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Giving Myself a Break

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

One of my great friends pointed out to me that I have lots and lot of experience dieting, and much of it successful. And although a lot of people think I've been maintaining since March 2009, actually I've lost 29 pounds since I hit my first weight goal. Almost all the time I've been "maintaining" I have actually been losing. Then there were a few times, like in September of 2010, when I gained 6 pounds. It actually took me nearly 5 months to get in the right frame of mind to lose those 6 pounds. In reality I have very little experience maintaining. So I need to give myself a break as I learn the skills I need to live my life right at the weight I want to be. This morning I was right on my "happy weight" of 126.

I've decided to halve my distress at the scale. Starting now I am committing to weigh every other day and see how that works for me. I'm definitely still a work in progress!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 3/9/2011 6:48PM

    Way to go Marsha!

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PARKERB2 3/9/2011 3:21PM

    You have been an example for me and I love reading your blogs. 126 sounds great. I'm sure you can maintain. Have a good day.

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/9/2011 8:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONTY68 3/8/2011 11:30PM

    Hi Marsha
Great blog and I feel a great decision. I believe in you and I feel what you are doing will be successful. I feel we are all a work in process. You have been an inspiration for me and a great motivator for others. Although I no longer call it maintaining, I feel that I need to let go a little more and really live life.
Thank you for sharing

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 3/8/2011 9:33PM

    Good for you easing up on that scale..Congratulations for getting into maintenance!! Here is to staying that happy weight!

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MNNICE 3/8/2011 9:24PM

    We do need to stay vigilant in maintenance - I always say it's "a long and winding road." But as long as we focus on exercising and eating healthy, it seems to get us where we want to be! It's hard to switch our brains from "losing" mentality to "maintaining." Hang in there, you'll find what works for you!

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SNOOKUMS19 3/8/2011 7:09PM

    I'm still learning about the maintaining. I lost 23 lbs. last year kept it off for 6 months (the longest I have ever in my life kept off). Then life happened and gained every pound back. So I am still learning too. I'm so glad we have Spark to turn to emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/8/2011 6:13PM

    Love the idea of halving the stress by weighing alternate days!! So clever!! This maintenance thing is brand new -- and the skills are difficult ones to be mastered slowly.

Thank you for the "key" goodie: much appreciated. You've just given me another key . . . . And thanks as always for your encouraging comments on my blogs, coach!!

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FREELADY 3/8/2011 3:34PM

    I concur: keep learning, halve your distress, and give yourself a break!


I have to say, in addition to writing an always-beneficial blog, you are a magnet for good advice. After I've chewed on what you say a while, I always have lots to think about from your sensible & compassionate friends who comment!

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GAILRUU 3/8/2011 2:21PM

    It is difficult to learn how to maintain after a lifetime of getting to goal and then regaining the weight. This time I got to goal slowly--it took 2 years-- but I hope I learned something. I am planning to keep on tracking my calories every day and continue to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes every day. So far I have been below my goal weight for 2 months and counting. I don't dare take time out yet!

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JOYINKY 3/8/2011 1:21PM

    You will find a balance. I plan to spend a lifetime of tweaking to maintain. Things change constantly and I know I have to be flexible. I count calories in my own very relaxed way and now keep track of fitness minutes too. But, I do it all in a very relaxed flexible way. No one or two days is going to make a permanent difference. For me, the only thing that will is returning to mindless eating and an inactive lifestyle. Barring illness; that's just not going to happen. I don't see it ever happening for you either. You deserve a break!

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GATOR12 3/8/2011 10:47AM

    I listened to my daughter complain about how hard she worked to lose a couple or three pounds and heard myself say, " Jo, it's a progression. You have come so far. So what if one of those #'s came back, you are making consistent changes in your diet, you are more consistent & strong in your exercise program--you are doing this". As I heard my encouragement to her, I heard it to self also. So true this lifestyle change. As I look back over past year, past 6 months, even past 3 months I am still changing eating habits--do I have an off day or off evening?? sure, I'm a human not perfection--never will be!! We'll keep evolving and trying different things but as we look back over the distance we have come, we have to say "we've made improvements". Haven't you???? emoticon

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    I have every confidence that you will one day realize just how successful you really are!

This will be a constant "battle" if we allow it. I am changing my vocabulary to more positive phrases!

Less than optimal food choices instead of slipping, sliding or binges.

Fluctuations instead of weight gains.

3-5 pound weight range instead of expecting the weight to remain constant.

Just like Sodium - Stress is a killer.


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HAPPYSOUL91 3/8/2011 10:23AM

    Give it a shot, we only really learn by trying out different ways of doing things

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Craving Sanity

Monday, March 07, 2011

Well, this morning the scale said 125.8. I weigh exactly what I want to weigh. So why did I spend three days feeling bad, kicking myself, and overreacting to an 800 calorie splurge and subsequent 5 pound gain? I'm not sure. I know better.

When it comes to the scale I think it is not exaggerating to say I am nuts. But I am quite willing to become sane about it. To start, I am going to re-read the Beck chapter on preparing to weigh. Instead of preparing for my weight to be plus or minus 2 pounds, I'll prepare for it to be plus 6 pounds or minus 2 pounds. That should cover my usual swings. AND I'm going to continue paying the closest attention to my lowest weight of each month.

By the way, my 800 calories were not particularly high in sodium (mostly cereal bars), so I do know my upswings could be even higher. However, whenever I reach 3 pounds over my goal weight -- 129 pounds -- I'm going to be extra careful to eat properly. It won't hurt even if it is just an upswing.

I have considered tracking my food and staying off the scale altogether, but I don't think I'm ready for it. For one thing, I don't really know what my maintenance calorie range is for 126 pounds. I'm thinking it is probably around 1425-1725, but I would like to confirm it before I give up the scale. But I do crave sanity almost more than food!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    For what it's worth - I use my BMR of 1400 as my calorie range and I know that whatever calories I burn can be added to it for the top of my range. Simplicity is best.

My weight also fluctuates according to the calendar. Even when too old for TOM, our bodies still cycle and the weight will fluctuate.
Of course, binging doesn't help. emoticon

You have maintained for a year or more now, haven't you? Don't let this winter freak you out - in my travels it would seem 5 lbs is about the average weight gain for the winter and I know we will get it off again before next winter.

I can't give up my scale. I don't have to like what I see, but I have to accept and live with it.

Sanity is life!

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/8/2011 7:58AM

    I would keep on tracking your food and getting on the scale

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JHADZHIA 3/8/2011 12:25AM

    Please do remember that how many calories you need to maintain your weight also depends on how many calories you are burning with your exercise as well. Using Spark's Fitness and Nutrition Trackers in tandem as they were meant to be makes this calculation a snap as they do the math which is a very good thing for me.. I certainly have no interest in giving up my tracking, its so very useful..
I actually keep forgetting to weigh in. The scale no longer concerns me as I know exactly what I am doing to myself good or bad and have no excuses for any weight gains.
Good luck with this..

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JUDI_CUTIE 3/7/2011 9:42PM

    I think the scale is a good tool to help you know what is going on, but it is not the thing to FOCUS on because you want to think about things you can control, which is what you are doing (eating right and exercising). The scale sometimes has a mind of its own! (Of course, this morning, the scale had a right to be up three pounds after the way I ate this weekend at a fancy shmancy wedding!)

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WATERMELLEN 3/7/2011 8:40PM

    This "preparing to weigh" is for me as well one of the most difficult aspects of Beck -- and of weight maintenance in general. When I do NOT weigh every day I get quite "delusional" about my so called "weight maintenance" range and permit myself to get well over a 3-5 pound range - was probably 10 pounds over (ticker at 153, actual weight pre-Beck probably closer to 162-163). So I do need to weigh every day . . . but also to become more sane about reasonable weight fluctations.

And I know that the Beck distinction between "lowerst achieveable weight" and "lowest sustainable weight" is one that I've got to tackle . . . over the next weeks and months.

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CONTENTCHRIS 3/7/2011 8:23PM

    Maintain Phase emoticon You out to be jumping for the rafters! You made it! I so look forward to trying to figure out my maintain calories range as well. I would say to count your food or at least ball park it will be needed for a while and then may be graduate to less weigh ins and such. I agree with the over 3 to 5 pounds to buckle down again a little harder to get it back down.. but that is because I allowed myself to keep going until I was over 100 pounds tooo big. emoticon

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JOYINKY 3/7/2011 6:42PM

    I don't plan to ever own a scale again; I weigh at the gym once or twice a month. My sanity comes from focusing on health rather than weight and now, activity rather than food. Not to say I don't have food issues; they just don't take up as much space in my head as they used to. But, Marsha; it took me a lifetime to get here. I haven't not been aware of what I've been eating or not eating since I was 12! Somewhere in there I went through a period where I was obsessed with the scale in a very unhealthy way; doing unhealthy things to control the numbers! A useful tool for many; it is not my friend. You will find your balance; hang in there!

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OLVAJE 3/7/2011 5:09PM

    I am so not even close to where you are so I have no advice except to say that I think you are probably sane even on your insane days and I find you to be quire motivational for me!!! Thanks!!!

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/7/2011 5:03PM

    I would continue tracking your food AND getting on the scale.

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SNOOKUMS19 3/7/2011 4:55PM

    I actually threw out my scale a year ago and am I'm thrilled I did. I do gauge my weight from how my jeans feel and which pair I'm in. I am in my big girl jeans right now but it still feels better than obsessing over that number. Enjoy who you are. You are not a number!

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Better Day

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I'm down a little over 2 pounds from yesterday. I feel better. I had a good eating and exercising day yesterday.

But I really felt just sick about losing control. I need to handle it better. I don't know why I felt like it was a tragedy. It wasn't.

I guess it is just the reality that eating is always going to be a challenge for me. And even when I go 40 days eating almost exactly as I want, I will hit a rough patch. Guess I just need to accept it. It is part of me. I get almost cocky thinking I have this thing licked. And then I fall so far and feel so disappointed. I should neither get cocky nor disappointed. I can live at the weight I want to be. I just need to keep mindful about my eating; remember all the lessons I've learned.

I've said it often, but I mean it more than ever. I don't have to be perfect to succeed -- just determined!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOOKUMS19 3/7/2011 9:13AM

    This sounds very familiar. It's great perspective. Sometimes I forget this is an addiction. I feel this is like an AA program with an awesome support system. We are lucky to have found it!

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    Celebrate your 39 days! WooHoo!!

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WATERMELLEN 3/6/2011 4:22PM

    "Eating is always going to be a challenge for me": and for me too.

Not something I'm likely ever to "lick"! Although I like that image -- kinda like a slowly dripping jamocha almond fudge double scoop with waffle cone at Baskin Robbins?? Not gonna be licking one of those any time soon either . . . . *sigh*.

Never mind: we are not alone. Success isn't permanent, neither is failure. And when we "fail" there are so many great people around to support us and help us.


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JHADZHIA 3/6/2011 2:03PM

    Congratulations on the weight loss and getting back into the swing of things.. You have taken a better attitude about it today.. Its always frustrating when someone can eat what ever they choose and not micromanage everything in their lifestyle and maintain a good weight, but we can't all be that fortunate, some of us have to actually work at it. My RA makes me slow to lose weight, but quick to gain it.. I do have to be careful and vigilent for the rest of my life if I hope to not regain this weight I slowly lost..
Keep up the determination, you can do this..

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JOYINKY 3/6/2011 12:44PM

    Marsha, Life is full of ups and downs; we all know that. Success is getting up when we're knocked down and you do that! Day 41 was a lesson, a test? If so, you passed with flying colors. You're back up and ready to go!! You are an inspiration! Keep sparkin', keep bloggin'! Joy

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/6/2011 12:38PM

    You said it, now believe it and all will be fine

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2WHEELEDSHARON 3/6/2011 12:30PM

    Eating is my huge challenge as well, ugh! I've been reminding myself of something a sparkfriend said; we're here for progress, not perfection.
Sounds like you've accomplished a lot! Pat yourself on the back!

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MONTY68 3/6/2011 11:20AM

Hi Marsha
I find your last 2 blogs very interesting. The reason I do, is what people that have battled weight problems for most of our lives, is the constant concern of eating so healthy everyday, that if for some reason we ate to much, or something with a lot of calories we feel a sense of failure. I know that for me, everyday I "make sure" that I stay within my range and all foods being healthy. My walking partner has a hard time understanding the need to track, to watch every little thing that I eat. She is my age, has never had a weight problem, doesn't gain weight and eats what she wants. I would say for the most part that she eats healthy 95% of the time. But if there is something she wants, she eats it. She has the awareness and knows that when she eats something that is full of calories. She just limits them. I guess the biggest difference is that food is not her main focus of life. I can only say for me, that eating right and the need to exercise is a great part of daily living. Life is not a automatic for me. For her, day 41 would have been ok, for us, we failed to eat right. I say I am living life, but as I said it is not a automatic part of living, of course it has only been 3+ years out of 71 years of life and I feel as we continue it will be more living it rather then having to think so much about it.
You have done a awesome job on yourself, I see you as successful and a motivator for others. If there was a lesson in day for 41 for you, that is good, but just remember have well you do everyday.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDAJCD 3/6/2011 11:15AM

    Good call :) I think we're successful when we keep trying, because perfection just ain't gonna happen.

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Don't Feel Like Blogging Today

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The good news is I made it 40 days binge free. And 39 of those days I actually stuck to my pre-planned food intake. I don't ever remember doing that well in my whole life.

The bad news is my streak is broken. I am back on track, doing fine today. I'm just not ready to describe the slip, though. I'm still processing it and trying to decide what happened. There is a lesson here for me to learn, and when I've got it, I may decide to blog about it.

Just to add something positive I ran over 3 miles today and feel like I am totally ready for my 5K race a week from today!

Wishing you happy, healthy, on program, binge free days!! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONTENTCHRIS 3/6/2011 5:10PM

    40 Days man that is a goal to shoot for. I am lucky to go 3 ! I am always working out a little extra to make up for last nights Still your doing the right lost battle is not the war !

your background pic is very pretty ! Have a great next 40 days... lets just concentrate on today though Ok? What a ya say? emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 3/6/2011 10:29AM

    Time to forgive yourself and move on, though I wouldn't argue against analyzing what happened either! Obviously I'm not averse to analyzing my own behavior. Okay, did you REALLY binge? Like eat a whole loaf of bread followed by deep-fried hot dogs and Spam, pancakes drenched in butter and maple syrup? What triggered it? Is it because your maintenance plan is too restrictive in some nutrients? Anyway, you'll definitely learn from this, and grow as a result!

The very fact of training for a 5K puts you in a really good place!

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DONNABRIGHT 3/6/2011 10:25AM


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AQUAGIRL08 3/6/2011 9:59AM

    Whenever I used to have days like that, my mother used to tell me that it was God's way of humbling me. It is a "leveling" experience. I would always look back on my own behavior and see if I was getting too big for my britches or too controlling or whatever. I always was. Then I realized that I wasn't perfect, accepted the mistake (a whole lot more humble I might add) and moved on. It sure stung for a while though because I tried so hard to be perfect and couldn't imagine making a mistake. But I did and sometimes it was a big one. What I'm trying to say to you Marsha, is that you are beautiful inside and out. You aren't more beautiful because you don't make mistakes and I'm not either. You are beautiful warts and all. We need to love ourselves as we are now, warts and all.

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/6/2011 9:12AM


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SNOOKUMS19 3/6/2011 8:45AM

    I've been keeping up on your blogs and notices you were on track until you starting blogging about writing a book. Look into that. It may be stressing you more than you know. Let your set back be and have a great Sunday!

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FREELADY 3/5/2011 11:08PM

    This makes me feel additional hope for me and my goals. I can see that my own struggles and repeated slip-ups don't exclude me from your kind of success. I can be like you one day, cuz a girl doesn't have to be perfect to be like you.

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MISTYRIVER64 3/5/2011 10:39PM

    The streak isn't broken - it's just reset so that you can do even better this time.

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SLIMLILA 3/5/2011 9:48PM

    Remember to celebrate the success... 40 days nothing to scoff at......

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JHADZHIA 3/5/2011 8:57PM

    Wow! You had a slip!! You are human!! Not perfect!! Who is??
You have done so well for so long Marsha, that one blip is hardly a lifestyle breaking landslide... And running for 3 miles is just plain amamzing!!
I am sure you will figure out the reasons behind the slip up and take steps to correct it..
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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JOYINKY 3/5/2011 8:10PM

    A St. Patrick's Day 5K! Sounds like fun; I know you're ready for it. I'm not concerned about the other either. Giving up would be a problem. I don't see you ever doing that. Be well, Joy

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WATERMELLEN 3/5/2011 7:45PM

    You are back on track: that's what counts.

"If I eat something I shouldn't have, I haven't blown it. It's not the end of the world. It's just a mistake. Get back on track this minute! Don't keep on eating! That makes no sense. It's a million times better to stop now than to allow myself to eat more." (Beck Card 18).

You did that.

In the grand scheme of things, the slip won't affect your weight -- but as you say, we want to figure these things out and understand them. The Beck Day 34 approach may help . . .


Comment edited on: 3/5/2011 7:45:58 PM

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Appreciating Support - Both Virtual and in Person

Thursday, March 03, 2011

While working out today at the YMCA a younger woman went out of her way to stop by and compliment me on my weight loss and increasing fitness. She told me I had inspired her. It made me feel so good. I really appreciate her taking the time and making the effort. These days compliments are not so common. Most of my friends just think of me as someone who lost weight two years ago. So, I savor the compliment and even replay it in my head!

I am used to getting kind words, support, and goodies from SparkFriends. Thank heavens. Without the SP support, I almost certainly would not be where I am now: extremely healthy, at goal weight, and profoundly grateful to all who have helped me so much.

But I do think person to person support is even more valuable. My local SparkTeam is a great group of people. Tonight we had a very good time together enjoying a healthy meal. This support in person is priceless! Thanks, SparkTeam. Thanks, Cyndi, Theresa, Eileen, Jane, Donna, and Jane's daughter -- hope I didn't forget anyone. Even all the hubbies were good tonight!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    WTG! We all know you are awesome - maybe one day you will believe it too!

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AMANDAJCD 3/4/2011 11:00AM

    I'm so sorry we couldn't make the dinner this time around! Hopefully the next -- I'm a sucker for Olive Garden :D

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JANEWATKINS 3/4/2011 10:56AM

    I was so happy to see you at dinner last night! You are truly an inspiration to me, you skinny little thinig!

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/4/2011 10:35AM

    Compliments are a win win to the receiver and the giver. It was nice of the young woman at the Y to say something.

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SNOOKUMS19 3/4/2011 7:49AM

    It is nice to hear a compliment. Enjoy your day!

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JOYINKY 3/4/2011 6:50AM

    I'm glad you have that support;it is important! You certainly have earned it! But, you're right; after awhile people tend to forget you ever really had a challenge to get where you are today. SP will not forget! Be well, Joy

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JIBBIE49 3/4/2011 12:28AM


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JHADZHIA 3/3/2011 9:51PM

    Fabulous!! You deserve lots of compliments! It would be so nice to have local support like that, and yes, it would sure be very influential! Interesting how the hubbies behaved :)
Mom is my one-woman support team and I am very grateful for her! My Spark buddies are helping hold it together for me during trying times. So glad to have you all!

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WATERMELLEN 3/3/2011 9:01PM

    So nice to get that recognition! And direct support!

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