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More on the self-portrait

Monday, May 02, 2011

Thanks everybody for your feedback on my self-portraits. You guys are hilarious - 8 votes for photo 1 & 8 votes for photo 2. That's not helpful! lol

That's not really true - you guys were helpful. Your comments helped me clarify what appealed to me about each of them.... and once I'd done that, the choice was clear.

#2 Appeals to me because I think I look prettier & I'm looking up (love optimism) & I find faces/figures that are 1/2 out of frame to be really appealling.... but it's #1 that works better for what I wanted to express.

I recognize it as being more me - the set of the chin, the level open gaze. Also, the lace patterns are more clear in this one and it's the lace that really interests me. I wanted to play with the idea of the pattern of grandma's lace curtains on my face echoing how all of my fore-mother's lives in a way pattern my own. The idea that the influence on our lives - in it's beauty & ugliness - could be made visible. And how, once visible, it both obscures our own self and also illuminates it.

I had another productive day - finally finished our taxes. emoticon I'll tell you, working on those taxes had me longing for a cigarette. But no cigarette & I didn't eat off plan either. Big gold star. 5 days of eating being on track & the momentum just continues. May is the month I'm going to move out of the obese category & into overweight (4lbs away).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCH_ 5/4/2011 1:02PM

    A part of the past, obscured and shining, looking forward. I'm curious what sort of portrait you'd build around your daughter's face. very introspective.

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MIZCATHI 5/4/2011 9:57AM

    Lovely photo!

Taxes - ugh! I won't even go into the headache taxes have been in my last for the last 30 years.

Cigarettes - good work. They killed my Dad and working on killing my Mom and my son. You are doing the right thing.

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LINDAKAY228 5/3/2011 7:00PM

    I was late reading this and the last blog so I'm catching up now. I like the one you posted in this blog the best. Because you're whole face is in it. The other one cut off part of your face and I didn't like that. You do great photography!
Congratulations on healthy choices and handling stress well! And for not giving in to the cigarette craving, You've worked too hard on that to go back now,

Comment edited on: 5/3/2011 7:01:25 PM

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KSGROTHE 5/3/2011 6:47PM

    emoticon on getting your taxes done and resisting a cigarette! Here's your big gold star: emoticon

- Karen

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JESSIEJUICE 5/3/2011 1:15PM

    You'll blast through those 4 lbs! WAY to go!!!!!!

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LESLIES537 5/3/2011 12:00PM

    Ohhh, you're so close! You'll be overweight in no time! emoticon

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MARIE625 5/3/2011 9:50AM

    I also want to change my opinion. Mass murderer isn't right. But there's something very haunting about those eyes. I feel like the person owning those eyes would be someone locked inside themselves & also locked up in the insane asylum. But not one of the "crazy" patients who runs around being verbal and active. They belong to someone who just sits & stares 24/7. That person has a lot of rage in them but rather than acting out due to the rage, they've locked themselves in. Ok, again, I'm making no sense and I'm probably just shoving my foot deeper & deeper down my throat. I really, really, really don't mean to imply that you look like a crazy person. Really! Frankly, I'd never even have guessed that was a photo of you if you hadn't called it a self portrait. But those eyes... and the non-smile and the light & dark..... It's a very interesting picture. I'm drawn to it and can't stop paging up to look at it.

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MARIE625 5/3/2011 9:42AM

    Wow. My opinions on the 2 photos were way off base, huh!?! I really, really, really hope I didn't hurt any feelings with the mass murder comment.

Still friends??

Congrats on doing those taxes without a cigarette. I'm ashamed to admit I'd forgotten you've recently quit smoking. Wow. You are doing such a fantastic job of living healthily! I am SO proud of you for not replacing one bad habit with another.

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STARLIGHT615 5/3/2011 9:14AM

    Love the picture!! U look so sirene! love it!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 5/3/2011 8:37AM

    Super productive day! 5 gold stars for you!

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PCOH051610 5/3/2011 6:02AM

    Either way, both pictures were beautiful in their own right. Both had their strengths so it depends what you were looking for.

Glad to hear that we are not the only ones behind in our taxes! I HATE doing them even with a computerized program! Ha!

We are having a beautiful sunny day today and I hope you and Dog are too. I thought about you yesterday as Lou played in the river....brrrrrr..

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JLITT62 5/3/2011 5:45AM

    Good job! You certainly don't LOOK obese by any stretch of the imagination.

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    I always loved studying imagery at school. It's just a photo, right? But it represents and communicates so much more than that. And everybody's interpretation is different as well, we all bring our own context and it definitely influences our interpretation.
Good for you - resisting temptation!! Woo hoo!

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    HURRAY! It's late, so I had to whiz through your blog, but the thing that stood out the most to me was that you resisted a cigarette! WOo! Hoo!

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HYDROQUEEN 5/2/2011 10:58PM

    LOL! Your commentary makes me like #1 more now! Fantastic! Great job staying away from the smokes too. I quit 13 years ago and ended up smoking this past weekend. I like fresher air to enter my lungs now. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/2/2011 10:58:40 PM

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Building momentum with the little choices

Sunday, May 01, 2011

I used to be a perfectionist. I used to think that it was either be the absolute best - or be nothing at all. It used to be about maintaining a certain standard and believing that I would never move forward if I didn't. My life was transformed when I realized that perfectionism is a liar. It doesn't move me forward, it undermines my efforts & steers me off course.

So what does motivate me? Being kind to myself. Counting every healthy choice as a victory and using that to build momentum. Reminding myself that it's alright to be human and it's a process. I'm so much less likely to binge when I'm treating myself like I would my very best friend.

So today, I'm acknowledging my own little choices and building my own momentum. It's day 4 of being back on track and it's getting easier every day. Positive self-talk is a powerful tool.

emoticon Hubby wanted to stop at fast food. Tempted, I asked myself if that's what I really wanted & realized no. Told him it was ok if he wanted to order for himself, but I was going to eat healthy at home. He decided to skip the fast food too. Two for the price of one!

emoticon Ate clean even though it was a really busy day.

emoticon Tracked my food.

emoticon Stayed within calorie range

emoticon Hubby and I had a bit of an arguement - dealt with the emotional stress by going on a fast walk. Came back clear headed & able to accept his apology & see my part in it. Bonus: burned 250ish calories.

emoticon Was very productive - photographed an art exhibit opening, did a favour for a friend, cleaned house, resolved the issue with hubby, walked the dog, returned overdue library books and worked on personal photography projects. Very satisfying to have the energy just to do all this.

Here are two self-portrait pieces that I worked on. I only want to use one of the two pieces, but I'm not sure which one. I get so caught up in the nuances, I start losing all perspective.

Which one would you choose? Yes, I know it's totally subjective... and some people (like hubby, aargh), won't see much of a difference between the two. Still, which one?

For the curious & shutterbugs among you.... I am holding the camera just out of frame and taking a picture of my reflection. The patterns are from the lace curtains in the bedroom. No flash.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARIE625 5/3/2011 9:34AM

    First, Congrats! on making all those great healthy choices!

As for the photos... Ok, don't laugh. I'm totally unartistic and have no idea what I'm talking about. But, the first one looks dark and edgy. Like something you'd see on the cover of a book about vampires or mass murder. There's something about the eyes that makes me think this person is totally lost. (Sorry. I really, really don't mean to imply that you look like a mass murder. LOL) The second one reminds me of a biblical painting. I think it's the dark background with the light shining on your face. And again - the eyes. In this one, the eyes look like they are worshipping something. They are much more peaceful. Ok, I don't have a clue how to explain what I'm thinking but you don't even look like the same person in the 2 photos. Totally amazes me that you can do that with just light. And to have taken the photo yourself! Good grief! It took me about 50 tries to photograph my own knees after my fall. LOL I guess that's the difference between a professional photographer and someone who struggles to remember how to turn her camera on...
emoticon emoticon

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FIGURE_1 5/3/2011 4:38AM

    I like the second, but maybe correct the colour, it is a little washed out. They are both lovely.

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KSGROTHE 5/2/2011 7:49PM

    emoticon blog! I like the first photo the best. I think it's because you don't look as washed out and because both of your eyes are in the picture!

You're doing great! Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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PCOH051610 5/2/2011 6:39PM

    Another great blog. You have a lot of insightful wisdom and it is so nice that you can put those feelings into words to share with us.

As for the photos, both are fantastic but if I had to chose just one it would be the second one. Mind you, I have no idea what makes a great photo so I'm just saying what appeals to me the most!

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TABIKATZZ 5/2/2011 4:31PM

    Great job passing up the fast food! I like the first picture better. I like the feeling in your eyes and the way there is a hint of light in the eye closest to the camera.

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KANSASROSE67 5/2/2011 1:39PM

    As art I like the first one...more muted in lighting and your pose seems more appealing. As far as a flattering photo of YOU, I like the second! Not much help, sorry!

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HYDROQUEEN 5/2/2011 1:01PM

    Great job on your progress and your photos. I prefer the second. It seems hopeful to me. Like we all have some shadow on our life, but we can shine on through it. The first, while beautiful, seems dark and depressing to me. Of course, at art shows, the dark sinister stuff is very well received. LOL

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BANDMAMAPC 5/2/2011 10:31AM

    I like the first one. It makes you look like you tanned in that one. The other one washes you off.

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LESLIES537 5/2/2011 10:27AM

    Awesome blog! Sounds like you had quite the productive day! I really like your photographs, too. You are one talented woman! Good job, rock star!! emoticon emoticon

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LIVIN2LOVE1 5/2/2011 10:26AM

    They are both very interesting but I like the first best.

Great job using all of that energy!

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    I like the 2nd one the best... wow, your blog was great...

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 5/2/2011 9:49AM

    The little victories are what gets us through the chaos of this journey. I like the second pic, so beautiful!

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    Sounds like you had a pretty great day! Way to go for a walk when you were feeling stressed, that's a wonderful way to deal with it.

I like the first picture best, both because it shows your whole face and because the lighting and pose seem more muted and less harsh than in the second. I'm sure that whichever one you use will be great!

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SHEILA1505 5/2/2011 7:49AM

    Great work!
I like the wistful expression in the second pic and the light. It's definitely a more flattering pose too


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FRECKS96 5/2/2011 7:24AM

    I like the shadows better on the first one, but overall I prefer the second.

Congrats on a great day! I hope the week goes just as good for you.

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JLITT62 5/2/2011 5:17AM

    Boy, that's a toughie - but I like the light on your face better in the second one. They ARE very similar, yet so different, too. One looks as if you're thinking about the past ; the other as you're contemplating the future.

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    Kudos on counting the little victories!! They all add up - thanks for the reminder, lol.

Personally, I love, love, LOVE the second photo. There's something ethereal about it - like you are projecting your glow into a dark world...a beacon of hope and strength. To me the first one looks a little solitudinous...like you're trapped and hiding behind the curtain, looking out at the world but you can't be a part of it.

I love looking at your photos, you're such a fantastic photographer. Thanks for sharing so many of your pics!

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JESSIEJUICE 5/2/2011 1:14AM

    Sounds like a great day! Good for you to take a walk to clear your head- I always feel like I need a step back in arguments and that's a great way to get your space (and a workout). I like the first picture- especially loving the tilt of your head- HELLO CHEEKBONES! I'm glad your hubby ex-nayed the fast food... I often find that that's a behavior I want someone to indulge in with me... if they don't, I don't. (it has less calories if someone else is eating it too, don't know if you knew that ;). emoticon sounds like a great Sunday!

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UNICORN212 5/2/2011 12:33AM

    I like the first one, but only because it has your full face so I can see more of the expression thru the shadows. I think if the second one showed your full face I would like that one better. But they are both great! (I am not much help, am I???)

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Spring, at last!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm happy to say that I'm still on track. Paid the price for last week's struggles with a 1lb gain. Could have been worse.

We had very strong winds on Thursday. Hubby & I went out for a walk because it the wind was so warm & winter has been soooooo looooong. When we came back, we noticed a tree down - not touching the power poles. We didn't notice the tree that broke over our neighbour's roof or the one that fell on another neighbour's car. Turned out our area suffered quite a bit of damage - we were lucky not to have any problems. One nice thing about all that warm wind... it's melting the snow at a fantastic rate. The first picture was 10 days ago and the second today. Temps got up to 30C!

I am so happy that spring is here at last! I can help but smile when the sun is shining on my face. I feel myself shaking off the lethargy of winter and embracing the excitement and energy of spring.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRAVENEWGRL 5/1/2011 11:22PM

    Where do you live so I never move there? I'm over winter but ours isn't that bad :)

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SGTSUNNY 5/1/2011 4:50PM

    Woohoo Spring! Use it to your advantage, lets make May our month!

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LINDAKAY228 5/1/2011 3:38PM

    Wow what a difference 10 days makes! Spring always feels like a new beginning and coming out of the long cold to me. New life springing up all around, including within us.
Sorry for the damage in your area from the winds. Glad you're things and you guys were okay.

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MARIE625 5/1/2011 1:10PM

    Glad you didn't have any wind damage and even more glad that spring has finally found you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/1/2011 4:44AM

    So glad spring has finally found you! It does make a big difference! It really sprung around here this week with the tulips in full bloom & the crap apples blooming, too.

Unfortunately supposed to be really rainy again next week here.

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SHEILA1505 5/1/2011 2:57AM

    Glad that you are getting some good weather - and that you avoided the havoc caused by the wind

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    Me, TOO!!! I love the warmer weather!!!

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FRECKS96 4/30/2011 9:45PM

    Yay! Enjoy the weather!

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SUSANMOMOF6 4/30/2011 9:22PM

    Wow , what a difference and what a good comparison picture. I see a sermon in that somehow! Have a wonderful rest of your weekend-enjoy the lack of snow. It was supposed to rain all day here, but praise God the weatherman was wrong-7o and sunny! Got the grass cut, which is good. It was getting to be a jungle.


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Back on track & The Spark en Francais

Thursday, April 28, 2011

emoticonDid great with the food today. With the exception of my beloved 2 cups of coffee, I ate clean. I planned my day on the tracker this morning & stuck to it. I'm relieved that the pms-induced insanity has passed once more.

emoticonI tried a new recipe today: World's Best (Easiest) Salmon. MOMMALITTLE gave it 5 stars, so I had to try it out. Super yummy! 5 stars from me too. (here's the link: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-deta

emoticon It was so warm out today that if you squint your eyes so that you can't see the snow, you could almost pretend it was summer. It wasn't hard to convince hubby to join me on my walk today. He slows me down (ha ha - I remember when I was a turtle!), but it was nice to have his company for a change.

When we were out, the wind was just howling. The trees would swaying back and forth and we could hear them snapping in the nearby woods. When we returned to our little road, we could see one of the big trees snapped in half - fortunately away from the power lines & not damaging anything.
emoticon Phew

Oh, I almost forgot... when I was at the pharmacy yesterday, I look over at the shelf they have for health books and I see a familiar book jacket....

Isn't that cool?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAKAY228 4/29/2011 2:44PM

    The Spark in French is so cool! Glad that the weather is starting to warm up for you and that you and hubby enjoyed a great walk today. The wind breaking the trees could be a little scary though I think. I've heard of winds breaking large sections of trees down. I think it's a weather phenomenom called a "blow down" that I've seen on The Weather Channel. And I complain about the wind here!

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BELLEFAITH42 4/29/2011 12:37PM

    I make a very similar salmon recipe that uses brown sugar instead of the syrup but I will try with honey. We actually use frozen salmon filets, stick them in a pan, add the sauce and cook for about 20 minutes. No need to marinate, or thaw or anything. Its one of my kids favourite dishes! And where are you that you have snow still? I didn't think there were too many places colder than were I am (Ottawa)

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JESSIEJUICE 4/29/2011 12:23PM

    I've never seen it in a drugstore here- maybe this is a sign to remind me to pick up a copy :). Sounds like a lovely walk with hubs and great job on the eating!!

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LESLIES537 4/29/2011 11:58AM

    Way cool!! emoticon emoticon

Maybe if you squint long enough you'll forget about the snow! emoticon emoticon lol!

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SGTSUNNY 4/29/2011 11:18AM

    I will have to try that recipe! Have a great Friday and a good weekend. Keep up the good work, eating clean!

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MARCH_ 4/29/2011 9:52AM

    I like how you pulled yourself UP out of discouragement, and are so happy today. It's inspiring to me that you didn't let the "bad" days drag on. Thanks!

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KANSASROSE67 4/29/2011 9:03AM

    I'm going to try the salmon. I'm always looking for good seafood recipes because the only way we ate fish when I was growing up was breaded and fried!

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FRECKS96 4/29/2011 7:43AM

    Mmmm...I've made that salmon recipe too. Delish!!

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JLITT62 4/29/2011 5:43AM

    Nice to be back on track! And that IS cool to see at the Spark in French!

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SUSANMOMOF6 4/28/2011 11:52PM

    Since being on SP, I have discovered that I LOVE fish, especially salmon. I've tried that recipe, and I agree.... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Wasn't that salmon YUMMY!? I couldn't believe how easy it was! Of course, I had to use HONEY because I didn't have the syrup! emoticon

Drex walked with me tonight, too! It was about 73 and no wind, for once, for us!

Have a good night, my friend! emoticon

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This & that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sometimes it's really hard to start blogging. What do I want to say today?

I'm still not on track with eating... but the binge-insanity is over and I'm being much more reasonable. 1 piece of cake. 1 hamburger.

Went grocery shopping & realized, when I was unpacking, that I didn't buy any crap. Guess the binge is really over. Unless I bake. Note to self: don't bake.

Skipped my workouts yesterday and today. I need to do SOMETHING. Tonight, ST. Maybe a quick walk post-Corrie St.

Do I still have time to train for this triathlon given that I'm already 5 weeks behind my previous schedule? Maybe I'll look for a race a little later in the season. Maybe I'll just train and see where I'm at when I get there.

FEF Challenge this week is to drink 10 glass/day water. That is a LOT. I can hear the sloshing in my tummy. I'm on 6/10. Need to pick up the pace.

Seems to be a trend among sparkfriends who've been here 1yr+: moving back and forth with the same 5 lbs and not going anywhere fast. So hard to keep focused effort over the long term! I know that giving up isn't the answer... but what is? It's probably different for each of us. I need to really think on it. Every time I get stuck, it means there is a lesson here I need to learn.

Ooooh, there's my Corrie St. theme song.... off to watch my soap.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 4/28/2011 10:39AM

    Since you are a Corrie fan are you also a royal wedding fan? I watched the wedding between Diana and Charles curled up in my grandmother's bed on a black and white tv.....I was lucky enough to be sent to stay with her for a week or so and it was a wonderful time. Maybe this wedding I should visit my other grandmother and watch it with her?

Sorry to get off topic there. I'm glad to hear your grocery store trip was a healthy one. I bake rarely so that isn't an issue but having a husband who readily runs to the store for me is my downfall.

I'm sure you can still catch up with your training. You do have such dedication. How are you enjoying your bike riding? I have to dig mine out soon to see if I can work out a bit with that.

Take care of yourself.

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MIZCATHI 4/28/2011 8:43AM

    Just keep on truckin and training! You'll know what to do as you get closer.

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JLITT62 4/28/2011 5:21AM

    Keep going with your training. Looking for a later tri epwill just give more reasons not to work out. You can always decide to "try" a different one at a later date, but for now you need a goal to eork towards. My .02, anyway.

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UNICORN212 4/27/2011 11:25PM

    Yup - I am there! 16 months now, and I seem to be stuck again!

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LESLIES537 4/27/2011 10:41PM

    After you think on it let me know what you come up with! I'm sick of playing with these same 5 lbs too!! DOH! emoticon emoticon

And maybe you can count all those extra trips to the bathroom as exercise?! Shooting 2 birds with one stone there! lol emoticon

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    Blogging is tough for me too--mainly getting started. I was also in that 5 pound cycle for so long, that is why I started the Optifast program for a jump start.

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    *sigh* A year plus... yes. I think you're right. I think we flat-out get TIRED of regulating things, watching our points, and behaving ourselves! I think that may be why we need to PLAN to go nuts now and then, so we don't start feeling deprived, and hence, miserable. I'm thinking out loud for myself here, too, because I seem to find myself in the very same frame of mind. Ah, let's not give up, though! We've come too far, and we feel too GOOD to go back to how it USED to be! After all... we're WINNERS! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KSGROTHE 4/27/2011 6:39PM

    I understand the issue with getting started blogging. I think it's why I don't blog every day.

Good job avoiding the junk food on your shopping trip! I hope you get your workout in tonight.
Hang in there - you'll get unstuck soon! emoticon

- Karen

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