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TRENTDREAMER's Recent Blog Entries


Monday, April 26, 2010

So a couple of months ago I was floundering, motivation-wise. The weight loss was stagnant. Most of the decisions I had made in late 2009 were no longer paying off in early 2010. I did a good bit of soul searching to figure out something to get me motivated and came up with nothing.

A few weeks later, I just decided that I had about 12 weeks until Memorial day weekend so I should make a goal to hit my goal of 195. Then I can dawn the cargoes, cotton oxford shirt, sandals, white panama hat and Seersucker Jacket (sleeves rolled up of course) and hit the beach (*en1).

This morning I read another blog from someone struggling with motivation and then I had a flashback to a leadership class that I took a few years ago.

The instructor mentioned that one's motivation is based on the presence/abundance of three factors (if/when any of the three are missing, motivation is diminishes or disappears). The equation: M=DVF. M, the dependent variable of the equation, is motivation. The other three are as follows:

D: Dissatisfaction with the current situation.
* Let's face it, few of us started our SparkJourney with "Geez, I look great. I'm healthy. I'm really happy with my current physical state". We were dissatisfied with out health, appearance, clothing not fitting, etc. It motivates us to do something about it. Unfortunately, once we lose some weight we sometimes are not as dissatisfied and stagnate.

V: Vision of success.
* There is something that drives us. It's an image we see of when we finish losing weight. It may be a reunion, wedding, cotillion, or "Yo Mama" debate at the basketball court (*en2). It could involve a triathlon, half marathon, full marathon, double marathon or quadrupole marathon (*en3). When we're tempted to binge or make bad decisions, it's this vision that can inspire us to trudge on. Without it we will stay out of dissatisfaction, but flounder/struggle in reaching our goal.

F: First Step Success
* How well the first few steps go. I see it all the time. New Sparkie joins. They have a great first week and are excited. They have mediocre second week (not upset, but not happy). Then the weight loss slows, they have a few bad days, they get disheartened, stop blogging/tracking and then they are rarely or never heard from again. Those who take the perspective of overall health, new physical capabilities and clothes fitting can overcome this.

I hit frustration with my weight not going down, but really wasn't dissatisfied with where I was. I lacked a vision of what being a 195 pound Trentdreamer would be like. I didn't really like myself when I was 195 last time. I was at a plateau.

For lack of a better term, it took a blind faith of sorts that it would be worth it. If I gutted it out and lost the weight that good things would come. It has paid off. It was the best decision that I've made in my Spark Journey. I now am enjoying all of the spoils of weight loss once again.

If you are struggling with your motivation, analyze all three. Ask yourself the tough questions:
* Am I really dissatisfied with my health/my physical appearance/my physical fitness/my dancing llama
? (*en4)
* Do I have a vision of what my life will be like at the other end of the rainbow? What am I really striving for? Forget satisfaction, what does awesome look like!?
* What is a new set of first step that I can take to reignite the spark and get back on track?

Find out where you are stuck. Which independent variable is holding you back?

As these really cute cats and kittens would say....

Y'all said a mouthful, kitties!!!

195 by 5.29!

- TD Out!

Editor's notes:
(*en1) You think he's kidding, but he's totally not.
(*en2) Admit it, they ARE fun!
(*en3) This from a guy who gets winded if he has to climb 2 flights of stairs.
(*en4) He's just checking to see if you're still reading at this point. I wouldn't be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SROBBINS02 5/1/2010 4:12AM

    Just what I needed emoticon emoticon

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HICALGAL 4/28/2010 9:45PM

    hi Trent, like how you give;) and congrats on getting over that hump to get you where you are today!

en1 - nope, actually pictured you wearing them and i was right there with ya in my matching white panama hat, blouse and shorts..of course can't go without my shocking bright neon pink flip flops...j/k...;) weather must be cooler there than here cause you'd be peeling all those clothes off within an hr after arriving at the beach. beach attire in hawaii...swimming trunks, slippers (flip flops) and a surfboard.

en4 - will it work for my dancing cow too?? emoticon

enjoy the rest of your week and thanks for the nice made me smile and i appreciate it!!

195 x 5.29 yes you can...make it happen!!! emoticon emoticon

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STEELERCRAZY 4/26/2010 11:17PM

    Trent, do you realize just HOW AWESOME YOU ARE??? Seriously, do you know that you motivate people, make them thing, rethink their priorities? Well, you do ME. Your blogs are always so well-written and you are such a great shows through every word, every sentence, every punctuation mark! I feel so privileged for knowing you.

I promise I will never drive a car without brakes again. I wouldn't want to miss out on anymore of your blogs and kind words.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AZCUPCAKE 4/26/2010 6:59PM

    You know, your scientific approach/explanation of WHY this whole journey is successful (or UNsuccessful, for that matter!) is mind-bogglingly CLEAR. M = DVF: This simple formula dispels all the myths we hide behind when we finally realize that moment: the THIS IS IT moment, when we are at the last pair of pants in the closet and yes, they FIT, but it is because they are the FAT PANTS that we HAVE to wear, not the ones we WANT to wear. We don't initially think of this journey as a lifestyle change; just a YO-MAMA fantasy in front of all of the old boy/girlfriends, or the wedding/reunion when we were going to "show" those people who look at us funny, but twelve weeks later we didn't give up the candy and ice cream for longer than three days. We have to be in this thing as if we are a living science experiment that will yield great results -- IF IF IF we use the FORMULA! The formula is our FRIEND, not our FOE!! And I for one am going to post it on my refrigerator and bathroom mirror and even on the BOX OF NUTRI-GRAIN BARS in the secret snack cubby I keep for the kids' lunchboxes! (Funny thing I discovered: eating several Nutrigrain bars a day is really NOT part of the formula....!)

You are one smart dude, Mr. TRENTDREAMER. I am so fortunate to be in your science class!! Now I have to go and study the materials you have just provided, in case you decide to give us a pop quiz tomorrow! emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 4/26/2010 6:03PM

    I'm going to print this blog for reference, you did a great job. And interestingly enough, I hit 195 yesterday and I was so ecstatic..... I weighted 199 back in Feb. and despite all my efforts - dieting, tracking, exercising - I stayed almost at the same number until yesterday.... so Yeah!! hopefully this plateau is over and I am on my way to success again. GOod luck to you too!

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5 Weeks + (-10 Pounds) = 195 by 5.29!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Goal: 195 by 5.29
Last Week: 205.4
This Week: 204.6

Admittedly, I was hoping for a slightly lower number.

At the same time:
* I'm still in the game (9.6 pounds in 5 weeks is aggressive, but doable)
* I ate a late dinner last night. It was light, but still...
* I had a huge loss last week (3 pounds).
* My midweek weigh-in had me at 204.0
* My eating has never been this under control. Most days I'm sticking to my calorie range.
* I'm Consuming at least 4 servings of whole grains most days
* Really varying the foods that I'm eating.
* I've found a really awesome class at my gym (yes I will blog about it)
* With the exercises that I'm doing, the cargoes are going to fit by May 29, even if I stay the same weight.

There is a real possibility that I could lose a full two pounds or slightly more next week and still be in the game.

This week, I'm going to really push the exercise (cardio at least 4 times. Weights/core 3 times). Hoping for 203 or below next week.

195 by 5.29!!

- TD Out

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CWOMACK138 4/25/2010 8:11PM

    emoticon emoticon You are absolutely rocking Trent - congrats to you!!!

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GINGERLY4 4/25/2010 6:10PM


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ROXIEGIRL59 4/24/2010 1:54PM

    Trent~~~~You work it!!! what a fabulous job you are doing--you give us all inspiration emoticon Thank you~~~your OWs friend--Roxie

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AZCUPCAKE 4/24/2010 1:47PM

    I wanna hear about your awesome class you found! You need to spill the beans soon to all your pals! Good job on your eating -- no wonder you are down another three whole pounds this past week....AWESOME!! You are one focused, lean, mean TD MACHINE! Have a great weekend! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITGRL124 4/24/2010 10:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

Keep up the hard work! You're doing great!

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GSREMUS5 4/24/2010 10:29AM

  Sounds like you got it! Good Luck!!

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The Power of Negative Thinking (Part III): "They Don't Care!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Throughout the mid to late 00's, I was blessed in a very dark macabre way. I've seen quite a few people (friends, acquaintances, family and co-workers) fall to problems stemming from unhealthy living.

A relative of mine can't raise his arms above shoulder level because of a fall that he took (he's well over 200 pounds with not enough muscle to catch himself). A friend's father had a stroke (Most angry, high strung man I've ever met). An overweight former friend is getting her hips replaced (she's only 42 years old). A boss I used to work for was hospitalized for 5 weeks and was told that he had to give up a lot of foods that he liked (his diet was dominantly doughnuts and munchkins.).

And then there's the 34 year old woman that I used to go to church with. She's getting knee surgery. Again, she's only 34. To put it nicely, she's a big girl who likes her carbs. She stands all day, but even so. I reiterate: She's 34 and needs knee surgery.

I usually like to write generally positive blogs. I like to talk about great victories, beaches, cargoes, closeness to goals, being 195 by 5.29, how one can positively motivate themselves, etc. Tonight though, there is something that is really REALLY heavy on my heart that I want to say.

If you are living unhealthfully (eating a lot of sugary, fatty and salty foods and exercising irregularly or not at all), there are some harsh realities you may have to face if you don't change. Simply put, "They don't care"

Diabetes Doesn't Care:
* Diabetes doesn't care that you wanted to give up sugar.
* It doesn't care that you feel guilty about not being able to.
* It doesn't care that you needed comfort and tried to find it in chocolate chip cookies, ice-cream, cake or candy. It doesn't care.
**A stroke can end your life or, worse, make it a small fraction of what it is today. Diabetes can lead to said stroke.

Heart Disease Doesn't Care:
* Heart disease doesn't care that you meant to start exercising.
* It doesn't care that you meant to give up high cholesterol and salty junk foods and meats.
* It doesn't care that the leaner, less salty and/or lower cholesterol versions of (and substitutes for) the foods that you eat don't taste as good or feel as good when eating.
** A heart attack can come completely without warning and can easily take your life before 911 is even dialed.

Your Knees and Hips Don't Care:
* Your knees don't care that you wanted to live healthier and lose weight
* They don't care that you hated being overweight.
* They don't care that you hated the pain you felt when walking.
**They just get weaker and weaker until they need replacement.

All of that being said please let me encourage you. It was from seeing three of the people I talked about earlier face the music that I made the second biggest/most important decision of my life. I decided that I will not end up as they did if I have any say in the matter.

It was from them that I made the decision to change the way that I live my life from a health perspective. I say this with the humility of being one who chose to live as they have chosen to: "I no longer choose to live that way". I may still end up with one, some, many or all of the conditions that they faced. I'm going to fight that though.

I love you and want you to live long and live healthfully. At least one of the five people I mentioned knows that they are probably going to have a heart attack or stroke if they don't change. They know what they have to do to to change. But they won't change. They just keep saying that they know that they need to. It scares me. Please don't be like them.

Please PLEASE make the decision to live differently if you need to so that you don't wake up one day 10-20 years down the road a shadow of what you could have been health-wise. Don't wind up a slave to medication and have to worry about all of the things that you can't eat. Please.


Diabetes and heart disease don't care about you.

But I do.

- TD Out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAMOTIVATION 4/24/2010 12:09PM

    Amen, brother. I was once in that "stuck" place. No amount of positive intent will compensate for a lack of picking up the reins and actually doing what needs to be done.

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AZCUPCAKE 4/22/2010 12:21PM

    You really know how to touch a person's heart with THE TRUTH -- in a caring way. Thank you for these reminders that no one has a gun in their back to eat like a hog at the trough! There are so many good foods that are healthy, too. AND, as is the case for me, food and eating do not solve non-food-related issues! I have to keep this in mind every single day that a Twix bar is NOT my friend when I feel lonely, ugly, fat, stupid, etc.! Heart disease and diabetes are killers that don't discriminate -- they will take any "victims" they are so right on, and I appreciate your powerful message! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/22/2010 12:23:02 PM

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STEELERCRAZY 4/21/2010 11:20PM

    This really touched brother was overweight also and his life ended this past January; one day before my birthday, two days after New Years Day. You think losing your parents to heart disease is difficult enough, but losing a big brother is especially hard to swallow. See, this is how I know you really care about other people. You are making a plea. You are telling the cold hard facts. Fast food markets don't care, national brand name chains don't give a crap. We have to care enough ABOUT OURSELVES to want to make the change. Thank you for putting this out there. Thanks for reminding me to keep an eye on what I am putting in my mouth.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SROBBINS02 4/21/2010 4:05PM

    Wow. Good blog. Love ya too emoticon

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EMMIEKAE 4/21/2010 8:44AM

  What an excellent Blog, Trent! Well put! Too bad that most of the people this needs to get to are NOT on Spark People. This is the kind of thing I want to print out and start leaving on people's windshields at the local McDonald's parking lot!

Keep up the good work! I'm so excited for 195 by 5.29... FOR you!

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CWOMACK138 4/21/2010 8:33AM

    Love this Trent - I'm going to share your blog to my younger sister right now who is up around 275 (and is only like 5'2" and keeps saying she "needs to do something" about it. I really worry about her and want her to be around for us to grow old together.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 4/21/2010 7:40AM

    Can I get a hallelu?! Hehe, just kidding, but seriously my friend--well said. It's so hard watching people live unhealthy lifestyles and be completely in denial of the consequences of their poor choices. Your blog did not speak directly to this, but I also have a lot of friends who are not at an unhealthy weight (yet), but are smokers. It's a hard subject to breach because you know if you speak about the dangers of smoking, you can come across as condescending. I may have to blog about this too someday. This blog rocks :)

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HICALGAL 4/21/2010 2:10AM

    what also bothers me is how some rely on medicine as a cure all when it only hides the symptoms and the source of the problem still remains. we need to care enough to want change and do the work...but change doesn't always come easy. the best we can do is lead by example for our loved ones. thanks for caring...back at ya. emoticon emoticon

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    Thanks for caring enough to share this blog. I want a healthier lifestyle too. emoticon

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Weigh In!? More Like....Weigh Cool!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm just sayin'

Goal: 195
Last Week: 208.4
This Week: 205.4

OK, we did well this week. I said last week that If I wasn't below 207 that I would probably have to rethink the whole 195 pound by labor day goal (2 pounds a week is tough enough. Anything above that is plain ol' not healthy). Well, the game is still on. STILL ON!!!!! Whooooo!!

The cargoes still fit a bit snugly. I could probably wear them to the mall or the beach for a couple of hours with an untucked t-shirt, polo or t-over thermal combo over them. Definitely not for more than a couple of hours. They are not ready to be worn to work. Pilates, bootcamp and kickboxing (not to mention good healthy eating) will take care of the snugness.

Besides, I'm saving them for the big weekend

BTW: For those who don't remember the great GAP Khaki craze of the late 1990's that I alluded to in a previous blog, let these commercials jolt the memory:

I'm putting the FV quest on hold. For the remaining 6 weeks of my 195 pound/beach/cargoes quest, my focus will be on whole grains and lean protein. Exercise is going to be what brings me home on this.

So there you have it: 195 by 5.29

TD Out!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SROBBINS02 4/19/2010 8:52PM

    you're totally going to do it. But, bet you look hot already, YOU just don't know it. I, however, knows it. emoticon

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AZCUPCAKE 4/19/2010 12:04PM

    Way to go, Trent - now it is time to mix it up and surprise your body with some whole grains and protein! Keep it guessing!! You are one smart guy! I can see success written all over that 195 by 529 billboard that is down the road (but not too far down the road anymore! Yay!).....don't stop believing in the power of the CARGOES! You are doing this the RIGHT WAY! emoticon

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KRITKRIT 4/19/2010 11:25AM

    I knew you could do it! I have faith TD, I have faith.


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CWOMACK138 4/18/2010 6:44AM


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SPIFFYCAT 4/17/2010 8:09AM

    Well done.... emoticon

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FITGRL124 4/17/2010 7:37AM

    emoticon job Trent! You are SO going to get to that 195 goal and soon...I can feel it! Keep up the emoticon job!!!!


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HICALGAL 4/17/2010 6:51AM

    weigh cool Trent!!

one of these days i'm going to learn the swing...looks like a great way to get my sweat on!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

All right! Here's the deal!!

Deal: Hi!
TD: Hi Deal!

When I was first accepted at University I wanted to get into the Honor's Program. With my solid B-minus high school gpa, the HP rep kind of indicated that I should take "regular" classes and see how I did. That semester I took said regular classes and got a 3.9. I was sent a letter indicating that I should sign up for an Honor's class.

I did, took an honors level course and very unceremoniously got my 455 handed to me. Got another bad grade to boot. Now most sane/smart people would have said, "OK, maybe I should rethink this. Perhaps this plan wasn't meant to be. Me? Nahhhhhhhh. It was right when I opened up that semester's report card that I made a decision.

I was going to graduate with Honor's. Not regular honors, not Magna Cum Laude. No, I was going to graduate SUMMA Cum Laude (Latin for "Studies Friday Nights").

I looked at my current GPA and did the calculations to determine what it would take and I came up with the two part solution:
Part 1: Get a crap load of A's
Part 2: Get practically nothing below an A in any classes over the next 3 years.

It was extreme. It was tough. But three years, three burnouts, two flabbergasted girlfriends , and one failed thesis defense later I confirmed with the Honor's office that I had gotten the grades necessary to graduate SCL. Give the dreamer his due, victory was in fact mine.

So how does that apply to me and my weight loss?

Deal: How does it?
TD: I'm glad you asked, Deal. I've had a bad weekend eating. I literally need 7 consecutive two pound loss weeks to make my goal of weighing 195 pounds by May 29. I should give up. I should be reasonable and move out the date. I should put less pressure on myself and lower the goal.

But I'm not going to.

I am going to fight with every weapon and last breath so that on May 29 I will weigh 195 pounds. Everything that I eat over the next 50 or so days will be with the questions of whether it will help or hurt my goals.

I didn't tolerate failure then. I won't tolerate it now.

The one thing that's different now is that I have friends on my side. Seriously, I love you all. Any advice on how to pull big numbers would be greatly appreciated.

Ead-re aye-me ips-le (Pig Latin for "Here's what it is, YO!"),

195 by 5.29!!

- TD out

Deal: Bye!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1DEBIE1 4/13/2010 12:14PM

    Oh YEAH RIGHT Suma = Studies really means studies all the DARN time and getting a GPA of 3.9....I KNOW how challenging THAT Honor is and you are such a crazy and wild animal, you DESERVE to achieve this greatness!!!!

Love how you meld your academics with your weight loss. Then again, whatever we we step into affects wholly and it does take one to step back and realize the connect to our inner self....GOOD JOB Mr. T!!

Good inspiration and I adore your motivation

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TSEWARD 4/12/2010 6:25PM

    HOWDY! What a great way to summon rock solid determination....looking back on a previous amazing success and how you reached it. I agree with SROBBINS02 about burnouts. You are likely young and vigorous, but at the ripe age of 32, my body no longer tolerates burnouts. But....Your goals are such that reaching them should make you stronger. So Go For it DUDE! It is fantastic that you have analyzed yourself and opted to accept no excuses in your quest to reach your goal. This is huge. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that you are giving your best.

Thank you so very very (did I mention very) much for your encouraging and caring comments while I was out freaking out. My surgery has gone well, now I just need to stay off my foot and heal. And eat right. That will be tough to get started. But I am confident I can do it! (no. way. yes, way.) I want to heal quickly and well. Sending you lots of thank you's!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/12/2010 6:26:23 PM

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SROBBINS02 4/12/2010 3:02PM

    I am SO impressed with your degree and all the random clever words- I think, as I know you do, that how you accomplished that desire shows how you can apply yourself when you've made up your mind to do something difficult, something that you want.

On the other hand, burnouts are not good. It's important to learn from experience; and if your college experience taught you that you can be single-minded and ambitious and succeed, it hopefully also taught you (or hey, suggests to me) that concentrating on one thing to the exclusion of everything else (I'm extrapolating from the flabbergasted gfs) is not necessarily a great thing... life's there to be enjoyed, and part of that is reaching goals in a way that isn't detrimental in the long run. God I sound preachy.

And..... WATER!! emoticon

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AZCUPCAKE 4/12/2010 11:48AM

    DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! LOTS!! I am serious!! You will be surprised at what happens!! It is not the most exciting thing in the world to fill yourself up with, but I can tell you are in MISSION MODE now -- so JUST DO THIS THING! I am on the sidelines cheering for you: What does TRENTDREAMER need? What does TRENTDREAMER want?? V-I-C-T-O-R-Y! WATER! WATER! YAY!!! (Repeat as many times as needed with the pom-pom action included!) emoticon You are a WINNER, and you are going to git 'er done! I HAVE FAITH IN YOU!!! emoticon

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PHOXYM 4/12/2010 10:54AM

    OMG where the heck have I been???? I forgot how amazingly great your blogs are!!!! I mean where do you come up with "here's what it is, Yo" and then to make it pig latin??? Fantastic!!!

Great story by the way, and I am mucho impressed and that right there is enough motivation for us both!!!

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STEELERCRAZY 4/12/2010 12:05AM

    This is how I see it. You THRIVE under pressure. You do your BEST when you're under pressure. You HAVE to make it challenging because that makes it all the more worthwhile. I KNOW you're going to make your goal weight and I know you're going to do it the only way you know how! With precision and true grit. Warrior-style! Definitely, just like HICALGAL said, no simple carbs! Sweat it up! Just make sure you take in lots of water. No diet sodas!

You're an inspiration to me. Love ya, dude....


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HICALGAL 4/11/2010 9:28PM

    that's the Trent i've come to know...woot!!

on big numbers the 'healthy' way...avoid simple carbs (sugar, white flour, rice, bread, etc..) and get your sweat on a minimum 6 days a wk, 30 mins.

ps...thanks for the mini latin/pig latin lessons...i needed a good laugh!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELSCO55 4/11/2010 7:09PM

    Congrats on your academic success. Your weight goal may be within your reach, but don't do anything foolish to get there.

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