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"How Long Are You Going to Do This?"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On my recent vacation a relative with a history of yoyo dieting similar to mine (until I met SparkPeople) asked me, "How long are you going to do this?" She was talking about what she perceived as my diet. I assured her my new lifestyle is forever. I can't say she scoffed, but the face she made sure let me know she didn't believe me. She clearly didn't think it was possible. I suspect she doesn't even think it is healthy.

However, my lifestyle is a healthy one. And more and more I'm coming to believe that it is sustainable. Living at goal weight does not make life perfect, but for me -- without a doubt -- living life at goal weight makes for a better life. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 7/18/2010 10:01PM

    You are right on target Marsha! It is a lifestyle and not a diet. People who have a diet mentality can't begin to imagine doing "this" for the rest of their lives. I would imagine that they think that once they "get" thin that they can go back to "real" eating again and get on with life. LOL We know better. The only thing that will do is take a person right back to the place they started.

Change is scary and takes a long time, as we all know. Most people don't want to give up the things that they love to eat or behaviors they are comfortable with even if they are not healthy. Your relative is fighting change and looking for ways to prove you wrong. That's okay because it's her choice. You on the other hand have made wonderful healthy choices that enable you to have energy and feel good about yourself. Kudos to you for that!

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MARYMAC45 7/18/2010 1:26PM

    Way to go. You are doing fantastci!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:38AM

    On the nail as ever Marsha. This can't be temporary or the effort won't have been worthwhile.

When you know all the differences between 'before' and 'after', why would you ever want to go back?!

Here's to optimum health - forever!


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BESTSUSIEYET 7/18/2010 10:46AM

    Hooray for You -- again! (You do so well, I get to say that often!!) For those of us who have lost and gained several times, I'm sure others wonder how long before we go back to the old ways ... can't totally blame them, 'cause those old thoughts "you've failed before - why do you think this time will be different?" do sneak into my mind now & then (esp. when I'm cleaning out the closet and giving away all the x-larges!)
I guess we just need to continue making wise choices for today, and praying that we can do that every day for the rest of our lives. I think SP will help a bunch -- it's hard to get on here without being encouraged to Keep Up the Good Work!

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/18/2010 9:43AM

    How long....for as long as it takes! Was your friend trying to sabotage your effort?

Living healthy as you are doing is not a diet, it is a life style. Am I perfect...not by a long shot, if I was then I would be out creating worlds.

You are great!

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JHADZHIA 7/17/2010 8:52PM

    Hopefully, some day, your relative will see the light. Spark people right from the start says its a lifestyle change needed, not a diet. I get that. I am so happy you do too, and my sister as well. Would love it if everyone else would get on the wagon!
Here is to spreading the Spark of a healthy lifestyle!!

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BITTYGIRL51 7/17/2010 7:36PM

    I couldn't agree more! Does a healthy lifestyle mean that we do everything perfect? Absolutely not! For example: I had two days this past week when I was totally off program...once was Olive Garden where my choice was the delectable ravioli dish that they are advertising and the other was just a bad case of the munchies all day...the other five days I was OP and exercising my fanny off - thus my WI this morning was identical to last week's. Considering the poor choices I made and the diffucult days...I'm happy that I maintained!

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SYLVIALYNN2 7/17/2010 6:03PM

    I am so glad you posted this. It will give you encouragement to over ride the friend's comments. Isn't it great to have such lovely, supportive friends here on Spark People? Isn't it great to have new people whom you didn't know before stop in to add their encouragement? Congratulations on your NEW ATTITUDE! You go girl. Keep on keeping on! Way to go! All your friends and new friends are here to cheer you on, on Spark People.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/17/2010 6:06:24 PM

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/17/2010 5:26PM

    Way to go on a lifestyle rather than a diet. Diets fade... Lifestyles thrive!

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MEXGAL1 7/17/2010 5:11PM

    Oh man, do I agree with you. Life isn't perfect but at least being healthy and taking care of yourself allows you to handle life's challenges with strength. Keep up the great work.

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UUCEEJAY 7/17/2010 4:29PM

    I am with you! My lifestyle change is permanent and I am in a very happy place. Every time I start to go back to my old ways, I just need to remind myself of how I felt physically then and how I feel now.

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PENNYAN45 7/17/2010 3:38PM

    Your decision is a GREAT one! It's just where I want to be one day.

Way to GO!!!


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FABANDFITAT40 7/17/2010 2:47PM

    I like that you say it is a lifestyle not maintenance etc. Hopefully someday your relative will find her inner switch and get off the seesaw of yo yo dieting someday. She'll be lucky to have you there. Great blog.

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/17/2010 2:07PM

    Love it! Great blog. This is something we need to do for ourselves, whatever else happens around us. emoticon

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    WTG Marsha! Great blog, I am voting for it!

We can truly live long and happy lives!!

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MONTY68 7/17/2010 1:55PM

    Hi Marsha
You are right, this is a lifetime commitment that we make for our self. I don't think it is called maintaining but actually living life. Your advantages is that you now have knowledge, awareness of healthy eating and living and you put all the things to work living each day in a much greater way than ever before. I don't think once we get there , we lose all that we were learning and doing. It becomes an automatic way of doing things. Just so you know, I have pretty much lived like that for 2 1/2 years. Will we continue? Can we sustain it for the rest of our lives? I would suggest that the only way it would not continue is we would have to have a change in attitude, new negative feelings about life in general, these kind of changes happen every day for 1,000's of people. BUT we always have choice and the ability to stay positive forever, Since I have met you, I have seen nothing but a positive attitude, a motivated and excited woman about life and I see no reason why that will change.
You are fantastic.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Celebrating Vacation Success!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm celebrating that I spent 2 weeks on vacation, did not journal, and didn't always have control over what I had to eat. (Church picnic with fatty hot dogs and family get together with greasier hamburgers, pizza, etc.) BUT I think I did pretty good. I haven't done a first thing in the morning weigh yet, but the weight I am now is in my range. If I had any gain at all, it was very small.

I got my milk in every day and got my 5 freggies (fruits/veggies) in almost every day. I had a lot of good sleep. I walked miles and miles and miles. Most days I drank plenty of water. I did a little strength training. I drank too much diet soda and ate too much chocolate, but I'm over that now.

I'm feeling like I just passed a major test. If I can go on family vacation with many emotional and food challenges and come back sane and slender, there is no reason I can't maintain my healthy weight for the rest of my life! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYINKY 7/20/2010 5:49PM

    Are we in the same family? The emotional challenges are far harder for me than the food challenges, I plan ahead for the food challenges. Family can still blindside me emotionally. Then my challenge becomes holding it all together once I get back home. Happily, I've gotten better at doing that; it just shouldn't be so hard. Passing on that trip this summer. Thanks for sharing. Joy emoticon

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VTORIA3 7/19/2010 5:40AM

    emoticon Your successful vacation is major accomplishment! I have been on many and got myself to the perfect weight before it, only to come back 5# heavier. One day, I hope to be able to write a similar testimony. What you achieved, is one of the hardest of challenges. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 5:40:47 AM

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:33AM

    Welcome back Marsha!

It's great that you managed to deal with all the vacation challenges, including eating some treats and relaxing a bit without going way overboard. You're well on the way to beating 'all or nothing'.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/17/2010 10:19AM

    Right on girl, you did great. Showed restraint AND did exercise, it doesn't get any better.

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JHADZHIA 7/16/2010 10:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are awesome Marsha!!! You did way better than I did when I went on a vacation!! That shows you have successfully committed to a healthy lifestyle! No more weight creeping back on for you! Well done!

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AQUAGIRL08 7/16/2010 9:15PM

    This is emoticon news Marsha! You've done a great job of taking it off and keeping it off! Congratulations emoticon to you!! I know that it had to be a little scary as you headed into your vacation but you prevailed! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 7/16/2010 9:00PM


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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 7/16/2010 8:17PM

    Making healthy choices and escaping obsession is so important. I'm definitely still working on the latter. Way to go!

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MONTY68 7/16/2010 6:20PM

    Hi Marsha
Welcome home and you had a great time it seems. I think, if you want to call it the next step, you have passed the test. I spent 3 weeks on vacation and ate every meal out and lost 2 pounds. I will say that I feel that yo9u have gone into the world and lived somewhat like people do every day and with your awareness was very successful.
So congratulations on a very successful vacation and welcome back to Spark and your friends.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILD4STARS 7/16/2010 6:14PM

    emoticonI've said it before, and I'll say it again, "You are an inspiration to us all."
emoticonon a job well done.
emoticonGlad you're back, we've missed you.

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/16/2010 6:13PM

    Hooray! Sounds like your new Lifestyle is here to stay! Isn't that a wonderful feeling? emoticon

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LESSME10 7/16/2010 5:43PM

    Great job. Hope when I go on vacation for a week I can control my eating. I plan to do plenty of walking. Pat yourself on your back for a great job done and now - you can get back on your normal routine. emoticon emoticon

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Letting Go of Punitive Dieting

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Days of Punitive Dieting are gone forever. Thank heavens! Starving is just not a smart strategy. Often it doesn't work at all, and when it does work, it doesn't work for the long run. I've read it and I've lived it. Today I want to think about some of my past experiences and old punitive diet strategies that I am letting go forever:

* at one year of age and 31 pounds the doctor put me on my first diet, skim milk
* in fifth grade I unsuccessfully tried to lose using Metracal (precursor of Slim Fast)
* in 9th grade I ended up in the hospital with a mysterious malady that I believe was caused by not eating
* in 10th grade I lost 60 (from 172-112) pounds by pushing my food around on the plate so my parents didn't realize I wasn't eating much. it took me nine months to lose it, "maintained" less than 2 weeks, and gained it all back in 3 months
* freshman year in college my roommate and I rented a machine that was suppose to make you lose weight. It had a strap that went on your backside and jiggled! Like that is going to work!
* junior year of college became a devotee of Adele Davis and "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit"; ate no sugar for over a year, hung out at the health food store; did not lose weight
* I joined Weight Watchers for the first time in 1968; was not successful first try. In 1970 joined WW again and lost 20 pounds in 14 weeks before going to India as a Peace Corps Volunteer in applied nutrition
* Lost weight gradually and pretty healthy during my 2 years in India and one in Fiji when I was growing my own vegetables and eating whole grains and beans. Quickly started gaining on return to US.
* Foolishly fell for the low carb craze in 1975. Lost no weight on low carb, but ate a ridiculous amount of bacon, eggs, and cheese
* In 1978 got really sick on the "protein-sparing fast"; I lost 21 pounds in 28 days to hit goal and immediately gained it back
* In 1979 I remember trying all kinds of diets (cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, food group diet, some kind of expensive injections, etc.) and finding that diet number 7 worked for me - it was Weight Watchers again.

After that, I never again tried truly drastic diets. I tried Curves and South Beach with temporary success. Somewhere upon the way I finally realized at an emotional level what I had known intellectually for a long time, punitive dieting doesn't work. It took coming to SparkPeople to discover healthy eating as a feasible way of life. And I must say for me it is probably the combination of Weight Watchers and SparkPeople that makes it possible.

Now, instead of dieting, I aim to eat healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 7/16/2010 6:21PM

    I remember the 'jiggle' machine - think Mom had one for a while when we were kids. Bad idea -- but so was her ultimate solution for low energy and staying slim with 6 kids & hubby: Dexadrine (got it from the doctor, so it must be OK, right??!! Thankfully I've never gone to that extreme!) My fist son weighed in a 9#2 3/4 oz, and was 16# at 4 months -- AFTER the Dr. replaced his formula with 2% milk at 2 months old. I ate the cabbage soup, too -- and LOTS of grapefruit. Oh, how thankful I am to have found SparkPeople and learn that healthy foods in healthy amounts are BEST! Thanks for sharing a blog that many of us identify with! You have a knack for that, friend! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/3/2010 7:28PM

    "Punitive dieting doesn't work": amen sister to that!

But have to say, I completely relate to your "diet bio" --

What works for me is eternal vigilance, tracking and above all focus on HEALTHY! Appearance is only a temporary motivator: feeling good is the permanent incentive.

Thanks for your comment on my milkshake blog -- I say, coffee 4ever!! Really love the stuff -- and it's at least a little bit healthy!!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/1/2010 4:02PM

    Yes this has been a lifelong quest.

Your blog says it all. SP works because its sensible. Dieting doesn't because it isnt.

(You didn't mention the frozen cigarettes. I'm still intrigued!)

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JOHAL52 7/1/2010 11:33AM

    Oooh, thanks for the recap! I remember Metracal (yuck, pooey) and those little chocolate squares that were supposed to suppress your appetite. Precursor to the modern ones, eh? And that jiggle belt? I remember that too. Was probably responsible for some of my lumps and bumps back there.
Here's to healthy, sensible eating now!

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BITTYGIRL51 7/1/2010 8:05AM

    What a great re-cap. Many of us have traveled a very similar road...thanks for reminding us.

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MONTY68 6/30/2010 9:06PM

    Hi Marsha
Well some of those sound familiar, my first attempt at losing weight was in 1959 while in college, I ended up in the hospital, my diet consisted of salads, and a small soap, the Doctor figured about 700 calories, Over the years I did most of them and some of my own ideas and probably lost over a 1000 pounds, problem was I gained back 1100. I don't remember the last diet, 3 years ago, I didn't go on a diet, I learned how to eat.

Thank you for sharing, I am sure there are a lot of memories came up today.
You found the answer and are a fantastic example on what to do. Once again, Congratulations.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 6/30/2010 8:53PM

    Maybe the combination of WW and SparkPeople works because it isn't a diet but a lifestyle change instead. What ever you're doing, it's working for you and that's all that matters. Good job Marsha!

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AMANDAJCD 6/30/2010 4:44PM

    I'm so glad that (most) pediatricians have realized you just don't put a baby on a diet! Wow, that's sure a list. I remember the cabbage soup diet.

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OPHELIA105 6/30/2010 3:11PM

    Gosh what an amazing journey - so pleased you finally reached your destination!


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DONNABRIGHT 6/30/2010 2:33PM

    That is quite a journey. The ups and downs must have been hard to bear. Thank goodness you are where you are now!

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KALIGIRL 6/30/2010 1:01PM

    My sis is using the WW/Spark combo and I think it's doing great things for her too. She likes the ease of WW points and the support of Spark.

As I slowly gain confidence that what I'm doing is the 'best' for me, I don't even think about 'dieting' anymore.

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CLOVERR1 6/30/2010 12:33PM

    GOOD post. (One I can relate to!)

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/30/2010 12:13PM

    Ok, you got it together, really liked your blog. While reading, I started to think of all the "old diets" that I have been on and how I gained the weight back because I thought a miracle occured and the weight wouldn't find me.

Glad WW & Sparkpeople works for you and like me, it takes a combination of healthy ways both eating, thinking and physical activity to accomplish the goal.

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Observations While Packing

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Small clothes, and especially small summer clothes, take up less space in the suitcase than larger clothes. However, the athletic shoes take up a whole bunch of space. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 6/30/2010 8:13AM

Isn't that the truth?

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MONTY68 6/29/2010 11:23PM

    Hi Marsha
Isn't life good in our new bodies. Something like packing a suitcase that at one time we might have had to sit on it to close it. You will discover more and more things as you go on that just are not like our old way of having to live.
You have the best vacation possible, You truly deserve it.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 6/29/2010 11:10PM

    I wear all my bulky stuff so the thin stuff fits in the suitcase. I find the planes and airport's air conditioning to be too cold anyway, so I actually wear layers. Good suggestion wearing running shoes and putting the sandals in the case!
Enjoy your trip!!

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WATERMELLEN 6/29/2010 7:31PM

    It IS fun packing smaller clothes -- and wearing them too!! The space that the runners take is worth it -- since they make the smaller clothes possible!!

So nice to hear from you on my re-runs blog: thanks!

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/29/2010 5:22PM

    Put the athletic shoes on your feet and pack your sandals. Have a ball and be safe

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BITTYGIRL51 6/29/2010 4:04PM

    Happy Trails!!

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WALKINGANNIE 6/29/2010 3:55PM

    Win some, lose some!

emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 6/29/2010 3:45PM

    I agree those walking shoes take up a lot of room - but less when they are on your feet. Enjoy yourtrip to see your family. Despite the job situation being upin the air still I am in the city with little grand kids adn will be going to see my oldest and her 2 kids on July 11. Safe travel and enjoy your visit!

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SLENDERELLA61 6/29/2010 3:26PM

    I'm on my way to visit my mother in South Dakota. She will turn 83 on July 10th, so we are celebrating. I'm visiting my stepkids in Virginia on the way back. Thanks for asking, Fran. -Marsha

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FRAN0426 6/29/2010 3:16PM

    Tou have that right. I always over pack, so really like packing a summer time travel bag over a winter one. The athletic shoes do take up a lot of space. So where are you going?

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DONNABRIGHT 6/29/2010 1:53PM

    I have noticed that, also. That is one of the reasons we like to travel by car - you can always throw the sneakers in the trunk!

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Planes, No Trains, and an Automobile

Monday, June 28, 2010

As I get ready for my trip to South Dakota, Virginia, and back to Florida -- a total of 5 plane flights and 600 miles in a car -- I am really very thankful to be the size I am now.

I remember back about 10 years ago I had a plane flight to a conference in Las Vegas. My seat was by the window. I weighed over 200 pounds and filled up the seat totally. The person beside me was even bigger. We were jammed in a small space for several very uncomfortable hours.

I just know at my current weight I will be more comfortable. As a kid I loved to travel, but I've somewhat lost the enthusiasm. I am feeling pretty relaxed and confident, though, about it this time. Knowing that my body will fit in the space is one of the reasons.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 6/29/2010 11:11PM

    emoticon emoticon
Here is to the freedom to move!!
Well done!! You have come a long way, baby!! :))

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KALIGIRL 6/29/2010 1:10PM

    I agree. Allows us to give others a little 'extra' room.

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AQUAGIRL08 6/29/2010 11:47AM

    I don't need a seat belt extender but it is a tight fit in an airplane seat. Enjoy your flight(s). We will miss you on our first mall walk or two. Relax - you've earned the time off!

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/29/2010 9:56AM

    I couldn't agree more, fitting in plane seats, restaurant booths, car without extender is truly a benefit of losing weight.

You will have a great time, getting in and out of seats!

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 6/28/2010 10:18PM

    It does make a huge difference! It's always one time where I really NOTICE just how much I've changed. Have a great trip!

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MONTY68 6/28/2010 8:44PM

    Hi Marsha
Thank you for the reminder, I am so use to how I feel and move, that I tend to forget what I was. I have to say, I can do things that I couldn't do. I love when you write, so many great examples of how the change comes about and your focus of making sure that who you have become, will be your life forever. You are a fantastic example of how to do it.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 6/28/2010 4:55PM

    Another Spark bonus!


Hope you enjoy the trip.

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DONNABRIGHT 6/28/2010 4:34PM

    emoticon The benefits we don't think about are amazing, aren't they??????

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