LDRICHEL   48,805
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LDRICHEL's Recent Blog Entries

I've Never Felt This Good

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Something has happened to me...just this week. It's like a switch has been flipped, exercise-wise. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I joined the Official Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge issued by Coach Nicole. Perhaps I gained a bit more confidence in myself when I spent a week in Atlanta with business colleagues who were so kind to build me up and compliment the work I do for them. Whatever it is, I feel unstoppable. And I am no longer afraid of this thing called "exercise". In fact, we've become quite friendly.

When I started with Couch 2 5K about a month ago, I couldn't actually do the running portion of the program...I would just walk as fast as I could through the entire thing and I was averaging about an 18 minute mile. I believed this to be a result of my weight (255 lbs starting) and thought that it would be so much easier for me to actually run when I have lost some weight (maybe 30 or 40 lbs down the road).

But, I've read a LOT of blogs over the past couple of weeks. As you know, I feel specifically drawn to the stories of SparkPeople that have lost 100+ lbs. I began to see a common thread in many of these success stories: running. And not just running when they had walked enough to shed a ton of weight...running when they were STILL out of shape. When they were STILL over 300 lbs, over 250 lbs. Running a 5K non-stop at 230 lbs. It has quite literally blown my mind!

And, I don't know...I just thought, "If these people have done it...then I can do it." I can't keep making excuses. A real injury would be one thing, but I had a minor sprain back in the beginning because of bad shoes. Now that I have great shoes, there is no reason I can't try to do this thing right.

Sunday morning, I knew I'd have a 6-hour car ride in front of me. I woke up super early to do my first day of the Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge. I did a 10 minute cardio led by Coach Nicole on my computer. Then, immediately, at 7am, went and started over with Couch 2 5K. But, this time, I ran all the running intervals. I cut my personal best mile interval time by 3 whole minutes!!! I was THRILLED! I felt SO GREAT! Yeah, it was a rough run, but not as rough as I thought it would be.

Yesterday, there were some bad storms. But I didn't want to miss an opportunity for cardio so I did some videos on the SP site. About 1/2 hours' worth. Felt awesome.

This morning, I woke up at 5:30am to take care of my 4 year old. He went back to sleep and I realized I was wide awake and just ITCHING for the sun to come up, so I could go for another run. I cut my mile interval time by another minute this morning. But that wasn't even my biggest victory today. The victory today was that I was able to breathe! I focused on my running form and, do you know, that made things so much easier?! I wasn't in pain. It was exponentially easier than it was on Sunday.

This is just TWO DAYS of work, folks. And I already feel like it's getting easier. I just can't tell you how amazing I feel. This running thing, once you get the hang of it, is really quite addicting. I already can't wait for my next run.

If you only knew me two years ago, you'd understand how shocking this is. I am the girl who used to HATE any exercise. I am the rude person that would post on my runner friends' Facebook statuses that running is disgusting. I am the one who would say, "Who cares if I'm overweight? I'm already married and at least I'll die happy (eating delicious things and living life to the full)!"

But I so wasn't living life! And, to have this chance to truly LIVE...well, I refuse to take it for granted. I just can't wait to see what's ahead!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    YAY!!! you've been bitten by the RUN BUG!!! I,too, LOVE to run! I'm so glad you're not waiting til 'the perfect weight'. Take the rest days and stretch really good and you will be on fire!!

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MARVEEME 5/3/2012 8:20AM

    You've turned the corner, my dear friend....there is no "finish line" in this....it is simply continuous joy of feeling better and better as you continue your clean living.

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AWOOD1973 5/3/2012 5:50AM

    Wow! Fantastic! Make sure that you are taking lots and lots of pictures through this journey, so you can "see" the difference in what all this exercise is doing for you. Before and after pics are the best, and so inspiring to help you maintain "when" you hit your goals!! :-)

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ON2VICTORY 5/2/2012 11:50PM

    I am so happy for you Leah. You are really getting Sparked. I would make sure you follow a c25k program for sure and make sure you are stretching and taking your rest days like they suggest. Running is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. Couple that with the thrill of finishing your first race and you have a powerful incentive to get out there. In all of the joyful enthusiasm, be sure to listen to your body. You will be taxing it like you never have before and you will need some time and TLC to come up to speed (no pun intended )

I got a little overboard and paid the price more than once. Rest when they say you should, work on your flexibility , and above all, enjoy the journey. Running is awesome.

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WERNERETTE 5/2/2012 1:43PM

    Congrats! I started c25k just yesterday and I feel great! We'll definitely have to cheer each other on!
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CALLIKIA 5/2/2012 12:13PM

    Just FYI - It's hard for anyone starting to run. I don't care if they weigh 120 or 220 or 320 (or more!). Take care of yourself. Keep your mind on form. If you have to take a little more time or do a week over, don't be afraid to do it. Run at your own pace - run your own race! Feel the high of the wind blowing off your cheeks and your legs pumping under you and know you did what you once told yourself you couldn't do!

(OMG I miss running SO much!!) ;)

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ILIKETOZUMBA 5/2/2012 12:05PM

    That's fantastic!!! Congratulations!!! I've found that nothing burns calories for me like running does, and it's incredible how much better at it I got when I started using positive thinking as a tool during runs (like telling myself I wasn't tired, I could keep going all day, etc.). I hope you continue to enjoy running! Keep on pushing yourself and you'll be amazed at what your body is capable of even though your mind thought it wasn't. :)

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 5/2/2012 11:27AM


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I Love The New Me...And I Simply Can't Let Her Go Any Longer

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The past couple weeks has been a rocky journey for me. Let's see...in the last 4 weeks, I've been up against:

Kid's Birthday Party
First experience with death of a loved one
Funeral for said loved one
Weeklong business trip in Atlanta
Church Luncheon
Minor depression
Husband's 40th birthday party

In the next two weeks, I am up against:

Husband finally graduating from college (with the celebration to go along with it)
11th wedding anniversary
End of kids' school year

All of these things have either caused, or have the potential to cause, ups and downs in my diet/fitness routines. Some of the items on the first list resulted in weight gain, which took me quite a bit of focused energy and determination to correct.

I haven't been diligent through it all. In Atlanta, I didn't log into SparkPeople once. And I didn't really think too much about what I was eating...or do ANY exercise. Thankfully, some of my healthy choices from the previous months managed to stick and I was able to do minimal damage on that trip.

As I've been considering this entry, I've come to realize that anything on this list could be used as an excuse to give up and just indulge. But, there has been a nagging in the back of my mind through all of it...

It says...

"This is temporary. You won't go so far that you won't be able to make adjustments to repair what you've undone (health-wise)."

"You don't need to go crazy with food to feel better...so just don't."

"You can't fill that loneliness with anything that has a calorie count."

"You have proven yourself to be strong. You have lost 11 lbs, and that is not insignificant. You worked hard for that...and you will continue to work hard for the remaining 97 that you still want to lose."

"You crossed a barrier...and you're never turning back."

See, back when I first started SparkPeople last year, I did give up. I never made it past that barrier....the barrier of self-doubt. I absolutely no longer doubt myself. I know with 150% certainty that I have everything I could ever possibly need to do this and to become stronger and healthier and slimmer. It isn't mentally, emotionally or physically possible for me to let myself go any longer.

emoticon I finally became important...to me. emoticon

How did this happen? That's easy. I log into SparkPeople every single day and read a blog about how someone has lost 100 lbs by doing what they know to be right - eating healthy foods and working hard. And that's all. And I feel so inspired, like I can do it too. What's more...almost every one of these people has lost 100 lbs within a year. That fact is staggering to me. I used to think, "I need to lose 100 lbs and it will take years and years." But, the idea that if I put all I have into it, this could actually happen within a year is something I never imagined was possible. You know what? I can give myself a year. It's really not that long!

So, what about you? Do you believe yet? What will it take for you to say, "I will never let myself go again. I deserve this and I will do anything it takes to achieve this"?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALLIKIA 5/2/2012 12:14PM

    FYI - No matter how much time it takes (mine was over a year), it's totally doable and worth it. Just remember to have fun along the way and not worry too much about the end goal...as long as you're still working to get there you're getting healthy and closer each and every day!

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    WOO HOO!!!

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ON2VICTORY 5/2/2012 9:07AM

    Leah is in the house, stand back!!! Keep up the attitude, that is what is going to get you the in spite of set backs.

PS. .. Thanks for the goodie


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IAMFRANSGIRL 5/2/2012 7:57AM

    Oh! This so wonderful! I love hearing that you know you're worth it!!

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MARVEEME 5/1/2012 9:08PM


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ILIKETOZUMBA 5/1/2012 5:20PM

    I can't tell you how much I love your attitude in this blog! LOVE IT. And I love how aware you are of potential pitfalls you're facing. That's fantastic. Great job! :)

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Finally Settled On My Eating Plan

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So, if you've been walking with me the past couple weeks, you will have noticed a sudden, strange turn in my blogs when I decided at the last minute to join my Pastor's wife on the South Beach Diet Phase 1 (without even knowing a thing about it!) Lucky for me, I am an info junkie and I promptly did all the research and, within a few days, had read the entire South Beach Diet book and it sounded pretty great. I had some setbacks in the strict 2-week Phase 1, but I saw huge results, as the author promised I would. I lost 9 lbs in the first week. Had a bad weekend and gained some weight back, which I shed in the following week. Overall, I think I did a great job. My friend, however, went off the Phase 1 portion after a little more than a week. I hung in there for the full two weeks, but I felt some confusion upon finishing Phase 1.

At first, I tried to add in just a little whole grain and fruit, as the book instructs. But, over the past few days, I have been really thinking about it and although South Beach Phase 2 does sound like a great, well-rounded, healthful diet...it is just a bit too strict for me. I've found that as I add in more (healthy) foods I like to eat without worrying about glycemic index, I've been able to hover around our maintain the 10 lb weight loss. So, that's great. I was a bit worried if I went off of South Beach, it would all just pile back on within a day. So far, I'm OK. But, I'm still making very healthy choices, mind you. And still kind of watching sugar like a HAWK.

I've seen so many SparkFriends that have lost over 100 lbs and they have simply followed their SparkDiet (staying within daily calorie ranges) and added a WHOLE LOT of exercise to their lives. They aren't heavily restricting healthy food groups because of glycemic index or anything like that...just practicing moderation and controlling portion size. So, I'm going back to my original SparkPlan. It might take longer, but that doesn't bother me. I know I'm on this path for the rest of my life and I'm not concered with how quickly I lose the weight. The happy truth is I know that I WILL lose it. This is the first time in my life that I can confidently say that and not doubt it at all!

I would be remiss to say I didn't learn a LOT from my South Beach Diet foray and I'd love to share these things with you, my SparkFriends:

1. I was eating SO much sugar! I honestly didn't even know! I don't have a big problem with sweets normally, so I figured I was OK. But, once I started to really look at labels and make sure things were meeting the Phase 1 requirements, I was flabbergasted by the amount of sugar in EVERYTHING. And, if that didn't drive home the point enough, the 2nd day migraine sure did. Now that I've cleansed my body from that toxin, I am NOT too eager to start putting it back in my body. And once you get past the second day or so, you really don't crave it at all.

2. I wasn't eating NEARLY enough vegetables! You would not believe the sheer volume of vegetables I went through in two weeks! Those HUGE tubs of spring mix at Kroger? I went through 2 of those completely. This was an adventure in veggies that I could never have imagined.

3. Veggies with protein can be very filling. I did not suffer from deprivation or feeling hungry all the time. When I consiously made sure I was eating a lot of protein throughout the day, along with my insane portions of veggies, I always felt full. And satisfied.

4. I am more mindful now of every single bite I put in my mouth. Even when I was tracking before, it wasn't with as much vigilence as now. This has trained my brain to evaluate my daily eating as a whole. It's second nature now to think, "Does this meal include fiber, a protein and vegetables? Will this keep me feeling full? Do I have enough water in my system so far today?" This is ridiculously helpful for me. I really needed this second nature view on healthy eating and I'm so happy I've finally learned it.

5. Perhaps the most important lesson I've learned is that I CAN limit myself. I have absolute and complete control over my food choices and I have proven to myself that I am capable of sticking to anything I put my mind to doing.

So, while it's not my longterm diet, the South Beach Diet has given me some life lessons that I probably would not have learned if I wouldn't have done it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIKO2011 4/22/2012 8:35PM

  Thanks for sharing your insights. I'm like you, a bit of an info junkie, when it comes to diet plans. I tried the Atkins diet for the second time in about a year. After about 3 days I was starting to get a headache and almost gagging at the thought of more meat/protein/fat and very limited carbs. I've since learned about another diet plan called "carb cycling" Apparently boby builders have been doing it for years. I really like it so far. I'm doing a high carb/low fat day, then high "good" fat/ low carb cycle every other day. One day a week is a "cheat day" where you can eat whatever. So far I've been doing it for 3 weeks. My cheat days have been a little over the top. I've got to get those under more control. I also don't plan to stay on the this plan forever, but at least until I can lose about 10 more pounds. Then I'll do a modified version, but mostly just eating healthy and drinking LOTS of water.
Wishing you the best on your healthy quest, and again, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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FRESKA 4/21/2012 7:58PM

    yeah!! glad your off that plan! and back to moderation and using all the things the body needs and CARBS is a big one. it can be complex carbs. adding to a slower breakdown than a simple carb.
i really dont like any plan that constricts entire food groups for more than a few days to do a simple cleanse. adkins / southbeach etc are all extremes to me.
you will get there! so happy for you!
keep us posted!

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PIPPAMOUSE 4/21/2012 12:36AM

    I have found the SB diet to be great, but I couldn't stick to it long term. I do have higher than desireable blood sugar levels, so I do still follow some of the recommendations, such as higher fiber veggies and protein for every meal, I will only eat grains if there is protein to go with it, etc. Congrats on your loss and I'm glad you learned from your experience.

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ROOSTER72 4/18/2012 10:16PM

    I must say I am glad you are back - I find the SP program to be the best way to build a lifestyle that is truly sustainable in maintenance.
Thanks for sharing your learning from South Beach - you are now in a better position to succeed with SP! Well done.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 4/18/2012 9:04PM

    I am so happy for you!
I am sure you have heard the saying...
Knowledge is Power!
I read everything, research everything and as a result...
I am looking into getting a degree in Health & Wellness.
You will do great and the 10 pounds?

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 4/18/2012 3:05PM

    AWESOME. What a great learning experience, and thank you for sharing what you found out! It really is unbelievable how much sugar(and sodium, for that matter) is in so many foods. I'm glad you've settled on a plan that will work for you. You're doing so great!!

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ERH12275 4/18/2012 1:16PM

    I have thought about doing South Beach. Glad I read this blog...thanks.

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Weekend Temptations - So Far, So Good

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Warning: Typing on my phone - autocorrect is a nightmare.

So, here I am at my weakest point - the weekend. Woke up this morning to my mother-in-law making fresh waffles. Oh, how I longed to grab one and drown it in butter and syrup! Instead, had a small cup of coffee, lots of water, a slice of whole grain toast with natural peanut butter. First Temptation: Defeated.

Knew I'd spend the entire day in hospice - my husband's aunt is about to die. I thought ahead and brought some sunflower seeds for my AM snack. Second Temptation: Defeated.

This is a rough day emotionally. You know, NO ONE would blame me if I hung out by the vending machine and went through a bag of chips, a Coke and a couple candy bars. For goodness sake, a dear family member's life is slipping away right in front of my eyes! But...I don't want to feed my bad feelings with junk and feel even worse - physically and emotionally. I opted for a "treat" of a diet soda. Third Temptation: defeated.

Still haven't had lunch, but you know what? This day...this terrible, confusing, horrific day...needs to be taken just one hour at a time. One healthy choice at a time. One tear of joy or pain at a time.

Wish me luck.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARVEEME 4/14/2012 7:38PM


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WERNERETTE 4/14/2012 4:49PM

    Way to go on making healthy choices during such a tough and emotional time. Those are always the hardest times to stay on plan, so the fact that you have been able to is great. I'm sorry that you're going through this hard time, (((hugs)))

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ILIKETOZUMBA 4/14/2012 4:20PM

    Wow, you're doing GREAT. I'm so sorry that you're losing a family member, but I'm amazed at how you are controlling your eating. I admire your commitment so much! Praying for continued strength and peace for you and your family. emoticon

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PIPPAMOUSE 4/14/2012 1:21PM

    Also sending prayer your way. I think MOM2IAN said it so well. You are making tough but smart choices. You can control what you put in your body.

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KENDRACARROLL 4/14/2012 12:17PM

    Be strong today!
Sending a prayer your way.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 4/14/2012 11:34AM

    I wish you more than luck!
I wish you strength!
You are in control of today. Every hour, every choice.
You are in control of your life.
No outside influences are stronger than what is inside of you!
And prayers for you and your family.

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The Scale Isn't The Be-All and End-All

Friday, April 13, 2012

So, if you remember from a previous blog, I went a little crazy on cookies last weekend. This resulted in a supposed 5-lb weight gain on Monday morning. I've been back on my pretty strict Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet and have been pretty close to flawless this week. I can't help myself...I get curious and so I've been weighing myself every day to see if I am back at the place I was last week (when I boasted my 12 lb total weight loss).

It's been slow going but the scale IS going down. This morning, I was a bit disappointed because I'm still a little over a pound away from that all-time low that I hit last week.

I thought, "Well, it's OK. It's still a total weight loss of 10 lbs, which has been a milestone for me and that's pretty impressive. Plus, I know I'll eventually shed that extra pound if I continue to make good choices."

Then, I went to put my clothes on that I'd chosen for work. Truthfully, I chose some capri pants because I wanted to wear my tennis shoes. I have planned a BIG walk into my work day to run office errands.

Well, wouldn't you know it? Those pants slid on so easily and buttoned so comfortably and they haven't felt this comfortable and not tight in...well, a year???

It was then that I knew...the scale doesn't tell the WHOLE story. Several family members have made note that I look smaller.

Have you heard that any fitness program takes 12 weeks? After 4 weeks, you start to feel it in your own body. After 8 weeks, those closest to you begin to notice a change. And the rest of the world starts to notice after 12 weeks. Most people just give up too soon.

Well, guess what week I'm in??? You got it...Week 8. You know what that means??? In 4 weeks, NORMAL PEOPLE will notice!!! How exciting!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRESKA 4/13/2012 10:19PM

    emoticon emoticon i get a little too attached to the scale too! especially since i got a proper dr's scale a few weeks ago! but i know i cant keep watching it everyday. its like watching water boil. lol i gotta just keep getting through the day making good choices and getting in excercise when i can. (my job is physical so thats my excersice for the day when i work).
your doing great though. glad your determined! i am too!!! my first goal date (THIS ROUND) is june 6th. thats week 13. lol and yes i feel like the first 20 most people will NOT notice. and about 25 down they might think you lost 5 pounds. just the way it goes when your heavier. i love how you put "normal people will notice" cause there are a few who are VERY perceptive! lol
congrats on digging in your heels!! emoticon

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 4/13/2012 7:35PM

    I always tell people to break up their long term relationship with their stupid scale!
The scale is a liar and is not doing right by you!
End the relationship!

By the way....

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WERNERETTE 4/13/2012 4:26PM

    Isn't that a great feeling?!! Don't put all your hopes on the scale, because there are sooo many factors that can cause it to go up or down on any given day. Stick with what you know works, and the scale will eventuall catch up. Until then, go by how you feel and how your clothes fit. I know I put way too much emphasis on that scale sometimes too, but we need to not let it define our success!

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CLOVER2 4/13/2012 3:28PM

    I agree, I am a slave to my scale but I have noticed lately that I am getting into clothes that I couldn't have at this "weight" before and now they fit! I've come to the conclusion that, like you, the scale is NOT the last word! And with this, the scale really doesn't hold the same power on me that it once did. But I still use it, it gives me perspective but it doesn't ruin my day one way or another any more.

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KARENDEE4 4/13/2012 3:22PM

    Good for you!!

The scale is not the only thing that maters.

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ILIKETOZUMBA 4/13/2012 3:11PM

    Awesome non-scale victory!! Congratulations. :)

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IMAJEAN0178 4/13/2012 2:35PM

    Great reminder that the scale is just a small part of this journey. The 12 week thing makes alot of sense and I have noticed it.

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 4/13/2012 2:34PM

    During the weeks when I did not see the scale being cooperative, I discovered that the tape measure was really my best friend! When I started this journey, I had NO pictures (refused to allow any) and I did not buy a tape measure because I didn't want to see it. Once I lost about 15 pounds, I started measuring everything - all the time. I have weighed myself at numerous points in the day (all different) and on several scales in places I frequent (all different!) I accept the weight on my home scale, which MUST be in the exact same position on the bathroom floor (I made marks on the floor to be SURE!) which I check, without clothes, at 6:00 AM EVERY DAY! As long as THAT scale goes down or stays the same, I'm fine. The other scales are all used by lots of people, so they're generally off balance. My tape measure ONLY goes in the right direction - and I'll bet yours does, too. God bless . . .
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