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My 6 months on Sparkpeople (pictures)

Friday, September 10, 2010

S is for starting a spark. It is also for SIX months. When I began, I felt old, terrible, cranky and fat. I was simply fed up with myself. I googled free online programs and found SP. I signed up, didnt tell anyone and decided to "try" it. I really loved the program from the start and decided I would track my nutrition and add fitness later. I also decided to not tell anyone until I had dropped 15 pounds with a few exceptions. I did tell my sister, husband and kids with one request. Do NOT say anything about what I am or am not eating. It was going to be up to me. I also left myself an easy exit for when I failed. So I began. What I didnt expect was the support, the welcome, the instant connections with everyone. It inspired me to not try but to DO this.

Then I shut up and started putting up.I cut out extra sugar (no cookies, cakes etc. and told myself it was for 1 week. Once I knew I could get through that week, I kept going. I lost 15 pounds in the first month. I tracked my nutrition and it kept me in check. Then I facebooked it so I would be accountable to lots of people.Then I began to walk.

I have now lost 43 pounds and over 20" which includes 3 bra sizes, 1 jean size and 2 top sizes.
Here is a picture of me before I started. I am holding a tray of sandwiches. Nice.

P is for my mantra: Progress, not perfection. I knew I was not going to be perfect, that it was impossible but that as long as I made progress, I would be happy. And I have been. Here are some progress pictures. I waited a long time to do the "pull-the-old-pants-waistband-out picture"!

A is for Activity. I do so much more now. It is embarrasing but I used to drive my truck along behind my husband and dog. I convinced myself I could not possibly walk. Now, we walk a mile or more, together, on most nights. My limp is almost gone (had knee replacement and am postponing another one) and I feel muscles in my legs that were buried under layers of fat! I walk now where I used to sit or ride a kart. I make up long ways to go around to get more steps in. I move instead of sit. I love to make plans to go places knowing I can walk and keep up with everyone instead of making excuses to do something else where I wouldn't have to move much.

R is for re-creating my self, my life, my habits, my future. To get healthy and active. To not accept the life in chains I had before. I have had many epiphanies since I began and going back over some of my blogs, the most important was that I CAN DO THIS! And also, for such a control freak, why was I letting food control me? DUH!
Here is a picture of me before, riding a seadoo. I still ride the seadoos but I look a hell of a lot better doing it now!

K is for the kindred spirits. I have made very close connections to some people here. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them. If you just found me, then I believe it was not by accident and we will probably be in touch more now too. I love the people here, the spirit of what we are all doing, the compassion, the outreach, the support, the love. I love hearing from you and cheering you on. I love that this WORKS!

I love that I am losing weight, getting fit, changing my life. I love that I may have some influence in your life as well. I know I will hit my goals, maybe not in a year but I will get there. I am forever changed, not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. I have been lifted up from my limitations and I try not to be mad at myself for letting it go on for so long. Clevagal asked me last night if I am always up. Im not but it is my natural, optomistic way of being. That is who the real me is. I really didnt like the Jan I was and I dont think my family really liked her either. It is good to be back. I can't wait to see the Jan that is coming in the weeks, months, years to come. Being a Libra, balance is very important to me. My "scales" had tipped for far too long and it feels wonderful to be more level again. These last 6 months have been completly life changing. I am heading to a great place. If I can, you can. Thanks for being on the journey with me.

Here's a before picture for your viewing enjoyment.
Doesn't everyone play the Harmonica with a loaf of bread in their shirt?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 6/7/2011 12:49PM

    YOU are the best! You make me laugh EVERY time. Your blogs make Spark People so much more fun.

Thanks for the re-post.


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NEDERLUNG 9/17/2010 6:44PM

    Jan - I am so proud of you and I really enjoyed this blog and your thoughtful lettering really puts life into SPARK! You can do this, it is your positive attitude !

Thank you for allowing us to share in your journey. Smiles - Debie

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CHRISPYLEE 9/14/2010 1:47PM

    Loved this blog!
Way to find your SPARK!!
emoticon emoticon

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BLUETIGGER33 9/14/2010 12:26PM

    Tremendous progress so far. I enjoyed reading your blog. :)

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RAVENSONG37 9/13/2010 11:42PM

    Bahaha...and congrats. You are freakin cool.

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ROBINSNEWNEST 9/13/2010 1:39PM

    Jan, I love you. I can relate to every word. Finding yourself is the best possible treasure you could ever find. I'm so thankful to have "found" you on Spark... I, too, believe our connection is not mere coincidence. Your light has been a beacon for me on dark days, and the positive changes you've made for yourself and your family have impacted my own. Isn't it amazing how this works? It works. It really works. Sending you a big hug from here...and looking forward to continuing the journey together with our other awesome emoticon...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon big hugs...

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JO2TOM 9/13/2010 12:13PM

    Awesome to see such progress. And the bonus that you are feeling better too. Keep up the spectacular work you are doing. It really shows. emoticon

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CLEVAGAL 9/12/2010 9:38PM

    Jan...........I dont know what to say!
Sigh....its just so fantastic!
Cleva xxx

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CLASSACT911 9/12/2010 1:44PM

    Kepp it going girlie you're rocking right out of those pants!! LOL

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MICKEYMAX 9/11/2010 10:54PM

    Happy 6 months! You are doing awesome and looking beautiful!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/11/2010 7:09PM

    Dang!!!!!!!!!! Congrats!!!!!

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ANAJAK 9/11/2010 7:04PM

    ps. I think most people use bread like that emoticon

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ANAJAK 9/11/2010 7:03PM

    I just found you!! YAY!! Looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of each other - you are awesome!!!

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LAURA_ALINE 9/11/2010 1:14PM

    You are a real inspiration to me - not just your weight loss, but your attitude. Way to go!

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NICA131 9/11/2010 12:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIVASPARK 9/11/2010 8:49AM

    emoticon on your weightloss and loved the blog!

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BBGYRL4 9/11/2010 7:54AM

    Loved your blog! You're doing such an amazing job and it shows. You're an inspiration! Keep up the great work!!

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DESERTFLOWER8 9/11/2010 1:51AM

    Awesome! Congratulations on your many achievements! You look fantastic!!!

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SMAYMAY 9/10/2010 10:51PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!! you look amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 9/10/2010 10:29PM

    emoticon You have done wonderful and I loved reading your blog. Happy 6 months and Happy rest of your new LIFE!

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BIGMAMAT 9/10/2010 10:28PM

    My dearest sparkfriend, kindred spirit,
YOU ARE ONE OF A KIND! I marvel at your progress. What an inspiration! I am so glad I have you to be with on this special journey ! " us mama's have to stick together" Your beautiful before and after! Big Hugs from WV! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Tricia

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BAYBELIEVER 9/10/2010 10:16PM

    Always! There is no other way to play the harmonica except with a loaf of bread in your shirt!

I love this blog. I love the way you approached it using the S-P-A-R-K! You have done an amazing job! I am so jealous that you have lost that many sizes already! Maybe by the time I hit 6 months I will be able to say that too!

Here's a toast with my water glass to you and the next 6 months!


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PELESJEWEL 9/10/2010 9:59PM

    emoticon Oh Sister! You know I had to press "Add As a Spark Friend" button!! Your energy is off the hook! You are so proud of YOU and you should be!! This time you are DO-ing it! Ok that bread & harmonica number is just screaming funny!!


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SIXTEES 9/10/2010 9:33PM

    LOL - and I really did just now - thanks for that last picture.
But your post is incredible. I only hope I can do as good.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and post pictures.
Debbie V. emoticon

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STARPLANET2000 9/10/2010 9:06PM

    Awesome! Loved, loved, loved your blog! I can't wait until I can have pics of myself in my old fat clothes holding them out away from me like you can! What a great spirit you have! The motto at my son's college is 'The Spirit makes the Master'. Your spirit is helping you master your weight! Kudos to you kid!

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GRACEISENUF 9/10/2010 8:05PM

    What an accomplishment in 6 months time. I love the pics and of course your sense of humor.

I'm baaaaaack!

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TEXWIFE 9/10/2010 5:29PM

    Jan its so amazing that its been 6 months, my 6 month is next week. I do not have any before and afters because i look the same. I am so proud of you and truly blessed that you are ministering to people you have never met and inspiring them as you always have done for your family. Why do you have bread in your shirt? emoticon

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KATFOSTER11 9/10/2010 2:53PM

    Loved your blog!!! emoticon

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    HOLY MOLY girl! Look at you!!!! Congratulations!!! I love seeing pictures like these, because you have come such a long way, in 6 months!!! AWESOME!! Totally an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!!!! Keep up the fantastic work!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRIAEL 9/10/2010 1:22PM

    Awesome Jan, I love the before and after and I so agree with you. Congrats on the achievement, that's a major milestone! :)

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    GREAT BLOG!! You're looking amazing and should feel hugely proud of your accomplishments. And I couldn't agree more about how fantastic it is here - it's the people on here who make this site so magnificant!

Happy 6 month sparkiversary!!! Can't wait to see how far you've come on your 1 year sparkiversary! :)

- Michelle

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MRSSIBRAT 9/10/2010 1:10PM

    way to look great!!

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THREEE 9/10/2010 1:05PM

    the TEASE was worth are so right in probably everything you said...well, I agree with you so you ARE right emoticon

now that you've done these pictures, save 1 outfit for later after pictures but get rid of the rest because you want no 'cushion' of big you will bless someone else with them...

it is true, the positive attitude makes all of the difference...i am so glad you've allowed it to resurface and enjoy the movement...i lOOk forward to being able to say the same...kaaren3 emoticon

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CHEVYSHAYA 9/10/2010 1:03PM

  Your looking fantastic! I can't wait till I can have success to share! emoticon

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WATCHMEGO2 9/10/2010 12:50PM

    I love this blog!! I love that you are playing a harmonica with a loaf of bread in your shirt and, yes that is something I would probably do!! You are totally rocking out your journey!


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LUVDOGZ 9/10/2010 12:45PM

    emoticonon 6 months! How much you have learned and grown in that 6 months is amazing! You have your life back! Congrats to you, and you are an inspiration to me! I am so happy for you my friend!


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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/10/2010 12:37PM

    congrats on 6 months and here's to 6 more, joyed filled, a** kicking, weight losing months. You're doing great and I know you'll have no problems making it through your journey!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJMOONEY 9/10/2010 12:31PM

    Way to go & Great Pics emoticon

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SCHNAUZERMOMMY 9/10/2010 12:20PM

    Awesome job!!!! emoticon

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JESSICAW09 9/10/2010 12:12PM

    This blog is such an inspirational story. I am so happy for you and you look great, keep up your hard work and effort, it is paying off. Thank you for sharing this!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RDCAGAIN 9/10/2010 12:11PM

  I like to see how full of life you are. Most people (like me) get down about our unhealthy weight. You are just enjoying life. Keep it up! You will be healthy and full of love always.

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Countdown to Friday

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

That is the day I will be celebrating 6 months here at Spark People. I have so many thoughts and things I want to say about that. I have been looking through some pictures for your viewing pleasure and I dont think you will be disappointed.

Meanwhile, I will be doing my thing, working towards the lose 10 by 10/10/10 goal and keeping on. Have a great week and do your best. Amaze yourself!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I am ready and waiting to hear about your 6 month journey, wild woman, kind heart, emoticon.

Here's to your success emoticon


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BIGMAMAT 9/8/2010 1:20PM

    6 months! exciting!!! Cant wait to see your blog. emoticon

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CLEVAGAL 9/8/2010 1:13AM

    Oh just a short and sweet one today!?
Hey, is captain Morgan a dark rum or a white rum? Have you ever had Bundaberg rum? I live near Bundaberg or Bundy as we call it. I will wait for your friday post my pretty!

Cleva xxx

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THREEE 9/7/2010 11:17PM

    are you in advertising or news?

you are such a tease...we'll wait for friday with baited breath!!!

Comment edited on: 9/7/2010 11:17:46 PM

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    It's always good to see how far we have come. Just keep making good choices and before you know it, your goal is right in your hand. Can't wait to see yor post!!

Take care, Jan

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BRIAEL 9/7/2010 1:36PM

    Hurry up Friday! When you look back through those 6 months, do you think the last half has gone quicker than the first and that you have learned a lot in that time? :)

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BAYBELIEVER 9/7/2010 1:01PM

    Awesome! I can't wait to hear more about your first 6 months! What an accomplishment!

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RSSSLHB 9/7/2010 10:51AM

    emoticonone day at a time

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Labor day BBQ (pictures)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Ok update from todays earlier blog. Lunch was fabulous and then we played some minute to win it games like you have to put an Oreo on your head and get it into your mouth without your hands... hilarious! Then, we stacked red cups with index cards between them. You have to pull the cards out so that the cups fall and stack on top of each other. Just silliness.
Here are some pix for you. I had to link you to my facebook cause my pix wouldnt load on spark for some reason.

In the pix, my oldest daughter is Kelly and her boyfriend is Art, the others are my sister, TEXWIFE and her girls, Jamie and JC. And of course, my hubby, Frank. (other kid had to work)!/album.php?aid=20

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 9/10/2010 8:03PM

    One hot Mama! Looking good Jan.

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KIYOSHI04 9/9/2010 5:22PM

    you look awesome. i love love love that dress!

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    Love the dress... You looked ready to rock your end of summer bbq.

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WATCHMEGO2 9/7/2010 10:47AM

    Super cute dress!! Glad your weekend went well!

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NEDERLUNG 9/7/2010 1:58AM

    Jan - these are cute games, you call them 'minute games'? Where did you find them? And I guess I might have to break down and set up a facebook account to see the pics. Glad all went well, but with all your planning, it went just as I suspected. YOU GO GIRL! - Debie

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CLEVAGAL 9/6/2010 8:45PM

    It was great that the BBQ wasnt just about food, you talked and had actitivites to do that were healthy and fun. Fantastic work Jan darlin aye!
Cleva xxx
By the way I have added you as a friend to facebook! You know my real name so you will know it when the email comes through for it.

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Family Day

Monday, September 06, 2010

Today, my family is coming over and we are going to BBQ. I think we are gonna play some Minute to win it type games too. They dont know this but I am the boss so they have to.

I am cooking Trip tip, 97% Kosher Beef Hot dogs, green salad, fruit salad, my sissy is bringing twice stuffed baked potatoes, french bread. I also made a yummy bean dip with baked scoops chips and low far potato chips and fat free sour cream. My niece is bringing cupcakes (sorry, not for me!) but I made a desert pizza with fresh fruit. I may post some pictures later. It is going to be a lunch/dinner combination day. Then when they leave, we will take the Baby (granddog) for a walk. She is sad cause we have been busy at races this weekend and havent got to go.

Im wearing a little short dress today. My husband told me I look sexy..... Yeah, today is a good day....rofl....

Hope you all enjoy your day and you must start looking forward to my 6 month blog I am going to post on Friday...!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEDERLUNG 9/7/2010 1:54AM

    Jan - Before I read you update, I have faith that all this planning is going to make it a very successful day for you. And I would love to see you post a pic of you in the dress (but not while you are rofl). Smiles - Debie

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BIGMAMAT 9/6/2010 7:34PM

    Woohoo! sounds like an awesome day! Jan + short dress =SEXY
Woot!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAMADWARF 9/6/2010 7:27PM

    Tri-tip, not Trip tip! LOL, no wonder you are confused, Cleva!! It is basically beef sliced thinly.
Fruit pizza is a sugar cookie (or cresecent roll) crust with fat free cream chese (with sweet and low and vanilla), then fruit like strawberries, kiwi and blueberries. YUM!
Robin I wish so, toooooo!

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CLEVAGAL 9/6/2010 6:57PM

    The fruit pizza sounds great Jan, can you tell me how you make it? Love Cleva xxx

Oh and what is Trip tip?

Comment edited on: 9/6/2010 6:58:02 PM

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    Rock that dress, girl! Sounds like a great day... Wish BigMamaT and I could be there with you guys!

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    Sounds wonderful and the fruit pizza is a great idea!
Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. I appreciate it!

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THREEE 9/6/2010 4:39PM

    you just make me smile emoticon

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    It is always nice to get the sexy comment from the hubby! Sounds yummy, have fun.

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Todays weigh in from 10/10/10 team digest

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Today's weight: 248.8
Starting weight: 250 (last week)
Difference (-/+): 1.2 pounds down
Something I tried this week that I enjoyed: I know you are not gonna believe this but Spinach salad! I have never eaten raw spinach leaves. I liked it!
Something cool I learned about myself: I am stronger than I thought I was.
Something I noticed about this weightloss thing: If I keep my goal in mind, I make better choices.
Anything I want to change for next week: Take more steps. I am tracking my daily steps now and it is a great motivator to move more.
One team member who has inspired me this week is: BIGMAMAT: She has lost 30 pounds and always has a kind word!
GO TEAM 10/10/10!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/6/2010 8:13PM

    If you like spinach, I have a great recipe for you. It's a green smoothie. It's really really good, I promise!
3 cups of spinach
1 banana cut up
1 cup of strawberry halves
freeze the banana and the strawberries and then throw everything in the blender with some water to get it moving and ice cubs to keep it cold. All you taste is the fruit, however it will be green. It's a great way to get fruits and veggies into the meal plan! Let me know if you try it!
~ Holly

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COLD_GOLD 9/6/2010 1:02PM

    wow! great job!

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CLEVAGAL 9/5/2010 10:06PM

    We go through 3 bags of spinach leaves a week! Theyre great for salads or tossed into an omlete for some green! Go the weightloss Jan. I cant believe it you rock darlin aye!

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ELLDEE57 9/5/2010 6:30PM

    Good Job with your loss. The 10-10-10 Challenge is the best. Good luck next week with the extra steps.

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THREEE 9/5/2010 6:06PM

    nice job...35 days left 'til 10/10...lOOks like you are on track emoticon

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BIGMAMAT 9/5/2010 4:33PM

    Wow. I am totally honored, and speechless. Me, inspire you! You're Awesome. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/5/2010 4:39:35 PM

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NEDERLUNG 9/5/2010 3:22PM

    I love spinach - I like it in place of lettuce in sandwiches/tortilla wraps too. Today I added it to my chicken soup (also love it scrambled in eggs).

And you are in an honery mood - how is "do it" gonna help as an excuse - and just how many calories do you burn ROFL? Smiles - Debie

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BRIAEL 9/5/2010 2:27PM

    It's weird how spinach tastes different in all it's forms, isn't it?

Here's my favourite spinach recipe:

1 cup raw baby spinach
1 rasher of bacon (or turkey bacon) chopped very finely
Tsp of finely slivered almonds
Tbsp of sultanas or golden raisins (plump is best)
Tsp of balsamic vinegar (sprinkled over the top)

Makes for a very yummy lunch or afternoon "munchies" when you're feeling hungry but not wanting a meal. :)

Congrats on the weight loss, Jan, keep it up. :)

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MARTHAM85 9/5/2010 12:56PM

    Try adding strawberries to your spinach or mandarian oranges - they are really good! Another idea is sautee fresh spinach in a skillet with fresh onions and a touch of olive oil. Umm Umm!! emoticon emoticon

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ROBINSNEWNEST 9/5/2010 12:50PM

    YES! emoticon emoticon

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