SLENDERELLA61   158,458
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SLENDERELLA61's Recent Blog Entries

Still Celebrating!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A year ago today I made my Weight Watcher goal. A year! Wow!!! I have now been at a healthy BMI for a full year. My cholesterol and blood pressure, both of which were high, are now normal. I feel better. I have much more energy. I am happier. I look better.

During the last year, I have continued to make progress. I gradually lost 12 more pounds from March to September 2009. Then I found SparkPeople. I added strength training for the first time. I started paying attention to my sodium intake. I realized that I often ate too much fiber and too little healthy fat. I started to improve it by giving up "diety" fiber enriched products and by adding more oil (canola and olive) as well as nuts. I had really fallen off of the water drinking after Weight Watcher reduced the required amount. I'm back to 8 or more glasses a day. Looking at my daily nutrition report encouraged me to be more consistent about taking a multivitamin. I started tracking my sleep hours for the first time, going to bed earlier, and getting more sleep. Since September I've lost another 15 pounds and last month my Wellness Coach rated me at 20.2 BMI.

I have set a goal to increase muscle and reduce my percentage of body fat. I am almost certain it is working. My quads are noticeably harder and stronger, and I think other muscles are following. I have read so many SparkPeople articles, many of which have hit home and made a difference in the way I think, eat and exercise. I am more knowledgeable about health, nutrition, and exercise/fitness.

It's been a great, healthy year! Celebrate with me!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RISSASPIECES 3/23/2010 9:24PM

    I gotta agree, WELL DONE!!!!! emoticon

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BAGGYPANTS5 3/23/2010 4:10AM

    You are amazing! You'll probably join the Olympic weights team and live to be 150! I'm still wondering about peeping round the door of a gym!
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PERSISTANT123 3/22/2010 10:17PM

    That is so wonderful. You just keep getting better and better!

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KALIGIRL 3/22/2010 9:45PM

    Here's to more muscle and another great year!

Comment edited on: 3/22/2010 9:52:15 PM

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KALIGIRL 3/22/2010 9:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Wow - what a wonderful year!
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AMANDAJCD 3/22/2010 9:33PM

    That is awesome -- congratulations!!!

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AQUAGIRL08 3/22/2010 9:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/22/2010 7:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 3/22/2010 6:36PM

    You've made such great progress! Marsha Healthy and Strong should be your real name:)



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ONEKIDSMOM 3/22/2010 6:34PM

    So happy for you! I can't think of a better present to oneself than the gift of good health! Or at least improved odds thereof.

Well done, Marsha! emoticon emoticon

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How Did You Learn Portion Control?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

This week's Weight Watcher meeting was all about portion control. Our leader came out in clothes, hat, and shoes way too big for her. She then took off the huge shirt and had on a too tight shirt underneath. Then she took it off and the huge pants and was dressed right. Got everyone's attention about paying attention to sizes.

She then had different sizes of cups and glasses for us to guess how many ounces. She had all different shapes and sizes of potatoes again to quiz us. We looked at different amounts of cereal and various fruits. I actually did not guess as good as I thought I would. Sometimes I feel like I'm being compulsive when I weigh and measure my food, but this exercise made me think it is not wasted effort.

One tip she said that seems kind of obvious, but I haven't always employed, is to use a specific bowl for cereal. Perhaps it has a stripe or pattern so you can learn where one cup or half a cup is. Get to know your glasses and where one cup is in them. Using a smaller bowl, plate, or cup also makes you feel like you have more, which leads to feeling more satisfied, less deprived.

I was wondering what helped each of you learn portion control?

I think SmartOnes and other frozen dinners were one way that helped me see right off that generally I was eating way too much. My scale, measuring cups and spoons helped, too, along with the tracking.

Fear of guessing wrong and doing the portion control wrong probably kept me from making as many WW and SP recipes as I might have. It would be so helpful in recipes if they would say a serving is 1 cup or 6 ounces or the like, rather than just so many servings. Otherwise, you have to weigh out the whole recipe and sometimes it is heavier than my food scale will weigh. Then you have to divide it into the 6 servings or 12 servings or whatever. I know when I estimate sometimes I'm off significantly.

However, I'm trying to estimate more now that I'm on maintenance. Sometimes I'm still a little obsessive about getting just the right amount of food. You, too??

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 3/22/2010 2:59PM

    Measuring made a big difference. I tend to go over when I "eyeball" things.

I also use a scale and measure in grams - more accurate than volume weight like cups.

Great tips and thoughts here!

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KALIGIRL 3/21/2010 9:24PM

    I agree about labeling recipes for sizes, particularly soups or chilis.

I still use my 1/2 cup measuring cup and guesstimate over and under. I also buy sliced cheese (so know my ounces) and since YOUR blog on chocolate, found Ghiradelli's 85% cacao Intense Midnight (@ Walmart no less) and use the scoring to treat myself to a 1/4 ounce (62.5 calories of melt in your mouth heaven).
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MNNICE 3/21/2010 6:51PM

    When I started SP and began measuring/weighing foods, it was quite an eye opener learning what "a serving" really is. I have gotten pretty good at "eyeballing", but I find that if I don't get the measuring cups and scale out, I have an easy excuse to "accidentally" overestimate, so I use them whenever possible. Yes, some people think I'm compulsive when I count out my almonds, but the people who think that are usually the ones who have never had a weight problem and don't understand what disclipline it takes to be successful.

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JOHAL52 3/21/2010 5:48PM

    I use measuring cups for my cereal and a scale to weigh meats and chips and such. When I am away from home I try to visualize what I eat at home and stick to the same amounts. I do hate to waste food though so it's hard to leave food behind when we are travelling.

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/21/2010 5:44PM

    sound great

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PINKSAINT247 3/21/2010 3:49PM

    I come from the opposite end of the spectrum where i was actually eating too little sending my body into starvation mode. When I started measuring out how much a serving actually was I was shocked at how much I would be eating. I measure out now and purchases a kitchen scale right off bat. This seems to be helping a lot.
Went to eat with my dad at a chinese buffet for his bday last night. I researched ahead of time which foods would be healthiest and was even tempted to bring my measuring cups along. But I guesstimated low, ordered hot tea, and ate slow. By the time everyone else had gone back for 2nd and 3rds I was completely full on my one plate of carefully chosen food.

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BITTYGIRL51 3/21/2010 3:17PM

    Good stuff! I loved our meeting topic this week, and had a little fun with it myself! Sounds like you have a great leader!! Thanks also for your feedback about the SP tracker...I watched the video and have started trying to use it today. I've got to shake things up a little...so gonna give it the ole' college effort.

Appreciate you!!

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DONNABRIGHT 3/21/2010 3:09PM

    Measuring is the only sure way to keep portions accurate. I do a fair amount of estimating on veggies and fruit but do try to measure the "white foods" - pasta, rice, etc.

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AQUAGIRL08 3/21/2010 1:00PM

    Great blog Marsha! Portion control is hard for a lot of us. When I go out to eat, I cut my protein in half and make sure my plate id 3/4 full of veggies. At home, I eat lots of veggies (which I don't measure like I should) and use the weight on the meat package as a guide to my portion size. If I make a dish that has both meat and veggies in it, I make sure it has more veggies in it. Then I look to see how much the meat weighed and figure out a portion size. Because I make the dish heavy on veggies, I usually have less meat than one full portion. I generally have the same breakfast every morning; egg whites, fruit and high fiber,reduced calorie toast with Smart Balance light. I'm surprised at how low calorie it is! I also carry snacks in the car with me so I never get hungry. The snacks are either protein bars, granola bars or fruit. Those are easy to get a serving size from.

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 3/21/2010 12:16PM

    What you did at the meeting sounds really interesting. I'm sure I wouldn't be great at estimating those things either!! I still measure and weigh most of the time, though I'm working on listening to my body more instead of the eating until external indicators tell me to stop. Even when I don't measure or weigh, I do use the tricks like eating the same snacks out of the same bowls so that I know I'm eating a reasonable portion. I even have a designated bowl at my boyfriends house that I always eat my cereal out of. I guess that as long as you're aware that it's not too bad if you get a little more or a little less than a serving-- ultimately it should all come out in the wash.

I'm loving your blogging-- so many good things to think about!!

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JHADZHIA 3/21/2010 10:59AM

    I am really not good at guessing portions at all. The Spark visualizers help, that a serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards, etc., but when it comes to parties and the way people cut cheese in various uneven sizes, I can't guess that at all.
I prefer to weigh or measure everything out, or have single serving packets already measured. A lot of chip bags give you calories per certain number of chips and I don't get how they can do that when they vary in size so much, nothing beats weighing that stuff. Also pasta, they give a serving size in cups, but some people may make their pasta alledente and get more in a cup or overcook it and get less, its just not too accurate, but I don't know what to do about it. I have complained about that unknown quantity "serving size" which so many people use when you are looking up foods in the data base, and was told its usually 1/2 cup.

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KARENBL 3/21/2010 10:33AM

    I agree - portion control is hard. I feel silly counting out 13 chips or 16 pretzel nuggets or measuring a cup of cereal but if I don't in find that my guessimate is way off.
My weight came on slowly over the years and is largely a product of out of whack portion control and too many baked goods. I'm hoping that eventually this measuring will become automatic.
Its worth it though!

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You Can't Do Everything

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sometimes you have to make decisions. You just can't be more than one place at once - at least I don't know anyone who can. Today I wanted to go to my Weight Watchers meeting and I wanted to go to the YMCA for step aerobics/pilates/zumba and I wanted to go to the Polk County SparkTeam walk. So, I got up at 6am and made it to my 7am Weight Watcher team on the west side of town. Then I debated with myself. On the pro side, if I went to the Y I would burn more calories. It is on the way home from WW and I wouldn't drive as much. Step is 9-9:30, pilates 9:30-10, and zumba 10-11.

But if I went to my SparkTeam walk I would get one on one personal support from caring people for my current struggles. Possibly I'd be able to give some encouragement and support to others. If I went to the walk I'd enjoy more than an hour outside in the beauty of native Florida, seeing birds and gators, bugs and flowers. I love the Y and my increasing fitness, but the soul wanted the friends and nature. I drove east of town to the Circle B Ranch.

Cyndi, our team leader, and Theresa, our new co-leader, led us on a long loop by moss-covered oaks, past alligators big and small - close and in the distance, Ibis, various herons, coots with beaks of red or neon white, a cloud of starlings circling, anhingas drying on' dead grey tree trunks, turtles plopping into the swampy water, and wildflowers of multiple colors and subtle shades and interesting shapes. And through these marvels of local nature, so near our day to day lives, but so unseen, we talked and laughed and I felt truly supported in my efforts.

So, I could not do it all. I had to choose. I might have preferred a later WW meeting, but getting up early was a good thing. I really wanted to do Zumba, or better Zumba, pilates, and step aerobics. But I did the right thing. I got fresh air. I got to be one of a group of in-person smiling faces determined to live healthy. I got restored by a sunny day with my local, live, caring SparkTeam. Thanks, team!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOHAL52 3/21/2010 5:49PM

    It sounds lovely! How lucky you are to have a SparkPeople team nearby!

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TBRANCH2 3/21/2010 2:40AM

    We definitely are glad that you chose "us"!! You always add such excitement, stamina, energy, and encouragement to our team "get-togethers"!! You can go to those "indoor" things when it is raining, cold, or just plain too hot but, today was a beautiful day and we are glad that you were able to enjoy it with us!!! Beautiful things always seem more so when shared with a friend!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 3/20/2010 8:59PM

    Hi Marsha,

I always look forward to the team walks too. It nourishes my inner self like nothing else! You bring such energy and joy to our team events that it's contagious! You are a very special person!

Hugs,
Cyndi

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/20/2010 7:45PM

    Sounds like you made the right choice for you, today! As my mom used to say, "You can do anything... but you can't do everything!"

emoticon I hope one day to meet some of the local Spark folk around here... it's not slated until late May.



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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/20/2010 7:31PM

    It really is all about choices!

WTG on making your best choices today!

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CLOVERR1 3/20/2010 6:22PM

    Sounds like a good day and a good decision!

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BITTYGIRL51 3/20/2010 4:55PM

    Wow...what a great opportunithy to enjoy this beautiful earth that God created and have the positive company and support of like minded individuals!! It sounds like you made the right decision!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/20/2010 3:13PM

    Sounds like your definitely made the right choice.
What a wonderful day!

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WALKINGANNIE 3/20/2010 3:05PM

    Your description of the walk was wonderful. It certainly brightened a rainy English evening.

It's great that your options were all healthy. I notice that you didn't offer alternative choices such as staying in bed or sitting around the house! You are a human dynamo these days.

I really like the fact that you get to meet other SP members and can support each other in 3D. We don't have the critical mass in the UK yet for regular meet ups but it would probably be good to do that with like-minded Sparkies.

Thanks for sharing your day with us!

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MONTY68 3/20/2010 1:56PM

    Marsha
life is full of choices and decisions, fortunately that the choices you had were all healthy choices. Sometimes, I feel in this quest for a healthy weight and concerns to exercise the body, we forget about the most important part and that is our inner being. It also needs nourishment for the rest of our goals be achieved. I think you made a wonderful healthy decision. To see nature at its true environment and to be with like minded people has a tremendous healing effect on our total being. Living here in the hectic South Florida, you reminded me that I should be taking advantage of what we have surrounding us. And for those that don't live here, nature and the great out doors is everywhere waiting for us to enjoy.
The brilliant lady that you are recognized that today. Thank you again for sharing.

Monty

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PERSISTANT123 3/20/2010 1:37PM

    I think you made the best choice for you. That's what life is all about...choices!

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MORGANLAFEE 3/20/2010 1:37PM

    Ooh, your walk sounds devine. You made it come alive with your description. You truly made the right decision. Life is full of them and you feel yours was the correct one.

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BAGGYPANTS5 3/20/2010 1:29PM

    I love the description of your walk, so different from what we see here. I think you made the right choice, friends and fresh air every time'
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My Favorite Filling Foods

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today I was asked what my favorite filling foods are. Good question.

The foods I think satisfy me the most and help me stay within my calorie range include oatmeal, bananas, apples, fresh broccoli, brown rice, low sodium canned beans (black, garbanzo, pintos), popcorn, eggplant, yellow squash, tomatoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, red/yellow/green bell peppers, vidalia onions, fresh green beans, grapes, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, okra, salmon, cod & other white fish, chicken breast, pork loin, tuna, and boca burgers. I probably could say almost all veggies and all fruits.

When I was losing I drank quite a bit of sugar free hot chocolate because it seemed to satisfy a craving. I used quite a bit of fat free sliced cheese, too. Now I try to drink more skim milk. I have cut down on popcorn. I had it almost everyday while losing. However, I usually had too much sodium and often had too much fiber. I've cut back on Progresso light soups, but they were a great help. Now if I want canned soup, I take half a cup and add my own salt free, fresh veggies. I rarely have frozen dinners now, but they were a great help to me when I first started losing and was re-learning portion control. I try to get in olive and/or canola oil every day because I know we need some healthy fat, not because I really want the taste.

I like variety. Every once in a while something just tastes wonderful. A few weeks ago I just couldn't get over how good grapefruit tasted. I wanted it every day for a week or more. Now I wouldn't mind having one, but I'm not craving it like I was. The asparagus last week was really good. Sometimes I kind of forget about some food and when I find it again it is almost like a long lost friend. That happened with wheat germ. It's really yummy on cereal and banana.

Oh, I could write about food all day! Enough already ---

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 3/20/2010 8:43PM

    Isn't it funny how we crave certain foods? I go through times when I eat salad at least once a day (sometimes more) every day for a week. Like you I often re-discover foods that I like but haven't eaten for a long time. I was surprised to see the sodium content in many foods. It's scary when restaurants public the calories, sugar, fat and sodium.

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DONNABRIGHT 3/20/2010 11:20AM

    I loved the idea of stretching the canned soup with fresh veggies. I had never thought of that. I usually make my own soups and freeze them in 2 cup portions. I do one from Weight Watchers that has a beef broth base (but no meat) and one from Jenny Craig that has a tomato base. I have, of course, changed them to make them my own and it depends on what veggies are in the house. They never come out exactly the same but we always love them.

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MONGO2TEN 3/20/2010 9:47AM

    My favorite filling food right now is okra. In the winter, I drink a lot of SF Hot cocoa and herbal teas....

Great list:)

~Nancy

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SLIMLILA 3/20/2010 12:17AM

    This was great! I too have my diet hot choc. every nite and also a cup of rose hip tea. I haven't really gotten into the popcorn this time. Maybe I am just tracking too many nutrients... I am low almost every day on folate (which I have learned all I need is 1/3 cup of bran buds to get 100%) but I am low on magnesium daily, have to figure that one out still... salt... well, I do need my dill pickles and beets to take care of hunger left over at the end of calories . I love the bran buds anyway, but hadn't had them in a very long time. It does take some willpower to avoid the easy fast fixes that break the "diet" but it's great to talk to people like you who share their successes.. emoticon

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MONTY68 3/19/2010 11:29PM

    Marsha
When you are ready to write your book with the same title, put me down for a pre-published order. That was well written and very educational and shows also why you have been so successful.

Monty emoticon

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JOHAL52 3/19/2010 8:55PM

    I like a lot of your food faves--except okra--but since I've developed this stomach thing, the idea of food doesn't really excite me anymore emoticon. I eat whatever is easy and might not upset my stomach. I sometimes wish I could just take a pill that would fill me up. I do still like dark chocolate though.

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2BTHINQUILTER 3/19/2010 8:51PM

    We're either obsessing about eating it or obsessing about not eating it! Isn't it great to have a place to share?
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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/19/2010 8:12PM

    Great blog!

I found that mixed vegetables taste like candy when steamed with nothing on them!

Isn't change wonderful!!

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WALKINGANNIE 3/19/2010 7:09PM

    Great list! I could read about food all day!!

Interesting to see how your eating seems to be getting more and more naked. It seems that we have been educating ourselves at our own paces to recognise what our bodies really need.

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TEACUPGIRL75 3/19/2010 6:49PM

    Have you tried popcorn with parmesan cheese sprinkled on it? It's really good.

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KALIGIRL 3/19/2010 6:41PM

    Is there something you don't like? emoticon

Isn't it great how we grow in our food selection as we reach different stages of home weight?


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PERSISTANT123 3/19/2010 6:37PM

    Mmmmm! I go in cycles as to what I satisfies my cravings. I have learned to stay under my max calorie range.

I still don't do too well with the sodium, but it seems with all the water I drink that I'm not having a problem retaining water like I used to.

It's a process, and I am attempting to focus on one thing at a time until it becomes a part of my life, then I'm on to the next thing.

It is kind of comforting to know that when i get to my goal weight, I will have old favorites that are still my friends, and moved on from others.

Thanks for your insight!

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Marsha, Strong and Healthy

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yesterday at the YMCA I was doing strength training: lat pull downs, squats on leg machine, seated chest press, rows, etc. When I was about give out and thought I couldn't finish a set, a thought just came to me, loud and clear: Marsha, Strong and Healthy. One.... Strong and Healthy, Two... Strong and Healthy, Three... Strong and Healthy ------------ Fourteen...Strong and Healthy, Fifteen.... Strong and Healthy. The affirmation made it all so much easier, the goal -- the reality, actually -- set firmly in my mind. So today I feel great gratitude for knowing that I am Marsha, Strong and Healthy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONGO2TEN 3/20/2010 9:48AM

    Love it!

~Nancy

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JOHAL52 3/19/2010 8:55PM

    Yay Marsha!!!!

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IDEBORAH 3/19/2010 10:07AM

    I'm stealing this affirmation for myself and using it this morning. Thank you for sharing.
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BAGGYPANTS5 3/19/2010 3:11AM

    You're great, Marsha. The whole idea of a gym scares me to death. I imagine it's full of sneering, sweaty young men. However, that's a great mantra for when I'm slogging up a hill on my walk!
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ONEKIDSMOM 3/18/2010 9:34PM

    I love it! You ARE Marsha, strong and healthy! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/18/2010 9:31PM

    Wonderful affirmation. We should all aspire to be strong and healthy!
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REDGRAMA 3/18/2010 7:05PM

    YOU GO GIRL! SOOOO VERY PROUD AND HAPPY FOR YOU.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/18/2010 5:49PM

    Marsha Strong and Healthy, Wise and Inspiring!

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MONTY68 3/18/2010 4:46PM

    Well Marsha, You have done it again. It was so difficult to try to keep track with my fingers and hold on to the bar. Fantastic idea. Thank you

Monty

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PERSISTANT123 3/18/2010 2:59PM

    emoticonGreat idea! I'll have to try that next time I want to quit! emoticon

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