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My Secret Weapon....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Starting Friday I'm off work for a week and we're going to our cottage in Michigan for most of it, then returning to the area for a Staycation and spending time together as a family and doing things we normally can't because I'm working. Navy Pier, the Arboretum. We are going to have FUN.

My dear bestie Blaize will also be on vacation and we both wanted to have fun during our time away, but also to try to stay on track and not gain a ton of weight. My goal is not only to maintain, but to lose weight while on vacation.

I suggested that we try applying the Pareto 80/20 principal to our weight loss while on vacation.

The rules are simple. 80% of the time we will make healthy choices. The other 20% of the time we can do whatever we want, and no one has to know about it. We're going to text each other every day and be accountable for that 80% - the good choices. All the bad stuff? It's like Vegas, baby. What happens during that 20% stays there.

I figure if you approach a vacation like a reckless abandonment of all of your healthy lifestyle changes, and 80% of the time you make not the best choices, and 20% of the time you are "good"...well, honey, that's gonna show up on the scale. 'Nuf said.

BUT if you turn it around, and ALLOW yourself that little devilish "bad" side 20% of the time, give yourself that freedom (but not too much freedom)...and make healthy choices the rest of the 80% of the time, well the scale will even out, or even show a loss.

Factor in exercise to this equation (my goal to move in some way, shape or form every day). And a loss is pretty much guaranteed. Reach for the stars, right?

As part of this challenge we are to write about our motivation...this will help us stay on track for that 80% of the time. Now I have two main motivations -- other than losing weight and being healthy of course.

1. I am SO close to Onederland and losing 100 lbs. that I can SMELL it. I have 4 lbs. to go to be in Onederland. 5 lbs. to reaching 100 lbs. lost. That is a huge motivation for me. When I crave another glass of wine, or a big hunk of cheese what will be more important to me? Satisfying that craving (and probably feeling worse as a result?) or seeing those magical numbers on the scale. If you guessed the second option, Ding, Ding, Ding! Get that girl a prize, Vanna.

2. Now here's my super secret motivation...a desire so deeply ingrained in me that part of me feels I can't attain it...(but aren't those the best kind of goals?). My sister gave me a kick-butt running skirt that is a size Large. It fits me and it looks amazing. BUT. At present, the back of my thighs don't do it the justice it deserves. This skirt is a bit shorter than the new running skirt I bought, and it doesn't cover my imperfections. My goal is to run, walk, go up hills, go down hills, get enough ST in that the backs of my legs ROCK and are something I will be proud to strike the trail with.

SO. There you go. My two reasons I'm going to rock it out this vacation, baby. Wish me luck. No, strike that. Wish me STRENGTH.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm so excited for you!!!!! 5 lbs away from Onderland..... Oh! Motivation for vacation baby! You can do this! I believe in you! emoticon

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SGTSUNNY 6/30/2011 4:50PM

    Have a wonderful vacation! See you soon in Onderland!!! Wow and you will feel amazing when you hit the 100 lb lost! Love ya, lets do this! You are amazing!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/30/2011 4:32PM

    Positively perfect plan--hope you have an awesome vacation and come back rested and stronger than ever!

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BOOKRUNNER 6/30/2011 2:39PM

    What a brilliant plan! Thanks for sharing.

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FREES1 6/30/2011 12:46PM

    good plan you and your friend have hatched...

good luck and tons of strength to you!!!!

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TAZIAH 6/29/2011 5:13PM

    Wishing you tons of strength!! You're awesome and you have a fantastic goal set in place. You've totally got this!!! emoticon

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CANNOTFATHOM 6/29/2011 4:26PM

    Great blog! You given me lots of really good pointers :) I'm going to Belgium in October with my sister and I don't want to derail all my good work. I like your idea :)


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PRESBESS 6/29/2011 4:15PM

    emoticon Here's to wishing you strength! I like your vacation attack mindset. You are armed with the right stuff... your bestie, your plan, your motivation and your attitude! You go girl!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHICAT63 6/29/2011 3:54PM

    You can SO DO THIS, love the 80/20 rule. I have always worked out on holidays, people think I am loco *lol*. Woohoo, Onderland is looming and will be in no time with your dedication, determination and desire. Have fun !

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KITHKINCAID 6/29/2011 3:47PM

    RRRAAAAAWWWWWWRRRRRR! (That's me wishing you strength...tiger-style).

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LMLOPEZ 6/29/2011 2:29PM

    You go, girl. Wear that skirt with pride, even if it's shorter. You'll be liking the improvements in no time.
I just did the 80/20 rule for my vacation as well. It was a good eye opener for how to have fun but still enjoy. Have a blast on your vaca-you should text me if you're headed to Morton arboretum, I'm there with the kids often as I have membership. :)

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ROEANDGO 6/29/2011 2:20PM

    I wish you STRENGTH!! What a wonderful idea and I KNOW Blaize and you will do well on vacation. Great job!!

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KKINNEA 6/29/2011 2:19PM

    Love it, you're going to rock it. I love that the 20% is like Vegas!

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MARCH_ 6/29/2011 2:08PM

    It's easier to lose weight on vacation because there's no boredom.
I'm more likely to jump up and go for a walk (on vaca it's called "exploring"), then when I'm at home and it's the same ol' stretch. Enjoy!

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LOOZINITNOW 6/29/2011 1:52PM

    You are definitely ready for vacation! You have an awesome plan in place! I love your enthusiasm!

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KSGROTHE 6/29/2011 1:50PM

    Great plan and great motivation! emoticon

- Karen

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JENJESS48 6/29/2011 1:45PM

    Awesome plan! You are sure to both enjoy yourself and keep the scale at bay! You rock, honey!

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STARPESCADO 6/29/2011 12:59PM


Love your 80/20 rule : )

Hope U enjoy your vacation and I am sure that skirt looks kickin' on U!

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THENEWDARLENE 6/29/2011 12:54PM

    I know you can do it! This sounds like a great plan for a healthy vacation. I bet you will return home healthier and leaner than ever! I may just have to borrow this 80/20 idea for my own upcoming vacation. Thanks for all the motivation! I hope you have an AWESOME time with your family.

emoticon emoticon

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REENSKI 6/29/2011 12:50PM

    Go Kathy! Go Kathy! Go Kathy!
You are so going to rock that skirt.

I love you weapon, and its true. Do you keep track of the 80%? I guess i"m going to have to start making sure I stay in there. My scale knows all. Thank you for the motivation!

Go Kathy! Go Kathy! Go Kathy!

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    WOOHOOO! YOu are amazing!!!!! BEAUTIFUL pictures! YOu've got this!!!!!!!!!!!

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SEWINGMAMACDS 6/29/2011 12:40PM

    emoticon and have a great time!

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TABIKATZZ 6/29/2011 12:38PM

    Great motivators!! I will be on vacation in a week and a half and my sister and I have already decided that we will spend time in the pool at the hotel exercising every day, and use the fitness room, and walk a ton during the day because of all the wonderful food we will be eating! You can do it!

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AMBER281 6/29/2011 12:34PM

    You can do it!! You have a wonderful plan and lots of determination!!
Have a great holiday!!! Can't wait to hear the stories when you get back.

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TREASURINGLIFE 6/29/2011 12:30PM

    YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!! Enjoy your vacation and I can't wait to hear how well you did when you get back! :)

- Michelle

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Inspirational Quote # 7

Saturday, June 25, 2011


"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

~ Philippians 4:13

I was born again in 2008. That is when my journey, and spark journey, truly began. I usually don't preach, or try not to, in my blogs but for this inspiration week it would be a lie if God didn't show up in there somewhere. I am a God Chick a Jesus Freak, a Born Again and I love that I am all of these things. I also respect those of my Spark friends who aren't, and who have other views. But for me, Jesus has been my savior (and is) and I have discovered that nothing is too big - or small - for Him, including my weight loss (which on the scale of the world is very tiny, I know).

I was overweight since the third grade. I was the person you didn't want to sit next to at the lunch table and always the person picked last for teams during P.E. class. I was the weirdo. Then in H.S. I decided I didn't want to be that person and took control in my own hands and starved myself. I got down to a very scary weight and looked sick. But people loved me! They discovered that I was funny, smart, kind...all of the things I always was, but they couldn't see beyond the layers of fat (walls I had also created out of my own power to protect myself).

In college I stopped the starving and started the partying. I gained back much of my weight. Then I met my husband and after we were married add about a hundred pounds to that weight gain. To sum it up in one word, I was SAD. I felt helpless.

I tried. I tried so many weight loss diets, plans and schemes. I've tried them all...some twice. Nothing, and I repeat Nothing worked. I felt destined for a life of fathood.

I found Spark in 2007 and diddled around, tracked some food then stopped...see I didn't have the strength of my own to follow through on any program.

In 2008 I gave my life over the Christ - a life that had been Godless for so long, and I was led to Him through other issues in my life, not my weight loss. To me, weight loss wasn't "important" enough to give over to God. I mean, really? Doesn't He have more important things to do?

But one day, I did. I just let it go and prayed that God help me to lose the weight so that I could be the mother He intended me to be, the wife I could be, the PERSON that I was truly meant to be, because I couldn't believe that this was it. I know many overweight people say they are happy and content, and they don't need to lose weight, they are healthy -- and that is fine for those people. But for ME. I was SAD. The pictures tell the story. I couldn't smile if you paid me.

So, I slowly started trusting God with my food. Sounds weird, I know. But I asked Him to show me when I was full, when I was hungry...and that started working. For me, it's nothing short of a miracle. Then I asked God for strength in other areas of my life...I began walking, then running. And to go from the girl who was never picked in gym class to the girl who is training for a 10K is just amazing to me. And I'm not gloating. I'm giving all of the glory to God because I know that He is my true strength. I couldn't do any of this on my own.

He is the reason I smile and have lightness inside of me now. He is the reason I can be patient on this journey that sometimes seems so long, because I know that through Him I will reach my goals. I know that God has much bigger plans in store for me than even I know.

And I'm good with that :)

Me before Christ


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITFUNKYMAMA1 6/29/2011 1:11PM

    This is so awesome!!!
It is so great that you discovered your dependence on God early on in your relationship with Him.Me? i've been a believer since high school and have just now come to the realization that I can't do this without His help :)
Great blog!!!

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FREES1 6/28/2011 1:07PM

    beautifully written - I commend you on your faith, which also is beautiful...

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 6/28/2011 1:24AM

    Amen!!!!! beautifully written sister in christ!

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KITHKINCAID 6/26/2011 6:02PM

    Even though I don't share your incredible faith in God - I know how important He is to you and this journey and I love and respect that you have found yourself and your beliefs through Him. You are a glowing example of how people can believe in whatever or whoever they want and yet still love and accept other people and their own beliefs (or lack thereof). So many congrats on getting to where you are now.

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    You are beautiful!

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KSGROTHE 6/25/2011 5:01PM

    emoticon quote and blog!

- Karen

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TEMPEST272002 6/25/2011 4:53PM

    So sad in the one photo & so vibrant and alive and shining in the 2nd. There is no denying the transformation inside & out. I'm glad you found your faith & your path.

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GOGOMAMA 6/25/2011 3:52PM

    Awesome blog!!! I love how you shine God's work in you! I thank God for his daily strength and for you!!!

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LOOZINITNOW 6/25/2011 10:40AM

    So inspirational and beautiful!!! emoticon

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JENJESS48 6/25/2011 10:23AM

    Your before and after pics pretty much sum it up, don't they? It's amazing how much impact a single thing can have on our lives. You're such an inspiration and good example, Kathy.

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THEADMIRAL 6/25/2011 8:29AM

    Beautiful! God is the Source for our contentment, victory over our demons, and our Peace through Jesus. We are his Temple and submit to Him to honor it and give testimony to His power. emoticon emoticon

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ROCKINMOM77 6/25/2011 8:27AM

    emoticon Loved todays blog!! emoticon

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Change of Plans

Friday, June 24, 2011

Make big plans, but change your plans as time changes.óMarchant

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
gang aft a-gley.--Robert Burns ("To a Mouse")
[Popularly misquoted as: The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, or The best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray.]

Last night I had a Plan. My husband and girls were going to have a Daddy play date with a neighbor Dad and his two girls. I was going to get out of the house and run. I wanted to get one more outside run in before my running group tomorrow morning. I planned to get 4 miles in, because I know the running coach will push us to get 5 miles in tomorrow outside. I wanted to get out there in the night air and just go with it and get Ďer done.

Had I known that plans would fall through and the Daddy play date wasnít going to happen I would have gotten my run in at lunch. As much as the dreadmill doesnít inspire me, I would have done it. BUT I didnít know.

So I get home, and instead of having the night to myself, I have two eager girls and a hungry husband. I am not the happy camper. I am, in a word, annoyed.

The bonus was that I would get to make the BBQ Chicken recipe I wanted to try out. The bad part was trying to actually cook with a soon to be 2 yr. old toddler grabbing my legs from behind and trying to wrestle me to the floor, and my 4 yr. old (soon to be 5 yr. old) asking me question after question about life. Not just simple questions, but questions about why lightning bugs donít have brains, and why glass can break.

I hustle to get my pizza in the oven and make mini pizzas for the girls on tortillas, knowing they probably wonít eat them anyway (favorite foods of late are mac& cheese and hot dogs and any attempt on my part to inject them with veggies are thwarted).

By this time itís already 6:30. A late dinner. Did I mention in the process of cooking dinner I stepped on a nail that was in a board that Marlo kicked off the kitchen cabinet earlier and I hadnít had a chance to pick up yet?

Once the foot is disinfected, bandaged and everyone is fed, I look at my running shoes in the corner with a nostalgic feeling. I wanted to be on the road. I wanted to run before it got too dark out and I got scared again by a neighbor welding in his driveway looking like something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I didnít want to be in the house, with my familyÖ.I feltÖterrible. Like an awful mother. But darn it, this wasnít my plan! I have a great plan tonight to spend quality girl time with both of them, but that was not Tonight. Tonight was my nightÖ.(do I sound selfish yet?)

So now I go from annoyed to irritated and I half-heartedly color with Lucy, thinking about running the whole time and wishing she would just fall asleep. I sing and read stories to Marlo, thinking of how I will feel after my run instead of how she is holding my hand and putting her head on my shoulder, wrapping her hair around her finger like she doesÖ.

I start to become aware that Iím not being present and as a working mom, these moments are precious. I give myself a silent guilt trip in my head about how I should pay more attention. Then I stop thinking about running and put my Momma hat on.

45 minutes later and I look at my watch. 8:30. Itís getting quite dark out. I know if I donít go now, I never will. I kiss Lucy and tell her I need to get running before itís too dark (she has taken a nap this day so gets a later bedtime of 9). She seems OK with it, and is focused on her coloring. I cuddle Marlo and sing her one last song, and then I hit the pavement.

And Iím off!

ButÖ.I see that the recent storms caused much damage and there are downed trees everywhere. I try to go my normal route but canít, itís a busy road and I donít run in the street on that road, and after hurdling two large trees on the sidewalk, I decide to take a different route. I turn the corner and there are more trees. And more. I turn left and now I smell something like fire mixed with something else, something plastic, and I see a downed electrical wire. Iím only a mile in. I realize that I need to turn around. I canít run in this, it was too dangerous and also frustrating to keep trying to find a clear route. Oh, and the YMCA is closed due to their power still being out, so the dreadmill or indoor track wasn't an option either.

As I turn around, I see something else besides the devastation caused by the storm Ė fireflies. Lucy has been talking about fireflies since Spring and they are only out for about two weeks. They are lighting up the now pitch dark sky. I know sheís still awake. I have time.

I get home and look at my Garmin. 2 miles. Not what I wanted to do, but it is what it is.

I get Lucy and her net, flashlight and mosquito repellent. We take a walk to an empty field and the fireflies are exploding like fireworks. It is amazing. I try to take a video w/ my camera phone but it is too dark to capture that beauty. But I know I will always remember it. After much trying, Lucy catches the very first firefly of her life. She holds the net close to her chest as we walk home, she desperately wants to keep it as a pet.

Once home we get the firefly into itís home (a dome Lucy catches spiders in that has holes for breathing). I tuck her in. I feelÖgood. As I go to bed that night I check in on her one last time. She has moved the firefly house from her bookshelf to the corner of her bed so that the firefly can sleep with her. How precious is that?

I went to bed and thanked God for the day He had given me, and for changed plans. I had the best night and realized I had fought through most of it, when maybe next time I should just accept that plans change and embrace it. I got that by the end of the night though, and I fell asleep satisfied and happy. And I have a memory I will keep in my heart forever.

(From the movie "Grave of the Fireflies")

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    awwwwww! i just cried! You are such a wonderful mommy! This is a fabulous quote for the day and oh so true about life right? things change...especially when you are a mom! And I am so proud of you for having such a beautiful evening! You are such a gorgeous spirit!

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UNICORN212 6/25/2011 12:04AM

    And a lifetime memory is created....

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TEMPEST272002 6/24/2011 7:44PM

    This is such a well-written blog. I remember when my son was small & I was a working mum. That pull between all the responsibilities you have... and the things you'd like to do... and then these little people wanting your attention. I'm glad you finally gave in to your change of plans. What a magical night with the fireflies!

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KITHKINCAID 6/24/2011 6:29PM

    Wow. So beautiful. Good on you mama for remembering to cherish those moments even when you need to get some "you time" in. I think you did a beautiful job balancing both.

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CELEBRATELIFE1 6/24/2011 2:55PM

    I love this story. Thanks for sharing.

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KSGROTHE 6/24/2011 2:51PM

    emoticon on getting in a short run and realizing that your day was lovely despite having to change your plans!
emoticon quotes!

- Karen

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ROCKINMOM77 6/24/2011 1:46PM

    What a Great Mommy emoticon

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BLUESKY_321 6/24/2011 1:07PM

    Kudos to you for having the grace to embrace the whims of life!

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/24/2011 12:50PM

    Those are the moments that make life such a wonderful journey!

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AMBER281 6/24/2011 12:03PM

    That is a great blog and a great story!!!
While your night was not as planned it sounds like a great memory!

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BRAVACHASER 6/24/2011 11:55AM

    This is wonderful! I got a bit choked up about the firefly thing. I'm sure it will be a wonderful childhood memory for your daughter as well! I love your blogs.

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SKFEREBEE 6/24/2011 11:55AM

    Sometimes just going with the flow is the best (and most rewarding) thing. You just have to sit still and listen to what the universe is trying to tell (and teach) you. emoticon

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JENJESS48 6/24/2011 11:54AM

    First of all, I love that you quoted the original Burns.

I also don't always deal well when plans go astray. It's frustrating. And it sounds like your night started off just awful. But you didn't just salvage it, it ended up being lovely. And you are right to celebrate that. emoticon

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Inspirational Quote #6

Friday, June 24, 2011

"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on so long in the first place."
~ Jared Leto

This quote is in my signature line at Spark because every time I see it, it reminds me to keep on keepin' on. So many times I've felt like giving up. When the scale doesn't budge, when it seems like there is no end to this journey, like I will never reach the top, never reach my goal. But then I remember why I am here and why I'm doing this:

emoticon For me
emoticon For my daughters
emoticon For a new start
emoticon So I never see that number 300 again
emoticon So that I don't become like my mother who can't play w/ her grandchildren
emoticon So that food doesn't rule my life anymore.
emoticon So I have choices and am not blocked in or defined by my weight
emoticon For sexy lingerie
emoticon For long kisses where I'm not worried about love handles
emoticon For higher self-esteem
emoticon For that feeling of climbing a mountain and knowing that nothing I try is impossible
emoticon I am worth it.
emoticon To prove that I can.
emoticon To show my daughters that anything in life is possible with God.
emoticon To fit into my favorite old jeans again.
emoticon Because I want to see what being under 200 lbs. feels like.
emoticon Because I love myself.
emoticon Because inspiring others feels better than depressing them.
emoticon Because smiling feels good on my face (and less wrinkles)
emoticon Because I am NOT a quitter.
emoticon Because I'm a FIGHTER.
emoticon Because I CAN.

"I am a fighter. I'm not just there to go along and get along."
~ Michele Bachmann

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 6/24/2011 1:52PM

    My favourite blog of the day! We've both come such a long way & it's hard to keep focused over that kind of time. This list is an awesome was of reminding yourself of why all the effort is worth it!

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SKFEREBEE 6/24/2011 11:58AM

    Awesome blog! Love the quote!

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AMBER281 6/24/2011 11:18AM

    That is a great reminder and great quotes.
Thanks for sharing!

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Inspirational Quote #5

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Even if the steering wheel fits, you don't have to keep gripping it."
ó Beth Moore

I don't know about you, but sometimes life gets, well easy, or boring, or hard and remains hard. Maybe you're stuck in a rut, stuck in a relationship, stuck in the mud. Maybe you are comfortable there in that place. Are you comfortable? Sometimes we just get used to life not being the way we expect it, and while it "fits", it isn't what is meant for us.

We are all capable of things that sometimes our brains can't wrap around. This quote reminds me to keep pushing it, to keep demanding more of myself, to keep evolving and to know that just because my life at times "fits", that isn't my calling.

When I was 300 lbs. and sitting on the couch watching a movie, drinking wine and chilling out, that steering wheel fit. But is that who I was meant to be? Is that the woman those here on Spark know me think of? NO. I am no longer that person. I traded in that steering wheel for a new set of wheels.

Expand your vision of who you are and who you can be. Challenge yourself. Break out of the mold. Reach up and say enough! You are all worth it, and none of us were meant to live lives on auto pilot.

Who knows? Maybe one day I'll trade in my new set of wheels for a cute little Moped.

After all, anything is possible.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUN2BEFREE 6/24/2011 9:41AM

    Great blog! You said it extremely well!

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KSGROTHE 6/24/2011 2:56AM

    emoticon blog!

- Karen

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 6/23/2011 11:31PM


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KITHKINCAID 6/23/2011 11:15PM

    YES! I can totally see you on a little moped :)

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LOOZINITNOW 6/23/2011 11:06PM

    Love it!!! emoticon

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CANNOTFATHOM 6/23/2011 3:52PM

    Great blog! You're right, one needs to keep seeking challenges :)


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REENSKI 6/23/2011 3:29PM

    I love it! I glad you found your new steering wheel, and I so see a moped in your future! thanks for letting me realise I need a new steering wheel too.

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SGTSUNNY 6/23/2011 1:48PM

    Wonderful blog! Those ruts will suck you right in, good reminder!

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SEWINGMAMACDS 6/23/2011 1:25PM


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GLAMOURGIRL-9 6/23/2011 12:52PM

    Excellent! I love reading these every day! Make my mind go crazy in a good way! emoticon

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-ICANDOIT- 6/23/2011 11:59AM

    Great blog!

As for your car....I see you in a bright, shiny yellow Bug with a cute flower in the vase next to the steering wheel- you are so positive and chheerful!

I need to let go of my wheel- I've been driving the pity party bus for far too long!

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TEMPEST272002 6/23/2011 11:39AM

    I just love reading your blogs, you always write something that speaks to me. The quote is a great reminder that all it takes is a little left turn & we're on a different road completely.

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    What a fabulous blog! Thank you!!!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/23/2011 11:05AM


or a sleek race car!


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TREASURINGLIFE 6/23/2011 10:12AM

    :) Great blog!

Here's to fixin' our hands on a new steering wheel - one that better fits who we truly are!

- Michelle

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SHUTTERBUGG 6/23/2011 10:09AM

    Great post! I agree. I have caught myself getting into a rut just because it takes too much effort to change. I am slowly realizing that anything really is possible if I just get up an DO it.


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