JOHNTJ1   68,115
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The Best Gain I Ever Had

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I don't dread weighing in. I used to. As a matter fact, there were weeks, okay, in the spirit of honesty, months that I didn't weigh in because I knew that even though I had been to myself, the scale never lies. Oh, it may be off a pound or two, but it doesn't lie. I simply choose not to be accountable for my actions. The old saying "What you don't know won't hurt you," is pretty much a fallacy. As it relates to our health, what we don't know might not only hurt us, it might kill us. But as I'm often fond of saying, "Denial is not just a river in Egypt."

Tuesday is my weigh-in day. When I first began SparkPeople I would get pretty nervous today before I would have to weigh-in. I would look over every morsel and crumb that went into my mouth. I would stress out. In other words, I was a basket case. About the only thing I accomplished during that year or so, was that I drove myself so crazy that tension and anxiety caused me to put on 50 of the 75 pounds I lost. Oh, I know, those of you who are so close and dear to me, consoled encouraged me to concentrate on the success I had, but I was driving myself crazy. I was consumed with being on a diet and losing weight. I was so consumed with caloric intake and exercise, that I was about ready for a rubber room. So I stopped weighing myself and the weight gradually crept back on. As I'm sure some of you know, that does wonders for your self-esteem.

At the beginning of 2012, I decided to get back on track for good. I am not getting any younger and while I'm not sick, I am starting to notice some of the little health issues that come with aging. Coupled with a back injury I sustained the summer, it was time for me to "haul butt," so to speak. I analyzed what had gone wrong in the past, and vowed not to make the same mistakes, too often, LOL, again. I vowed to do what was sensible. The first week I lost four and a half pounds. It was time to do the happy dance. The second week, I lost a pound, still not too bad for a two-week loss.

Last week I traveled all week. I navigated buffet tables and food bars fairly well for the first three days. A bit of fatigue, a bit of being homesick, and the grind of being in three cities in five days, took its toll. After a while I simply ate because I was hungry. It didn't really matter what went in my mouth. I am not sure what physicist originally said it but I can't argue with it. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." What goes in our mouth determines whether we gain or lose weight. I had the option of spreading this trip out, but you know, since I'm Superman, I can leap tall buildings in a single bound. So this morning when I climbed on the scale at 6 AM it really didn't surprise me that I had gained 3.2 pounds in the past week. What did surprise me was my reaction. I didn't freak out, didn't decide it wasn't worth it, didn't throw away all my fruit and vegetables and proclaim that a healthy lifestyle was for someone else and not for me, I simply sat down at the kitchen table and reviewed what I needed to do right this week to lose the 3.2 pounds I gained.

What I am learning, is what makes me tick. I am learning how I can sabotage myself, justify overeating, and just plain rationalizing my way into a 12 inch pizza. Believe it or not, I am in a happy place right now. I am at peace and I know what I need to do. By the way, I have a long life ahead of me to do it. The stress and the tension of being overweight is something I have to learn to cope with. After two years, I think I'm doing a pretty good job.

Thank you SparkPeople while I'm not one of your more visible success stories. You have taught me much, much more than I learned in all the time before I met you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 2/3/2012 3:01PM

    How dare you say you're not a success story!!! Do you have any idea how many people you've helped and encouraged? If I had to only pick one blog to read on here it would be yours. I hope sp doesn't just look at weight loss to decide success. You are one of the great big SPARKS, you are right up there with the grand finale of a fireworks display! You are human and honest, and you help us all feel accepted and capable and joyful and sad and motivated.

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REJ7777 1/28/2012 7:06AM

    Your blogs always encourage me to persevere and not give up, no matter what. emoticon

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KATHRYN1955 1/26/2012 8:43AM

    I, too, am not a "success story". I am still considered "obese" (or obeast, as my husband says). I will not get voted "most inspirational blog" or asked to star in a magazine. Technically, I have gained some of my lost weight. But I an still going to the gym 3 times/week with some great friends. I am able to walk for 4 minutes on the treadmill at 3.5 mph at a 5% incline without seeing visions of dead relatives! Last summer I was able to swim in the lake for 60 minutes at a time. I am more active now than I was when I was 18. I still need to work more on the dietary thing, but for a 56 year old lady I think I am doing ok.
So yes, John, I do believe we have to get away from driving ourselves nuts counting calories, carbs, fats and proteins and start looking at other measures of success. We need to learn what our triggers are for overeating and face the underlying emotions rather than stuffing them down with more ice cream.
Here's to all of us who are not success stories and are just bumbling along.
Take care,

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PGNBRI 1/25/2012 10:32AM

    Good for you John!!

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NASFKAB 1/25/2012 8:47AM


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ZURDTA- 1/25/2012 8:05AM

    emoticon blog as usual...

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LYNMEINDERS 1/24/2012 10:44PM

    You have just nailed things totally for me...thankyou so much.....
I hadn't been getting your blogs so stoppred by to say Hi and see I have missed so many this year,,,,,

this one is just perfect and just what i need to read....

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7356WILMA 1/24/2012 10:26PM

  We still like to see the scale go down. But I think when we learn to like ourselves we can accept ourselves. Thank you for sharing you'll never know how much it has impacted us.

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CARTOONB 1/24/2012 10:10PM

    You're gonna keep on living, whether you're at your goal weight or not. Doesn't matter how long it takes to get there. Might as well enjoy the journey, right?

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HDHAWK 1/24/2012 8:56PM

    Learning what you have along the way is the real key to keeping the weight off for good. You'll get there again because I'm going to and I'm taking you with me, all the way to goal!

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SHERRYJVP 1/24/2012 7:16PM

    I didn't realize you had gained back. I was at goal and gained over the holidays. I am sooooo trying to lose those pounds before they become more. The biggest thing I have learned on this site is to "GET BACK ON THE WAGON". I admit it was harder after the holidays but I have now done it. I think getting back on track is what makes us successful..and with your positive attitude you will do just that. You always inspire us. We want you to reach all your goals.

Blessings, my friend.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 1/24/2012 3:27PM

    Thank you for being so honest. It helps me to see that I need to do the same thing you are...get off the scale kick. Seems I have lost the same 4 pounds about 2 months now. I am ready to lose some more weight and I am trying to get up the courage to bite the bullet and admit that if I keep my steps above 12,000 and my calories below 1900...I can do this. Gotta really start somewhere. the background. It fits you to a 't'.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/24/2012 3:26PM

    You're a success story, John, because you are learning to make the lifestyle changes that will lead to permanent success. I'm so glad you are in a good place now; that makes me really happy. There are going to be times when our weight goes up a bit, and other times when it plummets down (not nearly often enough for most of us, though!). Part of the process of making this lifestyle change permanent is learning how to deal with the ups and downs, the good times and and the not so good times; you're doing that, and that's what real success is.

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GIRANIMAL 1/24/2012 2:56PM

    As always, I am most impressed by your tenacity, your willingness to learn from your stumbles (or even just life obstacles, like not being able to control your food while you travel) and keep on moving forward. That's really all any of us can do!

I'm baby-stepping again myself. I've been having the longest five-pound pingpong match ever, and trying not to fight my body but work with it, by focusing more on stretching and less on cardio or even ST right now. It's stinks, too, because I am learning that "use it or lose it" applies -- QUICKLY -- to muscle mass.

But as you said, I have a long life ahead of me still and I don't have to "fix it" all by tomorrow! I have to learn to be OK with doing my best, even when my current best pales in comparison to past achievements.

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EMMANYC 1/24/2012 1:48PM

    Great blog. By the way, I have no idea why it happens, but every time I fly somewhere, my weight goes up temporarily for a few days after the flight, even if my eating is completely healthy and in line with my calorie range. A couple of days later the weight comes off.

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KKINNEA 1/24/2012 1:16PM

    I'm in this same place myself - the proverb JOPAPGH quotes is the one I use too. For me, Jan is always a gain month because of birthdays. I know it will come back off with the right actions, done calmly.

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BLACKROSE_222 1/24/2012 1:12PM

    Great update, John - we are all cheering you on, and here for you. HUGS.

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JOPAPGH 1/24/2012 1:08PM

    Great blog!

I was fanatical when I first stated and did really well, then gained the bulk back. I am a little more flexible now but still focused and am seeing results again.

Fall down seven times, get up eight...

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Price Matters?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 2/21/2012 5:53PM

    I'm usually leary of trying hotels at that price, but you've inspired me to maybe give them a try.

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LYNMEINDERS 1/24/2012 10:49PM

    We so can do this....

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RSTENNER 1/23/2012 1:57PM

    Happy travels and glad to hear you made it to the pool. Can't wait until you are back home and make some more of those inspiring video's! emoticon

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HDHAWK 1/20/2012 6:37PM

    Glad you had a nice pol this time around. Hubby and I always stay in places like that. Why pay a bunch of money if the place is clean and has a bed and shower? Safe travels!

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NASFKAB 1/20/2012 2:06AM


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MANILUS 1/19/2012 5:24PM

    You are living proof that no matter how busy, or where you are, you CAN do healthy habits. Congratulations on making the healthy lifestyle happen! I followed your last vlog and it is amazing how 2 companies can vary on offerings and price. If time allowed, I think the best thing would be to send a review of both hotels to let them know how their service is! Take good care and all the best!

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GIRANIMAL 1/19/2012 11:17AM

    I hope you're not catching my insomnia! I've been sleeping fairly awfully all week myself. I'm glad you're almost home -- it sounds like you could use a good dose of Joan and other familiar comforts. emoticon Safe travels!

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But They Are Really Nice People

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HDHAWK 1/20/2012 6:44PM

    The sweater still looks great! That Joan takes good care of you!

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NASFKAB 1/20/2012 2:05AM

  You have to be good to your xustomers

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REJ7777 1/19/2012 7:40AM

    Your blog is proof of just how important being nice to customers is. Then again, it's awful about the facilities! That hotel is wasting so much money and losing customer good-will by not fixing those drafty windows. And the condition of the pool is, really, inexcusable!

I imagine that being nice yourself is part of the reason that people are so nice to you in return.

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QUEENMOXIE 1/18/2012 5:25PM

    Bugs and slim and a cracked window...oh my! I enjoyed your vblog it made me smile! emoticon

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ANDREWS_MOM 1/18/2012 3:33PM

    Thanks for the laugh! emoticon
Bugs of any kind make my skin crawl.... You certainly put up with an awful lot! I hope tonight's hotel is much more comforting!

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MANILUS 1/18/2012 3:32PM

    My husband and I own a business and relationships are the cornerstone of keeping customers. There is nothing like somebody going the extra mile for you and that seems to be why you go back! Hope you enjoy your travel to Kentucky and all the best!

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KATHRYN2265 1/18/2012 1:44PM

  This is a great blog it made me laugh, it was nice to see that people go back to places because of the customer service . I am a hairdresser and I have worked in the same place for 10 years, I think that customer service is a very important aspect of any service related business. I would love for some of the people I have worked with to see this and take it into consideration . great blog.

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KKLIONESS013 1/18/2012 1:27PM

    Thank you for the laugh. I work in the hospitality industry, and it is proven that repeat customers will put up with MANY things that are not perfect IF the staff is very nice and accomodating! I kind of doubted those stats before,'re living proof! Thanks! :o)

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HKARLSSON 1/18/2012 12:26PM

    Ewww! Dead bugs and slime in the pool!!!! That would do it for me. Ha ha! Hope you have a safe trip!

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ANDIEBM71 1/18/2012 10:10AM

    Gave me a laugh- thank you and have safe travels!

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Things I Dont Quite Understand.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 1/19/2012 4:16AM


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QUEENMOXIE 1/18/2012 9:47AM

    Just a hunch...but the pool was closed because in a thunderstorm you can get electrocuted...even without the thunder...just the lightening nearby. You should be safe in your room...the windows are safety glass. You made me hungry.... It was very windy here trucks window got hit by a tree branch...scared the crap out of me...but didn't break the glass. I had no idea there was a storm either. emoticon

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SNOWANGELDIVA 1/18/2012 9:18AM

    Nice seeing you, John!
Tornado warnings and they didn't tell you?! Woah?
Ya, that's not cool
"LOL!!, We're all friends here...come closer, come closer..."

now, I "NEEEEED" pineapple...

Really a bummer about the pool...I think that would be a cool place to play in a tornado..I'm odd about those thiings cuz I'm in Ontario, near water and get those tornado warnings and it makes me's how we survive and produce twisted comedians.(Jim Carrey, Mike Myers to name a couple..)

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REDSHOES2011 1/17/2012 11:12PM

    Ask her the receptionist that question lol..

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GEEMAWEST 1/17/2012 9:11PM

    I think that I might ask for a room on the first floor just to be safe. LOL

Sure glad they didn't close our pool due to the snow we got this morning. I would have been greatly disappointed after making my way through the slushy mess. Good thing you're so easy going. Right?

Stay safe my friend!

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MANILUS 1/17/2012 8:15PM

    Either scenario with the weather probably isn't safe....Sounds like you did great on food choices, bravo!

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EXCUSES-BE-GONE 1/17/2012 7:35PM

    Loved your Video blog! It so nice to see members talk in person. .....I get a kick out of them! Don't have the nerve or know how to do one myself! LOL

I can understand them closing the pool if it is outside , or have lots of widows where glass could break plus they say don't be in water when there is lighting even inside.
Sorry you were disappointed. Give yourself a pat on the back for making good food choices. Paulette

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VANYELMOON 1/17/2012 6:39PM

    Awesome job on making smart choices with your food :) I hope you were able to still get your workout in. Have a great week!


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SHERRYJVP 1/17/2012 6:08PM

    well...I am guessing it is the thunderstorms they closed the pool for, but who knows.

Sounds like you are doing really graet with eating. You probably have your daily freggies in. that is always my goal.

Hopefully you will be treading water soon.

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TRENTDREAMER 1/17/2012 5:35PM

    Dunno. It's a good question about why the pool is closed.

I love Pineapples. Sounds like you made some good choices on the food today. Good job.

Traveling is tough, dietwise. I totally agree.

Was the pool area indoors? Was it one of those mostly in a glass surrounded area? I would agree that it would seem safer to be lower in the building, but I don't know. The hotel owner could probably get you a reasonable answer.

Pools represent potential lawsuits on so many levels. they probably just close it to be safe.

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GIRANIMAL 1/17/2012 5:35PM

    I loooooove logic! LOL emoticon

I hope you found an equally gently alternative workout. Good job on your food choices! I often find myself grateful that I have so much control over my meals.

Enjoy your trip, dear friend!


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They Dont Call It A Virtue For Nothing, Do They?

Monday, January 16, 2012

I weighed in this morning. I lost a pound between last Tuesday and today. I weighed ina day early because I'm going to be out of town for close to a week and won't have access to an accurate scale. One of the things I noticed was that I didn't freak out because I only lost a pound. Joan and I got dressed and went for an early morning swim. And while I was walking in water it dawned on me how much I've changed in the past two years since I've embraced the Spark people concept.

They don't call patience a virtue for nothing. Sometimes, it's difficult to sit and wait, knowing that when you're doing the right things they will eventually pay off. I used to sit and analyze everything that went in my mouth the previous week if I didn't end up with the weight loss I had anticipated. I would overanalyze, get stressed out, and generally drive myself crazy for the next week. I would lose 5653 pounds between now and the next time I weighed and if I didn't, buy goodness, that meant I had to up my exercise and starve myself like a contemplative monk. That sort of thinking usually lead to a 5 pound gain. That 5 pound gain usually leads to a lot of frustration.

This time I believe will be different. This time I approached the loss as a loss and with great joy. I believe I am finally learning that this is a journey and not an event. I believe I am finally learning that this is a way of life and not a "diet." I believe I'm happier, more content and definitely less stressed out. I am not going to worry about why it was only a 1 pound loss. It was a loss.

The most difficult thing for us in this world of 2012 is to be patient. It means we have to play the hand we’re dealt. It means sometimes there's no explanation for the weight gain as sometimes there's no explanation for the weight loss.

Follow the process, drink your water, do your exercise, and love yourself. Sounds simple don't it, lol? I am learning to throw in a healthy dose of patience as well. It may have taken me a little over two years, but I believe I am finally getting the hang of this.

Have a blessed Monday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 1/25/2012 11:49AM

    "Follow the process, drink your water, do your exercise, and love yourself." Simple, yes. Easy, no. It sounds easy, it really does. Maybe it's that process I need to follow that trips me up. Patience...ok.

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ROCKYRD1 1/25/2012 4:01AM

    Early morning swim - now that sounds like fum - we focus so much on the number loss when we should really focus on what we

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LYNMEINDERS 1/24/2012 10:51PM

    You always write what i need to read.....

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MARCYNA 1/19/2012 4:08AM

    Thanks for this very useful blog!!!!
Is patience what I need, too??? I am really disappointed with my dance classes and I really have no idea what I should do.....any ideas?????

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SHERRYJVP 1/17/2012 6:10PM

    you are moving in the right direction! on many levels. YAY YOU!

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GIRANIMAL 1/17/2012 6:05PM

    There is quite the learning curve here, isn't it? I am still trying not to get on the scale every single day, and trying not to panic at every one-pound uptick, and trying not to stress out when I only lose half of what has crept back on or nothing at all. And we're talking about maybe a five-pound window, tops! Since I've lost 75, how freakin' crazy does that sound? LOL

Proud of you for your patience and your perseverance. You're a shining example, John!

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MYOWNHERO 1/17/2012 1:36PM

    Congrats on losing a pound! Good for you!

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HLPRATT 1/17/2012 10:36AM

    It took me six months to lose 15 lbs. If I hadn't had patience I would have gave up. Some weeks the weight loss suprised me and other weeks it dismayed me. I learned as I went and I continue to learn. It's a process and it does work-It is possible.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 1/17/2012 8:36AM

    Thank you for this reminds me that I am not the only one struggling with this issue.
Ah, patience, it is a virtue, but sometimes it is as the one vulture told the other vulture..."patience, my a$$...I'm gonna kill something!".
I have been going through a lot the past few months and unbelievably, I have managed to lose about 30 pounds anyway. I know it is because of my friends on Spark and also a very good old friend that I have reunited with that remembers me from my late teens...yeah, long ago. He reminded me of my worth and of the worth of patience. It is paying off in many ways, even though I would have liked to see the payoff long before now.

Keep up the good work. Listen to the world around you...take the time to do that...I find that there are bits and pieces of wisdom and meaning in all kinds of things that we encounter throughout the day...the words of a song (or two or three...), the laughter of a friend or a child or a love, the breeze blowing the spray off the fountain, the sun shining down and warming our hearts...I know you appreciate these things, but do you take the time (are you patient) and see how they make you feel? It takes our minds off our ills to look around us and appreciate what we see and hear.
Have fun, eat well, exercise your heart out and love yourself.
Have a great day, John.


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NASFKAB 1/17/2012 1:26AM


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7356WILMA 1/17/2012 12:01AM

  Way to go on the pound lost!! You are doing it!!

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CARTOONB 1/16/2012 10:19PM


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DUTCHIEKIWI 1/16/2012 8:59PM

    Enjoy your time away, and you're doing fantastic!


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JCDROLSHAGEN 1/16/2012 6:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 1/16/2012 6:32PM

    Hang in there! As long as you know you're doing the right thing, the weight will come off. Good luck on your trip!


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HDHAWK 1/16/2012 6:26PM

    Very good point and I'm practicing it with a vengeance right now. .8 in 2 weeks, but I know it will come off if I keep working the plan. I still don't like how slow it is, but I'm not letting it get me down.

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KKINNEA 1/16/2012 3:07PM

    Great message for all of us to remember.

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EXCUSES-BE-GONE 1/16/2012 2:43PM

    Congrats on switching your mind set from"diet" to healthy life style! Congrats on that pound you lost. emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 1/16/2012 1:37PM

    It really takes patience to practice patience

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RSTENNER 1/16/2012 10:00AM

    Keep on Keeping on John. Now, what are your plans for exercise while you are gone a week? Set yourself up for success and find a pool where you are going or some kind of exercise to do so you stay in your exercise routine. I think you've got it chap. How about seeing "less" of you in 2012? That's what I plan to do. Good Luck! emoticon

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    I think most of us need to learn the virtue of patience. Congrats on the pound lost!!

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WENDYSPARKS 1/16/2012 9:11AM

    emoticon I am doing better took some time though....wishing you continued good luck!


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JECKIE 1/16/2012 9:06AM

    Hey, that's one pound you don't have to carry around any more! I wish I lost a pound a week! ;) Great job!

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CMHARRISON12 1/16/2012 8:52AM

    Thanks so much for the reminder. I can over analyze and it just keeps me in the "bad place" in my head. I'm drinking an extra water as a "cheers" to you today! emoticon

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