MERRYJAYNE1978   13,661
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MERRYJAYNE1978's Recent Blog Entries

Receiving Through Giving...Appreciation, Acknowledgment and Affirmation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I am a HUGE fan of B. Scott (he's a radio, tv, and Youtube blogger who does fashion, celeb interviews and talks about personal issues like self love and acceptance). I'm a bit behind on viewing his YT channel so I went today and saw a video about getting your tens. Basically B. Scott was saying that when you watch figure skating or gymnastics and the athlete does such a fabulous, flawless job that the judges have to recognize it as such and give them a 10. Not a 9.9 but a 10. Well, B was like, too often in life we are afraid to tell someone to give us our 10. You do a GREAT job at work, go above and beyond...and no one gives you any feedback. Or you are putting that "S" on your chest and being a superhero for your kids, your partner, your friends and fam...and no one so much as says thank you. It makes you feel discouraged, disappointed and disillusioned. You try to shake it off, tell yourself they're just too busy or that's just their way...but the reality is a little recognition and appreciation would go a long way.

We're taught as little kids that its "impolite" to ask for compliments. I think there's a difference between fishing for compliments and seeking acknowledgement. If you KNOW you are doing/being/giving all you can and doing a damn good job of it too...there is NOTHING wrong with wanting that to be acknowledged, respected, reciprocated and appreciated. You aren't asking anyone to throw you a parade (but hey..maybe you deserve one) just a simple act of acknowledgement, be it in the form of a card, a small gift, or even a simple thank you. Just something to know your efforts are noticed and appreciated. Don't let having "good manners" stop you from getting your due. You don't have to be rude or aggressive or anything...just let it be known you think you deserve your 10.

Now...as I was all set to take the above advice and compiling my list of those who were holding out me...I stopped. My spirit spoke...and told me that it was all good and well that I wanted to RECEIVE...but I should also take care to make sure that I was GIVING as well. Too often we assume that the people in our lives just KNOW what they mean to us, how much we value them, how deep our love is and how much they matter. Maybe they do...but we should always tell them and show them anyway. You never know when they might be taken from you. And no one ever lost a loved one and regretted telling them too much and too often what they meant to them...but far too many regret not saying it enough. So I stopped, humbled myself a bit (just a bit) and started compiling a new list. A list of my essential people. You know..those people that make your light shine a little brighter, your spirit float a little higher and your heart feel a little lighter. The people that provide your center and your backbone. The MVP's on your life's roster.

I sought them out, one at a time. My parents, who I absolutely adore and have always let me know there isn't anything they wouldn't go through with or do for me. I gave them their 10. My older bro, who has always had my back and been an inspiration and a source of motivation (and sometimes aggravation lol) I gave him his 10. My girlfriends...who have stood by me through 11 years of school, boyfriends, babies, breakups, make ups, drama, good times, weddings, funerals and all things in between. They got their 10's. My Ethan...the man who amazes me on the daily and by being such a good man has made me even better woman...he got his. And the thing is...I think I felt better giving the people in my life their props than I would have had I went merely seeking mine. And...in giving I actually DID end up receiving. Every single person let me know what I meant to THEM. I didn't ask for them...but I got my 10's too.

I truly believe there is a connection with our mind, body and spirit. If your mind is weak and your spirit is damaged, the body will show it. If your mind is strong and your spirit is lifted, your body will respond. Losing weight is so much more than counting calories and crunching abs. We have to find ourselves and our centers and that means getting honest about ourselves, our situations and those in our lives. You can't have a healthy body with a sick soul.

So as you go on to this journey to healthier you...think about not only who may owe you a 10 but whether or not YOU are holding out on anyone. Have your told your bff lately just how much they rock? Have you told your family (be it your biological or that which you've created) how much they mean to you? Have you told your partner how freaking fantastic you think they are? Have you said it...have you showed it? If not...go forth and give out your 10's. And if you aren't getting what it is you need and deserve, remember that there is nothing shameful, disrespectful or tacky about asking for it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LDY_ALI_79 11/2/2010 12:20PM

    Awesome blog, I love when you said "You can't have a healthy body with a sick soul". Nicely put & well said!

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TEENY_BIKINI 9/23/2010 4:13PM

    Totally awesome blog.

Loved it.

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LUCYBEE73 9/18/2010 1:43PM

    You are the best blogger on SparkPeople!! :-)

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BOGUSANNIE 9/10/2010 11:57PM

    BRAVO....I haven't read as inspiring a blog as this in a long time...WONDERFUL!
thanks for posting it!
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JUSTFOXXY 9/10/2010 11:52PM

    This blog was right on point. Can't have a healthy body with a sick soul. Sometimes we're sick with resentment because someone hasn't given us our 10 only to discover that we are also culprits.

Great blog and here is your "10" for helping us to keep it real. emoticon

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MISTYMAYHEM1 9/10/2010 9:02PM

    Girl you have a gift for taking this whole weight loss bit and making it relate to other areas of life.

This was so inspiring and so truthful. I think sometimes we forget to give props and are afraid to ask for them. I love how you said there's a difference between fishing for compliments and asking for what's due you. You rock mamacita and I'm better for having you in my life emoticon

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Your weight isn't stopping your light from shining- YOU ARE

Thursday, September 02, 2010

This blog was inspired by a comment left by one of my Spark buddies.

We all know what makes us tick, what our dreams, goals and ambitions for us as an individual are. Not as a mother or father, not as a spouse, not as a lover, not as a daughter or son, or in our professional title, but as a person. We all start out with the best of intentions, full of promise and possibility, but quite often, somewhere along the road our train goes off the track. We focus on our partners, what they need, what they're going through, how to be their backbone and push them to the next level. We focus on our children and pour every bit of the best of who we are into them. We focus on our work and how to reach that level of success that will allow us to look back and say "I made it". We focus on the neighborhood gossip and what they might be saying about us behind our backs. We focus on anything and everything, but who we are and who we wanted to be. Is it really any wonder that we ended up here? Wherever your "here" is, whether its being over weight, over stressed, under appreciated or flat out over whelmed, we all got here the same way. Not taking the time to take care of ourselves. Putting ourselves last on the list of priorities. Taking less than we deserve and giving until we have nothing left to give.

If there is one thing I've learned, not only on this weight loss journey, but in life in general, its that you cannot live for other people. You can't live for your parents, you can't live for your friends, you can't live for your partner, you can't live for your children. You need to live for you. Find your joy and find what makes your spirit sing and live for you. Stop using other people's expectations as the measuring stick by which you gauge your accomplishments and your worth. That old adage is true: You can't please all of the people all the time. Please YOURSELF. If you fill your spirit with love and acceptance for YOURSELF, that love will spill over to your friends and loved ones. You cannot give away what you don't have. You can't give your friends support and encouragement if you don't know how to look at yourself and say "You did the damn thing, good job". You can't upgrade your partner to first class if you are sitting in economy. You can't give your children the gift of being secure with who they are, if you are not secure with who YOU are.

Where does this tie into weight loss? For me, a big part of my journey was and remains about acceptance. See, before I lost a pound I had to learn to accept myself as is, right there in that moment. Because if I didn't love me at 223 pounds (yes, I said 223) then I wouldn't love me at 180, or 150 or 120. If I couldn't look at myself and KNOW that I was beautifully, gloriously, and divinely made it wouldn't matter if I were a size 22 or a size 6, I would STILL be in the same place. Living to fulfill the expectations of others. Hoping that THEIR praise, THEIR thankfulness, and THEIR acceptance would fill up the empty space in my spirit. And when I fell short, letting THEIR disappointment, THEIR hurtful words, THEIR judgments of who I am determine MY worth. I had to walk over to a FULL length mirror, buck booty naked (no it was not a good look lol) and say "I accept myself for who I am, flaws and all. I love me, I have worth, I have beauty and I am going to say it until I believe it." And it took months but eventually, I believed it. And I was STILL, as my Big Mama would say, "wide as all outside". It wasn't about the scale, or my clothes, or the expectations of society or friends or loved ones. It wasn't about my finances, or my job. It wasn't about Ethan...it was about ME. ME ME ME ME. Once I loved every bit of me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, THEN I could move forth and change. I didn't have to "love" the dimples in my butt, the rolls on my stomach or the cellulite on my thighs but I had to accept they were there and love me with them to insure I would love me without them.

And the lesson in all this is- nothing and no one is stopping you from shining RIGHT NOW but you. I said NOW. Not at your goal weight, not twenty pounds from now, or when you run your first 5k, or when you fit into those size whatever jeans....SHINE RIGHT NOW. Whether you are size 28 or a size 2. Go and grab your diva moment. So many of you are sitting here, waiting until you reach some magical milestone to reward yourself....that's a good motivator for the future, but what are you doing to celebrate, embrace and love yourself RIGHT NOW? Go buy that freakum dress RIGHT NOW, put it on and KNOW that you are fierce, fabulous and can't nobody tell you nothing because you KNOW that you are the ish. Go do something you enjoy- be it the ballet, or paint ball or dancing...go do something to make you feel alive and renewed RIGHT NOW.

Your life is now not in ten, twenty or a hundred pounds. Its NOW. Accept yourself now. Love and celebrate yourself now. Honor yourself RIGHT NOW. Nothing and no one is stopping you from blinding the world with your shine, but you. No one is saying you can't make improvements...but there is a difference, a HUGE difference in body image and self image. Losing weight can only improve your body image. I will never be fake with y'all. I would be lying if I said I didn't like my body a hell of a lot more now than I did 60 plus pounds ago. But I would also be lying if I told you guys that losing that weight is what gave me my confidence, my joy, my swag if you will. My body is the temple that houses my spirit, but my spirit has been shining brightly and beautifully for a long time now and my body is just starting to catch up. Do not turn off your light while you are constructing your temple. SHINE RIGHT NOW. Your light is a beautiful thing. Honor it. Celebrate it. Love it and let it shine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINERVA25 10/9/2010 1:08PM

    Iwas really going through some emotional stuff in my life right now, and This Blog really open me up, now ita my time to shine since everyone has already have there's. Thanks for the motivation it was greatly needed.

Thanks

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IN102WIN 10/7/2010 12:36PM

    Thanks this blog was great!! emoticon

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LISEMARLENE 9/21/2010 9:15AM

    Wonderful. Thanks for your blog. It is very true.

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NATKITA 9/18/2010 6:20PM

    emoticon emoticon and AMEN!

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BUTAPECANPR 9/15/2010 6:51PM

    emoticon

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NOMOEXCUSES13 9/10/2010 5:18PM

    OMG....Thanks for this blog.....You are so right...maybe this is why I keep stopping myself along the journey.....when I dont get validation from those around me I give up....but I need to start validating myself......WOW...this blog was right on time.... I copied it so I could carry it with me....I needed this today...thank you my sister in weight loss emoticon

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NOMOEXCUSES13 9/10/2010 5:18PM

    OMG....Thanks for this blog.....You are so right...maybe this is why I keep stopping myself along the journey.....when I dont get validation from those around me I give up....but I need to start validating myself......WOW...this blog was right on time.... I copied it so I could carry it with me....I needed this today...thank you my sister in weight loss emoticon

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REDSUN1970 9/8/2010 2:14PM

    Wow, THANK YOU! I needed to read this so bad today - you have perfect timing. I was fixated on self worth this morning and how to build it up. Your message is just what I needed. I'm going to print it out and save it!

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BUTAPECANPR 9/5/2010 8:12PM

    Oh Yeah I MADE IT!!!

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MISTYMAYHEM1 9/4/2010 12:50PM

    Girl this was so beautiful. Told me some truth I needed to hear. Your light is bright and blinding and I thank you for sharing it with the rest of us while reminding us to honor and cherish our own. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTFOXXY 9/3/2010 12:42PM

    This is a great blog. You are so right, we always want to wait for the magical moment not realizing that we create those moments. Thank you for reminding us that we control that light and we should let it shine.

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RUNSHANBUN 9/3/2010 12:23PM

    I don't know what to say...except that all the people in your life need to surround themselves with you because you are absolutely a fantastic person!!! That was the nicest thing I have read in a long time, I was very touched because I can totally identify with it. I am a size 2/4 and I still can't look in the mirrior and see myself as fabulous. You made me realize that my goals aren't worth squat if I can't be happy with the person I am at this very moment. I think future me will be even more proud of the success if I can see the value in who I am today.
Thanks so much for sharing and emoticon

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RUBIEAGLE 9/3/2010 10:45AM

    Very good! Will be putting it in my Spark notebook!

Comment edited on: 9/3/2010 10:51:22 AM

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STEVO5O 9/3/2010 10:34AM

    Great blog Rochelle! I don't know if you're old enough to remember Ricky Nelson...he was a singer in the late 50's through the early seventies. He was famous for a song called Garden Party. The words of the chorus of this song fit your blog perfectly..."But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well. You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."

Too many times we worry about everyone and everything else but us. It took me a long time to learn it's okay to be selfish when it comes to my health. I'm happy you discovered this while you're still young. Thanks for writing this Rochelle.

stevo5o

Comment edited on: 9/3/2010 10:35:18 AM

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GOODGETNBETR 9/3/2010 1:32AM

    Can a guy have a "diva moment?" Great blog and glad you're outside caught up with your inside. The world needs more folks who are beautiful on the inside. emoticon

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LYNN-LOVESLIFE7 9/2/2010 10:22PM

    I LOVE THIS BLOG.. EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ IT.. I NEED TO E MAIL THIS OUT TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS.. GIRL, I AM IN ALL CAPS BECAUE OF THIS.. YOU TOUCHED ME RIGHT HERE... emoticon AND I JUST WRAPPED MYSELF UP IN MY ARMS AND GAVE MYSELF ONE HELL OF A HUG FROM YOU. BECAUSE THIS BLOG FELT LIKE A HUGE HUG OF TRUTH, AND A HUGE BLOG OF LOVE, NOTHING BUT LOVE, AND WHAT YOU SHARED IN THIS BLOG WAS NOTHING BUT THE PRAISE IN YOUR HEART THAT YOU HAVE FOR GOD AND YOUR FELLOW SISTER OR BROTHER.. TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. VOICING IT IN WRITING, AND GETTING IT OUT HERE FOR ALL OF US TO SEE. GIRL! YOU HIT IT DEAD ON THE HEAD.. YOU HIT THE MESS OUT OF THAT NAIL HEAD, AND YOU NAILED IT.. YOU NAILED IT SHUT. EVERYTHING WE SPARKERS FEEL. YOU NAILED IT, AND I THANK YOU, AND I LOVE YOU FOR NAILING IT THE WAY YOU DID..

GOD BLESS YOU..
LYNN

Comment edited on: 9/2/2010 10:24:56 PM

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BABY_GIRL69 9/2/2010 6:12PM

    Thanks for sharing this blog with us! You totally ROCK!! God bless & take care! Dee

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BOGUSANNIE 9/2/2010 3:35PM

    GREAT ENTRY!!!!
Thanks for Sharing and kicking us all in the butt!!!

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DREAMINGSOUL 9/2/2010 3:27PM

    Thank you. This is a wonderful post and a great reminder. I need to work on making myself shine!

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TENYAG 9/2/2010 3:07PM

    Wow! This makes me want to go home dance around in my skivvies and sing at the top of my lungs! Unfortunatly, I am at work for a few more hours... Very motivating, inspirational, and so true.

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NIKINIK11 9/2/2010 2:58PM

    This post almost made me cry, in a good way. Thanks for sharing with everyone. emoticon

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XFANFICX 9/2/2010 2:55PM

    Wonderful! Exactly what I'm striving for myself emoticon

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CCC 12 Week Challenge Blog (pics included)...and a little rambling too

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One of my Spark Teams (the fabulous, fierce and fantastic) Caramel Candy Cuties have decided to shake things up a bit by embarking on a 12 week challenge. Each week we're going to spice up our regular fitness routines by adding that week's special challenge. Part of the challenge is to post your before pic and starting measurements. Which for me is a huge deal. Not the before pic but the measurements.

If you look at my ticker you'll notice I don't have my weight on there...and its for a reason lol. I'm super uncomfy with the number always have been and until I reach that magical number I've set as my goal weight I most likely will remain that way. Which Ethan (who is giving me the side eye as I type this) keeps telling me is beyond ridiculous since technically I'm at a healthy weight now. And I realize that logically, but emotionally, I know I what I looked like at 135 and a size 5 and that's where I want to be again. (Ethan's side eye has turned into an eye roll and a shake of the head. ) I know what you're thinking...you're looking at my profile pic of me in that red dress and going...um, you look ok to me. Except it was (and still is) crazy tight and requires foundation garments galore to pull off. I'm talking two pairs of spanx, waist cincher, and a whole lot of prayer. I want to look like that without needing all the "extras". I used to live in dresses like that- just slip them on and go. I want that again. No Spanx, no girdle, no waist cincher just me in my dress. Which at this point, I can't do. And if I don't shake things up, it won't ever happen.

So, here's me biting the bullet and facing my insecurity about revealing my weight and my stats and refocusing myself and committing to reaching my goal.

Week 1
SW: 157.2 emoticon
GW: 145 ~ Challenging but attainable

Other goals: to get some more muscle definition in my arms and in my abs (which don't exist at the moment lol)

Measurements
Bust: 38.5
Waist: 33
Hips: 40 (these bad boys REFUSE to leave)
Right Arm: 12
Left Arm: 12.5
Right Thigh: 25
Left Thigh: 26 (clearly my left side is on shenanigans)


And now for the dreaded "before" pics





And this is where I'm trying to...no GOING to get back to...this is me Valentine's of '04 (my youngest was almost a year old at this point so clearly I can't blame the weight gain on having babies LOL)



And here's me now (this was an impulse pic, sorry its such a mess. Just wanted to give you guys an idea of where I am in relation to where I want to be)




So this is me at the beginning of my 12 week challenge...hopefully by the end I will feel a little more secure and comfy in my own skin. For those of you who did the math, when i first joined SP I was about 200 pounds...and this was AFTER losing 23 pounds (it took almost a year to lose that since i was totally half-assed about it and had no clue what I was doing). So all total I've lost 66 pounds, but only 42 since joining SP. (lord did I just admit how big i was?) Its been a long road but I'm pretty proud of my progress. And people who haven't seen me in awhile are stunned by it. Like yesterday.

As part of my job every year I have to go out into the community and give speeches about dating and domestic violence...we pretty much hit the same places every year. This year when we presented at one of the colleges our liason was FLOORED by the change in my appearance. She actually asked if I'd gotten a lap band or something. I laughed and told her no...I'd gotten my butt up and put the burgers down.

Just to compare here's what I wore last year to give my speech (and this outfit was TIGHT on a sista too lol) and here's what I wore Monday.



So on that uplifting little note, we're gonna wrap this up, and I'm going to encourage all my fellow CCC's taking this challenge with me and all my fellow spark buddies enduring challenges of their own to keep on shining and keep on striving towards your goals. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAILA07 9/14/2010 6:34PM

    You're looking fantastic! Keep doing your thing girl...!

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MISTYMAYHEM1 9/4/2010 2:25PM

    You are fetch mamacita! ( ha ha i pulled a Gretchen on you)

And *smacks you* you are at a healthy weight right now. Don't lose sight of that. Every pound you lose from this point on is gravy. I mean icing on the cake. I mean, dang we need non food related metaphors emoticon but go girl and kick butt.

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JUSTFOXXY 9/3/2010 12:46PM

    Girl, you look great! Thanks for sharing. You are truly motivating.

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LYNN-LOVESLIFE7 9/2/2010 10:11PM

    GIRL! Look at you. You are looking good. I am so happy for you.. WOW! Girl, you motivated me just then.. By looking al all your success with yourself.. You looking good. Success isn't just weight loss. Success is much more.. Success is YOU.. And you are your success.. Looking good. I'm with you all the way with this challenge girl.. 100%


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MARCYNA 9/2/2010 11:14AM

    Oh my, you look amazing and I'm sure you'll get to your GOAL emoticon
PS You look much better now than in 2004 emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/2/2010 11:14:59 AM

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APRILBLESS 9/1/2010 4:26PM

    Girl, you look fantastic! And you're getting better and better with hard work and effort. You're going to reach your goals. And part of that journey for you was being brave enough to post your "stats"...(:D). You got to own them. And then soon they'll be behind you. So congrats... and can't wait to see your results
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P.S. That yellow dress was banging. Wish I had bravery enough to wear something like that past, present or future (laughing)... who knows? Maybe one day... :)

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BOGUSANNIE 8/31/2010 9:49PM

    VERY BRAVE of you...WAY TO GO!!! emoticon

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RUNGIRL4LIFE 8/31/2010 7:47PM

    I am so proud of you for doing this blog. I know it will be beneficial and motivation to the new Candy girls. You look amazing bow but if you wanna lose more go for it. We got your back. I have no doubt you can do it!!! Good luck.

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SAMANTHAJEAN86 8/31/2010 6:58PM

    Girl I am so proud of you for posting this!! YOu look amazing and I can't wait to see what your results are after this challenge, we WILL look hot!!

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Wanna lose massive amounts of weight? Shake them haters off

Monday, August 23, 2010

I started this weight loss journey with one goal in mind- to get as fierce and fabulous on the outside as I knew I was on the inside. What I found is that getting to Diva status and having a healthy lifestyle was not just about sweating out my hairdo running laps, or being calorie conscious and eating right. As the pounds started peeling off MY body, I realized I wasn't getting any lighter. My inner diva was buried, hidden, make that SMOTHERED by pound, upon pound of negativity and insecurity. She was literally drowning in a sea of dead weight- and NONE of it was on my 5 foot 7 frame. The heaviness, the faithlessness, the bitterness was coming from my..."friends"?

When I first realized that I needed to not only release the extra weight on my body but the extra weight certain people were putting on my spirit as well...I was in a state of shock. This weight loss thing was supposed to be about external changes- getting to Kim Kardashian levels of hotness. All this emotional upheaval was not expected or particularly welcome. So I pushed it aside, ignored it and ran a few extra laps. But the thing is, when your spirit speaks to you, you can't NOT listen. And the more I tried to silence that little voice, the louder it spoke. Until I had no choice but to listen to what it was saying. And so began a process of tending to my emotional garden, and pulling the weeds. It wasn't easy, but it was essential. And when I was done and I took a look around, things were bright, and light and beautiful and my spirit was quiet and content.

Now I'm not suggesting you guys run out and make all new friends and disown your family...but I'm sure that 99% of you are holding onto at least one "friend" or family member that does damage to you and your spirit. You know them, they are the person who popped into your head right now. That person who makes your shoulders slump, and your head hang and your stomach twist into knots. That person that makes you break out all your best defensive moves b/c you know you're gonna need them when they come around. Or they just cause chaos and confusion...your man/woman doesn't like them, your other friends don't like them, you can't go anywhere with them w/out some drama popping off and its exhausting. That person that just makes you sick...and yet you hold on. Stop the madness! Let Them Go!

When I first started pulling weeds, I used some general criteria. The following types of people had to go immediately.

~ Negative people. The type of person that constantly, consistently rains on your parade. You can have the most amazingly divine day of your life, share it with them and they will find SOMETHING negative to say to bring you and your spirit down. Leave them to their negativity and move on. Negative energy attracts negative energy. How can you expect to be positive when you surround yourself w/negativity?

~ Scallywags, trollops, and hoe's. Oh yeah, I went there. If you feel like you can't leave your man around them unattended for even five minutes to go to the restroom, because you know they'll be on him like a crackhead on a glass pipe, its time to let that go. So what if you've been down since '93...if you can't trust her not to stab you in the back, what are keeping her around for? Also...people DO judge you by the company you keep. Are you a trollop? Then why are you hanging w/trollops? Think about it.

~Scene Stealer. You know the type. The one that you call in tears to vent about your bad day to...and before you finish your first sentence, the conversation has circled around to them. Their day, their issues, their needs. The me, me, me type of friend, the kind of self centered person who can't even begin to focus on you and what you're going through. They are always looking to take from you, to vent to you, to lean on you...but when its your time of need, they are nowhere to be found. Let them go.

~Blue Ribbon Winners. You know the type. EVERYTHING becomes a competition. They don't care if you're doing bad- as long as they are doing better its all good in the hood. That's not friendship and that's not healthy. There's a difference between competition and inspiration. One uplifts you, the other drags you down. Friends should support and encourage each other. If they need to compete, tell them to go on American Idol or the Amazing Race, but to beat feet out of your area. They mean you no good.

~Dream Killers. Now this gets dicey, but if you have a goal or an aspiration and your friend/loved one will not support you...they might need to go. Now your dream is something completely ridonkulous (no not ridiculous, ridonkulous) like wanting to play in the NBA...but you have no skills...then a true friend will gently encourage you to pursue other options. But if your dream is say, running your own restaurant, and all they do is tell you the many ways you can, AND WILL, fail...maybe you need to part ways. If you surround yourself with people who do not believe you, you will eventually stop believing in yourself.

Trust me, I know that sometimes we keep people in our lives because we have history with them. Or we are terrified of change or being alone. Being alone is nowhere near as painful as being with people who make you FEEL as if you are alone. And its ok to let go with grace. You don't need the dramatic goodbye scene...you don't need a dramatic break up. Acknowledge who they were to you, be thankful for whatever good times there were and let go with peace and grace. Now they may to try to come back...but close the gate on your garden. When you get rid of the weeds, the flowers are so much more beautiful. You notice them more, appreciate them, tend to them more lovingly. Focus on your flowers my buddies...cut them weeds lol. :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL9 9/22/2010 11:12PM

    Loved this blog! Weeding is why I'm a single mom. I've still got one pesky weed that just doesn't get the message.

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IN_IT_2_WIN_IT 9/22/2010 1:27PM

    If you don't feed it, it won't grow... so I refuse to feed the weeds

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2BEAU2FUL 9/7/2010 11:05AM

  I couldn't say it better.....! emoticon

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ELIZABETH525 9/6/2010 1:11PM

    Well darn...what if all my family fits into these categories? lol

And let's not forget the One Uppers- No matter what you do, they did just a little better. You got a 50c raise, they got a 60c raise. You lose 5 pounds, they lost 6. Your kid got an A, theirs got and A+! You found a shirt on sale for $10, they found one on sale for $8. So basically no matter what you do, they did it better.

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MRSJERRYBUSH 9/6/2010 12:12PM

    How about the "over-positive" kind. They tell you how good God is to them, about the wonderful cruise they just took, how they are living the "good life" (golfing in invitationals, etc. etc.) And when you look at them you see face lifts, lyposuction, diamonds, etc. and you go away thinking "What's wrong with me? Doesn't God like me as well?

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SADRIANAOTAKU 9/6/2010 9:28AM

    Reading this blog was a treat. It made me smile and think. I've had some weeds show themselves for who they really are this past week. Two of them did the cutting for me. It's just getting rid of the other ones. Thanks hun and good luck! emoticon

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SIA33444 9/6/2010 1:34AM

  Loved what you wrote. Time to look at my own garden I think.

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CNIANE 9/5/2010 5:40PM

    This is also a great reminder to be a good friend and watch how you come across to people. Weeding is good.

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FOURTHWALL2000 9/4/2010 5:38PM

    Amen.

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KODAMAOI 9/3/2010 10:51PM

    Yeah know exactly what you mean. I've done the weeding here and there in my life out of necessity. I find that family can sometimes be the worst, you know with the chubby jokes and all. It's not funny to us and I don't care if I'm related by blood to them, it's not nice. Fortunately I don't live with my parents anymore but I hated it when I did. It's especially difficult when you don't physically take after your mother and she's small and you're not.
When it's not family though, I've always been really careful who I kept as a friend. I don't have many but the ones I have are real and supportive. We don't need tons of friends in life, all we need are a few very good friends.

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KODAMAOI 9/3/2010 10:45PM

    Yeah know exactly what you mean. I've done the weeding here and there in my life out of necessity. I find that family can sometimes be the worst, you know with the chubby jokes and all. It's not funny to us and I don't care if I'm related by blood to them, it's not nice. Fortunately I don't live with my parents anymore but I hated it when I did. It's especially difficult when you don't physically take after your mother and she's small and you're not.
When it's not family though, I've always been really careful who I kept as a friend. I don't have many but the ones I have are real and supportive. We don't need tons of friends in life, all we need are a few very good friends.

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WINSCHO 9/3/2010 6:15PM

    Loved the blog! My garden is mostly weed free but for one that lingers. I carry a big bottle of weed spray with me at all times!! emoticon

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TONEDOWN 9/3/2010 5:10PM

    Your words are a inspiration to my heart. emoticon

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CASJ57 9/3/2010 3:58PM

    Wow, you put it so well - and yeah, I got a few of those folks around.
I am impressed at your ability to weed and your positive attitude.

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LINDABENEDICT 9/3/2010 8:28AM

    What a great blog. You have inspired me to go do a little heavy gardening myself !

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MARCYNA 9/2/2010 11:09AM

    Cutting weeds as well, tired of those negative people, sorry no more parking place for them in my life emoticon
PS I'm still surprised at how many of them inhabited my life...without me even realizing!!!!!

Comment edited on: 9/5/2010 1:07:30 PM

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MESEATURTLE 9/2/2010 11:08AM

    love love love your blog!!!I am surrounded with all these categories...afraid to be alone but but but u totally make sense.

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LIBBYL1 9/1/2010 10:23PM

  hmmmm - and remember not to let any new weeds in to slowly suffocate the flowers. Well done!

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REDSASSENACH 9/1/2010 3:31PM

    Well said. I think I manage to keep my weeds pretty well under control- as a result I find my own little circle of trust to be pretty limited. There are times when I feel down that I'm being left out by the people I'm choosing to limit my time with-It's my own choice and I need to remember, I'd rather be surrounded by the right people, than change who I am or how I see myself in order to hang with people that make me feel bad.

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ROYALTY1022 9/1/2010 3:06PM

    This is a great blog, it really hits home for a lot of us. Thanks so much for sharing it gives real meaning to the old saying that " You are you Own BEST FRIEND". Congrats on all your success. Peace... emoticon

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MARISABELLES 9/1/2010 7:56AM

    I did some "weeding" myself the last couple of years and you are so right, it does make room for new positive flowers in my inner garden. Doing so, it made me lighter at many levels.
Thanks for sharing.

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BDRFLI 8/31/2010 11:42PM

    great!!!!! i think im going to make my own list!

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AGGIEGYRL82 8/28/2010 6:38PM

    I love this blog. You are an awesome woman. I really needed to hear this today..it really spoke to my heart. Congratulations on all of your success and thanks for all the great motivation. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AGGIEGYRL82 8/28/2010 6:36PM

    I love this blog. You are an awesome woman. I really needed to hear this today..it really spoke to my heart. Congratulations on all of your success and thanks for all the great motivation. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VAMANOS 8/25/2010 12:18PM

    I was sent over to read this fabulous post by a emoticon. Now I'm examining my own behavior to make sure I haven't been any of those people, or if so that I quit it before I get pulled!

Love, love, love what you have to say here--you are SO right! emoticon

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BOGUSANNIE 8/25/2010 11:26AM

    WHAT A FABULOUS BLOG ENTRY!!!! Well done Missy!!!!

I have someone I am thinking of right now that simply must get weeded out immediately!

You are a supa power house!!!

Love you!

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SEESTARS 8/25/2010 10:47AM

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. It is a hard topic I have been struggling with... There is one category you left out which is causing me the most trouble and was wondering what your opinion might be regarding:

*** The Fatties *** (and I’m not just talking overweight friends or friends who weigh more than you) I’m talking friends you love and want to spend time with. But they are overweight and/or drag you into “overweight” activities that go against your ever-changing-for-the-better-health
ier-you lifestyle. There are only so many meals I'm willing to sit through with a tea and a side order + questions about why I'm not eating more or why I ate before I knew we were going out to Five (Fat) Guys Burgers for dinner. Not to mention the tension and jealously caused by your own success compared to their current "dieting" attempts. Or trying to suggest other more *active* activities like Frisbee or a walk instead of meeting at that same old buffet restaurant for Sunday lunch.

Do you not have any friends that fall in this category... or maybe you lumped them into one of the other categories above. Just wondering…

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GOODGETNBETR 8/24/2010 9:16PM

    emoticon blog! It's amazing how as we learn to love ourselves by taking care of ourselves it becomes difficult to ignore unloving & unfriendly behavior. Definitely need to focus more on the ones that matter.

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CERWSLIGHT 8/24/2010 5:33PM

    Having done this myself a few years ago, let me tell you I was very lonely for a while, but now only wonderful, uplifting people are in my life. Thank you for your words!!!

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MELMEI 8/24/2010 4:44PM

    This is something I haven't thought of yet! Thanks for bringing it to attention! I didn't have a specific person that is still in my life like that that came to mind right away but I'll definitely have to think about it.

And I LOVE the way your write! It's almost like I can hear you talking, even though I've never talked to you before. Very raw and honest! Love it! emoticon

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GRACEISENUF 8/24/2010 3:51PM

    One of my friends stopped on by to read your blog and I saw the title so I "popped" on over.

MMM...this is a GREAT blog and very well written, THANK YOU! It's funny when I was reading it and you asked if someone had "popped" into my mind? Yep!

Time for some "weeding!"

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kick style ;)

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HEALTHYASHLEY 8/24/2010 3:43PM

    Great blog. I have done just what you suggest and it feels great. One more to go and I will be free. Thanks for writing this!

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CARMINACG 8/24/2010 3:31PM

    Oh my gosh! thank you so much for this blog! Can we say hillarious! LOL love the "Scallywags, trollops, and hoe's" remark! Bahahaha!

I went through a tough time with my 2 close girls who have been on a weightloss journey themselves but have lots the battle over and over due to poor choices and not really gettin serious about there goals. It made me write the 'Friend or Foe" entry on my page. Things are slightly better, well kind of, but not as good as they should be.

I pulled back huge for a little over a month and oby did they notice. I just didnt make myself available for the snide remarks and the hurtful comments. The next time I was with them and 1 proceeded to say something I stopped her dead in her tracks and thats been the last of that crap!

I wish you all the best in 'weeding'! :)

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NATKITA 8/24/2010 2:13PM

    Amen, sister! Great blog, and I can sooooooo relate! I've dropped a good 500 lbs in the last few years by pulling up the weeds in my garden! (and that's NOT counting the 76 lbs I've taken off my own body) Sometimes I still catch myself feeling a twinge of guilt for cutting certain toxic influences out of my life...but then I remember how much better and more positive my life is since I "tended to my garden" and re-directed my focus to the flowers instead of the weeds. Thanks for this blog, and you have a sparkling day now!

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KINGDOMHEIR 8/24/2010 12:51PM

    LUV IT! I can see why GRACIE4ONE & SLIMMAR were so inspired and I am as well. Just pulled a Scene Stealer and on my way to get the Negative & Dream Killer out of my life. Don't have to worry about any Scallywags, etc at the moment, but rest assured have always been able to handle those (LOL). May God continue to bless you as you obtain your goals both physical and spiritual.

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K82BTHIN 8/24/2010 8:37AM

    Wonderful blog - forces one to think about their lives and their associations with people! thanks!

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MISTYMAYHEM1 8/24/2010 12:16AM

    Thank you for this, this is so much truth. You have to watch the company you keep b/c they not only affect your reputation but they can wreak havoc on your spirit. Negative people, bad influences, toxic relationships can weigh you down faster than anything than you can get at the drive thru. I've done my fair share of "gardening" too, like you said its not easy but once you do it you are so much happier and healthier for it. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AICANDYDAGURU 8/23/2010 9:43PM

    this read was right on time! im breaking up with a scene stealer as we speak! her negativity is poisoning me! Thank you! emoticon emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 8/23/2010 9:17PM

    I know that you have a few friends for life & people that are associates. Thank you so much for sharing about dead weight! We all got it. . .God bless, Dee

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TAYVIE 8/23/2010 8:09PM

    So completely agree with this! It is so necessary to remove all of the "dead weight" from your life and notice that people are either with you or against you. I would also add to the list those who want you to do more for them than they will do for themselves. You spend all of your time and energy trying to help them do whatever and when it comes down to it, you realize that you are the only one putting in any work...had TOO many of those!

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FELLE442 8/23/2010 7:55PM

    This is right on! I even know a few that are combinations of a couple of the above.

Slowly but very steadily I have distanced myself for them. No time for their drama...or the deadweight!

Great blog!

emoticon emoticon

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ALESHABEE 8/23/2010 5:00PM

    Amen sister!

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MARI2006 8/23/2010 4:35PM

    Enjoyed reading this very much! Thank you!

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MASONK 8/23/2010 3:43PM

    Great Blog and so true! Congrats to you on clearing out your garden!

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COCOABUTTASAKI 8/23/2010 3:39PM

    I had a Hoe in my life... I got rid of her, LOL! Everytime she got around my man WELL THE ONE TIME lol she turn into a different person and started acting needy and asking him to do stuff for her. This lasted all of 2 minutes and I nipped it in the butt and relized I cant trust her... Anyways this is a great blog and its something I can totally relate too! Haters are Gonna Hate no point in being around it.

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MONIQUE138 8/23/2010 1:58PM

    BOOM!!!! (as the girl in the movie "Why did I get Married" would say. Great blog!!! I loved every word. I just had to cut off a scene stealer, hoes and trollops recently. LOL!! Thanks for the uplifting advice and words of encouragement.

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JUSTFOXXY 8/23/2010 1:10PM

    You spoke the truth. I believe the biggest reason we keep them around is because we're trying to bring the up while they're working so hard to bring you down.

Good call. Great blog.

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ANASONIC 8/23/2010 12:56PM

    True wisdom! We don't need those haters bringing us down...(we have enough to do just silencing our own little voice inside us!) Very well said! emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMAR 8/23/2010 12:28PM

    Love it! That was one of the first things I had to do in order to start my weight loss journey, get rid of the riff raff in my life and that also included some family members. Good for you in seeing that this is part of the healing process of getting the pounds off.
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GRACIE4ONE 8/23/2010 12:18PM

    OMG! First let me say that I looked at your pic (and also the year in your name) and assumed that you are fairly young. If indeed you are, hats off to you for realizing at your tender age that you have to "SHAKE THE HATAS OFF"! This was a tremendously WONDERFUL blog and i loved the way you put it..... "pulling the weeds", I tend to refer to "weeds" as TOXIC PEOPLE and just recently had to clean my own garden. This truly spoke to my heart and thank you for having the wisdom to know, and to share it with us all! You are fierce!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Year in Review....You've come a long way baby (pics included)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little over a year ago I happened to be watching Good Morning America while eating a chocolate, chocolate chip muffin and drinking one of those designer coffee drinks that is more whipped cream, syrup and sugar than coffee. I had no idea that my life as I knew it was about to change.

They were doing a segment about People magazine's cover story of regular people who had lost at least half their size. There was a woman on who was a doctor and a mother of 5...and had lost over 140 pounds with the help of SP. I sat there, I looked at her, looked at me and decided I was over it.

-I was over only taking pictures from the boobs up.

-I was over feeling insecure about how Ethan and I looked together.

-I was over having to hunt for fierce fashion in my size.

I was over looking in the mirror and hating what I saw but mostly I was over myself and my excuses and my apathy about my health and my weight.

So I finished my muffin and my coffee drink (change takes time people lol) and did a web search for Spark People. Once I found out it was free I figured I had nothing to lose but weight so I joined up. And in the year that I've been on SP, I haven't just lost...I've gained. I've lost weight and inches, but gained body confidence. I lost my bad habits but gained self discipline. I lost my unreasonable expectations and gained real knowledge and understanding. I lost my excuses but gained self reliance.

Spark people gave me the knowledge, tools and support I needed to go from a woman who struggled to finish Coach Nicole's 10 minute jump rope video to a woman who is now doing P90X. I went from all my veggies coming out of a can to being a regular at the Farmer's Market. I went from compromising myself and my health to refusing to take less than what I know I deserve. And it was all "sparked" by seeing someone else's story and them being brave enough and generous enough to share their struggle. So as I look back at this year and look forward to the next one, I share my story I hope someone somewhere finds themselves sparked into action and they in turn inspire and motivate someone around them.

and now some before and afters.....

EEK at the this before picture....42 pounds may not sound like much but dang what a difference



from the side...(ok why did no one tell me I looked like I was in my third trimester lol)


the "fat pants pic"


Old work out shorts vs new work out shorts


new jeans vs. old jeans

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHWEE241 11/23/2010 7:43AM

    I remember our journey to spark people one day we were on the phone and in that second out of nowhere I mentioned the weight loss and we started that day and didn't look back. I feel and if I semi abandoned you because I lost the weight then got pregnant and kinda dropped of the face of the earth. Once again I can not say how proud I am of you enough MJ.

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MINERVA25 10/9/2010 1:11PM

    congratulation on your journey

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MARCYNA 9/2/2010 11:11AM

    Love it!!!!

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MARCYNA 9/2/2010 11:11AM

    Love it!!!!

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K82BTHIN 8/24/2010 8:38AM

    Crazy!!!! Job well done!

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ALESHABEE 8/23/2010 5:01PM

    Awesome work and keep it up!

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GRACIE4ONE 8/23/2010 12:21PM

    WELL, you are an inspiration and your writing is awesome! Keep blogging honey!

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MORNING_NOONAN 8/6/2010 6:04PM

    Wow that is such a transformation. Keep up the great work. You may have been inspired by others, but now you inspire me!!

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ANDIEJZ 8/6/2010 4:31PM

  D@mn you're hot!! Great blog! It gave me inspiration to continue on my journey!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/6/2010 4:26PM

    What a fabulous blog. So honest and so real. But isn't that really how it happens - it's like a miracle dropped in your lap at the right time.

It was the right time for you [and for me for that matter]. And just look at you now. Just as hot and fabulous and diva-licious as you want to be.

I am so proud of you and happy for you. Great pics by the way.

You are GREAT!!! Woot!!

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RANDOM00B 7/28/2010 1:41PM

    emoticon JOB!!!

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FINOMENAL1 7/19/2010 7:29PM

    You go girl! Very inspirational! Love the little shorts:)

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BEACHBODY2011 7/18/2010 2:25PM

    Wow!!! I'm impressed. I've been on SP before, and after a traumatic event gave it (and a lot of other things up). I'm back on SP for about 2 weeks when I decided to order Power 90. Consequently I did a SparkSearch to see if others were doing it, and I found your blog. You look amazing!! How do you feel? My DVDs should be in within a week, then I will take (and post) my before picture. Congratulations on a job well done! emoticon

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WOOFGANG 7/12/2010 5:11PM

    Amazing is right - amazing what you've been able to accomplish, and amazing that you could look yourself in the eye and say "I am over YOU and your excuses/apathy" etc. You go girl! You look great and I'll bet your health numbers are terrific (blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, etc. etc.)

Congrats and thanks for sharing!

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JENNY32MN 7/11/2010 10:08PM

    Amaaaaazing!

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CHILEX3 7/11/2010 2:40PM

  All I can say is WOW !!!!!

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DALLASROO 7/10/2010 10:48PM

    Bravo. Well done!!
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ACROSONIC 7/9/2010 10:10PM

    What an inspiration! And I like the way you express yourself! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/9/2010 10:15:42 PM

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MASE72 7/9/2010 7:49PM

    Great Blog! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTH4LYFE 7/9/2010 12:23PM

    What a great catalyst for you to begin your spark journey. I really like how you write about all the things you have gained from using the tools available on SP instead of just the pounds you have lost. emoticon

Keep up the great work!

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BOGUSANNIE 7/9/2010 5:46AM

    what a great read! Thanks for the inspiration...it has to start somehwere now doesn't it?
Wonderful!

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AQUABUNNY 7/9/2010 12:57AM

    Your pics are proof that 42 lbs. is actually a significant difference, and you look beautiful! Congrats!

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AMARIEW1 7/8/2010 6:43PM

    Wow! You look wonderful! Great job.

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DESERT_BIRD 7/8/2010 4:44PM

    emoticon

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MARCYNA 7/8/2010 2:01PM

    Oh you look gorgeous!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAKELE 7/8/2010 12:06PM

    Awesome job! Well done!

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MAKELE 7/8/2010 12:06PM

    Awesome job! Well done!

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CINNAMONGURL06 7/8/2010 11:47AM

    I feel the same way about my journey! Seeing the cover story in Good Housekeeping about Spark is what led me to this wonderful site full of resources and encouragement! Support really does make a difference in your motivation and dedication. You look fabulous! I can't wait to see where I am in a year's time.

Thanks for sharing your transformation.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANDINHA1231 7/8/2010 8:12AM

  You look great thank you, God bless

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GWYNNETHJACK 7/7/2010 1:33PM

    thank you! this is JUST what i needed to read today! you are inspirational!

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LADY_KATHY 7/7/2010 10:54AM

    FANTASTIC... You've done a GREAT job is looking GREAT.. Keep up the good work. : )


•*´¨) †
¸.• ¸.•*´¨)¸.•*¨) †
(¸.• ♥ Kathy ♥


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MANDYDE 7/7/2010 5:29AM

    Wow - what an amazing transformation - you look great! emoticon

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GODSBEST 7/6/2010 9:45PM

    You look great - thanks for the re-inspiration and keep up the good work.


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MOOSEHORNS 7/6/2010 7:04PM

    This is great!! I have a ponch like that and I want mine gone too.. Good luck!
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MOJOGIRL 7/6/2010 3:45PM

    Wow!Amazing and motivating.

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KRYSTLEKLEAR 7/6/2010 2:28PM

    Wow congratulations! =)

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CINDY1TWO3 7/6/2010 10:22AM

    emoticon Great job! And good post, I love the comments about all the things you have gained!

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MRSPOTATOHEAD83 7/6/2010 9:48AM

    Very motivational!

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JUSTFOXXY 7/6/2010 9:40AM

    Awesome job! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/6/2010 9:17AM

  Inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

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PRINCESSAL 7/6/2010 5:54AM

  wow am going to the gym now!!

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WIGIME 7/6/2010 5:46AM

    Good job & a wonderful story. Keep up the good work!

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SORCHAKAT 7/5/2010 11:44PM

    Thank you for your blog. I have been having some tough days lately and your blog has lifted my spirit. Well done and don't ever stop caring about yourself!
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SORCHAKAT 7/5/2010 11:44PM

    Thank you for your blog. I have been having some tough days lately and your blog has lifted my spirit. Well done and don't ever stop caring about yourself!
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SORCHAKAT 7/5/2010 11:44PM

    Thank you for your blog. I have been having some tough days lately and your blog has lifted my spirit. Well done and don't ever stop caring about yourself!
emoticon emoticon

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KIN59VARA 7/5/2010 10:23PM

    Great blog


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MARTHAWILL 7/5/2010 8:53PM

    Great job.

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SPARKLESMOTION 7/5/2010 4:23PM

    Wow...very inspirational! Thanks for posting, you look fantastic, but I know you must feel even better emoticon

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GRAHARE 7/5/2010 12:09PM

  I loved reading about your year's journey. I'm just starting mine again and the inspiration was very helpful! I hope, no I know!, I will be reporting on some awesome and significant changes myself next July! Thanks! emoticon

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ALLIEJO88 7/5/2010 11:20AM

    Very inspiring..you look fantastic!

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