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MICHCLEARY's Recent Blog Entries

I have an announcement to make.....

Sunday, January 08, 2012

emoticon Dear World - 7.5 months post surgery I can now swim!!!!!! This is major to me!

emoticon I absolutely love to swim and that was one of the motivating factors to me deciding to have shoulder surgery. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life not being able to swim. One torn bicep repair later I can now do it.

I got in the pool tonight after not trying for 2 months. I've been doing my physical therapy and making progress. I didn't know what to expect. I pushed off the wall, kicked out and then went to make my first stroke. I was tentative and wondered if I would be like the last time where I could barely get my arm through the whole motion. I expected to reach that "point" where my shoulder just stuck and it was a painful decision to keep going around. That point didn't come and I thought wow can I get my arm around, so I did a second stroke and by the third one I was about ready to stand up in the pool, jump up and down, and scream to everyone in there "I can swim". I wonder what they would have done?

So here's the other news from the day:

This was lunch today. I showed you a picture of my fridge yesterday with all my chopped/prepped food and this lunch was done in 10 minutes. I sprayed a pan with sesame oil and sauteed, 1/2 sliced onion, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 2 cups sliced baby bok choy, 2 diced chicken breast, 2 instant microwave cups of brown rice, 3-4 stalks chopped celery and sliced almonds with a little soy sauce.

Those few hours of organizing, and prepping will save me tons of time this week and make it easier for me to keep my streak of healthy meals going. I've seen the family eating more fresh fruit now that it's washed, and ready to go.

This was dinner: a new recipe from Eating Well Magazine February Issue page 54 called Firehouse Frito Pie. I give it 2 thumbs up. The recipe is spicy so if you don't like that you might want to cut down the 1/2 c chili powder and leave off the jalapeno slices.

You layer in the bowl: toasted tortilla strips, chili, scallions, jalapeno, romaine, tomatoes and cheese. I used weight watchers cheese. The recipe says each serving is 447 calories and it was a very filling meal. The chili was made with turkey and kidney beans. So you end up with low fat meat which you could leave out if you want to go vegan, and a couple of servings of vegetables. What was even better about the whole dinner was that my daughter made it while I was at the gym, and there are plenty of leftovers! The magazine says it was $2.50 a serving, but I didn't sit down and figure out if that is what I spent.

emoticon I got woken up too early this morning by someone texting me. I thought what the heck...it was my pastor who I've been trying to help with his healthy lifestyle. He was jazzed to report that he lost 3 lbs this week and apparently thought the earlier I knew this the better!

So that is basically my day - wholesome foods, good exercise, great church, and I smell like chlorine -


How was your day?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIFIFRIZZLE 1/10/2012 5:24AM

    Yay for swimming!

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FATHINSN 1/9/2012 10:52PM

    Wow, that's great, to able to do you favourite thing after so long no doing it! And you also helped you pastor losing weight, Well Done! Maybe I can try help our local Imams through my dad :D

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ISHIIGIRL 1/9/2012 10:24PM

    That is amazing news. Congrats!

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JUNEAU2010 1/9/2012 10:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RICCILYNN 1/9/2012 3:41PM

    congrats on the swimming! that is awesome! and the meals look fanatastic! keep up the good work!

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TMW54812 1/9/2012 2:35PM

    Very happy to hear you are back "in the swim of things"! My own shoulder problem prevents me from many strength training exercises...maybe someday I'll get the courage to have the necessary surgery.

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AMYC0128 1/9/2012 1:16PM

    emoticon congratulations so happy have you can swim again!!!!

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SUSIEWHITE1109 1/9/2012 11:56AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Woohooo!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!! You have done a fantastic job with your PT and the whole recovery process!!! Way to go! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMILYULM1 1/9/2012 10:20AM

    This is sooooo wonderful. I would have been hooping and hollering myself if that was me in the pool. Yes!!! You have done so well and have been so patient. What an inspiration to others who have had injuries that have to slowly heal.

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RUNNER4LIFE08 1/9/2012 10:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am so excited to hear that you are back to what you love! You are a huge motivator showing people that with hard work and dedication you can get to where you want to be. You never gave up through your post surgery days.

Those meals look so yummy! I am trying new things out this new year. Time to get out the magazine and recipe books!

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CMHARRISON12 1/9/2012 7:18AM

    emoticon I also love swimming, and will use your excitement about being back in the pool as a good kick in my rear to get in the pool this week. I love that chlorine smell (at least for a moment or two after finishing!!) Way to go!!

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MAMACHEF76 1/9/2012 2:35AM

    I kinda like smelling like chlorine! :) I'm so very glad for you!!!!!

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ERIECANALGAL 1/9/2012 12:39AM

    emoticonon the swimming and those meals look very healthy! emoticon

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 1/9/2012 12:23AM

    emoticon on the swimming! How great for you!

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MKPRINCESS007 1/8/2012 10:57PM

    Thanks for sharing your food! But more importantly..........

TULATIONS on being able to swim again! Awesome! You have worked hard for that, so enjoy every minute!

What a great day! Whooooohooooooooooooo!


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KKLENNERT809 1/8/2012 10:21PM

    Great day, and I'm happy for you! How exciting to have someone so happy about losing 3 pounds, give him a break!! What an accomplishment.

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ALLEY2300 1/8/2012 10:01PM

    Yay Mich!! So happy for you!!

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ROCKINMOM77 1/8/2012 9:47PM

    Congrats on the swimming!! Your Pastor made me laugh! emoticon

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PAMAPPLE 1/8/2012 9:43PM

    Sounds like a perfect Sunday! I can sympathize with shoulder problems since I have a bone spur in mine... will be going to doc who specializes in shoulders. Keep up the great eating and exercise!

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TXGRANDMA 1/8/2012 9:42PM

    Mine was great! I managed to get in 75 minutes of exercise and got all the ornaments taken off the Christmas tree! This may not be an ordeal for most, but that one task took me 6.5 hours! emoticon

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DABLUECAT 1/8/2012 9:20PM

    DH & I went to the gym together then did groceries. I have a whole pile of spinach to cook up for some creamy spinach now emoticon

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KHAMELEON1 1/8/2012 9:16PM

    yay for swimming emoticon

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MADDEELOU 1/8/2012 9:06PM

    Sounds like a perfect day! Congrats on getting back in the pool.

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Tips, Tidbits, and Trivia

Saturday, January 07, 2012

These are two of the magazines that I got this week. Today I pulled four recipes out of them to try for this week and headed off shopping. Here's what we are trying this week if all goes well:

Firehouse Frito Pie - Eating Well Magazine page 54
Couscous Paella Soup - Eating Well Pg 41
Chiles Rellenos with Chicken - EWM pg. 54
Tangy Shrimp Cocktail - page 109 FatLoss (oxygen mag)

When I told my husband I had found a clean eating version of frito pie, his eyes almost bugged out of his head.

Morning Breakfast - less than 300 calories

1 orange and scrambled eggs - 2 eggs, 2 egg whites, red bell pepper, mushrooms, scallions, laughing cow cheese, jalepeno, and topped with 2 T avocado.

This filled me up so much I skipped my routine mid morning snack. I had lunch with my oldest daughter at Whole Foods salad bar:

Here's my salad. I also had a few bites of my daughter's soup/bread.
Going shopping with her is like taking Danika Kirkpatrick (the race car driver). She was driving and literally I have to divert my eyes and constantly ask her to slow down. She goes through stores like that too...impatient and racing. I was able to teach her a few things in the produce department because Whole Foods carries some exotic stuff.

We got cut short because she was called in to work. I do not think she will have any energy when she gets home. She works for a BBQ place that is within 1/2 of a stadium that today was holding a major championship for high school football and there were 15,000 people down the street from her BBQ place. #crazybusy

The salad did not hold me over, but I pulled out fiber bar #1 that I had stashed in my purse while we were driving home.

Shopping trip number two was to Costco. We have those cabinets full of mismatched tupperware that when you open the door it falls out on you like snow on a mountain from an avalanche. Today I decided to do something about it because I never had a good way to store stuff in the fridge that is organized.

First up:

Two large containers to hold it all so that when I open the door nothing falls out! I can pull out the bin and get what I want. I also bought two sets of plastic containers with lids that are in the dishwasher right now.

Second up - after a trip to one last store - was cleaning, prepping, and organizing the fridge:

I want my options for Clean Eating to be fast, easy, and portable within a few minutes during the week. Taking the time today to shop, chop, and store will help me continue to make wise choices during the week when things get crazy.

Two new items in my shopping cart:

Plum Amazins which is basically diced plums but has more fiber, less sugar, and fewer calories than cranberries and raisins. I'm going to use this on salads.

Love Crunch - Dark Chocolate Granola with dehydrated strawberries and raspberries - using this on top of greek yogurt and fruit. Tried it and it was love at first bite!

This afternoon while driving all these places, I had fiber bar #2 and 1/2 c of blackberries with water. Luna Bar - Chocolate Peppermint Stick - LOVE it!

this evening I was too dang tired to cook, so I grabbed a bunch of containers out of the fridge and had a mixed greens salad with sliced almonds, feta, strawberries, sliced chicken breast and baslamic vinegar. Fast and easy once the prep is done.

I'm off to do my hula hoop and arm weights and then crash in bed and read. Maybe hot bath if I can keep my eyes open. All my food is tracked and I'll have a yogurt, fruit, and granola snack before bed.

How was your day, and did you do anything to help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSIEWHITE1109 1/9/2012 11:59AM

    emoticon emoticon WOW!! The 'frig looks emoticon!!!! Great job!! emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 1/9/2012 10:16AM

    Yum...yum....yum..... emoticon

Made my mouth water!

Awesome job! I need to get better at this. It would help on those nights when we say, "what's for dinner"?

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MAMACHEF76 1/9/2012 2:39AM

    Good gravy, your fridge looks awesome!!!!

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FATHINSN 1/8/2012 6:35PM

    Wow, you fridge is very organized, I like how you use containers to make everything looks neat.

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EMILYULM1 1/8/2012 3:48PM

    You never cease to amaze me. Your variety of food and recipe ideas is fantastic. I must learn to just go for it and experiment. It's just that I hate food preparation. Ugh. Thanks for the ideas.

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JUNEAU2010 1/8/2012 1:44PM

    Wow! The food, the magazines, the organization - all is fantastic! Healthy frito pie would make my eyes bug out, too!

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AMOSHATCH 1/8/2012 1:04PM

    Can you come to my house and make my fridge look that organized? Wow! Maybe I just need a new fridge!

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CELEST 1/8/2012 6:39AM

    I love the way your fridge looks, now you'll find exactly what you need when you need it without unpacking the whole thing. LOL
I had a drive like that with an old friend who is 80 and still driving....vowed that was the last time I will be in the same car and him behind the wheel!!!

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GIZZI315 1/7/2012 11:42PM

    Nothing nearly as physically healthy, but my daughter and I did have "spa nite" tonite - did each others' hair and nails, back and foot massages - mmmmmmmm

And I did the challenges for Jumpstart January and Western Colorado so I don't feel too sluggish even tho we ate bacon wrapped scallops with water chestnuts for dinner :)

Thanks much for sharing all ur real-time advice!


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ROCKYCPA 1/7/2012 9:50PM

    Sounds delicious!

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NCSUE0514 1/7/2012 8:14PM

    Yummy yummy!

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ROCKINMOM77 1/7/2012 8:11PM

    Your blogs aways make my mouth water!! Sounds like you had a great day with your daughter!! I wish my fridge was neat and tidy like yours full of Prepped fruits and veggies!! I grocery shopped today too, got lots of fruits and veggies too! emoticon also did P90X this morning, W12D5!! Reaching those healthy lifestyle goals with you!! emoticon

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Daily Motivational Poster:

Today is Day 6 for me of continuous healthy meals - somewhere between 36-42 meal streak since I eat 6-7 times a day. Trying to keep my streak alive and reporting daily to my January accountability partner from my team is really helping my mind slow down to consider what I eat more carefully.

So what was in my lunch bowl?

Two bowls actually - brown rice, chicken, mushrooms, red bell pepper, balsamic vinagrette and avocado. Desert was 1 kiwi, 1/2 cup raspberries and 2 T pomegranate seeds.

Walking the walk....tonight I ended up at the grocery store hungry post dinner time when I hadn't eaten. Since I just had a blog about knowing where to eat while I was out and making healthy choices I stopped and ate first:

I got a bottle of water, 1 roll, and a small serving size of green chicken chili. I normally go for the whole wheat rolls, but this sourdough one was 70 calories less so I opted for that and I have no idea how many calories the soup had.

So I felt better and was able to shop without picking bad stuff. I bought fixings to make homemade salsa, and a great salad for tomorrow. I picked up three magazines and I'll post some reviews tomorrow.

My new crack snack that I have to be very careful to measure and walk away from the bag:

emoticon I completed Day 6 of the January Jumpstart Challenge and I did 40 minutes on the treadmill.

emoticon As a testament to the fact that small steps over time add up to a big change, I was filing in my office today and found my measurements that my trainer did in 2010 - compared to what he took this past September, I was down
4 inches on my hips
4 inches on my thighs
3.5 inches on my waist
I was down in other places too, but these were significant to me since I tend to be more of a pear shaped size person. Guess I shouldn't be talking smack to him all the time huh?

My son asked me for help in getting in better shape then immediately told me he wouldn't do what I was saying....doh! He'll come around.

emoticon Next weekend my daughter, Rachael, and BFF Susie and I have our first race of the 2012 season. We're doing the Hotcake Hustle 5k. Hope the weather holds because it has be freaking awesome in Texas! Today we had a high of 72. In January. Shorts weather! But Lo and Behold the forecast has upper 40's next week. WTH - that is weather in Texas. They always say if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes and it will change. Except in the summer where it stays above 100 for months at a time.

If you missed the blog yesterday - go back for the Brownie Oatmeal recipe. I made it today and with a few tweaks, it is something I'm going to keep. Also out today is my new blog for The Daily Spark called Scale Haters Unite! Come read it and post on it!

So how was your day today? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEAU2010 1/7/2012 6:39PM

    I love your inches lost report, the fact that your son is coming around and the run next week!

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EMILYULM1 1/7/2012 1:01PM

    I love the motivational posters!! Wish I could get them all and hang them up around my house.

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EGR2BEME 1/7/2012 6:10AM

    You are doing great! Keep it up and good luck with your first race.

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CAMMIECAT 1/6/2012 11:26PM

    Congratulations on the measurements. That is significant! And I love the pictures. You're going to make me hungry. Way to go on your goals. keep up the good work.

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LBEEKMA 1/6/2012 11:24PM

    That lunch bowl looks delicious. I'm a huge avocado nut! I can see why you'd be tempted by the pecans. Awesome determination. Thanks for motivating me!

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SUSIEWHITE1109 1/6/2012 10:42PM

    Great job on the eating -- excellent work at the grocery store! emoticon

Hoping for good weather for our first run of 2012!! emoticon emoticon

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LISA_FRAME 1/6/2012 10:38PM

  Keep up the good work

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Brownie Oatmeal, Creamed Spinach and other good stuff

Thursday, January 05, 2012

I had you on the Brownie Oatmeal right?? I knew it. Anyway I saw this on my twitter thread today and anything healthy that tastes like a brownie...count me in.


I'm having it tonight before bed if I can convince myself to eat something else. I'm below my calorie levels but full right now.

My motivational poster for today that one of my friends got off Pin Interest:


If I thought about it, I probably could of come up with about 52 reasons not to go to the gym tonight...but I went anyway. Thanks to my strong support system and my accountability partners. Leg weights done.

A couple of observations - last year before my surgery in May, I was a regular participant in Zumba. There was a woman in class who was losing weight, and extremely dedicated to that class. Tonight I was using the Roman Chair which is positioned right by the aerobics room and who do I see teaching the Zumba class but the lady I just mentioned. What progress! I crept in to the back of her class and did about 12 minutes just to enjoy the music and watch her teach.

In the front row was someone who used to talk to me about her weight loss journey but who dropped from view for awhile. It was nice to see her back and trying again.

emoticon Okay maybe not very many people like creamed spinach but I used to. I found my own healthy way to have that and made it tonight for dinner post workout. I sprayed the pan with olive oil and threw in about 4 cups of fresh baby spinach. While cooking, add salt & pepper to taste. When it's close to done, I add in 2 wedges of laughing cow cheese and let that melt in all the spinach. Eating the whole thing is less than 90 calories and with that much spinach a whole lot of vitamins.

It's Day 5 of the Jumpstart January Challenge and as soon as I post this, I'm off to do my 10 minute video and then do a whole lot of stretching. Maybe a nice hot bath and some good sleep would be in order. Still not sleeping well.

emoticon Stress meter was on high today, but I was glad to find myself deep breathing, eating healthy, and periodically walking away from the desk to go run around for 5 minutes outside with my dog.

See loves to play chase with the ball out in the backyard. It gets me running and jumping around for a few which is a good mental break. Lucky for me I work at home most of the time. She'll be one year old next month.

emoticon other birthdays coming up...my son turns 20, and daughter turns 18, and our youngest daughter gets her license and can drive without anyone in the car. You can commence praying now!

Shout out to my Twilight challenge team that always keeps me motivated and to my close support group who help keep me on track.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKINMOM77 1/6/2012 4:30PM

    emoticon The oatmeal and spinach sound delish, I think I will be having brownies for breakfast in the morning! lol

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SHAPEITUP3 1/6/2012 10:31AM

    the oatmeal and spinach both sound devine! Thanks!!!!

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DABLUECAT 1/6/2012 8:04AM

    I want to try the creamed spinach too. How much do you cook it? Just til it's starting to wilt?
Thank you!

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EMILYULM1 1/6/2012 8:02AM

    You had me at the creamed spinach, not the brownie!! Loved the blog. It was great to hear about the zumba teacher. Yes, we CAN improve! (I can improve!) Thanks for the reminder. It's nice for you to be able to work at home and get that 10 minutes of exercise in when stressed. Thanks for writing about simple ways to take care of yourself.

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JUNEAU2010 1/5/2012 11:24PM

    I will have to try your creamed spinach recipe - it sounds YUMMY!

How cool about the zumba teacher! Majorly inspirational!

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LAURIE5658 1/5/2012 10:07PM

    Oh my word...the brownie oatmeal. Michelene, THANK YOU for sharing this recipe!! Score!

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Various pics and news from an exhausted mind....

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Day 2 of finding a motivational picture to share on my blog. I loved this one when I saw it because (a) she's running and it's sunny and (b) It's true that the little voice in your head that says you can't is a liar!

So here's my "oh hell yes I can" streak I've got going this week: 4 days of choosing healthy meals. I wanted to do a streak to see how many meals in a row I could make healthy choices with to try and eliminate the unwanted random food that sneaks in when you're mad, sad, happy, whatever just because you want comfort food. By committing to my January Daily Accountability Partner (Runningsushi - you rock) I've now made it four whole days - which by the way is somewhere between 24 to 28 meals for me since I eat 6-7 meals a day.

emoticon Today I put on my skinny jeans and they totally fit - which was not exactly the case after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yes I could zip them up, but no I wasn't wearing them out of the house. Today I did.

Here's what was in my lunch bowl today:

I sauteed together:
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup pinto beans (canned)
2 large scallions chopped
1/3 c chopped fresh red bell pepper
1 cup chopped fresh spinach

Heat that all through. Layer 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, top with the cooked veggie mixture and top with 2 T salsa and about 3 large T chopped avocado.

That was a heck of a lot of food for only 358 calories. Plus I got in well over 4 cups of veggies in one meal!

emoticon Did Day 4 of the Jumpstart January Challenge workout video. After this I'm off to do a few minutes of stretching and Yoga before hitting the bed.

emoticon I wear a BodyBugg now so I'm very aware of my sleep patterns. My husband had a tooth pulled yesterday and the pain medication they gave him caused him to toss and turn and talk in his sleep. I now know that the longest sleep I had last night that was uninterrupted was 2 hours and 6 minutes. I'm thinking bad thoughts about how to deal with that tonight if it happens again! JK I wouldn't do anything bad but I might go sleep on the couch!

emoticon My new article will come out on The Daily Spark tomorrow. I'd appreciate all the comments, likes, and shares from my buddies! It's called "Scale Haters Unite!" unless they changed the title I put on there - which is fine and totally their option.

emoticon So that's it...I must sleep but wanted to post my motivation for today.

I heart my sparkfriends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDA! 1/8/2012 7:24PM

    I really think the dish looks wonderful. Good luck to you in 2012!! emoticon

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SHAPEITUP3 1/5/2012 4:41PM

    thank you for this... I think I am going to begin to do this also with healthy food choices. I try everyday, but lunch is my temptation... NO LONGER! You are a true inspiration! emoticon

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ALLEY2300 1/5/2012 11:46AM

    I really wish all the pictures would come through ehre at work--but will take what I can get! At least I can log into Spark here at work!

I will check when I get home--

I also want to learn to cook like you .... eventually I will!

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MICRAELIE 1/5/2012 8:52AM

    Thanks for the blog update. I continue to be inspired by your beautiful meals. I'm glad your skinny jeans fit!

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LIZZYP609 1/5/2012 7:38AM

    OMG! I love it! I am gonna steal your picture!
Lunch looks awesome!! I heart avocados!
Looking forward to the article!

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JOYFULMOMTO5 1/5/2012 3:10AM

    emoticonWe emoticon you, too! Keep up the streaking! emoticon

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