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The Weekend Blog: Get Used to More (pics)

Monday, November 22, 2010

So, my plan was to stay on track this weekend at the cottage and I’m happy to report I did just that!

Here’s what I said I was going to do:

emoticonRun/walk along the Kal-Haven trail – DONE!
emoticonUse resistance bands and strength train – DONE!
emoticonBackup Leslie Sansone mini miles DVD – DIDN’T NEED TO USE, GOT SO MANY WORKOUTS IN!
emoticonEat healthy cereal for breakfast, eat healthy snacks like grapes, carrots, unsalted sunflower seeds and granola. – DONE!
emoticonBuy a water bottle and refill it often – DONE!
emoticonI'm only going to allow myself ONE glass of wine per day. – DONE – ALMOST!
emoticonI am not going to eat ANY crackers, chips, or cheese. One just leads to another. – 98% DONE!
emoticonI will bring my vitamins and eat them. – DONE!
emoticonNO fast food. Period. DONE!

Here's a run down of my weekend.


“Oh Crap.”

That’s how the afternoon started. I left my yummy red grapes in my desk fridge at work. Oh well, I would have to continue without them. Then at the store all of the cute water bottles were gone, all that was left was a plain white or blue one. Ok, I went for blue. Then I went home and made a yummy veggie burger. No batteries in the camera yet or I would have taken a picture; I also packed my bag.


Veggie burger
Morning Star Bacon
Mission tortilla
Goddess dressing one tb

Car ride snacks:

Half gingerbread latte w/ non-fat milk (70 cal)
Half of a brown rice krispy treat
Sunflower seeds unsalted two tb

Once into Michigan, my husband wanted to get McDonalds at the Wal Mart, but I told him my mom had made some heathy Chicken Tettrizini and it was waiting at the cottage.

Here’s what else was waiting at the cottage:

Yogurt covered pretzels
Keebler Fudge stipe cookies
Cheeze Its

Did I say wine?



I had 1 glass of wine, and then drank my water.

Then I had 5 yogurt pretzels.

Then I had another glass of wine. Now I put a stop to it, I went over my limit but I could stop it now.

I had ¾ laughing cow cheese wedge

I had 1 serving terra chips (yes, I broke my own rule won’t happen again)

1 cup of the low-fat chicken tettrazini. A second dinner, but we were up late, well past midnight.

Also at the cottage my sister, Kris (Stemmefatale) pointed out that I AM a runner because who else wears running shoes for casual wear? I looked down and it was true, I was wearing the Asics that I had bought but my feet like NB better for running, so I wore them casually now.

Picture Kris took with her cell phone.

TOTAL CALORIES FOR THE DAY: 1,941. (About 300 calories over my range.)


I woke up feeling good. It was 6:30 a.m. Chicago time and I'm up. Jim had taken the girls to Wal-Mart as the rest of the house was sleeping. I wanted to take advantage of this “no kids” time.

Time to run!

There was a mist over the lake. I thought it would be nice to take a walk. I got my gear on and after walking for 5 minutes I wanted to run. So I ran about 2 miles around the lake, then walked the last 5 minutes home. It was 20 min. running and 10 minutes walking for warming up and cooling down, about 2 miles total. It felt great. I burned 320 calories.

I get back for breakfast, and here's a bit of conversation from breakfast:

“Something’s burning.” (One of my sister’s boyfriends)

“Oh, that’s just the grease on the burner.” (My dad)

A true conversation. I love my family to death, but do you see what I’m dealing with here? LOL.

I had the following for breakfast:

2 cups coffee
1 mini blueberry muffin
¾ cup Kashi Sunshine Puffs
¼ cup milk

Then, as promised, I had brought my resistance bands and plenty to share – and I did Leslie Sansone’s 30 min. firming video with my sister Missy and our kids.

Then all the girls went into town for crafts show and shopping. We ate at Clementine’s and I had a healthy spinach salad with apples, walnuts, a little bit of brie and a light raspberry vinaigrette. We did order a stack of onion rings, and I wasn’t going to have any but I did have 1 ½

The girls at Clementine's.

Back at the cottage I had:

.5 oz. cheese its
Some terra chips
1 bowl of Smart Popcorn.

1 glass of low alcohol white wine.

Dinner: chili w/ bacon bits, .25 cup shredded cheese, ½ tsp. ranch dressing, a handful of oyster crackers.

After dinner I got a little stressed with a family situation involving my daughter, Lucy. Usually I would have poured a glass of wine, eaten some snacks. But this time was different. I just wanted to get out and so I put on my running shoes and took a walk with my sister, Kris. We walked for about 30 minutes, probably 2 miles. She listened to me and gave me good advice and also reaffirmed that I am a good mother. When we got back I felt so much better and I didn’t eat anything else for the night other than water. I also read some verses from my bible for times of trouble. Much better than food!

TOTAL CALORIES IN FOR THE DAY: 1,666 (only 40 calories over my range)


I made scrambled eggs with light laughing cow cheese and a handful of bacon bits. I made enough for 6 people and had 1 serving.

I had 1 cup of coffee.
1 mini blueberry muffin

Then I went on a walk with my sister Kara, the same path I ran the morning before. It was cold and hazy out, but a perfect day for a walk. We came back feeling invigorated and she was happy she had gotten some exercise in, too.

That served as my warm-up for Zumba! My sister Kris took a class to be an instructor and she brought her DVDs. We did the cardio party and it was a blast! The kids got into it too! I only made it 35 minutes through. But I burned 250 calories, not too bad.

For lunch I had the vegetarian version of my Dad’s chili, so it was a little healthier. I did add one hot dog and .25 cup of mac and cheese to it. Plus a handful of oyster crackers.

We also celebrated my sister Missy announcing she was going to have another baby, her third, and so we chilled some sparkling juice and I had a cup of that to toast.

Later we played Yahtzee and I had a glass of low alcohol wine.

Then we went walking on the Kal-Haven trail. I walked and didn’t run it, but I had my daughter w/ me and we had a great time. My husband trailed us with Marlo in the car. It was nice, we walked maybe 1 mile.

Lucy running the trail.

Me and Lucy

Then we were on the road back home to Chicago. We stopped at Wendy’s but I didn’t order anything, instead I snacked on a Clementine orange, a cup of grapes and a Fiber One bar. I also kept drinking my water.

Do you know what it’s like to sit in a car full of the smell of burgers, fries and grease? It is pure torture. But I survived, and I didn’t have one fry.

On the way home we passed a billboard that said “Get Used to More”. It was for a car.

(This is the car, but I couldn't find the actual ad and the car was moving too fast to get a pic).

I am not the sort of person who wants more, at least not with materialistic things (or at least I try not to). But I can’t help but think that last year at this time, I was wanting more. More of LIFE. And my life…well…it didn’t feel worth living. I was going through the motions, and not just because of my weight, or what it held me back from, limited me to, but moreover, how it made me FEEL. I didn’t feel full of life, didn’t feel positive, and didn’t feel like I had anything to offer anyone. I wasn’t in a good place.

In this past year I have transformed.

I have been given the gift of encouragement and many Spark friends have told me that I inspire them to change, too. This is nothing short of a miracle. I thank God for this day and for the spirit inside of me to keep on moving, keep on changing, and keep on trusting. I have truly been blessed, especially in this past year. With Thanksgiving coming up this week I can’t help but thinking of all that I have. And I want to pass it on, spared it around, and also take in what others here have inspired me to do.

My sister, Kris (STEMMEFATALE) inspired me to run. Kristina (KARVY09) taught me that I could be a runner and amazed me with her own running feats, the most recent running 1/2 marathon. The C25K team inspired me to train to run a 5k. Jenn (KITHKINCAID) inspired me to try Zumba. My friend Kimmah (FITNESSMISTRESS) inspired me to strength train. My faith based teams inspire me to BE more. The co-leaders of the "Women Wanting to Follow the Lord" team, Leah (PEPPERLEAH), Jewell (WCATAP) and Judith (JUDITH316) support me with encouraging others and also support me with their encouragement and friendship. Fellow members of that team, especially Paula (PAULACOLLINS) AND Deb (COLT2008). The leaders on the “Can’t Do This on my Own” team; Shelly (GLITTERGIRL69) and Missy (YATMAMA) inspire me to put Jesus first. ALL of the strong, supportive women on the Sunny Gals team on the WIN Challenge spark team inspire me to push myself. The DONE girls have inspired me to be myself and love this journey and to laugh along the way. Leona (MOMFAN) inspired me with her own 100+ weight loss. The team "Christians with 100 lbs. to Lose" helps me with its seasonal challenges. And I have so many more friends that cheer me on that aren't named here. If you are one of my spark friends, you are one of those people and I thank you so very much. In my life, I have so much to be thankful for.

At home I had a snack of pita chips from Trader Joe’s (110 cal) and 1 tbsp. cream cheese (40 cal), while we waited for the pizza to cook. I was starving!

For dinner we had frozen Gino’s East stuffed pizza – 290 cal. per slice. Then a side salad and TJ’s goddess dressing (60 cal) and 1 cup of 1% milk.

After the kids went to bed my husband made popcorn and I would like to tell you that I resisted. But I didn’t. I didn’t add any salt, however, and only had 1 serving.

TOTAL CALORIES IN: 2,175 (over by 555)

I’d say I did pretty darn good this weekend. I feel that I maybe inspired some of my family to also work out during our vacation, and I shared my healthy food with anyone who wanted some. And no matter what happens on the scale, whether it’s maintain, loss, or God forbid, a gain, I know that eventually the scale will show my great work this weekend.

This morning when I stepped on the scale it showed a 2 lb. gain. But you know what? I don’t care. I know I did the best I could this weekend. I couldn’t control the amount of sodium in the chili or the tetrazzini, I had already brought my prepared foods for breakfasts and snacks, I wasn’t about to bring a cooler worth of food and not share meals with my family. I did the best with what I could. Yes, I could have said “no” to that onion ring and ½. Yes, I could have only had 1 glass of wine on Friday. I could have avoided all chips. After inputting my nutrition into the tracker I realized that two of the three days I went over my calories by 300 – 500, despite not eating out at fast food joints, etc. This was disappointing, but also a learning experience.


Last year at this time I would have had at least 4 glasses of wine. Would have had more than 3 servings of chips. Would have eaten many slices of cheese. And I wouldn’t have exercised or tracked my food all weekend. I'm learning, and even reading over my notes from the weekend I realize I could have done things a little differently, perhaps added more veggies.

But I’d say I did my body GOOD, like the old milk ads used to say.

And I know this gain is just water weight and water retention from the sodium. It will be released when I step on the scale “for real”.

One funny and cool thing that happened this weekend was that my daughter Lucy is picking up on my habits. She was so excited to run along the Kal-Haven trail. And she saw me taking pictures of my food for my blog posts, and how I was trying to make good choices. So she came up to me on Sunday with a meal she had assembled just for me.

Here's a picture of it:

I burst out laughing. I think the dirty whale did it. But it shows that she's grasping the concepts of healthy living and eating. And that's awesome.

Also it served as a good reminder to laugh along this journey as well.

Now I'm looking forward to the challenge of Thanksgiving. And yes, there will be pictures of that, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARILOUIE 11/24/2010 8:06PM

    What a fun blog!
I cracked up at the whale...

Happy Thanksgiving!

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AMBER281 11/24/2010 11:43AM

    Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing the stories and pics.
I bought some of that Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal for the first time this week. It is delicious!!!
Can't wait to see your thankgiving blog!

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YATMAMA 11/23/2010 8:29PM

    What a great time!! LOL Eating fish is healthy, right? She should be proud!! Now is the PERFECT time to share the story of Jonah with her!!

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SGTSUNNY 11/23/2010 11:41AM

    Loved your blog and the positive things that are happening to you! And love Lucy!

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JEREMY723 11/23/2010 8:49AM

    I'm guessing the billboard is at Lordstown by the Ohio Turnpike near Youngstown? Confused though becuase I'm guessing you live in Chicago (from your teams) and went to Michigan? Anyway, glad that you ate well and had fun.

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PRETTYPITHY 11/23/2010 12:16AM

    Awesome blog! Your positive attitude will carry you far. emoticon

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REENSKI 11/22/2010 10:11PM

    Looks like you all had a great time! Nice to see the kiddies exercising with you too.

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    Such a fun blog! You've come a long way!

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TEMPEST272002 11/22/2010 6:32PM

    Girl, you are looking like such a cutie in your pictures! I love that you value yourself enough to make healthy choices even when it's hard to do so & also that you are inspiring the people in your family to be more active too. You ARE an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your weekend with us!

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ROEANDGO 11/22/2010 6:27PM

    I LOVE this blog!! You are such an inspiration to me...you don't even know!! Wonderful that you turned your life around to wanting more of it!!

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KSGROTHE 11/22/2010 6:14PM

    emoticon I love how you got your sisters and the kids involved in at least some of the exercising you did!

Clearly, you're getting better all the time! Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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    It looks like you had a great time and congrats on doing so well on your goals.

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LOOZINITNOW 11/22/2010 5:32PM

    It's not about perfection but moderation and I think you did a darn good job of proving that! Congrats on being so active! You handled the weekend great!

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COLT2008 11/22/2010 5:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Looks like you had a great time!!

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KEAL48 11/22/2010 5:15PM

  Aww I love your blog. Good girl for staying on track while on vacation. Even though all that temptation was there you still stood strong.

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SHERLYN-WILL 11/22/2010 5:12PM

    I LOVE THIS BLOG! THE PICS are great and so much fun to look at! YOU were active ALL weekend... you made smart moderate choices!

THE one of you and your daughter is adorable...

THAT pic of your face is great.. look how slim it is! THIS would be a great one to do a side by side of your face and how it has changed!

YOU just look great I think and so pretty too!

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KITHKINCAID 11/22/2010 5:10PM

    So you went over a couple of days - guess what? You tracked EVERYTHING, planned and exercised all weekend. Lady - that is a WIN if I've ever heard one. You're amazing. I hope I can be that disciplined in Germany! Well done. The whale is HILARIOUS.

So proud to call you my Sparkfriend AND my real life friend.



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STARPESCADO 11/22/2010 4:59PM

    Thanks for an awesome blog!
You look so cute in your running shoes and I love the pic with the kids joining in on the exercise!
Keep up with the great work & wish U al the best!
PS-the salad looks so yummy!

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STARLIGHT615 11/22/2010 4:46PM

    What a Great blog~ And yes I do believe that you did a great job in your food choices and drank ur water and got in your exercise!! So sometimes you just have to induldge!! Great Job!! XOXO

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Weekend Plan of Attack and Accountability Buddies = PRICELESS

Friday, November 19, 2010

A weekend plan of attack for my weekend in Michigan? Free.

Accountability buddies to keep me on track? Free.

An actual weight loss over a weekend away and 15 lbs. gone by the New Year? PRICELESS.

A week ago I was seeing fellow Sunny Gals and their great plans to lose weight by the New Year. They each had an accountability partner and a goal gift. Some had jewelry, others tattoos. A light bulb turned on in my head, and I thought - I want that. I want an accountability partner. Lately with my back injury and the colder weather I felt laziness oozing over my body and I wanted to rebel and shout, NO!

So I asked my Sunny Gals, the best team EVER, who else didn't have an accountability partner that wanted one. Tabi (TABIKATZZ) stepped up to the plate. She is an amazing woman, and just recently set up home in her new residence ONEderland, a place I want to move to come the New Year. I knew she would inspire me. Also, we both love books. I'd say it was a perfect joining together for a great accountability team!

We came up with the goal of losing 15 lbs. by January 1st. We knew that for both of us this would be a stretch, but what's a goal if it's easily attained? That's just the future. This needed to be a goal we both worked hard to achieve. My goal would put me into Onederland, and her goal would bring her that much closer to her goal weight.

We each bought a book we really wanted and wrapped it up as a visual reminder. We can only open this gift once we lose the 15 lbs. The book she chose was "Eat, Pray, Love" and the book I chose was a parallel version of the Bible that has comparisons of four major translations, all on the page next to each other. This would prove invaluable in my bible study, and I thought would be a perfect book because I want to start using it NOW.

I'm really excited about this, and I also found out that my good friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID), also wants to lose about the same amount of weight before her trip to Germany. So now I have not one, but two accountability partners!! I am set, and together we will all reach our goals.

Now onto my plan of attack for the weekend. I'm going to Michigan with my entire family and that means fattening foods galore. I'm talking eggs cooked in bacon grease, crackers everywhere and eaten all day long, popcorn, pizza, and wine just to name a few things. I don't want to see a gain from this weekend, or even maintain. I want to see a LOSS on that scale, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner.

So, here's what I'm going to do.

emoticonI've already packed my workout bag with my running shoes, HRM and thermal wicking t shirt. I have my hat, gloves and a plan to run the Kal-Haven trail and bring along as many of my family members as I can round up.

emoticonI am bringing a Leslie Sansone mini miles DVD to do in the morning or at night, and get my dad and sister to do it, too.

emoticonI'm bringing resistance bands.

emoticonI'm packing healthy cereal to eat at breakfast, bringing healthy snacks like grapes, carrots, unsalted sunflower seeds and granola.

emoticonI am going to stop on my way home and purchase a cute water bottle. I'm a sucker for beverage containers, especially cute ones, and my old water bottle somehow lost its straw. So I'm going to buy a cute water bottle and fill it OFTEN. This will keep me away from the wine and soft drinks.

emoticonI'm only going to allow myself ONE glass of wine per day.

emoticonI am not going to eat ANY crackers, chips, or cheese. One just leads to another.

emoticonI will bring my vitamins and eat them.

emoticonNO fast food. Period. If I am forced to go through a drive-through I will order a salad with healthy dressing or a grilled chicken sandwich. But I am making my dinner tonight so that I can eat while driving and not stop through a drive-through.

That is all.

I will also post a blog report on Monday on how I did, AND weigh myself Monday morning as an added kick-in the butt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITHKINCAID 11/20/2010 12:19AM

    Let's do this!!! I'm looking forward to getting your reports even though I won't be near a computer much. And I promise a FULL report as soon as I get back. Oh - and I'll post a report before I leave with my goals for the trip.

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KSGROTHE 11/19/2010 6:48PM

    Great plan! I love how positive you sound about your plan for the weekend -- like you're looking forward to the challenge! Oh, and I'm thinking I want to take pictures of what I eat for Thanksgiving, so I think that's a great idea for your weekend trip!

Keep up the good work! You're doing great! emoticon

- Karen

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TEMPEST272002 11/19/2010 6:23PM

    Good for you for finding an accountability buddy. It seems to be far easier to stay on track when we're accountable to another person. 15 lbs is challenging, but I have no doubt that you can meet all of your goals.

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COLT2008 11/19/2010 4:53PM

    emoticonAWESOME PLAN!! emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 11/19/2010 4:04PM

    I'm thinking maybe I should force myself to take a picture of EVERYthing I eat so that I'm that much more accountable come Monday morning and add it to my blog update. Yep, I'm going to do it!

Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement!!!

Comment edited on: 11/19/2010 4:05:09 PM

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MOMFAN 11/19/2010 3:45PM

    Cheering you on!

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    Ooooh yay! I am soooo excited for this! You will do it! You are amazing!!!!!

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SLFRISBEY 11/19/2010 3:11PM

    Awesome plan! I will be stealing some of those ides for my trip home to Ohio!

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JMEPAYNE 11/19/2010 3:08PM

    sounds like a great plan of attack!! emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 11/19/2010 1:47PM

    Great job planning ahead! You can do this!

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YATMAMA 11/19/2010 1:29PM

    You are SUCH an inspiration. ONEderland here you come!!!!!!!!!!!!

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TABIKATZZ 11/19/2010 12:40PM

    WOOHOO super plan!! You can do it! You will do great! I might get a cute water bottle for my trip home next weekend. though water isn't a problem there because it is all my mom drinks.
Have a great trip!

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Hold the Salt, Please.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This week our WIN challenge calls for a blog about sodium. It was a goal to track our sodium this week and also share our thoughts.

I’ve stayed within my range all week. Here are my numbers from the past 5 days. The range is to have less than 2,300 mgs:

2,126 (This is high because I added SALT to my popcorn)

I’ve actually stayed within my range since really revamping my diet. A few months ago I started the Flat Belly Diet (FBD), but with viewing it as more of an eating “plan” and not a “diet”. I agree with those that think the word “diet” is truly a 4-letter word.

I used to always go over my sodium limit and my Spark tracker would show me this. I would Google tips on how to reduce my sodium, how to get it under control, but I always failed. I thought it was impossible.

Well once I started the FBD my sodium naturally went down to an acceptable level. I learned that the FBD is really just a way of eating more “clean” and avoiding all of those processed foods I ate before. I have since learned that the FBD is a good introduction to eating clean in general and a great starting point for beginners, like me, who relied on frozen Lean Cuisine meals to get me through lunch, or snacked on the “low-fat” Pringles, thinking I was doing a healthy thing. With this new way of eating, I was eating way more fruits and vegetables and hardly any processed foods. So I think if you do just ONE thing, it's to stop eating processed foods.

I was counting calories, sure, but the weight was barely coming off. Once I got my sodium under control I lost inches in my waistline and the scale finally started moving.

Sodium is one of those things that we need – but in moderation. So it’s tricky. Did you know that just one teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams of sodium?? That’s more than the daily required allowance. A pinch here and a pinch there really can add up. And it's not just added table salt that is the enemy here. Many processed and prepared foods contain LOTS of sodium.

According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Dietary Department, on average, Americans digest more than three pounds of sodium annually, mostly through salt. (Salt and sodium are not the same. Salt is made up of both sodium and chloride.) Foods we eat may contain low traces of salt but still contain sodium.

Sodium does have its good points. Sodium:

emoticonHelps maintain the right balance of fluids in your body
emoticon Helps transmit nerve impulses
emoticon Influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles
emoticonControls blood pressure.
emoticonKeeps a level of positive and negative charged particles in fluids and tissues.
emoticonKeeps calcium and other minerals dissolvable in the blood stream and sodium aids against sunstroke.


Our bodies only need so much. According to The Vitamins and Nutrition Center Web site we only need 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day, or a single teaspoon of table salt. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Dietary Department states that the human body only NEEDS 500 milligrams of sodium each day. However, the body can safely handle as much as 3,300 milligrams daily.

So what if you have too much? Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure or swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs. An overabundance of sodium also can cause osteoporosis because sodium enhances calcium loss. Too little sodium can lead to dehydration.

When we use less sodium and salt our liking for salty foods decreases over time. To cut down on sodium we can:

emoticonRead labels to find food with less sodium.
emoticon Taste foods before adding salt and then add less salt during cooking and at the table.
emoticon Use spices for flavoring instead of salt.
emoticonUse garlic or onion powder instead flavored salts like garlic salt or onion salt.
emoticonEat more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
emoticonOpt for low-sodium products. If you do buy processed foods, choose those that are labeled "low sodium."
emoticonRemove salt from recipes whenever possible.
emoticonUse herbs, spices and other flavorings to enhance foods.
emoticonStay away from condiments. One tablespoon (15 milliliters) of soy sauce, for example, has about 1,000 mg of sodium.

So how much do YOU need?

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

emoticonDon't exceed 2,300 mg of sodium a day if you're a healthy adult.

emoticonDon't exceed 1,500 mg of sodium a day if you have high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes; you are black; or you're middle-aged or older.

Taste alone may not tell you which foods are high in sodium. For example, you may not think a bagel tastes salty, but a typical 4-inch oat-bran bagel has about 532 mg of sodium.

The bottom line? Avoid products with more than 200 mg of sodium per serving.

Your taste for salt is acquired, so you can learn to enjoy less. Decrease your use of salt gradually and your taste buds will adjust. After a few weeks of cutting back on salt, you probably won't miss it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEAL48 11/24/2010 12:35PM

  Good job on monitoring your sodium and staying in your ranges.

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AMBER281 11/24/2010 11:40AM

    What a great blog! Thanks for sharing.

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DEE797 11/22/2010 6:08PM

    Lots of information..Thanks for sharing it with us.

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SHERLYN-WILL 11/22/2010 5:15PM

    I have really cut the sodium but not by counting the mg.. but by eating only fresh food.. no processed... that made it automatically drop in what I consumed each day by doing this!

MY DIL has LOW blood pressure and has to consume salt tablets and eat extra salt on all her food..... if she doesn't she passes out! GO figure... how many people in the world have LOW blood pressure and get told to EAT TONS of salt! LOL

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WCATAP 11/19/2010 12:10PM

    good blog. What's a win challenge?

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MOMFAN 11/18/2010 10:35PM


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BABY_GIRL69 11/18/2010 5:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonGod bless, Dee

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JEREMY723 11/18/2010 4:46PM

    Very informative, thanks for sharing.

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VIXEN2188 11/18/2010 4:31PM

    I would stick with sea salt to get more mineral nutrients. It is a little difficult to stick to salt guidelines for me though. It's not something I watch too closely though.

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SMALLERMELORIE 11/18/2010 4:13PM

    Good Job on staying in range.

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TRIGFROST 11/18/2010 3:06PM

    You did emoticon....

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STARLIGHT615 11/18/2010 3:03PM

    Awesome!! I think I was over every day in my sodium!! UGH!! no wonder I feel so fluffy!!

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UNICORN212 11/18/2010 2:54PM

    Sigh - I am sitting here with my Lean Cuisine and my Pringles....

Thanks for putting this together!

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KITHKINCAID 11/18/2010 2:47PM

    You know - I knew this was important, but because I've been losing weight pretty steadily at high sodium levels, I figured the numbers were bogus. But then this past week I actually got under my sodium levels for the first time EVER on Spark for 3 days in a row and I dropped 5 pounds in a week. I'm a believer now. For sure! Trying to cut back wherever I can.

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ROEANDGO 11/18/2010 2:38PM

    I LOVE this blog!! Wonderful! I'm going to check into the Flat Belly Diet. I'm kinda eating clean now but I need to "firm it up" and really stop with the processed foods. Thanks for sharing!!

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    Great blog!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/18/2010 2:35PM

    Nicely done! I find that my sodium intake stays well within range unless I (a) eat out too much or (b) rely on prepackaged/processed foods too much. Great job!

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JENJESS48 11/18/2010 2:30PM

    Very informative! I'll have to try some of your tips. Thanks for sharing!

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SGTSUNNY 11/18/2010 2:27PM

    Great blog, lots of good info, thank you for posting!

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I am a Runner.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Today I got a call from a friend of mine. After talking a few minutes she laughed and said “So, I see from your status on Facebook that you are a runner now?”

She knows me well, and knows my story. My weight loss, and also that I've run 4 5ks. So I thought it was odd she was saying something like that, but I knew she was kidding – mostly.

So I said “Yeah?” And she pushed the issue. So I said “Well, I am a runner.” But I didn't sound as firm as I would have liked. I kind of said it softly. Then I followed that up with “I think anyone that runs 1-3 times a week is a runner.” and she laughed, as if that didn't define a runner to “her”, but OK, she was going to let it go at that.

Now, like I said...I'm pretty sure she was kidding. She's a joking kind of person.


It kind of pissed me off.

Now I know there are different “levels” of runners. There are marathoners, of which I have some friends who run marathons. They rock. There are people that run 10Ks, 8Ks, 5Ks, 3Ks and those that run just for fun. Those that run to get in shape, keep in shape, or just because they like the feel of the pavement under their feet.

All of these “types” of runners has got me a little dizzy. How about you? WHY does there have to be a “class” or “type” or “intensity” of runner anyway? Why do I feel like because I "only" run 5ks that I'm not an “official” runner???? What is wrong with this picture?

I told my friend that if you run 1 – 3 times a week you are a runner, but the truth of it is, you are a runner if you RUN. If you just RUN out the door and take a run down the block, you are a runner at that point in time.

I am also a writer, and this sort of “defining what sort of runner I am” reminds me all too much of a writer who is unpublished. Oh, the unpublished writer is always having to justify him or herself at parties or gatherings. The conversation goes something like this:

“What do you do?”

“I'm a writer.”

“Oh, really? Where have you been published?”

Now, funny enough, and yes, this is usually the question at the top of the list, sometimes they may ask “what do you write” before the “are you published” bit, but they always ask if you are publlished, funny enough, most people that ask this are NOT writers themselves. Actually writers hardly EVER ask this question of another writer because it is RUDE.

Yes, I am a published writer. But even if I weren't, I AM a writer. I write. That is the definition of a writer.

Same with a runner. Do you run? Then you are a runner!

There is no magic certificate that you get to officially pronounce to the world that you are a runner. Yes, there are medals. I know there are medals. Yes, some people get them. And some don't. Just because you don't receive a medal does NOT mean you are not a runner.

Back to that conversation above. After a while, writers will usually not tell other people they are writers. Or they sort of whisper it. They certainly don't go about shouting it.

Same with my “running” status. I am allowed to post a quote onto my Facebook page with a running quote. There isn't any sort of law against it. I can associate myself with runners. And the quote I wrote is very appropriate to my little rant in this blog here.

The quote that I shared on my Facebook page was this:

"Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first." -Author Unknown

So that means it doesn't matter how many people have gone before you. How many others have crossed that finish line. What matters is that YOU cross it. That I cross it, at some point.

There is nothing stopping me from sharing an inspirational quote. Now if it makes you feel weird because you aren't a runner, skip it. Don't comment on it and pass it by. It doesn't care. I don't care. I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad.

Because I have runners as FB friends, close friends of mine, and I know they will appreciate it. And I'm not going to edit myself for anyone.

Funny thing about that comment from my friend, which I'm sure I am making WAY BIGGER of a deal than it is. I know I am. BUT. It made me feel a certain way. Like I didn't have a right to quote something about being a runner.

The funny thing about that is, like I said earlier...it pissed me off. Well, the funny thing about being pissed off is...it makes you do things. Sometimes crazy things.


I drove my daughter to her dance class at 10 a.m. this morning. It was pouring rain. After running her into the building, I had my book and was sitting along the wall, along with all the other parents, and bored off my butt. A little nagging voice inside my head was replaying that conversation over and over. And I kept thinking that you are what you do. So..I threw down my book, went out to my car and got my gym bag out of the trunk. I brought it inside and changed into my running clothes and shoes. I slapped on my HRM. I got my iPod set. I put my gym bag in the locker at the park district where Lucy's class was being held, and I pushed “play”. “Rock your body” remix came on. It was so appropriate. I was pissed off and needed to move.

I walked out of that ladies room like Wonder Woman. I strutted down the hallway, everyone looking at me. I meant business. Bondi band? Check. Thermal long-sleeve shirt? Check. Gloves? Check. I reminded myself of the Frog brothers from the Lost Boys. I was Corey Feldman, except his red ninja head band was replaced by a Bondi band embellished with flowers. I was ready to go. I was fierce. (Did I ever tell you than an alter ego comes out when I run? It was in full force!)

I slammed open the door and let the rain in. And I started to run.

I am a planner and if I do run outside (and I don't normally, see my prior blog "Love poem to my indoor track") I map out my route before I go, but not this time. I felt half crazy, running in the rain and not really having a destination. I ran down a path, but it stopped short. I ran through a park. I ran on the grass. I ran up and down some blocks and you know what? I felt great. I felt like a RUNNER. You know why? Because I AM a runner. Who else would be crazy enough to do this? I burned off steam and about 200 calories. I only ran a mile because by that time I had to get back to pick Lucy back up. I walked back in the building and everyone along the wall stared at me again.

Yes, I'm red, my throat is burning, but I am alive and I ran while you all just sat there. Not that there's anything wrong with that :) I'm just sayin'.

But I ran.


Let's say it all together. Feel free to say it with me and scream it at your computer monitor.


And I will scream it to the world.


And don't let ANYONE tell you that you aren't.

Now watch me go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOODMOM 11/22/2010 11:19AM

    I love it! From one runner to another, thanks for saying what I have been thinking. I ran my third 5K yesterday expecting it to be a fun turkey trot kind of run. Well, it turned out to be a very small crowd of "fast," seriously competitive runners. I came in next to last, because my training was sporadic the last three weeks. But, daggonit, I ran the same distance as everyone else! I am a runner, too!

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WOLFKITTY 11/18/2010 1:44PM

    OOOOOOOOOH my gosh!!

I want to go run outside! HEhee. I AM NOT A RUNNER!
But you are!

Wow. I am blown away.
You go and get the world you dream!


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MERAINA 11/18/2010 12:36PM

    You are most definitely a runner.
You are an inspiration & I loves you for it!
Keep on pushing & reach for your goal until you have it in your hands!

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RAINEMARIE214 11/15/2010 9:18PM

    It is really sad that your friend made such a rude comment. I have a good friend whom I really admire. She's run all sorts of half marathons and full marathons and is even running the Arizona Ironman this weekend. She is amazing and inspiring. And she knows how much I have struggled with wanting to run but feeling like I cant do it. When I finally ran my first half marathon she was my biggest supporter!

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PRETTYPITHY 11/15/2010 6:02PM

    Awesome blog! I gave it thumbs up--everyone on Spark should read this! emoticon RUNNER!

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KSGROTHE 11/15/2010 5:35PM

    You go, girl! You *are* a RUNNER!

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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VIXEN2188 11/15/2010 1:25PM

    I am a runner too!!!!! Great blog btw!


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    Yes! Thank you for saying this. A friend of mine said that you're not a runner until you've been doing it for 5 years...that's what most "experienced" runners say. (Although she isn't one herself go figure). I told her-I run 3 days a week. I am a runner I don't care what ANYBODY says. Love this blog :)

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CARILOUIE 11/14/2010 8:27PM

    OMG I cracked up at the Corey Feldman thing.

This morning my brother asked me how my "jog" was. I hate the term "jog."


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FABAT402009 11/14/2010 8:03PM

    Wow!!! I felt the rain on my face right along with you!!! You are a RUNNER!!

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APIRLRAIN888 11/14/2010 7:51PM

    great blog and you write well! you a runner if you run!
Yeah I still don't say I am a runner. just that I run.

how is your running thing going? great

honey, you saw me run, do I look like a runner? uh no, a jogger. WHAT! lol

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AMBER281 11/14/2010 7:43PM

    You are a runner simple as that!
Love this blog, thanks for sharing!

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WCATAP 11/14/2010 3:12PM






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FRECKS96 11/14/2010 8:34AM

    I loved this! What an amazing, empowering affirmation for yourself. You keep running girl!!

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MRSSIBRAT 11/14/2010 8:04AM

    I love this blog! and I can say that I have totally been where you have been. I have had people that haven't seen me in forever make snide comments when they hear I me say I am a runner...and that I want to run a marathon...when its like yes..I can run up to 12 miles but I don't do it to prove anything to you I do it for me. way to go !

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ZURDTA- 11/14/2010 5:16AM

    You are a runner. Simples.

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MORRIS1989 11/14/2010 3:00AM

    Thanks I like your blog. I am a runner too even if I do run slow. I AM A RUNNER!! Thanks your story is so encouraging.

Comment edited on: 11/14/2010 3:06:37 AM

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/13/2010 11:56PM

    You got it--if you run, no matter how fast or slow, how often, how far, you are a runner. People who don't run don't get it, plain and simple. Way to go!

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MESEATURTLE 11/13/2010 11:09PM

    u r definitely a RUNNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MOMFAN 11/13/2010 10:11PM


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WYND10 11/13/2010 9:56PM


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SWELL10 11/13/2010 8:41PM

    I AM A RUNNER TOO!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO! Thanks for the confirmation!

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LOOZINITNOW 11/13/2010 7:58PM

    emoticon You go girl!!!

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KITHKINCAID 11/13/2010 7:58PM

    Good for you. You HAVE to be a runner to do crazy things like run in the rain and cold and even KNOW what a Bondi Band is. YOU ARE A RUNNER! And so am I darn it :)

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THE_OPTIMIST 11/13/2010 6:44PM

    Lol, your blog makes me want to put my new running gear on and go for a run, but it's Saturday night and nearly midnight, so best not
emoticon = that's what I should be doing!

I went into a proper sports shop today because I needed some winter gear for running. I half expected them to ask me "What'd you want? You don't look like a proper runner - of course, utter rubbish, and, of course, they didn't.

We are runners!

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    LOVE THIS! It is so true....so many people have their own opinions as to what a real runner is...I say anyone that thinks they run..is a runner!

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SKFEREBEE 11/13/2010 5:20PM

    That is just too awesome! You rock! emoticon

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SGTSUNNY 11/13/2010 5:16PM

    You are a runner! Do not let anyone sell you short! Keep it up you rock!

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A Love Poem to My Indoor Track

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."
~ Will Rogers

"Someday you will run so fast and so far your heart will feel like FIRE...."
~ from the book "Someday" by Alison McGhee

A picture of my track, my love.

Due to financial reasons, last week I considered dropping my gym membership. Lately all I've been utilizing is the indoor track, not the classes, not the pool. Just the track. I wondered, is it worth it? Can't I just run outside? Yes. I can. But WILL I run outside? I'm not sure. Yes, maybe...sometimes...but a little voice inside my head says perhaps I'll forget it. When it's cold out I might just stay under the covers...

Don't get me wrong, I admire all of you who do run outside. You are super heroes to me! I do want to run outside some time during the winter, but to keep my schedule of running 2-3x a week I KNOW me, and I will not get out in the cold snow that often to run. Once a week? Maybe. Once every two weeks or once a month? More likely. For me.

And the thing is, if that what will help me, I deserve an indoor track if that's what I need to reach my goals, to continue running in the winter, to get healthy. I will just have to cut from other areas of my life. I'm already downgrading our cable and looking for another cell phone provider. I already bring my lunches to work and that's how I justified this gym membership in the first place.

So I'm keeping it!! I'm happy now. I already missed my track in the week I've been away due to my back. My track may not be 100% necessary, but it's my comfort blanket right now. I love it and I'm not ready to let go. Not yet. I wasn't looking forward to figuring out how to run outside in the winter. Although I AM going to start running outside, I won't do it all the time now that I have my safe, cozy indoor track that I LOVE.

Here's a poem to you, trusty and warm indoor track.

My feet hit the black track
It always pulls me back

It there when I need it,
early morning,
quickie at lunch
late evening after the kids are asleep.
It's there when I want it,
It never lets me down.

Its there for every stride
every cry
every triumph
every step
every pulse
every beat

It holds me up
helps mold me

Its my track
I hope I never lose it

It's my track...
and I deserve it.


NOW my goal is to get up early twice a week and get my butt to the gym to get those runs in. On the weekend I can sleep in - a little. And I may just take a class or two...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm glad you are keeping it! And I have to admit, I'm a little jealous that you have an indoor track!

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MOMFAN 11/12/2010 11:33PM


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KITHKINCAID 11/12/2010 10:47PM

    I'm so happy you found a way to keep the track. I know it would have been hard for you otherwise. Yey for doing something for you!

Jealous of your indoor track...

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TEMPEST272002 11/12/2010 9:37AM

    I think it's important to examine yourself & make these decisions based on YOUR needs... so I think keeping the track membership is absolutely worth it & so are you. As much as I love running outside, I'm still jealous of your warm, dry, FLAT running space!

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JENJESS48 11/12/2010 9:29AM

    I think that when you get right down to it, life is about priorities. Time and money are finite, so how do we choose to spend them? And I think your priorities are dead one. YOU, your health, your well-being are extremely important. Cuz you can't do anything else without that. And if keeping the gym membership so you can run and meet your goals, keep going with the work you're doing for you, then it's worth it. Ultimately you'll be better equipped for all the other priorities in your life, like your family. Also, it seems to make you really happy, and that is also important. Because you deserve to be happy. And because if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. emoticon

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 11/12/2010 12:26AM

    You are lucky to live somewhere that has an indoor track. There is nothing even close to that where I live.

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SGTSUNNY 11/11/2010 11:58PM

    Great job! You should keep the membership, it is worth it to have a place to go out of the weather.And you are worth it. I did the same, joined a gym and started bringing my lunches and have never regretted it.

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YATMAMA 11/11/2010 8:16PM

    I'm of the mind that if I pay for it, I'll use it. Keep up the great work!

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JEREMY723 11/11/2010 7:26PM

    My thought would be to stay on the indoor track at least through winter, for sure.

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PRETTYPITHY 11/11/2010 6:20PM

    Awesome! Good for you! I think you definitely deserve to keep your gym membership. Whatever works best for you is worth it!

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POSITIVE-FORCE 11/11/2010 5:36PM

    Love this blog! As well as your goals! GREAT JOB KATHY!!!

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