diet...he laughed it i guess im being more compulsive about my eating and it surprises people around me.I also had a bad day yesterday and just want to say keep your chin up and it will get alot better with hard work and dedication...happy for you..smiles and hugs

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MADEMCHE 7/15/2010 9:50AM

    I completely understand this situation with the food and I am so sorry to hear about the boss. Is she someone you can speak to privately about the situation and express your feelings or is is just going to make things worse? You did an really great job of mixing family demands and your new. Really. You did great and CONGRATS on the Spanish that is awesome. It just takes time and being put in the that situation is the only way that you will really challenge yourself and learn. WAY TO GO!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 7/15/2010 9:03AM

    I probably should have added I can actually cook Colombian better than they all do lol and I do know they offer healthy options. They just chose not too last night and I really thought we were going out so I did not just bring something with me. I usually do all the family cooking so I can control it but last night was a rarity. They are very supportive of me in general but it was a larger group and there we family friends I didn't know so I did not want to draw as much attention to my situation.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 7/15/2010 8:58AM

    WOW, that's really hard to deal with sometimes. I'm sure they all know how you've changed your eating habits, but on the same hand I totally understand how you felt like you were being rude by not eating. My husband is Greek and it's all about food with them as well. You obviously had made some good choices with only being over 30 calories and today is a new day, it's all about you again! Chin up Ashley, things are looking good!

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LOSIN4MYSELF 7/15/2010 8:51AM

    There are some wonderful, fresh choices in Columbian food. Obviously that is not what they are making though. Do you know any of you fiancee's family well enough to ask if they could teach you a healthy Columbian dish to bring to family gatherings? I think they would be impressed that you are taking an interest in their culture.

Great job of keeping yourself in control, and allowing yourself to shed the food guilt over a few extra calories. You did great in a bad situation! I am proud of you!


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JOANG13 7/15/2010 8:40AM

    Wow! At least you made the best choices in that situation. I would recommend talking to some of the family later on and explaining about your health goals - not weight, but health - and politely request to be able to bring other dishes into a family function like that to share with everyone. Sounds like they would be open and respond lovingly.
Good job (and by the way, at least it wasn't 1000 calories over!)

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TYCA41458 7/15/2010 8:39AM

    I completely understand everything you have been going through! I'm glad you were able to still celebrate with your family, have fun and LAUGH, especially after the hellish day at work. Keep smiling! You've got this nailed!

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QUEENMAEVE1285 7/15/2010 8:34AM

    Wow!....that is difficult. I think that if you don't explain the lifestyle change choice you have made though this problem will just keep happening. I know how hard it is normally, add in language and cultural differences and it is compounded. Remember, one day of choices is not the end of your journey. Back on track and best of luck!

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Confessions of a people pleaser

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I grew up in a household of super overachievers. Grandpa went to Harvard and Wharton, Grandma has a Masters from BU, constant stories of how our family is the best and brightest and we always win and I damn well better too. I also better be thin and pretty as well. I can not remember a time when anything I did at home was good enough. It was constant criticism. So in my outside life I became a people pleaser. I was the friend who would say or do whatever my friends wanted to hear so they would like me. Even as an adult I am constantly seeking validation from bosses, coworkers, partners, and friends. Car breaks down at 2 AM? Call Ashley. Best friend who doesn't speak a word of English gets arrested on a holiday? Ashley will spend 2 hours at the precinct translating and get chewed out by the Bail Bondsman. I never say NO to my own detriment.
As I am slowly making my way down this path of changing my life I realize during all this time I never stopped to ask myself what I needed. Did any of these people give back to me the love and support I gave to them? A few did but most did not. I read a lot of blogs. I don't always comment but one pattern I notice is always that we as women speak about our constant obligations and often the sentiments that we have no time left for ourselves. It made me think it is time in my own life I learn to say no. Last week my best friend was throwing a party for his boyfriend and I knew it would start late. They always do. I timidly told him I could not attend and he shot back a text that he really needed my support. Of course I quickly said I would go. It bothered me all day. I knew it would be bad for me. I knew I had to leave early and would not even get to have dinner with everyone. Why was I so afraid to say no? Sick to my stomach I called him with a firm no, I would be not attending. He wasn't happy with me but he said he understood. After the party came and went he told me that everyone was over an hour and a half late and they didn't even sit down to dinner until 9PM. I am still so proud of myself for sticking to my guns and not giving in. I would have been furious if I would have sat in a restaurant for over an hour and then had to leave. It was the first small victory in taking back my life and self worth. Did the world fall apart because I didn't attend? No. Did our friendship end because I didn't attend? No. Frankly if it had it wasn't a strong friendship to begin with.
From this point forward I have decided to stop being a doormat and start doing things for me. It is hard to even admit that I let "friends" walk all over me. I never realized that weight loss would be accompanied by so many emotional ups and downs. I guess it really is mostly a mental thing. I do have my doubts sometimes and I do have my desires to binge. A fight with my fiancÚ Monday night almost sent me into an eating frenzy. I was able to recognize it and stop myself but I was a little stunned by how strongly my emotions compelled me to go back to my old ways. So many factors in my life contribute to my weight and I feel like I am cleaning out the closet of all my emotional baggage. It isn't going to be easy but I am going to do this. I don't see any other way anymore. I want to be healthy mentally and physically.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISHKALA 7/16/2010 7:14PM

    What a fantastic blog!! I have the same problem, and it is amazing how emotionally draining it is being a people pleaser. It turns into a vicious circle, because it never fails - our good nature gets taken advantage of. Kudos to you for taking that first step!!! emoticon

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ZANNE71 7/14/2010 9:22PM

    Great blog! I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns and saying no. That's something that I need to learn to do, and hopefully the next time I'm in that situation I'll think of you, and stand up for myself too. Also, thanks for the kind words about my brother's melanoma. I appreciate the support!

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HOPERISING 7/14/2010 12:49PM

    Great blog. I am in the same boat, but making some progress. I always thought if I did what other people wanted, they would love me, value me and treat me well. It took me a long time to realize that I had just made an open invitation for people to use me. What I got was definately not love and respect. A couple months ago I realized I had to put a stop in it. No, Work, I will not work any more 19 hour shifts. In fact, I think I will not work weekends any more either. Sorry Sister, I can not baby sit for you because that is my Karate class, and I do karate for ME. Sorry mother, you will have dump your emotional garbage on someone else. Its a lot easier said than done, of course. I am a sensitive person. I hate feeling like I am disappointing someone. But the longer I put it in to practice, the more I see people treat me with more respect... I've lost some friendships, but I've gained a new type of friends, and our relationships are much healthier, much more reciprical. Just keep working at it!

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TREASURINGLIFE 7/14/2010 12:08PM

    Stand up for YOU - no one else will! Be strong. Stay focused. Realize that saying "no" does not make you a bad person, or a bad friend, in any way. YOU CAN DO THIS!! And great job on victory #1! :)

- Michelle

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TWOFIN 7/14/2010 11:39AM

    Great blog!! You nailed it, the people pleasing thing does me in too. It's all related to time for yourself and fitness, because usually it'll come at the cost of something else (I'll have to cancel an exercise class or it gets to be too late to get to the gym, etc.). At work, I made a decision to stop feeling obligated to go to all the happy hours for new people arriving, people leaving, someone's birthday, etc. Now I just write a card if I feel like it and only attend when I think I want to sit around for an hour with coworkers on a weekday and spend $25+ on drinks and bar food. It's trickier with friends... I'm glad you used the example. Still working on that one.

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MILNE81 7/14/2010 11:38AM

    I'm glad you stood up for yourself. A good book you may want to check out is "Boundaries". It may help you set more limits with people around you and help you do more that you want. Just a suggestion.

Good luck to you!

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AMOHAME2 7/14/2010 11:38AM

    Fantastic, this is a huge step! Being able to take care of yourself first will make you better able to take care of others in the long run! It's not worth it to you or anyone else if you are spread too thin. It's awesome to realize that true friends and loved ones will still be your friends even if you say no once in a while!

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CHANLSURFR 7/14/2010 11:38AM

    As a fellow people pleaser, I salute you! My own family wanted everything in my life to be perfect and you know what? I'm not and neither are they. After a few tummy twisting "no"s, it does get a little easier. i have stronger friendships for it. I am slowly finding out who I am and sometimes I hit highs and lows along the way. But I just keep on trucking.

Go get 'em girl. You can do this! emoticon

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ELLE4PETS 7/14/2010 11:32AM

    Good for you

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Why I love SP

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I have tried every diet known to man, with the exception of South Beach because when that one came out I had enough of dieting and just said screw it. I remember suffering through the heartburn of the grapefruit diet, being shaky and cranky through Atkins , eating nothing but junk and then starving for the rest of the day on WW, or the constant gas and bloating from cabbage soup. You name it I tried it and quit eventually. One thing they all had in common was I was hungry all the time, irritable all the time and as soon as I plateaued, I quit. Who wants to feel like you are suffering everyday? No wonder most people gain the weight back!
I think SP is the only one that focuses on nutrition above deprivation. Sure WW tells you, "you can eat more if you pick healthy items" but who really does that? SP is so motivating and I truly believe it the support we receive from each other. This is easiest to follow plan I have experienced because it is on my time. No meeting to worry about attending and fitting into my life. I don't have to pay for services I don't receive. We are all safe here. Sometimes when I reread my blogs I can't believe I told those things to total strangers but I trust I am safe here. That you all understand me and care enough to try and help me. It is a great feeling to know that at almost anytime I could come on here and someone would be able to lift me out of a mood. It is sad to say but a lot of that is missing in our everyday lives. I wish I had people I could trust that way face to face. Thank you all for the love. It is what keeps me going.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOFIN 7/14/2010 11:43AM

    Right on! This is THE place I go to with my successes AND failures. I have had so many setbacks, and have been able to bounce back because everyone on Spark is so honest, positive, and real.

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BEARDMUSIC 7/13/2010 9:45PM

    I completely agree with you. I think it is comforting to know that everyone here has been through what you are been through and most are working on losing a lot of weight right now. I also love how Spark People works so hard to motivate you to be healthier!!!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 7/13/2010 8:34PM

    I totally agree with you , I LOVE SP!!! The support from total strangers is amazing. We are able to talk with people who know and understand what we have and are going through. I hope I can be helpful throughout your journey, and I want to thank you for being so supportive of me in my efforts. Keep it going Ashley!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOPERISING 7/13/2010 2:58PM

    :) What else is there to say? You said it so well.

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NOT_BIG_BONED 7/13/2010 12:29PM

    DITTO. I couldn't have said it better my self girl. The people here are so supportive. I never would have imagined that I ever would have posted my weight here for everyone to see, or that I would have talked to strangers about my journey or concerns either.

Good luck to you, I just know you'll make your goals.

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MADEMCHE 7/13/2010 12:00PM

    Way to go! I feel the same way. I am really doing this this time. I went through all those diets too and same result, lost, then gain back more and it brought friends! You are doing so well and are really working through a ton of stuff, that is what SP is all about! You rock Ashley, keep it going!

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