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JMERLAU's Recent Blog Entries

WHAT IF I QUIT???

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February 12th, 2014
I heard something this morning that really hit me square in the mouth.
I've been on my health journey for just over 4 years now and it's been an incredible journey in so many ways. There have been frustrating times along the way, I'm not gonna lie about it, I like to #bereal.
Most of my journey has been VERY driven. When I was in my weight loss phase, every pound I lost was a driving factor. Every single new habit I formed was a driving factor. As I lost more weight and began to run, I was driven to run faster. Then I was driven to run further and further. I've ran 5k's, 10k's, 15k's, 25k's, half marathons, marathons, and I am about to run my first 50k. I continue to challenge myself with new opportunities and new distances. I keep moving forward no matter what.
This journey started because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Because my wife deserved a better husband and my daughters deserved a better father.....and I deserved to be healthy! These are also the same reasons that I keep going, that I keep pushing myself like I do. The support of my family is first and foremost!
This morning as I was listening to my daily dose of personal development I heard something that I wanted to share. EVERYTHING WE DO MATTERS!! Every single thing matters, period. It can matter toward either end of the positive or negative scale, but it MATTERS!! It not only matters now, it matters forever and ever. As Andy Andrews would explain, this is the Butterfly Effect.
I've learned that this also relates to me and my journey to better health. I know there are people watching me, there have been since the day I started. I also know that some of them are waiting for me to fail, for me to quit (I hope they donít wear themselves out waiting on me). I also know that there are many more who watch for inspiration. They follow and wonder if they have what it takes to take their own lives back from obesity. They wonder if they really have what it takes to create new habits.

The Ďthingí that smacked me in the mouth today was the simple fact that this is part of the reason I DONíT QUIT! Knowing that there are people watching me, none more important than my wife and daughters means I must keep moving forward. I keep pressing forward to a better me, not just physically, but a better me all the way around.
You see, the thing that Iíve finally accepted is that every single person who follows me, drives me. Every single person who has ever;
asked for help
shared their struggle with me
asked me to help a family member
asked for help with a training program
told me in private they admire my accomplishments
told me they were proud of me
called me an athlete
worked out with me
continues to come back for help over and over

ÖÖthey drive me to stay with the fight because, if I quit....everyone behind me, everyone that Iíve inspired, everyone that Iíve helped....THEY have a reason to quit too, and THAT is 100% unacceptable!
I DONíT QUIT


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PDQ1203 2/17/2014 9:12AM

    emoticon

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AFOOT63 2/16/2014 10:26AM

    emoticon

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JANETRIS 2/14/2014 4:15PM

    emoticon emoticon Thanks Jman!

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MEXGAL1 2/14/2014 10:05AM

    Good for you. Thanks for sharing.
Happy Valentine's Day
Sallie

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MSANITAL 2/14/2014 9:49AM

    Just what I needed to read .. and thank you for not quitting, because you have inspired so many people including my self.. that if it was not for you I would not be where I am today.. Well said.. well said..

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RASPBERRY56 2/14/2014 2:54AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing!

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/14/2014 2:23AM

    " . . . if I quit....everyone behind me, everyone that Iíve inspired, everyone that Iíve helped....THEY have a reason to quit too, and THAT is 100% unacceptable! "

OH MY!

What a powerful motivational statement! And it's one I need. Right. Now.

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SLIMMERJESSE 2/14/2014 12:13AM

    Nice blog.

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CHUBRUB3 2/14/2014 12:11AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
No Quitting!
yeah!

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 2/13/2014 8:08PM

    emoticon

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TAYGRL 2/13/2014 7:43PM

    Two words--loved.this.
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POSITIVE41 2/13/2014 7:24PM

    Wow - a 50K! That's great - we never know when or how we inspire others. And you are right - our kids are always watching everything we do. Best of luck with your run!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 2/13/2014 5:29PM

    emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 2/13/2014 4:28PM

    The last paragraph hits it home! Keep going Jerome!

Comment edited on: 2/13/2014 4:29:00 PM

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NOTGVGUP83 2/13/2014 4:09PM

    you're right everything matters even when you think it doesn't. good food for thought! great work best of luck on the 50k! you rock =)

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ANDREA0301 2/13/2014 4:07PM

    You are an inspiration to many! Keep up the great work!

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VICKYMARIEC 2/13/2014 4:02PM

    Best of luck on the 50k at Cowtown! The weather should be warm...maybe a little drizzle, but so what! I've followed you for a long time and you have always amazed me!

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The Marathon is not about the race...

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

September 4th, 2013

ďThe Marathon is not about the race Ö

Itís about commitmentÖitís not about instant gratification, itís about endurance. Itís not about the thrill, itís about passion. To run a marathon, you need to not only commit to the sport, you need to commit to yourself. In short, to run a marathon, you need to be a runner.Ē

December 29th, 2009 I made a decision to take my life back from obesity. I also made the decision that day to finish the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December of 2011.

Backing up a little bitÖ..I remember watching the White Rock Marathon on TV early in December of 2009 and thinking to myself, these people are crazy. Why in the world would anybody in their right mind want to run for 26.2 miles? How long did they have to train to be able to do that? What kind of shape were these people in to finish a marathon? Keep in mind I had all these thoughts from my oversized comfy chair in my warm living room, probably while eating something.

I simply could not get my head around the concept of being a marathon runner. If Iím being honest, I couldnít my head around the idea of getting off the couch. Yet there I was opening my mouth making a commitment to finish a marathon. I couldnít do this until Iíd lost a great deal of weight and trained for it, neither of which I knew much about yet.

So I started. I ate less and worked moreÖÖ..

Much like the quote states at the beginning of this blog, itís about commitment. I am committed to my journey to a fit life. There is no room for instant gratification on my journey. Have I had gratifying moments on the journey, absolutely, but not without working for it. I developed a passion for running. The passion of feeling my feet hit the pavement. The feeling of my heart pounding harder as I push myself. The passion of taking in as much air as possible to allow my muscles to breath. The passion of the exhale and feeling relaxed as this happens with every breath. The feeling of having the sweat roll down my brow and into my eyes. The pure joy I get from every single step.

For meÖthe marathon is not about the race, itís not about a show, itís about my life. You see, I am committed to the sport of running and I plan to run for many years to comeÖÖI am a runner.

ďThe Marathon is not about the race Ö
Itís about commitmentÖitís not about instant gratification, itís about endurance. Itís not about the thrill, itís about passion. To run a marathon, you need to not only commit to the sport, you need to commit to yourself. In short, to run a marathon, you need to be a runner.Ē

http://warrior4health.com
http://facebook.com/warrior4health

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 9/6/2013 3:23PM

    emoticon emoticon Thanks Jman for the inspiration!

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MISSLISA1973 9/6/2013 7:36AM

    You are not just a runner, you are an inspiration. You are amazing.

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CELIAMINER 9/5/2013 2:40PM

    Diana Nyad, you, Brad Miller, Nell Jones...I love the motivation and inspiration!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 9/5/2013 9:49AM

    Very well written

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/5/2013 12:49AM

    And that is why so many people fail. They won't commit to themselves. Yay you for keep it up!

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MEXGAL1 9/4/2013 7:44PM

    I get it! Thanks so much for taking the time to post.
Have a great evening.
Sallie

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CHUBRUB3 9/4/2013 7:03PM

    Thank you for sharing this.
Awesome!


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BOBBYD31 9/4/2013 6:59PM

    "you need to commit yourself " is how that should have read LOL
you are a runner and i am sure you will continue a long running career, if you ever want an easy challenge on a 30k show up to JASR at the end of march

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FIT to FAT to FIT

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

/One Man's Journey from Fit to Fat--and Back Again

Allow me to start by saying this: I love sharing my story with the hope of inspiring others to take their lives back. It is my hope that by continuing to share my story that I can help even ONE person see there is hope to change their life.


Growing up, I was not an athlete.

I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band geek. (Proud to say that too!) I've traveled the world "making music with my friends," as I marched in various marching bands and Drum Corps. I was always fit, firm and muscular due to the demands that band and Drum Corps put on my body.

Then, in 1998, I changed careers and got a desk job. Things started to change.
I quickly grew accustomed to sitting all day. Sitting behind a desk got easier and easier. It also got easier to sit on my chair at home and do nothing.

I lost my mother in February 2005 and I started eating, much more than normal. I never knew I was an emotional eater, but there I was, eating away the grief and loss. As time moved forward, and my habits did not improve, I slowly grew to my top measured weight of 264 pounds. I knew I wasn't healthy. I couldn't walk up a small flight of stairs without being winded, I had no energy and I made poor eating choices most of the time. I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I avoided having my picture taken. In fact it was the picture taken for my security badge at work that scared me into action. My swollen face and eyes were not a pretty sight!

That just begs the question words, why, when, how, what? I simply can't come up with a better answer than I got tired of being fat. Why at the ripe ole age of 40 did I decide to take my life back? Why, when I knew it was going to take so much discipline, so much work would I make a life changing decision?

I made this decision for me.

Now, let me give you three more reasons I changed my life. My wife and two daughters. My wife deserves a husband who is willing and able to help out around the house. I believe she deserves a husband that she can be proud of, who can come home from work and have the energy necessary to help with dinner, kids, activities, etc. My daughters deserve a Daddy who doesn't sit in his chair asleep all the time. They deserve a daddy who has energy to play with them, get on the floor and wrestle, tickle, and not be a grump all the time. They need a role model.

So I made the decision on December 28, 2009 to take my life back!


Me, before

I made radical changes in my life. I'm not sure what my calorie intake was before I started, but I know it was really high! I started logging everything I ate (I used the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker). I had a healthy breakfast and a good lunch that I kept varied between salad, soup or sandwiches most days. I stopped eating out every day. Thankfully I have a wife who is on board with the new lifestyle (she lost more than 70 pounds herself) and is cooking healthier dinners. I am practicing portion control and try to put the fork down between each bite.

Keeping in mind that I made radical changes, I also started moving, A LOT. I began walking each day. The coldest day I remember going for a walk outside was 27 degrees. Yes, it was cold, but I had to do it! I would be out my door by 5 a.m. for my first walk of the day, and then do it again in the evening. I parked farther from the door while out running errands. I walked with a quicker pace to get my heart rate elevated as much as possible.

After two months I added elliptical workouts to my routine and grew to love that machine! I joined my wife and began doing high-impact intensity workouts WOW! I got addicted to that right away! Running didnít enter the equation until months later. Running became my time for reflection, prayer, anger management, problem solving, etc. I canít imagine my life without it!

I added DVD workouts in the summer of 2010, stopping after one series due to a major sports hernia. I had probably developed this hernia years before, but with my increased activity, it became something I needed to deal with. Surgery and recovery slowed me to a near halt for about 14 weeks. Then I got right back to it, moving and grooving, shaking and quaking!

Less than one year after I started, December 10, 2010, I hit the 100 pound lost mark. There was no magic pill that solved my weight problems. Time, hard work, and determination were the tools that got me here, and now that Iím here, I work just as hard to maintain, there is no finish line in my book.

Now that I am in the maintenance phase of my weight-loss journey, itís all about simply making sure I remember my triggers for overeating and exercise--and the power I have to control it! I still cross train 2-3 times a week and I run 4-5 days a week.

I have completed multiple 10kís, 15kís, half marathons and two full marathons. I consider myself an endurance athlete because I embrace the challenge. I embrace the feeling of being able to push myself to a new level of fitness. I also love the challenge of the mind games. That is a part of this journey that many people forget about or donít deal with. I feel that the mind games or the emotional part of this journey is critical for ultimate success. Learning to deal with WHY I let myself get do big, so depressed has been a lot of fun and I wouldnít be nearly as successful if I didnít face that head on!

Iíd like to leave you with three success factors that worked for me:
1. Know WHAT/HOW much you eat
2. Shut up and sweat Ė you have to WORK it off
3. Do it every single day Ė make it a lifestyle


Feel free to follow me at any of the following:
http://facebook.com\warrior4health
http://warrior4health.com
http://youtube.com/jeromemerlau

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSLISA1973 9/3/2013 2:26AM

    You aren't just an endurance athlete... you are an endurance person! You have persevered for a long time an been an inspiration to so many!!

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SUEPERWOMAN 8/19/2013 3:53PM

   
Thank you so, so much. You are such an encouragement!



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ANNESYLVIA 8/15/2013 8:06PM

    Wonderful job!

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JANETRIS 8/15/2013 9:35AM

    I love your story of determination. emoticon

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MSANITAL 8/15/2013 8:34AM

    Your story has always inspired me.. you are the one person who I have seen kept going and working hard through out this journey, yes you may have had bumps, pot holes and detours but you have handled them with power and grace, you have gone through them around them and even plowed right through them.. and you keep going strong.. like the saying you have taken a licking and keep on ticking and that is what inspires me and motivates me to keep on this journey because it can be done and you are doing it..

Hugs



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NEWANDHEALTHY13 8/15/2013 2:57AM

  Excellent Blog and definitely inspiring.
Thank you

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_JODI404 8/14/2013 4:49PM

    EXCELLENT blog Jerome!!

Very inspiring.

I totally agree, reaching Maintenance -- it still takes focus and vigilance and there is no finish line!

I also agree with your 3 tips. All 3 are quite important!
I think #1 is an area for many to falter. If you do not weigh and measure in the beginning, it is VERY easy to underestimate what you are eating. Also, if you do not research and learn about healthier choices, it is very easy to continue to eat unhealthy food that may be misrepresented to appear healthier. I love the phone App "Fooducate". I am pretty sure it was free. You can just scan the bar code on a food and it will tell you a letter grade and the reason for the grade. Great way to see where you might need to seek out healthier choices!

You made it happen, and I love that you want to reach out to others and help them realize these same benefits and achievements!

emoticon emoticon

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 8/14/2013 12:58PM

    You are my hero and inspiration. Thanks again for telling your story.

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MEXGAL1 8/14/2013 10:43AM

    Wonderful blog. Thank you so much for putting this all in written form. Inspirational for sure.
Have a terrific day.
Sallie

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ALWAYSSTARTING 8/14/2013 9:37AM

    Two ideas here that really speak to me:
* no finish line
* facing up to the mind games

Thanks for sharing your ideas; I've copied some of them into my "Inspiration Journal"

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ALWAYSSTARTING 8/14/2013 9:34AM

    Two ideas here that really speak to me:
* no finish line
* facing up to the mind games

Thanks for sharing your ideas; I've copied some of them into my "Inspiration Journal"

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XRAYLADY65 8/14/2013 8:25AM

    you are such an inspiration.... thank you so much for your blog.... I too lost 100# I did have lapband surgery May 2009 but I have also put in lot of hours at the gym and use the nutrition tracker also...

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CELIAMINER 8/14/2013 8:10AM

    Love your fierce determination and the example you are setting for your kids. You are right to trumpet your successes!

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TIGER_LILY_613 8/14/2013 1:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 8/13/2013 10:43PM

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My Next Major Challenge

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

HI Everybody,

Today is Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 and I am excited and nervous all at the same time.

Many of you know who follow me that I have ran two marathons to date, both have been the Dallas Marathon in 2011 and 2012. I ran my FIRST marathon in the pouring down rain and 40 degree weather. I was injured, but I finished it! The say I started my journey in 2009, I made the statement that I would run that marathon in 2011 and I did it. I set the goal, then made it happen.

I am putting it out there that I have set the bar for myself AGAIN!

December 2013, I will run the Dallas Marathon again. Then in February of 2014 I will run my first Ultramarathon at the Cowtown in Fort Worth. April 2014 I will run the full 26.2 miles in Oklahoma City for the memorial.

This may not seem like much for some runners, for me and my body, this is a major challenge that I WILL finish.

I have started a new page for my friends and family to follow on FB that will be dedicated to this journey. Please run over and ďLIKEĒ my page, share it with your friends. Iím sure I will be throwing in some of my weight loss journey as inspiration along the way.

The page can be found at:
www.facebook.com/Warrior4Health

Thanks everybody Ė I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I will.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPERISING 8/9/2013 11:02AM

    Awesome goals JMAN! I'll be cheering you on from Kenya.

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MEXGAL1 8/8/2013 6:58PM

    Good for you to put it out there and make the commitment. That is totally awesome.
Woo hoo!

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SUNSHINEYOURWAY 8/8/2013 6:49PM

    Good luck with your upcoming Marathons! You can do it! Had already liked you on FB.. We all are rooting for you!

Sharon emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 8/8/2013 6:41PM

    Always up for a challenge! GoRunnerDudeGo! emoticon

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JANETRIS 8/7/2013 10:16PM

    Good stuff Jerome! You can do it....it's in writing now....hehe!! emoticon

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_JODI404 8/7/2013 8:51PM

    Very exciting! Way to challenge yourself -- and you CAN do this!!

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JADED_CHICK19 8/7/2013 1:48PM

    Liked on FB! Excited to watch you complete your next set of challenges! Good Luck! :)

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CELIAMINER 8/7/2013 1:21PM

    emoticon I went straight to your FB page and Liked it!

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BACKTOME10 8/7/2013 12:46PM

    WTG Jerome! I KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! You will train properly....and you WILL FINISH!!!!

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CHUBRUB3 8/7/2013 12:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HANSBRINK 8/7/2013 12:01PM

  Good luck with your challenges and training. Stay strong and don't get injured through overuse. Best wishes!

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ANDREA0301 8/7/2013 12:01PM

    You've got this Jerome!!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 8/7/2013 11:29AM

    Jerome - you will rock those races...

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FEMISLIM 8/7/2013 10:17AM

    Great. You can do it!!!!

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ONTHEPATH2 8/7/2013 10:09AM

    As a non-runner - I am amazed! You can do it! Keep training! Me - walking a 5k next week. My second this year. Look forward to following your progress!



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AFOOT63 8/7/2013 10:05AM

    Good luck! I'll be 'liking' you on FB!

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WALLINMW 8/7/2013 10:05AM

  Great blog. Stay on track!

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Where Do I Start...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

warrior4health.com/2013/06/20/where-
do-i-start/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDREA0301 6/24/2013 10:59AM

    Start by starting... emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 6/23/2013 3:01PM

    What a great blog (as always). It's all about being able to live the life we want to live.

Rock on you!
Lisa : )

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CELIAMINER 6/21/2013 8:44AM

    Great blog! I know SP recommended, as you did, that at first I should track my food without changing anything just to get a baseline. From day one, though, as soon as I had to own up to what was going in my mouth, I stopped eating junk almost totally. The commitment to tracking my food was indeed critical to success.

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MPLSKEN 6/20/2013 9:19PM

    Good advice! emoticon

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 6/20/2013 6:55PM

    You are the only thing/person that can change you.

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KACEYSW 6/20/2013 5:59PM

    emoticon

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