PCOH051610   51,837
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Teams, teams, teams - how do you chose?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hi,

Another funny thing has happened to me that I have to thank Spark for. Suddenly I crave challenges -whether they be with myelf or with other people. I was on the TeddyBear team in the fall and got overwhelmed with it but I do find I need someting to get me inspired. My goal to virtually walk across our island is coming to and end soon (yeah) but I have really enjoyed the competition I set with myself to get those km under my belt.

I've been browsing teams all day and again, feel overwhelmed. Those based on interests and ailments all look like fun BUT I don't see the challenge. Let me remind you that I'm the one who was picked last for gym class so it amazes me that I need to be challenged.

Some of you have suggested that I join the team for people living with depression but I have hesitated. In the past I have found involvement in similiar teams becomes a spot to "talk and share stories" but that is not what I need right now. I need a reason to get my bum out that door and to resume my healthy lifestyle search.

I have realized that a challenge for me has to be just that "a challenge for me". I need to be able to compete with myself to log in "blank" number of fitness minutes or to walk "blank" my kms in such a such time. Then I like to challenge myself to improve the next week and so on.

Will have to give this more thought but in the meantime any suggestions are gladly welcomed!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAZYDOGLADYBO 1/3/2012 3:32PM

    Have you looked at the January Jumpstart Challenge yet, it is a short one.

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LIBBYFITZ 1/3/2012 8:04AM

    I have joined the January Jumpstart Workout Challenge! Very short and to the point strength training videos that are incorporated on the team page.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/31/2011 5:16PM

    Susan, I hope you find just the right one! I need to get busy with a boot camp challenge as they seem to be the best ones for me! I'll wait until my parents leave and then I'll get to it! Today, though, I did walk an hour and 20 minutes, so that was good!

Have a wonderful, wonderful new year! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 12/31/2011 10:43AM

    I'm surprised that I feel the same way. I took marching band to get out of gym class. But I find I'm addicted to the challenges. For me, it's about making it a game. If it's fun and interesting, I stick with it. If you don't find a challenge you like, how about making one of your own and throwing it out to your fellow teammates? You might be able to incorporate that into a team you're already on.

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BRIGHTPENNY 12/31/2011 1:07AM

    I've got the team you may be looking for! It's calld, "Where are you walking to?" you pick a point and decide to virtually walk there, just like you did across the island. why don't you come and visit me in ontario. or we could meet half way? It would be fun, we could stop at all the TH or Starbuck's on the way!? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWMAC2011 12/30/2011 5:36PM

    There's a January challenge starting where you just do 1 Coach Nicole video a day (they're very short) and some cardio 5 days a week. It's for 4 weeks to get the year kick-started. I can't do a working link but if you copy this, you can read about it to see if it's for you: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/
groups_individual.asp?gid=54344

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HOPESINGH 12/29/2011 4:54AM

    I know what you mean. Why didn't you join the Winter 5% challenge? I was too late to try and join it, but it sounded really great.
The challenges I crave are the Spark type - small steps that accumulate. I wish I had more tools like the Sparkstreaks tracker and the Other goals tracker, only in other domains of life. It gives such a push!

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PONYFARMER 12/28/2011 9:06PM

    Good for you for completing a team. I am only going to share my experience, so take it or leave it.

I know of a great team, but you will need to contact someone and get invited, it is a closed team and I do not know where they are right now b/c I stopped doing teams. It is called the THE EIGHT WEEK BATTLE. They seperate into, 4 different mini team based on your weight and then they have challenges and keep each other motivated. If you really want to be a part of this team let me know and I will talk with someone who is still in it. Again it is a closed, private team and it ends every 8 weeks.

My take on teams: I kind of agree with Linda that you can do it w/o a team. But some people really like teams, I just found it overwhelming and it stressed me out. Since I stopped teams, other than my shoulder surgery team, it just felt to much like I had to do this or that and it did not work for me. Since I have stopped doing teams I have lost 20 pounds. While I was on teh team, I lost nothing.

Let me know if you are interested.

One other team taht I liked before I left teams was the Biggest Loser teams. I again could hook you up if you wanted. Keep looking and you will find what you want. Let us know what you deceide to do so that we can support you.

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_LINDA 12/28/2011 7:10PM

    Sparks has a feature where you can set and track your own goals. You can even earn Spark points for them. If you click on Spark Points, you will find a header called Other Goals -this is where any team goals you have chosen appear -the standard ones like eating your veggies, drinking water, etc., but at the bottom of the page, it says set your own custom goals. These are ones just for you and are not attached to a team. You earn one spark point for reaching a goal every day up to a maximum of five. I get them all just by the tram goals I have taken on, but if you have not joined any team goals, setting your own may be just the thing. To me for example, eating five freggies a day is too easy and I could do more. Think of something you are weak on, like tracking, wink, wink, and set a goal to track your food once a day, or twice, what ever challenges you the most. As for exercise -30 minutes daily of anything. Could be 10 minutes situps, 10 minutes brisk walk, etc. Or something specific you would like to focus on in fitness. Can you do a push up for example? Maybe a goal would be to do daily push ups, wall to start with and progress as you can, as long as you try to do as much as you can each day.. There are lots of areas we all have that need improvement. Its just a matter of picking them out and focusing on them.
Good luck with it! You can do it!!

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GLORYANDME 12/28/2011 6:46PM

    SP has so many challenges I am sure you will find one or one will find you. Best wishes!

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TAMIPCHICAGO 12/28/2011 6:01PM

    I like the 10+ minutes a day team I'm on. Most days it's WAY more than 10 minutes, but it keeps it on my mind, and keeps me accountable for doing it daily. Another of my teams has a move your body in some way at least 15 min a day. Again, it's usually way more, but on days like today when I'm stuck working long hours, it was not a lot more. I got in 22 min of cardio and 9 min strength training. If it weren't for the two teams, I might have easily blown off any at all because of my schedule.

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CHUBRUB3 12/28/2011 5:41PM

    I agree with others below, you will find the one right for you.
hugs,
Angela

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LENELLA 12/28/2011 5:41PM

    I agree with KANSASROSE67, so I am suggesting that you start a group that allows it's members to set their own goals, and track their own success. Then they can submit the results once a week. You can also ask for suggestions from your members for their ideas for group challenges. *smiles with a twinkle in her eye* You can do it! haha!

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THETURTLEBEAR 12/28/2011 5:12PM

    You'll find the one. I have no doubt!

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KANSASROSE67 12/28/2011 5:05PM

    I have had trouble with team challenges that require too much of me...time spent tracking and meeting requirements is time I'm not spending getting out and exercising or cooking healthy food or hanging out with my family. The best luck I've had is with challenges I create myself. Like right now, I'm trying to reach 700 miles of running in 2012 and it's gotten me out the door on some days when nothing else would have!

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LTMURPHY7 12/28/2011 4:50PM

 
There has to be a challenge for you. Check the teams

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Why I don't think "back on track" should be part of our vocabulary

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hello,

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas holiday - even those who are not Christians because it is a holiday even having the stores around us close. Sort of forces one to relax so to say.

It is Boxing Day here and we are one of the few places left that has today as another mandatory holiday for stores. At least the employees have an extra day to spend with their families and we, as consumers, are given a break from the demands we seem to place on ourselves.

I am having a really nice Christmas and am proud to report that my favourite gift this year is the Spark cookbook! I'm so excited! While the leather purse and boots are lovely they don't have the same potential overall to change my life so the cookbook gets the #1 spot!

I've been reading blogs this morning - well, at least I am trying to despite nursing a migraine. I am intrigued by the number of people who wrote that they are trying to get back on track. To get back on track implies that you somehow cannot incorporate treats and family times with the healthy lifestyle that Spark encourages.

Nothing can be further from the truth. Remember it is all the 80/20 rule. Eat right 80 percent of the time and you can allow treats and other "junk" food 20 percent. It is not an all or nothing plan! Yesterday, I did enjoy our turkey dinner - I even had gravy (tasteless by the way and I can say that because I made the whole meal!), passed on dessert because I was stuffed but did have a handful of chocolates later. I didn't regret eating any of it and I certainly don't feel like I went off the tracks. I know from previous experience that this week is one week where I will eat stuff that I normally don't but that is part of MY Christmas.

I walked 2km yesterday morning when it was -16 (with the windchill it was even lower) but I didn't do that so I could eat more throughout the day. I did that because I knew it was a beautiful day outside, my dogs needed the exercise and we had fruit to cut up so the forest critters would have a taste of Christmas too. Don't feel guilty if you didn't exercise as if I had family with me or children I wouldn't have found the time either. As it was, my mom didn't want to come over until the afternoon so we had the morning to ourselves.

Again, don't let one or two days of eating extravagantly cause you to throw in the towel or somehow feel guilty. This is YOUR life and make it work for you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADVENTURESEEKER 12/28/2011 11:41PM

    If I use the phrase 'back on track' I mean it as a back to my new normal, as in getting away from the track I was on previously, in which I slipped into (and yes, I slipped into my previously unhealthy eating track for a couple days over Christmas). I completely went off the tracks, derailed for 3 days if you will. Ugg. But am back at it, back to my new normal now :)

I do see where you're coming from though, and the 80/20 is good...
...however the 80/20 was alas not what I accomplished for a couple days, hence the 'back on track' references I've made. Just thought I'd toss that in there.

Keep up the hard work! emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 12/28/2011 7:29PM

    I, too, don't like the phrase "back on track" yet found myself using it today. Of course, my issues don't involve a day or two of eating extravagantly but a couple of months of not doing the things I know make me feel good. You have the right attitude, and I hope that you have many wonderful meals using your new cook book!

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JRIMM4 12/28/2011 5:30PM

    This morning my husband was watching me pack my lunch, "you GET a whole half cup of rice?!" he exclaimed, as I portioned out my Red Beans and Rice. I looked at him and said, "I GET whatever I want." lol It's not about denying or limiting any particular thing but rather about creating a balance and knowing when to say 'thats enough.'

JR

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KANSASROSE67 12/28/2011 5:03PM

    I think you are absolutely right on with this blog! I really like it...but I didn't "LIKE" it!!!

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PATIB13 12/28/2011 2:41PM

    So very true, glad you enjoyed your day and you were able to get out enjoy some time.

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BOVEY63 12/27/2011 11:49AM

    Another great blog!
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Enjoy using your new cookbook!
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IMIN2GENES 12/27/2011 10:16AM

    Nope! No throwing in the towel here. Kudos to you for walking despite the chill. Whew! I'd be hiding indoors. Yikes!
Chris

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_LINDA 12/26/2011 11:27PM

    I too agree with the 80/20 rule and don't go with any 'forbidden foods' I really indulged in the treats this Christmas. Mom made some awesome fudge brownies (which she never does) and my niece Spencer brought her to die for ginger snaps .. can't stop at just one :) My bad as I can't exercise, but I am not going to beat myself up for it -my body does enough of that to me already..
Good on you getting out in the cold to walk!

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JOANNANOW 12/26/2011 11:03PM

    We are enjoying a quiet and delicious holiday. No guilt and much appreciated. I like the 80% 20% thing. It makes sense. Good to hear you are in good spirits ... I hope you have overcome the migraine though.
Sending hugs.
Joanna

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_JODI404 12/26/2011 10:17PM

    The 80/20 rule is a great reminder!!

The principles of gradual change, moderation, and consistency over perfectionism promoted at SparkPeople, definitely bring my life a healthy sense of balance.

We had a mostly healthy special meal, but did allow for several indulgences which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a special occasion, and total deprivation doesn't make things very special! I don't feel guilty at all, and I just stepped up my workout today.

Great blog wisdom, thank you!

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KAYDE53 12/26/2011 5:24PM

    I agree too, I ate what I wanted, yet I didn't completely go "off the tracks", so I'm quite happy!! emoticon

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PONYFARMER 12/26/2011 5:12PM

    I so agree with you. I had some sweet treats on Christmas Eve and at church on Sunday. I was sure that I would put on some weight but nope, not one ounce. I was releaved. I like you believe that you have to allow yourself a treat now and then or in my case, I WILL BINGE! It is a part of my program and I do not ever plan to have "forbidden" foods.

Good blog and hope your migraine goes away. I used to get them but they seem to have vanished from my life. I have carried, a Imitrex in my purse for the last 6 years and have not had to use it. PTL!

Have a great New Year!

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POPSY190 12/26/2011 3:02PM

    Quite right emoticon

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GEORGIAK25 12/26/2011 2:54PM

    emoticon

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HOPESINGH 12/26/2011 2:28PM

    I hope you don't mind i clicked on the "like" button again emoticon
How come you use the metric method?

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CAROLYNINJOY1 12/26/2011 12:25PM

    Excellent thoughts! emoticon

I blogged today about "What did you do right yesterday?"

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GLORYANDME 12/26/2011 12:16PM

    Well said! I have to learn not to beat myself up because I enjoyed a day outside of my calorie range!

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THETURTLEBEAR 12/26/2011 11:46AM

    Well said!

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DEBIBLUE72 12/26/2011 11:37AM

    haven't thought about it like this before. i have been guilty of getting back on track

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 12/26/2011 11:29AM

    Wonderful blog! You are completely correct!! I worked out first thing over the weekend.

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EJOY-EVELYN 12/26/2011 11:27AM

    WooHoo! Great attitude!

I have great joy in regards to my holiday experience. I made a new candy recipe this year, as well as about 40 dozen bit-size cookies. I have learned, through my over five-year weight loss trek that while it is a life-long learning process, denial is not in my vocabulary! I have successfully learned how to incorporate a number foods that many would allow much too much power to take them off the proverbial track.

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MAGICKBEAR 12/26/2011 11:26AM

  I agree with you that "getting back on track" somehow indicates a person did something wrong and must now work to right it. During the holidays I watched what I ate but did not deny myself a cookie or a cup of egg nog; I merely limited myself to one cookie or one cup of egg nog. "Getting back on track" is diet language and we are not on a diet, we are on a journey to better our health and our lives! emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 12/26/2011 11:15AM

    emoticon

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Too bad none of you listen very well!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hello!

Now, I am just one new friend request away from asking Santa Claus to put coal in all of your stockings this Christmas as some of you clicked "like" when I asked you not to! Jeepers, I really can't handle being "popular" and I feel like I am letting my long-term SparkFriends down by committing to new friendships.

I know I don't have to add everybody who adds me but I feel so guilty and I keep wondering if somewhere out there does somebody really need me to be their friend? During my Spark adventure I have needed friends and they have gone beyond the call of duty so maybe, just maybe, I am touching somebody like that. Who really knows.

So, if you have added me as a friend I have returned the friendship...or at least I hope I have. I sort of delete people if I haven't heard from them in a really long while but sometimes don't...so please stay active because I really dislike "unfriending" people.

What do you all have planned for the upcoming week? I am Christian so we celebrate Christmas but I wonder how many of my friends don't. I don't want to offend anybody but I am going out on a limb here and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

I'm planning a very quiet holiday - basically just me, my husband, my mom and the dogs. Of course, I am cat-sitting for two different friends and have 6 cats under my charge. Being the animal nutcase that I am, I have presents for them all and will spend time with them all on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as it pains me to think of even a wee little animal to be alone over the holidays.

In about 30 minutes my husband and I are going out to supper together and then we have some last minute errands to run. I love last minute stuff!

Once again, please stop liking my blogs or I will track you all down and stalk you.....hee-hee! Joking of course - I do like the attention but really, please stop!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOANNA2 12/26/2011 5:31PM

    I am guilty of saying "getting back on track" but
I really just do that to talk myself into knowing
that it is alright to have treats once in a while and
to remind myself that I jsut have to be mindful.
I agree with Lori about the friends too.
emoticon

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 12/26/2011 11:26AM

    I agree with Lori! I have people that friend me then you never hear from them again. It is sad. Glad your puppy is better!

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 12/26/2011 2:43AM

    Hi, like that you are taking care of animals. My last minute Xmas shopping was to find presents on behalf of my friend's two dogs so that they could give gifts to thier owners. So cute to do. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

Scootergirlin Oz

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/25/2011 6:02PM

    Susan, I am with Linda... and I DO know what you mean. I just don't have the time to go and delete all the ones who say they want to be spark friends because they read my blog once and then I never hear from them again! emoticonI wish people wouldn't "friend" people when they have no intention of ever commenting or interacting ever again. We know who are friends are, don't we? We have a great group of tried and true reliable SparkFriends, and they are the best! Isn't it amazing that so many of us have the same friends? Great minds, great friends, great...everything! yeah! emoticon

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_LINDA 12/24/2011 10:36AM

    I too, had too much popularity, but without the fame, never had but one popular blog, but had tons and tons of people friend me as a great motivator, but it became overwhelming and I simply did not have enough hours in a day to follow everyone's activities blogs, awards etc. which is why I went to a new name and private, only taking those friends with me that truly interacted with me. I asked them to please not nominate me for motivator in my new name so I wouldn't get flooded again. I do feel guilty if I am tardy with getting to blogs and especially if they were going through a crisis and I missed it :(( People are really afffected by the support on here and it is a real responsibility just like if you had 3D friends. So I am trying not to get too much of a good thing and happy to be as low key as possible.
Enjoy your fame!

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EJOY-EVELYN 12/24/2011 1:26AM

    Merry Christmas, Susan!

God is good! I'll be with my family for Christmas Eve (our traditional day of celebration). Other than getting out to church on Christmas Day, I'll probably spend the rest of Christmas Day in comfy clothes and perhaps even my jammies. I like to celebrate all 12 days of Christmas (Dec 25 to Jan 5)



Comment edited on: 12/24/2011 1:27:54 AM

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BRIGHTPENNY 12/23/2011 11:54PM

    I'm on to you too! Reverse psychology, yes! I do, however, think you write well and in an unassuming way,which is charming, and so the appeal is there. I wish for you the happiest and perhaps a better wish, for peacefulness in your heart, that comes with this holiday and Christian celebration.

I find the friend thing difficult at times, too, such that I purposefully don't friend more people than I can actually keep up with. My reality check was when one of my "touchable" friends, said she missed me and where had I been? Another reality check, my DH actually said he felt lonely since I had joined SP, although he understood why , and supports me fully, time on the computer when your spouse is home can make for a loneliness if not balanced.
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THISISPRIVATE 12/23/2011 11:38PM

    I truly like your blog. I have posted many and do not receive many responses so I am feeling like the loser of Sparkpeople. You my dear friend are appreciated and I am grateful for your blogs.

I am ready to quit SparkPeople soon because I belong to numerous teams and have posted some personal blogs and have had few replies. It could be my insecurities or the fact that I am just plain boring and do not have the gift of gab!

I am a Christian and look forward to the celebration of our Saviours birth. I do wish you a Merry Christmas. I am away spending time with my family. It has been nice and I am so grateful I am not on my own. God is good and I know that things will work out if I just give it time. I just do not know if I am willing to give this any more of my time.

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CHUBRUB3 12/23/2011 11:00PM

    emoticon Oh I am on to you Susan...Reverse Pyscology. Great!
I am also celebrating Christmas my friend and you touch many hearts, including mine. Keep doing what you are doing, it's working.
Merry Christmas and all the best from me to you.
Hugs,
Angela
m emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 12/23/2011 9:01PM

    I think we all love you so much because you are so honest and genuine, and that comes through in your blogs.

To me Christmas is about celebrating the birth of our Lord and family. Merry Christmas to you, your hubby and your four-legged friends.
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GOOZLEBEAR 12/23/2011 8:53PM

    I'm so glad we are friends and I love your blogs. I always have gifts for my pup, my daughter's golden retriever that I'm keeping, my granddogs and the neighbor pups!
Try not to "unfriend" me!!!!!!

Merry Christmas to you too!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 12/23/2011 8:44PM

    I, too, enjoy your blogs and wish you a very happy holiday season. You do have a lot of felines to look after - this holiday we have only the golden boy next door, our own two, and the little tabby stray who lives in our shed to worry about. Our two have new toys, all in a little stocking - how silly can you get? There will just be my husband and myself and we will have a quiet time. Between earthquakes I'm hoping to still fit in my walks and bootcamp video each day. emoticon

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YIWEN39 12/23/2011 8:22PM

    You have presents for your cats, that is SO cute :-)
I'd normally celebrate Christmas but here in China it doesn't really happen. I'll go to a friend's house on the 25th, that's it.
Enjoy :-)
Eve

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JOANNANOW 12/23/2011 7:18PM

    Hi Susan... I actually listened to you .... just doing as I was told. Lol! I love what you write so I am not surprised that others do too. You will just have to put up with popularity! I am about to light candles for Chanukah and my Christmas tree is lit up. I never did chose because both traditions were observed in the home I grew up in. I guess it is the best of both worlds for me.
Our Christmas will be quiet since our grandson who is staying here will go to his dad's on Christmas eve and then to his other grandmothers on Chritmas day. I invited a friend for Chritmas dinner since she has no family here so we three will try to make a dent on the turkey and pie.
When I was young... 20ish, I took care of 7 cats... for a while... it was a memorable experience! I don't have a cat now only dogs ... so give one of those pussy cats an extra cuddle from me.
Merry Christmas to you and yours may it be warm and joyous.
Sending love,
Joanna




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LIBBYG7 12/23/2011 6:28PM

    I, too, am Jewish....so I'll just rest this weekend -- and rest my leg. I love your blogs and your energy, Susan.
Have a wonderful Christmas.....and I envy your house filled with all those furballs. Do they all get along???

Here......it' just Lucy and me! And my wonderful neighbors and dog 'friends', some of whom are becoming real friends.

I'm looking forward to a better 2012!!!

regards, Libby emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 12/23/2011 6:01PM

    I'm Jewish, so it's pretty much another weekend for me . . . Planning on my long run Sunday, gotta do some cleaning & cooking cause we're having some neighbors over on Monday.

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THETURTLEBEAR 12/23/2011 5:25PM

    emoticon I didn't do it!

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CALGARYNEWF 12/23/2011 5:24PM

    Have a wonderful Christmas Susan!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEPPYPATTI 12/23/2011 4:48PM

    How can we NOT like your blogs. You are awesome! I sure hope you don't unfriend me, as I enjoy being your friend-lol
I hope you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Hugs-Patti emoticon

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GOANNA2 12/23/2011 4:46PM

    Have a wonderful Christmas and I love being your friend.
You always brighten my day. emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Please don't "LIKE" this blog! (Smile)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hello!

While having two blogs within days of each other be voted as "Most Popular" is quite the honour it is a tad overwhelming so I'm begging you all "please, enough already" emoticon

On a more serious note, I have a such good news to share! But, of course, in my usual way I am going to make you read all of this dribble/drabble until you reach the big reveal.

As some of my longer-term SparkFriends know my husband and I have been living on my part-time, seasonal salary since September. Money has been tight and although we don't have any children we do have two wonderful dogs who we care for with all of our hearts. Unfortunately, these two furballs are frequent visitors to the vet but we would rather do without than to have them uncomfortable or suffer in any way.

So yesterday, I arrived home to find Maddy (our little Pom) refusing to get up to even great me. He was retching and gagging and I knew something wasn't right. Bawling my eyes out, I called the vet, was told to come on and called my husband to tell him that we had another unexpected expense. John (husband) tells me to stay put and he would come home to get us so I called my mom and told her. She is on a fixed income too but offered to help....bless that woman.

I'm just putting on my coat when the phone rings and it was an animal rescue group located three hours away. Since I am on the board of directors for our local humane society I thought "more bad news". But it wasn't......turns out I had bought a ticket as part of their fundraiser just last week and I WON!!!


I won ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! The tears started flowing down my face and I could barely get my words out to thank them!

Oh, and it turns out Maddy has somehow scratched his tracheal (spelling?) tube and had a very sore throat. It cost less than $100 for the visit and medication.....and my doggy will be back to "normal" in a few days!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSTBUCKET1 1/2/2012 1:23AM

    Congratulations! Glad to see that your pup is doing better.

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STACEY3940 12/29/2011 3:14PM

    I'm so glad your pup is going to be ok and that you got an extra special gift and have $900 left of it to use for other things you need! Great blog!

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ANGELEYES67J 12/29/2011 6:54AM

    Thats wonderful news about the money and the dog. God is good.

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CM_GARDNER78 12/25/2011 12:51AM

    FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations! :-) That is just perfect!!!

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LOSINGITALL4ME 12/24/2011 6:44PM

    How wonderful!

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_LINDA 12/24/2011 10:25AM

    It couldn't have happened to a nicer person! Congratulations!! For a change, the person needing it the most won -LOVE that happy ending!!
So glad it wasn't too serious for your poor pooch! Its always a strike straight to the heart when something goes wrong with your loved ones :(( And fur babies are loved every bit as much as human ones!
Enjoy!!

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GAYLE-G-63 12/23/2011 4:34PM

    Susan, what wonderful news!!! You really made me day and made me cry, but they are tears of HAPPINESS!!!

Merry, MERRY Christmas my dear!!!

Huggz,
~Gayle~>
PS I give you my solemn promise not to 'like' this blog even though I want to!!! LOL

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MSPRIS3 12/23/2011 1:14PM

    Congratulations!!!!

I know full well how much our furbabies can cost us when the vet is involved. And to top it off, they usually need the care at the worst possible times.

It's nice to see good things happen to good people.

All the best to you!

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JENN26POINT2 12/23/2011 11:12AM

    Oh my, I so know what it's like to experience the unexpected expense and not knowing how you're going to make it work. I'm thankful that higher powers provided for you. Merry Christmas!!

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Q8PRINCESS 12/23/2011 10:34AM

    WOW Congrat! Glad to hear you puppy is only having a sore throat.

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LINDAKAY228 12/23/2011 9:10AM

    Wow that's so awesome!!!! Glad your fur baby is going to be all right and you have a little extra left to spend! Have a great day and enjoy your windfall!

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TEMPEST272002 12/23/2011 9:06AM

    $1000 win! I can think of anyhow how deserves it more. I'm so incredibly pleased for you. I'm glad that Maddy is ok too!

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EJOY-EVELYN 12/21/2011 2:09PM

    What wonderful news! Timing is everything and this unexpected treat was just what you needed. Congratulations!


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READYRACHEL 12/21/2011 1:09PM

    Glad everything worked out! I have two dogs as well and one just cost us a small fortune at the vet, but he is worth it.

Kisses to Maddy and congrats on the win!

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SLEEPYDEAN 12/21/2011 12:57PM

    What a blessing! Hope Maddy is feeling much better now. My mom has a little spoiled rotten pom named Peanut. I usually have to resort to my credit cards when one of my cats is sick, but I would rather that then risk not having them seen. Glad his issue was rather minor in the end.

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TARANITUP 12/21/2011 12:46PM

    amazing! A Christmas miracle :)

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CHRISTINA791 12/21/2011 12:42PM

    Aww, poor Maddy! Glad it wasn't too serious, and hope he's feeling better soon. Back when he was a kitten, my cat decided to eat four feet of ribbon right before Christmas. I really couldn't afford the $600 vet bill, but you do what you have to.

And what a fantastic surprise at just the right time! That brought such a smile to my face. Make sure you two pamper yourselves just a little bit with it.

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MILLIE5522 12/21/2011 6:41AM

    I love it when things like this happen to good people. Wishing you a wonderful Xmas! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOANNANOW 12/21/2011 1:08AM

    What great luck... just when you needed it! I hope your pup is feeling better. Santa must have thought you were a very good girl! emoticon emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 12/21/2011 12:49AM

    Lol

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YIWEN39 12/21/2011 12:01AM

    That is AWESOME :-) emoticon Fantastic news :-) Enjoy enjoy, you so deserve it! emoticon

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JAMER123 12/20/2011 9:45PM

    Thank heavens for a miracle(s). Give your little one a big hug from a friend. (I had tears in my eyes while reading.) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 12/20/2011 8:32PM

    So glad everything went well for Maddy!
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Congrats on the win!
emoticon emoticon
With the luck you've been having, will you please buy me a lottery ticket!
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CODEMAULER 12/20/2011 8:26PM

    I'm so glad that everything worked out so well!

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CALGARYNEWF 12/20/2011 7:25PM

    Good Karma!!!!!!

I'm so happy for you. Congrats on the blogs as well. It's time you get recognized for the wonderful things that you write. You keep us entertained and inpsired at the same time, not an easy feat!!!!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and wish you all the best for the coming year.

emoticon

Peggy

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TIFFY0906 12/20/2011 6:25PM

    Gotta love those unexpected blessings

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KELLYBEANER77 12/20/2011 4:34PM

    Gotta love NICE surprises like that....when you are totally not expecting it...what an awesome CHRISTMAS GIFT :)

emoticon
Kelly

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GOANNA2 12/20/2011 2:59PM

    Merry Christmas. Blessings come when we least expect it.

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KAYDE53 12/20/2011 2:16PM

    A Christmas miracle!! Blessings!! emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 12/20/2011 2:08PM

    WOW...how wonderful is that? So happy that you received this unexpected blessing!

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JLITT62 12/20/2011 1:55PM

    So happy you got such good news all around! You deserve it!

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LIBBYG7 12/20/2011 1:40PM

    And (ahem).....what lucky star were you born under???
emoticon

I'm jumping with joy at your good fortune!! And so glad your pup will be OK.
Yep.....this is a time for miracles.....and couldn't have happened to a nicer gal.

Big hugs, Libby emoticon

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 12/20/2011 1:19PM

    Merry Christmas to you. Merry Christmas to you. Merry Merry $1000. Christmas to you!
emoticon emoticon
I am truly happy for you!!! How nice that someone that truly needed the money wins for once!

I know what you mean about the vet bills. My second home is the waiting room of the veternary clinic. The last couple of years I have lost 3 of my elderly dogs, and for each one spent a fortune their last couple of years, cause I wanted them to live as long as they could have any quality of life. They made 13, 16, and 16. Now I am down to just one - a 10 year old - but he costs me a LOT at the vet due to allergies. I could have almost bought and paid for a home for all that I have spent on my dogs, but that would have been a very lonely home.

Amber

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_JODI404 12/20/2011 11:13AM

    This is SO awesome!! I can totally relate to a TON of vet bills this year. We joke that we should forward our mail and just take a room there. But, we also love them with all our hearts, and there is not anything we would not do to take care of them. They are our "kids"!

How wonderful that you won the $1K, and your dog will be fine and the bill was so low!!

What a GIFT!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 12/20/2011 11:00AM

    What a relief! The wonder of Christmas.

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Wishing both you and Maddy a quick recovery.

Scootergirl in Oz


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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/20/2011 10:58AM

    emoticonSUSAN!!!! Can you here me from Texas???? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI just LOVE it when we are blessed at JUST the right time! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DRKYASHI 12/20/2011 10:36AM

    Such Good News -- Congratulations! emoticon
And many more blessings for the Holidays! emoticon

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JOY73YL 12/20/2011 10:25AM

    Wonderful! Maddy is going to be alright and you have $900 left over for your other needs.
Merry Christmas.
Joy emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/20/2011 10:26:31 AM

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/20/2011 10:23AM

    Oh my! This is wonderful news for you and your furry kids. So happy for you.

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CHUBRUB3 12/20/2011 10:18AM

    Hugs Susan! Congrats on the win, we all know your a winner anyways.
Hope Maddie gets well quick.
Big Hug,
Angela


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MRE1956 12/20/2011 9:33AM

    I'm sorry, but how can anyone NOT like a blog that has such wonderful news attached to it?

I'm not in a good place right now, but your story warmed my battered soul quite nicely - here's to better times ahead!

emoticon

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GLORYANDME 12/20/2011 9:21AM

    Glad pup is doing well and the vet bill was reasonable. Love the blessings that God bestows on us. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 12/20/2011 9:11AM

    That is fantastic! Part of the holiday miracle season, Susan!
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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - pictures and my Spark mantra!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hi,

Happy Sunday to you all! I've been mulling over this blog idea for the past couple of days and thought it was now or never to get it down on "paper"..err, the computer screen!

So by now a lot of you know one of my recent blogs was voted "most popular" and while that is flattering it can be overwhelming. Somehow something you write elevates you to this magical level and people are crawling out of the woodwork to ask you advice.

Since it is Sunday here is my confession and I'm not even a Roman Catholic! I don't have all the answers! This is a journey for me just the same as it is for all of you. I might know what works but that doesn't mean I'm always perfect. Okay, let's correct that last bit - I am not, nor have I ever been perfect! Spark is a lifestyle makeover for me and the weight is the last to be transformed. I am still struggling with the weight and expect to for some time unless I put what I have learned into action. Brings to mind that expression about the mind being willing but the body not so much!

Okay, so here it is! LIFE is not a dress rehearsal....WE are given one chance and if we don't start making some changes now life is going to continue on as it always has. . Unless you believe in reincarnation this is the lifetime you have to change the body and mind you have. NOW is the time to act.

Second of all, the Spark philosophy is pretty simple when you think about it. It is nothing anybody with have a grain of common sense couldn't come up with...sorry SparkGuy....but we, as humans, have somehow lost our common sense when it comes to nutrition and exercise! It is like the more advanced we get the more we forget the simple, yet effective stuff that served our ancestors for years ! Granted, without Chris Downie, we wouldn't have all of the wonderful resources at our fingertips but you have to admit it is a a pretty basic idea. Eat right, exercise, and live long and proud! Who knew?

So, if it is so easy, why do so many of us struggle? I personally think that we have far too many choices and conveniences in our lives. Duh, could it be that simple? I mean once you have a remote control for something do you ever go back to using the manual method? Once you have tasted ingredients that you can't pronounce and are lured towards do you ever go back to a simple apple?

I struggle with this everyday! We hear all the time we are what we eat
but since I am not a cannibal emoticon I have had to put my thinking cap on and figure out how to get back to basics.



Ahem - so here is my slightly twisted way of looking at what I eat. Starting just recently I began to think of the very things that make up the foods we eat as soldiers. Okay, they might be funny looking soldiers but in my mind they are still soldiers because they are fighting the fight within me. I have my foods (and the imaginary soldiers) called the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The Good I can eat without compromise, the Bad, I eat sometimes but the Ugly stuff I am trying to keep out of my battle.

Here is what I envision my soldiers to look like



These good "soldiers" will help me in so many ways! They will help keep my mind alert and my body more able to fight off germs and more serious diseases. So every time I eat, I ask myself "how many good soldiers" are in this and how many "bad soldiers". If there are truly ugly, evil ones I try to take a pass. Again, you might not be able to avoid troubles but you don't want to lay out the welcome mat to them either!

To conclude "my lecture" it all comes down to common sense yet we often try to make this much harder than it really needs to be. Feed your body the stuff it needs to be healthy and keep moving......yes, Virginia it really can be that simple!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BEEFIT 12/26/2011 10:56AM

    thanks

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SABLENESS 12/21/2011 10:37PM

    The challenge is putting into action all those seemingly no-brainers! Thanks for great blog. emoticon

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WILSLM70 12/21/2011 8:45PM

    Great blog... thanks for sharing

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ANDBEYOND 12/21/2011 5:49PM

    Go girl!,

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SPARKGUY 12/21/2011 4:21PM

    Great blog -- thanks for posting this!

You are right that this isn't rocket science :). One of the real keys that we have worked hard to add to a traditional "eat right and exercise" message is the behavioral psychology piece -- or in more fun terms "what will it really take to spark someone and keep them sparked? What will it take for someone to actually take these steps to make a healthy lifestyle change?

From our work over the past 10 years with millions of people we have seen that the answer to this question depends on the person -- so we've intentionally built in many different types of ways to help people stay motivated, both give and receive support, be accountable, reach for their goals in all areas of life, understand the amazing benefits of setting and reaching small goals one at a time to build momentum, etc.

It's a fun challenge to continaully work to improve everything involved in this equation and see members like you add so much to this challenge!

SparkCheers!
<
BR>Chris (SparkGuy)
emoticon



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BECKYLIZ 12/21/2011 3:21PM

    Very good, informative, challenging and interesting

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BLOOMING52 12/21/2011 3:11PM

    emoticon

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DEBK0923 12/21/2011 1:55PM

    i LOVED THIS BLOG emoticon emoticon

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YOGANANC 12/21/2011 1:37PM

  Simple advice - thanks! I've had the same realization recently. It's truly about what we eat and being cognizant of how to fuel the body. It's the only one we've got - precious stuff!

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JSPIN74 12/21/2011 12:53PM

    heehee love it

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PAWSINAZ 12/21/2011 11:06AM

    The pictures are great!

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MILLIE5522 12/21/2011 6:37AM

    Great idea for a children's book on nutrition!

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SUPERMOUSE35 12/21/2011 12:13AM

    Great post!

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CM_GARDNER78 12/21/2011 12:10AM

    HA! I LOVE this!!! You are so cute - I LOVE the pictures! Hee hee. Thank you so much!!

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KATIEMARIE251 12/20/2011 10:28PM

  I am a new member and LOVED the blog!!! Thanks for the great reading.

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DMAICON 12/20/2011 6:11PM

  Thanks for this blog. I have been struggling with the "evil" stuff. You just gave me a new train of thought. Thanks! emoticon

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TIFFY0906 12/20/2011 6:11PM

    Great blog

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RECAPPED 12/20/2011 6:08PM

  Thank you... Simple and sweet!... Ha! Good advice...

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MOMMAKNOWSBEST 12/20/2011 5:12PM

  :)

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KELLYBEANER77 12/20/2011 4:30PM

    What an awesome blog...love your sense of humour :)

emoticon

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MOMMAKNOWSBEST 12/20/2011 4:28PM

  :)

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KARENDEE4 12/20/2011 3:24PM

    Love it!

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DYNNETTE1 12/20/2011 2:28PM

    lol way to cool!!

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KLONG8 12/20/2011 1:41PM

    Nice visuals and your message is right on. Thanks!

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PINKBUNNY61 12/20/2011 1:08PM

    Nice job.

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AKAFIT 12/20/2011 9:18AM

    Congrats and great points. I, for one, always make it too hard and end up just getting frustrated with the whole process. Thank you for bringing it back to "Basics!"

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GRRARRGH 12/20/2011 8:50AM

    emoticon

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AJB121299 12/20/2011 8:14AM

    good luck

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THEIS58 12/20/2011 8:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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EMMALEIGHB 12/20/2011 6:43AM

    Great idea! Good way of looking at things! emoticon

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CORGIDOGMOM 12/20/2011 5:05AM

    your soldiers are cute! what an interesting idea! thanks for sharing!

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HNSIDDIQUI 12/20/2011 3:57AM

    Thank You so much for sharing, I will try the technique of good, bad, and the ugly soldiers, emoticon

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BARRISTER2011 12/20/2011 3:48AM

  What a creative way to look at food. emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 12/20/2011 12:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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100LBLIGHTER 12/19/2011 11:32PM

    emoticon !!!! Another good one!

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100LBLIGHTER 12/19/2011 11:32PM

    emoticon !!!! Another good one!

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AFRESHSTART2 12/19/2011 11:27PM

    emoticon

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RINGING1 12/19/2011 10:57PM

  Hi,
I love the good, bad, and ugly soldiers. A visual is helpful.

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MARYHENNIG 12/19/2011 10:23PM

  Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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BIZZYMOM2 12/19/2011 10:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JOEYKIRKWOOD 12/19/2011 7:51PM

  awesome

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KIPPER15 12/19/2011 7:45PM

    Great blog emoticon

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SCOOTDOG 12/19/2011 7:15PM

    Great blog emoticon

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RHIANNONTHEWOLF 12/19/2011 6:57PM

    My biggest struggle is convenience food. I enjoy many healthy foods, but when I get asked to work overtime at the last minute, it is so simple to drive thru on the way home. It does seem pretty simple, but given the choice between 60 seconds in the microwave and 20 minutes putting together something else, we default to the faster option.

It takes remembering what that fast easy option makes you feel like later (sluggish, tired, hungry again....) to get me to pick the right choice.

Comment edited on: 12/19/2011 6:58:34 PM

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123ELAINE456 12/19/2011 5:35PM

  I love your blog and pictures very much. Every thing is well written and done. Congrats for the blod. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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WANT2BHEALTHY60 12/19/2011 5:35PM

    Your way of illustrating our fight to loose is motivating. Thanks.


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KAYDE53 12/19/2011 4:57PM

    emoticonGood illustrations!!

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LOSINGITALL4ME 12/19/2011 4:53PM

    Great blog! Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 12/19/2011 3:50PM

    Good blog and well said. I love the pics you posted in it. The bunny strip is really cute!

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ZUZMAJKA 12/19/2011 3:45PM

    The bunny picture is priceless, now I need to find and eat a skinny person instead of all those Christmas cookies..

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