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RAYLINSTEPHENS's Recent Blog Entries

The Shame and Pain of Regaining

Friday, July 31, 2009

Today I read a blog by Nancy Howard, "The Shame and Pain of Regaining"

She ends her blog asking these questions: "Have you experienced a weight loss only to regain? How did it make you feel? If you have lost weight, do you feel it is only a matter of time before you regain the weight or have you accepted the fact that this journey is about changing your life and not just a number on the scale?"

For me the difference really has been SparkPeople!

In the past I did regain every pound I ever lost and each pound picked up a buddy on the way back. It didn't make me feel good but I was never ashamed because no one wants to be fat. I just didn't know how to keep the weight off.

This time will be different because over the past 16 months I have learned how to manage my food budget.

Is this still just a number on the scale? I don't know. I only know I will never be overweight again as long as I am in control of my life. I am old enough to have seen too many debilitating illnesses that take control out of the hands of the person and yes, it can lead to weight gain. But my main focus has always been on my health, not on my size - so I am as confident as anyone can be that I will be able to control my weight from this day forward. I will never again be fat and I will never be hungry again either!!

**edit: for those that wish they can share SparkPeople - we can! I tell people all the time. I try very hard to get them to sign up even if I fear they will not stay. I didn't stay the first time, but I returned 2 years later! Keep trying, even if it takes a couple of years, we don't know who we can reach today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CICI510 7/31/2009 7:23PM

    I really needed to read this today. :) emoticon

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FINDINGREALME 7/31/2009 1:13PM

    I also thought of Scarlett O'Hara when I read your blog...almost heard the southern accent too:-)

I still weigh in everyday and get frustrated when it doesn't move or (gulp) moves up but I don't feel that changes who I am. It doesn't make me a failure. This is a big change for me.

Deep down I know I will get there this time...not sure why really...just because I now see that I can do it if I do the right things on a consistent basis. Also, because I truly believe that I deserve it and see now that eating too much or eating the wrong things only hurts me -- it doesn't hurt the person who I am anger with or whatever emotion I am feeling. That is an even bigger change!

Without SP and my friends here, I doubt I would ever have made that connection! As the other poster said, I look at people and wish I could share what I have found but most are still in "victim" mode and are not ready.

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MSLZZY 7/31/2009 12:19PM

    I made my peace with the scale and now focus on how I feel and how my clothes fit! I have more energy and ambition to do more and be more. I guess that is
all the motivation I have received from you and all the other Sparkers who
daily remind me that numbers are just that. Numbers don't tell the whole
I am content with me, comfortable in my skin and so glad that SP changed
my life for the better.
Keep on posting these excellent reminders of why we are here! It is a lifestyle
that promotes good health and good habits! emoticon

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JJJ1226 7/31/2009 10:34AM

    I agree with everyone, Tatter "focus on the positives" I need to do more of this, mscandace, sometimes the scales run me too, I'll have to work on my negative thoughts, jerseygirl, I like Kristi, when I saw her the other week on Oprah I was wondering why she didn't join us here on SP? In fact these last few days, when I see other people (grocery store, drug store, ect.. I find myself looking at them and wishing for them that they will find SP. I can't think of anyone that's wants to be over weight, or anyone that doesn't care about their health.

raylinstephens's, thanks for the post it was a good one

Have A Great Day :) emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/31/2009 10:38:13 AM

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JERSEYGIRL24 7/31/2009 10:03AM

    You sound like Scarlett O'Hara at the end of GWTW Part 1!!! Maybe that's the southern belle in you LOL.

Seriously though, I agree about Spark People. I actually have a blog written offline about Kirstie Alley, and I am probably going to post it soon, maybe today. For some reason, her failure story intrigues me but maybe for different reasons than what Nancy blogged about.

Until SP, I too had lost weight and regained it more times than I care to admit. It is only now that I have been able to control myself. It really is a fabulous plan. I also firmly believe that when you do this for health and lifestyle reasons, you are more successful than when you do it simply to look good (especially to look "skinny" or "like a supermodel"). And of course, the good looks will follow. It sounds like you feel that way, too, and obvously you have been successful.



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MSCANDICE25 7/31/2009 10:02AM

    I like this blog of yours and you are right as long as we are in control we can be were we need to be to living a healthy lifestyle and that is something that we need to keep in mine and dont let the #'s run us like it does me from time to time.. but thank you for this blog!!!

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TATTER3 7/31/2009 10:01AM

    I agree with you. Having a community of support like SP has made a huge diffrence for me as I work toward my goal. The number on the scale is not my focus...the ability to move, climb, and even get in and out of a bathtub more easily are wonderful accomplishments for me. Like you, if I focus on the positives...I won't be overweight forever. Keep Sparkin'!

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Obesity's Toll on Health

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Tuesday, July 28 (HealthDay News)

-- Obesity in the United States now carries the hefty price tag of $147 billion per year in direct medical costs, just over 9 percent of all medical spending, experts reported at a national conference Tuesday in Washington, DC.

"To put that figure in perspective, the American Cancer Society estimates that all cancers combined cost our health care system $93 billion a year. So ending obesity would save our health care system 50 percent more dollars than curing cancer," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday morning in prepared remarks for the "Weight of the Nation" conference, sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


This was an eye-opener for me! This is just plain scary! The price of Obesity is almost twice the cost of Cancer!

Read the article here at SparkPeople.

Another, related, article:

I cannot afford to take the medicines that would have been prescribed and wouldn't want to take them even if I had the money. Losing this weight was not an option for me, it was a necessity.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTY19 7/31/2009 8:57AM

    This is so scary to read about. And yet so many people ignore the facts. I think alot of the problem has to do with lifestyle changes, TV and fast food. When I was growing up, after school was spend outdoors until supper. We ran, jumped rope, skipped whatever. Kids today don't play outside. Why? TV and video games ensure that kids aren't playing. Their lifestyle is sedentary. Such a shame. And fast food is the easy way to feed a family. It is too bad. Changes have to be started and I don't know how to do it. SP conventions are a great way to begin and I'm glad it is happening.


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CAROL_ 7/31/2009 3:06AM

    I'm with you, avoid pharmaceuticals. Yes it's necessary.

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 7/31/2009 12:00AM

    You are so right, Linda. Very eye opening!

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Thanks for another wake up call blog.
That is the exact reason that I'm here and probably thousands of others too.

Small steps are the way to get to a new destination.
Thanks for your friendship and your knowledge that you so willingly give to all of us.
You are a great motivator.
Thanks again.


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FINDINGREALME 7/30/2009 10:04PM

    Wonderful blog! I also saw this article and it is indeed frightening. I agree that losing the weight was not an option for me either. It gets down to a quality of life issue for me most of all...how do I WANT to live?

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A Spark email I received today...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fight for Your Food Rights

Who's to blame for the obesity epidemic? The suspects are many, from television to schools to parents. A growing number of people are arguing that one culprit--the food and beverage industry--is getting off relatively scot-free.

"The food industry is changing, but slowly," says Dr. Kelly Brownell, author of the book Food Fight, a look at America's obsession with food and what we can do about it. ~~~this is how the spark email started~~~below is my blog~~~

I wonder why no one ever suggests taking responsibility for our own actions?

Why is it that so many people no longer know how to prepare even a simple meal?

Eating in front of the TV was a "special treat" when TV Dinners came out in the 60's - when did it become standard fare? I still eat in front of the TV but not TV Dinners - "I cook, therefore I lose." While it is very possible to lose weight by eating TV Dinners (my sister lost tons of weight - only to put it all back on again when she resumed her cooking), too often the appetite is not satiated, leading to snacking.

When did picking up "Fast Food" on the way home become the norm for planned dinners/suppers?

I do agree that we are affected by our society - but the blame for my obesity was me. Pure and simple, I was obese because I overate.

When people ask me today, "how did you lose that weight?" I like to tell them I lost it by shutting my mouth and moving my feet. Eating less and moving more will bring on weight loss. Then I go on to tell them about SparkPeople and all the free tools available for the using. And I hand them my printed card about SparkPeople.

This is just my humble opinion of things. But I truly believe in taking responsibility for my own actions - especially for getting obese, and now for losing weight.

**edit: @prairiegirl44's comment:
I wasn't aware of HFCS and the consequences. But I am trying desperately to get away from anything canned and/or processed.

I have switched totally to frozen veggies and fresh fruit (or fruits I have frozen fresh) just to minimize sodium but it is nice to note that I am also saving myself from HFCS.

I do still eat jarred peanut butter and jelly but again try to make smarter choices with Natural PB that only has peanuts and salt and have been using Polaner and Smuckers jellies, either natural or low-sugar. (They do cost more but I am finding them at a Food Surplus/Thrift Store about $1 per jar.)

A surprising footnote is the less sugar I put into my body, the less my body is asking for sugar! A definite win-win situation!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JJJ1226 7/31/2009 10:41AM

    well, I know FOR SURE, that the blame is all mine and only I can change that :)

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FORDCHICK73 7/29/2009 2:33PM

    Great blog!! It's so much easier to blame everybody and everything but outselves for what we put into our bodies.... Surely it's hard to resist sometimes but nobody forces our hands :)

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MSLZZY 7/29/2009 6:48AM

    Take responsibility for what you are eating! Move that body! Yeah, fast food can be a curse.
I have pretty much weaned myself from sugar but sodium still gets me. I add as
little salt as I can but DH knows where the shaker is. emoticon

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PRAIRIEGIRL44 7/29/2009 2:04AM

    Hi Linda;

I agree, and I take full responsibility for my extra pounds, but I'm also constantly trying to educate myself to make wise choices and sometimes I slip up.

I want to know what you think about industry using High Fructose Corn Syrup. Remember the SP article "The Effects of Corn Syrup Aren't So Sweet"?

When you take in something sweetend with HFCS your body doesn't release insulin and as a consequence Leptin is not released and without Leptin you brain doesn't get the message that you're full so you overeat.

20+ years ago, when I first left home and started taking care of myself I thought high fructose corn syrup was better for you because it wasn't table sugar, sucrose. So I would choose products with corn syrup thinking it was "less sweet" and would be better for me!

Don't you wonder if food producers used HFCS's because you'd keep eating and it would help them with their profit margin? If that's what they were up to wouldn't you that make you mad?

Peace, PG44


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CICI510 7/28/2009 10:25PM

    Awesome blog! Just what I needed to read today. :)

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NO_SNOW_BODY 7/28/2009 8:13PM

    This was a great blog, I tell everyone I meet that it is my fault that I am obese. It took me 30 years to get here and I WILL get back to a healthier lifestyle.
Thank you for taking the time to write this.

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CJDAISY 7/28/2009 7:45PM

    The truth shall set you free!


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IAMLOVINGIT 7/28/2009 6:07PM

    emoticon Say it again. I just love it. It becomes so easy for people to blame others for there short comings. It is only when one takes responsibility for ones on actions that we will succeed . emoticon blog

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JERSEYGIRL24 7/28/2009 2:47PM

    Ah, this is a tough one. Kudos to you for taking responsibility for your own actions. Like you, I blame myself for my overweight state, and I regret that I did not take a more proactive approach in creating a more healthy eating environment for my now adult children. There is no question that nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to eat Big Macs.

However, all that said, society makes it easier to eat poorly than to eat well. Unhealthy fast food is plentiful, relatively inexpensive and heavily advertised. It is much easier to grab a burger (and who has a plain burger these days - cheeseburgers are the norm) or a pizza than to actually prepare a meal. Of course, with the right planning, that doesn't have to be the case.

I actually have mixed feelings about legislating these things. On the one hand, I don't believe in "fat taxes" (like taxing regular soda) or blocking the opening of fast food restaurants. Again, you eat these things of your free will. On the other hand, I do support some of the laws that have taken trans fats out of restaurants and required the posting of calories.

I agree that it is a shame that people just don't know how to cook anymore. For me, it is one of my great pleasures, and it allows me to control what I eat.

If you ever get the chance, you should read the book "Fat Land" by Greg Critser. He analyzes the reasons that we, as a nation, became so fat. It includes things like the politics behind HFCS, the advent of fast food and super sizing, the overall permissive attitude that many parents had toward their children's eating habits, and the decline in the importance of phys ed classes. It's actually a pretty easy read.

To FINDINGREALME, I can't believe that anyone would comment on the contents of your shopping cart!!! What nerve!!!! At times I have been tempted to comment for the opposite reason (i.e. when a heavy person has a cart full of junk food), but of course I never would.

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FINDINGREALME 7/28/2009 1:51PM

    Great blog as always! I was reading a similar article over the weekend how the big bad food industry is to blame for the obesity problem because they make the food so hard to resist (they were comparing it to the tobacco industry etc). I believe people become addicted to a substance (pick one of the usual suspects) but we can kick it if we are willing to put in the effort (some are harder than others without a doubt). We control this choice and we control what we choose to put into our bodies.

Sunday at the store I am putting my groceries on the conveyor belt and my the register display is titled so the ladies in line behind me can see the running total. One of them (a rather large lady) commented that my bill wouldn't be so high if I didn't buy that fancy gourmet stuff (Kashi cereal, Luna bars and vitamins). I politely replied that I buy that every week and said it was the exercise videos that made it more this week. She and her friend (another very large lady) laughed and said like those were going to do any good. Well, I wasn't sure if it was an actual dig at me or just their victim response. I told her that I have lost 20 pounds this year by getting off my butt and paying attention to what I eat. I looked at their cart...real Lays potato chips, donuts, real soda (not diet) and frozen pizza. I said I choose to live better. They seemed really p.o.ed at that point.

Question -- why inquire into someone else's business if you cannot look into the mirror yourself? I know I used to get really unhappy with friends who were healthier and told me that it was up to me. Me? I am an emotional eater...victim here! We all make the choice, huh?

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HPYGRL09 7/28/2009 1:50PM

    This is sooooo true. When we accept responsibility for ourselves, we can finally do something about it!


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AMBERROGUE 7/28/2009 1:29PM

    (ROUND OF APPLAUSE!!) Well said!

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MARTY19 7/28/2009 1:16PM

    emoticon for you. I take responsiblity for everything I do and that includes my eating. I've stopped saying I had a hard day or I'm stressed. I know other ways of dealing with the pressures of life other than eating. I feel it is a cop-out to say these things. When I eat junk I accept the reasons and responsibilitiy.
Thanks for saying this.


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MSCANDICE25 7/28/2009 1:10PM

    I likesd that I need to keep that in mid because I find myself quilty from time to time also and you know what we do do need eat the less and focus on the healthy foods we are eating.

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EM4488 7/28/2009 11:50AM

    Yeah! I love your blog! It is OUR DECISION!
I want to yell at people who 100% blame society. We make our own choices for EVERYTHING we put in our mouths! We decide whether to cook, eat tv dinners or get take out.
Granted, kids don't have as much say, but then it's the PARENTS duty. (The kids are not obese b/c of video games, they're obese b/c their parent just fed them chicken nuggets, fries and an extra large soda!!)

I have had fast food ONCE in the last 18 months. That is CHOICE and it's possible to avoid the stuff. Sometimes it's not as convienient, but is it worth compromising health??

Thanks for the blog! Loved it!

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You are so right!
Our society has gotten to the point where we look to blame and sue EVERYBODY.
I read just yesterday where Frito-Lays is making their bags of chips BIGGER, cause the economy and the cost of stuff has lowered so that means they are willing to give us,LOL on the GIVE, more product. What a bunch of hooey!

We are sue happy, and want to make a buck at someone elses expense and we also want to blame "others" for our faults. If the unhealthy fast food industry did not have people knocking down their doors for their "junk food" they would get the message and change their menus, but that isn't happening none to fast.

Thanks for your take, always a well put blog that you give your friends here at SP.

Have a great day!
I'm not gonna blame you for the donut I ate this morning, LMAO

Really, I'm not gonna sue you either

Just joking, I did NOT have a donut, either!

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MEADSBAY 7/28/2009 10:42AM

    You are SO right, my friend!
We need to eat less and focus on the healthy foods we are preparing and eating.
When we eat mindlessly (while watching TV is one example)
we don't pay attention to what or how much we are eating.
And soon:
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEANGELLK 7/28/2009 10:41AM

    You seem to have a healthy dose of something that is becoming rare these days, common sense. Good for you !!!!

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EVVYSBABY 7/28/2009 10:36AM

    Great Blog - I agree to the "Home cooking". We cook at home - 7 nights a week. If we want to eat out - it is at a sit down restaraunt. No more fast food.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 7/28/2009 10:35AM

    Amen Sister! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A prayer request for THAMLEY

Monday, July 27, 2009

Another buddy of mine, ONEREALLYBIGDOG, had this blog today asking for prayers for THAMLEY. So I am repeating his blog as my blog today. After reading her blog I am not sure the prayers are for her - they could be for her dad - but all prayers will be welcomed. Thanks, Linda

Tony says:
Here are two things that I ask of anyone that reads this blog.

First, find her page (THAMLEY) and say a prayer for her. She is in the hospital with some unknown problems that the power of prayer might just help her!


Thanks to all who choose to help/pray for her speedy recovery.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NO_SNOW_BODY 7/28/2009 8:15PM

    They are on my prayer list also

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 7/28/2009 8:39AM

    Linda Thanks for passing the request along....I'll be praying for her and her dad.

You're the best!

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MSLZZY 7/27/2009 11:07PM

    I will be praying for her and her dad. And you are a jewel for sharing!

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I think you are right! What's new? Nothing
I think I got confused and re-reading her blog and the mention of PSA test, I've rather sure that is for her DAD. However, I'm sure they both could use the extra prayers from anyone who felt the urge to pray for either or both of them.

Thanks again,

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GONE2BEACH101 7/27/2009 10:19PM

    I will also add them to my prayer list...

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MARTY19 7/27/2009 8:23PM

    That blog brought me down. It was beautiful and brought up my feelings about Maryanne. We need to treasure what we have because we don't know how long we will have it.


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KITTYSPARK 7/27/2009 7:37PM

    I agree but I will prayer for her and her family. Liz

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I came out of the closet...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I came out of the closet yesterday!!

My dad was in hospital again and the nurse left us so my dad could get into his hospital gown.

Well, I helped with the gown part then I generally go out into the hallway so he can remove his pants.

This time I just turned my back by the door and I generally will open half the closet so no one can hit me with the door upon entering.

Well, I looked in the closet, and just had to see if I fit! I did but my head did touch the shelf. Then I tried to close the door - it hit my shoes. I turned my size 8 feet a little and the door closed! I closed the other and called to my dad - he couldn't find me!

I fit into the hospital cupboard laughingly called a closet; it had a depth of about 7-1/2 to 8" with a height of 5', possibly another inch high as I am only 5'1.5" tall.

P.S. My dad is ok and is home again today.
This top is size Medium and the hip-hugger pants are size 6!
The legs are baggy!! (I was surprised to see that in the picture.)
This is me at 120.4 lbs!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDA! 7/30/2009 12:55AM

    You look great!!

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JIM*S_QUEENIE 7/29/2009 9:21PM

    Congratulations, my friend,
How exciting for you. Wish I had seen this blog sooner.
I needed a good laugh these last 4+ months!!
Keep up the great work. How exciting for you, huh?
Peace and blessings,
P.S. I am glad my DH built a really big walk-in closet for me so I can write a similar blog but not reveal the sizes.
Peace and blessings,

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NATTIEMAE1 7/29/2009 3:21PM

    You look amazing! Congratulations!

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 7/27/2009 10:55AM

    WOOW!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TILLIEBEE 7/27/2009 9:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 7/27/2009 7:01AM

    emoticon emoticon I'm too tall for the closet but your photo is awesome! Look at you! Wow!

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FORMYDARLINGS 7/26/2009 6:44PM

    Oh Linda, I would LOVE to get into a closet, especially 1 that small.LOL . You look AMAZING my friend. I weighed 120 when I was 14, if you can imagine I am taller than you so I guess, even though I was never happy with my weight, I DID look great! Thanks for letting me feel like I haven't always had a weight problem after all.

Love ya,

Gini emoticon

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CICI510 7/26/2009 5:32PM

    LOL! That is fantastic!!! I am so proud of you!!! LOVE seeing those baggie jeans! :)

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MEADSBAY 7/26/2009 12:34PM

    That is so cute- you're back to playing hide and seek with your dad.
Life comes full circle, doesn't it, my friend?
Hope your dad is doing well.

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MARTY19 7/26/2009 12:14PM

    You look incredible. You've come a long way baby! I wonder if I could fit into the closet? Humm...points to ponder


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SOPHIADARE 7/26/2009 11:30AM


I hope things go well for your dad in the hospital!

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    Too Funny!

I thought I saw a shadow in that photo, but IF I did, it was from the baggy pants, LOL

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ONEMORETHING 7/26/2009 11:00AM

    Hello and Iike reading your post and I can see your face when you could fit into the hospital cupboard good job and just how much weight were you and how much did you lose so far? Your picture looks great too! Good job and I know you will keep it up cause you now love yourself reaching your goals so don't give up!

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