KARVY09   39,391
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SP > My Wellness Coach

Friday, August 14, 2009

One of the things that motivated me to join SP was a call on June 2 from my doctor's office offering a free pilot program aimed at obese women. I figured why not? It's free and it'll provide accountability. I told a close friend about it and he told me about SP, which I joined on June 3.

I first went to my doctor on January 20, and weighed in at 286 pounds and was mortified. I started using FitDay sporadically and lost and gained, but wasn't very consistent, and so by the time I went back to the doctor's office on June 2, I'd only lost 7 pounds, down to 279. I now had a "wellness coach," (WC, heh) and I think she basically assumed that I had all kinds of psychological/emotional issues, because she was full of questions about goals, feelings, etc. I guess I assumed I'd get over it, or she was just trying to gauge what kind of person I was, but I was joining the program for 1) accountability; 2) nutrition advice, and 3) fitness advice, NOT for psychological services. Anyways, we were to check in by phone or email weekly and meet in-office monthly.

Well, every week, I told her I was doing well (because I was) and every week it went something like this:

WC: Great progress. How does that make you feel?
K: Good, thanks! I went out this weekend and made good choices in the restaurants, so that's good. I'm boosting my running, but each week gets harder.
WC: How were you able to be a role model for your friends and husband when you went out over the past week?
K: Huh?
WC: Tell me what scares you about running? Have you ever run before? What was it like? How old were you then?
K: Nothing scares me. I've never run before this. I think I told you that... Oh, and I went for a manicure/pedicure as a reward for losing 20 pounds.
WC: How did it make you feel? What are three things you value the most in your life? Also, what are three things you are grateful for? Do you have any nutrition/eating/food goals for next week?

Yikes. I asked her to send me some strength exercises 2 weeks ago and I still haven't gotten any. Oh, but I did get an invite to come in and weigh in today before work.

So okay, I think, maybe she'll give me the exercises there. I go early, early this morning. Weigh in. 256! Woot, one more pound down! I'll take that.

She smiles at me.

WC: How does that make you feel?
K: It makes me feel like I want those exercises you said you'd send me 2 weeks ago...
WC: Ah, um, I was working on that.
K: Listen, I'm here for advice on nutrition/exercise, which is apparently what your specialty is as a nutritionist. If I wanted counseling, I'd go to someone with an "MD" next to their name or I'd go to my husband or friend who actually knows a lot about me.

She looks at me blankly. I tell her I'll email her how I'm doing, but I don't want any more empty questions. Just straight out advice. I leave.

Every day on SP, I get the advice I need without the WC's BS. If I want to learn about lunges, there's a video. If I want to know the nutritional value of a plum, bingo. If I want motivation, I go to the "motivation" section, or I can ask for help. I don't have to talk about my feelings unless I want to, and when I do, people don't say, "How does it make you feel?" but offer me genuine advice and/or encouragement.

I probably was a little mean? But I don't know, it's a frustrating situation... I do know that...
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISADEL 8/23/2009 7:03PM

    Wow, she sounds like she's reading from a really bad script or something.

It's great to be reminded of what a wonderful community they've set up here, though!

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GRACEISENUF 8/23/2009 12:35AM

    I'd call it being DIRECT and to the POINT! I do not think it is rude to state why you were there and what you expect. It sounds like maybe she missed her calling as a psychologist perhaps? emoticon

Enjoy your blog!

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THREADBENDER 8/16/2009 4:22PM

    Ooooh....I had to chuckle when I read your post! Would love to sit down over a skinny latte with you!

Our health insurance is offering reduced insurance costs if we participate in their "Healthy Living Program". It is all over the phone and their website, but it's not far from what you are experiencing face to face. To me it comes across in two ways:
1. Judgemental......and I do think that "how does that make you feel" question regarding weight loss issues is judgemental.
2. Big Brother is watching....very George Orwell 1984.

And the third thing that creeps me out is that they make assumptions from insurance billing information. They say it's because of HIIPA laws.....but IMO, what they are doing is even more dangerous that getting access to information they have no business accessing because they are jumping to conclusions and making assumptions. I could go on and on...

But the point is....you are doing great. You have a wonderful 'in charge' attitude and you are being successful each day! emoticon
Go for it!!

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KARVY09 8/15/2009 8:28AM

    Thanks guys for all of your responses.

I told the WC almost every week about what I'm doing at SP. I even shared one of my blog entries detailing my goals with her. She's NEVER commented that SP is a good tool or that it appears to be helping out. I guess she doesn't want to be out of a job and wants to take credit for all my success!

She wrote me back last night: "Thank you for clarifying that you want advice and tips about exercise and nutrition. I will refrain from asking you about goals, things you value and how you feel."

She totally doesn't get it. Ah well.

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DOREENKNIGHT64 8/15/2009 4:41AM

    Well, she did ask how you felt ...

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    I really liked this blog beacause it gives us readers a great example of how to get what we need. I am convinced that many people just follow whatever the doctor says even if it grates at them somehow. You were strong and direct and I congratulate you for that. You are a good model for me!


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TRAVELNISTA 8/14/2009 6:57PM

    emoticon emoticon for standing up for yourself. I would have loved to have seen the look on her face. You go girl!! emoticon emoticon

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KNITTINGFROG 8/14/2009 6:18PM

    Nope, not mean...plain direct and in control, exactly where you should be... What guts!!! I am impressed!!

Now maybe she would benefit of getting to know SP a little more so make sure you drop the site details with her ...

You are totally on the right track girl, and far from analysing, we'll be there to celebrate and commiserate all the way to the skinny jeans !!

Have a great weekend!

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FITGRL124 8/14/2009 10:48AM


This was by far one of the funniest blogs I've read. I 'm glad you stood up to your WC and found SP. It's a great place to be and I'm excited that you're here.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!!



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I Look Like a Ragamuffin (But That's Awesome!)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Q: Why oh why did I ditch my "tight" pants last year? (Though I'm glad someone who needed them is wearing them now!)

A: I guess I was resigned to always being fat, and never again fitting into a Size 20 or 18... My change of attitude since then is pretty amazing now that I think about it. Now I KNOW I'm going to be saying sayonara to plus sizes in 2010!

While it's pretty awesome that none of my work pants fit very well anymore, especially in the stomach and butt (I guess that's where I'm losing the most? Measurements next week!), I look like a ragamuffin or a gangsta rapper.

...Waist riding way low... Hello, want to see what color underwear I'm wearing? You probably can catch a glimpse by the end of the day!

...Pant legs way too wide... What kind of sausages was I hiding in there?

...The best part?... I can take my pants down without unzipping them! Hello, easy access!

I don't feel like buying new pants just yet, because (hopefully) I'll have the same problem with THOSE in a few months. I'll wait until the cusp of obscenity. Or just wear skirts! There you go.

I posted on a woman's blog where she wrote she was contemplating quitting. I think with a lot of us that have 100+ pounds to lose, it gets so daunting. I know my journey is going to last more than a year. But why not celebrate progress? 22 pounds is great, and those of you following my blogs know that I can fall victim to the pressures of the scale, but my greatest successes are the following:

- I started C25K running for a minute at a time and thought I was going to die. Now I'm running 15 minutes! Never in a million years would I have thought that me, at 257 pounds, could run a mile. And here I am, in 2 1/2 months on SP!

- I ran up the humongo staircase at the train station yesterday, and didn't pant at all! I didn't even realize it until I jumped into the car, and thought "Geez, did I actually run up those stairs? I didn't even feel it!"

- Eating just 1400 calories in a day and not even "trying" to be "good." Something must be sticking!

So while I sit here for another 12-14 hour day in the office in my ragamuffin clothes, trying to fidget as much as possible, I can't help but smile. Life is pretty good right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOTALFOCUS 4/21/2011 10:26PM

    Great story!
Thanks for sharing!

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MAMAKNITSSOCKS 8/16/2009 11:58AM

    You are a total motivator, Poulaki! I'm so glad we virtually bumped into each other here! Your positive attitude is awesome and inspiring!


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NANNIESCHICKEN 8/14/2009 12:34PM

    I can totally relate! Thankfully, I kept some of my "too tight" clothes and now they are baggy. Today I look totally "sloppy" at work. I am wearing a pair of capris that I bought just 4 weeks ago, and they are literally falling off of me.

You go girl. You are doing an awesome job. And although, yes, it does seem so daunting sometimes, it pays to put on something that is actually hanging off of you to really appreciate the progress and to get an extra dose of inspiration from the way they look and feel. emoticon

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THREADBENDER 8/14/2009 7:39AM

    Congratulations! You know, if you had kept those old pants, they probably wouldn't fit right anyway. Or you would find stains or wear in them that you didn't realize was there.

Like you, I've been blowing down through sizes. Bought two pairs of capri pants back at the end of June that I can't keep up now emoticon

Pinkcoconut has a great idea in trying the thrift stores for some transitional pieces.

Ain't it true that success feeds success in this healthy lifestyle game? Great going! emoticon

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PAPER_WINGS18 8/13/2009 12:27PM

    I LOVE your attitude girl! :) You are HILARIOUS as well, maybe you should think about writing a novel b/c I'm pretty sure your hilarious writing style would translate into your novel! ;) haha ok that's the "English Major" nerd in me coming out...Anywho, that is so great that you ran up those stairs w/o getting tired! Woo! C2K must be kickin your butt...errr HELPING YOU kick ITS butt.there we go.

By the way, how does C2K work? I think I want to read up about it-perhaps I shall google it. I always hear about it but never understood how it worked.

Hope you are having a fabulous day!!!!

& LOL about the "easy access" comment. That's one plus right? ;) emoticon


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KIERSTENELLA 8/13/2009 12:15PM

    This is all so inspiring! Thanks for sharing your feelings. I know what you mean about the 100+ being daunting, but I know that we can all do it!

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BIZEEMOMTO3 8/13/2009 12:07PM

    Good for you! Running and not even feeling it! As for the clothes, treat yourself to some second hand clothes, they often have bargain days at the larger thrift stores. See what you can find, they are great for transition clothes, and are very affordable!

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BETHSHEALTH 8/13/2009 11:45AM

    Second hand is a great idea. You made me chuckle, I'm imagining those pants. Do you sew at all. You could take tucks in the waist so you don't have to go gangsta style, or do they have belt loops?

Congratulations on your progress!

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IRISBLOOMS 8/13/2009 11:34AM

    I love this blog!

Way to go!

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PINKCOCONUT 8/13/2009 11:01AM

    Great attitude! And why not try shopping at second hand stores for a while? That's where I've been buying my transition clothes. Got a whole whack load for only $30!

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What 300 Calories Can Get You!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm adding this SP article in case anyone hasn't read it, but it's amazing! "What does 300 calories really look like?" Some of my friends marvel when I tell them I try to eat 200-350 calories for breakfast and lunch with a larger dinner and a lot of snacks. "300 calories is nothing," they tell me.

Look at some of the 300-350 calorie meals in this article. They're huge!

It's Day 70 of my lifestyle change, and I've learned to stretch a calorie and still feel full and naughty. My lunch today? Arnold sandwich thins (thanks to SP for the recommendation, they are absolutely amazing!) topped with 1.5 tbsp of natural peanut butter, a tsp of Nutella (you know how good that is), and a tsp of raspberry jam. C'mon, how decadent is that at 316 calories? Full of protein (and yes, sugar), but also fulfills that omnipresent need for sweets and chocolate.

Yesterday for breakfast I had an egg white omelet, because I'm lucky enough to work in a place with a cafeteria with made-to-order omelets. A HUGE egg white omelet with tomato, mushroom and bacon (mmm, bacon!) is a whopping 175 calories, and SO FILLING.

It's the little substitutes that make it work... egg whites instead of full eggs for omelets (though I eat real eggs sunny side up or boiled; yolks are good for you!), cooking spray instead of oil and butter, almonds instead of those measly 100 calorie packs...

I've been kind of lax with exercise this week because we were given the opportunity to work 60 hours in 5 days and I'm going to take it and get the overtime, trying to compensate with eating the low end of my calorie range. I did some strength training last night when I got home and I'm spending my commute and breaks doing as much brisk walking and stair climbing as I can. I'm going to get to the gym and run my mile (or more?) tonight, but definitely not my best week activity-wise.

Hugs to all my Sparkies, and hope this article helped a little!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPER_WINGS18 8/12/2009 10:44PM

    Thanks for posting that article! It really is shocking how far 300 cals can go if we do it right ;) It sounds like you are really changing your lifestyle w/ all these great food choices, so awesome job girl!! :)

I've never had nutella, but I keep hearing amazing things, so I may have to try it!

P.S. I LOOOOVE those arnold thins...mmm soo good!!!!

awesome work again! Keep it up :) :)

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TRAVELNISTA 8/12/2009 7:50PM

    emoticon emoticonLook like somebody knows how to spend their calories wisely!

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SARANGEREL 8/12/2009 11:21AM

    Thanks for sharing the article, it was very helpful!

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KNITTINGFROG 8/12/2009 10:23AM

    Thanks for sharing that, I had not seen it!

Yep, substitution is the key: 1 bread roll = 150 calories, 1 Wasa-style crisp bread (full of fibre) = 18 cal!!! (and no way can I eat 8 of those with soup!!)

Now if only they would come up with a less sugary version of Nutella...but yum!!!

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DAPHNERUNNING 8/12/2009 9:42AM

    Oooh, that lunch sounds delicious! I hope you're not too tired to work out next week after all the overtime. And wow, I'm totally having one of those egg white omelets, it sounds AMAZING!

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SDTALLY 8/12/2009 9:04AM

    I usually have a broth based veggie soup for lunch - get to have lots & lots for even less than 300 calories!!


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Patience and Payoff

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm calling this blog patience and payoff, because sometimes my digital scale is a great big jerk. Sometimes I succumb to its siren song, "Step on meeee, Kristina!!!" and it tells I've gained 3 pounds, giggles (OK, flashes) at me, and retreats into the corner when I know a 3-pound gain is impossible.

And then there's days like today, my ACTUAL weigh-in day, when the scale is my friend. Down one more pound... 257!
emoticon emoticon

Don't be an idiot, Kristina. Weigh in on Tuesdays with a do-over on Wednesday if necessary.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELNISTA 8/11/2009 7:10PM

    emoticon I have the same battle with my scale. It is an ongoing love-hate relationship.

I love your background picture that comes up of it looks like Santorini. Greece is one of my favorite places to travel. I LOVE the food.

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PAPER_WINGS18 8/11/2009 2:14PM

    Lmao I love your writing style; I was cracking up b/c I can totally relate!!

WAY to go on the 1 lb. loss!!! That's awweeesome! ! ! : ) Keep up the great work girl! You deserve itttt!!!

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CARISSASOPHIA 8/11/2009 1:43PM

    I like the Do-over on Wednesday idea! Never thought about weighing in that way!

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 8/11/2009 12:48PM

    My scale has been a big huge jerk lately too! Won't move!

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KNITTINGFROG 8/11/2009 11:45AM

    It's their way to keep you on your toes ;-)

Funny how such a trivial piece of electronic equipment has such hold on our lives and can somewhat dictate if we are going to have a 'good' day or 'bad' day...except I have stopped thinking like that.

So embrace the days when they lie and make up extra pounds, for they will soon have to give you and even greater loss of lbs!!


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CHANGEISGOOD 8/11/2009 11:35AM

    Hey, I have a love hate relationship with my digital scales, too. I have a tile floor that I have to be careful how I set the scales or I can step on and off 5 times and get 5 different weight readings. But if I set them just right on one or two of the tiles I get an accurate reading. Today my scales were friendly, too.

Keep up the great work! You are doing wonderful and YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!


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Running the mile, sunset mojitos, and a shock to the metabolism...

Monday, August 10, 2009

What a weekend! I had so much fun in the outdoors and playing in the sun!

The Good:
I ran the mile at last! I decided I would figure out what running a mile in my neighborhood meant in distance and would run it, no questions asked. It was excruciating, especially since it was hot and humid even at 8 a.m., but I did it!

I kept moving all weekend, walking, doing yard work, playing baseball and cricket on the beach!

The Bad:
Friday night I had the option of getting a nice grilled fish when we went out to eat at this beautiful restaurant with a riverside terrace, but instead I succumbed to the pressures of my dining companions and had fried oysters and onion rings instead. Oh, and two mojitos. Which were amazingly delicious, but probably did me no favors. We had to wait over an hour for a table, so we didn't end up eating til 9 p.m., which is part of the reason why I overate, I think. I was starving, and I think my brain was telling me to order whatever I wanted...

Yesterday, my husband suggested going to a terrific ice cream shop with the amazing creamy ice cream. I planned on getting the smallest size (1/4 kiddie) and enjoying it and eating simply the rest of the day, but I later realized a 1/4 kiddie was actually two enormous scoops of ice cream, and to get the smallest size, you had to order a "one-scoop." Oh, my mistake. I took off the top scoop of the ice cream, but still probably ended up eating more than I should. I still only ate 1300 calories for the day, but still, 500 calories of ice cream and god knows how much fat is not the best for me.

So despite my triumph in the fitness department, the scale is showing me back up to 259 again. Sigh. I'm now on Day 68 of my lifestyle change, and in the beginning, I skipped whole weekends of healthy eating, and still managed to lose 3 pounds for the week. It encouraged me that if I kept an overall healthy diet, a slip-up wasn't going to kill me. Now I keep losing and gaining this pound, even while exercising more and eating better than I did at the beginning of this journey.

I need a shock, I think. A shock to the metabolism! I'm thinking strength training is probably the answer, as well as smaller meals. I'm always so intimidated by the strength machines at the gym, but it's probably time I get acquainted with them. And I'm so used to eating a bigger meal at night (and so is my husband) so that may also be a challenge.

I still love SP, and I knew there would be a plateau, I was just hoping that it would happen when I lost oh, around, 50 pounds?

Any other suggestions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNITTINGFROG 8/12/2009 3:38AM

    Ahem, so I guess I AM the only who wants to know what flavour ice cream you had and make sure you ENJOYED every lick and every bite? Because at the end of the day, that's what matters: fostering a happy healthy relationship with food.

As for your plateau, it won't last if you stick to healthy eating and exercising, but you can (as suggested before) add a little variety to your routine (skipping rope, swimming, cycling, or one of the many available exercise DVDs your library may have?) and maybe (if you are not already doing so) wear a heart rate monitor to check you push yourself enough and track your steps daily (aiming for 10,000).

Failing that, I blame muscle gain and water retention

Don't worry, you'll be just fine...just stick with it...your body will follow...

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THREADBENDER 8/11/2009 7:56AM

    Congrats on running that mile.

You know what really helped me to see restaurant food temptations in a new (more critical light) was reading David Kessler's book The End of Overeating. As former FDA chair, he points out how the restaurant and food industry use fat, sugar, and salt to lure us in. Maybe your library has it?

Nevertheless...slow and steady wins the race, right?!

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PAPER_WINGS18 8/10/2009 8:19PM

    Don't beat yourself up over the little slip-up at dinner this weekend; it only does us harm! I have a badddd tendency to do this to myself, and it causes me to get more stressed and want to eat the world! One little slip-up will not ruin you in the end of your consistency!

I'm not quite sure how to go about getting over the plateau as I have not been there yet, BUT could you maybe try and add more fruits and veggies into your diet? Less processed foods(not sure if you eat them) and more fresh foods? Also, I've always felt that the more water I drink, the more healthier I feel and the more I lose that week. Maybe try upping your water intake??

AWESOME job on the mile!! woo hoo! I wish I could do that, but I haven't run in like 6 years LOL. eeek! Maybe try mixing your exercise up each week-try something new? It'll work different muscle groups and maybe cause you to lose more! Just an idea :)

Keep up the great work girl!

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SARANGEREL 8/10/2009 10:24AM

    Great job on doing that mile!! I have a hard time being consistent with strength training becuase I don't care for it too much. When I had my gym buddy, she pushed me to do it, so find a gym bud if you can. Strength training does help through plateaus. I've read that switching cardio up from what you normally helps with plateaus aswell. Try the stationary bike or elliptical machine for 15 or 20 minutes if you normally do the treadmill etc. Just keep it up and you'll bust through your plateau soon!!

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1_FIT_DIVA 8/10/2009 8:01AM

    Strength training is the way to go! When you work your muscles, it boosts your metabolism. Now your body can't lose weight and tone at the same time, so don't get discouraged if the scale goes up at first. (Muscle weighs more than fat.) If you keep a steady pace, I'd say start out at 2 sets of 10 reps on each machine and move onto 3 sets of 10 reps in two weeks.

Remember, weight training breaks down the muscle if you do it to much or too often, so I suggest you strength train every other day. Make sure you do a variety of different machines, and hand weights are a good option too. Don't use the maximum weight you can lift. (You want tension, but don't overdo it.)

I promise, if you stick to it...you will begin to see a change! Don't give up my friend, and good luck to you!!!

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PINKMARX 8/10/2009 7:58AM

    I had a similar weekend, so I can feel your happiness as well as your frustration. It did take a good deal of self-doubt before I could come to terms and say, "hey, but do I feel good? I should focus on being proud of my sucesses instead of punishing my slip ups."

Congratulations on the Mile and just pushing yourself without knowing whether you could. You had an inspiring weekend.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 8/10/2009 7:54AM

    Sounds like we had similar weekends! I keep hovering around the same two pounds as well and was thinking about adding the strength training. I am so lax about strength. I got up this morning and actually did some free weights, so hopefully I can get back to my M-W-F strength routine. Hopefully we'll kill those pounds this week and finally be rid of them fo good! :)

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