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My Challenges...little long

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Skinny Vibes team said today was the day to share our personal challenges with weight loss. Not going to be easy but here goes.
Five years ago I had an emergency hysterectomy and three weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am five foot five and I weighed 229 pounds. I looked like a beached whale to myself and yet most people had no idea that I was as heavy as I was. I am naturally very muscular, so I guess I carried the weight well.
My drinking, snuff chewing and lask of exercise had caught up to me and having two children had not been kind to me either.
Surgery and cancer were a tremendous wake up call for me. The day before I had surgery I took my last dip of snuff and I have not touched it since. All you tobacco users...I chewed for 35 years and went cold turkey and if you want something bad enough you can quit! My diet changed drastically because of a "chat" I had with my PA-C.
My PA-C became my biggest source of aid and support for the next two years after my surgery. You see, she is an iroman triathlon competitor and I had always thought that would be neat but I did not own a bike and I could not swim. This lady discussed her sport with me and I watched her train and run her marathons and I decided that I needed to start running to lose weight. I was a sprinter with world class speed in high school...but in high school I weighed a whopping 105.
I began with walking the track and not eating beef or drinking beer. For three months after surgery, I walked and average of 15 miles a day and slowly I started adding other activities such as weight lifting, jogging on a treadmill, and my mom bought me a bike which I started riding for 30 minutes a day. In 6 weeks time I lost 15 pounds and I was ecstatic!
I went for a check-up and my PA-C "suggested" that I train for a 1/2 marathon and join the local triathlon group. I repeated the fact that I did not swim and she smiled and said that was okay. I could ride a bike and keep jogging and we would all go to Arizona and run the 1/2 or full marathon. I trained and I did the run and I was hooked.
I lost 50 pounds the first year after surgery jogging and walking and limiting my diet. I suffered a blow when I sprained my ankle jogging and had to have it rebuilt as I tore ligaments and some tendons were damaged. I survived and once again returned to my PA-C for a yearly check-up. She smiled and congratulated me on my weight loss and asked my when I was going to learn to swim. I laughed and said not any time soon so she suggested that I start doing duathlons. I did and lost another 25 pounds in a year. 75 pounds lost in two years and I was not through yet.
I hit a plateau and quit losing weight. I decided I would start running more and then I tore up my knee. I had it rebuilt and I could not run for at least a year. Rehab was tough and when I talked to the physical therapist and my PA-C...they told me to try water aerobics. I did and met my current swim coach. I used the pool as a way to exercise and lose weight while I strengthened my knee. I kinda learned to swim but I could only use my upper body. I was told no kicking, so I used my upper body and I started losing a little weight again. Another year and I had lost 25 pounds. I still was not through. Three years and I had lost 100 pounds.
I went to the knee surgeon for a check-up and he was not happy with the way I was walking. An MRI revealed that my "good" knee was also severely damaged and so I found myself having surgery again just five months after my last knee surgery. Great friends have kept me glued together emotionally for three very difficult years.
I returned to my PA-C for another check-up. My cholesterol was great, I had lost 100 pounds, and I was sort of swimming. I was happy sort of. My PA-C asked when I was going to do my first triathlon and that is when I snapped and cried and blubbered for an extended period of time. I ended the sob session by again stating that I could not swim! My PA-C smiled as said..."You can Learn!" I did but I wasn't through yet!
I have completed four triathlons. I have learned to swim. I have had five surgeries in the last 4 years. I have lost 112 pounds and I have given up chewing tobacco and drinking. I have entered 2 more triathlons for this year and I have found SparkPeople. I have some of the greatest friends in the world! It has certainly been a struggle and I have not enjoyed all of the trip. I am not through yet! I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEPA 8/31/2010 1:26AM

    I love reading about your journey, you have so much grit and resourcefulness.

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IMSMILEY88 8/30/2010 10:13PM

    What an incredible story!!! Thank you for sharing. And, thanks for the motivation. You are incredible and you inspire ME!

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HUMBLEDAISY 8/30/2010 9:02PM

    You'll need to take a before and "during the journey" photo - after all, you are a work in progress so no need for an "after." Yours is an inspiring story!

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NUTRIGIRL08 8/30/2010 10:13AM

    An amazing journey! You are truly an inspiration although I don't know if it is going to get me to try swimming again. I just can't find it in me right now. Anyways, congratulations on your journey!!

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BEYOURBEST1 8/29/2010 9:21PM

    Your journey is inspiring.
Thanks for sharing.

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SOCKITTOME 8/28/2010 12:38AM

    Wow, Pat...thanks for sharing your story. I had no idea you've been through so much in such a short period of time. Way to go on finding a healthy lifestyle and kicking some bad habits! And congrats on the cancer survivorship. I'm in my 10th year (uterine cancer) and am loving it!

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CZARINA_TV 8/28/2010 12:01AM

    Wow! That's a lot and through it all, you still lost weight, became incrementally healthier and became a lot stronger and more fit. A lot of people would have thrown in the towel somewhere in there, but you kept going and going and going...

And look, SP even has an appropriate icon, almost...

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DEVORA4 8/27/2010 10:07PM

  I had no idea what you have gone through. I admired you before BUT certainly admire you more and am in awe of what you have done despite all the physical set backs you have had. My own personal health journey is nothing when one considers yours. I lost my complete thyroid and had a new fibia and tibia rebuilt.

You are a hero not me. Yake care and only the best. debby

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MOMMYFOTLAND 8/27/2010 8:31PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration. I'm so proud of you! I shared your story with my mom too. She's a breast cancer survivor, but has been in a very bad relationship for 37 years. She currently drinks a lot of wine and smokes a lot of tobacco, and I feel like she's a ticking time bomb. I love her dearly, and have always given her space to grow in her own way. Finally, she's getting out of the bad marriage, and I hope this is a milestone for her to reach out for good health. I thought your story would inspire her! Thank you again!

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MPALMER15 8/27/2010 7:59PM

    Wow! An amazing story! You have so much to be proud of. You could have given up so many times and no one would have blamed you, yet you kept at it. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


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  emoticon For a great inpiring story. Then, I remember it's your real life--congrats to you and keep up the great work!

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JUST_TRI_IT 8/27/2010 4:54PM

    What an uplifting story of strength, persistence, love of sport and fitness, a great doctor who seemed as stubborn as you, friends and life. BEST BLOG of my day so far! I'm sending it to my dh for his reading pleasure!

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LINDAKAY228 8/27/2010 3:15PM

    Great story of your journey! You've made amazing progress!!!

Who is the PA-C that does triathalons? Is she here?

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    You've got it, babe!!

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YW84FRIDAY 8/27/2010 2:34PM

  You go girl! You are an incredible inspiration to those around you.


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PARKERB2 8/27/2010 2:31PM

    emoticonThanks for the great blog. You seem to have exercised to the extreme and I wonder how you found the time to do all of it. Let me know.

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    I've been thinking about the long progress it takes to lose weight. In seven months I've lose 7 pounds. It is exciting but sometimes it's a bit discouraging. I feel like everyone is zooming past me. But I realize two things. a pound is around 3500 calories, and I've burnt enough calories since December to lose 11 pounds. So it adds up.

The second thing I realized is that exercise is a long process, and it's shameful to think that it's going to a smooth ride. Thanks for reminding me that even though the journey is hard, it's all still worth it!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Being a teacher...I found the following humorous. I hope you do as well. These were sent to me by a friend. Please remember I don't make up this stuff....I just pass it on.

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationary.

6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The cops are looking into it.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: "you stay here; I'll go on a head."

13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: "Keep off the Grass."

15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

17. A backward poet writes inverse.

18. In a democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

19. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you'd be in Seine.

20. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry sir, only one carrion is allowed per passenger."

21. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

22. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

23. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says. "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive."

24. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: Transcend Dental Medication.

25. There was he person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Life is too short not to laugh. Laughing burns calories and relaxes you. It will make you feel better, even if you are laughing at something inane! I hope if you read this, you were able to laugh. I also hope I have not offended anyone, which was not my intention at all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTHA-ANN 8/26/2010 10:23AM

    Love this, just when I needed a good laugh!! emoticon

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DEBHAPPY2B 8/26/2010 10:17AM

    LOL, thanks!I needed that!


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SOCKITTOME 8/26/2010 10:14AM

    Wonderful puns -- thanks for sharing!!

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CZARINA_TV 8/25/2010 10:33PM

    Thanks for the laugh! I totally heard Groucho Marx in my head for a few of those...

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    Good luck this year!

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NUTRIGIRL08 8/25/2010 10:21AM


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LINDAKAY228 8/25/2010 9:43AM

    Cute! Gave me my laugh for the day.

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JUNEPA 8/24/2010 6:22PM

    good ones

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GOHUSKERS2 8/24/2010 3:15PM

    Love jokes like that. thanks for sharing!!!

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HOPERISING 8/24/2010 12:19PM

    too cute!

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NCPANFAN 8/24/2010 11:44AM

    LOL Thanks for the chuckles...

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CALGARYDAVE 8/24/2010 11:44AM

    Very good! emoticon

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Week in Review

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Monday: Went to gym, taught 2 classes at WNMU, bathed and walked dogs, ate well and read and started studying for officiating test after officials meeting. I got home at nine after having left at four thirty in the morning. Note to self: Need more sleep

Tuesday: Went to gym, taught 1 class at WNMU, really enjoyed students at Opportunity School, started prioritizing, realized by evening that I was very sore, ate okay...short on carbs. Note to self: need more stretching time

Wednesday: repeat of Monday minus officiating meeting. Internet buddy, a person I met at my last Triathlon..stayed at same place, sent really neat pictures of the moon and a waterfall. Lifted my mood immediately. Note to self: Don't have to know a person extremely well to be affected by what they have to offer, just have to be willing to be affected!

Thursday: still very sore, enjoying classes. Got books ordered for college classes. Bought books for daughter's college classes...OMG!...four books and over 500.00 dollars. Forced myself to go for a walk with a friend that is rehabing a leg issue. Fantastic conversation! Note to self: Do not have to exercise hard every day. Guilt should not define actions regarding exercise when nutrition is balanced.

Friday; pool party with the school was a blast. Many students did not participate, but they don't regardless what is planned! Parents, if you are sending your finest...I am scared....spend time with your kids, QUALITY TIME! I had ladies night out with my buddy and we went golfing. It was superb and relaxing. Note to self: happy with the moment and realize you can't immediately change things but can work towards bliss in all things. Smiling makes life easier. I am attempting to learn to smile!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTRIGIRL08 8/24/2010 9:45AM

    I love your reflections with each day! I need to take the time to do that as well!!!

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SAMODER 8/22/2010 10:42PM

    You are one BUSY lady. My friend gets his textbooks at he says they are cheaper than Amazon which is cheaper than the bookstore.

I am trying to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday this week. - my goal.

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LINDAKAY228 8/22/2010 12:18PM

    You are so busy! I couldn't keep up with your hectic schedule. You make me tired just reading it LOL!

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YW84FRIDAY 8/21/2010 6:32PM

  You are one busy woman! As for the books? I buy my daughter's college textbooks off of / new and used and get them for a fraction of the cost. At the beginning of each semester we get a list of the books and/or ISBN numbers and check Amazon first. We have saved hundreds of dollars each semester by doing it this way.


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MOMMYFOTLAND 8/21/2010 11:46AM

    Great week!

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CZARINA_TV 8/21/2010 10:57AM

    Sounds like a busy week!

I need to do a weekly roundup too...

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JOURNEYOF3 8/21/2010 10:49AM

    Wow, what a week. You had some great reflection.

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DEVORA4 8/21/2010 10:30AM

  Hi Patty Glad to see you are golfing. You hade made an issue about apprehension and now you see you put your toe in the water and it was a OK. Good luck at school and just enjoy. I read the foreward of the new book out The Power {author of the Secret} and I MUST have it. The first sentence is, "You deserve an awesome life." I do and so do you. E N J O Y emoticonme

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My husband is moving for his job, four hours away from Silver. I think he is going to enjoy the job and it will be cheaper for me to do some triathlons in the northern part of the state. He has been in Albuquerque for a couple of days and he is on his way home today so he can start packing.

My son was working at a car dealership selling cars. He has been selling ten or fifteen cars a month. The end of last month and the first pay check of this month, he was not paid for the cars he sold! He quit his job yesterday, enrolled in college and is going to go live with his dad in Albuquerque. He has three dogs that reside with him. He is only able to take one with him.

My daughter is a freshman in college here in Silver at WNMU. She stays in my mom's house, she was with my son. She is going to help me remodel my mother's house and then she can have a room mate. She is not much into construction but she is a quick learner and I think she will enjoy helping me.

I myself am somewhat undecided as to where I need to start. I am teaching highschool full time as well as three classes (helping with one) at WNMU. I exercise somewhere between 5 or 6 hours a day and I am beginning to wonder when I am supposed to find time to do remodeling projects. I am in training again for a triathlon the end of September and I start officiating this next week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for the next 2 months. I need this money to pay for my triathlon endeavers.

I have not started pulling my hair out just yet, but I am beginning to feel the panic starting to creep in around the edges. If I quit blogging everyday or I don't respond as much....I am just way busy! Two houses, three jobs, three dogs and now three extras. My head is spinning!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEPA 8/21/2010 2:48AM

    Best wishes with all the changes.
I remember you put on your done list that you had built a house, and now you are renovating with your daughter, you are a busy person with many skills.
You must be so glad as a parent and an educator that your son is giving college another try, sometimes it is better to go as a more mature student.
I have been reading through your blogs and enjoying your positive and engaging journey.

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JUST_TRI_IT 8/20/2010 7:58PM

    WOW... HUGE changes in the line up for you! You have lots to think about and sort out. TAKE CARE :)

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SOCKITTOME 8/20/2010 8:56AM

    Good luck balancing everything -- you have a lot going on!

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RAWKNRUN 8/19/2010 2:50PM

  Make a list, prioritize and remember, no one is perfect, if something has to give, something has to give!

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NUTRIGIRL08 8/19/2010 2:32PM

    And I thought I had a lot on my plate, but I resigned from the church so that has taken care of some of the stress!! Make sure you take care of yourself girl!! Looking forward to hearing about your next triathlon!! As you can see by my race report my swim sucked but the course was off some but I just think I was slow. Not doing another open water until next year but I have a pool sprint at the end of September too!

Make time for you!!! emoticon

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CZARINA_TV 8/19/2010 8:53AM

    Yeah, that's a lot of changes and a lot to adjust to. Your real life is always more important than blogging here. Take care of yourself first.

Remember that construction counts as exercise too, so add that into the total so you don't go out and really overdo it.

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JOURNEYOF3 8/18/2010 11:46PM

    I don't know how you are doing it. I am back to commuting and hour a day, working 9 hours a day, coming home and cooking supper and other motherly chores and I am exhausted. Exercise has not fit in well the last two weeks just due to getting adjusted to being back at school. All I can say is wow!

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GOHUSKERS2 8/18/2010 6:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEYOURBEST1 8/18/2010 6:28PM

    You have a full plate. Good luck and lots of energy to you. emoticon

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DEVORA4 8/18/2010 5:53PM

  Your cup is too full. No wonder you have shingles, You need to cut some things out besides blogging. There has to be Patty time.

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LINDAKAY228 8/18/2010 4:37PM

    B oy you sure have a lot going on and a lot of upheavel right now. Just keep taking one step at a time and you will get through this. You can do this without going crazy. I know you can!

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MPALMER15 8/18/2010 3:31PM

    Wow, that's a lot of change!


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K8NJKSMOM 8/18/2010 3:30PM

    Wow - no wonder you are starting to panic. Make sure you make time for yourself, even if it means stepping back from something for a break. emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 8/18/2010 2:39PM

    Be sure to take care of yourself!

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RUNTRILAUGH 8/18/2010 2:08PM

    Good gosh, that is a lot!

Take care of you! Blog, exercise, a long bath, whatever, just make time for you!


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    WOW!! My head would be spinning too!! emoticon

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I Tried

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Sparked on the computer for two hours this morning. I knew it was relaxation day and I sent personal messages to the largest majority of my friends (takes 2 days by the way). I stepped outside with the pups and I just started itching and could stand sitting no more.

I grabbed my "chariot" and I was off to greener pastures. A glorious 3 hours later I arrived at the house dripping wet and very hot! It was 96 and the humidity was in the nineties as well! So, I took the pups outside for another potty break, ate a snack and grabbed my swim stuff.

I should have been finishing my syllabus for my college class tomorrow but I was unable to download a roster. I decided that if the college was not all that serious, then I didn't have to be either! So I swam a little over two miles and spent 3 hours swimming at the pool with Tina. I am a little bit toasty---did not use too much sunscreen---it makes me itch (so does everything else) but a good time was had by all.

I finished my day of relaxation with an hour of pilates and an hour of yoga. Properly warmed up, I lifted lower body and did core exercises, ate a great dinner and now I am seriously thinking about copying my new grandson....

(Cysco...a new Yorkie puppy! He is my daughter's baby),,,and pounding my head on a pillow and checking my eyelids for holes! After 510 minutes of counted exercise today i have decided that I can only take so much relaxation. LOL

Have a good Monday emoticons!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTRIGIRL08 8/17/2010 10:01AM


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    500 minutes!!! I've been slacking so much that I haven't been gettin 500 mintues in a WEEK!!

You ROCK!! emoticon

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HOPERISING 8/16/2010 12:29PM

    I have added a new code word-phrase to my vocabuary. "Relaxing like Pat" really means...

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LINDAKAY228 8/16/2010 10:36AM

    Love the pup!
I can't even imagine doing 500 minutes of fitness in one day. I can sometimes get in 200 or 250 but not 500. Even the 200 is not that often.

If that was a relaxation day I'd hate to see a non-relaxation day!

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CZARINA_TV 8/16/2010 10:19AM

    500 minutes! Some people don't put in 500 good minutes in a workday!

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IRNGIRL 8/16/2010 10:05AM

    Those puppy pics are tooooo darned cute! My childhood dog was a Schnauzer(sp). We named him Rags because his cut was grown out when we adopted him as a puppy.

Happy relaxing! Jen

Comment edited on: 8/16/2010 10:11:06 AM

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GOHUSKERS2 8/16/2010 1:00AM

    So what part of that was the relaxing part. I need to talk to you!! LOL

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OSUBUCKI101 8/15/2010 11:58PM

    There are many definitions of relaxation. I like yours. I relaxed with 30 miles and felt great and relaxed at the end.

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CHATTYMCPATTI 8/15/2010 11:46PM

    Oh My Gosh!! I LOVE the way you relax! I am going to strive to relax like you:) My idea of relaxing is not moving my big fat butt from the couch!! You are so inspirational!

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DEVORA4 8/15/2010 11:32PM

  You didn't try, you DID it. I am amazed at your workout, it was more than awesome. Yhe pics were real nice and if your kid doesn't want the pup, I do.what a doll. Have a nice day.

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SOCKITTOME 8/15/2010 11:13PM do an amazing amount of exercise! Hope you sleep well tonight as a result.

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IMSMILEY88 8/15/2010 11:12PM

    Oh, wow! What an incredible day! It sounds like you spent it doing exactly what you wanted to do. Great! And, I DO hope you get relief soon!!!

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MPALMER15 8/15/2010 10:53PM

    Hilarious! Sounds like a fabulous day! Cysco is a living doll!

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