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Living life and having fun (with pics)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

There are a lot of things going on in my life right now. Lots of changes.

First of all my daughter is 8 months pregnant and I'm gonna be a grandma for the first time around Christmas. This has been a huge adjustment. Not what I expected or hoped for but I've adjusted and have fallen in love with this little guy who I've yet to see. Still don't like the gma label though. I've worked so hard to feel better, younger and feisty. Gma doesn't seem to go with that. Here's her latest pic:

She's been staying with me for a while but she and her "boo" are looking for an apartment. She is desperate to get settled -- nesting is setting in.

Also, I've been contemplating returning to school to finish the degree I walked away from 23 years ago. I'd been praying about it and then a friend pointed out a notice that my alma mater (campus is 4 hrs away) had an ad in the paper for an adult program at a satellite campus 30 miles away that offered one night per week classes for 18 months for adults to finish their degrees. Truthfully I don't need to finish for my career --for the last 3+ years I have managed my family's business and the plan is to continue that, but I don't like feeling like I didn't finish something I started. If I do this, I would graduate from the school I started at 25 years after I walked away, kind of full circle. Its a scary idea, but one thing that keeps ringing in my head is something I've heard and learned here on Sparkpeople ... "When 18 months has passed, I can do one of two things. Look back and wish I'd started 18 months ago or have accomplished my goal." Sparkpeople is an awesome way to learn motivation and goal setting.

I admit, I've been struggling with my weight loss journey. This month for some reason, my eating has stunk and my exercise has dropped way down. I see it, I recognise it, I know what I need to do but haven't done it yet. I have my excuses. For some reason for the last couple weeks -- everything on me hurts! My knees, hips shoulders, neck etc are so stiff in the mornings I can hardly move. I have to take an 800 mg Ibuprofen just to get moving. I don't really know why. I will get this back on track. I know what to do. I broke down yesterday and went to my massage therapist. She is soooo amazing. She does wonderful work and can tell you what area of pain is attributed to what part of your body or life. My right side of my back was so painful and knotted up and she said that is finance, business, education and procrastination. HELLO... fit much??? lol! It really helped but I need to go much more often.

Here's my latest before/after pic:

The difference is huge, but I'm not done yet and I have to be careful not to go backwards.

Last night I tried some new things - Paintball and laser tag. It was awesome! Now I'll admit, paintball stunk. My bff and I got all ready and felt super cool, till we got on the field with a bunch of testerone filled guys. We got out there and within 2 mins had been shot 4 times (and have the welts to prove it) and decided we were done. How I got shot in my upper thighs while hiding behind a barrel formation, I can't figure out, but man it hurt!

Here's us before battle:

My friend said we should have taken pics afterward to show the paint mess.

We also did laser tag and that was AWESOME!!! Much more fun and not painful! It was a blast and I realized afterwards how great it was to run and play and not feel awkward or winded or out of place. SOOOO fun!

Anyway, life is good and I will keep moving forward, after all, time passes, down the road do we want to look back at what we wish we'd accomplished or what we have?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCHENPOSSIBLE 11/2/2011 10:20PM

    Your daughter is all baby! Congrats to you, her and her boo. Glad you're living life and having tons of fun while doing it. That's what it's all about

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SKINNYPOWELL1 10/31/2011 9:31AM

    Congrats on being a grandma, I just became one last month. Sorry your back is hurting and hope you work the kinks out. You look great and you know you have to keep on top of the maintenance phase. So many exciting things happening, keep us posted. You are a true inspiration, and I MEAN THAT !!!!

Thanks for always commenting on my blogs, too. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/30/2011 9:17PM

    Congratulations on the upcoming grand baby. Your daughter is beautiful!

You look great!

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ALOFA0509 10/30/2011 12:32PM

    Congrats on your new lil Angel!!! how exciting emoticon

Your looking great lady, keep strong- You Got this!

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SUNSHYNDREAMER 10/30/2011 12:21PM

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Try not to be afraid of the whole "grandma" stigma. You can be any kind of grandma you want to be. I have always thought of my grandma as young, cool and hip. Even now she is in her 80's and she is one of my best friends in the whole world. I'm sure you will be the hippest grandma in your little grandbaby's play group. emoticon

As for getting back on track, you have come so far and obviously know what you need to do. Keep up the good work! Thanks for sharing your story with us.


Oh and your daughter is adorable, she looks great for 8 months pregnant. Congrat's again!

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SUNSCREENISGOOD 10/30/2011 11:11AM

    Sounds like you are making some huge progress and so happy! emoticon

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COOP9002 10/30/2011 10:51AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. Enjoy your special time as a Grandma.

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KGLOVER71 10/30/2011 10:46AM

    Good for you! You will rock the "Grandma" thing. I think kids who have young, fun grandmas are blessed. Good luck to you and to your daughter.

I know what you mean about having a hard time with the motivation. I think it's a lifetime struggle, and every day is a new day. Sometimes your head is in the right place, and sometimes it's more of a struggle. I think we kid ourselves when we start to think it will be easy. It's not easy but it's worth it!

Good luck with school!!!!!!!!

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SBECKER526 10/30/2011 10:41AM

    Your story is so real. I am proud of your accomplishments and running your own business. I had a goal that I gave up on as I felt I was getting too old to pursue. My husband talked me out of it. So I studied for my doctorate during my ages 40-44. I did get the degree and used it for 15 years. Don't be afraid to return to your studies if you really want to do that. Think of you, too. I'd have problems with the concept of grandma. Think of a special word that does not conjure up the aged gray haired lady on a rocking chair.

Keep up the great work!

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Where am I? Waiting.... (with pics)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I'm here. I've been here all along. Things have been busy but truthfully, I keep waiting for some big milestone to blog. Some amazing accomplishment to announce, but I'm here.

I've lost a few ounces less than 95 lbs. I'm super proud of that, but I've been waiting for 100. I'm 202 lbs and I'm waiting for onderland. Waiting.....

Lots of changes have been going on in my life the last few months and everything seems to be in some transition period and I keep waiting for things to settle down. Some of the changes ... my 18 yr old daughter decided she was grown and didn't want to follow my rules so she up and moved out a couple months ago. Then she got pregnant, then engaged and now she's planning a wedding to an airman who is going to be stationed in Guam. He's a great guy, but they are apart right now and she is soooo drama and man it can be consuming if I let it. Plus, my only daughter is making me a grandma and may be half way across the world when the time comes.

My oldest son also got engaged and moved six hours away to follow her. I don't know how that will turn out. I have my doubts, but can only sit and watch

I downsized my place and moved from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom townhouse with my youngest son. I really love it so that's good.

My youngest son turned 16 and got his drivers license. We both feel let out of the prison of being on each others schedule. But man is it different. A year ago, all three kids were at home, and I was a very busy mom and now I am almost an empty nester. My son has gotten a job and a car and we are two ships passing in the hall. Crazy

My brother got married so I had a wedding to attend and family photos to take. Truthfully, I was really happy with how they turned out. I found an awesome dress and felt pretty. I'll show you photos at the end.

Then I turned 45 a week ago. Forty five is great and I feel great, but I'm definitely in transition. Not sure what to do next or how to proceed.

I've been having a lot of knee and shoulder pain since I had kicked up the workouts and so I visited my doctor who also did a fellowship in sports medicine and she listened and did a thorough examination and said I have runners knee and bursitis in the tendon that run along side my knee. She gave me exercises and ibuprofen and suggested I not do the squats, lunges and step ups I've been doing. Oh and I also have rotator cuff issues in my shoulders from lifting and swimming. I told her if I quit doing everything that irritates my knee and shoulders, I wouldn't be doing anything. She also had xrays of my knees and called to tell me I have mild arthritis in both knees. Not surprising considering I carried around almost 100 more pounds for the last 20 years. So again, transition... trying to decide how to proceed with my workouts. Barrel ahead, ignoring her advice and the pain, or find a new way to be fit. I have no idea.

So anyway, I've not run away or given up. I still check in every day and read all my friends blogs, but I've been quiet... waiting.... just don't know for what.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALLIKIA 8/27/2011 11:57AM

    You look stunning and that dress is gorgeous on you!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 8/26/2011 2:39PM

    You look amazing, LOVE that dress!!!

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    You look great! So pretty and sexy too. LOL. And you are really coping well with all the changes in your life. I would be bonkers!! LOL. You will get to onderland soon. Stay with it.

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GODDESSLIL80 5/19/2011 4:45PM

    You look great! Oh my goodness and so young. I would not peg you as getting ready to be a grandma.
You shouldn't feel like your waiting, look at you, you are living life. Almost in Onederland! You can do it.
Change is hard but it also creates plenty of opportunities.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 5/18/2011 8:29PM

    Girl, you look AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/17/2011 9:10AM

    All I can say is WOW woman, you look fantastic and confident. You've come a long way baby, 95 pounds is a huge accomplishment. Keep up the great work on your weight loss.

Sounds like things are pretty crazy with your household. I have a similar situation, almost an empty nester too, trying hard to find what it is I'm supposed to do now that the busy schedule of motherhood is almost nonexistent now. Hmmmm, but change is good and I am sure you will find something great to do with your time. This is the stage of life where it can be all about YOU, and that's a good thing. Embrace it.

And blog more often, you don't have to wait for a milestone to blog. We love hearing about the every day trials and triumphs. We are all in this together and the best part is having the love and support of your SP buddies. Lots of hugs to ya and keep up the good work.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MY_HEALTH_BABY 5/15/2011 2:20AM

    The dress is beautiful and you are definitely looking awesome....focus on what you can do to get to your goal.

Let me tell you, there will always be doctor's reports, medical diagnoses, aging issues, etc. none of us those limitations got you where you are today..find all those brilliant positive things in life that made you who you are and celebrate. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOTRODSANDY 5/13/2011 9:18PM

    You're looking awesome! Wow lots of changes.

It's amazing how fast our kids grow up. Can't even begin to imagine the drama of pregnancy hormones and a long distance relationship. Hoping things settle down for you.

Whatever you decide to do - you'll be doing it from onederland, I'm sure!

Congrats on the 95 pounds! emoticon

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MN4VOLS 5/13/2011 12:40PM

    You are looking great! Congratulations for losing 95 pounds. What a huge accomplishment!

You are going through a lot of transition! I am sorry about your daughter and son who moved away. That must hurt. I pray they would continue keeping the lines of communication open and that your daughter will be close when she has the baby.

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 5/13/2011 11:39AM

    Looking great. I hope your doctor will help you figure out what you can do. Even if it means a referral to a PT or someone else.

I think that the trick for me as I approach 45 is to know that life is about transition and we are always in some kind of transition. Good luck getting through it well.

But, we are willing to listen anytime not just when you get to the goal. Keep moving forward.

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MOONBIRD 5/13/2011 10:22AM

    You look beautiful! Seriously amazing! That is so awesome you've lost so much weight!
It sounds like you have a lot going with your family, which I am sure is stressful. It's got to be hard seeing your kids grow up and make their own decisions. Congrats on soon becoming a grandmother!

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NEWJEWELS4LIFE 5/13/2011 9:43AM

    Love the dress! You look Fabulous!!

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ALOFA0509 5/13/2011 9:34AM

BEAUTIFUL!!!! You look amazing sista ;)

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 5/13/2011 8:59AM

    You look AMAZING!

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FITWITHIN 5/13/2011 8:51AM

    Very nice pics!

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HAPPYCUPCAKE 5/13/2011 8:43AM

    Awesome dress! Sounds like you have had a whirlwind of changes lately.

Remember, things DO happen for a reason [even though sometimes they seem ridiculous or wrong at the time], and things will work out. Keep nursing your shoulders and knees and focusing on nutrition...you've come so far! Keep up the good work!


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MISSBEX24 5/13/2011 8:40AM

    You look fabulous - that dress is amazing on you!!!

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CHICAT63 5/13/2011 8:40AM

    You are looking AMAZING, a HAWT Momma ! And you have been busy, busy, busy...as for your oldest son and daughter wishing them the best. You are going to be a young, hot looking Grand-Maman ! Physically, things will fall into place so keep up the great work, ONDERLAND is looming and it is yours for the catching.

For your youngest son, ah, know the feelings, good thing my hubby & I can text my youngest (18) and also my oldest (20) living in Montreal because they hardly answer their cellphones *lol*. Time to put all the energy on YOU which you seem to be doing more than alright:)

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ATREAT4ME 5/13/2011 5:52AM

    It's so good to hear from you! Thank you.

You look amazing. Just beautiful and with obvious reasons to feel pretty. I think you're stunning.

The transitions -- and like you said, you have many to go through right now -- are something you will overcome because you are focused on the result you're trying to achieve. I am confident of that.

I would like to suggest that you ask your doctor to discuss getting a referral to a physical therapist or sports therapist. They can help you isolate and strengthen all the 'helper' muscles so you're better able (as a body) to copy with the stress. Have you considered bicycling (spinning?)

You'll find your own answers and you'll get to where you want to be. I'm glad you're here and I'm glad to know what's going on with you. Thank you for sharing this!

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    You look great! I only have one son...and he moved out a few years ago... it has been one of the hardest transitions in my life. I have more time....but I don't see him enough...he is just too busy to come home for a visit. emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 5/13/2011 12:32AM

    O.M.Goddess ... you look amazing!!!
Good to hear from you too.

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LOOZINITNOW 5/12/2011 10:57PM

    You look fantastic! Make sure that you get some me time in there somewhere.

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JONICACALDWELL 5/12/2011 10:42PM

    You look amazing and as for the kids. you did your work. If they are happy and healthy-that's it. Enjoy the weddings! You will have fab Mom-of-the dresses!

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HHI0901 5/12/2011 10:38PM

    WOW what a crazy life you have! I hope you are able to keep your head on straight through it all... and you look great. Happy belated birthday :)

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TINYDANCER 5/12/2011 10:34PM

    You look stunning.

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CAROLYN1213 5/12/2011 10:05PM

    I LOVE that dress!!! And your hair! You look amazing girl!!! You should be very proud of yourself!!! You look confident and strong. I have had two knee surgeries on my left knee and have osteo-arthritis in both knees. I did water aerobics and rode my bike a lot at first to make my legs stronger without putting high impact on my joints. You are right, you have to do what you can to obtain and maintain as much mobility as possible while you are younger.

As you get closer to 'Onderland' or any other big goal, it is common to think you need to be stricter with your diet, sometimes you actually need to increase your healthy fats and decrease your fruit and grain intake after 2 p.m.

Keep moving towards your goals! You are doing great!

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PMFISH 5/12/2011 10:02PM

    Looking Good!! Probably just having a regrouping period. Nothing wrong with that. Listen to your body, you want to be able to use it for another 35 to 45 years.

You have done an excellent job of improving your health and energy. Last thing you want is to hurt yourself and not be able to move. Keep up the good work!

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Complete randomness -- what I've been up to, and what's with men?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I haven't blogged in a while. I tend to only blog when I have something major or profound (to me) to share, but I've got lot's of stuff rattling around so here goes.

First, I'm feeling kind of cruddy again. I was sick for a day about a week ago and thought I'd fought it off, but my dad (first) then my mom have been sick this week with the crud and today I woke up feeling achy and tight in my chest. I've taken Ibuprofen and hopefully will again fight it off.

Last night I went to a trivia night. I was invited by my brother and his fiancé. It was hosted by their church. I am kind of a loner, basically shy and am uncomfortable around a bunch of people I don't know, but I've been trying to spread my wings and expand my horizons, so I went. It was fun. There were probably a hundred people there and we were in tables of 10 or so. My brother and his fiancé were the only people I knew. I had a good time and would do it again.

Today it was actually beautiful out and I was determined to go for a run even though I was feeling puny. I talked my 15 yr old into running with me (well not with me --- at the same time). He runs a lot faster and I just told him to run for 30 minutes and turn around and I'd do the same and we'd meet back at the car. It was wonderful. Outside in the sunshine was amazing! I even took pics of my sweaty self when I got back to the car. I like them even though my hair is a mess and I'm all sweaty.

When we got home, I made a smoothie. It was good! Sounds terrible (according to my son). It had a cup of lowfat soymilk, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, a tbl of spirulina powder, a scoop (tsp?) of dehydrated acai berry, some splenda (I know, not the best) a cup of frozen sliced strawberries, a 1/2 cup of mixed berries frozen (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) mixed together in the blender until it is a frozen frothy milkshake consistency. It was yummy! DS wouldn't try it because the spirulina powder is green and smells like the inside of a fish tank, but thankfully you can't taste it when it's mixed with everything else. Otherwise I could never stomach it. When I was eating it my son said "who would have ever thought you'd have turned into one of those "health nuts" we used to laugh at. It's true. I am getting more and more interested in health and being healthy every day.

After my smoothie we went to Barnes and Noble to get a new book. I had to spring for it because my library didn't carry it. "The New Rules for Lifting for Women". I can't wait to read it. Some of the awesome ladies on SP have mentioned reading it and I'm excited to read it. I'm really enjoying the new strength training I'm doing and can already feel results in my upper body.

This month I've been taking swimming lessons twice a week. I've wanted to learn to lap swim and its been great. I could never figure out the breathing. I've learned the freestyle (crawl), the back stroke, and last week the breast stroke. I've gotten the first two down fairly well, but not the breast stroke. I can't figure out the kick. Maybe this week I'll get it down too. It's amazing how you can have stamina in one type of workout, but not in another. I can run several miles at a time, but swimming kicks my butt. In addition to the swimming lessons, my instructor teaches a class called aqua kick on Saturday mornings. I've taken it the last two Saturdays. It's awesome! For 50 minutes you wear fins and use a kick board and do laps. She puts a workout on the board and challenges you and times you. You do different kicks on your front, on your side and on your back. You end the class by doing a timed vertical kick in the deep end. Basically you tread water (with your fins) while raising your hands above your head. HARD! The class is a great workout! Afterward I stayed and swam laps. I just need to build my stamina. It's exhausting. But I'm loving it.

Ok on to my final topic... whats with men? I'm signed up on a couple dating websites. Not really pursuing anything, but just spreading my wings so to speak. If any of you remember, I went on a couple dates last fall and when I wouldn't hop into bed with the guy I'd spent about 3 hours total with, he never called again.

Well, a couple weeks ago, I was contacted by a fella that kinda seemed interesting to me, so I responded. We emailed a couple times and he asked if he could text me. I said yes. We began texting. They were very general -- good morning. How are you. Good night. What are you doing. That kind of thing. Very few of any substance. This went on for more than two weeks. Finally last Thursday he sent me a text with a pic of a rose. I texted back thank you. Then he said you're welcome. I'd like to meet you soon. I said that would be nice. That was all we said. A couple hours later, when I was walking into the gym for my swim lesson I got another text. I expected it to be asking me on a date. Instead ......


(warning TMI)

It was a photo of a naked couple with the woman in a backbend etc. and the text said. This is called 79. Like a 69 but with 10 extra points for difficulty.

Ok.... is it just me or is it improper to send porn to someone you've never met?

I was so astounded! What was the point of that? To see if I was willing to do that? Beats me.

I fretted about it all through class and when i got home I texted him and told him I didn't appreciate it. That while I believe a wonderful sex life is important to two people who love each other, I didn't feel it was right to send porn to someone you've never met. That I didn't want to hear from him anymore.

The text I got in return....



I think I portray myself as a fairly classy lady. I mention on my profile I say that my relationship with God is the most important thing to me and I state when i text or talk that I attend church every week, so WHAT THE HECK!!!!

Anyway, this may seem very silly, but I am proud of myself for kicking him straight to the curb. I deserve sooo much better than that junk. I don't have to take whoever shows me any interest. I'd rather be alone.

So friends, if you've made it through this rambling blog. Thank you, you all are awesome!!!!!

Love ya

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOIN4GR8 4/9/2011 10:11AM

    You look BEAUTIFUL in the photo from your car after the run, and I'm not just saying that--you have the glow of feeling strong and healthy and good about what you've accomplished, plus you're just plain pretty, so that all makes you look even prettier! Good for you.

And OMG to the porn guy--that's just unreal. Would have given me the creeps, too; you handled it perfectly.

Have a great weekend! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/14/2011 10:53PM

    I take Airborne when a cold is coming on and it helps me.

The trivia night sounded fun.

I love exercising outdoors and love bookstores.

I used to teach adult swim lessons. I taught both my parents. LOL.

OMG, the guy was such a creep!! Ugh!!

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CHRISTURTLE 3/7/2011 5:34AM

    Congratulations on replying the way you did to that guy - well, we know why HE is still single, don't we? You don't need anyone with the opinion that that was a romantic thing to send to someone he had never met, or to think it was a joke. It may well be, may be ok between two guy friends, although not being a guy I am only guessing at that, lol. You deserve far better than him, and I'm glad you made it clear what you thought of his 'communication'.
As my friend's mother used to say, you have to eat a heck of a lot of oysters before you find a pearl. Your own particular 'pearl' will appear in your life when the time is right.

Loved the running photos, you are definitely doing well, and it shows! Your smoothie sounds wonderful, and my daughter (the one in the Army who is a fitness fanatic) said much the same to me about my healthier lifestyle - that I used to laugh at people who ate what I do, said they must have a really sad life to find enjoyment in eating those foods.... wow, was I wrong about that!

Thanks too, for the comment on my blog about reaching my revised goal weight, which certainly doesn't mean I won't be Sparking every day as usual. No way could I keep this lifestyle going without constant contact with my Spark friends!

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    I applaud you for sticking to your morals and not succombing to every ridiculous attempt to get you into bed! And yes, it's totally wrong to send porn to someone you've never met!! And yes, there are some great guys out there! Just takes time to find the roses in the bed of weeds!

Congrats on your running excursion, too!!

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MRNOTABOUTFACE 2/25/2011 10:19PM

    Congrats on the progress you're making in so many areas of your life. All I can say about that guy is that at least he made it easy for you to weed him out. On to the next guy - we're not all bad!

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JHARTSCOM 2/25/2011 9:50PM

    Hello Susan,

It does seem like there's a lot of players out there... you just need to be patient, and the right one will come along, and don't put up with guys like that. Good job kicking porn-boy to the curb. In my experience, it seems like the online dating sites tend to attract players like that. Keep up the great work you're doing a great job.

Always remember you’re beautiful and awesome!

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Comment edited on: 2/25/2011 9:51:35 PM

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EKFFAZR 2/14/2011 2:46PM

    Just keep running emoticon and having the smoothies, and the proper guy will come along when you aren't even looking, because you will be worth it.

keep the faith

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SKINNYPOWELL1 2/14/2011 1:42PM

    Like your sweaty pic, good job with keeping up your running and sounds like you are kicking up quite a splash at the pool. emoticon

I would have done the same thing as you - kick'em to the curb, you deserve sooooo much better than that.

Just keep focusing on yourself, working on the swimming, etc. and when you least expect it, that Prince Charming is going come riding in on a white horse, it always seems to take us by surprise.

You are sweet lady, and that Prince is out there, don't settle for anything less. emoticon

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JBARSTOW 2/14/2011 10:33AM

    Hi there, three items in your blog I want to touch on:

1. If you're fighting that tightness in your chest for more than a week, please go see your doctor. It could be moving into bronchitis. I made the mistake of ignoring that once, and it turned from a cold to bronchitis to walking pneumonia. Don't gamble; the stakes are too high.

2. Congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone and having fun at the trivia night. I'm an extrovert and still not always comfortable in a room full of strangers, I know it can painful for someone shy.

3. Good job kicking porn-boy to the curb. But at the same time, remember that not all men act like the ones you've put up with recently. If I had, I wouldn't have had the wonderful wife I've been blessed with for nearly 20 years. Cliches are easy and tempting, but rarely accurate across the board; don't let yourself fall into a trap of lumping all guys together at a glance. It'll make you defensive and more likely to miss the good one(s) when they show up.

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FUNFROG79 2/14/2011 8:35AM

    OMG! That guy is insane, how inappropriate! Sorry to hear! LOve your pictures, you look so cute in your band! Let me know how you like the book!

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KJDOESLIFE 2/14/2011 8:31AM

    Wow... that is definitely one for the record books. I dated a few men I met online, and I can't say any of them sent weird or inappropriate messages prior to or after meeting. Good luck! I know there are some good guys out there!

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POOHLA711 2/14/2011 8:10AM

    What a pig! Don't give up on online dating. I met my husband online. I had to weed out a few pigs before I got to him, but joining match.com was the best decision I've ever made.

Those pictures of you after running are two of the most beautiful pics I've seen of you. You have that runner's glow and the look on your face reads strong, accomplished, and at peace.

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HEALTHYASHLEY 2/14/2011 7:34AM

    Online dating is strange. Many of the men behave that way. I don't get it either. Good for you for standing up for yourself! I love the running pics!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 2/14/2011 7:21AM

    I think men have no clue. Do your best to let go of that situation, and I'll do my best to take my own advice about mine. I swear, we can only count on ourselves.

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ATREAT4ME 2/14/2011 7:15AM

    Your pictures are beautiful. You look strong and healthy! And obviously you ARE because you're easily kicking gutter trash to the side, your teenage DS just called you a health nut, you spend $$ on books about getting stronger, and you mentioned not 1, not 2, but 3 different kinds of exercises that you're doing in one post. You ROCK!

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ALOFA0509 2/14/2011 6:52AM

    Running pix are awsum!!! Your lookin soo good girl.. As for the idiot, uugghh- Soo glad you kicked him to the curb!!!! Good Riddance. Happy Running Sista, oh and Happy Valentines Day emoticon


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    Wow, crazy! I am glad you found out before you met him in person! What has the dating scene become? I am a bit older than you and single as well and it is difficult to meet someone, but i have not given up , Good luck to you! Happy Valentine's Day to you from one single woman to another emoticon emoticon

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 2/13/2011 10:55PM

    Wow, this guy sounds like an animal. When I was single a lot of the guys that I would meet online were just worried about sex/sexting. Not my forte at all. Hang in there. Maybe you'll be the next success vignette on the eharmony commercial. Their current commercial says it's free membership for the month. Might be an option? In any case, good luck!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 2/13/2011 10:32PM

    Love the after running photos ...
Swimming sounds like heaven. I wish there was a pool in my neighborhood that was for use.
Hmmm, the porn text, in a word - NASTY. Shame on him.

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Where I stand (pt 2) My metabolism check

Thursday, January 27, 2011

So as I said in my previous blog, I have been playing around with my calorie range trying to decide where I need to be. The trouble was, I didn't have any definite number as far as what my basic metabolic rate was.

I've used several formulas, I've guessed. I've tweaked, I've experimented with my calories and frankly it's been driving me crazy!

So my gym is part of one of our local hospitals. I found out that the hospital wellness department has a contraption called Metacheck. For about $50 you can find out what your resting metabolic rate is. Here's a definition of the test:

The MetaCheck (Korr Medical Technologies, Salt Lake City, Utah) is an instrument
designed to measure Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) using indirect calorimetry. Indirect
calorimetry is a method of calculating metabolic rate from the measured the amount of
oxygen consumed by the body. Using the MetaCheck mouthpiece, the individual being
tested breathes in room air and the gas the person breathes out, is conveyed to the
MetaCheck through the breathing hose. The MetaCheck analyzes the volumetric flow and
oxygen concentration of the expired gas to determine the amount of oxygen consumed by
the body due to metabolism.

I don't really understand it, but apparently it is very accurate. I made the appointment and the only opening they had was today at 10:30 a.m. That was fine, but I had to be fasting and have no caffeine and no exercise prior to the test. Needless to say, I was starving by the time 10:30 rolled around.

I arrived and the lady (dietitian) a first took my height and weight to put into the computer. Then she had me sit in a recliner and get comfortable. She explained that she would run the test for 10 minutes and the more relaxed I was the more accurate the test results would be. She said she would give me headphones with music playing and dim the lights. She then got out the test equipment. It reminded me a lot of a CPap machine (for people with sleep apnea). I had a clamp for my nose (very uncomfortable) and a hose attached to a mouthpiece. I was to clamp my nose and breath through my mouth through the hose and try to stay as relaxed as possible. It wasn't horrible but not comfortable. It was kind of like the set up for a breathing treatment. The music definitely helped and before I knew it, it was over.

My results were pretty good. The first thing she said was I have a good metabolism to work with. My resting energy expenditure per day is 1800 calories. Then they add on 540 calories for ADLs (activities of daily living) This totals 2340 calories per day needed to maintain my current weight. This does not include exercise. Now the dietitian used that number (without exercise) to figure my needed calories for weight loss. She suggested subtracting 500-1000 calories per day for a range of 1340-1840 calories per day. I asked her about the exercise component and she said to just count that as a bonus as long as I don't go below 1200 cals per day. I'm not sure I totally agree with that. I mean if I burn 400 calories with exercise and have been targeting my eating at 1500 calories that leaves me a 1240 calorie deficit and a net calorie intake for the day of 1100 calories. I think that's too extreme. And yes I could just eat something extra, but I'd rather not have to eat just to make up extra calories. I feel that the exercise component should be figured in.

Anyway, I guess I've been fairly on target. I had my calorie range set between 1640 and 1960 per day and that seems to be fairly close. She suggested I aim for 1600 calories right now.

Something else she suggested that I'm not sure how I feel about is adding a electrolyte replacement drink. She said with my exercise lasting 45 mins or longer I need to add something more than water. I explained to her that I don't eat (or drink) sugar and that I don't want to add a bunch of calories. That kind of defeats the whole purpose. She said to find a lo cal version but that I needed something. So I guess I'll see what I can find.

It was a good meeting but truthfully I am already doing most of what she recommended as far as diet. I already track my calories and eat a healthy variety based on the pyramid. But it was nice to get the info.

I feel better knowing I'm on the right track and that as long as I stay on this road I will get where I'm trying to go. All in all, its been good to get all this information, after all, knowledge is power!

PS -- Sparkpeople rocks. It is such a wonderful resource and has taught me SO much. Not to mention the awesome friends and that challenge and inspire me. Thanks all!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEFULIFE 2/7/2011 12:27AM

    Good point about the calories, yes, but if you don't take anything onboard with hard cardio sessions of 45min+, generally, your body will start to eat away muscle. You want to improve your body composition, so this is a bad deal. However, I bet this only happens in sessions where you more or less deplete your muscle glycogen. You can usually tell when this happens - you "hit the wall". Happens to me a lot, and eating during the workout helps me maintain the intensity - I can feel it. So I usually suggest to take on some calories if it helps keep the intensity up - and if it doesn't seem to then you probably didn't need it anyway. I've known several people around here who needed it, then weaned themselves from it as they got more fit.

I worked out a drink for myself that contains carbs, electrolytes, and a bit of protein also. Just to make sure. Works great, and really helps with those long sessions.

A proper post-workout meal is also important for protecting the muscle you have and laying down new muscle (after resistance training) or recharge glycogen (after endurance training).

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 2/6/2011 12:05PM

    Interesting... however, it's basically like you already knew what she told you. I don't drink the sports drinks either, but I suppose there is some value in it, right? My RMR is 1,494 or something like that, so lucky you to get an extra 300 calories to play with. I also think what she was suggesting sounds too extreme... when I have huge caloric deficits, I'm a huge b*tch. I need sustinance to keep me going. I'm going to back off to 1500-1800 daily now that I'm feeling somewhat renewed and see where it gets me.

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COMPUCATHY 1/31/2011 10:18PM

    Sounds like you got a good confirmation that you are on the right track. That must make you feel pretty good. It's cool when the "experts" say that what you are doing is what you should be doing. Very cool. Spark on! emoticon

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MY_HEALTH_BABY 1/31/2011 11:10AM

    I am so excited for you! emoticon taking over your health and wellness and getting in gear. 2011 is your year to shine on emoticon gorgeous

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SEEAMANDARUN 1/28/2011 1:01PM

    Check out Nuun. It is an electrolyte tablet that dissolves in water and has almost no calories.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/28/2011 12:31PM

    Stick to what you are doing as long as the results are getting you where you want to be. Stick with what's working, trust me. I've recently discovered that eating more proteins and less processed foods has really pointed the scale in the downward direction.

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POOHLA711 1/28/2011 8:14AM

    Wow... I want to see if I can have that test done here!
Thank you for sharing! Glad to hear that it's not terribly off from what you are doing.

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FUNFROG79 1/28/2011 8:05AM

    This is great, thanks!!! It's great to know you are on the right track! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/27/2011 10:02PM

    This is how they used to do thyroid function tests before they had lab tests. I had these when I was young. LOL.

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YW84FRIDAY 1/27/2011 8:22PM

  Interesting! I didn't even know they had something like that. Hmmmm I'm going to have to find one in my area. Thanks for sharing.


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TRIGFROST 1/27/2011 7:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYASHLEY 1/27/2011 7:13PM

    That's cool ! It must feel good to know!

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M0PPET 1/27/2011 6:38PM

    This is great. I've always wanted to use one of those machines because I always suspected my estimated BMR/RMR was off on the calculators. Finally I bought myself a bodybugg instead and learned that I was correct, my BMR/RMR is lower than the calculators always tell me. Knowledge is power! One thing i'd suggest is that, even though you are keeping sugar out of your diet, she is right that after exercising you need a dose of quickly digestible sugars and proteins to kick your body into muscle recovery mode. It doesn't have to be Gatorade which is full of table sugar. You could make a banana smoothy with skim milk or just drink a lowfat chocolate milk or a protein shake. Just try to get it in within 20 minutes of finishing your workout. Its going to help you in the long run.

Way to get proactive on setting up that test. That is so cool!

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SLEEPYDEAN 1/27/2011 5:53PM

    Oh this is interesting, as lately I've been questioning the BMR that SP has set for me.

As far as electrolytes, I swear by coconut water after intense exercise or running. It has tons of potassium which helps to avoid soreness.

Or, what about using a water with electrolytes like Smart Water or the various similar store brands that are now available?

I hope you find what works best for you in the long run.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 1/27/2011 5:11PM

    I hope to do something like this some day so I can ensure I'm on the right track as well. Very interesting reading about it - thanks for sharing! :-)

I have only tried Powerade Zero and I actually like it a lot better than I thought I would. I think Rise is my fave so far but most of the flavors I have tried, I've liked. And yes, they do recommend that if you exercise for more than 45 minutes that you do a sports drink to replace those electrolytes. If you are anything like me, I actually noticed a difference when I did start doing that as far as my after workout energy levels...in a good way!

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BRAINYBLONDE5 1/27/2011 5:09PM

  this is so interesting! thanks for sharing! :)

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CHRISTURTLE 1/27/2011 3:58PM

    You certainly ARE on the right track - just take a look at the changes you've made already, the weight you've lost, the things you can now handle in the gym you wouldn't have even thought of tackling preSpark People! I too am madly in love with Spark People and know if not for my fellow Sparkers, their advice, their encouragement and suggestions, no way would I be below 10 stone now.

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Where I stand -- my fitness assessment (part one)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've been at this weight loss journey for almost a year. In that time I've lost 86 pounds. But even after all this time, I'm not sure where I'm headed. I've had my ideas but I decided that it was time to get some facts.

I was stalled for a while in November and things have definately slowed down as far as the speed of my weight loss. Because of that, I've been doing tons of reading and research as to what my BMR (basic metabolic rate) is and how many calories I should be eating. I've calculated, and recalculated. I've looked at what Sparkpeople says. I've tried lots of formulas but was never sure if I was in the right vicinity.

Monday night I had my annual fitness assessment at my gym. I decided I wanted to get a good idea of where I was, what my BMI was and where I stood in my journey. I also had decided I wanted to ramp things up as far as my strength training. Carolyn1213 and my gals on the Fabulous Fitness team have inspired me to "lift heavy to get lean".

So I met with the trainer last night to get my results. In some ways it was encouraging, in some ways disturbing. Heres what I discovered.

I will never be skinny. I will never be a tiny girl. I knew that, but what he told me confirmed it. I'm not sure why it disturbs me, because I've never claimed to be trying to be one. I've never expected to get all the way to "tiny". How do I know that? Well it's in black and white. At 214 lbs (fully clothed late in the day) I am at a 33.2% body fat. Ideal weight for me (18-25% body fat) is 174 -190). The report states, " In order to achieve this goal (Normal body fat range) you should lose about 25 pounds of fat while maintaining the same lean body mass. Your lean body mass, consisting primarily of muscle, bone and vital organs is 142 lbs. The ideal weight range for you, based upon normal body faat is 174 to 190 pounds." 190 POUNDS IS NORMAL??????? WHAT THE HECK!!!

I guess I should be rejoicing that I don't have far to go, but...... 190 lbs is still big. Then my trainer went on to say that if I add muscle I may only need to lose another 10 lbs. Huh???? Just another 10 lbs. He's got to be kidding! When I started this I weighed 297 lbs and I knew from day one that I needed to lose more than 100 lbs. If I only lose another 10 lbs, that wont even be a 100 pound loss. Heck I'd still weigh more than 200 pounds! Something's wrong with this picture!!!! I know all the right stuff to say, "don't worry about the scale", "muscle is better than fat", "you should only want to be healthy". I know all this! I also know that right now I am in a size 16 jean and xl top and I don't want to be this size forever. I want to be normal size. I want to be lean. I want the rolls to go away. My stomach still pudges out. My legs are still filled with fatty celulite and still has lots of fat. I want the bat wings to fly away.

I've been thinking about what I want to end up looking like. I'd like to be a medium top maybe a 10 or 12 bottom (probably a 12) and firm not flabby. But I'm not sure that the numbers they are telling me will get me there.

So anyway, the other results were ok. My aerobic index was average. My flexability was average. My Muscular endurance (pushups and crunches) were good and my overall fitness score was average. Now I'm not unhappy about that, because 86 lbs ago, my fitness was terrible. Progress.

After discussing my results we started on a workout plan. He asked me what I wanted and I told him that my cardio was fine. I've got that down. But I wanted to up my game in my strength training. He asked how I felt about free weights. I told him I could use the "big boy" free weights, that I'm not intimidated. So he developed me a plan that varies between several machines and free weights. He said he wants me to lift heavier weights for fewer reps. We did the routine with him coaching me and it felt good. I do wonder though if it was enough, because today I'm not sore at all. I don't know, we'll see. I'm ready to sculpt this body and I believe from all the wonderful advice I've read around here that this is the way to do it.

This is getting too long, so I'm going to write separately about my metabolism testing (see pt 2)

*** edit -- here's what they did for this assessment:
Height, weight, body measurements, bp, pulse. skinfold calipers, # of pushups in 30 secs, # of crunches to fatigue, flexibility (distance reached past feet), then a cardiovascular endurance (coopers 12 min wal/run test) distance of walk/run in 12 minutes, then muscular strength test measuring max weight lifted on chest press and leg press. The results come from a computer program that my hospital's fitness center uses to determine fitness. This is part of the services that come with a membership to the fitness center. Two assessment per year and two trainer sessions to develop a program. They have never tried to sell me anything as far as training.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEFULIFE 2/7/2011 12:16AM

    Weight is overrated. Leanness is king. Depending on a lot of factors, 190 lbs can be attractive, even if not "skinny" or "tiny". Note that if you were significantly heavy, you may have bones that are significantly heavier than normal, for example. This weight will gradually drop over a period of years - but in the meantime, for a long time, you will have way above average bone density.

Your girls are right: http://figureathlete.t-nation.com/f

Figure out your fitness, in every facet, and get lean. Don't fret over what you weigh, or will weigh. As you change your body composition, you will be AMAZED at the shape changes that happen.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 2/6/2011 12:01PM

    You know, I could comment but it wouldn't matter. Logically, according to every rule book, it doesn't make sense. And it SUCKS. However, we are who we are. It still SUCKS. Psychologically, I refuse to weigh over 200 pounds... the BS about muscle, I don't give a sh*t... I don't ever want to see a 2 again, no matter how much muscle I have. I totally feel you, and part of me mourns with you for the exact same reason.

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MY_HEALTH_BABY 1/29/2011 7:45AM

    Happy to hear your news...I am by no means an expert, but 190 pounds doesn't quite sound right, even for someone 6' tall.

You've come a long way, baby, and took off 86lbs and that is quite a feat. Keep sculpting your body to look and feel its best! You can do anything you set your mind on! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/29/2011 7:47:25 AM

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/28/2011 12:29PM

    emoticonlosing 86 pounds, that's fantastic. Only you know your perfect size and weight, they just go by the average. Your body will let you know where it is happy. Keep up the good work, I am so proud of you. emoticon

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POOHLA711 1/28/2011 8:06AM

    I think you have done an AWESOME job with your progress!
Don't be discouraged by the assessment. Perhaps once you lose the 10 lbs of fat and build more lean muscle, you WILL be in that size 10-12 pants and medium top. Your body can change so much with strentgh training.
Just keep doing what you're doing and you will see the results that you want.
I'm really proud of you!

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    I got similar news when I had my body fat analysis done. Not that much fat on board really.

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RACHELLTAYLOR81 1/27/2011 5:16PM

    I kinda feel like the numbers are a little off too, but as long as you get to where you feel comfortable then that's really all that matters.

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CHRISTURTLE 1/27/2011 3:54PM

    Congratulations on such incredible achievements! Wow! Wonder Woman Sparks! I can understand your feelings of frustration about the amount of weight you want to lose, compared with the recommendations of the report. Maybe do some more research before settling on your goal weight.

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    Weight is just a number. The important thing is that you are comfortable and happy with where you are. If that is 190 then great but if that is lower then go for that. I like that you are looking at clothing size rather than weight. If you are toned you will weigh more than someone your same size that isn't toned. Good luck!

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SWELL10 1/27/2011 3:17PM

    Thanks for the comments -- please see my edit as the bottom of this blog expaining the tests they used to determine these results.

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BARTINPC 1/27/2011 3:08PM

  Definitely...that's great "progress" as you called it near the end. My supposed BMI range is less than 190, but when I was in the best shape of my adult life...I weighed 203 coming out of boot camp (and I was 18). Figuring out what works for our bodies is the tricky part.

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LCHADBOURNE 1/27/2011 2:55PM

    I'm sorry for speaking my mind here, but honestly...I don't buy it...It just doesn't make any sense to me. I'd go see a doctor and see what they have to say verses someone in a gym selling a product or service.

If you still have inches to lose, don't worry about the actual number on the scale. Those number just seem really off. Unless you are a massive body builder or like 6'3"? I would just keep working at it and when you are happy with your body, then that is the weight you will be.

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OILMANDREW 1/27/2011 2:42PM

    Good work! What tools did they use to do your fitness assessment? I've been looking to accomplish the same things you are looking to do.

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