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RAYLINSTEPHENS's Recent Blog Entries

How do you motivate a motivator?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I just love coming up with "different" titles for blogs!

Y'all motivate me every time I read that I am helping someone.

Everybody's program is different, I am no exception. When I started Sparking for real back on March 27, 2008, I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew I had to give this my all.

I felt so stupid doing all the steps in Stage One and only missed doing the collage. Believe me, I have and had all the motivation anyone could ever need to lose this weight - every time I had to help my dad straighten out his 15 medicines I was re-motivated! When he started Dialysis on February 12, 2009, his 86th birthday, I looked at all the people and if you know anyone needing a reason to lose weight and eat better - visit a dialysis unit.

I have read that maintaining weight loss is difficult. No more difficult than breathing with a respirator or having to sit 3-1/2 hours 3 times each week to have your blood filtered.

I am sorry. I don't mean to sound depressing. This is my motivation. I cannot afford the medicines my dad takes daily and I cannot afford private health insurance - so my only alternative - my best alternative - is to remain as healthy as possible, which also means being at a normal weight.

Goodness me, give me a keyboard and I get on a soapbox! Back to "my program."

My Spark Program is of course, using the Nutrition & Fitness Trackers daily. But my program is also to give back to others what I have received here myself. My program is to encourage and support motivationally any members trying to lose this weight! My program is reading blogs, commenting on the friend feeds and offering a hug or a shove depending on what I perceive to be needed.

So now you know what motivates a motivator. Helping others. Every time I reach out to another member it reinforces my own program.

I never get tired of telling anyone that SparkPeople works!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHEITE 2/22/2010 9:19PM

    Thanks for writing this. What you describe about your father's illness is sad but very powerful. Every day I see my mother carefully put out her dose of medications (8 different pills), and I think how I don't want that kind of future for me.

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 2/22/2010 3:56PM

You have summed it all so well. My experience mirrors your comments.Validation. Helping others by deed or example is extremely rewarding. Seeing the hardship many endure (often unnecessarilly) reminds me of how grateful and blessed I am.
You touch so many in ways you will never know!
Best wishes as you continue your journey to health. emoticon

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TERI99 2/22/2010 12:03PM

    So true. I am helping to care for my MIL, who has many health issues, some of which my husbands deals with as well. Watching her struggle because she never took care of her health when she was younger is a huge motivator for both of us. I have a great-aunt who is about to turn 98. If I have to live that long, I want to feel good!

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EMMABE1 2/21/2010 2:08AM

    Interesting blog!!
I find that having to be up beat and positive to others - doesn't allow me to lose motivation. And on the occasions I get a bit overwhelmed - it doersn't last long with the motivation from my many friends in SP!!

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KRISFLOWER 2/21/2010 12:02AM

    Thanks for this post! I'm motivated because of similar reasons, heart disease, diabetes and chronic high blood pressure run on both sides of my family!

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TMCH1512 2/20/2010 9:43PM

    Very good points. Thanks for putting them down. Have an awesome weekend.

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/20/2010 5:43PM

    Great post... I have similar motivation... don't want to be a burden or a worry for my son & his wife... so I'd better take care of me best I know how. And if I don't know how... learn!

Glad you're here!

emoticon emoticon

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POLARBEARSCAT 2/20/2010 5:04PM

    You motivate me all the time! Thanks for continuing to blog even though you have reached your goals. It helps me to see your success both in your weight loss AND maintenance! Have a great day! emoticon

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ASTORRES1 2/20/2010 4:15PM

    You say like it is....the truth is always a good motivator....you speak the truth.


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LOPEYP 2/20/2010 4:11PM

    Linda - I am motivated by my fear of getting diabetes. My mother has it and it's a horrible disease. In her case it's "under control", controlled with oral medications but the damage has been done to her eyes. She has had numerous surgeries on her eyes and has difficulty seeing print. She's still able to get around and do for herself but she gets frustrated by little things that I take for granted like writing out checks, or checking instructions on frozen food.

It's tough to see our parents deal with this horrible disease and I say to all folks fighting the weight battle to wake up and take care of yourself before it's too late.

Sorry I'm on your soapbox emoticon.


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JENNY888 2/20/2010 3:09PM

    Thank you for publishing this blog. I really enjoyed it. It really puts the feelings of being a motivator in print.

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CICI510 2/20/2010 2:49PM

    You are definitely an inspiration to me :) I love all of your comments and how you continue to motivate me on a daily basis. Thank you for being you!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/20/2010 2:41PM

    Thanks Linda - from one who is motivated by you! I appreciate all your efforts and cheery encouragement.

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MSLZZY 2/20/2010 2:34PM

    You are an inspiration! My problems are minor and yet, you keep on going! Do the best you can and I am here for you! emoticon

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I am in a holding pattern...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lately I am having trouble motivating some people around me. I think this is because I am now in a holding pattern - this is what maintaining feels like today. It becomes more difficult to remember how it was to be trying to lose 90 pounds. Really, I lost 2 lbs per week, sometimes 1/10th lb per day. I wrote them all down and gradually lost 90 pounds forever. But I did it One Day At A Time.

I am now living like people I envied all my life - people who only had to worry about 2-3 lbs at any given time. Envy really isn't the right word - I truly never envied anyone - my mother brought me up to know that everyone has problems - I just don't know what word to use.

We all have different problems but they are all very real to each of us.

As I found My Spark, I have lost touch with my past weight problems. I have found mostly healthier alternatives in my living day to day. I am at peace with myself. I like who I see in the mirror. And I am forgiving of my occasional slips in my food choices - because life goes on.

I will continue to be here to try to help anyone asking for assistance.

SparkPeople really does work - Keep Coming Back. Work the Spark Program starting with Stage One.

SparkPeople Works!!

Thank you everybody. I do so want everyone to reach their goal weight. If I can help to encourage you - I will be here for you! This works because we each help others!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 2/20/2010 8:21PM

    You've been tremendously inspiring to me, Linda! My struggles and outlook are different than when I was 80 pounds heavier, but I know I can lose it easily. I must recommit every day.

Is there someone in particular in your life you are trying to influence and only meeting frustration? Wow, do I know that feeling. I have a 24 year old nephew who is more than 100 pounds over weight and he has no interest in fitness. How sad! I've tried, but you can't do it for someone else, no matter how hard you want to. My husband it diabetic, has had heart trouble, and could stand to lose 25-30 pounds. He does no regular exercise. He does not appreciate my efforts and has no desire to eat or exercise like I do. It is frustrating. Very frustrating. Are you in this same boat?

Then there are people in my life who do understand, who are interested in making similar changes, and who look to me as a role model. It is so cool!! I love helping someone else get started and I love helping someone keep on keeping on. I love helping someone pick up and try again. Forgive yourself and move on. That's what it takes - not perfection, but determination! And sometimes it is SparkFriends who I get to try to motivate. And some really respond.

Linda, you are a big, big motivator. Keep on keeping on. Do your program. Help others who listen. Some days the beauty of the whole thing will just be obvious. On other days, you just put one foot in front of the other. Keep up your great work of inspiring us all! It really matters.

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/20/2010 7:25PM

    I have a sneaking suspicion that "maintenance" will have a different feeling different days. Of course I'm relatively new to maintenance!

Some days like the holding pattern you describe, some days like you're flying, and a few precious ones like you just landed at a wonderful destination. Here's to making it through the holding pattern ones, enjoying the flying ones, and being at peace with the destination days!


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HEALTHY4SPRING 2/20/2010 11:20AM

    Yes, please stay with us and keep sparking! You may not realize it, but everyday you maintain is an inspiration to us and proof that it can be done!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/19/2010 12:27PM

    I recognise what you're saying about a holding pattern and the change in mindset.

I think you probably underestimate how much you motivate others though. One of the things about the Spark is that so many people influence and inspire others in ways that they don't always realise.

I always think of you having trodden the path in front of me and you continue to help me as you set an example and offer encouragement.

Thank you Linda.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 2/19/2010 10:46AM

    We need your Linda. Keep holding on. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/19/2010 7:45AM

    You've done an excellent job on a very long journey. You are an inspiration! I want to be just like you!

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SOPHIADARE 2/19/2010 6:59AM

    I notice that you enjoy "Walk Away the Pounds" to help you keep a pace that works for you. My sister likes those. She finds them helpful, too. She also finds that it can make walking in place inside more interesting in the winter "when it shivers" even if she isn't walking in Paris. Good for you for focusing on the switch to maintenance strategies! Hooray for Linda!

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LOPEYP 2/19/2010 5:37AM

    Linda, Your holding pattern is your life! You did it - you got back to healthy. We are envious of you. I would love to be at my goal weight now but know that through SP I will reach my goal this time - after 20 years of trying. Keeping on doing what you are doing and thanks for all the encouragement and motivation. - Diane
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KNITTABLES 2/19/2010 2:51AM

    Yes sparks does work and sometimes you will be in that holding pattern but soon the air will shift and you will start losing weight again. Hang in there.

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ASTORRES1 2/19/2010 12:17AM

    I don't think there is anything wrong with a holding pattern. You should be so proud of yourself and all the hard work you have done. Congrats to you!!!You are an inspiration to me.


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CATHEITE 2/18/2010 10:51PM

    You're a continual source of inspiration for me! Maintaining has plenty of highs and lows, and it's nice to see how others are coping along the way. I also enjoy reading your blogs about issues other than weight, like fitness.

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GRALLEN 2/18/2010 9:04PM

    You being here on Spark is motivating. So many ppl like you and enjoy reading your blogs and posts.

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FORMYDARLINGS 2/18/2010 8:19PM

    Linda, You continue to motivate me just by blogging every day. I get to see how happy you are in your new size and how well you have fit into a regular living . I guess there aren't too many personal whoo hoo moments for you now but I think you can live those moments through your friends here and that will motivate them to go on. You are now and always have been a great friend and I count myself lucky to be your friend.


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I am doing good!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yesterday and today I got my freggies and managed a small calorie deficit.

101 cardio minutes yesterday, 87 cardio minutes today!

This a.m. 122.2 so I am definitely on the road again...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Weight fluctuated today but I ate my veggies!! Tomorrow is another day!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHEITE 2/17/2010 3:20PM

    Atta girl! I knew you'd do it!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/17/2010 3:00PM

    Good for you Linda!!

Getting back on the road is such a big test - and you passed with flying colours!!

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CICI510 2/17/2010 10:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LOPEYP 2/17/2010 8:07AM

    emoticon Glad to hear it!

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GONE2BEACH101 2/17/2010 7:52AM

    Good for you!! I think a lot of us get the winter blues...and need to get our self-control back.... emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/17/2010 7:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MONGO2TEN 2/17/2010 6:33AM

    Very good. I'm back on track too and feeling so much better and healthier. Amazing isn't it?

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/16/2010 10:08PM

    You've come a long way on this road and you're doing great!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
So glad to have you for a friend.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 2/16/2010 9:49PM

    Yes YOu ARE!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRALLEN 2/16/2010 9:44PM

    Good girl!!

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SKYELINER 2/16/2010 8:50PM

    You encourage me! :-)

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BARNABABY1 2/16/2010 8:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/16/2010 8:16PM

    Way to go! Keep that motivation going!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/16/2010 8:03PM

    emoticon I never doubted that you would get it back!! Congrats again. I think you've about got maintenance licked when you can get it back at will!! Very good going!

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KNITTABLES 2/16/2010 7:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINNAMONIE7 2/16/2010 7:54PM


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MXXOXXM 2/16/2010 7:44PM

    We are all traveling the road with you! Keep on truckin'!

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I survived Valentine's Day! How did you do?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I was not good yesterday but I did struggle to stay within my range and managed!! Yay me!

Today I am 122.9 so while still up, it is 'weigh' better than yesterday's 124 emoticon

Back to freggies everyone!! I can do this!


Cake was my bane - I ate cake & ice cream 2X on Saturday and had strawberry shortcake on Sunday. Saturday we celebrated my dad's 87th birthday but one piece of cake should have been sufficient, lol. On Sunday I was just "tempted" and tasted when I should have resisted.

So today I am paying the price - but I do not feel drawn to cake today! Yay for me!! Today I am eating fruits to satisfy the sugar lust!

We are all making this happen together!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/17/2010 7:25AM

    I had cake today too and it was so good. I even ate some ice cream as well. One day and back to the real world. PS-the cake is gone! LOL!

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/16/2010 8:18PM

    Actually the worst day of my holiday weekend was Monday... lost it and binged a bit, and have had to duke it out to get it back together today, despite work having a "Mardi Gras" food day. Sigh.

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    Cake and ice cream 2x,

but I'll bet on most days you don't have it 1x.

I know that it was worth it, and your 72 miles a day will knock it off in a hurry, LOL

OK, OK, I know it's NOT 72 miles a day but sometimes it seems like it

Have a great week!

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GRALLEN 2/15/2010 7:36PM

    You did good. I did pretty good too with only one piece of candy.

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BARNABABY1 2/15/2010 6:11PM

    Way to go!!! emoticon

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ONECOOKIETWO 2/15/2010 3:32PM

    Well, I survived Valentine's pretty well, but not as well as you have! You can be my model! You already weigh my target weight!

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KNITTABLES 2/15/2010 2:15PM

    WTG, Great attitude. Keep it up.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 2/15/2010 12:50PM

    You did better than I did. Congrats on a job well done.

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WALKINGANNIE 2/15/2010 12:18PM

    Great attitude, as ever, Linda.

It's all about balance - as you showed so well here.

Enjoy those freggies!

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SOPHIADARE 2/15/2010 10:41AM

    Yay for you!

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CATHEITE 2/15/2010 10:35AM

    Great job staying in your range! Sometimes, it really is a struggle! I went over my calories yesterday but I'm not stressing. Today will be different.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 2/15/2010 10:16AM

    We sure can do it. My Vday wasn't bad at all thanks to Flat Out Pizza for dinner. Sat was another story. But, then again, it's over and today's a new day! emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/15/2010 9:52AM

    Yes, WE can do it!
I enjoyed a few of my DH's chocolates (the very few in the box he doesn't like) and ate at the high end of my range but didn't go over.
Have a grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat week, Linda!

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USARUNNERGIRL 2/15/2010 9:38AM

    Well my diet sucked yesterday, primarily chocolate and a cookie with a healthy breakfast thrown in for good measure. LOL.

But I actually finally budged my scale in a downward fashion. I have been sitting at 187 forever, today it was 186.4.

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ASTORRES1 2/15/2010 9:33AM

    We don't celebrate a "Valentines Day"...cuz that is us everyday...we don't need a special day to share our love for each other...so there were no temptations yesterday. I was happy to see the scale drop 3 lbs from last weigh in....WOOHOO.
You are doing great...and have the perfect attitude....nothing will stop you now!!!


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MAGNOLIA416 2/15/2010 9:25AM

    Wow, 122 is fantastic! And you didn't go overboard on Valentine's chocolate or special food! I did ok too.

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AMGM2001 2/15/2010 9:16AM

    Good job staying in your range. emoticon

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Yum, yum, yum!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I was so unbelievably bad yesterday - and it was so worth it!! For the first time since last July, I hit 124 this morning!! So what?! Today I am back on track and will be eating soup and doing my Cardio.

Yesterday we had a 2nd Thanksgiving since we were not all able to be together on the real one. I fried a turkey and I overindulged in the skin which had been seasoned. And we had Birthday cake with ice cream - and I had 2 portions! But it was worth it and I enjoyed myself.

Here's the difference - are you listening? I tracked every morsel to the best of my ability!! Yup, even the cake, although I was unable to be sure of the calorie count. I was at least 1000 calories over for the day!!

Life goes on and we just try again and keep on tracking. That is the difference in this being a lifestyle change. Short of dying, we always get another chance to try again! Ain't life great?!!

Love you,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/17/2010 7:24AM

    Life IS great so enjoy! You'll do better tomorrow!

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KNITTABLES 2/15/2010 1:25AM


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GOALIEGRANDMA3 2/14/2010 11:20PM

    You did better than me. I did not bother to track today, but know I will get back on track tomorrow.

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HEALTHY4SPRING 2/14/2010 4:03PM

    What a great attitude! Spark on, Linda!

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JUDYK17 2/14/2010 3:21PM

    You da "wo"man! That is why I am losing so slowly. I have really changed how I eat and don't just go hog wild like I use to but I also have not gone so strict that I am miserable. I think it's the happy medium that will work in the end.
Keep up the good work and thank you for keeping us motivated!
Happy Valentine day!

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MEADSBAY 2/14/2010 1:25PM

    And THAT is why you are my #1 Super Motivator in the Sparkaverse!
Life is full of ups and downs and you can weather them all with grace and style!

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ASTORRES1 2/14/2010 12:57PM

    You hit the nail right on the head...this is our LIFE...we must enjoy the times when given to us. The rest of the time...we are behaving our selves.........glad you enjoyed your day.


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MESSENE 2/14/2010 12:24PM

    emoticon emoticonYou are fab! I love the idea, that we can always start over again. emoticonBest wishes!!! emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 2/14/2010 12:20PM

    Good for you Linda. This is surely the ultimate winning attitude. Having a relaxed celebratory day is all the more special when it fits into a healthy lifestyle. You've got things truly in control.

What a wonderful example to us all - a great role model.


Annie x

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FORMYDARLINGS 2/14/2010 11:45AM

    I think you have living a new lifestyle down to a T. It is all about LIVING and indulging once in a while is part of that. What you now understand is that you have to adjust for a bit, what you do daily to make up for indulging and then life just goes on. It is great Linda!!!


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FLAMINGOLESLIE 2/14/2010 11:14AM

    You are GREAT!!!!! emoticon

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JANNIEWANNIE 2/14/2010 11:10AM

    Thank you for sharing this message. I had forgotten it this week and let one meal at the Chinese buffet stretch into 5 days of grazing. I felt like a failure rather than reminding myself that it was one meal out of a lifetime of meals. I am back on track as of yesterday and am deeple grateful for your memory jogger. Happy Valentines Day to you. Hugs from Janet.

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WATERMELLEN 2/14/2010 10:55AM

    Healthy attitude! and that's what counts: we're not on a diet, we're transforming our lives (and that involves living)!

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    Glad you got to STUFF yourself, LOL

That meal sounded really good too.

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day today, Birthday cake, was it Ray's BD or someone else. I think YOURS is in November.



Indulge in some chocolate today, it's healthy for you!

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CATHEITE 2/14/2010 10:02AM

    You have a really healthy and positive attitude! emoticon Thank you for leading the way and teaching by example.

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GINA7249 2/14/2010 10:01AM

    atleast you know what you did and not just eat eat eat wihtout thinking about it. so cool

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TNKELSE 2/14/2010 9:52AM

    Totally cool attitude! I agree 100% I do the same thing.

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BARNABABY1 2/14/2010 9:43AM

    I love your attitude...that's why you are a success and an inspiration to me! emoticon

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JENSHAWN 2/14/2010 9:24AM

    Been there done that! Good for you for tracking!

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