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What A Crazy Week It Has Been!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let everyone know that me and my family are all doing great and thank you to everyone who checked to see how we were.

I'm sure everyone has heard about the tornadoes that ravaged Alabama last Wednesday. It was most definitely a terrifying experience. We were so blessed though because we didn't have any major storm damage to our property we just went without power for 5 days but believe me you realize how little that matters!

These are pictures that I took the day after the tornado of the houses and churches that were right down the road from our business.

When we drove around the next day we were blown away by the destruction we saw and the pandemonium it caused. I can not even tell you how massive the lines for gas and groceries were! The lines started at 6 am the next morning with people wanting to get supplies because the entire area I live in is being told that the power can be off for up to 10 days and everything in our refrigerators is ruined! The stores here are out of C and D batteries, flashlights, lanterns, canned food and bread, generators, and so many other things.

We were lucky we live by a major intersection so it was first on the list to be repaired but it may be up to 5 more days for the rest of my neighbors to get power. Thoughts and prayers are needed and definitely some helping hands!!

Even though it isn't really a major thing compared to everything that happened.... My finals for college were supposed to start on Thursday morning, the day after the tornadoes. I am actually graduating this semester and it was going to be my final few days of school. They ended up canceling all exams because the school still has no power and they are letting all the students have the grade they had as of April 27th and if they want to still take the exam they will have to wait until a later date. Graduation is going to be postponed as well but as of today I am now a college graduate!! I was a little bummed that I didn't get to enjoy my last week but I will just have to be happy that I graduated!!

Now on to job hunting....................

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOGETTERME 5/5/2011 7:25PM

    I'm so glad you are okay. That is so scary. Congrats on being a graduate!

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    So glad that you & your family are safe!! The devastation over there is just heartbreaking.

Also, congrats on being a college graduate!!!

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DIANESMILES 5/3/2011 10:43PM

    WOW are you SO FORTUNATE to be ALIVE !! Let alone be so well off. TY so MUCH for letting us know ! PHEW !!! WOWZERS !!!!! Yes compared to ALL ur area and U have gone through the exam is just a small thing to for go at least you have ur LIVES and HOMES ! Now to hunker down and find that SWEET JOB you will ENJOY !! Here's to the 5% !

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JENERIN01 5/3/2011 10:25PM

    So glad you and your loved ones are safe. Good luck on the job hunt...sending good vibes your way.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 5/2/2011 5:08PM

    Glad you and your family are safe. Congratulations on graduating that is a great accomplishment, even if it's not the way you wanted it to happen. Good luck with the new job search!

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OFFDREA 5/2/2011 3:42PM

    That is so very scary! Im so happy you and your family are okay.

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BARCLE 5/2/2011 3:29PM

    Wow, how scary. So glad you're okay!
Congrats on your graduation emoticon
Best wishes for job hunting emoticon

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LEE519 5/2/2011 1:29PM

    Soo glad you and your family are safe and did not have any major damage to your property.

Congrats on being a college graduate!!! I just graduated on Saturday.

Good luck job hunting...take a minute and breathe!!!



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-POOKIE- 5/2/2011 1:22PM

    Goodness, Im do glad you are ok, that damage looks terrible.

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The New Do Not Try This At Home Diet!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Wow what a not so fun last couple weeks my friends. It all started the day after Valentines. Which it was a wonderful Valentine's Day!! Had a wonderful romantic date night with my husband.


Woke up the next morning with a huge lump on my jaw and ended up with what I have currently..... my tonsils, adenoids, and lymphnoids (I'm sure I missed spelled all of these lol) completely swollen painful and to put it politely, completely oozie with not so nice stuff!! A lovely infection throughout!! I have been to my doctor twice, my dentist twice (wasn't sure if it was a abscessed tooth or something), the ENT doctor, my Rhuematologist, and to the Emergency Room twice.... I've been on 3 different antibiotics and a steroid.

Now for the disclaimer.............

1. If you can't swallow due to throat pain you can't eat!
2. If you can't taste food you don't want to eat!
3. If your so stinkin tired you can't move and therefore you can't make it to the refrigerator to grab food.
4. If you have a week and half of fevers you burn a lot of calories as well!

Side effects.....

So over all great way to lose weight if you don't mind feeling like complete dog poo! Or the many trips to doctors. Or the fact that after Valentines that's the only action your going to get because your husband thinks you are a walking plague!

But hey your jeans fit much better!

*On a serious note. I have been sicker than I have ever been before! I was pretty scared there for awhile because I have Rhuematoid Arthritis and I have to take a cancer treatment drug so my immune system is not strong in the first place. I am starting to feel mildly better. I still haven't regained my strength or appetite so I am going to work into it slowly.

** Does anyone have any suggestions on what might be a good option to eat. I need energy and protein packed, not spicy but flavorful!! Nothing really tastes good and it makes it hard for me. Any sickness fighting wonders??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIGALENA 3/3/2011 8:11PM


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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 3/3/2011 7:28PM

    For soothing foods that are easy to eat you might try smoothies. Some yogurt with fruit and cinnamon should be easy to fix/eat. I also like oatmeal. Quaker's hearty blends are my favorites right now. I add raisins, cinnamon, any extra fruit I have and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Mixed together it tastes divine and is really nutritious too.

I have had the "sick diet" because of the RA before. Not fun. I lost 10 lbs in a week that time. Managed to keep some of the weight off, but some did come back when I started eating/exercising again.

Good luck!

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MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 3/3/2011 12:20AM

    HOpe you are feeling better!!

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MOMFAN 3/2/2011 2:11AM


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DJS-DEBBIE 3/1/2011 9:41PM

    I would go with scrambled eggs or soup.

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DIGITALJEDI 3/1/2011 11:14AM

    Eggs perhaps? Fairly harmless, with lots of carbs and protein!
I hope you feel better soon. :(

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XPHOENIX 3/1/2011 1:01AM

    OMG :( :( :( I'm so sorry to hear this :( Geez. Yes, please no one else try this at home! I had something not to try last year... stomach flu. And I thought that was bad! Geez, if it was a competition, you win, hands down!!

I dont know if anyone said it, but what about something with peanut butter? You can get in some protein and goodness. As many fruits and veggies as you can handle, also. Your body deffo needs the vitamins!

Take care of you and get well soon! XOXO

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SUGARPUNK52 2/28/2011 4:16PM

  Chicken soup or smoothies might be good choices for right now.Sorry you feel so bad,glad you're on the mend.

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OFFDREA 2/28/2011 2:04PM

    I have no advice but I hope you are feeling better!!!!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 2/28/2011 1:32PM

    Google green monster smoothies. They will get in all the stuff you need without having to chew. Hugs, that sounds awful.

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AMANDA_AGAIN 2/28/2011 1:20PM

    Wow lady. When you get sick you get SICK. I would try a protein shake, like muscle milk light. They have a lot of vitamins and minerals in them too, so that might help if you don't feel like eating anything else.

I know when I had a sinus infection last month (NOTHING like what you're going through) I didn't want to eat anything. And I kind of didn't. But then when I got to feeling better, LOOK OUT! I ate EVERYTHING. Cause I needed to "recover my strength." Don't be stupid like me.

Hope you feel better.


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-POOKIE- 2/28/2011 1:14PM

    emoticon what about the traditional chicken soup?

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MARYANNGI 2/28/2011 1:11PM

    A protein smoothie is the way to go. Ymmattaammy has to pout protein powder in everything she eats. She gets the unflavored and adds some with each meal.

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BARCLE 2/28/2011 12:56PM

    Wow - poor you, that's totally horrible. Some great suggestions already made. Best wishes for a speedy recovery emoticon

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FLAMENM 2/28/2011 12:48PM

    I had a raging sinus infection a few months ago that caused my throat to be so swollen I couldn't eat. Yogurt, smoothis, soup and pudding were my diet for a few weeks. I called it foods that slurp....

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SLIMPAM23 2/28/2011 12:42PM

    Oh Darlin----I am SO sorry. Gosh you have really been through it. I am glad you seem to be on the mend - but that is a terrible way to lose weight!! Everyone seems to like greek yogurt - I am not a fan...but I like FiberOne's strawberry...and it's supposed to have lots of fiber so it should make you feel full! And it's low-cal. I am not a fan of protein drinks - but some folks love them. You could try that or even smoothies might help.
Hope you are back 100% SOON!!

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UMUCGRAD 2/28/2011 12:31PM

    I agree. Greek yogurt. Protein smoothies. soft scrambled eggs or omelettes. Hope you feel better soon!

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PERSISTANT123 2/28/2011 12:01PM

    I'd suggest doing a protein smoothie. That way you will get the protein you need, plus the benefits of the fruit.

I also had some scrambled eggs with low-fat cheese when I started eating again.

Hope you feel 100% soon!

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MILNE81 2/28/2011 11:46AM

    Wow! I just got over the flu myself and felt a lot of what you felt (no energy, no eating, just ick). A good thing was chicken and yellow rice for me. I got the Mahattma yellow saffron rice which has a good bit of flavor to it. Pour 2 of those into a rectangle baking dish, add the amt of water each pack of rice calls for and then place 3 or 4 chicken breast on top of that. Cover with foil and bake at 425 for 45 min. Good boost of protien and some good carb intake too for your body to burn off and give you fuel.

Get feeling better soon!

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SPICY0NE 2/28/2011 11:45AM

    Wow - you have had a rough couple of weeks. :( Boo!

This might sound taboo, but what about an omlette? Eggs are packed with protein (plus they are soft and easy to swallow), and you can also get some veggies in while you're at it.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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MAGPIE17 2/28/2011 10:56AM

    Glad you're starting to feel better! That sounds terrible! I stick to smoothies with greek yogurt, toast and ginger ale when I'm sick...

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FIT_BY40 2/28/2011 10:55AM

    Wow. I hope you feel better really soon. It sounds like an awful situation for sure. Can you do a protein smoothie? I make one out of 1 scoop protein powder (Jillian Michael's found in WAlmart), 8 oz soy milk and 1/2 bag of Yoplait Smoothie fruit found in frozen foodsection. Blend for 30 sec and your good to go. Has about 22 g of protien. Taste good also so hopefully you have your sense of taste back.

Good luck. I hope you get some great ideas from other Sparkers. Get better soon!

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Time To Get This Thing Done!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Well I am 10 lbs heavier than I was 3 months ago and I am actually OK with that. I have not been eating the way I should or exercising like I had been doing but with the 2 surgeries and with the holidays I think it is understandable. I am not going to be self-destructive and hate on myself and call myself lazy or a failure. I am going to start from scratch and look at the fact that I am still almost 40 lbs lighter than I was a little over 9 months ago! I will lose those 10 lbs plus another 35 lbs! I was rockin the healthy lifestyle 3 months ago - I was the fitness leader in my city - and I will rock it again! Because I'm just like that lol!


This time I have a specific goal that I am going to reach my desired weight for! I am surprising my husband with an 8 day cruise to the Caribbean for Valentine's Day and the cruise is leaving in October 2nd. Which on October 4th we will be celebrating our 2nd Anniversary on the private beach of Labadee, Haiti. (Our first Anniversary was spent with me in an operating room getting hand surgery, so this is going to be our first real Anniversary.) I am so excited about this because...

1) I said I would never go on a cruise because I felt way too fat! Yes I know :)
2) I have never been out of the country! Yes I know :)
3) I have never felt comfortable in a bathing suit ever, let alone a bikini!!!

but I am going on this cruise at my goal weight and I am going to wear a bikini and I am going to own it!! That bikini is going down!!


Losing weight and getting fit is great, it's wonderful, it's what we want right? Yes! But it's also about learning who we are, what we want out of life, and loving who we are.... what ever size we are. I want to get on that boat and have a sense of calm that I am exactly where I want to be. I don't want any doubts of "oh if I had only done that".... or "Am I really skinny enough".... I want to be happy with me and I want to love me!

I think this will be the harder goal to reach for me. I am 100% my worst and hardest critic. I have never felt good enough. I want to learn to accept who I am and know that I am the same as everyone else.... imperfect. Perfect in my imperfections. This is supposed to be a romantic, beautiful getaway and I want it to be just that. I don't want to spend my whole time self-conscious that everyone looks better than I do. I want to forget all of that and just be myself and hold my husband's hand down the beach and be in love!! With him and me :)

emoticonSO I HAVE 248 DAYS & COUNTING!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PERSISTANT123 2/7/2011 8:38PM

    You are going to have an amazing time! You are learning to love yourself where you are now! I am so excited for you.

Comment edited on: 2/7/2011 8:38:30 PM

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TEENY_BIKINI 2/1/2011 4:45PM

    I just love your amazing attitude. I love that you are going on the cruise. It will be so much fun and you are really challenging yourself on so many levels. Yay you!

Right on!


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DJS-DEBBIE 1/29/2011 3:59PM


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MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 1/28/2011 11:14PM

    You are going to do it! You are going to be so busy having fun and being with your husband that you are not going to have time to notice anyone looking at you!!! If folks are looking at you it'll just be because you look so fantastic and look so happy!! Your husband noticing is the only one that counts, and I know he thinks you are gorgeous! (and you are !) Self love may be the hard part, but you'll get there. You have a great attitude and you are going to conquer those fears!

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ANDILU 1/28/2011 9:15PM

    Welcome back!
Here's to a happy, healthy 2011, and an AWESOME anniversary cruise!

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SLIMPAM23 1/28/2011 11:07AM

    WooHoo!! You have a great attitude and you are going to get where you want to be!
BTW - A cruise kept me on track - I'll bet it can do the same for you! And the good news about losing that 10 pounds is that you already know what you have to do!! You have the tools and the ability, so losing the weight isn't going to be a problem. You have come far - I know you are going to finish this journey! Sounds like this year you are going to have a MUCH better anniversary!!
Keep Moving Forward My Friend!!
Pam emoticon

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DIGITALJEDI 1/28/2011 9:20AM

    Such an AWESOME attitude to have. So glad to have you part of the "it's a lifestyle, not a diet" team! emoticon

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TBABY912 1/28/2011 12:03AM

    it's going to be a great trip. the combination of loving your life.. and being in love... at the same time... is a blessing!


Comment edited on: 1/28/2011 12:04:30 AM

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AMANDA_AGAIN 1/27/2011 8:14PM

    Awesome!! Rock that bikini. And I hope to see tons of pictures in October!

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EGR2BEME 1/27/2011 7:42PM

    What a great, inspirational attitude! So exciting having your trip to look forward sounds awesome! Cheering you on!

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READY4LIVE 1/27/2011 7:32PM

    Love your attitude, and you are so right, it's about self love! I know emoticon

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 1/27/2011 3:03PM

    Oh, have so much fun on your cruise. Don't forget to get your passports early as you will be going outside the US for the cruise. I LOVE cruising. I wore a 2 piece swimsuit (not quite a "bikini" yet) but my belly was bare. I feel I looked good in it at 155 + lbs. I never felt uncomfortable in it because my husband made me feel like a goddess in it and he helped me pick them out... yes that's right 2 of them! One of them even had strings on the bottom.

Loving ourselves is so important. Great way to look at your goals. I KNOW you can do this.

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OFFDREA 1/27/2011 2:52PM

    you are going to look sooooooooooooo amazing!!!!!!!

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SHARONA_P 1/27/2011 1:19PM

    how terrible that we tell ourselves that we can't do certain things because of how we look/weigh. You are so right, it is about self love and being comfortable with who you are and where you are at. Have fun on the cruise - what a great gift to your hubby AND yourself!

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-POOKIE- 1/27/2011 1:13PM


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SPARKIE1964 1/27/2011 11:37AM

    I LOVE IT! YOU CAN DO THIS... emoticon

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MAGPIE17 1/27/2011 11:28AM


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BLYNN710 1/27/2011 11:26AM

    You can totally do this. You have already come so far and you will definitely be able to hit your goal. Your attitude and determination will push you forward.

You can do this!!

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    Woo! 10lbs is not bad for what you went through and you know you can get it off how you want to!

I'm getting my mom and me another cruise the 2nd week of September to Key West, Ocho Rios and Grand Caymen because I want to go and wear a bikini and have my first skinny vacation pictures! I'm really excited! I loved our last cruise SO much and the food was SO good (and I lost the 10lbs I gained 3 days afterwards so it's all good!)

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/27/2011 11:06AM

    What an awesome and amazing goal to strive for!!! What a great gift to surprise your hubby with, and in the process tackling some fears you've had. You can DO this! I gained almost 10 lbs. over the holidays and I didn't have surgeries. You can DO this!!

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MISSROCKABILLY 1/27/2011 10:53AM

    You can totally do this! I think that sometimes having a specific goal to work towards makes it easier to stay motivated. You are going to look beautiful on your cruise, no matter what, and you and your hubby are going to have a great time!!

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FIT_BY40 1/27/2011 10:40AM

    Work it Girl. You can do it. I have a trip to Jamaica in less than five months. Couldn't work out to lose weight for a few months but now I can and I will at least lose a size before I go. I can do it AND SO CAN YOU! I have faith in you. Let's do it! emoticon

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The Disappearing Act

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hey everyone :) I just wanted to send out a quick blog and let everyone know just how much I have missed you all!!

It has been very hectic and as I have done in the past the first thing I do when I get overwhelmed is stop taking care of me. It has been a real struggle and I have not been counting calories and exercising like I should. I thank goodness have only gained 5 pounds but those are 5 pounds I am going to take off again plus another 25 to go to reach my goal. I have worked to hard not to reach that goal...... plus I want that tattoo I promised myself as my goal reward!!

I am starting fresh today!!! right now!!! this exact moment!!! and I will do it because I know I am the strong, bold woman who can get it done!!

So no more disappearing act!! You all get ready to get tired of seeing me because this chickie is back!!!!! I am sooooooo DONE BEING THE FAT GIRL!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XPHOENIX 12/13/2010 1:10PM

    We missed you, too babe. Dont slack with YOURSELF, slack with other things... like laundry. Who likes to do that anyway?? haha :) XOXO Here if you need me... still... always XOXOXO

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MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 12/2/2010 11:15AM

    So glad to see you back!! You are too important to not take care of yourself girlie! You can do this!

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MOMFAN 12/1/2010 2:51AM


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READY4LIVE 11/30/2010 7:26PM

    Whoohoo! I know you can do it!

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-POOKIE- 11/30/2010 1:52PM


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REDSAMUR 11/30/2010 1:44PM

    First five, and then the rest of them!
Here, for a little inspiration:
8kSSmqw (Leonard Cohen, First we take Manhattan)

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BABY_GIRL69 11/30/2010 1:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonback! God bless & let's make it happen! Dee

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PERSISTANT123 11/30/2010 1:08PM

    I'm so glad that you are back! We've missed you!

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OFFDREA 11/30/2010 12:46PM

    you WILL do it!!!! Welcome back :)

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MISSROCKABILLY 11/30/2010 10:41AM

    Glad to see you back! Don't worry about those 5 lbs, you're going to kick them to the curb in no time! You've got this!!

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Finding a Renewed Sense of Accomplishment

Saturday, October 02, 2010

August and September have been a little overwhelming for me. With school starting back up, all the homework... plus working, being a mother of a 15 yr old girl and a newlywed I was stressed beyond belief. It was hard to focus on myself and staying on task with my weight loss.

I also have rheumatoid arthritis for which I am having surgery this Monday to repair some of the damage this has caused to my hands.

Needless to say I have been pretty tough on myself about not being super woman and I had made a decision. Not to let everything overwhelm me. Focus on what is directly in front of me not 10 things that I want to get done but I know I can't. Work on things one at a time. Doing this has helped me immensely. I have not only caught myself back up but I also am done with all of my homework that is due while I will be recovering for surgery. Which will help so much with my stressful nature. I literally get ulcers from stressing.

Dealing with everything this way has also helped in the weight loss and inches department.

In August I celebrated getting under 200 and now I am in the 180's.... 184 to be exact! I have slowed down a little from when I first started Spark but the total weight lost as of today is 46 lbs! That is still a great accomplishment.

Inches lost:
Waist: -2
Hips: -2.25
Thighs: -1.25
Calves: - .25
Arms: -0
Neck: -0

Waist to Hip Ration: -0.01
BMI: -1.7 which means I am no longer considered obese!

So over all I am doing a great job. I get to celebrate my one year Anniversary with the most wonderful man on earth this Monday!! I get to see my daughter go off to her Homecoming dance tonight. Life is good and it is time I got to stop and smell the roses and enjoy it!!! Goal no more stress!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENORAHACHE 10/29/2010 1:09PM

    You're doing so very well! I also beat myself up a lot for not doing everything and doing it perfectly. My new mantra is "Do your best and FORGET THE REST!"

Congrats on being the Done Girl a few days back. I'm a little behind, but I'm so impressed with your weight loss! I hope to be where you are in 6 months, and hope I look just as cute!

~Annie in SC emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/29/2010 1:10:18 PM

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EPIPHANYANGEL 10/14/2010 5:30AM


You're doing great especially with everything that's been happening over the past couple of months. Glad to hear you're getting back on track.

Hope you had an amazing anniversary.

Take care. x emoticon

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BLYNN710 10/7/2010 11:41AM

    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Take some time while you recuperate to pamper yourself and relax because you deserve it. Keep up the awesome attitude and work.

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SLIMPAM23 10/4/2010 8:47PM

    You are doing just great!!! And you are right - It IS time to stop and smell the roses!!!!

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    Way to go on your weight loss and all of your other accomplishments, even with all of the stress.

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MAGPIE17 10/4/2010 12:28PM

    Congrats on your loss! I think your new plan is awesome!

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MOUNTAINS2CLIMB 10/3/2010 8:32PM

    Awesome!! Congratulations on the weight loss! You are doing an amazing job! I hope all goes well with your surgery.
Good for you for stopping and making a plan to deal with everything and to not let it stress you anymore. Sure, you will always have lots to do, but we so often forget to take time for ourselves, or remember that no matter how much we WANT to, it is just not humanly possible to do everything! I'm glad you cut yourself some slack and realized that YOU are what is important too!!
You have accomplished so much, and you'll only continue to do so!

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MUSIC66 10/3/2010 7:27PM

    awsome on your weight loss.

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MIZZSB 10/3/2010 10:05AM

    wow - you sound a very busy lady...
like you said stop and smell the roses, life is way to short!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 10/3/2010 9:56AM

    Congratulations on all that you have accomplished.

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PERSISTANT123 10/2/2010 11:18PM

    emoticonYou have really accomplished a lot. Learning how to prioritize will lower your stress levels, and that helps with the weight loss too. emoticon

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HARISHABAD 10/2/2010 9:48PM

    Woo Hoo, that is great! 46 lb. is definitely something to proud of. And organizing and de-stressing is an accomplishment as well. I think we all need to do that, LOL.

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OFFDREA 10/2/2010 5:10PM

    You have done FANTASTIC!!!!! Congratulations :)

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DJS-DEBBIE 10/2/2010 4:53PM

    Wonderful all around! Congrats on your anniversary. Best wishes for a speedy recovery from your surgery.

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 10/2/2010 4:03PM

    WOHOO, congrats on your progress and anniversary!! Best of luck with your surgery! Hope all goes well!
Also so happy for your daughter, hope she has a great time!

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    Good luck on Monday, and congrats on your accomplishments.

Let your recovery be a time for self-renewal.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 10/2/2010 2:53PM

    Congratulations on your success in September! Great job!

I have to learn to focus on just one thing at a time too. I think like you it will help me accomplish so much more in the long run.

Have a great October!

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RUFFIT 10/2/2010 2:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonMoni

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FLYINGB16 10/2/2010 1:37PM

    This is awesome. You definately have your hands full and boy do I understand. Good luck with your surgery. I hope you have the outcome you desire. Congrats on the awesome numbers. You are doing great!


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-POOKIE- 10/2/2010 1:33PM

    *hugs* I think you are doing just great, accepting we cannot be on top of everything all the time is hard, but necessary.

I hope everything goes smoothly on monday in hospital and that you have as good a day as you can for your anniversary.

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MNABOY 10/2/2010 1:15PM


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