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Learning to Wait

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some lessons it seems I have to learn more than once.

This morning I woke up hungry. Very hungry. I ate a little. I had some coffee. I ate some more. I had another cup of coffee. I ate some more. Hunger, hunger. I've already eaten 485 calories. Hunger? Hunger? Wisely I switched to water and drank several cups. Still I feel hunger. The Cheerios are calling to me, but I know I have had enough. Why doesn't my stomach?

I get distracted by chores that need to be done. In the back of my mind, though, I'm thinking, I could eat my lunch calories now, and have a 70 calorie boca burger and veggies for lunch. Just as soon as I finish what I'm doing, I'm having a second -- or is it fourth? -- breakfast. And I'll compromise. I'll go with oatmeal, my favorite filling food. It's hot, satifies me better than cold cereal, and it has less sodium. Ok. I'll get a bowl of oatmeal in just a minute. With skim milk.

The minute comes. Now I'll get it. Oh, wait. Surprise! Where did the hunger go? They used to say it takes 20 minutes to know you've eaten. This morning it took me more like an hour to feel full from the food I had eaten. This is a lesson I've learned more than once. Sometimes I just have to wait.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 3/24/2010 1:41PM

    I've been feeling hungry lately too (which I think has to do with the fact that I'm eating mindfully for the first time in my life).

My initial thought was I'd lost too much weight (between 19-20 BMI depending on whose scale), but now I think it just has to do with awareness. As with you, it takes me longer than 20 minutes to feel full.

In my case, it depends on if I'm able to work out in the morning, walk @ lunch and I'm afraid, an 'old and slow' metabolism...


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KIRSTENRPH 3/24/2010 12:42PM

    This is a really good and timely lesson for me!

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 3/24/2010 11:44AM

    That happens to me too sometimes. Unlike you, I tend to just keep going. Then I'm FULL. Good job waiting and for the lesson!


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JOHAL52 3/24/2010 11:03AM

    I am a morning eater too Marsha. So thank you for your blog. I try to get myself out of the house in some way, or even into the shower. Another thing I do is put on an exercise DVD and tell myself that I will eat after I do 30 minutes. After exercising I rarely feel like eating a whole lot and, bonus, I look at the extra calories I've burned and even if I DID want to eat I could now have something small.

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AQUAGIRL08 3/24/2010 10:03AM

    You did a great job of handling your hunger this morning! Kudos to you, Marsha! Thanks for reminding us that it sometimes takes more than 20 minutes to feel satisfied. I will definitely keep that in mind! Thanks for sharing!

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AMANDAJCD 3/24/2010 9:45AM

    I like how you gave yourself more time, but still had a plan of action in case time didn't do the trick. Marvelously handled, and a good reminder to all of us that our bodies don't necessarily watch the clock :)

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Zumba Delusions

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today I went to the Basic Zumba class at the Y. I've been going to the regular Zumba class but I thought perhaps I could do better keeping up with the moves if I spent a little time at the elementary level. It was lots of fun, and like the regular Zumba, I worked up a good sweat. I was really into it. I was feeling the music, having fun, definitely burning calories. I was just sure I was really getting it. And then I look in the mirror. Oh, no. Is that me? I look so stiff. Everyone else is shimmying and shaking. How can it feel so good when I look so bad? I wonder if they ever offer Remedial Zumba?

Now don't for minute think I'm giving up, because I have no intention of doing that! It is just too much fun and feels so good and healthy. I will keep going whether I can shimmy my shoulders and rotate my hips or not. But don't ask me to Zumba for you!! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLILA 3/25/2010 1:34AM

    Wow, I'm impressed too. I will be checking the library and Walmart for a Zumba disk this week when I go to the city. But, I'm going to be a "closet zumba dancer" - if I am able to do it at all! EVeryone seems so hyped about it, I gotta at least see what it is... thanks for the encouragement to try it. I better get over the "I'm too old to try it" idea and get brave and give it a "shake"!!

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NEWLIBRARIAN 3/24/2010 1:53PM

    OH OH OH OH I love this blog. I have gone to a total of 7 zumba classes and sometimes I feel like I am getting it. I am in step more often but I just don't have that fluid flexible look that some people have. I can rotate my hips with the best of them if my feet are planted but they want us to do hip rolls and side steps at the same time. Also I don't really have that big of hips but they look huge when I shake them.
Keep working on it. It's the calorie burn and having fun that counts.

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AQUAGIRL08 3/24/2010 9:49AM

    Were you having a good time with Zumba? Then that's all that matters. I'll bet every person in that room (with the exception of the instructor) saw themselves in the mirror and wished they looked different. When you look in the mirror try to see the fun, vibrant person, filled with life, who gives so much of herself to others, that we all see when we look at you. You are a beautiful person who is healthy and strong. Like anything else, Zumba will get easier with practice. With your drive and energy that shouldn't take too long.

Remember, you are a beautiful person who is healthy and strong!
You are a beautiful person who is healthy and strong!
You are a beautiful person who is healthy and strong!

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DAMOTIVATION 3/24/2010 8:33AM

    Just enjoy the heck out of yourself! The benefit of any kind of dancing is about letting loose, expressing yourself, and not caring one bit about what you look like. Good for you that you already get this.

I've been dancing since I was 3 y/o. Unless you are on a Broadway stage, attitude usually trumps technical skill. You'll pick up the steps eventually, less important to be perfect. Just go with it and be proud of how you are burning calories while enjoying yourself.

I've wanted to try Zumba myself, but I don't belong to a gym. Do they put out any DVDs for this workout?

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AMANDAJCD 3/24/2010 8:11AM

    I'm impressed that you Zumba! It's enough for me to walk or run without tripping... let alone handle anything choreographed :)

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DFOLKARD 3/24/2010 6:37AM

    I agree but.............I figure get the foot moves, then get the arms and then try and get the hip waist thing in line. I have a blast there and figure I'll never get bored cuz I am working towards getting "all" the moves right. And that will take some time for me.

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 3/24/2010 1:20AM

    I'm in the same boat-- but I've never been graceful so I just focus on the FUN!!


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KIRSTENRPH 3/23/2010 11:09PM

    LOL!!!! :)
I know EXACTLY how you feel!!!!
Today I was feeling cute in my Zumba outfit, having fun, etc--when I glanced into the mirror and was horrified to see a middle-aged dork trying to "shake her booty" along with the music!! Aaaaagggghhhh!!! It was ME!!!! Here I thought I had the choreo down pat and could really keep up with my instructor. NOT!!! Oh you said, that's absolutely no reason to give up on something that's so fun and so good for you! But WHY do they have to have mirrors in every gym or exercise studio?? Self-consciousness and Zumba don't mix well.....

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RISSASPIECES 3/23/2010 11:08PM

    Never watch yourself dance in the just inhibits your progress. LOL Even after years of bellydancing, sometimes I would see myself and it would throw me off track. The worst thing was when I thought I saw my mother, but realized I had just glimpsed myself in the mirror! ROFL

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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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    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 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!


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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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    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

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.


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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.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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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