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LOTUSFLOWER's Recent Blog Entries

Confidence

Friday, February 04, 2011

For the Done Girls challenge this week (go Sunny Gals!) we were to:

Find an old picture of yourself that you feel confident in, and blog about it. Why are you happy in that picture, what makes you proud/confident about what you look like in the image? Think about that time, and try to figure out what you can do to bring that feeling along with you through the rest of your journey.

Here is my picture, it's just a tad bit x-rated, lol.


Me and Cheri, I'm on the right.

In this picture I am 23 yrs. old, 13 years ago. This was the BEST year of my life. I am happy in this picture because I lived with my best friend, we had an amazing apartment in the city complete with a sun room (where we danced all night long and hoped our neighbors were watching.) Neither of us ever went away to college, I went to college at DePaul in Chicago later in life while working full time. So this was our party time. This was our year. Nothing could stop us! We were both single at the time and it was just a fun time of my life.

What makes me confident in this picture is that I was...well...CONFIDENT. I would never think about lifting up my shirt now to take a picture, no way! I wasn't perfect then, but I was at my goal weight for me (180). That weight looked good on me, it looked healthy.

To bring back that happiness in my life I need to do those things that make me happy. Dancing for no reason at all. Sharing joy with my daughters. Doing things for myself, too, giving myself my writing time, my quality time with my husband, and not working so much.. All of those things will help me be a more balanced person.

To bring that confidence from the picture back into my life I need to start acting and BEING confident. I'm getting better at it. I just have to look in the mirror and know that I am fierce and I can handle any situation I'm in. Can you hear me roaring? LOL. Well, maybe meowing.


Me and Cheri after dancing our butts off, and my beloved dog Ashley, RIP.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITFUNKYMAMA1 2/9/2011 12:33PM

    confidence is something I am currently working on even though I am still a work in progress.There are times when i think the survival of my marriage depends on how confident I am.Maybe that's just some twisted thinking or maybe not.Anyways confidence is something we should all have regardless of how we look physically.We should know Whom we belong to and He adores us!!! emoticon

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FREES1 2/7/2011 3:31PM

    dance as though no one were watching!!!
great!

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2BTHINMAMMA 2/6/2011 10:35PM

    What a great idea...you've got me thinking...although I have never been that confident!! LOL

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YATMAMA 2/6/2011 6:15PM

    What fun!!

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SERENITY44 2/6/2011 3:44AM

    LOVE it! Sounds like an amazing year!

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MOMFAN 2/5/2011 10:55PM

    emoticon

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REENSKI 2/5/2011 9:27PM

    You are roaring! Love it!
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ANNEKATHLEEN 2/5/2011 8:42PM

    Gosh you are so stinking cute! I think you must breath confidence even now to have been able to post those FUN pictures! HA!

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OFFDREA 2/5/2011 1:29PM

    You are fun!!!!!

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TEMPEST272002 2/5/2011 11:46AM

    This is a great blog. I laughed at your x-rated picture! You've made some pretty significant connections with assignment. I think it's important to keep fun in our lives & really like how happy you & Cheri look in the 2nd picture. You ARE fierce! You are emoticon

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ZURDTA- 2/5/2011 7:00AM

    Brilliant. My life was no bed of roses at 23... but as I approach 42, I'm going to have all the fun I should have had!

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PPLUNICORN 2/4/2011 7:42PM

    OMG!!! I LOVE it! I dont have any pics where I am that confident. emoticon You are emoticon

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TODAYIAM 2/4/2011 7:22PM

    awe this is such a great blog.. Keep up all your great work!

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REDSOXMEJOE 2/4/2011 7:09PM

    LOL I love this blog!!! you are doing such a great job and really rocking out your journey!! you are an inspiration to me so i know your daughter(s) will feel the same way!!

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KSGROTHE 2/4/2011 5:53PM

    emoticon pictures! You sure seem confident in these! I'm not sure I have any photos of myself looking so confident. We'll see what I can find tomorrow, I think.

- Karen

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KITHKINCAID 2/4/2011 5:47PM

    LOVE IT!!!

Huzzah for old pictures :) I'm going to post one soon too - I'm wearing a dress tonight that I haven't worn since my semi-formal in HIGHSCHOOL! Can't wait to do a comparison blog :)

I believe in you and your confidence!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 2/4/2011 5:34PM

    oh my heavens how I adore you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!1 Hahah. These pictures made me giggle!!!!!! you are beautiful and amazing and you should be just as confident!!!

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ROBYNROSE26 2/4/2011 5:21PM

    Very fun! I don't think I have any pictures of the time when I felt the most confident?

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JENJESS48 2/4/2011 5:10PM

    You SHOULD be as confident now as you were in those pictures. You may have been thinner, but you were still a girl. Think about the woman you are now and how rich your life is (despite the stress). The girl I was at 23 can't imagine the woman I am at 32, and I'm sure the same is true of you. So be confident and proud to be who you are! emoticon emoticon

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January Progress Report

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

emoticon
Start weight: 225.5
End weight: 216
Weight lost: 9.5 lbs.
Total weight lost this year: 9.5 lbs.
Goal weight progress: 36 more lbs. to go to goal weight!
Onederland progress: 17 more lbs. to reach ONEderland!
Total weight lost: 82 lbs.
emoticon

emoticonI LOST ALL OF MY HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN AND THEN SOME! I lost almost 10 lbs. this month!!! I attribute it to more strength training, doing Spark’s boot camp, and also getting more cardio in. I also tracked almost every day, only faltering on the weekends, sometimes. If you see on my calendar I had mostly all “yellow” days, which is good!



emoticonFITNESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: emoticon

emoticon28 day boot camp challenge – almost finished, the last week I puttered out, but I’m starting again in February.

emoticonI ran on a treadmill for the 1st time!

emoticonRan/walked 3 5ks in 1 week for a challenge!

emoticonNON-SCALE VICTORIES: emoticon

emoticonI celebrated my 4-year Sparkversary!

emoticonI went to bed with just a bra and undies on since I was hot. Never would have done this before!

emoticonThis may be TMI, but I had s_x with no clothes on! I usually have a layer of something between me and DH.

emoticonPrinted out the boot camp exercises so that I can do them while watching TV w/ DH.

emoticonGave up alcohol - for now. It doesn't have a good effect on me, and makes me maintain weight.

emoticonA hoodie I bought a month ago that wouldn't quite zip now fits me comfortably. Yaay bootcamp!

emoticonI got up at 5:45 a.m. to get my workout in before work.

emoticonI like feeling my ab definition.

emoticonI worked out, cardio and strength training, while DH and I watched Top Chef...normally I watch it cuddled under the covers, but I knew I wouldn't get my workout in if I did that.

emoticonI was able to fit into a size Large "Life is Good" pjs, previously only able to wear XL.

emoticonA guy at the gym checked me out...

emoticon...then I realized it was the janitor...

emoticonBut then another cute guy checked me out. LOL. Not that I'm looking, but it feels good.

emoticonI got my Day 7 boot camp workout in while DH and daughter were watching a movie. I watched too, just while I was getting my ST on.

emoticonI didn't have a margarita when we went out for Mexican food, and I split a "healthy" fajita salad with my hubby.

emoticonI got carded!!! At Trader Joe's! Never has happened before in my LIFE! And when I showed her my license (where I'm 80 lbs. heavier) the check-out lady looked at me suspiciously.

emoticonI felt skinny.

emoticonI got my boot camp video in even though it was past 10 when I got home.

emoticonI got a scholarship at the Y!!

emoticonTHINGS I’VE LEARNED: emoticon

Nothing can or will hold me back, not even the dreaded 10 lb. holiday gain!

You CAN reinvent yourself.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROEANDGO 2/4/2011 4:46PM

    WOW!! What a month!! Great job!!

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DEBBICZ 2/4/2011 1:54PM

    WOW!!! What a great journal of your accomplishments! I just love that you were able to document your journey. That is the part that I think everyone has to keep in mind; it's the journey! Thanks.

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GETFIT2LIVE 2/4/2011 12:46PM

    Way to go! You look great; love those non-scale victories, although seeing that loss on the scale is pretty awesome victory, too!

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REENSKI 2/4/2011 12:41PM

    AWESOME! Thank you for the inspiration & keep on going!
emoticon emoticon

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TAMIKLUCAS 2/4/2011 9:21AM

    YAAAAYYYYYYYYY! Big cheers for you! emoticon! That's awesome!

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CMCLAIRE 2/4/2011 9:16AM

    Awesome awesome awesome!

Such an inspiration!

Cxx

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SGTSUNNY 2/3/2011 9:50PM

    You are so awesome! What a great example of what can be done, you are looking great. And happy and yes younger. I would card you too!

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2BTHINMAMMA 2/3/2011 4:19PM

    WAY TO GO!! You sure did kick 2011 into a suyccessful start! =D

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CARILOUIE 2/2/2011 7:45PM

    Yahoo! I'm not looking either, but I still like to get checked out.
Go you!

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POSITIVE-FORCE 2/2/2011 8:30AM

    You are doing such a great job! I loved reading about all of your accomplishments so far this year! I have a feeling your going to have a great one!

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MOMFAN 2/2/2011 12:44AM

    emoticon

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UNICORN212 2/1/2011 11:25PM

    The progress pics show how far you have come. Congrats!

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TODAYIAM 2/1/2011 10:45PM

    Again.. you are so inspiring!! Congrats on all the great things you've accomplished!

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PPLUNICORN 2/1/2011 9:27PM

    emoticonYou are a rock star! I love that the janitor was checking you out! LOL.... you crack me up

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THENEWDARLENE 2/1/2011 8:51PM

    emoticon What an Awesome January! You are a great Done Girl, and I LOVE your new page background. Your year certainly got off to a great start.


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YATMAMA 2/1/2011 8:32PM

    Hurray for you!!!!

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KSGROTHE 2/1/2011 7:55PM

    emoticon on having such a great January! Great start to the year!

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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KITHKINCAID 2/1/2011 3:36PM

    I think this is one of my favorite update blogs from you. You're glowing! And I laughed out loud at the sex without layers NSV. Woohoo! Or should I say "Ow Ow Hot Stuff!"

Hehe.

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OFFDREA 2/1/2011 2:18PM

    You are sooooooooooooo AWESOME!
Thank you for being you and being so inspiring!!!!

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HEATHIELAUREN 2/1/2011 2:07PM

    Whoo Hoo!! So happy to hear your progress!! Onederland is just around the bend! You can do it!!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 2/1/2011 12:27PM

    You are doing such an amazing job girl!

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JMEPAYNE 2/1/2011 12:00PM

    awesome!!!! i love your list... and i laughed out loud at the janitor comment!

you're doing amazingly well! keep it up!

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GOGOMAMA 2/1/2011 11:56AM

    Congrats on a very successful month! Love your drive and attitude! Keep it up!

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AMBER281 2/1/2011 11:53AM

    You are inspiring!! Keep up the great work!

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JESSIELOVE78 2/1/2011 11:47AM

    you are emoticon!!! you are doing great!! emoticon emoticon

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THISISFORME924 2/1/2011 11:34AM

    I love your non scale victories! I also love your calendar... I might have to get one!

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FREES1 2/1/2011 11:30AM

    way to go!!!! congrats on all your accomplishments!

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JENJESS48 2/1/2011 11:27AM

    You are completely freaking awesome. Way to rock January!!!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 2/1/2011 11:27AM

    you amaze me!!!! I couldn't ask for a better partner or friend! YA SUNNY GAL!

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MAYBE_SOMEDAY 2/1/2011 11:22AM

    What great progress! I also love your calendar, it looks that you have a lot going on. Your accomplishments are truely amazing! Keep inspiring us all! emoticon

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CHICAT63 2/1/2011 11:17AM

    Woohoo, great month of January. You are doing AWESOME, it was not TMI things we discover about ourselves *wink* especially have fun discovering them ! Have a great first day of February, you rock !

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

My Four Years on Spark in Review (pics)

Friday, January 28, 2011



Today is my 4-year Sparkversary. Four years! So much has happened in the past 4 years, it really is incredible. I first joined Spark when my daughter Lucy was 6 months old. I had contemplated whether we should even plan a family because I weighed almost 300 lbs. at the time. I spoke with my doctor about it and she basically said, well, you're not getting any younger and if you want to have a family you should start no matter what size you are. God bless her! If only I knew at the time how much resistance and discrimination I would receive as a result of being an overweight expecting mom.

I did lose weight before conceiving Lucy. Sad to say, but 298 is not my pregnancy high weight, nor was it baby weight. That was all me. But I wanted a family very much. So I bare knuckled it alone and somehow managed to lose about 20 lbs. So when I got pregnancy with Lucy I was about 268. Of course with the pregnancy I gained weight, about 30 - 40 lbs, so I was right back where I started once I had her.

That's where Sparkpeople comes in.

I remember when I logged in and found the site, I don't even remember how I heard about it at the time, and I created my Spark page and I was so depressed. I didn't really think this would work for me. I had previously tried every diet known to man. Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, diet pills, diet scams, and fad diets. I once ate nothing but chicken soup for a week and another time starved myself to try to cleanse my system. When I was younger I was anorexic and bulimic and messed up my metabolism and body with nothing but Slim-Fast and pretzels for two years of my life. Sure, I looked good. I looked sick, but I could fit into size 6 jeans no problem.

So when I joined it was with a lot of doubt, and absolutely no faith in myself. But I had a daughter now. Above anything else - my resistance to change, my laziness - above it all was her, and I wanted to set a good example for her. I wanted to be a good mom, and I couldn't see how I could do that being obese. I wasn't happy. How could I bring happiness into her life? I didn't want the cycle to continue with her, but to end with me.

So one small step led to another. I started with tracking my food. That was the most important step. That is when I truly saw what I was eating and putting into my body. I started trying to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables, something that was not in my diet at all before. After a few months I began to want to exercise. I also started that slowly, beginning with Leslie Sansone and at the time I couldn't even walk a mile. Then I could walk a mile. Then two. Then three and finally four and five.

Something started happening to me. I was changing. On the inside it was subtle, nothing you could actually see yet. But I was being shaped and molded into the person, the woman and mother I would become. I was beginning to feel confident.

So that step of being able to walk five miles led to other steps. I began to take aerobics and strength training classes. I began to dance. I began to look for ways I could incorporate exercise with my daughter. I began to love life! I loved moving the body God has given me. I began to feel joy, imagine that! And I hadn't even reached goal weight yet, hadn't even reached more than 10 lbs. down at the time, but I was happy! I knew that I had the power inside of me to change and that the outside changes I was making were directly affecting my insides – they were turning my cold and sad heart into mush. Working out made me FEEL good. Eating healthy made me FEEL good. This was curious.

I began reaching out on the Spark teams and making friends. I began to take Spark challenges, doing a boot camp, setting goals. I began to see that my destiny is what I create it to be, it isn't determined by my size or weight.

Then three years later I have another daughter. This time it is different. I am still overweight and considered obese, so my doctors asked me to only gain 15 lbs. total that pregnancy and I was able to reach that goal. I used teams on Spark geared for overweight mothers and they supported me. I was motivated and driven and determined to be a good mother to my precious girls.

After my youngest daughter, Marlo, was born, I was ready. I had my dr.'s note in hand and joined a boot camp at my gym. It kicked my butt. That's when I started running.

I am a person who you wouldn't look at and think "runner". I am a person who never thought of herself that way. I had heard of the Couch to 5K program and had instantly disregarded it. Couch to 5K? Why in the heck would I want to get off of my comfortable couch to do a 5K - let alone RUN it? No thank you, I had better things to do. Where was that remote?

But I did it. I started running just 30 seconds at a time, until I was up to running for 30 minutes straight. In the past year I am proud to say that I have run five 5ks and am now training to run an 8k. After that I would like to tackle a half marathon.

So my four year journey at Spark has been full of ups and downs - but mostly ups. I would say the past year and a half, since having Marlo, have been the most productive because I wasn't pregnant and could give it my all. I would tell someone just starting out in their journey, or in the middle of it, or at the end of it, or sick of it, or just plain feeling hopeless that it all starts with ONE small step. Which step are you going to take?

With the help of Sparkpeople I have:

emoticon lost 82 lbs

emoticon lost 20 inches including:
3 inches from my chest
6 inches from my waist
6 inches from my hips
1 inch from my neck
4 inches total for both arms

emoticonlost 9 BMI points

emoticonracked up 20.001 fitness minutes (or about 333 hours)

emoticon went from a size 26 to a size 16

emoticon Not only BECAME a runner- but ran FIVE 5ks in 2010 and am currently training to run an 8K in the spring.

emoticonI'm dreaming dreams I never thought possible before. Running a half marathon? Writing a novel? The options are endless.

emoticon Met some of the most amazing people in this world, all encouraging and rooting for each other like a built-in cheer-leading team!

emoticonSo thank you SparkPeople, for not only helping me lose and keep weight off... but for giving me the tools to completely change my life and as a result, change who I am as a person. Thank you to my family and friends, who are the most supportive and awesome people in the universe! My world wouldn’t spin quite the same without you!



Below is a picture journey of my time here at Spark. This is me at my highest weight of 298, and on down to my current weight of 216. I have lost 82 lbs. so far here at Spark, and I have gained oh, so much more. Friends, confidence, tools to win this fight. I'm not at my goal weight - yet - I have 36 lbs. to go. But I know I'll get there, Spark Map in hand. Ah, life is GOOD!!



MY SPARK JOURNEY IN PHOTOS:


Me at the beginning. 298. I didn't mean to look so angry and mad, but I remember thinking at the time, why smile?


Ok, I'm smiling here, but still 298. And no body shots, please.


276. A little progress.


263. Feelin' good!


240s and I feel confident enough to wear my favorite color - green!


230s


216 and descending to my landing pad of 180 lbs.


A comparison shot.


Me at 298 vs. 228 - I'm actually flying a kite with Lucy whereas before my life was lived on the couch.


My husband has been there with me through it all and never made me feel bigger, and never suggested I change. He has loved all sizes and versions of me. I love that man!


My family now.


Why I do this.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILESWITH7KIDS 3/31/2011 6:45PM

    What a wonderfully inspiring post. Thanks for sharing your journey, I really enjoyed it and wish you the best in reaching your ultimate goal. It sounds like you have already reached the goal have having a healthy, lovely life with your family!

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HEARTS4ME 3/31/2011 2:13PM

  I missed your blog when you posted it. You are one special lady. I totally cried while reading this. I just love that you're one of my SparkFriends!!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!!

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SUN_SHINE_4 3/9/2011 6:20PM

    Truely inspirational!!! Gives me hope that at my weight I can still get pregnant(contrary to what doctor says) and gives me hope that I can push through and lose! Keep it up and reach that goal!!!

emoticon emoticon

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JUSTJILLHERE 3/3/2011 5:04PM

    emoticon

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LACHELY 2/22/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon

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AIDEN_AVAH2011 2/15/2011 3:16PM

    I just want to say thank you! I cried reading this post and I so very much thank you. I have been where you were and I want to be as comfortable with myself as you are. So thank you for giving me some inspiration today! emoticon

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CHRTYANGL 2/11/2011 1:15PM

    Wow! Such inspiration!! Thanks so much for sharing your journey!! I look forward to the day when I can post my own blog on my journey here and what a difference it has made...
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JELLI-LEAN 2/11/2011 11:30AM

    You are beautiful, amazing transformation!

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EBEAMS 2/9/2011 9:43PM

    You, my dear, are a hero ... Nice job in investing your time, energy and sweat into a new you! You are right - you changed the life your children WOULD have lived. That is AWESOME!

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YUMMYCOFFEE 2/9/2011 6:59AM

    You look so beautiful! It really shows in your smile :) a real motivation! Green looks great on you by the way :D!!

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ANGELIKI110 2/9/2011 1:26AM

    You are beautiful!!!! And color looks so good in you even at the beginning of your journey! Congratulations!

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NELLBELLA26 2/9/2011 12:31AM

    Amazing transformation!

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MYLIDDLEDALLAS 2/7/2011 5:17PM

    This was wonderful thank you so much for sharing!!!! Congratulations on your success so far!

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TENACIOUSTIGER 2/7/2011 10:15AM

    wow what a transformation emoticon

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WENDY412 2/6/2011 11:55PM

    Absolutely inspiring! Happy Sparkiversary!

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BETH3331 2/6/2011 9:30PM

    Thank you for sharing! I am just starting (again) from the highest weight of my life. It is very inspiring to read your story! Congratulations! And Good Luck achieving your goal of 180! emoticon

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KHELMAN 2/6/2011 3:40PM

    emoticon your blog is very insppiring thank you so much for shareing your journey with us. Keep up the great work! you look fantastic!
emoticon

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MICKEYCUSTER 2/6/2011 3:12PM

    Thank you for sharing. It gives me hope.
emoticon emoticon

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STORMYVAWN 2/6/2011 12:26PM

    Wow. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I can and won't give up. Thanks for this post! emoticon

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NANA717 2/6/2011 11:02AM

    Thank you for sharing, very motivational. Good for YOU!!

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IRISHLASS117 2/6/2011 9:30AM

    Your smile tells it all. Bravo!

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EDUKESS 2/6/2011 3:49AM

  Great job! You look fantastic! emoticon

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SHORTSGIRL 2/6/2011 12:30AM

    You should be very proud of yourself. You look great! All your hard work really shows. Your blog is very inspirational! Even with the smallest steps at first, but you kept with and have come so far.

emoticon emoticon

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AGGEEE 2/5/2011 8:34PM

    Happy Anniversary! You are amazing on the inside and out! What a beautiful family and you not only made a huge difference in your own self but your daughters as well.
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JODIWHITE19 2/5/2011 7:18PM

    Inspiring!! Thanks for sharing and happy anniversary!!

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ILUVTHE80S 2/5/2011 2:29PM

    I loved your blog it is very motivational! Thanks for sharing!


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FRANKIEMOMMY 2/5/2011 12:16PM

    Thank you for sharing your transformation is amazing....good for you! You are really an inspiration!!

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TWEETIEBIRDIE 2/5/2011 7:20AM

    Four Years! WOW! That is an amazing feat! Your expression says it all as the weight falls off. Your family photo says it all! Congrats!!! emoticon

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LILHOBBIT29 2/5/2011 6:40AM

    Kudos to you!! Awesome job! Great post too! :)

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F0URLETTERLIES 2/5/2011 12:33AM

    Wow. Reading your blog entry just filled me with so much hope for the future. It was so inspirational that I started tearing up. Seriously, you should be so proud of yourself (and it appears that you are) for how far you've come in only four years. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us members of SparkPeople. Good luck on your 8k and eventually your half marathon!

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AFTERMYKIDS 2/4/2011 11:42PM

    emoticon and Boy are you emoticon now!! emoticon

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RUNANDRUN 2/4/2011 11:21PM

  Yeah for you! You look great.

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SHAE777 2/4/2011 9:09PM

  Wow! Thanks SO MUCH for sharing all of this, pictures included. You've done so well! Congratulations!!

emoticon

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LUNADRAGON 2/4/2011 8:50PM

    You are doing great, slow and steady wins the race my friend!!!


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ROEANDGO 2/4/2011 4:43PM

    Fabulous!! You ARE my inspiration!!

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HEATHERBARTLETT 2/4/2011 4:08PM

    your an inspiration to us all. Good job! emoticon

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EMMANYC 2/4/2011 1:28PM

    Congratulations! What an amazing journey. And I love that quote from George Elliott.

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REENSKI 2/4/2011 12:44PM

    That is beautiful!
Thank you for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration to to me to keep on going.
emoticon

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 2/4/2011 10:11AM

    Very inspirational!

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ANTEEKER 2/4/2011 10:06AM

    Whoo Yhooo you are awesome!

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MARATHON_MOM 2/4/2011 9:44AM

    What an inspiring story! You have done FANTASTIC! Congratulations on all of the changes that you have made and your incredible transformation!


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SAMSATIONAL 2/4/2011 9:39AM

    Awesome!

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JENNFIELDS4 2/4/2011 9:27AM

    You look great!! Thanks for sharing!!

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TAMIKLUCAS 2/4/2011 9:18AM

    Thanks for your honest, open sharing! You made me emoational, and also very proud to be a part of SP!
Sending you love!

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ANHHUGHE 2/3/2011 11:24PM

    This is great. Thanks so much for sharing. emoticon

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MIRACLELOVE77 2/3/2011 9:57PM

    wow! thanks so much for sharing--especially about the running! Your story gives me hope :) and you will rock that marathon!

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MARLYF1 2/3/2011 9:43PM

    congrats! you look great!!

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ALLIE3130 2/3/2011 5:56PM

    awwww! so happpy for you. it must feel amazing!

emoticon

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OUTKASTCHIK01 2/3/2011 5:17PM

  congratulations! keep it up. and thanks for sharing :)

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2BTHINMAMMA 2/3/2011 4:13PM

    AWESOME!!! Congrats...such an inspiration!

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Flying Without a Net (or Running without a Track)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



I did it. I had to do it. I had been putting it off for so long and I knew I had to do it. Yesterday I ended my gym membership.

Big sobs and tears! Some of you may have read my blog, Love Poem to My Indoor Track.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3777682


I LOVE that track! Well, loved.

But the reality was that I wasnt going to the gym as much and I couldnt justify the cost. The baby is teething; she is needier than she was when she was all cute and quiet. Shes still cute, dont get me wrong, but as a working mother it is so difficult to go home to your little ones only to leave them again to workout. Or to workout straight from work and not see those cute little faces until you are tucking them into bed. I was running after dinner, baths, and bedtime for a while but that was exhausting, getting to the gym at 9 and home past 10 and then being all hopped up on adrenaline that I couldnt fall asleep until midnight or later, and getting up for work the next day and doing it all again. I did go to the gym a few times before they got up, but that is also difficult.

I had tried to break up with my gym two other times, retracting my cancellation letter as soon as it was sent. But the thing of it is, I cant afford it anymore. So I need to move on.

A year ago I wasnt the same person I am today. Not just physically, but mentally. Last year I do believe that I NEEDED the gym, that without it I would have fallen quickly, like a trapeze artist without a net, and my weight loss efforts would have died. I depended on the gym, it was always there for me, and it inspired me to move. At the time someone here on Spark told me that there are two kinds of motivation. Those things you feel like you *have* to do, and those things that you *want* to do. Both can be healthy things. Last year I was in a land of *haves*. I HAD to go to the gym, HAD to plan my foods. It was my life preserver in the sea of weight loss. At the time this Sparker told me that when I was ready, I would do things because I WANTED to do them, and that I would have motivation to do it without the safety net of the gym. At the time I knew I wasnt in that place, but now I believe I am.

I am going to visit the local Y tonight and see if they can give me a lower rate due to financial reasons, being a single-income family with two kids. They have a pool and an indoor track. But if that wont work with our budget, I know I will be OK. Because now Im in the place where I WANT to do it. I WANT to get that workout in, and I love how it makes me feel. I can honestly say that I LOVE running now. A year ago I would have never thought I would be saying that.

There is a free fitness facility at my work that I can workout at. I have never done so until yesterday, despite working here for 3 yrs. already. It is small, only a little over 4,000 sq. ft., but it was nice. There are 3 treadmills, 3 ellipticals and 3 stair masters plus all weights you could need. There's a separate ladies' locker room with two showers, and you need a key card to get in the fitness center, and a key to get into the woman's room, so it's very safe. And it's FREE. And I got to workout at LUNCH. I got home to my kids and husband sooner. It was quite nice.

So my plan is to run on the treadmill at my work facility 2-3x a week, then run outside when it gets a little warmer, and also do Leslie tapes in the morning, I aim for a mile a day, 5 days a week. I love her!

Im tempted to spend money on equipment so I can run outside. Yaktrax, arm warmers (those are too cute!) and other things. These things will make me feel "safe". But Im not going to. Not just yet. I cant replace one expense (the health club) with another right now. I need to work with what I have.

Also, there are benefits to running inside on a treadmill that I never knew about. For example, did you know there is a "5k" setting on most treadmills? It has the course all laid out for you. Heres a link to an article about the benefits on indoor running for anyone interested. I think this sort of training, combined with my walking and outside running, will really help me to be a better runner.

Sometimes the answer to prayer is right under your nose, all you have to do is look!

www.active.com/running/Articles/How-
Indoor-Workouts-Can-Help-Your-Run.htm?
cmp=17-7-74


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YATMAMA 1/27/2011 2:05PM

    Wow. How awesome what your job offers you exercise equipment. That is such a blessing! Membership or no membership, Y or no Y, my money's on YOU. You are making this happen and will continue to make it happen. The changes that have taken place in your heart are there to stay. The spiritual ground you've conquered is yours forever. You will be just fine. No doubt about it.

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SEWINGMAMACDS 1/27/2011 1:29PM

    That is great your work has a gym set up and it is FREE! Can't beat that. Have fun!

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POSITIVE-FORCE 1/27/2011 10:56AM

    I'm glad you decided to do what was best for you! GOOD JOB and I know your going to come to love the FREE gym better!

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 1/27/2011 9:57AM

    In your decision to eliminate you membership at That Gym, you did not quit searching for a solution and you have some good ones. YakTrax are only about $20 so they aren't too expensive. I have a pair of the heavy duty style that I wear when I walk/run with my dogs twice a day. I will share with you though that they make my feet sore. I guess it only makes sense that when you are stepping down hard on that wire it will bother the foot. It is not bothersome at the time, but later.

Another factor of outside walking/running is that it burns more calories. My footwear is heavier and I'm often trudging in the snow.

Another exercise option can be hotel swimming pools. They often have deals for the local residents at very affordable rates. A side benefit is taking the kids an enjoying a leisurely play date.

Your positivity is contagious. emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 1/27/2011 8:13AM

    You are equipped with the tools you need to be successful without the gym. You will do great!

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MOMFAN 1/27/2011 12:58AM

    I am so proud of you and YakTraks are a must so you don't fall on the ice! You can do this! You are a champion!

Bundle up and run!

Comment edited on: 1/27/2011 12:58:23 AM

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TODAYIAM 1/26/2011 11:03PM

    It'll be good for you to use the free facility at work!! that is awesome!!

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TEMPEST272002 1/26/2011 6:11PM

    What a bonus having that fitness facility at work is! A mid-day run is a great way to pick up your energy level at work too.

Yaktrax, arm warmers - I run outside, but I don't know what these are! I'm going to have to google it now. emoticon The only special equipment I use are rubber grippers on my shoes so I don't slip on the ice.

OK - I googled it! Yaktrax are grippers... just a more expensive, and likely better working, version.

Comment edited on: 1/26/2011 6:15:05 PM

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KSGROTHE 1/26/2011 3:39PM

    I love that you've realized that you've gone from thinking of your workouts as "have-tos" to thinking of them as "want-tos"! emoticon

Good luck with your new workout plan! emoticon

- Karen

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OFFDREA 1/26/2011 3:11PM

    Good for you!!!!


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DEBBICZ 1/26/2011 1:37PM

    I liked the idea of having a place to workout during the day at work. I used to do that a few years ago and it felt really good. I was able to fit in exercise and go home at regular time to my son. You'll find your chi again!

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KITHKINCAID 1/26/2011 1:14PM

    It's tough now, but in another couple of weeks with a new routine, you won't regret your decision. I'll tell you right now, I've used my YakTrax ONCE this year - at home, in Canada, when I went for a run on the frozen lake. Since I've been back in Chicago, I haven't used them. If the sidewalks are too bad (and they only are in segments), I run on the road. This week has been great because it's been a bit warmer and the ice is gone for the most part. So you don't need the gear if it's not necessary - which right now it isn't. Just layer, and have fun with it. If you get out there and it's too cold, just do a shorter run. You have to be a little more forgiving with yourself, but I usually find that once I've been out there for 20 minutes, I have the drive to keep going for the full hour.

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THENEWDARLENE 1/26/2011 1:03PM

    I like how you have really thought this through and are finding a solution that works best for your needs, your budget, and your family. That is so nice to have good workout facilities at your job! Sounds like you will be doing well and adapted to a new routine very soon. Thanks for sharing all the details with us. It's encouraging to see how other Sparkers adapt and remain focused on their goals no matter what happens. Keep Sparking Strong!
emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/26/2011 12:55PM

    Thanks everyone! My health club just called and my membership won't cancel for another 45 days, so that means until March 1st I can use that indoor track. Bad news, one more billing cycle in February, but at least I have that track as another tool and then in March the weather will be a little better.

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JESSSPARK 1/26/2011 12:48PM

    You are lucky that the gym equipment is actually available. How great to be able to work out at work (we have a fitness center but it is slammed unless you get there at 7am)

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GOGOMAMA 1/26/2011 12:36PM

    I'm very sorry for your loss! But, I do love your attitude and willingness to find other ways to keep making workout magic!! Thanks for the link to this article. It sounds great! Best wishes to you in your efforts to find creative and effective ways to work out! emoticon

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INSPIREBYNATURE 1/26/2011 12:35PM

    You have come so far! I'm so incredibly proud of you!!!!!!

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FREES1 1/26/2011 12:31PM

    maybe this only needs to be a temporary break up and once the kids are older you can get back there - in the meantime enjoy what you have.. spring will come sooner or later...

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Honoring Dreams...and Ourselves in the Process.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Today I feel depressed. Money is the main factor, but I wonder if I need more Vitamin D or something, too. I am Down with a capital D! I need to stop spending money on things I don't need.

For example, my small vintage coffee maker that resided in my closet writing office at home that I LOVED (but never used because I barely write anymore) had to recently be thrown out because I had left grounds in the filter and they got really moldy - scary, life-threatening moldy - and I had to throw it out, there was no way I could ever completely get that clean, and I didn't want to ingest mold every time I drank coffee and get some kind of cancer later in life.

So.

What's the first thing I do?

Look for another one, of course.

I want a cute, small, vintage one. Maybe even cuter than my moldy one.

Then I hear a sound much like a vinyl record being abruptly taken off a record player. I thought why? Why do I NEED this? Yes, I love the sound of coffee dripping and brewing as I write. Sometimes the smell of it is the only thing that will wake me up at 5 a.m., ready to rub my eyes and write.

But...

My closet office is (in)conveniently located between my two young daughter's bedrooms and how many times has that coffee percolating woken them up? I'm already like a thief in the night, trying to creep slowly into my office, writing softly so as to not make noise and wake them, cutting my writing session short. Can't I just make coffee downstairs, put it in a thermos (another one of my passions, vintage thermoses) and bring it up? Or use that cute percolator iI just "had" to have last year but have never used?

And it's not only this. For me it's with most everything. I'm not honoring my dreams as I should. With running I'm too chicken to get out there in the cold and run, yet I'll buy a super cute jacket, inspired by my friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID), who by the way, DOES run in the cold, unlike myself. Yes, it was cute. Yes, it was on sale. Yes, it was a great deal. But am I going to USE it enough? Am I just looking the part and not playing the part? I bought that jacket for LATER. Not now, too cold.

I purchase books, notebooks and pens that inspire me to honor my writer self, but how often am I actually writing? I have my office walls filled with inspirational notes, quotes and prayers, but what decorates my page? Nothing.

Do I do this in all areas of my life? To a point.

Yes, I've come far. I'm not saying I haven't. You don't lose 80 lbs. by just waking up one day and the fat fairy has paid you a visit. But I also store up my dreams in the shape of books, gadgets, thermoses. I don't get them out there on paper, my feet don't hit the street. (Instead I'm paying for a gym membership I can't afford because they have a cushy indoor track). What would my life look like if instead of paying off (or into) my dreams, I instead honored them, gave them life and breath and let them just BE. Evolve. Become. How would that look? Am I afraid?

How many things do we buy, store up, just to not use them. Things that on the outside appear to honor our dreams, things that the person we want to be would use: a treadmill that becomes a skeleton in the corner, those new running shoes that have their own home in the closet, or that gym membership that is wasting away.

I am going to strive to honor my dreams, to "Just Do It" as Nike says. I am going to stop shopping for my inner dreams, instead I will live them out. Test the waters. What is the worst that can happen? I fall on ice? Get rejected? I said in an earlier blog that I have dreams tucked away in drawers. I not only have that, but dreams written on notebook pages, books, napkins, old menus and Post-It notes. They aren't typed up. Who knows they exist?

When I find these little gems, I usually see that I have written something insightful, profound, funny or just plain GOOD. And it's lost in the cluttered universe of my closet office. From the website behind The Weekend Novelist, the book I'm reading the author stressed to "Type up what you write."

Why? Three reasons:

Don't throw yourself away

Honor your words

Discipline is your obligation to the gift

This is your life, this is your memory, this is your work. Don't Throw Yourself Away. Honor Your Words.

I would say the same goes for ANY of our dreams. Don't throw yourself away, honor yourself and discipline is key.

In a devotional I am reading, today's entry states:

"We often talk about all the things we need, but in reality there is only one thing that we need, we need grace upon us. If you and I will allow the grace of God to have full reign in our lives, nothing will be impossible to us." - Joyce Meyer

I'm going to honor my dreams, or try to, little by little each day. I'm going to live them up. Stop shopping for the person I want to be and start living like that person - now - minus all the fun "stuff".

And you? What are your dreams? Do you honor them? Or hide them up with more "stuff"? How about we take the first step together, and write them down. Every dream, no matter how silly, big, or small, write it down.

The images in this blog are from a graphic artist, Valentina Ramos. On her blog site she has a link to a free download where you can print and write down all your dreams. Try it. You might like it ;)

www.valentinadesign.com/images/blog/
write_your_dreams_here.jpg




Image from Valentina Ramos @ www.valentinaramos.blogspot.com

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARILOUIE 1/27/2011 7:50PM

    I really love this. Right now I'm looking at some scrapbooking stuff I thought I *needed* last summer when I thought I'd become a great scrapbooker...


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MOMFAN 1/27/2011 12:42AM

    Well said, we are going to start living today!

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WCATAP 1/26/2011 3:34PM

    Me too! My writing has fallen by the wayside. I don't feel inspired. Ans I feel like if I don;t publish I am a failure at it. SO i think fear of that has robbed me of the blessing of the craft.

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SYN-CA 1/26/2011 12:39AM

    I'm already writing;) What an interesting blog! Shopping, spending, dreams, challenge, I'm in. Have you tried writing about what you are interested in shopping for? Could be interesting....

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POSITIVE-FORCE 1/25/2011 11:32PM

    I loved reading your blog it touched a lot of things that I do myself. I'm sorry that your so down right now. Just keep digging at your sef and you will come up with the answers. You already have tackled some of it just keep going. One step at a time!

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JESSIELOVE78 1/25/2011 9:21PM

    That is so true. thank you for sharing. emoticon

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LUNADRAGON 1/25/2011 8:42PM

    This is excellent! It is so true - Oh, the notebooks, the pens, the coffeemakers, etc. that we buy and do not use to their fullest. I am concentrating on decluttering, and finding new purposes for the clutter - even if it is just to fill a trash bag, or give away.


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TODAYIAM 1/25/2011 8:27PM

    Sorry your feeling down.. You should totally type all your little thoughts and sayings and such!

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KITHKINCAID 1/25/2011 4:43PM

    Save the shopping for rewards. I got stuck in that trap too - buying stuff for the things I wanted to do and then never doing them. But when I started here and started toughing it out for a while without the things that I wanted, when I DID do something really great, I had plenty of things to choose from for rewards.

Every now and then I make up some reason to reward myself just so I can get something, but the aimless shopping has stopped for the most part. I even walked by my favorite store yesterday with time to kill and Size 16s to buy, but I walked right on by. I'm not buying 16s...I'm waiting until I need 14s, cause that's an even bigger reward!

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PPLUNICORN 1/25/2011 2:43PM

    I love your blog! I feel this way too. All to ofen. Thank you for this blog it has really moved something in me.

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SGTSUNNY 1/25/2011 12:57PM

    I love the quote about goals/dreams not being written down are only wishes! I know it to be true. So follow your dreams, they are worth so much more then you know. The other material things come and go, but a dream/goal realized is priceless and the feeling of accomplishment lasts forever.

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INSPIREBYNATURE 1/25/2011 12:51PM

    What a wonderful blog. I'm sorry you are feeling so down. Hang in there sweetie...it could be the time of the year. I am very proud of you! I think you are absolutely amazing....trust me on this!!!!!! HUGS and all my love. Keep pushing partner!

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KSGROTHE 1/25/2011 11:09AM

    It sounds like a good idea to honor your dreams little by little each day. You can create habits with baby steps that move you towards your dreams. I've been thinking a lot about my dreams and I made a list of steps to take to get closer, but I have taken few of those steps. Some of the steps are big changes for me, and I think there is some fear on my part to make those changes. Are there fears or other emotions that might be keeping your from honoring your dreams that you might need to work through?

I can tell you've been thinking about this a lot. You'll get there. emoticon emoticon

- Karen

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UNICORN212 1/25/2011 10:47AM

    "I not only have that, but dreams written on notebook pages, books, napkins, old menus and Post-It notes. They aren't typed up. Who knows they exist?"

Maybe you need to gather these all together and compile them in a book. I used to have (it is probably still here somewhere) a thin little book I received from a friend in highschool. I think it was called "Notes to Myself" or something like that. It was a bunch of dreams, thoughts, wishes, affirmations and hopes. With your talent, maybe that is a direction you need to explore?

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FREES1 1/25/2011 10:37AM

    for running outdoors google yaktraks - yes its a purchase although one that will support your running
sad that for the sake of a moldy filter you had to sacrifice the machine... if its a percolator is it not boilable? therefore able to be sanitized?

we do get caught up in possessions, think we can buy our happiness.. its good to shed them as there is freedom in giving them up -

be free to be!

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