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Spark Wheel, Sidewalk Cracks and Family Thoughts

Monday, July 12, 2010

I've been absent from blogs lately. Friday night, I stayed up too late. dozing off while watching TV and Sparking. I was so exhausted from the week. Saturday, I was doing some Sparkinging close to midnight and did not get everything in before the day changed. The Sparkwheel teased me - showing me a free exercise dvd floater, but I got my usual 2 points...Bummer.

Today, I was walking with BF around town while we were doing errands and caught my toe on a sidewalk crack. I fell all the way down on my left side. I am very sore and my right side is also tweaked. He had walked to the other side of the street to pick up a recyclable container and turned around to see me on the concrete. Some guy walked by and kept on going when I assured him I was ok. I used to be so embarrassed every time I fell that they were "wanna get away moments". But I didn't feel that way when the guy walked by this time. In fact, I did not realize the change in thought until just now. Hmmm.

I talked with my stepmother today and she was completely enthused and supportive of my degree and GPA. She said she talked with my brother and they were just marveling about my success, determination etc. It was one of those conversations you wish you could tape and listen to whenever the self esteeem dips. Rare and wonderful! We talked about what we know about cousins, my aunt and my sister. Lots of family stuff going on and I am powerless to contribute meaningfully (No family here in CA).

I lost about .8 this week, which surprised me. With this tendonitis, I have not been active. I have not been strength training or doing anything! I felt really huge when I stepped on the scale. Today's fall does not bode well. I will probably be stiff tomorrow and the tendonitis is just not healing this time...GRRRR.

I am ending the day low in almost all nutrition metrics, very low. Just not hungry.

Tomorrow will be a challenge at work. I am suddenly exceedingly busy! I may try yoga tomorrow. A lady comes in and teaches a class on Mondays and Thursdays. The first session is free and then it's $5 per session after that. I have to find something loose enough and yet wearable outside the house!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACIMPEGGY 7/12/2010 2:17PM

    All will be ok, eventually.

You will recover, your tendinitis will heal and you will reach your goals.

Remember, Thomas Edison tried over 1000 times before he got the light bulb right!

I'm happy your family is supportive of you, and I know it can be difficult to be away from them.

Have you tried Coach Nicole's 20 minute resistance band video for strength training? You may be able to do it at least partially, avoiding anything that would be too much where your tendinitis hurts.

Great good luck, REST, and love...

PS These up and down moments of our lives might be a good topic for a Toastmasters speech ;-)


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LIBBYFITZ 7/12/2010 1:20PM

    A very interesting blog. Hope you recover OK from the fall. emoticon

I am wondering with you're tendonitis whether you have thought about acupuncture?

The reason it is in my mind is that on another website I had this person tell me how thay had a problem and after lot's of conventional Pysical therapy over a number of weeks not working, she tried acupuncture and it worked. I have not had any experience with it myself. so just a thought.

I gree with you about the 'phone conversation stuff. some things said would be great to play back. matbe journal what was said so you can read it during a flat moment! emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/12/2010 9:45AM

    I hope you're okay from your fall, and not too sore and stiff.
It's wonderful that you had such a pleasant and supportive talk with your stepmother. That's one you'll be replaying in your mind for a long time!
She's right - the focus, determination, and effort it took to get your degree should be acknowledged and celebrated!
Let me know if you tried the yoga and if you liked it.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/12/2010 6:26AM

  yoga is a really great idea for you.. it's a great stress reducer. :) awww...that was really great that your stepmom was so supportive of your accomplishments. :) congrats on your weight loss! :) i hope you take it easy and are ok after falling down. :(

*hugs* emoticon

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    i know how you feel. About 2 weeks ago I trip going up a step and managed to scape both knees so i have been limited for what I can do. I know you will bounce back though

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BEAR_GURL 7/12/2010 2:21AM

    Poor girl...are you okay? Take time to take care of you and to bask in your accomplishment; you are strong and your success should be celebrated: ) Stay positive, try to eat a little more and I look forward to hearing from you soon...I hope you feel better tomorrow!!!


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JHADZHIA 7/12/2010 2:06AM

    So sorry about your fall :(( You sure didn't need that. I have to admit I have not fallen for a very long time. Part if its my bad posture, as I am always staring at the ground where I am putting my feet (and avoiding looking at passerby, hoping they will avoid looking at me). I have also developed a different method of walking where I m not so flatfooted, but lift up my toes and roll through the step on the ball of my foot. This is preventing my toes from catching on uneven sidewalks and what ever else is out there waiting to trip me up. Its part of the race walking method, and its gentler on the joints, a softer, less impact way of walking.
You probably lost some weight if you are low on nutrition. Yoga might just be the ticket for you! Hope you are able to do it! I sure can't -too much weight on hands and shoulders.
Its great hearing praise to show all you have gone through is noticed and appreciated!! Loved to hear that!
Take it easy and allow yourself to recover from the fall and the tendonitis!

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Mahalo Party Reverie and Other Thoughts

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Obviously, I have been off track in small ways for a while. I don't want to exercise. I am tired beyond description. Some of that was running on adrenaline yesterday because of my party. Then I did not sleep much last night and today was the busiest day in a long time.

Yesterday morning, I learned that I will be spending 12 hours a week working with the attorney who is a bit prickly. I welcome the educational experience and, as we both agree, I need a thicker skin and she needs a softer approach. My first task for her actually started before this realignment of my duties and our discussion about that was not ideal. I have a lot to learn! But she was constructively critical, so it worked out. I emailed the results of my first REAL task for her and hope to get some feedback on it tomorrow. It involved doing some research on another state's laws and was more interesting than what I was doing.

Yesterday was my Mahalo (Thank You) Party. Because of the change in venue (from our only really big conference room to the patio), some of my decorations were not used. The table cloths were not used. All I could think of was the waste of money! Everyone brought food. I was pleasantly surprised to see some good healthy choices mixed in with the other stuff. It was all good, from what I could tell. I put food on my plate, but had only a few bites because I delivered a speech and made presentations while everyone was eating. I had not had a chance to practice the speech. It came from the heart, but it was not memorized, so I read most of it (I did not want to forget anyone!). The music, a gift from a coworker, was fabulous! I had one piece of cake and it was wonderful! Everyone kept asking me if I wanted to take it home. No, but tempting. BF is diabetic and I know he would have eaten every bit! So they put the leftovers in the coffee bar. I was able to say thank you a lot of people and to encourage and uplift my coworkers.

I've mentioned before that the company is chockful of technical experts who are the creme de la creme and get the pay to go with it. The admin staff is subtly treated as in a lower class. There have been severe layoffs over the last few years so the few of us left are doing a lot more work and people feel underappreciated. I strove to stem that thinking yesterday.

I wore the blue aloha print dress and was surprised people didn't comment. I have not worn a dress to work in at least 5 years!

I was exhausted when I got home - too exhausted to Spark. I think it was just coming off the adrenaline of getting the party set up and everything else. I did not sleep much last night. Went to bed about 9:30. Not sure when I fell asleep, but I was wide awake at 1:15 and stayed that way for a long time. As a consequence, today was a long day!

We had a special event at work today that was really exciting and that made the morning pass more quickly. Soon we will have electric vehicle charging stations. Those cars are way above my pay grade, but I would sure love to have one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADJAZZ 7/11/2010 11:01PM

    Congrats on pulling off a great event! I've followed your plans for this Mahalo party with great interest. I'm surprised, too, that no one commented on your dress!

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LIBBYFITZ 7/9/2010 3:40PM

    You have been through a lot in the past weeks. Give you're body a chance to adjust. Glad the "Thank you" party went well. and leaving the cake behind was a great strategy. I used to do that with the left over morning tea goodies that were left behind after my mum's group sessions. I would take it over to the dental nurses as they had teenagers at home that would appreciate it.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    sounds great. Now is time to relax.

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    Your party was a wonderful way to say thank you to the friends who have supported you! I'm so pleased to see your good choices - picky on the food and leaving the cake for others to enjoy!
You need to sit down after work today, take a deep breath, and relax. Get some rest and relaxtion time before you start back in on your exercise program. Give your tendonitis time to settle down.
Just think of all you have accomplished in the past few months!
emoticonYou are awesome!

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KAATII 7/9/2010 6:59AM

    Sounds like the party was a great success and now it is behind you. As much as you were looking forward to it, it was still a source of stress both good and bad.
Of course you are tired......you have had so many things go on and so many big steps in your life recently.
Congratulations on your acheivements and good luck in your journey forward. You will do well!
And good job on resisting the cake!

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BEAR_GURL 7/9/2010 1:17AM

    Sounds like your party was a smashing success and you deserve to put your feet up and relax: ) We all get off track sometimes--just stay positive, keep sparking and try to start the day with 10 minutes of exercise (what a GREAT start to the day!).



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JHADZHIA 7/9/2010 12:32AM

    Sounds like a wonderful time at your party. Get some good sleep tonight you have earned it! Your program will be waiting for you when you are healed.
Take care of yourself.

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ROX2013 7/8/2010 11:37PM

    Sounds like a great party and way to say thank you! I understand about the cake we had cake at the baby shower and everyone kept asking if I and my sister wanted to take it home. It was a temptation but we resisted. I am making apple cobbler with whipped cream for my nephew's birthday cookout Saturday that will be harder to resist (the whipped cream that is). Try to get some rest tonite and have a great weekend! emoticon

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Two Small Food Experiments and Bestifar Thoughts

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I walked a total of 2.8 miles today, though not all at once. Tendonitis is back...

At lunch, I had shrimp and broccoli and, spur of the moment, sprinkled in a few sunflower seeds. I am not crazy about sunflower seeds, but I bought some shelled unsalted ones that I keep at work as a go-to item. It made for an interesting contrast in taste and texture. On Tuesdays and Thursday, the onsite cafe serves 2 flavors of frozen yogurt. Today they had pineapple and French vanilla. The vanilla was nonfat and there was no indicator on the pineapple, so I got a half cup of vanilla. Back at my desk, I added a tablespoon of soy butter and stirred it in. WOW! Was that great!

Tonight was a very light and a rather late dinner. That's ok because tomorrow, at long last, is my Mahalo Party. There will be all kinds of food and not much of it healthy. And chocolate cake! This party, they think, is in my honor, but this is my turn to thank everyone. I am looking forward to surprising some of the people! I am making a speech and presentations for certain people. Having the opportunity to publicly thank people is going to be the highlight for me. And chocolate cake. There will be about 40 people there (down from the 80 I invited and the 60 who originally accepted - the move to outside probably dissuaded some...

Today was my Bestifar's birthday. Bestifar is the Norwegian word for "Grandfather". I met Bestifar 2 years before he died. Our one visit occured during spring break of my sophomore year. He came to this country in the late '20s and a degree in engineering. During WWII, he was an engineer in various shipyards. He calculated the correct circumference of smoke stacks for fuel efficiency. Not being an engineer, that's all I know! In 2012, I want to sign up with Ancestry.com and do some research about my family. I would love to find out which ships he worked on!

I have a picture of him playing his accordion. As a young man in Norway, he'd had an accident at the family saw mill and was missing part of one finger. When I visited him, we had poached eggs for breakfast with herring (I'd never had either one before). We went to the Norwegian Seamans' Church where he was greeted as if he were royalty. He had a US flag and a Norwegian flag on his dining table. (I have both on my desk) We went to an outdoor market where I heard languages and tasted food I'd never encountered before. I wanted to stay! I got to touch the Liberty Bell! I will NEVER forget how that felt!

The only bad thing, two things, about that visit was the fact that he was forgetting English and I knew no Norwegian. It was so frustrating for him! My aunt said it was not Alzheimers, that it was hardening of the arteries or something else. I am very afraid of having that happen when I reach those years. Bestifar died about a week after my graduation from college. The fact that I had that one visit is precious, but I wish I could have had more time with him! I missed out on a stronger dose of my heritage.

Someday, I hope to make it to Norway. I will take pictures, I will eat the local foods and I will revel in the history, the culture, the music and the sound of the language. Through it all, I will see glimpses of my paternal line and feel connected through the sands of time...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 7/7/2010 9:39PM

    That is a wonderful idea to thank others at you Mahalo Party. That you have so many coming shows how much you were appreciated yourself!!
I know what you mean about a grandfather from another country. My dad is from Germany, and I did get to visit his country, but the food was too heavy and rich for me to enjoy and the fact they had coffee time in between meals twice a day meant I was just stuffed all the time! But seeing the historical buildings and churches was just awe inspiring! They are amazing craftsmen! Its a beautiful green, hilly country. I was wishing I had been in better shape at the time. We did tons of walking and that was when my knee was shot :(
Both my grandfathers died before I was even born. I never met my dad's mother, but my Mom's Mom was very special to me, and her heritage was Cree.
Celebrate your heritage!

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CARRAND 7/7/2010 8:24PM

    I really enjoyed you writing about your grandfather from Norway. I never got to know either of my grandfathers.

I know you will get to Norway someday if you plan for it.

Enjoy your party!

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LIBBYFITZ 7/7/2010 3:06PM

    Just finished reading the last part and felt sadness for you. It is hard when our extended family are from another country. My mum is from the Netherlands and my dad from Czech Republic so never got to meet any of my grandparents as they passed away before I was able to travel to see them. emoticon

All the best for you function. emoticon

the food experiments sound interesting. I have not come across soy butter!

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BCLASSIE_ 7/7/2010 10:22AM

  Good morning. I had to stop to read your blog with the bestefar reference. I'm of Norwegian descent and even though we didn't use bestefar or bestemor for my grandpa and grandpa, Grandpa was always rubbing my face with his skjegg (beard) and uffda and ishta were very common in my house. Thanks for sharing stories about your bestefar.

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KAATII 7/7/2010 9:24AM

    I am so glad you got to spend some time with your Grandfather! Even though it was short these memories are all good and now you have that healthy curiosity of your roots and your genetic past. Norway here you come (someday).
I was avery lucky person to have had all my grandparents with me throughout my childhood and beyond.
You made me think of them this morning.....Thanks!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/7/2010 8:25AM

  Nice memories that you have of your grandfather. I too, hope you will make it to Norway someday. The shrimp and broccoli sounds yummy. :)

Yummy..Chocolate cake!!! emoticon (I realize that is a cupcake.. but it's close enough. :))

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CHRISADONNER 7/7/2010 7:28AM

    What wonderful memories you have of your grandfather. Mine was special to me, too. I agree with Kaelie, put your Norway trip in your long term goals. Great idea.

Soy butter? Didn't even know there was such a thing. I'll have to investigate.

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KAELIE 7/7/2010 7:03AM

  What a great time you will have and such an awesome idea to recognize those who have helped you along the way. Enjoy every single bite of that wonderful cake!!

I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your Bestifar - I have such fond memories of my grandparents. I do hope you make it to Norway some day (be sure to write that long-term goal down somewhere!)

Have a wonderful time today at your Mahalo party - can't wait to hear all about it!

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NISA-JOE 7/7/2010 12:45AM

    Soy butter and and vanilla yogurt sound yummy... emoticon
The party sounds like fun. Hope you have a blast! emoticon

Learning about your roots is fun. You often find interesting stuff people long ago used to do or have.
For instance, it was a norm for people during my great grandmother's time to own lots of land... fruit orchards, rubber plantations and even forests.
They were very good at growing their own food and surviving on only nature itself.
Too bad, the government is buying off all that land for development...
I still remember when I was small picking/plucking fresh tropical fruit from her orchards - durians, mangos, rambutans, mangosteens etc... Future generations will miss all of that. emoticon

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Food and Spark Streaks

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Today was my first chance to solve my curiosity about Subways breakfast menu. They open too late for me to take advantage of their healthy offerings during the work week. I had the egg white and cheese muffin melt with spinach, cucumbers and avocado. Had I thought to add pepper, it would have been more flavorful. Very acceptable considering the price and the nutrional value.

I walked a little less than 2 miles today. Today was the first day in a while when my leg felt that I could handle it. I did not push it because I felt a twinge at the end...This was the beginning of another Spark streak.

And I had enough calories for a stop at Baskin Robbins. I have not been there in years, but they were selling double scoops in baseball helmet cups. I got the SF Giants, BF got the Oakland As. Their vanilla frozen yogurt (no fat) had no discernable flavor, but their low sugar banana strawberry something or other was very flavorful! BUT, I won't make this a regular event!

Tomorrow is the beginning of the back-to-work life... BLEH. When I worked 2 jobs or was also going to school, I really didn't care what day it was. Now time off is oddly more valuable...I think part of it is not loving my current job...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 7/7/2010 9:45PM

    I haven't been to a Subway since I started this healthy lifestyle journey. I did used to love their sandwiches. There is not one near me, probably a good thing lol. There is also no ice cream place near me, also a good thing, no temptations because I probably wouldn't have chosen to have yogurt, although I do like the frozen yogurt they have.
Its good to hear leg is better, but do be careful with it. That kind of injury is so sensitive to flare again..

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CARRAND 7/6/2010 9:01PM

    Going back to work after a long holiday is always hard. I'm glad you got a treat at the Baskin Robbins after your nice walk.

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    Thanks for the info on the Subway breakfast menu! I may have to travel for work, and this is good info. I'm so so used to making oatmeal, flax and berries when half asleep.. maybe I'll get to try this menu.

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MELA1953 7/6/2010 1:41PM

    Good to hear about the Subway menu!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 7/6/2010 10:31AM

  Glad to hear that you treated yourself to some goodies. :) The only thing I ever got at Subway was either the Ham Sub or the Veggie Delite.. never tried their breakfast.. maybe I will now. ;)
Great to hear that you walked. :) Awesome. :)


Comment edited on: 7/6/2010 10:32:26 AM

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KAKIPOPUP 7/6/2010 6:54AM

    You deserve some treats - glad you found some!

I think it is good that your time off is more valuable - I'm not sure that it has much to do with how you feel about your job - but it is really important to balance your life....even a perfect, enjoyable, exciting job requires a break now and then so that you can see it for what it is (perfect, enjoyable, exciting).

Be well.

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LIBBYFITZ 7/6/2010 5:51AM


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MEGANC1988 7/6/2010 1:26AM

    Awesome I'll have to check out Subway's morning menu. Hope getting back to work this week isn't too bad!

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Independence Day!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Today, I stepped on the scale and saw a 2 pound gain. Lack of exercise (tendonitis), guessing instead of measuring, possible time of the month - all contributions to the result. Underlying it all is a lack of passion for this journey. I know this won't last, but it has gone on longer than I thought it would.

I put myself back on stage 1 in the hopes of reigniting the Spark. There is the matter of my Mahalo Party this week and the chocolate on chocolate cake at the end of the potluck.

I do not view this 2 pound gain as a defeat. It is a setback and I am disappointed, but it does not mark the end of my journey. No towel throwing here!

Taking stock. In a few weeks, I will have been on SP 6 months. I have not lost the pounds I thought I would by now. What I have gained, however, is worth more. I have made huge strides in dealing with emotional eating. I thought that was always going to be an element in my character. It may be, but it no longer rules.

Exercise is still not a habit, but I have made progress. I walk almost every day. Strength training is a chore that I have skipped for a few weeks. I have not worked up to a respectable amount. I did, however, do some bridges yesterday with greater success than ever before!

Water is a habit and a positive choice. I have taken shortcuts with food - sometimes I measure, sometimes I guess. I chafe at the need to measure!

My clothes give more of a positive result than the scale, as does the way I generally feel (tendonitis aside). My lower back does not hurt, my hip does not wake me up at night. Sometimes I can use the stairs, but find that, if I do not I can walk more steps on a daily basis. I've misplaced my tape measure, so I can't report on that.

I really thought I would be further along in every way by now. Perhaps the fact that that is not a crushing disappointment is a measure of the lack of Spark here.

Not sure how to end this. My humanity is showing, but I am becoming independent of the tyranny of my past relationship with food and my standoffish relationship with exercise.

The right way to end this is to give thanks to those who have served, who do serve and who have sacrificed so that this country is free. I will regret for my entire life the fact that I could not serve my country in uniform. As with most families, I come from a long line of veterans, so I honor service men and women and their families.

Thank you! I do not take my freedom for granted, today or any day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROX2013 7/4/2010 4:34PM

    Sounds like a little dip in the journey and like you said you are dealing with it in positive ways. That is so great!! Happy 4th of July! emoticon emoticon

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MISSY455 7/4/2010 3:30PM

    emoticon I am also not where I thought I would be by now, but I just adjusted the time to get to goal not the goal weight. I have been experimenting with different types of exercise to find a mix I can live with for the rest of my life. I know these habits have to stick to make the goal a reality for the long term.

I took a yoga class last week, wow am I out of shape! I purchased a yoga video though on sale, and I plan to try it out again in the privacy of my house before I do another class. I like the walking videos by Leslie Sansone for the days I don't feel like walking outside. Plus you can modify anyway you like, as long as you keep moving.

You have already made so much progress. Walking everyday is something you weren't doing before, and even though you don't measure everything, I bet you have a better understanding of what you are actually eating. These are improvements for the long haul.

Keep the faith and don't allow the emoticon to define your progress.

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LIBBYFITZ 7/4/2010 3:00PM


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ACROSONIC 7/4/2010 2:40PM

    Going back to Stage 1 and restarting sounds like a good plan. Set goals for the areas you are still having trouble, like 10 minutes of exercise.

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CJSARGENT1 7/4/2010 1:05PM


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