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Third Thanksgiving That Counts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This is my third Thanksgiving living in my goal weight range. Each year I have been sincerely thankful to weigh a normal weight after 5 decades of being overweight and obese. This year I feel even more thankful because I finally believe that I will live the rest of my years at a healthy weight for me.

Yesterday I ate a little more than I intended. I wish maintenance came naturally to me, but I accept that for me it takes focus and determination. It is worth it and now I know I can do it.

In 2011 I have had multiple minor health challenges - two backaches (one lower back and both sides and one waist high on right) and three colds, including the worst lung infection I've ever had. I've found it is much easier to maintain when I can exercise. I do believe that if I keep exercising when I can, eventually my body will catch up and I'll be able to regularly run, cross train, and strength train. That's my theory and my hope! I'm just getting back up to speed for the 5th time this year, but I'm not giving up on exercise. It is an important part of my maintenance. I plan to walk tomorrow, too.

Take care, SparkFriends. I am very thankful for SP and for every one of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 11/26/2011 1:01PM

    The first thing Mike and I did was take our two dogs for a long walk. We took them for a second long walk later in the afternoon so we did well on Thanksgiving. Hope yours was great!

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JIBBIE49 11/24/2011 11:11PM

    emoticonHope u had a great Thanksgiving. I'm so happy for you that you are at a "normal" weight now, and you are right that it is something that has to be worked at as hard if not harder than losing weight. Judith Beck, PhD says in "THE BECK DIET SOLUTION" that we just must except that we will always be working at keeping the weight off once we have gotten to our goal. I know staying away from sugars/starches as Gary Taubes' says in "WHY WE GET FAT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT" is my answer.
I'm 62 and read that low back pain can be a sign of heart disease in the artery for older women, so I take my back ache seriously. Need to get a physical January 2012 and be checked out.

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DIDMIS 11/24/2011 11:04PM

    emoticonon learning to maintain. It isn't always easy but I think of what I looked like at my worst and know I don't want to go back there. I have my before picture on my page.

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MONTY68 11/24/2011 10:58PM

    Hi Marsha
Great blog and I know that you will do great on Thanksgiving ( late commenting ).
You have gone through some things this year that slowed you down but you always keep a very positive attitude towards your life.
I am not sure maintenance comes naturally, I think of it as being aware and planning.
I went to a restaurant today that opened and was serving only a turkey dinner. It also was all you can eat. The waitress brings the first serving and I noticed that the portions were not large. When I was done, she asked if I would like more and I said no. I really was content and not tempted to eat more. So, I guess that is where I am aware of how I feel and know that I do not need more.
You have done a awesome job getting to where you are and I am sure you will get back to your normal routine of exercise.
Thank you for sharing and that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving day

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILD4STARS 11/24/2011 7:33AM

    emoticon emoticonand happy emoticonday!

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MISTYRIVER64 11/24/2011 7:29AM

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving

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THINRONNA 11/24/2011 2:49AM

    I hope that you have a wonderful holiday. You really are an inspiration. Congratulations on all of your success maintaining!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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_LINDA 11/23/2011 11:14PM

    You are setting a really good example for everyone getting through Thanksgiving and maintaining for so long! Oh yes, exercise makes it that much easier to maintain (can you tell how much I am missing it??), but its a true test of your program when you can get by such challenges as sickness, travel, holidays and yet not gain a single pound.
You are awesome and proving that a lifetime of bad habits doesn't have to mean a permanent sentence to overeating, indulging and bulging waistlines. It CAN be overcome and you can actually feel better and live better!
Keep on being the fabulous role model you are!!

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WATERMELLEN 11/23/2011 8:50PM

    Marsha, you are doing absolutely great: three years maintaining, yay you!! And like you, I do find it's a struggle to maintain that requires very deliberate focus. I'm still not back at "middle 3" although tracking diligently and within range consistently . . . guess I've got to be patient! Maybe when the cross country skiing starts, that will kick me back down a pound or two below the 140!!

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MEXGAL1 11/23/2011 8:24PM

    Terrific that you are onto your third year at goal weight. I too have finally realized that I can maintain but like you it takes constant effort and work. I hope that next year brings you better health so that you can get in as much exercise and you want.
I too plan on my 3.5 mile walk up and down the mountain as always tomorrow even though it's turkey day.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/23/2011 6:33PM

    I plan to walk tomorrow too!

Ever Vigilant!

We are doing it!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 11/23/2011 5:21PM

    Sorry to hear about your back and bad colds. I know what you mean about how those kinds of things can derail you. I am thankful for SP too, and for inspiring role models like you!

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MIRAGE727 11/23/2011 4:54PM

    This is my first as a maintainer. Hence the fact that I am doing the cooking at home this year, and loving it!
Wishing you the very happiest Thanksgiving, Hottie Grandma Marsha, and thank you for all the inspiration you have given me!

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FREELADY 11/23/2011 3:32PM

    This is so heartening to me! I am thankful for your example, and your willingness to share your path with us, so we can learn from your experience. You are helping me feel that this is a true life change for me, that I really can keep going and have a permanent change. God bless you and your family . . . may you be rested and refreshed!

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MOMMAKNOWSBEST 11/23/2011 3:03PM


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Estimate It and Go On

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I've found that for me one good way to handle those potluck dinners and parties where I eat a bit of this and a bite of that is to honestly pay attention to what I'm eating, track it as best I can, and go on. Of course I make the best choices I can. Often there is a veggie plate or fresh fruit or other things I know are healthy and/or not too calorie-dense. I try to only spend high calories on foods that are absolutely scrumptious, satisfying, and filling.

In the past when I chose not to record such dinners I often felt like I was off program which messed with my head. I'd feel like I already blew it, when usually I had not done that bad. Sometimes I'd rationalize and say I'd already messed up the week and continue to make bad choices.

Say I eat 1000 calories. I've found whether I count it as 600 calories or 1800 calories that my real key to success is to count is as something and continue. Of course, after years of tracking I have gotten better and better at estimating. But I've had weeks where I maintained or even lost weight only to find out that I did undercount something significantly. Not that I'd want to do that frequently, but for me when I do the best I can, it works.

I'm sure some of you intuitive eaters will scoff at this tactic. More power to you. If you can eat healthy and manage your weight without tracking, fantastic. But for me, tracking -- even imprecise tracking -- is a powerful tool and a small price to pay for living life at the weight I want to be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 11/24/2011 10:48AM

    You are so on target with this Marsha. That's why I love reading your blogs!

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PEGGYANNSCH 11/22/2011 11:47PM


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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/22/2011 1:32PM

    you are on track with your tracking.

I guesstimate - sometimes I just do a note that it is a 3000 calorie day and I move on. I log what I can and jot the rest in a note.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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MEXGAL1 11/21/2011 9:59AM

    Tracking to me is everything about maintaining my weight. And I love the sparks tracker as i have a great favorites list now that includes just about everything i eat. And i agree it's not as important to be totally acurate but to at least make the effort to "confess" re list what went into your mouth and then move on. I share my trackers as well just in case someone else might get an idea or two or be able to see that even though I am maintaining that it is an up and down process and I am not perfect and slip many times but now at least I get right back on track and part of the reason why I get back on track is that I track.
So I love tracking and love the feature on sparks.
Have a terriffic week and wonderful Thanksgiving.

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ROSEWAND 11/20/2011 11:45PM

    I so agree. I measure and weigh and when I cannot
I estimate. I think we do pretty well over time.

I will take a picture in my mind of what I am eating
when away from home. I later retrieve that picture
and calculate the calories. With the help of the
Spark database and especially the members'
contributions, I can do a very good job of
approximating my intake.

I am confident I am estimating fairly accurately
because my weight is very stable.

I think it is so important to hold ourselves
accountable even when we overeat, especially
when we overeat. I will often wait until the next day,
so that I will have more objectivity about the meal.

Thanks for affirming my experience.

Comment edited on: 11/20/2011 11:53:40 PM

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FREELADY 11/20/2011 7:49PM

    Thank you for keeping us attuned to reality! You are a big encouragement!

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WATERMELLEN 11/20/2011 6:46PM

    I agree with you completely . . . it's when I say "oh well" and don't even try to estimate for tracking purposes that I get sloppy. And gain weight. Of course I can't know exactly how many calories in the red Thai shrimp curry with naan and rice I had for lunch (unusually) on Friday, but I did estimate and I did track. Yeah!! Better than getting "off track"!

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JOYINKY 11/20/2011 6:41PM

    I couldn't agree more Marsha! It's the mindless eating that gets us in trouble. Mentally tracking and estimating allow us to enjoy the meal while keeping it from getting out of control. Thanks for sharing.

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FROSTY99 11/20/2011 6:23PM


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MONTY68 11/20/2011 5:12PM

    Hi Marsha
Great blog. I still track my food and do the same thing that you do. If I go to a buffet, It seems that I estimate like you do. When I come home, I will make a new food entry, give it a name and log it in on the tracker. I think Thanksgiving I am going to a restaurant that is only having 1 choice on the menu,a all you can eat traditional turkey dinner, so it will be easy when I get home to put the food in our tracker.
Thank you for sharing this, I am sure it will help a number of Sparkers.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILD4STARS 11/20/2011 5:04PM

    I've said it before and I'll say it again ~ "You are an inspiration to us all."

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SEPPIESUSAN 11/20/2011 4:53PM

    I don't know who's scoffing - I know that this is EXACTLY the kind of post I need to be reading this time of year, and I bet 99% of Sparkers would agree that it's very motivating to read your effective maintanence habits! Keep up the great work!

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Quitting is Not An Option

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quite a while back, maybe a year and a half ago, my Weight Watcher leader handed out stickers. They have her face printed on them with the slogan, "Quitting is Not An Option." She told us to put it some place we would see it frequently. I put mine inside my coin purse. Every time I make a purchase I see her face and her message.

You know, it really is true. I can say I am quitting and I can quit tracking. But my body continues to count every one of those calories. And they show up in the mirror and on the scale and in the way my clothes fit.

Truth is the last thing I want to do is quit. I'm never going to quit on myself again. There are times I get disgusted with my impulsive eating and my first impulse is to throw in the towel and say it is just too hard and forget it. But now it is easier to look at my weight history and look in the mirror and remind myself I've come a long, long way: 85 pounds gone. And I still may not eat exactly like I want to every day, but most days I do really well. I eat a lot of healthy food and usually not much junk. And as I finished my 4.4 mile run-walk-run this morning feeling fit and healthy, I am so glad that over and over again I have chosen not to quit this time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 11/18/2011 11:05PM

    emoticonJob you have done too! Very inspiring! I will never quit either! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    True..... and thank you! Pat

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_LINDA 11/15/2011 11:22PM

    Awesome! What an inspiration! Being a Mom a second time around when you should be enjoying retirement and keeping up your healthy lifestyle in spite of the challenges tells me it should be YOUR photo in people's wallets saying quitting is not an option!!
You are AMAZING!!

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FREELADY 11/15/2011 10:49PM

    You have a way of expressing things that really sticks with me. Thank you for thinking through these matters and sharing your sensible, successful views with us. It really helps!

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TBRANCH2 11/15/2011 10:49PM

    Good for YOU!! Your team is behind you 100%!!

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FROSTY99 11/15/2011 10:20PM

    You have it down and what a reminder.

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MONTY68 11/15/2011 9:52PM

    Hi Marsha
Awesome blog and I feel each of us should have that affirmation posted somewhere that we will see everyday. You have been such a inspiration, your blogs could be called a How to Be Successful manual as you have clearly shown us it can be done.
I believe that you will never quit but will continue your successful journey called life. Thank you for sharing.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/15/2011 8:07PM

    Great blog! We're not quitting. And yup, whether we track or not, our bodies do darn it!!

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JOYINKY 11/15/2011 7:30PM

    Amen! Great message, great blog and you are a great example!!

WTG! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYWALKER 11/15/2011 6:11PM

    Very uplifting blog. I like what you say about even if we don't track, our bodies continue to count those calories and it shows up in the mirror. I will remember that!

Congrats on such a great achievement of ridding yourself of 85 lbs. (That's a small child!) With your great attitude, I believe you will never see those pounds ever again.

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ON2VICTORY 11/15/2011 4:43PM

    this is wonderful... mindfulness is the big part of the battle. you are doing great and congrats on your 85 lb loss.

good for you.

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MIRAGE727 11/15/2011 4:12PM

    Sounds like a Mantra I can use in my Half Marathon training! Thanks for sharing, Marsha...and I know you are a warrior!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/15/2011 2:27PM


I liked your message and "liked" your blog!

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MEXGAL1 11/15/2011 12:46PM

    Thank you, thank you for such a timely blog. This was perfect for me to read today when feeling down and out. You are right...quitting is not an option and I will not quit! Today is a new day and I can treat my body right by making good choices.
Have a terrific day!

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AQUAGIRL08 11/15/2011 10:57AM

    Marsha, you are such an inspiration to me. When I see you at the Y, I think to myself that I want to drop 85 pounds too. Then I put extra energy into my workout!!!

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WILD4STARS 11/15/2011 10:28AM

    You're awesome.

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/15/2011 10:05AM

    Hooray, Marsha! Thanks for being an inspiration to us all! I don't want to quit either!!

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Role Model

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yesterday when we were done with lunch Natalie, 4 years old, asked me for a piece of paper, a pen, a can of black beans, the container of blueberries, and several other food items. I wondered what she was going to do. Then I saw her copy the words from the labels onto the paper. She's seen me track my food online and on paper over and over. Now she's doing it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 11/15/2011 10:06AM


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SLIMLILA 11/14/2011 12:55AM

    So cute! and so smart too... to copy the words off the containers... emoticon

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MONTY68 11/13/2011 11:32PM

    Hi Marsha
This is awesome, you certainly are a wonderful role model. Natalie is really aware of what you do.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/13/2011 11:34:47 PM

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FROSTY99 11/13/2011 9:06PM

    She is learning early-will serve her well in the coming years. If our parents had only known, we might not have gone thru this struggle with our weight.

Way to go Marsha.


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_LINDA 11/13/2011 7:17PM

    Isn't that special? You are going to be a great influence on these children's lives! They are lucky to have you!!

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FREELADY 11/13/2011 5:42PM

    Ohhhhhh . . . . I love it! What a delightful episode to share with us!

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PARKERB2 11/13/2011 3:26PM

    You have set a good example for her. emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 11/13/2011 12:57PM

    We never know what they will decide to do - that is awesome. My 13 year old granddaughter wanted to know if she could join spark people! She has no need to diet at this point but we talk a lot about what is good for your body and what your body needs to be healthy.

Some months ago she asked if we would take her to KFC and when she started to eat her chicken she decided it was much too greasy and opted to eat my grilled chicken instead - I was so proud!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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WILD4STARS 11/13/2011 12:04PM

    How cute!

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TBRANCH2 11/13/2011 11:03AM

    Here's to us Grandmas that "make a difference"! Go, Us!!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/13/2011 9:41AM

    how incredibly awesome!

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MIRAGE727 11/13/2011 9:15AM

    Wow. That is fantastic. What a smart cookie you have there. It's gotta make you feel good! Good job, Marsha!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Perhaps my SparkFriends are tired of reading repetitively that I'm building back up to my speed, endurance, and strength following illness. Seems like I've just had one cold after another. But I do think there is an important principle here. Do what you can. Try to listen to your body. Celebrate when your health supports vigorous exercise!!

I can sure celebrate today. I did a 5.27 mile run-walk-run workout in 60 minutes. I warmed up 10 minutes, started the treadmill again, and made 3.1 miles (a 5K) in 29:50. No, that's not my personal best (28:28), but it is my best ever with walking breaks. I ran 4 minutes usually at 7mph followed by 1 minutes of walking at 4.5mph. After the 5K I slowed down significantly, but wanted to make 5 miles and did.

I'm still disappointed that I'm not going to run the 10K race tomorrow as I had planned. I am close, but I just think it would be pushing it too much. But I'm delighted I burned over 400 calories today and feel strong and healthy. Hope to stay that way. I'm almost compulsively washing my hands despite some skin problems. Gwen has a green runny nose and Natalie has a terrible cough. Neither of them feel bad and neither is running a fever, thank heavens. Hope my immunities are up to this challenge!! Time will tell.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IAMWINNING 11/12/2011 2:38PM

    We never tire of hearing how you're doing. I hope Gwen and Natalie both shake what's bugging them and that you stay healthy!

Great! exercise, too.

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PEGGYANNSCH 11/12/2011 1:51PM


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_LINDA 11/11/2011 10:03PM

    I am enjoying hearing you get your strength and stamina back -its uplifting news!! Do make sure you are indulging in lotd of that fresh Florida citrus fruit -I beleive strongly my healthy diet has kept me from getting illnesses. I can't even remember the last time I had a cold and there are nasty ones that spread like wildfire around the bridge club -we are in close quarters handling all the same cards and boards, etc :( I know one lady who is staying away from the club until her surgery for fear of catching something, maybe I am being stupid going..
Sorry you couldn't do this race, but I am sure it won't be long before we hear you getting great times on that treadmill!
Take care of yourself!

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WATERMELLEN 11/11/2011 7:31PM

    I will never ever get tired of reading about you feeling well and getting strong and celebrating your good health: never!! That's what keeps all of us motivated and full of joy and energy!

Love love love caffeine which is definitely my "only remaining sin": and can't believe the MdDonald's is about to offer espresso beverages, ditto Tim Hortons (which is the major Canadian doughnut chain . . . a real Canadian institution, kinda like hockey -- in fact everyone at a hockey arena would have a Timmies "double double" in their mitts!!).

Thanks so much for your kind comment on my "dud" blog!!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/11/2011 6:35PM

    this is your blog - you never need to worry about what you put in it.

I am sorry you won't be able to run tomorrow - but you're rebuilding your stamina day by day!

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MIRAGE727 11/11/2011 4:23PM

    I am never tire of reading your blogs, Martha. I learn! I'm not as fast as you but I'm working it and you inspire. Thanks for sharing! Keep on keeping on!

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SEPPIESUSAN 11/11/2011 1:24PM

    Wow, 5.27 miles in an hour is basically a steady jog pace - and you did it with walking breaks! Great job.

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/11/2011 12:07PM

    Those kids germs are the toughest, everytime my GD (4 years old now) got sick...bang, down I was. Saying a prayer that your system is strong

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