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A Boy Tries Hard to Be a Man

Monday, September 29, 2008

In case you don't know, a Bar Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony. Essentially it means, you're thirteen, you're a man (or a woman, if you're a girl and it's a Bat Mitzvah). This is where I was all weekend -- doing the Bar Mitzvah thing with my older nephew and a hundred nearest and dearest.

I am tired. Man, I am beat. It's not just from all of the traveling and the change in the routine, but also because my husband and I went to the hotel gym on Saturday. We walked/jogged on treadmills, lifted weights, swam in the pool and marinated in the hot tub. It was delightful and we didn't feel like, oh God, what a chore, what a millstone around our necks, what a horrible obligation. Instead, it was fun, and we wanted to go back to the pool before leaving. The only two things stopping us were the lifeguard wasn't going to be there before we left plus we would've had an issue transporting that much volume in the way of wet swimsuits. :)

As for food, I did very well if I must say so myself. Now, I could've gone without the alli. Heck, I could've left it at home if I wanted to. But I didn't want to get out of that habit. So I took it at every meal and was careful. And yanno something? At the reception my plate was piled skyhigh, but it was roasted vegetables, salads and some salmon. I never felt deprived and always felt like I was a part of what was happening.

At the reception, we also danced a bit. My husband isn't too into dancing but we did the obligatory hora and I managed to get him off his feet to dance to the B52s' "Love Shack". It was a blast; my cousins were also dancing and we found out we had that in common as well. I wish we could see my cousins more often as they're fun people. It's hard when they're in New York or New Jersey and we're here in Massachusetts.

Oh yeah, and the icing on the Bar Mitzvah cake is that I lost 4 lbs. and my butt, heh, that measurement is FINALLY under 50" (49" if you please)!!! Therefore, I had, as we say, an awesome, excellent, kick-bun (rapidly disappearing bun) week/weekend!

A Bar Mitzvah is a regeneration. It's a transition. You move from childhood to adulthood. We don't use the New Testament but it does have a great quote that sums it all up, from 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

And that's what it is, you move from one phase to another one.

And so it is with weight loss, at least it is with a huge weight loss such as I'm going through. You move from one stage to another, and then another. The Bar Mitzvah, for me, was my first truly large goal. It was a definite place, an end point that I could neither change nor weasel out of nor negotiate away. And now it has come and gone, but I am still here, and I am still committed, and I am still losing and I am pushing through to the next phase.

What's the next phase? I suppose it's to finish up the calendar year and see how far I get. The end of the year is another hard stop, another date that cannot be moved no matter how much I desire it. I changed my ticker to 100 lbs. off as that is a huge milestone and is also my next alli goal. I'll probably, from now on, for the most part have the ticker follow the alli goals. How far do I really, honestly, heart to heart, it's just us talking, you and me, where do I feel I'm going to be at New Year's?

New Year's is a different proposition as it is a major massive milestone. After all, it's when I started all of this. I said to my husband, "My New Year's Resolution is to treat myself better.". And so I am walking that walk. Where will I be when resolution time rolls around again? Ah, gentle reader, that's a mystery.

Come along with me as we journey through this, the next phase. Sometimes I'll lead, sometimes you will. And when you do, I will follow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 10/2/2008 5:42AM

    I thank you and A__ thanks you, too. :-D

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TUESDAYS 10/1/2008 10:50PM

    Awesome! Congrats on such a great weekend. Although I'm late reading it, I have actually been looking forward to seeing how you did and to catching up with you. I think that every one of these milestone events that we successfully navigate gives us another lesson, don't you? As for your nephew, how wonderful to be celebrated in this way!

We're proud of you BOTH!


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JESPAH 9/30/2008 6:11AM

    Ah, go for the blog on a blog thang. :)

And, thank you ... blush ... dangit why do all my friends live so far away???!?!?!?

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TELERIE 9/29/2008 6:09PM

    Can I walk with you towards New Year and beyond, my friend?
You really KICK BUTT (can I say that here?)! I am so happy and proud for you and glad you had a great Bar Mitzvah weekend!
I love this blog! You (and your husband) totally ROCK! I'm glad my dearest got inspired by me and started to move with me - we're running together. It helps to be two.
I've also been thinking about those unmovable milestones like New Year looming in the not too distant future. I didn't make MY lifestyle until May but I also wonder where I am by New Year. Still on this path and still treating myself better every day, that's certain. Between you and me - I'll be going for getting close to my second 10%-lost by keeping up with my habit of daily exercise in the dark of winter.
Love your blog - sorry for blogging on yours! emoticon

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I'm Just a-Wandering on the Face of this Earth

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dang, I love that song.

Okay, oops, what was my point?

Two things.

One, I'll be away for the weeknd. The Bar Mitzvah weekend has arrived! I'm feeling good. I know I'm not super-thin but that's okay. After all, I still have over 100 lbs. to lose in order to hit healthy BMI. But I look infinitely better than I did and, more importantly, I feel a heckuva lot better.

I've also scoped out my food as well as I can, and essentially have a little list of what to eat. No spontanaeity, but, truly, that's not essentially with this. I do hope it doesn't pour down rain every single day but that is a very real possibility.

The other thing is -- and it's weird -- is I started a little bit of jogging. Just in the morning, just to get to the bus, just because I'm late. And I'm finding I feel perfectly fine. No shortness of breath. No shin splints. No knee pain. No extra fatigue beyond the usual.

I feel totally fine. I've been doing it for three days now and I certainly don't go very fast, but my legs are going up and there are moments when neither foot is on the ground and it's almost -- dare I say it? -- fun.

I've never, ever had a runner's high. And I realize I'm not getting one now. And I've always thought of myself as being the sort of person who would be bored silly with a lot of running. That actually hasn't changed much. But at the same time, I'm enjoying the feeling of going just a tiny bit faster. It's not much. As Jimmy Buffett sang in "Everybody's On the Run" (a song that isn't on Youtube, but SHOULD be):

First time I ran
was to the end of the block

Well, I haven't gotten that far yet. It's a long block. On Tuesday I ran 1/4 of it. On Wednesday I ran 1/3 of the block. And today I jogged for half of the block.

I don't know what the next few days will bring. I'll do my best to eat right and get in some exercise but, frankly, if it's not perfect I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

And when I get home, I'll resume my jogging ways. That block is going to be conquered. I will do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 9/29/2008 8:51AM


Gadzooks I am tired.

More later.

But I dropped 4 lbs. this week, even with the Bar Mitzvah (I was active and careful). Eep! I've shrunk by 92 lbs.!

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TCEDEROTH 9/26/2008 2:36PM

    You go girl!!!

You are a continuous source of motivation and inspiration, and thank you for sharing it with all of us.

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TELERIE 9/26/2008 2:30PM

    I admire you! You'll conquer the block! You make me happy! You can run!
You can do this. Have a great weekend and Bar Mitzvah.

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    That is great. I walk but as fare as breaking into a jog, I am afraid my knees would really hurt. You are doing awesome. A little start and before you know it, you will be a runner. Go for it! emoticon

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TUESDAYS 9/26/2008 11:07AM

    Yesssssssssssssssssssss! You're doin' it!!
The weekend is here at last. Go and enjoy every single moment of it!
(That block'll be there... trust me. LOL!)
Proud of you, sistah!

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OAKDALE3 9/26/2008 7:55AM

    You go girl!! That block doesn't stand a chance!!

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JESPAH 9/26/2008 6:07AM

    Wellll this morning my left arch decided it was going to complain a bit. But so far, so good.

Off to vacation! Hugs to all! :)

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TERRIEJO53 9/26/2008 2:46AM

    Congratulations on all the weight you've lost so far, Jespah ... congratulations on taking on the block ... congratulations on your wonderful attitude about this weekend ... congratulations on being YOU!

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EMMASMART 9/26/2008 12:06AM

    I'm all impressed for me walking a block without dying and you are jogging. As usually I am right behind you.


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LIQUEURLADY 9/25/2008 6:34PM

    omigoodness -- thanks for that blast from the past!

Have a great time this weekend! Mazel Tov! and Happy New Year a bit early, since I won't be around much Monday with the holiday -- may you be inscribed for a long and healthy and happy life!

Comment edited on: 9/25/2008 6:33:32 PM

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No One Can Tell Me That I'm Doing Wrong Today

Monday, September 22, 2008

Today I smiled at the homeless guy who I see almost every morning and every afternoon, walking to and from my office to the bus stop.

Now, this guy is no threat and it is no come on. It was just a smile. A little smile. And the dude smiled back a little.

And I thought to myself, my smile isn't so expensive that I can't give it away.

So I gave it away.

Now, I don't smile at everyone on the planet, of course. I do not walk around all day long, grinning like and idiot and looking as if the only reason I'm out and about is because the institution had no free chairs.

No. Of course not. But if I'm feeling good or at least neutral, what the heck? Why not?

There's a psychological value to smiling. It literally can make you happier. Even if you're not feeling so hot. Smile anyway. I don't mean: deny your feelings. Of course not! You have feelings. And they are wonderful and important and appropriate, no matter what they are and no matter what the circumstances are.

But if you want to be happy, and you aren't, try it. Smile therapy. Smile exercises. Just a little each day. A shy upturn of the lips to the paperboy in the morning. A small brightening of the face when you return a library book. A tiny shining of the eyes when you pay your trolley fare or pass every third house on your street or hear the word "interface" used in a sentence. Hey, whatever works for you. Select your own triggers, whatever they may be. And you may find that other things become triggers, things you never even thought about. These days, for me, the phrase "thank you" is a trigger, whether I say it or hear it, it doesn't seem to matter. I just smile. Certain people are triggers for me. I just can't help smiling when I see them. And yanno something? They smile right back.

And, today, I have more to smile about. I made my fifth alli goal. This means I have lost over 25 % of my initial weight. No, I haven't made it to my 90 lbs. off ticker, but so what? I'm smiling anyway.

And my measurements? Good news! I made a few new personal bests this week! My left bicep is down to 14.25"! My bust is down to an actually manageable 45.25"! My band is a sweet 38.75" -- I may, one of these days, start wearing a bra that's smaller than a 40! My hips are tied for two previous personals best of 46.25"! Only the rear and the thigh went up, 1" and .25", respectively. But, yanno, so what?

I'm smiling anyway.

My smile isn't so expensive that I can't give it away.

So I'm giving it away.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUESDAYS 9/26/2008 11:10AM

    And I smile any time someone sends me J.T.... (swoon is more like it...). So thanks for that TOO!

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JESPAH 9/23/2008 9:58AM

    Clinching will come, of that I have little doubt. I guess Mr. Beckett and friends just wanted to make it interesting.

Yanno who also makes me smile? Dustin Pedroia, Mike Timlin and Tim Wakefield.

Pedroia because he tries SO hard, all day, every day. He works at everything he does, and I really admire his work ethic. Even when he slumps, you can tell that he is making an effort. Timlin because he's a goofball. He knows they're playing a child's game and getting paid for it, and while he's a professional he also recognizes that he could just as well be digging ditches somewhere so he's thrilled to be doing what he's doing, but he has fun doing it. And Wake because he's been doing what he does for so long and he's realized that maybe his skills aren't as perfect as they had been but he is so completely unselfish and accommodating like so many professional athletes, sadly, aren't. Last year for the World Series, he gave up his spot for Jon Lester. The guy who noticed that sacrifice? Timlin.

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SISNAMIL 9/23/2008 9:20AM


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BO42SOX 9/23/2008 8:34AM

    You made me smile, and the day is early so this is good. congrats on your desire and reaching goals. (even though we didn't clinch a playoff spot yet)

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JESPAH 9/22/2008 7:05PM

    Blush -- thank you all.

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EMMASMART 9/22/2008 7:01PM

    You've got some awsome reasons to smile.


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MELINKY 9/22/2008 6:23PM

    I love smiling! I'm the idiot you wrote about, walking around smiling to just about everyone. LOL

Congratulations on your personal bests! emoticon emoticon


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TELERIE 9/22/2008 5:41PM

    SMIIIIILE-ing from ear to ear reading your blog!
I smile a lot too. It's free anti-depressants. Have a emoticon, my friend. You're doing so great.

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You Don't Stop the Rock it to the Bang Bang Boogie

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's 19th of the month time, so it's time for a reassessment. It's been, eep, eight months since I started taking alli, for a total of approximately 240 days. And it's 250 days since I started watching food intake and 260 since I started exercising on a daily basis. I've only missed 1 day of exercise (I had fluish symptoms) and have not missed alli. If I've gone over on calories (which I have on occasion), it hasn't proved fatal.

Weights and Measures

I am currently (let's see if it holds until Monday's official weigh-in) 257.2 lbs., which is 88.8 lbs. off in 8 months.

Measurements are a trip.
Bicep: 15" down 4"
Bust: 47.25" down 7.5"
Band: 40" down 7.5"
Waist: 43" down 6"
Belly: 50.5" down 9"
Hips: 46.5" down 4.5"
Butt: 50.5" down 13.5"!!!
Thigh: 26.5" down 5.75"

This is an average overall loss of 7.22". Take out the outlyers (bicep and thigh) and the average overall loss is a staggering 8.75"!!!


I started this journey at a size 26 up top (3x) and 28 (4x) below. I am currently officially a 20 (1x) up top and a 22 (2x, sometimes 1x) below. However, I have been able to get on some XL and 18 tops and blazers. Fit is still snug but getting there. And my size 22 pants are starting to get looser.


Tomorrow I am going to up the weights lifted to 25 lbs. I started off lifting 4 lbs. I also walk far more than I ever thought I could. Yesterday I walked home from the last trolley stop, then I walked to the Post Office. All of this in addition to my usual commuting. My hamstrings bothered me a tad while going up the hill to the Post Office (plus I was carrying a 6 1/2 lb. package) but they felt fine afterwards and I am suffering no ill effects today.

Keeping it fun, my husband and I now play frisbee twice a week. Once it gets later in the year, we'll have to stop as it will get too dark to be able to see what we're doing, but in the meantime we are having fun with it all. We walk two nights per week and also on Saturdays. I don't honestly see not going walking unless the weather is actively awful, e. g. blizzard or horizontal rain. But otherwise, bundle up and do it.

When the weather gets really bad, I intend to help him with snow shoveling. Hence we'll take advantage of the change of the seasons. He thinks we'll be able to jog together next Spring. he may very well be right.

Attitude and Emotions

Regular exercise is as good as any anti-depressant medication and I fully believe that. I believe that being 200 lbs. overweight is so clearly and obviously a sign of clinical depression that I'm a little shocked that no one else seems to see it. I know that exercise and diet (and thinness) do not cure everything but I can definitely see a marked difference in myself. Some of that is unfair, let's be honest. I am treated better, and with more respect. Is that because of being smaller, or because of being more optimistic? I sometimes wonder how we as a society treat the people who need help the most. Why is it that we shun those who need a helping hand or an encouraging word, yet we flock to those who don't need it?

Be that as it may, I have broken the shell of depression and isolation. I like it out of that shell. It's not very nice in there and I'd like to stay out for good.

Future plans

Aside from the ideas of shoveling snow and walking instead of frisbee, some of my other plans including changing up the food a bit. As it gets colder, I'll want to make soup more often so it will be good to make something other than bean soup. I found salt-free matzoh meal so I'll try my hand at making matzoh balls from scratch. That should be more than possible and I will make them without salt (the mix has, I kid you not, 750 mg of sodium in every serving!). I'd like to use the slow cooker for chicken soup. That can be a good, satisfying meal and if it's made without salt it will be awesome diet fare. I also like to roast chicken and haven't done that in a while. That can certainly enter back into the repertoire.

Somewhere in there I'd like to return to having Chinese food on occasion as I have been avoiding it because of the sodium content and concern about the sauces. I feel I may be strong enough to tackle it soon.

Immediate Issues

Next weekend is the Bar Mitzvah. I know that eating will not be easy, and it may be tough to find the time to get in a workout even with facilities on site at the hotel. It's family so people are going to demand our time, and I know hotel gyms and pools don't stay open 24/7. It may be difficult to be able to take alli as I want to avoid treatment effects, and those will happen if I ingest more than 19 grams of fat in one sitting. And that may be surprisingly easy to do over that weekend. We will bring a lot of stuff but I have no idea if we will have any occasion to eat it (e. g. oatmeal). I'll do my best to get in the water and then .... Like I said, I'll do my best. It's not like this sort of thing happens every day or even every year.

Onward to more, more, more as I weigh less, less, less.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALLOWA 9/22/2008 2:30PM

    Congratulations... what a wondeful commitment you've KEPT to yourself!

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JESPAH 9/21/2008 12:32PM

    Thank you all. :)

I have called about the Bar Mitzvah menu and phyllo dough seems to be the predominant ingredient. The actual reception shouldn't be too bad, so long as I can get a salad without dressing. It's the peripheral stuff. I suspect it will be less of a fat issue and more of a salt issue when all is said and done.

I am up a little this morning but really, eh, it's no biggie. I know I won't make the 90 off for next weekend but since I originally thought I'd be down only 60 I am still rather psyched.

Much dancing will happen. I will hora 'till the cows come home! W00p!

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TELERIE 9/21/2008 5:42AM

    Great post! I love your attitude, and you have so much to be really proud of. I'm sure your husband is right and you'll be jogging before long! (I'm in love with the Couch to 5K-program and cannot speak highly enough of it!)
Have a wonderful stay at the Bar Mitzvah and be proud of yourself!

Comment edited on: 9/21/2008 5:40:32 AM

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EMMASMART 9/21/2008 12:43AM

    Yay. That's a great milestone. You will find the best way to handle the Bar Mitzvah. You might could call ahead to find out what the menu is so you can think about your strategy.. Good going. You are still doing amazing.


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LIQUEURLADY 9/20/2008 3:27PM

    Enjoy the Bar Mitzvah! I know you'll prepare as best you can, to do the best you can -- and then be OK with yourself if the plans go awry. Be sure to dance a lot!

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SISNAMIL 9/20/2008 2:10PM

    On a site called i found a really great sounding mushroom stew. And it will even go in your best friend the crockpot!

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I Believe in Miracles -- Where Ya From?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The above is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films. And what I love about The Full Monty is that, for the most part, they're ordinary people. Not great beauties. Just people you'd see fixing your sink or waiting on your table or driving the bus. But they're sexy.

And ya know something? They're not the only ones.

Today I got home from work. It was a long day, and I was tired. I put on a new pair of size 22 Lee jeans. I tossed on a size XL 3/4 sleeve u-neck black top. And the top's a little clingy, but instead of tucking it in, I left it out, and it hugs my hips. I took a look at myself in the mirror and was taken aback. I looked at myself on the side. And, yeah, at the back.

I'm sexy.

How the heck did that ever happen?!?!??!

Who the heck replaced me, you know, ME, everybody's Mom, the IT gal, the nerdstress, going grey, thyroid failing, dental implant-wearing, glasses-sporting, paunchy ME, with that sexy gal? That gal who's 10, no, 15, no, maybe 20 (?) -- okay, 15 -- years younger than me. That gal whose hips shake. The gal with, yes, a belly, but it's like another curve. The gal with the smile, with the flashing eyes. With the nipped in waist and the rapidly disappearing booty. THAT gal. HER.

Oh my God, she's me.

She's really me.

I mean, she talks like me. She thinks like me. She acts like me. She's me.

Me, 2.0.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SISNAMIL 9/16/2008 10:41AM

    That is so funny because I have always seen you as young vibrant and yes sexy. I'm just glad you caught up with the program.

You know we could almost pass for relatives. I will just have to be your goyim sister lol.

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JESPAH 9/14/2008 6:05PM

    Ponies?! Awesome! :)

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WALLOWA 9/14/2008 1:36PM

    I ran across your post and the links in your ticker/ID box amused me greatly, so I came exploring here to see who oh who had this quirky sense of humor -- not only that, but you're workin' it, girlfriend.

Best wishes to you and all here... Kathy in eXtreme NE Oregon at the end of the road, where no human hand has ever set foot...

You tickle my sense of humor. Keep on keepin on

58 degrees, sunny, and the ponies are calling for their treats...

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CANNOTFATHOM 9/14/2008 12:00PM

    WTG! I think sometimes it isn't how one looks...but how they feel :)


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NEWKIM1 9/12/2008 7:42PM

    You so rock! What a great day for you! One of your ah ha moments! And do you want to know what is the coolest thing ever...everyone who knows you has already seen that part of you...before the weight loss...they saw the real you and now you are as well! Yeah you!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

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TANSHAN1 9/12/2008 12:57AM

    Congrats on seeing the you that is so true! You are beautiful!

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MERAINA 9/11/2008 6:23PM

    Rock on Done Girl!
Love it... you are showing your Doneness!

Keep on Dancing,

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JESPAH 9/11/2008 12:15PM

    One o' these days, Tracy, I'm gonna wear a dress like the one you have on in your avatar.

One of these days.... :)

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TCEDEROTH 9/11/2008 10:26AM

    Jes, not only are you sexy, but you are beautiful too. Inside AND out. The fact that you are finally seeing that for yourself is awesome.

I so enjoy reading your blogs and watching you attain, and then surpass your goals. You are truly an inspiration.

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JESPAH 9/11/2008 5:32AM

    Thank you, thank you all.

Yeah, the kid. He's just spot on in the whole thing.

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EMMASMART 9/11/2008 12:18AM

    You keep believing it and it's keep being true.


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TUESDAYS 9/10/2008 10:36PM

    Woo hoo! You go, Girl! We're all believing in miracles these days! LOL!

Loved the clip too. I'd forgotten it. My favorite part is when the kid shields his eyes and finally just leaves. Omgosh, HOW true is that?! We are sooo embarrassing to kids. And that is half the fun...

Thanks for sharing your victory, "ewe sexy thang!" emoticon

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JESPAH 9/10/2008 8:52PM

    Oh, rent it, Mel. It's a fabulous film.

Marit, you sexy thing! :)

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MELINKY 9/10/2008 6:49PM

    I think it's wonderful that you've recognized the sexiness of you! that is a big deal. CONGRATULATIONS!
btw, I've never seen the full monty and want to, so this little trailer was great and I was laughing out loud!
Thank you for sharing.

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TELERIE 9/10/2008 6:42PM

    Who? You did that. And you're HOT. Awesome writing, made me smile and cry (happy tears)
- Marit (believes in miracles)

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