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Pictures on the Shelf

Friday, April 13, 2012

I was talking with a friend over the weekend who has also lost a lot of weight. She said that when she visited her in-laws house she went into the study and saw framed photos of her and her husband on the mantle. These frames held pictures of a woman she no longer knew. She said she was going to go in when they were out of town and take all the pictures out and replace them with new photos. She wondered how she had let herself “go” and get so big. I've wondered that too, it's like when it's happening you don't *see* yourself clearly.

I get it. I do understand that feeling of wanting to destroy pictures. And what she said got me thinking, and prompted me to look at my own shelf.

I saw a larger me, yes. But I also saw a life that was being lived DESPITE those extra layers of fat that surrounded me. Despite the pain that I was in. I think it takes a certain spirit to not only live through this, but to go out, set goals and accomplish them despite the “largeness” and the world being as critical as it is and un-accepting of that.

Here's what I found on my shelf:

This first photo is me when I was maybe in 5th grade, giving my sister Kara a piggy back ride. Holding her felt important to me.

A picture of me with my best friend Cheri, who has accepted me at every size - we've been friends for 25 years now, she always knows how to make me laugh.

A picture from my wedding day. Even though I had to get my dress made by a dressmaker as the style I wanted wasn’t in my size, I was beautiful and happy.

A picture of me in England. I went with a group of 11 strangers. This was out of my comfort zone. I got a scholarship to attend, and I knew that this trip would change me and it did. This was where I discovered my faith that I thought was long gone.

Me graduating with my Bachelor of Arts degree from DePaul University. I earned that degree working full-time and going to school full-time. I left my home when I was younger and only 18 yrs. Old. I had to work hard for everything I’ve gotten and this was no different.

My new role as a mother. Looking into her eyes was endless and holding her I felt I was holding the world.

My sister Missy’s wedding day (I’m on the far right). I was so happy for her and her new life ahead.

My nephew Tony’s first birthday party. Playing with the kids makes me feel like a kid again.

These pictures show a story. It isn’t a sad story, but a story of a life lived.

I think about my husband and what his experience with me has been, looking at myself through the picture frames has made me try to see myself through his eyes. Although I had always struggled with my weight, at the time I met him I was coming off of my anorexic phase and I was a size 8. Through our dating I grew, and when we got married I was a curvy size 16 and weighed over 200 lbs. He still loved me.

After we got married is when I really packed the pounds on. I went from a curvy 16 to a very unflattering size 26. All in a year’s time.

Why do I tell you this? Because I used to think that my husband was a saint for staying with me through this journey but looking back at my pictures on the shelf, I see a woman who despite the odds has soared. Had I not lost the 100+ lbs. that I have so far, would it make me a different person? Not in the ways that count. See, my husband stayed with me for who I am, for that spirit inside, that is who he fell in love with, not the outside wrapper. And my friend I told you earlier about is an amazing person too, and her weight, even when she was bigger, did not define her.

And so this blog isn’t about “Yaay me, I am so great.”. It’s just my observations of what I found on that shelf. But really, this blog is about YOU. How many times have you felt “less than” because of your size, or any restrictions it may give you? How many times have people maybe pointed at you, or laughed behind your back? And you know what? You are living despite that. You are making goals, working toward goals and becoming new people – not destroying that old part of you, but enhancing it and embellishing it. Letting that spirit SHOW . Because you are all great spirits as well. We all have the power inside of us to reach outside of our comfort zones, to sign up for that 5k, to train for that marathon, to go to a new country. Being on this journey helps us see ourselves through new eyes.

I would have never thought at the beginning of this journey that the very classes I was taking to start incorporating working out into my life that I would one day teach. But I am studying to be certified at the end of the month to teach Walk Live classes through Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home program.

This morning my 5 yr. old daughter looked at me as I’m practicing for the movement exam, and asked me why am I going to teach classes? She went on to say “You’re just a mom.”

That gave me a laugh, "JUST a mom" (is that all? LOL.) (It's funny how we are viewed by our children). But I told her that I want to help other people change their lives like I have. I've been given a huge second chance. And I'm not wasting one minute of it. I want to just ooze inspiration everywhere I go! And maybe this will plant a bit of inspiration in my two daughters to go for their dreams, too.

I just wanted to simply say that wherever you are, right NOW, it is enough. You are amazing, just as you are. Will you be even greater someday? I have no doubt about it. Whatever you wish for and dream for, it can happen.

We all have those old pictures on the shelf we'd rather never see again. But I ask you to perhaps embrace the person you are, once were, and who you will be.

And remember, just like Dorothy – you have had the power all along.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANNEMT 12/18/2012 3:19PM

    I was motivated to change by a photo of me--I was happy, surrounded by friends--but I was NOT happy when i looked at me in the photo. I looked HUGE to me--and that helped me change. You have written a great blog--we all find whatever will motivate us wherever! Hope all is still well with you!!

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SPSPSP1 9/15/2012 7:16PM

    Well said!

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__AMY__ 8/30/2012 2:08PM

  You haven't posted !!! I am curious on how you are doing so far.

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SNATFURN23 8/20/2012 7:54AM

  Lotus flower! Your blog never disappoints! It has been a while since I logged onto spark and you were the first place I visited and I am so glad that I did. You are getting such great insight which I believe is such a key to real change. Loving yourself and respecting yourself as a beautiful child of God. Your blog gave me goosebumps and I am smiling from ear to ear reaffirming this truth for myself. We are not lacking...our life does not start once we reach a certain size, certain weight, certain look. Our life is a gift to be treasure now!

Thanks for the great inspiration...just what I needed! Keep up the great writing!

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ESCHLETZ 7/31/2012 10:49PM

    I loved reading this! Thanks for sharing. Although it all struck a chord in my heart as I read it, I liked the part where you mentioned how gaining the weight just sneaks up on you. I've been thinking about that, and how my gain happened, a bit lately and realized that now my weight is sneaking back down too. ;o)

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SBNORMAL 7/28/2012 6:04PM


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SOLOMUA 6/26/2012 2:04AM

    Just inspirational - thank you!

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KELLYTHEFIT0710 6/14/2012 2:06PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiration with us...you are a beautiful, blessed woman and I love that you appreciate the journey as well as your accomplishments! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARKLADY25 6/11/2012 2:16AM

    Great blog! I really need to appreciate who I am and what I am, despite the weight, and your blog made me think twice about my life and my family.
Thank you!

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CLOSETOFORTY 6/7/2012 4:32PM

  Thank you for sharing those great thoughts and inspiration. I am the person behind the camera alot of the time because I never like any pictures of me. I have to get in front of the camera more and let my two sons know that their mom is living! I hope they can look back at pictures later in life and see me and them having fun... even if I am almost 300lbs, I am still their mom and I love them. They will be my motivation as I start my journey again... this time I know I can and I have the power inside me to do it! Thanks again this blog. oh and I have just started Leslie's Walk at Home Videos... I cried like a baby when I finished my first full mile without stopping. now on with the rest of the DVDs.

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JACKAAT 6/6/2012 7:05PM

  Many years ago I decided to be the person behind the camera instead of in front of it because I did not want to see myself in pictures. Your story has really inspired me to get out there in front of the camera and let everyone see that I am not avoiding life.
Thanks for sharing your story.
What a great way to see how far you have come.

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MISSLISA1973 6/4/2012 12:22PM

    What a great blog. emoticon

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MSVEEN 6/1/2012 10:37AM

  With tears in my eyes, I just want to thank you for blessing my soul and inspiring me today. This blog has just shifted my thinking. I am enough right now and working toward being even better.

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 5/26/2012 12:53PM

    You used a quote at the end that I often think about.."I had the power all long," just like Dorothy was told by Glinda the good witch. I wish I had realized it sooner. But I also realize those years I spent morbidly obese were not wasted, I had a great marriage, raised three wonderful sons and held a full-time job while holding down the home front. Now...I am pursuing other avenues...doing some substitute teaching after I had given up my dream to teach 35 long years ago when I couldn't find a teaching job after graduating from college. This might have been because of my weight, and I know my lack of ambition pursuing it as the years passed was due to my weight, how embarrassing would it be to stand in front of a classroom of young people, many of whom would be making rude comments about my appearance? I just didn't think I could endure that.

So even though we like to tell ourselves the weight didn't affect our lifestyles, it did and does. And I was lucky like you--I had a hubby who loved me through everything, because he always saw what was inside! And inside I like to think I have been a good person, empathetic and kind, hopeful and loving, always trying to do the right thing.

Great blog--I will come back and read this again...you give me inspiration!

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  I am struggling today. It was like I was supposed to read this. Thank you. I have been working very hard at being healthier and reaching a healthier weight. For my self and for my kids and husband. I am working hard but not seeing results on the scale. We are in full "beach trip" mode and I was beating myself up for not looking better in a bathing suit this year. But it will be better, because I AM healthier, I DO work out more and I am so much more than the numbers on the scale. This trip with my family will be an amazing blessing to enjoy. No time to waste with self doubt. Thanks for the reminder!

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STOPPLAYING2011 5/24/2012 11:21PM

    This Blog is wonderful it speaks to my inner beings thanks for sharing emoticon

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AWOOD1973 5/24/2012 12:15PM

    I've this blog... Even though I am JUST NOW reading it! LOL
What a wonderful reflection of yourself! Great blog!!! How truly inspiring you are!!

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7WORSHIPS 5/20/2012 3:42AM

  Awesome blog. Kudos to you!

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CLSYLADY 5/5/2012 7:25AM

    Thank you for sharing this blog. I totally needed it. I just got home from vacation and was looking at the picture seeing nothing but a beached whale. I told myself that I have to kick things into high gear, and I do and will but this blog helped me to see that I at least was out living life and having new and exciting experiences. THANK YOU for helping me see that part of my life!


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1STICKBLUES 5/4/2012 1:40PM

    Thank you for the share! Wonderful!

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CINDYHN 5/2/2012 11:23AM

    What a joy to read....thank you :) emoticon

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KNITTYKITTY01 5/1/2012 2:03PM

    Well said! It's so easy to say "when i get to my goal weight i'l......" even though theres no reason to wait until then. Very inspirational.

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JENNRUHE 4/30/2012 4:53PM

    Very well said. It definitely makes a person think. I painted my walls last year yes last year and didn't put pictures back up because I was not happy with how I looked. I think I am now ready to put them back up. Thank You

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FIT2BETHIN 4/25/2012 4:53AM

    Your blog spoke volumes to me...at a time I needed it the most. I need to read it again and again. Thanks for sharing your insightfulness.

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LINDA! 4/21/2012 11:42PM

    Wonderful blog!

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ZUZMAJKA 4/20/2012 12:06PM

    This is an excellent blog. I think way too often we try to put out lives on hold before we reach whatever weight. You sound like a lovely, fun person. Best of luck!

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THINNER321 4/20/2012 6:54AM

  Well done blog ...in every way! emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 4/19/2012 4:53PM

    Great blog. Congrats.

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JNPRGR8T 4/19/2012 12:49PM

  great blog!

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DENIMARC6 4/19/2012 10:29AM


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POSITIVE-FORCE 4/19/2012 10:18AM

    This was a wondeful blog! You have a way of getting to the heart of things! Love Ya!

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    I love this blog. I think it is so important to accept yourself at every point - thanks for expressing that so well. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IGSBETH 4/18/2012 8:40PM

    That is wonderful!

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SERENAJL 4/18/2012 3:50PM

    So inspiring. It made me cry.

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SEATOWN_GAL 4/18/2012 12:08PM

    Very moving, thank you for sharing.

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SUPERSYLPH 4/18/2012 10:45AM

    This was a great blog! What a more accurate way to look at pictures of us heavier. People always think of how they "could've" looked at certain events, and how it would've made the picture look better, but they're overlooking what's really important: experiences and memories.

Comment edited on: 4/18/2012 10:45:36 AM

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MISSYMOOSE71 4/18/2012 7:07AM


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SERASARA 4/17/2012 9:07PM


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DKTURNER3 4/17/2012 8:13PM

  I love your perspective! You are a very good writer. We are all made up of where we came from, the paths we took and the obstacles along the way. You are celebrating the journey and encouraging all the rest of us to do the same, instead of "waiting" until we are thinner and then living our life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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RETURNTOTHIN 4/17/2012 11:30AM

    You are a great writer, and have a great perspective. so glad to read this today. Amazing.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUST4ME71 4/17/2012 10:40AM

    Terrific blog! Thanks for sharing. What a neat perspective into the "big picture." It's so easy to discount our blessings because of one (or a few) flaws. If what we "see" is self-defeating, we have to remember that the power is within and take control. I am guilty of perceiving myself as a little less lovable/human when I don't see what I like smiling back at me. This blog helps me to remember the good times and what makes us tick. It also gives me a little kick to find the strength to know what was truly important and heart felt.

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WENDIGAYLE 4/17/2012 10:33AM

  Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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DANSMOMTPM2 4/17/2012 9:38AM

    What a wonderful uplifting blog. I think you are very thought provoking and so sincere. I love that you understand that life is worth living, and to love yourself for who you are. Your weight doesn't define you, the people in your life do. What a great husband you have, he obviously expresses his love for you and he too is sincere. As far as your daughter saying your just a mom - always remember - that is the most important role in the world. Don't ever be offended by that, I wish all these years I could have been just a mom, now my baby is graduating and I have missed out on so much. You are probably the Greatest mom, you have a great heart, I can tell that much from your writings. Thank you for a lovely blog to help lift my spirit today.

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ANDYLIN90 4/16/2012 9:38PM

    A great blog...good for you and aren't you glad you have those pictures that celebrate your life regardless of what your weight was?

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MSCRISPIN 4/16/2012 5:12PM

    Thanks for ur story, happen to me few weeks ago and I asked my husband why u let me look like that. I have lost 65 pounds and feel great. Thanks to SP and the encouragement of people like u. emoticon emoticon

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BMCKEOW1 4/16/2012 4:43PM

    Wow that was awesome and brought a tear to my eyes. Thank you for sharing and your right, just because I'm changing me doesn't mean who I was, wasn't awesome. Thanks for reminding me.

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EUNIQ3 4/16/2012 4:19PM

    That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing!!

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ATROTTIER 4/16/2012 3:01PM

    I love this!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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RAMONAFLOWERZ 4/16/2012 1:49PM

    This was a FANTASTIC blog. THANK YOU. It was good to read right now.


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MARGARITTM 4/16/2012 12:43PM

    Nice blog and great pics thanks

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The Not Really a Progress Report, Report - March 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

I wasn't going to blog about March, because, as I said in my status update, "March was a wash." Well, actually...not really.

I did some great things in March. And the fact that instead of losing 5.5 lbs., which was my goal, I gained 1 lb. Well. So what? I'm really sick of my negative attitude about this plateau/rollercoaster/ride that I am on. I am going to celebrate my accomplishments anyway.

I rocked March. I actually actually lost 4.5 lbs. in March -- I just gained those before losing them. I was at 199 at one point in March. I'm 194.5 now. That's why looking at the number at the beginning of the month and the end is sometimes not accurate.

And if the scale doesn't reflect my awesomeness in March further, well, it will. Hopefully in April, but if not, I'm going to keep on doing what I am doing. For me I do have to be perfect or I gain weight. I can point out the 5 days that I went over calories in March and I wouldn't take away any of them. A 13 year wedding anniversary for me and my husband. A bridal shower. A birthday celebration. A wedding anniversary celebration for my parents of 43 years. And a vacation day off of work with my kids where we laid around and watched movies most of the day and ate popcorn because it was raining outside. No, I wouldn't take any of those away.

And the fact that 95% of the time I am doing what I "should" be, I know that the scale will eventually move downward. I'm too close to goal to give up or even think such ridiculous thoughts.

I'm going to just keep putting one foot in front of the others, and step out in faith and know that eventually I will be rewarded.


Start weight: 193.5
Goal weight: 188
End weight: 194.5
Weight lost: (Goal 5.5 lbs.) - Gained1 lb.
Total weight lost this year: 8.5 lbs.
Goal weight progress: 16.5 more lbs. to go to reach goal weight!
Total weight lost: 103.5


emoticonI reached 1,338 fitness minutes in March. My goal was 1,000.

emoticonI ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8k in 56:16. My goal was to beat last year's time by a minute. I beat it by over 5.

emoticonI was finally able to do a reverse plank – before I couldn't lift my butt off the ground.



Weight goal: To lose 5 lbs. this month.


To start training for a longer distance.

To incorporate yoga back into my routine.

GOAL: Burn 2200 cals. per week:

Monday Walk (150)
Tuesday Run (525)
Wednesday Walk & kickboxing (200)
Thursday Run (525)
Friday Long walk & kickboxing (300)
Saturday Long Run (630 - 700)
Sunday walking and yoga: (125)

Total: 2455 - 2625


1400 - 1750 calories
10 glasses of water per day.
Only 2 cups of coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
NO dairy – going cold turkey. (working on this!)
Get all of my freggies in.
Popcorn – break out the air popper and make it truly healthy. Then I can have 2 bowls.
Wine – only 1 – 2 glasses on special occasions. No more casual drinking.
Track all of my food into the fitness tracker and check my stats nightly to see where I need to tweak anything.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AKIMA06 4/14/2012 5:42PM

  I admire the way you post your goals. I need to do that but I am afraid. Maybe I will get enough courage to do that.

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NAMMYOFTHREE 4/14/2012 9:50AM


PS You are not a number...the scale doesn't know or care what an awesome woman you are! Look in the mirror and see how far you've come. Amazing!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SARASMILING 4/12/2012 8:35PM

    I cut out dairy too. I also have been really wanting to get yoga back into my life. It's so hard for me to pull it together and do at home but we just can't swing classes right now. I REALLY need to suck it up though and just do it. I miss it too much not to. I hear it calling my name. lol!
We can do this!! One day at a time. :)
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BMCKEOW1 4/9/2012 2:02PM

    Looks like March was a good month. Don't regret any of those five times though. Sounds like they were more then worth it.

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GETNHEALTHY45 4/7/2012 9:46AM

    I love your attitude. Yes! Do celebrate the successes. The scale is not the end-all be-all I always thought it was, though I do weigh myself every day to know how what I ate the day before effected me. You're doing fabulous! Keep up the good work!

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SHAR8676 4/6/2012 2:23PM

    I love how you chose to focus on what you HAVE done. I do that too. It is what keeps me moving forward. It is what keeps me positive. The scale is not moving as I would like it to. I am looking into figuring out what I need to be doing better to get the weight off. I love how you show what you have done, and I think you have a lot of success to celebrate so many things and have such a small gain. That alone is success!!!! Your picking back up and continuing on your journey...again another success!!!!

So glad you shared this, very motivational... emoticon

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AMBER281 4/3/2012 12:32PM

    Keep moving forward!
Good luck with your April goals!

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NEELIXNKES 4/3/2012 10:59AM

    emoticon Keep pushing forward! emoticon

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SEWINGMAMACDS 4/3/2012 10:28AM

    Sometimes we just have to look at those NSV's! emoticon

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JENJESS48 4/3/2012 8:48AM

    You did really well in March, no matter what that stupid scale says. Life isn't about perfection and you chose the days to go over wisely. I'm glad you enjoyed them and let go of the guilt!

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NEWGAL78 4/2/2012 10:49PM

    You are still doing emoticon!!! We still have to enjoy life and learn to live healthy. It's a struggle sometimes but it's possible. Some days I just want to throw my scale out of the window. So I can definitely relate with the temptations and setbacks. Hang in there because April is a new month and a new start.


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BEAUTY_WITHIN 4/2/2012 10:09PM

    Looks like you did pretty good in March! Keep it up!

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NADINEL 4/2/2012 8:44PM

    You are right! You did rock March! Living your life is the most important of all!

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KISHYMARIE 4/2/2012 8:16PM

    I love what KITHKINCAID said. You are rocking it! And so what if you gained a pound, you've got the right attitude. And your attitude is what WILL make it happen. Keep up the good work!

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    I'm always proud of you! You are doing great sweetie. Love you!

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CERULEANSIN516 4/2/2012 5:48PM

    It sounds like you had an awesome month! I like your goals for April, good luck.

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CAMAEL100 4/2/2012 5:18PM

    What a great month you've had. Congrats on your major loss to date - don't let anything let you forget what you have achieved - total inspiration

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VICKI-B--56 4/2/2012 4:53PM

  You did great in March!!!! And I'm sure you'll do even better in April. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHIERAE 4/2/2012 4:38PM

    Oh I am so glad you came back to look at what you are doing/have done well! That is so important for continued motivation... and in sharing you motivate all of us too, and I for one appreciate that so very very much!!! emoticon emoticon

Stupid scales... emoticonkeep rockin'--you'll triumph over the scale in the long run!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/2/2012 4:37PM

    You did rock March--the scale does not always tell the real story, as you know all too well. You got this!

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SMILINGTREE 4/2/2012 4:28PM

    I know what you mean about days that you wouldn't take away but that seem to hinder fitness progress. I've missed work outs because a friend visited unexpectedly, or over-eaten at a birthday celebration, and you are right, those things are super important. Maybe it is just important to have those days as it is to be continually evaluating our health and fitness level.

You DID rock March :) Being able to perform an exercise you couldn't do before is awesome...and 1338 fitness minutes? Holy moly! That's amazing.

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LIVIN2LOVE1 4/2/2012 4:22PM

    I think you had an amazing March too. Even if the scale doesn't confirm it for you.

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IGSBETH 4/2/2012 4:21PM

    That's more like it! Rock what you got, LOL.

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KITHKINCAID 4/2/2012 4:13PM

    The fact that you keep coming back to the ring with your gloves up is a true testament to how hard you rocked March. I will ALWAYS be proud of your determination and your grace at doing all of this with more challenges than I have in my life (kids, husband, extended family). Wow. You're amazing.

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KASPARFAN 4/2/2012 4:09PM

    That's a pretty good Non-Progress Report! :) Minus the 1lb weight gain, look at what you've accomplished physically! That 1lb, and more, will eventually follow suit with your exercise/physical feats! Keep up the good work!

ps--your "total weight lost" is AMAZING! :)

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Shamrock Shuffle 8k Race Report

Friday, March 30, 2012

This is my favorite race. Over 34,000 runners participated in the 33rd annual Shamrock Shuffle, the traditional kick-off to the running season in Chicago.

This race and I have a long history together. My family has been participating in this race for the last several years. They used to offer a walking option for a 5k distance, but they don't anymore.

2007 - I walked it with my husband, daughter, dad, and two sisters. Jim had Lucy in tow (look how small she is!) (I am the second from the right)

2 years ago I caught the running bug while walking the Shuffle with my dad and feeling the urge to run. That same year I crossed the finish line with my dad, dead last.

2010 - Me, my dad and my sister Kris

Last year was my year for redemption. I ran the entire thing. That was my goal. My goal this year was to simply beat last year's time by one minute.

I not only beat my last year's time by one minute, I beat it by over FIVE minutes.

1:01:48 (2011)

56:16 (2012)

I was ecstatic!

And what's even better to me than time is the way I felt - both before, during and after the race.

Last year I was scared. I ran it alone and standing waiting to run in a crowd of 40,000 can be intimidating. During the race last year I was dying and afterward I was so tired that in every picture my smile is the same (strained).

This year I had FUN. I wasn't nervous at all and I actually wore a cute running skirt and compression socks. As I was running through the streets of Chicago I was loving it. Afterward I felt energized, and I felt like I could have run MORE. (Half marathon, do you hear me calling your name?)

My husband and daughters came to cheer me on - they saw me at Mile 2 and then caught up with me at Mile 4 and my husband actually ran along the sidewalk for a bit as I was running, it was so cool! A traveling cheering section!

My favorite signs I saw along the way?


"Don't poop."

"I thought this was a pub crawl." - t-shirt

I didn't bring my camera, so these pictures from the local paper will have to do.

But I did purchase my finisher photo as I knew I would have no pictures of my own.

The start of the race, courtesy Chicago Tribune.

Under the first bridge! Photo Chicago Tribune.

Running through the streets. Chicago Tribune.

Plenty of bananas afterward. Chicago Tribune.

Proof of me crossing the finish line (MarathonFoto)

New PR!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORAB52GOOD 4/8/2012 12:59PM

    It is a great race! I have only done it once but it was awesome. I love your transformation through pictures. And what a great time!!!

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NEELIXNKES 4/2/2012 8:16AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLISE 4/1/2012 5:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMBER281 4/1/2012 4:56PM

    Great job and it looks like you had a fun time!

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IGSBETH 3/31/2012 1:08PM


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ZURDTA- 3/31/2012 5:49AM

    Yay - way to go! Fantastic progress xx

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OVERHAULING-ME 3/30/2012 11:33PM

    emoticon Amazing results! It's great to see how you've improved over the years!

Loved the outfit!

That is A LOT of people running!


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BIRDLSLAURIE 3/30/2012 9:30PM

    congratulations! That is awesome.

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KAKLUCK 3/30/2012 8:45PM

    Awesome!!!! Just think how great you'll do next year!

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WINNIE1978 3/30/2012 7:53PM

    Love the progress you've made with this race. I can see why it's your favorite. emoticon

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SLIMLEAF 3/30/2012 5:59PM

    Excellent! Congratulations!

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    emoticon. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 3/30/2012 2:00PM

    Awesome job! You look great in your running outfit. Those races that we go back and do over and over again as a different experience each time are really special. Way to go on blowing your time out of the water!

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 3/30/2012 1:50PM


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SMILINGTREE 3/30/2012 1:18PM

    Thanks so much for writing this post. I am registered for an 8K in late May and feel pretty nervous about it. The farthest I've ever been able to run without walking (always my goal in a race - to finish without walking) is 4 miles, plus, this race is "mostly uphill" according to the organizers, and is put on by a very competitive local track club! eeeekkkk! But you look so happy, and this post is so upbeat, I feel inspired and a little less terrified.


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BMCKEOW1 3/30/2012 1:14PM

    Looks like you had fun and that's what's important. Congrats on not only beating your time but for also beating your goal. That's impressive.

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KITHKINCAID 3/30/2012 1:06PM

    Ahhh! I'm so proud of you! And you BETTER get on board for that half marathon girl - I'm totally running one with you next year. I'm totally digging your cute outfit :) But what the heck that the shirts were RED this year??? Makes no sense to me at all. Good for you for rockin the green!

WELL DONE! Mojo apparently worked his little gnome magic. Hehehe.

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TORIAMAE 3/30/2012 12:56PM

    Contratulations on a great race!

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SCOTTPILGRIM 3/30/2012 12:13PM

    Way to go! Nice job putting together pictures from the course.

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SIMPLY-EVA 3/30/2012 11:59AM

  That is so fantastic! I love seeing how much progress you have made in just a few years! Congrats to you and how you are doing awesome things!



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    Do you have ANY idea how proud of you I am? You have come so far! You are my inspiration and I love you so much!!!!!!!!!! Keep on shuffling beautiful!

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/30/2012 11:38AM

    Nicely done! The smile says it all; you definitely need to consider a half marathon. It's so fun to do the same race each year and reflect on how far you've come, isn't it? You rocked it!

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LIVIN2LOVE1 3/30/2012 11:34AM

    That is so awesome! You are glowing in your finish pic. I'm running my first 5K in September. I haven't yet started training and I'm nervous as heck. Your blog eased my tension. Thanks for blogging about it!

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MAGGIE805 3/30/2012 11:00AM

    Congratulations!!! That race looked like a lot of fun. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENJESS48 3/30/2012 10:59AM

    You're such an inspiration, Kathy! Way to go!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Getting off of this Rollercoaster

Monday, March 19, 2012

I am not happy. For a person who is usually cheerful, I am downright depressed right now.

It isn't fair. It just isn't fair that when I have a bad week I regain weeks worth of work.

I am sick of having to be perfect all the time.

I just want off of this ride.

A few weeks ago I was down to my lowest weight in the past 10 yrs., 193.5. I vowed I wouldn't go back up above 195. At my Saturday weigh-in I was 198.5. Today, because I have a sick sense of humor, I got on the scale again and I was 199.5. To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

Last week a lot of things happened to get me to where I am today. I can whine all I want, say it's not fair, etc., but looking at the facts they look something like this:

emoticonI wasn't feeling well last week. Low energy, head cold. This beautiful Chicago weather does have a down side.

emoticonI only worked out one day last week.

emoticonI got my period.

emoticonI had three family events, where despite my best efforts to make good choices, I still over indulged, bringing my total calorie count up to over 2,000 for the day, and in some cases 2,500.

emoticonI decided that the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds my husband brought home from the store were "healthy" and took a handful, or two, or three, out regularly.

emoticonI incorporated dairy into my diet again.

emoticonI indulged in wine and margaritas.

emoticonI ate too much popcorn.

emoticonI was lazy.

Are these excuses? No. Just the simple reality of it. So when I find I want to whine "It's not fair", I had an especially bad week overall, it wasn't just one small thing, my body could have handled that. It was a series of unfortunate events that brought on my weight gain. 3 lbs. this week, 2 lbs. last week and that extra pound or two from too much salt.

But you know what?

I am tired.

Darn tired.

Here's what a typical roller coaster looks like:

And here's what my weight loss graph looks like:

A little too similar lately if you ask me. Up, down, up, down. And I'm just DONE with it all.

I'm changing this ride NOW.


emoticonBecause I no longer like the mood swings associated with the up and down of the scale, and of my diet.

emoticonBecause I am not afraid of being under 190.

emoticonBecause I wanted to be at goal weight by May 19th for my sister's wedding.

emoticonBecause I have more important things to accomplish in life rather than tackling the beast of a scale.

emoticonBecause I want to get on with my life.

emoticonBecause I have an 8k to train for coming up in less than a week!

emoticonBecause, in the words of Stewart Smally from SNL, I am good enough....I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me :)

So, what am I gonna do about it now that my whining and crying is over with?

emoticonI'm going to start by going out at lunch and buying myself some new running kicks. It's time, and my knees are starting to feel it.

emoticonI'm going to run tonight.

emoticonTomorrow I am going to walk.

emoticonThen I'm going to box.

emoticonThen I'm going to run again.

emoticonThen I will walk (again).

emoticonThen I will lift some heavy weights.

emoticonThen I will rest.

emoticonThen I will run my 8k.

And I will repeat the following week, perhaps not in that order, but a few things are certain:

emoticonI will run 3x per week.

emoticonI will box 1x per week.

emoticonI will walk 6 days a week.

emoticonI will rest one.

And I will eat 90% clean, whole foods. I will stop eating the junk hubby brings home - last night it was chocolate peanut clusters - Why you ask?? Because they were "cheap and on sale". I'm sorry, but I'm worth more than $1.99 of chocolate covered peanuts.

And until that scale budges, NO popcorn, NO wine, NO margaritas.

Enough is enough.

I'm aiming for a 4 lb. loss this week. If I could put on 3 this week, I can sure try to take it off, and then some.

And the thing about roller coasters?


They always,

eventually, have to come



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLIMBERS_ROCK 7/14/2013 2:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 1/22/2013 3:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROZZALYN 6/20/2012 10:50AM

    Awesome!!!!! You were MY voice! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMSROC 5/23/2012 5:04PM

  sometimes just a cough drop can sabotage a month of self control.

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    Not to be a Pollyanna or anything, but your weight loss graph hasa decided downhill slant! Congrats on what you have lost so far. My graph seems to be trying to het to heaven. emoticon

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WUAKOS 4/2/2012 8:54AM

  Great attitude... And it seems that your husband with out doing it on purpose is sabotaging your hard work by bringing all that home. But unfortunately the world is full of bad unhealthy deliciously tasting food and we have to learn to resisted mos times and know when to indulge and that's not every day.
Keep the good attitude you can conquer anything.

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BLONDEMUSE1970 3/29/2012 12:27PM


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KITTYKRS 3/26/2012 7:40PM

  I can so relate with you!! You are so right...It ISN'T fair. emoticon

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CHERRY666 3/26/2012 11:30AM

    "I'm sorry, but I'm worth more than $1.99 of chocolate covered peanuts. "

I really liked this blog -- I can relate all too well -- but I especially liked what you wrote here. We're ALL worth more than a two-buck package of cheap chocolate.

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TOFUCUTIEPIE 3/26/2012 10:50AM

    Great blog! I could've written that myself.

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LADYGSC 3/25/2012 11:23PM


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DIBANANA 3/24/2012 11:44PM

  I am sorry but I smiled reading your blog. I've so been there. I get whiplash sometimes! You have pulled yourself up and you are ready to go again.

The one time I can remember doing well was when I forgave myself and got back on track asap. Do it and you'll be fine.

Life gets in the way sometimes. Now take it back

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AMBERLEIGHM1 3/24/2012 9:54PM

    I'm glad you are focused on where you want to be and realize you are worth it. I've struggled lately with being at my lowest weight since the 90s so I can empathize with you. I will pray you are successful and that you feel beautiful at your sister's wedding.

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BSEANACAIN 3/24/2012 1:08AM


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ARTJAC 3/23/2012 9:33PM


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PANIK257 3/23/2012 8:34PM

    This is all normal! You are doing great. Don`t focus on the small blips. Focus on the bigger picture.

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AUNTIEA1959 3/23/2012 5:07PM


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SUPERSYLPH 3/23/2012 1:08PM

    Actually your graph doesn't look like a roller coaster ride at all! Overall, you've lost a good amount of weight! Sure, there are small bumps, but if you look at the bigger picture, there's a huge decline line! Way to go! Don't beat yourself up! You're doing great!

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BEMOORE68 3/23/2012 12:55PM

  Way to set your mind! When you are fed up with the way things are or have been, it feels good to get that righteous indignation. Stay strong and focused!

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IGSBETH 3/23/2012 12:36PM

    You can do it!

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RDGISME 3/23/2012 10:42AM

    I'm on that ride with you! I just keep thinkng that stopping this ride I want to get off sounds great! Thank you for reminding me that I can change up my usual behavior: you are doing very well! emoticon

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CPATRICK9 3/22/2012 8:44PM

    I'm sure you can get back on track toward your goal. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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MARTINT011 3/22/2012 8:44PM

  thanks for the excellent, example of a roller coaster!

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PEANUT883 3/22/2012 8:37PM

  I like that- you are worth more than $1.99 chocolates. You're darn-tootin' you are!

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MARTHAWILL 3/22/2012 8:16PM

    Good for you for taking ownership of the reasons the numbers on the scale were not in your favour. Like many of us, I've been on a roller coaster ride, currently heading downwards again but have always acknowledged and admitted the reasons the ride started going up again. Admitting it and facing it head on (especially-gulp-publicly) is the best way to prevent the spiralling back to where we started from. Good for you. You go!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLUDERCATS 3/22/2012 7:58PM

    I believe in you...you will take off the weight that you put on plus some!


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MAPLECANDY3 3/22/2012 6:48PM


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GAUNTTRUE1 3/22/2012 6:31PM

  Most journeys are long and hard. WE will have our ups and downs. THat is what life is all about. I enjoyed reading your blog. Stay focus on your goal, keep striving, it is within your reach.


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JIBBIE49 3/22/2012 4:34PM

    emoticonGreat to see you featured in the Spark Mail with THE BLOG. What an honor. emoticon

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MYRAL85 3/22/2012 3:28PM


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SANDYLH1 3/22/2012 2:12PM


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OWENZZOO 3/22/2012 12:47PM

    That is a fantastic blog. Thank you for sharing.

I hope your week is going great!

Anna. emoticon

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BMCKEOW1 3/22/2012 12:00PM

    You can do this. Don't let one week beat you. You are better then that, just like your better then the $1.99 peanut clusters. You have been working so hard and keep up the good work. You had a couple stumbles now get back up and get back on track cause your worth it.

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FLPALM 3/22/2012 11:18AM

    Very good outlook! WTG!

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FLCUPCAKE 3/22/2012 11:17AM

  You have inspired me to get off of my rollercoaster as well!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 3/22/2012 11:00AM

    You go girl. I like your spirit. I am looking forward to a follow up of this blog to read about the progress. emoticon

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SCDALYNCH 3/22/2012 10:56AM

    Thanks for your story. How much that is like my life. You have done well even with the spikes in the graph. Sometimes we have to look at the beginning and end result. No path is easy or fast.

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GIBBY551 3/22/2012 10:40AM

  Your story could be my story. It is so easy to concentrate on the short term. But, when I look at your graph you have done very well! Be proud of what you have accomplished and keep going! YOU CAN DO THIS! emoticon

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DEBBIE-WEBBIE 3/22/2012 10:39AM

    aaaaaaa like the post.

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JOYFULJUDYLYNN 3/22/2012 10:32AM


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BLAUTO63 3/22/2012 10:25AM

  I love your can do attitude and the fact you own your mistakes. Well said and you can do this...I too continue that rollercoaster ride and am sick of it and know only (I)can change it but always much easier said then done.

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 3/22/2012 10:22AM

    You GO girl! I'm so glad my hubby is not a shopper, he never brings home goodies, Thank God. I would have a devil of a time resisting chocolate peanut clusters. God, I remember their sweet chocolate saltiness like it was yesterday.

It's frustrating when we sabotage ourselves and ruin weeks of good hard work. WIth that goal of your sister's wedding in May, I know you will get back on track and be at your goal weight by then, because doggone it, WE DO LIKE YOU!

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VOLLEYGIRL77 3/22/2012 10:05AM

    You can do it! You have the knowledge and the power to regain strength!

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STARLIGHT615 3/22/2012 9:51AM

    Yes you can totaly do it!! No matter if u have a bad day or bad week just get back on the wagon and push!! XOOX

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CHANGINGSAM 3/22/2012 9:12AM


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-ICANDOIT- 3/22/2012 8:39AM

    I love your sttitude! The power is in you...and I know you know how to turn it on!!!

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SOCIALWALKER 3/22/2012 8:34AM

  You are worth the effort it takes! Keep up the good work...your graph might have spikes in it, but overall you've come a long way. And remember, you are so much more than a number on a scale- the scale has NO power to define who you are. emoticon

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SUPERMOUSE35 3/22/2012 8:09AM


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TOASTIE 3/22/2012 8:04AM

    When I look at your weight loss graph, I see how very very far you have come! And now you have reminded yourself of good goals for the future! You can do this!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Cleaning House

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I’m talking about cleaning out the clutter in our lives, and I don’t mean paperwork, or house chores or cleaning. Well, maybe I do.

I’ve had day long meetings all week that I am the organizer for – the behind the scenes lady. I have to make sure the people have coffee, breakfast, snacks, lunch, water, more water, and refresh it all.

This morning one of the guys tried making coffee himself before I got in and he made a mess of it. The coffee overflowed into the drawer beneath it, into the cabinet below that, underneath the water cooler, under the coffeemaker, under the microwave, in all the cracks and crevices it could find.

As I was cleaning up the mess he stopped in to say he was sorry again, I told him no problem, it had happened before and he wasn’t the first. He said “I tried to clean up the best I could, this may actually be a good thing, there was tons of junk in the drawer and food particles, etc., that hadn’t been cleaned.”

I agreed.

And then it hit me.

That mess, that junk, while annoying and took time out of my day to clean, was ESSENTIAL. Without the mess I wouldn't have had to clean up. Without having to clean up I wouldn't be looking under every little thing to be sure the coffee wouldn't stain the drawer or counter. The mess made me lift up things I wouldn't have before. Made me take a closer look and examine.

When bad things happen to us, and we need to clean up our messes, that is shaping us.

Everything shapes us.

When we have to clean up a mess we discover all the things that need changing. That dust in the corner, the old socks under the bed. Metaphorically there are things inside us that need to change too.

I recently got into a fight with a family member and it was a bad one. I usually avoid conflict like the plague, but this time I tried to do something different – I called her out on something and I acted in anger. I was hoping to prevent the emotions building inside of me and becoming a bigger mess, but I can tell you that this new method didn’t work either. It didn't produce a good reaction, or resolution. (Next time, calm down first, and then address the situation). We got into a big fight and before I knew it I was yelling. Very unlike me. But it made me realize that I don’t handle conflict well and that that needs to CHANGE. Yes, I have every right to speak up, but not the way I did. Next time I need to handle conflict in my life I know I will do a better job. Life is all a dress rehearsal, didn't Shakespeare say that? The world is the stage. I am practicing with every action I make.

Same with this weight loss journey. If we go to a dinner party, or out to lunch and make bad choices, well those choices shape us too. When we see the outcome reflected on the scale, we CHANGE.

We all have frenemies. I’ve encountered some that make me feel bad that I am not up to their level of fitness, or always try to show me how great they are. And I’m happy for these people. But I will not let their comments meant to lift them up and me down shadow anything I am doing. Like the dust mites in the corner, some of these people I am going to have in my life less (or ignore them). I don’t need the comments/jabs meant to make someone else feel better, and for me to feel less. I am not a person who compares me to anyone. So when a friend compares her journey to mine, or another how far she can run vs. me, or perhaps someone saying how much faster they are. All of that just doesn’t matter. Plain and simple. We are each on our own journeys and we can lift each other up and be cheerleaders for each other, or we can try to bring someone down in order to lift ourselves higher. I choose to be a cheerleader. I always did want to wear that cute skirt and pigtails.

We all have drama. We have those friends, family members or kids who just loooove the drama. I have a sign in my daughter’s room that says “Save the Drama for your Mama”. I thought it was funny when I purchased it as she was growing inside of me. Now as she is living into that I question…hmmm.why did I buy this? And why SHOULD drama be saved for the mama? I know why. Because mamas are STRONG and they GROW as a result of the drama. We get more patient and learn to handle more of it.

We all could use more money. I don’t know anyone who is 100% comfortable with their financial situation and can just do whatever they please. Even the ones who have it all, all the money they need, they want more. We all strive for MORE. We want it all, don’t we? I challenge you to be comfortable where you are at, with what you have. (Note: Take my own advice). I think a natural result will be that we lead simpler lives. And there’s not that stress of where is the money coming from.

Patsy Clairmont, from Women of Faith, recently said something similar to this concept. Instead of calling it “De-Cluttering”, or “Cleaning”, she simply calls it Pruning.

Patsy tells a story about how several years ago; her husband bought one of those huge riding lawn mowers. He was so excited about his new “toy”. When he got ready to mow the lawn, he was so excited that he shifted into high gear and ended up going through her beloved flower garden.

Her garden being ruined wasn’t what her husband intended, obviously, not the best case scenario. After her husband lifted the mower off the flowers she describes what the aftermath looked like: “my hydrangea bush looked like a handful of pickup sticks, my roses were potpourri, and my butterfly bush was not fit for a gnat.”

She went on to say that despite the damage done to her garden that the following year those same bushes came back “with gusto”. They had gorgeous blossoms. And the following year they were even better. Then she says that: “It’s really a reminder that what others do accidentally or spitefully can be used to cause us to flourish. “

While none of us want the conflict, the strife, this hard job of losing weight, family issues, financial troubles, all of these things SHAPE us. They help us to become better people. Become who we are. Discover our purpose.

As Patsy says, we were BORN to GROW. And for those fellow Christians, as we grow we become more like Christ in His own image, he is inside of us all.

And each obstacle that comes our way is just an opportunity for GROWTH.
My challenge to you is to look at your life and at those things that you would rather change. Can you see how they perhaps are a blessing in disguise? Does looking at them this way help you to embrace them more fully?

So take out those dust rags, sponges and mops. Clean out under your bed, in the corners of your soul. And you might just be surprised at what you see.

Artwork by Kelly Rae Roberts "Everything Shapes Us"
(which I have on my office wall)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLIMBERS_ROCK 6/12/2013 9:24AM


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JOANNHUNT 1/16/2013 9:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASPENHUGGER 4/14/2012 3:15PM

    I've been living this scenario lately. Lots of anger & resentment & painful moments, but also lots of hope because the pruning is clearing away the undergrowth and allowing the sunlight into more areas of my life.

Thank you!

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JOANNS4 4/8/2012 8:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHANGE4THEBEST 4/7/2012 7:24AM


So true! Loved the art work!

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RACHEL-SPARKS 3/30/2012 10:11AM

    Thank you. I have been thinking that a big part of my weight problems is the way I handle conflict. This made my day.

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GEORGIAGIRL26 3/24/2012 8:16PM

    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing sister!
Hope that you have a great week! Holly emoticon

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KLONG8 3/21/2012 5:02PM

    I need to prune today. Thanks!

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SIMPLY-EVA 3/21/2012 11:20AM

  Loved the story! Your so right about the need to clean out the cobwebs.


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TERESANAVARRO 3/19/2012 4:03PM

    Awesome blog. Thanks emoticon

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PHOEBESMIMI 3/16/2012 6:30AM

  Thank You I will start this morning

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ARTJAC 3/13/2012 10:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DZINE4KING 3/13/2012 12:48PM

    Awesome blog...just exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for sharing.

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/12/2012 11:49PM

    A wonderful lesson in your blog. Thank you.

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HRISAAC42 3/12/2012 11:15PM

    I loved, loved, loved the pruning analogy. I am going to start pruning away at the things that are holding me back so I can flourish. Thanks so much for your thoughts. They really hit home for me. emoticon

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TOOBIGTOFAIL07 3/12/2012 9:10PM

    Great analogy. Just what I needed to read. Thanks

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COLT2008 3/12/2012 7:57PM


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CDANDERS05 3/12/2012 6:17PM


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SNOWMAIDEN 3/12/2012 5:05PM

    Really thought provoking - thank you.

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NATURALSTYLE 3/12/2012 1:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HUGS2013 3/12/2012 9:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HEARTS116 3/12/2012 8:41AM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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MILLIESMOM1 3/12/2012 8:02AM

    I so needed to find your blog this morning. Thank you so much for your insight. emoticon for sharing.

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JIVANA108 3/11/2012 8:20PM

    great blog ....needing a deeper spring cleaning in my life and since I'm on a vacation from work...what a better time:)

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IWASLOLA 3/11/2012 6:53PM

  Really good food for thought. Thanks emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 3/11/2012 6:28PM

    What an excellent blog! Especially timely for me as I faced a significant gain (11 lbs in 6 weeks - ouch) this morning. I see the pounds as the price I pay for the lessons I've had to learn (or re-learn, as the case may be). Thanks for the insights.

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    Wise Words! Gonna take them to heart and do some cleaning out in my own life!

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WIDARLING 3/11/2012 4:30PM

    Thanks for sharing. God bless. emoticon

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    Frenemies. That's a great word. I've got one in my life. Have to think of other ways to react ... Thanks.

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DIRTYBUNNY 3/11/2012 12:00PM

    "And you might just be surprised at what you see."
And you might find that you don't need to hang onto some things anymore.
And you might find some things that delight you because you didn't know you still had them.
And you might be able to take a moment and remember the way things used to be--whether good or bad--and then put those things and memories in their proper place.

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BUFFALOGAL1952 3/11/2012 11:39AM

    Wonderful way of stating what should be obvious to us, but that which we generally would like to sweep under a carpet. Better to face it and attack it head on. Great Blog!!!!

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HEALTHYOTTER 3/11/2012 10:06AM

    Great perspectives,thanks. I needed to hear it.

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THEIS58 3/11/2012 9:22AM

    Just great.

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 3/11/2012 6:25AM

    You've hit it on the head. I'm doing a prune (I like that word better than purge) this week in a couple of areas.

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SUSANK16 3/11/2012 6:24AM

  very nicely written

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ANHELIC 3/10/2012 7:00PM

    Great ideas. I'm going to follow some of them.

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RELISA4HEALTH 3/10/2012 6:25PM

    Awesome post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this area.
Your blog reminded me of how life is like the rooms of a house . I know that God is dealing with me with some of those rooms.
Have a blessed year as you walk out your personal goals for health and fitness.

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TIFFY0906 3/10/2012 6:03PM

    Great blog - emoticon

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REDBIRDFLY 3/10/2012 4:18PM

    I find it easier to keep a uncluttered house and a uncluttered mind. Both easier to clean up when a mess gets in there. emoticon

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THEIS58 3/10/2012 12:56PM


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ONTHEPATH2 3/10/2012 12:51PM

    Working on spring cleaning - lots of clutter to sort through. Thanks for the great blog!

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LOWFATFOODIE 3/10/2012 12:22PM

    great post in so many ways. I identified right away with the cleaning up a huge mess. My STBX made a huge mess of my life, but I am so grateful that without that I would have not noticed all the things I had let 'get dusty' and messes that were just left to sit there. Cleaning up the big mess let me clear the cobwebs, dust off my soul, and get rid of those old holey ideas that were building up in my life.
Sometimes it takes a epic disaster to show up what we're made of and to clear our world of unneeded baggage.

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SBNORMAL 3/10/2012 7:23AM

  I am trying to unearth my soul.

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KIPPER15 3/10/2012 6:51AM

    Great blog and super quotes. I am inspired to clean up and shape up some other areas of my life. emoticon

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RINA2002 3/10/2012 5:08AM

  That's the great thing about clutter - once you start tackling it in one area of your life, you find other places where it needs to be cleaned up as well.

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KATEM200 3/10/2012 12:21AM

  Interesting thoughts. I've been trying to clean up my life lately too.

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CM_GARDNER78 3/9/2012 10:23PM

    emoticon This is fabulous,,,and timely! Thank you for sharing!!!

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BROOKLYNROSE 3/9/2012 10:05PM

    great blog. Thanks so much!

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 3/9/2012 8:39PM

    Great blog! You are exactly right on so many things and one thing I've finally gotten comfortable with in My OWN journey, is regarding the pressure from others regarding exercise, mainly on this site. I'm doing what is right for me, in my "balanced healthy lifestyle". I've been maintaining for 2 years now on this schedule, but I used to feel so inadequate that I don't, nor do I want to exercise 1-2 hours a day. Or run miles, or run at all. I love my exercise, on my time, for however long I see fit. But it seems like the pressure is on to do hours of exercise. I've joined and left many teams because of this pressure. I am happy with who I am, who I have become, how my body has changed, how healthy I feel spiritually, physically, and mentally, and most importantly, I am happy and content with my quiet, peaceful, and simple life. I wouldn't trade it for the world! And everyday, as I see others around me scurrying around to pack in all they can each day just to come in on Monday and compare how much each has accomplished, I appreciate my life even more. Thank for your blog. I truly do pray for simplicity for others in their lives! Thanks for the wonderful blog.

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KATHIERAE 3/9/2012 8:06PM

    Wow. I so need to spend some time "spring cleaning" and "pruning" in my life... I hate how life spins along and I don't take time for introspection anymore! Thanks for the awesome fantastic reminder!

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