KARVY09   39,391
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An Open Letter to SparkPeople re: Nutritional Info and Restaurant Ads

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dear SparkPeople,

First of all, thank you for providing free tools and social networking for all of us here. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this first and foremost. I understand that a large reason why this is possible is the revenue provided by advertisements on this site and I fully encourage you to market and profit in this manner in order to keep the site free for us all. I click on them often. I figure it's the least I can do!

Recently, I've seen a huge increase in "bad" food items as advertisements. Others have noted this and complained that the images of cookies, ice cream, and other naughty foods have the tendency to increase sugar and other junk food cravings. While I'm a huge supporter of the "all foods in moderation" philosophy, I agreed that too many of these ads is counterproductive to the healthy living theme of this site. That being said, I resigned myself to the fact that I'm ALWAYS going to be tempted by food imagery on television, in magazines and newspapers, and yes, on the Internet, and the best thing to do is to be strong and ignore it as much possible.

However, today I noticed a coupon for Bertucci's on the website. As a New Englander, I'm very familiar with this restaurant: the amazing rolls with the olive oil and cheese dipping sauce, pizza, calzones, and pasta galore. I'd have to search REALLY hard to find a healthy item on that menu. And that is OK, but unfortunately, Bertucci's does not provide nutritional information on its website. [Apparently they DO. See the EDIT statement below for correction.] Search "Bertuccis calories" on Google and you will find stories of people who attempted to call and email for the caloric content of Bertucci's meals to no avail. I've noticed that SparkPeople has featured ads from similar restaurants who do not make nutritional information public.

So here's what I think.

I believe that SparkPeople is in a unique position to push potential advertisers to publish their nutritional information so that diners can make informed food choices. I'm not even saying that SparkPeople should turn away ads from restaurants with higher calorie menu items. But why not offer restaurant chains advertising discounts or incentives for publishing nutritional content AND offering healthy choices on their menus?

This site has changed so many lives of so many individuals already, but why not take your business model a step further and encourage restaurants and other corporations to join the healthy living revolution?

Again, I'm not asking Bertucci's to cut down on the cheese and bread, nor am I taking them to task for this. Pizza has lots of fat and calories. Everyone knows this. But if I know that a slice of pizza has 500 calories instead of the 300 calories I'm estimating, I'm more likely to make an informed choice and stay on track.

I look forward to the conversation that hopefully will ensue.

Sincerely,
Kristina
(KARVY09)

EDIT:

GROVERE just pointed out that Bertucci's has a pdf of Nutritional Information! OK,either I totally missed it the several other times I looked at the site (both today and in the past) or else it was just posted: bertuccis.com/pdf/nutritional.pdf .

In any case, I stand corrected and apologize for the error, but my point remains that SP can use positive incentives to encourage restaurants to publicize their nutritional information, so I still think that this blog still remains relevant.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARLYGOLD 6/10/2011 11:32AM

  You are kind and measured in your gentle criticism and helpful suggestion for SparkPeople.

Personally, I am further disappointed by the hypocrisy SparkPeople is blatantly displaying. On the front landing page there is a link at the top explaining how the site can be "Free". They explain that the owners made so much money as Ebay employees in the early days that they "are now using our earnings from its success to make the world a healthier place. This is our way to give back and help the world." In reality, they are web-based entrepreneurs who created an online auction site which was sold to Ebay. I'm sure they were employed for a while after that...

Their blurb states :"This site really is free– with no strings attached." Yet, in their advertiser kit they make these statements:

"Because we are member-based and collect user data upon registration, we can specifically target users by age, gender, geo-location (zip code level) and even the number and ages of their kids. In the SparkPeople registration path, we collect health condition information that can be used to target relevant messages to users across our websites and eNewsletters."

This is simply the best way to make money with an online website. Its a fact. But to blatantly attempt to create the illusion that the owners have given this website freely to the consumer, is not correct. The consumer is paying by forking over their personal information to paying advertisers to use to manipulate your desires and spending habits.

Even the "good" advertiser for a site such as this do not truly have your best health in mind. Proceed with caution!


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SPARKY2025 7/11/2010 3:40PM

    I like this blog emoticon

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GERAPTIKO 7/1/2010 3:21PM

    emoticon

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TGALDA 7/1/2010 10:28AM

    I commented before on how I appreciate this blog, and then today I came across this on Spark's website:
http://www.sparkpeople.
com/resource/motivation_article
s.asp?id=1454

Just so we know there is a way to report these inappropriate ads. They should of course better filter them, but we can at least try to be heard.



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LEAN-N-LEXY 6/29/2010 9:17AM

    Karvy, just before you posted this I was visiting my family in Ohio. The site recognized the IP address of my sister's computer and showed an ad for a Dayton, OH goodie place(a new one to me) with a beautiful array of frosted cookies. I felt rather irritated at the wildly inappropriate imagery for the headline ad for SP. On vacation, I didn't want to spend my energy on writing such an eloquent complaint to SP or trying to find the complaint form.
Thank you for being such a well spoken voice here in the SP community.
Dineen

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DACSAC 6/28/2010 12:00AM

  Great blog. Thanx

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DREAMT1 6/27/2010 11:26PM

  I totally agree with the point that you are making. I have been able to make much better choices when informed. Fortunately, the restaurants here in CA have responded by having menus available.

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TXGAL2007 6/27/2010 5:07PM

    Thank you, I have looked and looked at some sites and it is sometimes very hard to find. I think it should be mandatory just like the labeling on grocery goods.

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SHERRY822 6/27/2010 4:36PM

    I totally agree. In fact I was so angry about the Lean Cuisine sponsored team that I started a team called REAL Eating Without Compromise to gather people who are interested in REAL nutrition, and healthy eating over buying some processed science experiment. Just because the nutrition looks somewhat decent(except for sodium), doesn't mean it's a healthy choice,(and I don't mean the frozen meal). I want to teach people about nutrition, and cooking and eating food that is just that, REAL food.

I totally agree with the fact that Spark has to use advertisers to pay for what we don't, and believe me I appreciate every free minute that I get on this site. There just has to be a line drawn somewhere as to what will and will not be shown on a healthy living site. Why not have advertisements for Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, or healthy food brands like Ezekiel, or even Green Giant frozen vegetables(without the sauces of course)? At least they are on the same wave length as the rest of us. Those of us who have been here for a while are somewhat educated on what to and what NOT to eat. We have new Sparkers joining every day, and some of them are not educated at all on healthy eating. Is it fair to them to come here, like many of us have, looking for guidance, and see a food item like LC or Skinny Cow(also filled with chemicals), and think because it is on here it MUST be healthy? I say no it's not. emoticon

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TONIABLAKE 6/27/2010 10:40AM

    This is a great point. I hope SP heeds your advice. In addition to the ads, I notice too that Lean Cuisine and Skinny Cow (processed foods) seem to have sponsored teams. I don't feel that's at all appropriate.

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FLMOMX2 6/27/2010 7:58AM

    Well said emoticon

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SHRINKING_LILY 6/27/2010 6:53AM

    I'm glad you brought this up.

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GRAMPIAN 6/27/2010 5:01AM

  You've made a good point.

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TENNISFAN99 6/27/2010 1:30AM

    It has been great in California for the last year. Any chain with x number of locations are required to provide nutrition information. Right now they are just required to have it on site in the next year it will have to be on the menu. It has been great. At the very least as you have mentioned food selection becomes an educated choice. Maybe sometime in the near future it will be required of all restaurants. It would be awesome any food shown as an add on the website had nutrition information in the tracker.

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GWENFITNESS1ST 6/26/2010 11:52PM

    Way to go and thanks for bringing this up! emoticon

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THENEWME43 6/26/2010 11:47PM

    Well said. emoticon

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UNSTOPPABLE_ 6/26/2010 9:48PM

    Thank you...I agree

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RAVIN382838 6/26/2010 8:34PM

  You said it so well.

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HARISHABAD 6/26/2010 7:59PM

    Agree strongly! SP is in a position to demand businesses conform to certain standards. Also I am not a fan of the Pharma ads here...alas, they are everywhere now.

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HEIDI76 6/26/2010 5:24PM

   

I'm glad to see someone making the point that money shouldn't always come first.

We all need to stand up and say that we will no longer be pushed around by advertising dollars and big business. We all know it's hard to stick to your goals (isn't that why we are on sparkpeople?) but we have put our trust in this website to help us achieve our goals of a healthy lifestyle and with that trust comes a responsibility to sparkpeople for them to stick to their goals. I think if the decision came between taking advertising money from a company that doesn't promote a healthy lifestyle and asking members for donations, I don't think there is one member of this site who wouldn't try to help keep sparkpeople up and running without compromising their commitment to their members.

Heidi

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GOGOSHIRE 6/25/2010 5:30PM

    I hate seeing Lean Cuisine ads. That's not really healthy food. And another thing that bugs me is while it's great that they've got that section with all the chain restaurants' calories - let's face it, people end up at McD's sometimes, and you have to track it - Chipotles, a nationwide chain with a menu of great choices is missing! Now, Chipotles calories are available online, but it would be great if Spark had it.

My big problem with the Biggest Loser - my only problem, really, is all the product placement within the show. I can walk away during a commercial, but I don't want to split during their Jenny-O turkey ads right in the middle of the program. Same deal as SP - both BL and SP are in a position to choose great advertisers that support our goals, but $$$ wins out. Boo.

Thanks for a great letter.

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MARGARITTM 6/25/2010 9:07AM

    I agree with you! Good point - Information is power.

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BERGIE8771 6/24/2010 11:55PM

    Great idea, SparkPeople is different and they might as well do things "right". I hope this happens.
Thanks!

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JETSGIRL06 6/24/2010 10:57PM

    amen sister!

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RUSSELLORAMA 6/24/2010 5:03PM

    If it will keep those tasty-looking macaroons off the top of my page, I'm all for it!

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LAURALITE 6/24/2010 4:46PM

    I agree, and I hope that SparkPeople, as a leader in the healthy lifestyle movement, will accept the challenge to establish progressive advertising policies for their site.

Your observations about the prevalence of ads on SP containing provocative, tempting images of unhealthy foods seems to be supported by the research of Dr. David Kessler (former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration) on the dynamics of triggers and food addictions. For more info see his book &/or the review here:
http://optimalbodyweight.c
om/blog/book-reviews/end-of-ove
reating/end-overeating-food-reh
ab-obesity
(Thanks to KRISKECK for this valuable reference)

I look forward to the day when nutritional info is posted at point of sale for all foods, so that we can make informed choices in the moment. It's great that it's happening in a couple of places, and we can all help make it a movement by requesting it wherever we dine.

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MOTIVATIONFOUND 6/24/2010 3:48PM

    What an excellent blog! You make SUCH a good point.

To me, it would really benefit the restaurants to do this - here's why... I don't eat out very often but when I do, I always go to their website first to see if there is nutritional info posted so I can make the right choices for me.

Sometimes, when I want to go to a particular restaurant's site and find that they don't offer nutritional info, I will go someplace else that does offer it. Now of course this doesn't mean I will make strict dietary choices once I get to the restaurant - I'm human after all. But when I know the nutritional info, I can offset the rest of my day accordingly. If I have to guess, I'm likely to move on and pick someplace where I don't have to guess - just in case my guess is way off.

The majority of the time, I am totally committed to the program that I am following right now through SP. It is because of that commitment that I look for the nutritional info if I am in a position where I am eating out. I'm guessing I'm not alone and that a lot of other people on this site just might do the same thing. Not providing the nutritional info is causing some places to lose my business - maybe other people's business too.

SparkPeople is in a very unique position here - they really do have the opportunity to help facilitate a positive change. I'm really glad you brought this up. Hope it helps bring about a change.

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MISTONTHEMOOR 6/24/2010 11:33AM

    I totally agree with your post. I'd like nutritional information to be available and easy to find for any and all eating estabishments. Don't make me guess, help me make an informed choice.

And I would add to all the food manufacturers - please, please cut the salt content of packaged foods.

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DEEGEE2 6/24/2010 11:17AM

    Good Post - I am so happy to work in NYC where they post all the calories in the fast food restaurants and other places. Makes my choices much easier.

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JENKEELY73 6/24/2010 10:07AM

    Well said! Though, truthfully, I haven't noticed the ads. Your point is valid. We also want to make sure Sparkpeople stays free! I can't believe how many months I paid for Weight Watchers when even better tools were available on this website!

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CODYISMYDOG 6/24/2010 8:34AM

  I read this open letter to Spark People, and had to wonder, what ads. I actually have never noticed them. But, I do agree with having caloric information being available will really help direct your food choices. I was in LaGuardia Airport a couple of weeks ago and wanted a smoothie, Starbucks has a new one with only 280 calories but was out so I go over to the Smoothie King and theirs were up to 100 calories higher. But what surprised me the most was that the calories were posted for all choices.

I live in a town without a single chain resturant. 4 towns away is the first one, a Micky D's and BK. The 2 resturants I go to use alot of fresh vegetables and seafood and very little in the way of processed foods.

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SUSH_ASH 6/24/2010 6:43AM

    well made point!!

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KRISKECK 6/23/2010 10:11PM

    Thank you for this post -- Sparkpeople does occupy a unique position. With so many subscribers, it us well positioned to push for reasonable things like easily accessible calorie postings.

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GOGETTERME 6/23/2010 10:04PM

    Great blog! As a newly southern girl from the tri-state area I am REALLY missing Bertucci's. I know their food had to be unhealthy and it probably lead to many pounds gained for me. Even at my worst state, if the TRUE nutritional information was in my hands I would surely have made better choices. I love it but would surely leave it if I had the facts in hand. Fact is most good tasting food is bad for you and making it healthier costs money and alienates most customers. It's all about the bottom line and most Americans just want to have yummy food at any cost to their health. We are the minority unfortunately.

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BEINGMENOW 6/23/2010 5:18PM

  Great Blog. I try my best to not frequent restaurants that don't post their nutritional information, but it would be great if Sparkpeople placed pressure on them. And I too have been surprised about the advertising. I really don't think it's too much to ask for a site dedicated to overall good health to limit (possibly not completely exclude) advertisements for unhealthy foods. Spark is definitely in a position of power considering the large subscriber base. Great blog!

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VANILLAMAMA 6/23/2010 3:45PM

  Thank you for this blog. I think all restraunts should have a calorie and fat count next to the item on the menu. So when you see it on the menu you see the prices you pay in the calories and fat as well. Restraunts use what I call a out of site out of mind concept. We dont know what is in it. We are hungry so we choose whatever. If we taught this to our kids at a young age like they have done with sexual health we would go farther in this world.

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ROCKYCPA 6/23/2010 1:00PM

    Having the nutritional information available is important to me as well. I try to have there so that I can make a good decision. Don't alway follow it but do know that it is there. Thanks for a great blog and suggestion to Spark People.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 6/23/2010 12:36PM

    Missed this one the other day...Year's ago I wrote a health magazine (Shape or Self or both) and complained that they had cigarette adds in their magazine (this was early 90's when such things still happened). One wrote back telling me they had to have advertising to make the magazine affordable, but apparently I was not the lone complainer as it was only a few months later that cigarette ads disappeared from one of the magazines with an editorial explanation that they just could not warrant publishing ads for something so detrimental to health. I was impressed.

Sometimes all it takes is one voice to start the ball rolling...with a popular blog post attached maybe this will get noticed and more restaurants will publish their info.

In the meantime we call all write to the restaurants we know of that don't publish and see what we can do. I wrote an organization in town suggesting they use a race for fund raising-our town offers a marathon and a tri in the winter, but there are NO other races offered by anyone in town. They told me they were thinking of that and then Kristen e-mailed them too. I am excited thinking about the difference our two little letters MIGHT make. Maybe our voices will be the ones that make the difference. Sparkers are already experienced at making a difference and inciting change!!

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NACHOSMAMA 6/23/2010 12:33PM

    Amen! It is shocking how unhealthy some restaurant foods are. Even many 'healthy' menu items are not so healthy- just check out the nutrition info for the 'Weight Management' dishes at Cheesecake Factory (http://calorielab.com/news/2007/07
/28/calorie-pusher-comes-to-tow
n-the-cheesecake-factory-hits-r
ochester/). They're another restaurant that does not post its nutition info on their website. SP should definitely give incentives or priority to advertisers who post their nution info on their websites.

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CATHERINEL66 6/23/2010 10:52AM

    It will be a fantastic day when we see ads on spark for the local food co-ops, or the community-based farms!

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KILLARI 6/23/2010 10:16AM

    It's probably more realistic to ask that they be a bit more sensitive about their advertising. It's different than seeing advertising on television - which is a passive activity. We actively log into this site, and therefor advertising can obviously be more targeted, easily.

Not really the same thing, but boards related to anorexia or alcoholism forbid any 'trigger' words. Same concept should apply here.

Not sure if it's realistic for sparkpeople to approach restaurants nationally, single-handedly, but they could push the FDA to make stricter regulations, I suppose.

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ADIPOSEROSE 6/23/2010 9:32AM

    This is an excellent idea. It wouldn't hurt, either, for someone to start a petition circulating as a SPARK group or blog--and when enough members have posted, to send it to the various restaurants, letting them know that until they do post the calories in their menu offerings, we will take our dining out dollars elsewhere. In this economy in particular, such a promise packs a great deal of punch!

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SM-ARTGIRL 6/23/2010 6:23AM

    As someone else has elsewhere noted: you will never see an advertisement for broccoli.

(or any natural, unprocessed, wholefoods).

Sparkpeople IS in a great position to boost companies that offer natural alternatives to the rest.

emoticon

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TRABOLD8567 6/23/2010 12:43AM

  emoticon

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15THC_ODETTE 6/22/2010 11:58PM

    Eating out is a mine field. I like the idea of Sparkpeople giving preferential rates to restaurants who offer healthy options, I wonder if they do.

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NEVERNAKED 6/22/2010 11:12PM

    you make some great points. thanks for the blog.
i'm also a new englander!

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MYDOGTUFF 6/22/2010 10:41PM

    Excellent suggestions and blog! I avoid places that I cannot get the information from their website...even though it has been shown in some cases that the information is not accurate, it still helps with a relative idea of what you are getting.

Sidenote....ten years ago, we moved from New England to the Rocky Mountain area and my hubby states often how much he misses Bertucci's..... emoticon

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MPARKEROT 6/22/2010 10:35PM

    great blog and I totally agree! there are several places that I LOVE to go that I very rarely ever go anymore because they don't post their nutritional information anywhere. Sad :(

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PRAYERPILGRIM 6/22/2010 10:35PM

    Thanks for challening everyone to empower themselves to make a difference.

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STARTINGALLOVER 6/22/2010 10:31PM

    I agree totally.. I am happy that this site has companies that support it-but at the same time it is for health that we are here..healthier choices on their menus would be a step in the right direction-and I only visit restaurants that make it easy to obtain their nutritional info as I plan my meal before I go... good blog!

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A Year of Running While Chunky

Friday, June 18, 2010

This weekend marks my one year anniversary as a runner! Wow, it simultaneously seems like I've been running forever, but also like I just started yesterday! So here's a recap of my year of running...

JUNE 2009

On June 17, 2009, I wrote a blog declaring my intentions to run and start the Couch to 5K Program. I was 275 lbs and morbidly obese and I wrote:

"I know that none of you know me personally, but I'm sure you can identify with my hatred of running. I think it came from 4th grade when we had to do a 600m run and I came in second to last place (after the girl who had an injury so had to walk most of it) and was teased by my classmates. Since then, I've never run outside unless I'm catching a bus or something. I've run on treadmills a bit, but even then I'm loathe to lift my feet up off the ground."

Two days later, I started C25K. Week 1, Day 1 consisted of a treadmill run of alternating 60 seconds of jogging 4.2 mph with 90 seconds of walking at 3.4 mph. It was tough, but I did it.

After completing W1D2, I wrote about my family doubting that I would ever be able to run: "I think that's a common misperception about fat people. Could we be healthier and thinner? Of course. That doesn't mean we stuff ourselves and sit on the couch all day. I can do this. I know I can run this thing."

I surprised myself that I had ZERO knee pain like I expected. I did get shin splints and the walking portion of C25K was sometimes harder than the jogging portion because I felt that uncomfortable tingling feeling in my calves. So for those starting out running while chunky (RWC), it is NOT a given that you will experience extreme aches and pains.

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JULY 2009

I kept it up, even as the temperatures climbed but all of my runs were at the gym on the treadmill. I had a couple of setbacks. I cut my foot at the beach and had to skip a couple of runs. I actually lowered the speed of my runs to 4.0-4.2 mph in order to have the endurance to complete the 3-5 minute runs. By the end of the month, I had run three-quarters of a mile!

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AUGUST 2009

In August, I wrote my first RWC blog "But I'm Too Fat to Run!" which was my first popular blog post. It was later featured on the dailySpark. I had no intention of blogging here on SP, but something in that blog really struck a chord in people. I was voted a SparkPeople motivator and when TEXGIRLY, the leader of the Couch to 5K Group decided to pass the reigns of the group, she asked me to be a group co-leader. Leading this group and reading the running stories of others has been instrumental to keeping me motivated and ready to run.

I ran a mile on the treadmill for the first time, but as I started the longer runs, it was tough. I attempted to move outside as well, but the heat and the switch from treadmill to terrain was extremely difficult. Looking back, I wish I had stuck it out and made the switch sooner. I had some injuries at the end of the month (non-running related) which slowed down my C25K progress.

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Due to a million things going on, as well as injuries, I did not finish C25K before my first race. I was only running about 1.5-2 miles at a time. I was extremely nervous before the day and I wrote "What if I can't run at all? What if I hurt my knee/ankle/leg? What if I come in last? What if one of the walkers beats me?"

But then, I finally reasoned "It's okay if I have to walk. It's okay if I come in last. The attempt is almost as sweet as victory. I have raised over $500 for breast cancer research and relief."

The Race for the Cure was warm and sunny and I DIDN'T COME IN LAST, but I did walk for about a quarter of the course. I'm not going to rehash my race reports (you can go back and read them if you want), but I ran in it in 44:49. Here is me today wearing my XL shirt from the race:



OCTOBER 2009

I finished C25K at last! I started running outside little by little in the cooler weather. I wrote: "My success is measured in miles. Not calories, not pounds, not ounces, not inches, not numbers. It's measured by that feeling in my lungs as I push past what I thought was possible."

I finally discovered the little adventures you can have while running outside. The people you meet, the things you don't see when you're whizzing by in your car. It was amazing.

Oh, and I finally got fitted for proper running shoes, stability shoes because I overpronate. I should have done this WAY sooner. As soon as I got them, running was so much easier and I finally ran my 3.1 miles on the treadmill. It was like running on clouds!

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NOVEMBER 2009

This month I kept running both outside and on the treadmill and felt good about my Turkey Trot at the end of the month. This began a tradition of injuring myself before a race, where I tripped on a pothole the day before my race. Luckily it wasn't too bad and I was able to run. It was a cross-country race and it was MUDDY since it had rained like crazy the day before. But I pushed through and finished in 39:45. I think I was helped by the springy grass!

And yes, I got a shirt! Here is me now in my Size L Turkey Trot shirt:



WINTER 2009-10

I kept treadmill running but I didn't stick to a specific schedule. I kept posting in the Couch to 5K Group, writing RWC blogs and made a goal to run a half marathon in 2010 and started a group with my Sparkbuddies PINKCOCONUT and COURTNIZZLE82 for those running half marathons in 2010. I used this time to try activities like spinning and kickboxing that I ordinarily was afraid of trying!

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MARCH 2010

I started to get serious about getting back to running. I signed up for 3 5Ks and 1 10K for spring. My first 5K of the spring season was St. Patrick's Day themed, but it was pouring like a mofo. I really didn't know how to adapt, so I didn't wear the best clothing and I was soaked, weighed down, and miserable. But I ran the whole thing and finished in 39:50, which wasn't bad, considering the conditions.

Again, a t-shirt free swag photo!



APRIL 2010

I was so pumped up at the beginning of the month and started training for my hilly 5K and was doing really well. BUT... on the day of the race, I tripped over a rock WALKING to the start line, twisted my ankle and didn't run the race. So frustrating!!! But after I recovered, I started thinking about the next race in May, a 3.5 miler, got below 200 lbs and started getting told by people that I wasn't RWC anymore. Aww... I'll always be RWC, even when I'm thinner!

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MAY 2010

The Run for Women was a huge success at 3.5 miles in 38:15. It was the first race where I felt in charge of my pace, my breathing and my running. I loved it! This race was instrumental in my believing that I could run my 10K and half marathon and I started seriously training for 10K with 3 outside runs every week for a month. I still can't believe I only missed one run on that strict schedule, but I wanted it!

Before, it was a huge struggle to get above 3 miles. In the course of the month, I increased my outside mileage to 6.5 miles and astoundingly, was able to run 11-minute miles! It is amazing what a little discipline can do!

Oh and I got a shirt for my race, but they only had Size S! So I just assumed that I wouldn't be able to wear it. Well, I tried it on today!



JUNE 2010

I'm still living this month, but my first 10K was a huge success and I beat my expectations and ran it in 1:10:45. For the rest of the summer, I'm going to increase my mileage and run for the love of it.




In recap, running has changed my life. If I had waited until today (now at 189 lbs) to start running, I would have missed out on a year of amazing acheivements and accomplishments. Having a goal other than weight loss kept me motivated and there's always "one more minute" and "one more mile" to acheive.

I get messages from so many saying that I've inspired them to start running, which is fantastic, but I hope that this blog has inspired you to KEEP RUNNING, even when injured, even when discouraged, even when soaking wet, even when you feet too unfit and too fat.

I will keep running while chunky. Will you?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIGHTPOET00 9/10/2010 7:30AM

    Another member recommended that I check you out, and I'm so glad I did. What a courageous story! Thanks for running while chunky and leading the way for the rest of us.
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LINDAKETCHIE 8/2/2010 9:20PM

    I ran for 1 mile and 2/10 today. It seems it has taken me forever to be able to do this. I would really love to run a 5K in September, but scared I will be the last one to finish. right now it's taking me a little over 45 minutes to walk/run 3 miles. I'm pretty slow. I'm gonna keep trying though. Love your t-shirts. I'd love to have my own collection. Thanks for the encouragement.

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EXERTIGER 7/17/2010 12:08PM

    I too started running in June of last year on c35k. This year I started my kids and hubby on c25k, but switched them to Coach Jen's training program for intervals. I will also keep running while chunky!

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EPHSTOP43 6/28/2010 10:12AM

    Dang girl.... you always inspire me!!! This is pure awesome.

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SPUNKYDUCKY 6/27/2010 10:52PM

    It is clearly time that I caught up on your blogs. I had a crazy week and I am sorry that I missed this one first time around. Love the tshirts and the story in general. Yup, I will run while chunky, then run while overweight and someday I may even run thin. Just signed up for my 2nd RWC 5K on July 3rd after doing my first one about 6 weeks ago (had a pesky little surgery in between there so it took a bit to get back on board). Not sure if I will run the whole thing this week, but I know I am going to try. Congratulations on inspiring so many chunky people to get off the couch. Jillian is Jillian but there is no other Kristina! Keep going!

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DORINE55 6/27/2010 8:22PM

  That is amazing! Good for you!!

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NONNATAMMY 6/27/2010 3:52PM

    Wonderful blog! It is inspiring! I'm a beginning runner. Thank you. Tammy emoticon

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JANETHEART1 6/27/2010 7:14AM

    Thanks for sharing...I see those runners pass me and wish I were them... you make me believe I CAN be them....

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FITGRRL2B 6/26/2010 10:42PM

    Wow! I loved hearing about your journey. I started C25K about 2 months ago, and I do W5D3 tomorrow; bit nervous about it, but also looking forward to it. I am down to about 260; started running @ 277. I really hope I can make as much progress as you have by the time I have been running for another 10 months. Keep up the great work. So inspiring to me and many others. Thanks. :)

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 6/26/2010 12:52PM

    I still think you have a RWC book in you, girl! YOU GO!!!

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DHALYIA 6/26/2010 12:38AM

    Great!!! I am finishing up my C25k this week...my sweet man is just starting it this week. He watched me lose 30 lbs and wants to follow me "wither thou goest!"

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JOYFULMOMTO5 6/25/2010 5:44PM

    WOW! I so needed to stumble upon this today! I finished Week 1, Day 2 this morning. Shin splints & all.... Running is something I've always wanted to do, but haven't since I've been chunky. ;o) Until Sparkpeople~ The encouragement I receive & the goal setting just makes me want to keep pushing myself to be what I want to be! I'm running outside in the mornings, had to turn around this morning & run a different route thanks to a ?friendly? baby skunk in the road that I wasn't willing to pass! Keep blogging~we all need the encouragement & WAY TO GO!!!! Yay for YOU! emoticon

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KIPPERS_2008 6/25/2010 2:22PM

    I just celebrated my year of running while Chunky too! Actually the fourth of July will be the one year anniversary of my first 5k. In that time I have ran 4 more 5k and a 10k. I have actually have been not running for the last month but you have motivated me to keep running

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PSSN4FITNESS 6/25/2010 10:14AM

    What a great blog! I agree that it is incredible what a little discipline will do. I am training for my 10K now in the fall. Like you, I got my start with C25K. LIFE CHANGING is the only way I can describe it.

I love your quote: "My success is measured in miles. Not calories, not pounds, not ounces, not inches, not numbers. It's measured by that feeling in my lungs as I push past what I thought was possible."

I will need to add that to my runspiration quotes. Keep up the amazing positivity and hard work.

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JODIANN421 6/24/2010 5:44PM

    I truly feel like I was meant to read this today! This week I am on week 4 and I have been unable to finish the last five minutes. I was considering slowing down, but I wasn't sure if that was the right move. Now I know it is! Thank you so much. It's so nice to know other people have gone/are going through the same experiences.
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You are an inspiration. Rock on girl!

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PAMLUVCHILE 6/24/2010 5:16PM

    Wow...your accomplishments are awesome...you have really inspired me today emoticon.

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LAUREL38 6/24/2010 3:33PM

    I really love how you have your photo in the different t-shirts you earned along the way. So fabulous how far you've come! I'm just starting out and my shins are sore to the touch and my calves are burning and sore. I know running while chunky is totally possible from the enormous amount of posts by women and men doing it! But, man it hurts. And I want so desperately to be a runner!! I hope some day to post a blog just like this one. :) GREAT JOB!

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JBONISTEEL 6/24/2010 2:29PM

  Very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, am RWC, and have lost 24 pounds in 5 months (from a starting weight of 201). I am 35 years old, and like you, always hated running when I was younger. I began jogging to lose weight and surprised myself by enjoying it. I will be running my 3rd 5K next month, and have a goal to run a 10K the next opportunity I get. I've even inspired my husband to join me, and he has lost 10 pounds since April. I love to read other's stories of accomplishment and stories like yours are the reason I finally believed in myself enough to try. Good luck on your future races, and keep us posted! emoticon

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NICKY869 6/24/2010 12:26PM

  I am also RWC, I just started this week running (4.0-5.5 mph)1min walking 1min (3.0mph). I have tried on and off for a few months and decided this week i would try and stick to it longer than a week. Your journey inspired me to not give up, Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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IN102WIN 6/24/2010 12:09PM

    Congrats.... I loved this blog. You have inspired me to keep trying as I am a runner while chunky - 212 lb. Its really hard to keep at it but I see that I should. Would you believe I got a size SM Tee 2 weeks ago and I gave it away. I guess I thought I would never wear it, but you eventually got to wear yours.... Great job!! emoticon

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ERIC_ANDREW 6/24/2010 11:33AM

    Excellent!!!!!! I totally know where you're coming from with all of this. I'm a hefty 215-pound dude (only 5'10") and I am currently training for a full marathon. I'll be on a 6-mile run at a park near my house and I see the skinny runners gawking at me. I don't know if they're surprised a fat guy might be running, or that a fat guy could be running that distance without looking like I'm about to pass out and die! emoticon

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FAIITHH 6/24/2010 10:03AM

    Wow! You are emoticon!! Congratuations on all the goals you've overcome! You're such an inspiration to so many sparkers!

I run with two friends and we bring all our kids. We all run/walk at different paces but lately my lady friends have hurt themselves and are started to fizzle. Your blog has given me the motivation to do it anyway, even if they won't! I want to be able to enjoy it like you are doing! Your blog has encouraged me where I needed it!

Thanks so much for being candid and honest, it's definitely what I needed to hear!

keep up the great work! emoticon

Thanks,
Nicole


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JONATION 6/24/2010 6:38AM

    Your story is so much like mine. Even our starting weight are similar.
Started by Walking and now I run 25 miles a week and will do my third marathon in November.

Keep going! Way to go!

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ANNEM59 6/23/2010 6:26PM

    Thank you! As others have said, you're an inspiration! I've been looking at the C25K program but afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it given my weight. Let's face it... there's never the "right" time to do something we fear... we just have to do it!

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TAMLKING 6/23/2010 5:59PM

    What an incredibly inspiring story, and one that I needed to read. I just finished my first week of from Couch to 5K and I'm running chunky right now. I'm going to come back and reread this post whenever I feel like giving up. Thanks for posting this!!

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HPMOVEIT 6/23/2010 1:17PM

  Wow, wow, wow! Thank you for your story and the inspiration! emoticon

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HPMOVEIT 6/23/2010 1:17PM

  Wow, wow, wow! Thank you for your story and the inspiration! emoticon

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PHDMAMA06 6/23/2010 12:47PM

    Congratulations on an amazing year! You are such an inspiration to so many Sparkers!!

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JAX529_99 6/23/2010 12:37PM

    That is so fabulous. You are such a motivation! Reading your progress will help me make it back onto the treadmill today. I've been skipping workouts for 2 weeks now.

Keep up the great work!

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JAX529_99 6/23/2010 12:37PM

    That is so fabulous. You are such a motivation! Reading your progress will help me make it back onto the treadmill today. I've been skipping workouts for 2 weeks now.

Keep up the great work!

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CATHERINEL66 6/23/2010 10:57AM

    Fantastic! I am right there with you in believing that running isn't something you need to wait to do ... congrats on a year of progress, and a fantastic journey!

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BJSUMMIT 6/23/2010 9:24AM

    All I can say is WOW. I used to think that a goal of mine would be to lose weight and then run a 5K just to prove to myself that I can do it. I hate running and it's not that I hate doing exercise but more that I can't tolerate it the running on my knees and lungs.

Reading your blog has shown me that anyone can run with some discipline. It may not be easy but it could be part of my weight-loss journey and not something to do "after I lose the weight".

I used to walk on the treadmill but never ran. Thank you for the inspiration.

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NANCYLAPEACH 6/23/2010 8:15AM

    You are an inspiration! Keep up the great work! I am just restarting my walking program after back surgery. I have gained 50 pounds and I am ready to dig in and get it off now that my pain is under control. I'll be watching you!

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NANASNOW 6/23/2010 8:03AM

    You inspire me! I am my own worst critic. I try runnung in bursts, but then the lack of oxygen in the lungs scares me. I suppose I need to believe. I am working on it! Keep up your blogs!

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JOPAPGH 6/23/2010 7:25AM

    Great blog!

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AMANDAEA129 6/23/2010 5:19AM

    Amazing post! What a wonderful journey you have been on!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 6/23/2010 2:48AM

    You have done so well!!!
I'm on the couch 25K program and I'm hoping for success too. Thanks for being such an inspiration for all of us!
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15THC_ODETTE 6/22/2010 11:59PM

    I am starting to run "chunky" but my house seems to have eaten my heavy-duty sports bra. emoticon

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RUNANDRUN 6/22/2010 11:40PM

  You're awesome!

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ALICIA-70 6/22/2010 10:33PM

  Wow! V Inspiring!

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SPIFFYBEBEBABY 6/22/2010 10:14PM

    wow! thats exactly what i needed. i am doing the couch to 5k thing right now and i thought i was going to die jogging outside in my hilly neighborhood for stupid 3 minutes jog 2 minutes walk but when i finished for the day and tallied up my mileage i saw that i had tricked myself into jogging an extra quarter of a mile! that was exhilarating. keep it up!

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19CHRISTINE86 6/22/2010 9:36PM

    I'm looking forward to training and doing my first 5K. Thank you for sharing this entry. You are an inspiration! emoticon

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JENNYBEAN0703 6/22/2010 9:06PM

    Congratulations! I ran across your blog - this is amazing - you have inspired me to give it a go! :)

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RINGINGMOM 6/22/2010 7:25PM

    I just tonight began my Couch-to-5K program, and happened to stumble upon your blog post--thank you for sharing your year of RWC, and wish you many more healthy years of running (without the chunky, of course).



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SUSANMYERS1 6/22/2010 7:25PM

    Thanks for sharing. What an amazing story! emoticonI have learned in the last 3 months to actually enjoy walking. emoticonYou are an inspiration!

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JOKR23 6/22/2010 4:54PM

    Wow. thank you for writing, I always want to try and run while I'm out for my 5K walks, but I'm always too embarrassed and self conscious. Tonight, I might just try it - I may only be able to do 1 minute of running, but it's a place to start!

Keep up the good work!!

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ALIMESSA 6/22/2010 4:17PM

    I just got dragged out to do a "test" run by my son last Sunday and truly surprised myself...jogged a 13 minute mile! I haven't jogged AT ALL in I don't know how many years! I couldn't believe I did it! I am definitely going to continue jogging, and am going to start looking into events to run in...I'm so excited that I can do this! Something new to do and look forward to is always a good thing...variety is the spice of life, right?!?

Thanks for continuing to inspire and encourage us all!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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MCINTYREROYSTON 6/22/2010 3:55PM

  What wonderful motivation! Thank you for sharing your story emoticon

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CHOESCH 6/22/2010 3:32PM

    Congrats on all your accomplishments - you are a great motivator. I too have done C25k and LOVED IT! I'm running my first 10k in October this year. I've run 3 5k's and there is such a HUGE feeling of accomplishment. Thanks for sharing your story. Keep running and keep sparking!
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Cathy

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MBUSSAN210 6/22/2010 2:27PM

    I too never thought I would run. I read your blog and am considering signing up for a 5K or race of some kind just to look forward to something other than scale numbers. Thanks for sharing your journey! Keep up the great work.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Pushing the Fear Out

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I didn't let fear get in the way of my weight loss journey, so I can't let fear interfere with the rest of my life.

I wasn't afraid to be the biggest girl running at the gym or on my street.

I conquered the fear of those exercise classes, like kickboxing, Zumba, and spinning.

I got over my fear of telling my husband (and all of you) how much I actually weighed.

I am able to enjoy foods I love without being afraid that pizza or fries will throw me off-track forever.

So guess what? I don't need to be scared of anything else. Yes, I have a big bad degree without much experience to back it up. And it's scary learning things from scratch. It's scary venturing out on your own. It's scary knowing that you can put hours and hours and hours in pouring your heart out on paper and it not getting out to anyone.

But there is always going to be something new or scary. If not, then what's the point of living? Seriously. If I don't do anything out of my comfort zone, then this life hasn't been very interesting, has it?

That's it. Fear's going to surface from time to time and I'm just going to have to rise up and defeat it. Why? Because being comfortable is nice sometimes, but I have dreams and I'm going to go for them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIASHELL 6/27/2010 2:35PM

    What a fabulous attitude- go you!

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MNBLUESKY 6/27/2010 12:45AM

    Fear comes at each of us a little differently but the goal of fear is to hold us back, keep us in our comfort zone even if that comfort zone is killing us. Fear has had a piece of me lately and I agree with you Karvy...no more. It is time to face fear, lean into it, and watch it dissapate.

Great blog, thank you for taking the time to post it!

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NANASNOW 6/23/2010 8:05AM

    You all are such amazing people! Karvy for showing us RWC is possible and Dave for putting it bluntly! Thanks!

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ALIMESSA 6/22/2010 4:11PM

    Go for it...dreams are always worth going for!!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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CALLIKIA 6/22/2010 2:00PM

    Who was it that said "Courage is not the absence of the fear, it's recognizing the fear and then doing it anyways." or something to that effect. You are friggin' amazing!

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TRIXEL 6/20/2010 6:34PM

    I have a job interview on Tuesday. This blog is really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

p.s. Do you mind if I friend you to keep up with your blogs?

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NIKKI7727 6/20/2010 11:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 6/19/2010 8:20AM

    I think it's always a good idea to do something that scares you on a regular basis. It is definitely a confidence booster and often, the fear and anticipation of failure is more scary than whatever it is we are afraid of. GOOD LUCK!

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ANNASBF 6/18/2010 11:16AM

    I liked the line about being able to eat a little pizza or fries.... (hopefully you didn't make a habit of putting fries on your sandwiches since your trip-not because of the calories but because, well, that's just not right! ).... because it represents a mind-shift into building a relationship with yourself grounded in... flexibility, yes, which is laudable.... but more importantly it means you have started a healthy trust relationship with yourself. There is no absolute precipice that you are living on the edge of...one that, perhaps in the past, was one food choice misstep away from being totally over the edge. Well done, you!

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JME1631 6/18/2010 9:08AM

    Fantastic! I love your outlook, so positive and upbeat and definitely motivating. You can do whatever you set your mind to I am sure of it!

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NOTBLUSHING 6/18/2010 7:07AM

    emoticon emoticonGreat blog!

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FITNESSFOODIE 6/17/2010 10:31PM

    Good for you! emoticon

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DAVEW175 6/17/2010 9:37PM

    Great post. In the end it's not about eliminating fear but taking action even when you're afraid.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/17/2010 8:35PM

    :-) Your blog totally goes with my status quote today! You know you can meet a challenge and achieve it, even the ones you are afraid of. You are going to do the same now and in a week, a year, whatever you will look back and think "I can't believe I was ever afraid of THAT!!!"

Because you are a super star...and that's what super stars do! They shine brighter than anything else!

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WHGRN60 6/17/2010 6:09PM

    Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Blessings
Wendy

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/17/2010 3:49PM

    Crazy how we can let fear sneak in and stop us from trying sometimes, isn't it? WOO HOO for you! You can do it--you are going to do GREAT!

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FROGGERHKC 6/17/2010 3:44PM

    emoticon emoticon

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VIVIANJ5 6/17/2010 3:40PM

    This definitely hit the spot! I didn't realize how much I had let fear rule my life until I starting dealing with the emotional eating. So much gets stuffed down with the food, that things stay buried instead of being faced. Which is why dealing with emotional eating is SO NOT ABOUT THE FOOD!!

Facing the fear is tough...my husband still has no idea how much I currently weigh, at least, I hope he doesn't!. Maybe someday...

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AHEALTHIERME9 6/17/2010 3:31PM

    Okay... I needed this today...

Thanks, Kristina... I'm making it a point to push the fear out...

You're wonderful...

Deb emoticon

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CAROLYN1213 6/17/2010 3:01PM

    Wow! I think you must read my mind! You always write the words for the thoughts I have been working through!!! I 'm doing this same thing. Applying what I learned this past year in weight loss to other dreams and goals of mine. I am much healthier, slimmer and happier than I ever could have dreamed. What others dreams am I not exploring? In what other ways am I not pushing myself to succeed? These are my thoughts and then boom, there is your blog! Bingo! Bango! Done!

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1BIGDREAM 6/17/2010 2:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
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JBMT08 6/17/2010 2:38PM

    Your blog really put it in perspective for me, especially today. I woke up in the middle of the night panicked about being a mom in less than a month, and how I do not feel like I have done anything to prepare for her arrival. Like, how am I going to be a mom? I never did any baby sitting, even held a newborn before. I am so scared. BUT, if we do not have fear, then, like you said, are we really living????
Thank you for the words of wisdom. This really struck home for me today.
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ALLTHNGSPOSSBLE 6/17/2010 2:37PM

    Great job in conquering your fears. Keep up the good work girl and go after those dreams. You can accomplish anything you want.

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CHICAT63 6/17/2010 2:34PM

    Your blog hit the nail on the head today ! So get out there and show em what you are made of. Us, here on Sparks know how valuable and appreciated you are. I second and third what others have said if you write something I will read it. emoticon

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PAPPHEM 6/17/2010 2:31PM

    emoticon Fear is a nice mechanism for making us think about our actions first, but should never stand in the way of making the right decision for us!

I love reading your blogs, so I know you'll do great!

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QUILTMOMINME 6/17/2010 2:19PM

    Knock that fear out of the ball park and go after what you want. emoticon Thank you for sharing yet another thought-provoking inspiring blog!

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SHARKAR02 6/17/2010 2:07PM

    You put into words what many of us feel. The first blog I read of yours was about running as a "big girl". It motivated me to try and guess what I did! I was scared, but as you said, we have to move out of that comfort zone sometimes to live life!

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PAPER_WINGS18 6/17/2010 2:00PM

    Oh Kristina I really wish we could just hang hehe. You are so amazing and I know you will do whatever it is your passion is! If it's writing then sign me up for 246 copies of your book or whatev!

I need to be less scared and just suck it up... I'm learning...

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KYMMC3 6/17/2010 1:54PM

    I look forward every single day to your blogs. If I dont' read ANY, i MAKE SURE to get to yours. You continue to inspire me every single day, without a doubt. You are amazing !!

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SUSANAT2 6/17/2010 1:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_DASH_ 6/17/2010 1:48PM

    This is so great. I really needed this today. For me, it's fear of myself I think. I have never lived in a different body than an obese one, and I am convinced the identity it has in my life has to have had some meaning otherwise it wouldn't have been that way. I wouldn't have been that way. And I'm not trying to qualify skinny over fat. I'm just saying my experience would have been different for other meaningful reasons. By losing the fear I AM qualifying healthy and well and happy over diabetes doomed and miserable and afraid.

thanks for your wisdom.

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STLRZGRRL 6/17/2010 1:45PM

    OUT!, damned fear... get AWAY from mah girl, Karvy!!!!!

K., a boat in a harbor is safe... but that is not what boats were built for...

I've been telling myself that one for a LOOOOOONG time and now I give it to you...
MWAH!




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HOPEFULHIPPO 6/17/2010 1:43PM

    When facing your fears, itcan lead to accomplishment, pride, and self satisfaction.

Go girl go!

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WISLNDR 6/17/2010 1:37PM

    Nice blog! I know too many people who let fear get in the way of their lives. As I get older, I find fear to be more noticeable to me and a little louder of voice. I can't imagine where I'd be if I had let fear dictate how I was going to live. Certainly not running 10K's and beyond, that's for sure!

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DOLL2THEWALL 6/17/2010 1:36PM

    If anyone can do this, Kristina, I know you can. I am very excited to see what life brings your way - you can conquer anything!

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HAPPYPATTY1 6/17/2010 1:26PM

    Go! go! Go!

You are right -- if we didn't push ourselves, life would be b-o-r-i-n-g!

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SLY_REDUX 6/17/2010 1:23PM

    Reading this made me want to jump out of my chair and cheer!

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NIELSENSLADY 6/17/2010 1:18PM

    Right on!

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JENREDDIG 6/17/2010 1:18PM

    This is sooo true. I always get scared every time I have to (or choose to) do something new. And then it pretty much always turns out ok!

Just think how boring life would be if you never did anything that scared you!

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MERISSA1315 6/17/2010 1:14PM

    I absolutely 100% believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. You have accomplished so much already and I'm quite sure that there is not an obstacle that you can overcome with your intelligence, ingenuity, and determination. You will knock 'em dead with anything you choose to pursue.

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CONTUSIONS2012 6/17/2010 1:13PM

    Well said, as always!

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CREATINGAMANDA 6/17/2010 1:13PM

    emoticon

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PINKCOCONUT 6/17/2010 1:11PM

    Amen, sister! Feel the fear and do it anyway! Busting past the fear will open up SO many opportunities! It may be hard, but it's worth it!

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ROOT4HOME 6/17/2010 1:08PM

    emoticonGreat blog and so true!!!

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STORMTMB 6/17/2010 12:57PM

    Oh yeah! I'm thinking that you've conquered so many things already on this journey, that you have an incredible story to tell anyone who may doubt your abilities. It's totally clear that you can do whatever you make up your mind to do! It's a loss for anyone who can't see that! Go for your dreams! You deserve it and I know you will work just as hard to achieve them!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Tina

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TEAM-SARAH 6/17/2010 12:56PM

    Comfortable is nice... but after a while it just gets BORING!! You gotta just go for it and you're totally doing amazing. You've proven yourself time and time again and you'll do awesome getting out on your own!

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Photos of My "Space"

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

People asked for photos of my office on the last blog, so here they are:










Now that I think of it, I did this all in May, right before I started my healthy lifestyle last June! My husband and I painted everything and we got the office furniture from another office that was going out of business. So this was the first step in getting something started for myself. I still need to get some shelves hung and get a proper sign for the door and figure out what's wrong with my printer/fax, but it's MY SPACE. All mine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YINYANGSJM 6/17/2010 10:04PM

    How nice to have your own space! I'm excited for you, just thinking how cool it would be to have an office, have it set up exactly the way you want it and use it to live out your dreams. Good luck with this next chapter, I have NO doubt you'll be very successful!!

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SAMSPARK1 6/17/2010 12:57PM

    I don't think I have read/seen what you actually "do" - what line of work???

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HAPPYPATTY1 6/17/2010 12:00PM

    This is pretty cool... my husband built me a "playhouse" in the back yard as my hidey-hole -- it's full of gardening toys... and I also like to go there when I need to think...



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BETHSHEALTH 6/17/2010 10:29AM

    My space is way messy. I'd hate to show anyone pictures of it right now. Since right now I share the space with my husband. We do have a plan to make two offices. Just takes time and wireless stuff we can't afford to buy right now.

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ZIRCADIA 6/16/2010 10:44PM

    Very classy! :D I like it!

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LIBBYFITZ 6/16/2010 9:51PM

    How nice is that! emoticon

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JUSTFOXXY 6/16/2010 7:31PM

    Beautiful. I love the look of black and chrome - sleek and sophisticated.

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PINKCOCONUT 6/16/2010 7:04PM

    I LOVE it!!!

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JEANNETTE59 6/16/2010 2:58PM

  emoticon emoticon wishing you great success emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 6/16/2010 1:19PM

    Love the office. Looks like a lot of productive things could happen there!

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CHICAT63 6/16/2010 12:58PM

    Ooh, I like the color scheme relaxing and inviting. Love the printed chair and table. Best of luck Kristina !

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REDRUNNER82 6/16/2010 12:47PM

    Jealous again! Super cute.

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TEAM-SARAH 6/16/2010 12:34PM

    Very cozy!! You did a nice job with it! I hope you'll enjoy much more use out of it.

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GRACEISENUF 6/16/2010 12:30PM

    I have a "my space" too, yours looks great

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/16/2010 12:14PM

    Loving your space is so important! I know my home office where I have to put in weekend and evening hours for my teaching job is my sanctuary...it's my favorite room in the house! And it is only enhanced by the fact that it also has all kinds of training plan calendards tacked up, running quotes, a stability ball, dumbbells, and a huge stack of DVD's taking up part of it!

Love your space! Glad you shared your little "corner of the world" with us Sparklers!

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 6/16/2010 12:08PM

    Wow, looks great!!

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 6/16/2010 11:55AM

    You have such a beautiful work space!! Thanks for the pics!

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MANDA_MICHELLE 6/16/2010 11:55AM

  oooh, so cute! love that chair in the second last pic!

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YOOVIE 6/16/2010 11:45AM

    I LOVE IT!!

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LISAW/3 6/16/2010 11:42AM

    What a great office you have- and it is all yours! Enjoy being able to spend more time there!

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STORMTMB 6/16/2010 11:30AM

    How cool - to have your own space!

Tina

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HOPEFULHIPPO 6/16/2010 11:29AM

    silly question, but I didn't read it in your last blog...get new clients for what?

Love you office :o)

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KYMMC3 6/16/2010 11:20AM

    What a great space!! Love it!!

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_TRIXIE_ 6/16/2010 11:18AM

    That looks SO NICE to have your own private space to do with what you want. I am eager to hear if the next great American novel is written within those comfy walls!

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FREDDIE_13 6/16/2010 10:59AM

    OMG I LOVE THAT CHAIR!!!! I love chairs like that, I only wish I could sit in one without falling over like a dork. LOL

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FUNFROG79 6/16/2010 10:56AM

    LOOKS GREAT!

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DRRAZZ 6/16/2010 10:52AM

    Very nice!!!

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 6/16/2010 10:48AM

  Super nice for being so much on the cheap rent-wise!

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WISLNDR 6/16/2010 10:48AM

    Wow, very nice! Let me know what you figure out about your printer/fax. Someday when I have NOTHING ELSE TO DO, I need to address a scanner problem that's related to my printer. ah, technology . . . .

A piece of information I found extremely useful this week: if you clean the laser lens on a superdrive more than once every five years or so, it works better! emoticon

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HEALTH-E-CLARE 6/16/2010 10:45AM

    What a great little get-a-way space you have for yourself. I hope you continue to enjoy it

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ABETTERCHERYL 6/16/2010 10:37AM

    That looks really nice! That is a space where I could get some serious work done.

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CAROLYN1213 6/16/2010 10:33AM

    Nice and peaceful looking! Will you come decorate and organize my jewelry studio! LOL!

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LEAG0628 6/16/2010 10:27AM

    Very nice!

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ROCKCHALKSPARK 6/16/2010 10:15AM

    um, JEALOUS! You are totally working in a place of zen & fabulousness. emoticon

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HEALTHYCOCONUT 6/16/2010 10:13AM

    Excellent job, looks great!

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 6/16/2010 10:13AM

    Love the sitting area. I wish I was independently wealthy so I didn't have to work, could exercise all day with a personal trainer and have a personal chef to make me healthy fabulous meals. A girl can wish! Best of luck with your future endeavors!

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CALLIKIA 6/16/2010 10:11AM

    Love the colors you chose! Very serene!

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EKKING 6/16/2010 10:10AM

    It looks great!!

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SAMSPARK1 6/16/2010 10:07AM

    NICE!

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NIELSENSLADY 6/16/2010 10:05AM

    It looks great!

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CREATINGAMANDA 6/16/2010 10:01AM

    Love!

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New Stuff Ahead

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yesterday, I finally got the call from my agency that my current project (which was supposed to last a week, but somehow went over 5 months) is ending this week. At the same time, I got tips for a couple of really promising permanent jobs as well as some clients. Of course, I also can dust off my office, too. Yes, I have an actual personal office that I had to renovate and paint myself last year in exchange for my dirt cheap rent that is currently going unused except for some evenings and when I need space to sit, think, and write.

So while exercise may lag this week while I wrap up things here, I have WHOLE DAYS where I can schedule things as I please in the future. I don't mean to sound excited at the prospect of unemployment when I know that others would love to be gainfully employed, but I won't really be unemployed, will I? I'm going to work on finally getting my office and website looking professional. I'm going to work on knocking things off my 30 by 30 list. I'm going to work on knocking off some pounds and upping my fitness level. I'm going to look for new opportunities and clients. And, I'm going to write!

I love writing and I have so many ideas for things to get down on paper!

Time to break out of the cubicle!



Because there's new stuff ahead!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SM-ARTGIRL 6/23/2010 6:29AM

    WOW Karvey! A great year behind you and an even more fabulous one ahead!
Thank you for the inspiration to dare I could be what I want to be!

emoticon

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ALIMESSA 6/22/2010 4:06PM

    Just catching up on my blog reading...

You have a great attitude...that will take you so far...there is absolutely no wonder as to why you have been so successful on this journey! You are a true inspiration to so many! Keep up the great work, and good luck to you on your future employment opportunities...I am sure there will be many!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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JOANIEBUG46 6/21/2010 1:57PM

    Love your attitude!!!

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SUGIRL06 6/19/2010 9:52PM

    Great timing I think! Good luck!
~Ang

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EMLG11 6/16/2010 9:38PM

    Good luck and kudos on the sunny outlook. That can only help the good things to come forward. I'm selfishly hoping we all get to benefit from some of your writing! I love your writing too!!

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PAPER_WINGS18 6/16/2010 5:54PM

    Ooooh!! Yeyyyyy!! Love it . U def have a lot in store for u... All good!! :) love the pix of your office too.

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PAPPHEM 6/16/2010 5:17PM

    Good luck! Sounds like this will work out great for you!

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CONTUSIONS2012 6/16/2010 3:27PM

    Good luck with whatever heads your way!!



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RUNTRILAUGH 6/16/2010 3:16PM

    another great blog! Love your attitude!



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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/16/2010 1:48PM

    I have no doubt that you will rock this new avenue just as much as you rock EVERYTHING you do!

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MBSHAZZER 6/16/2010 1:19PM

    WHOOO! What a great opportunity! I love how you are looking at the positive!

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STRIVE4BALANCE1 6/16/2010 1:08PM

    What an amazing opportunity you have ahead of you! When you see those who have been wildly successful, they always have faced a crossroads like this and have done wonderful things to create the life they've dreamed of. I have no doubt that you will too!



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HEALTH-E-CLARE 6/16/2010 12:53PM

    That's awesome. Be fabulous today and everyday. Break from the mold and continue to be great. What an exciting new adventure ahead.

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REDRUNNER82 6/16/2010 12:46PM

    Totally jealous... I'm flirting with a freelance consultant-ish gig right now... very tempted to try that type of career someday! I practically drool when I think about going to the gym in the middle of the day when no one's there!

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GRACEISENUF 6/16/2010 12:34PM

    faith...believing in those things that you have not yet attained, LOVE IT.

believe!

XOXOXOXO
X

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TALLYCAT13 6/16/2010 12:13PM

    **jealous** lmao! Sounds perfect:)

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 6/16/2010 12:04PM

    Awesome! That sounds great! Congrats!

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 6/16/2010 12:00PM

    I missed this some how yesterday...so glad your time will be yours! You have plenty of projects on your plate and a plan. Have fun!!

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SUSANAT2 6/16/2010 11:49AM

    Love your attitude...your optimism is contagious! Thanks for being so positive I really enjoy and look forward to reading your blog!

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LISAW/3 6/16/2010 11:41AM

    You always have such a wonderful and positive outlook- I love it!
This will give you a great opportunity to get your office up and running again- good luck and enjoy!

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WYND10 6/16/2010 11:21AM

    emoticon

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FREDDIE_13 6/16/2010 11:01AM

    You are going to ROCK the new office, and when you start getting all those hundreds of clients, you will miss having all that free time. Go kick some booty girlfriend!!!

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SLEEPYDEAN 6/16/2010 10:20AM

    Awesome! Best of luck in your new (or reignited) endeavors.

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SAMSPARK1 6/16/2010 10:11AM

    Sounds like some positive changes are coming your way!

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CALLIKIA 6/16/2010 10:03AM

    Sounds like bliss! Good for you and new horizons and opportunities ahead! You deserve more time to focus on you, what you want, and what you need out of life!

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JBMT08 6/16/2010 10:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CREATINGAMANDA 6/16/2010 9:54AM

    As much as I can't really afford to be unemployed I am SO SO SO jealous!!! And I love your positive attitude towards it. I remember last summer when I was laid off I was SO bummed that I didn't want to do anything. Like, ever. Of course this was before I started Spark but I really wish that I had used that time more effectively, and it sounds like you will!

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ZAEZAE 6/16/2010 9:39AM

    Woo hoo!!! Sounds like you are going to take advantage of your freedom. Congrats!! The world is your oyster! (why do we even say that?!?) ;-)

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STORMTMB 6/16/2010 9:27AM

    Sounds like wonderful new opportunities are coming your way. I'm sure you will make the most of each of them. You have great plans already.

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CRISPINI 6/16/2010 9:27AM

    Woohoo!

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BOOTS1221 6/16/2010 9:22AM

    YaY Love this!!! I'm so happy for you, it'll feel so refreshing to break out of this job you've been dreading!!

PS.. It's ok Linds.. we all have balls on the brain in the morning...

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SWAZY33 6/16/2010 9:16AM

    ...........•*΄¨ ) .•*΄¨ ) Kristina,
…...•*΄¨ ) ..•*¨) -:¦:- .•*΄¨ ) ..•*¨) -:¦:-
……………….(. ;.•.♥ ♥.•*¨)
♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.♥ *DREAM IT* ♥.•*¨-:¦:-. ;.•.
…•*¨-:¦:-. (. ;.•.♥*AND YOU WILL* ♥.•*¨)•*¨-:¦:-.
…..(Έ.•΄(•*¨.♥.•*¨) *ACHIEVE IT!!!* (Έ.•΄(•*¨.♥.•*¨)
……….{Έ.•΄{Έ ;.• .•*¨}.• {Έ.•΄{Έ ;.• .•*¨}.•
……………….•*΄¨ ) ..•*¨) -:¦:-
………………….;.•.♥ ♥.•*¨
………………………♥
……………………(―`v΄―) Kar
…………………….`*.Έ.*΄


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CAROLYNINJOY1 6/16/2010 9:15AM

    Way to go. You're off on a grand new adventure. I love the sunshine picture.

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JUDIL62 6/16/2010 9:14AM

    emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 6/16/2010 9:14AM

    emoticon

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MERISSA1315 6/16/2010 9:12AM

    Congratulations!!! Enjoy your new adventures!!

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TEAM-SARAH 6/16/2010 9:12AM

    Sounds exciting! Congratulations on being able to move forward to the next phase. I don't wanna say I'm jealous of your unemployment (since I need a job) but well, I'm certainly jealous that you no longer have any duty to a job you're not invested in! Great things to come for you i'm sure!

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 6/16/2010 9:11AM

  Super awesome fantastical.

Note: I had to write fantastical three times because I kept writing fantestical.

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WISLNDR 6/16/2010 9:10AM

    Take advantage of this time and see it for the blessing it is!

I've been off of work since Friday and every time I get any sort of break, I can hear that song in my brain: "I Wanna Be Retired!" It doesn't help that a lot of my friends have already moved in that direction.

My next-door neighbor died at the age of 88 last week (on his birthday!!) and he was retired for more years than he worked. That's my goal!! (to be retired, not to die on my birthday! emoticon)

Enjoy this time to the fullest!

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CARILOUIE 6/16/2010 9:10AM

    It's all about perspective. Enjoy your "you" time and get lots done!

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MADDEELOU 6/16/2010 9:10AM

    Woo Hoo. What an exciting time for you. I wish you great success and look forward to reading what you write.

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EKKING 6/16/2010 9:09AM

    Congratulations on losing your job!!! WOO HOO!! (I think that sounds like the right attitude here, hee hee!!!)

Here's to reading more of what you are writing, in the future, and off Spark People!

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BURKEBRIZ 6/16/2010 9:09AM

    How exciting for you!! Can't wait to see what spews forth from you as your creative juices really start to overflow as the work cubicle stops restricting your flow!

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HEALTHYCOCONUT 6/16/2010 9:09AM

    That's great! Congrats and good luck. I am currently unemployed and look at it the same way...I'm taking this time to focus on myself & getting healthier and doing all those little projects around the house I always put off because I didn't have the time. It's great both physically and mentally.

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ANNE7X7 6/16/2010 9:06AM

    Sounds like you have some amazing things ahead of you! Enjoy the writing, the exercise and the cubicle-free life!!!

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NIELSENSLADY 6/16/2010 9:06AM

    I understand completely! And I'm very happy for you! emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 6/16/2010 9:03AM

    Sounds like some exciting possibilities ahead! Enjoy the "you" time!

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CHICAT63 6/16/2010 9:03AM

    emoticon I know this might be unknown territory but I am confident you will suceed. An another thing ticked-off your list, things are looking brighter & brighter. emoticon I always say things happen for a reason..... emoticon

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KAY-SUPREME 6/16/2010 9:02AM

    Okay, so what is it exactly that you do? Haha. And I know what you mean about "Looking forward" to being unemployed. Some days, I wish that I could just take like 3 weeks and get a bunch of stuff done that I want to do, and then go back to work.

Because while work brings in money... it also takes a lot of time and mental energy away from other things we have our hands involved in.

Post pictures of your office!

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