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VADAVICTORIA's Recent Blog Entries

V-52: Vada's Victory @ 52 Weeks - One Year To Prove That I CAN - February edition

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Overall Health Goal:
Maintain below 54.5kg + Get Moving + Self-confidence and Kindness + Try New Things! + Let Go of Worries and Anxieties

- I am enjoying the benefits of health and I want to keep on enjoying.
- I want to be physically strong. Exercise makes me feel good and it strengthens my body.
- I want to raise my self-esteem so that I can become a productive, contributing member of society.
- I want to be good, gentle and kind person. I want people to see my good heart.
- I want to do more so I can be more.
- I want to empower myself.
- I want to be a calmer person.

Added motivation: Maintenance Reward Fund
- Drop Php20 for every day that I’ve stayed within range
- Drop Php100 for every week that I’ve stayed within range (7 consecutive days)

As of January 31, 2012: I have Php 1,380 ($32) in Maintenance Reward Fund.

Added motivation: Daily affirmations and quotes written in Kate Spade Planner

Added motivation: Bi-weekly reminders of maintenance target dates programmed into my IPhone calendar (with alerts!)

Added motivation: SparkPeople Challenges, Trophies and Points!

- Food:
o Plan Weekly Menu in advance – by Wednesday every week
o Track daily food intake in New You Forum and IPhone

- Exercise: Get at least 45 mins of cardio 4x a week + follow Spark People Strength Training Plan
o For Cardio: Pick Workout from my Exercise Jar
o Log in after each workout and note how it makes you feel – Use exercise notes section of Spark People
o 30-sec plank – 7x a week

- Mind and Spirit:
o Attend Mass 2x a week – once on Sundays
o 5 minute meditation before I go to sleep – 3x a week
o Declutter Mode – throw out 1 thing – 7x a week
o Read 10 pages of my current book everyday.
o Finish writing affirmations/inspirational quotes in Kate Spade Planner for the month of July 2012

February Bucket List

• Run a 3K.
• Have a red velvet cupcake on V-day.
• Try Brussel sprouts, mangosteen, and persimmons.
• Bake butterscotch white choc blondies and brownies and share with friends.
• Attend a spiritual recollection.
• Finish Level 1 of wall climbing.
• Experience a body scrub.
• Visit an art exhibit with my mom.
• Start a mini garden.
• Grant a wish through the Make a Wish Foundation.
• Go for an acupuncture or cupping session!

SparkChallenges Accepted

1. Springiest Maintainer Challenge (At Goal and Maintaining)

Goal: Maintain weight until Spring! Monday Weigh Ins

2. Back into that Bikini Challenge (Living healthy in Our 20s)

Goal: Focus on two SparkPoint-generating goals.
→ 45-mins cardio at least 4x a week.
→ Track at least one meal using Nutrition Tracker every day.

3. February Challenge (Positively Yours… a License to Succeed)

Goal: Pledged Minutes = 1000. Post minutes every day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MLIANNE 2/2/2012 10:46AM

    You're amazing, buddy! I'm super excited for you! I'll be there poking you with a stick (virtually) to remind you about your goals! You can do it!! WE can do it! Ya!

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BRIGHTEYED49 2/1/2012 11:47AM

    Wow, you are on a roll! It's such an inspiration to see someone confidently reaching for their goals. You have such a successful track record, I know you can do it! And it looks like it'll be a lot of fun, too. Best wishes, and I'll see you around the "Ab Burner" team!

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NATURALROCKS 2/1/2012 7:01AM

    I love the bucket list!! I think this is something I will think about today as well. It is great that you are so motivated in this phase since most people get there and think they are done.

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SHIROIHANA 1/31/2012 3:09PM

    It's a shame I can't try the brownies you'll be making. Let us know how the rock climbing went... you've done well before, I'm sure you will easily conquer Level 1. Continue doing awesome and good luck on your February bucket list.

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REVIVINGFAITH 1/31/2012 11:41AM

    some really great ideas here! I may steal a few of them for my own goal setting strategies ;)

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BOOKWORM27S 1/31/2012 11:22AM

    Wow, I love this list!

Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables! Tip; If you overcook brussel sprouts, then they taste and smell terrible. I LOVE persimmons, unfortunately in Texas, USA we have a very short lived season to enjoy them. I like to cut up a really ripe Fuyu Japanese persimmon with raisins, 2% cottage cheese and a sprinkle of ground cloves. Makes a yummy snack!


Comment edited on: 1/31/2012 11:24:13 AM

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TERRRI 1/31/2012 10:53AM

    I like the idea of having a bucket list for one month at a time!

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PATTYCAKE17 1/31/2012 10:30AM

    emoticon emoticonYou certainly are a busy lady. It's one way of keeping yourself away from the fridge! Good for you. Make your maintanance as enjoyable as possible. When we really like something we tend to want to keep it!!


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MS.ELENI 1/31/2012 10:26AM

    Quite a list emoticon

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V-52: January Review

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's the first time I made a detailed list of monthly goals and since the first month of 2012 has come to a close, I'm taking the time to reflect on and assess how I did. january went by really fast, too fast!

January 2012 Goals


o Maintain below 54.5kg - emoticon emoticon emoticon Highest Weight this month was 53.2kg (due to water retention and bloat), Lowest was 51.5kg! Today I weighed in at 52.5kg.


o Plan Weekly Menu in advance – by Wednesday every week - emoticon Managed to churn out a weekly menu. Didn't always finish it on a Wednesday but at least I got it in by the weekend, just in time for grocery shopping. YAY!

o Track daily food intake in Kate Spade Planner - emoticon - Didn't use Kate to track what I ate but I did track daily on my Phone and transferred into my journal in another site (


- Get at least 45 mins of cardio 3x a week - emoticon - As per Spark Reports, this January, I burned 11,006 calories, exercised every day, and clocked in 2,243 Fitness Minutes! emoticon

- Follow Spark People Strength Training Plan - emoticon - didn't get to follow them regularly but that's okay cos most of the ST exercises were incorporated in my cardio workouts (i.e. bootcamp, circuit training). Will try to be more religious about SP ST next month.

o For Cardio: Pick Workout from my Exercise Jar - emoticon - I'd use the Exercise Jar whenever I was feeling lazy/indecisive. There were times, especially on weekends, when I'd choose my workout or try something new.

o Log in after each workout and note how it makes you feel – Use exercise notes section of Spark People - emoticon - Very helpful! I'd note how the workout made me feel, what I loved about the workout and points for improvement. Must review my Noes report. I do this after logging in my Fitness minutes.

Mind and Spirit:

o Attend Mass 2x a week – once on Sundays - emoticon Love spending time with God.

o Read 1 book - emoticon I finished The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma just in time and even managed to start a new one, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Learned a lot from The Monk - live simply, breathe deeply, wake up early... will have to read it again to fully absorb it.

o Finish writing affirmations/inspirational quotes in Kate Spade Planner for the month of June 2012 - emoticon

I'm ecstatic that I was able to stick to my goals. I feel like I did pretty okay. Granted I modified some along the way but I guess that's good because goals aren't supposed to be rigid anyway - they have to grow and move with you. At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you!

February is another opportunity to PROVE THAT I CAN! Posting my goals in another entry as well as on my actual SparkPage.

emoticon SparkFriends for the support!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MLIANNE 2/1/2012 11:58AM

    Yay!!! So excited for you :) Next upcoming goal - visit me in India! YA! He he.

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SHIROIHANA 1/31/2012 3:06PM

    This is a nice set of accomplishments you got going for you Vada. I know you will do awesome in February.

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GIANTMICROBE 1/31/2012 12:05PM

    Wow! Sounds like a great month! I keep meaning to make myself a workout jar... maybe for February I will :)

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Sit Yups!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I thought of skipping my workout this morning since my a/c was busted but i just couldn't do it. I had to move! I was tryig to figure out what to do and then I came across the sparkpeople seated workouts. Perfect, i thought - this should be easy peasy. While it wasnt as as intense as a normal standing workout, it was more challenging than i expected! And it provides more support so you can focus on particular muscles! Now i have moves that i can do while seated for when im at work or when im bumming around at home watching shows. So happy! I tried the seated cardio, seated core and seated upper body workouts.

Work today was good - hardly any dull moments. There was food tasting again after the meeting. Low calorie soups, chocolate covered strawberries and red velvet cake! Didnt have any though cos i wanted to save my appetite for lunch. I was a good girl. It may seems like i'm still stuck in the diet mentality but truth is, im really just trying to fill my body with the most nutritious food. If it's something rich or sugary, I don't want to eat just any random thing - I want to make sure that it's high quality stuff.

Ooh and lastly, wanted to share something i got from a work colleague. She was watching the golden globes last weekend and one of the winners said something that struck her - and it struck me too. In her speech, the winner said that the 2 most important days in a person's life is one, the day you're born and two, the day you figure out why. (Apparently, it's a Mark Twain quote.) Powerful stuff right there and totally in line with the priest's homily in today's mass. He talked about fulfilling our life's mission by figuring out our greatest attraction and gravitating towards that.

Life's good. Can't believe the first month of 2012 is almost over! Will do a January goals review and work on my February goals tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGINGSAM 1/31/2012 10:14AM

    Great quote! I'm glad you got some exercise in too!


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MISTYBLUE716 1/30/2012 4:39PM

    That quote is awesome! have a great week!

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FITNESSMONSTER8 1/30/2012 3:09PM

    Awesome job staying on track with your eating! emoticon

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MS.ELENI 1/30/2012 2:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BHOLMAN1005 1/30/2012 12:05PM

    Good for you. I'm impressed with the before and after pictures. emoticon

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SHIROIHANA 1/30/2012 10:43AM

    Thanks for sharing the lovely quote. Congrats on not taking any of those sweets Vada. It's not a diet for you, your mindset is already programmed to want clean foods. This is why you will make it to your next lunar cycle.

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I Bought the Shampoo

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I started the day right with an amped-up, butt-kicking workout, thanks to Billy Blanks (of Tae Bo fame). Had a relaxing morning, managed to read a few pages of my current book pick: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

I dropped my mom off at the airport at around 11am then went to the salon for my hair appointment which had been scheduled since December! It was one of the Groupon deals and it's the one of the best ones I've scored. I got a haircut, blowdry, Keratin treatment (straightens your hair) and a back massage all for USD 75, when it would normally have cost about USD 300 (The Keratin treatment alone is pretty pricey). I loved the people in the salon and the stylist was able to fix my mushroom pouf hair. Was so amazed that I actually looked neat and polished that I couldn't stop staring in the mirror.

Only downside is that I can't wash my hair (or tie it or sweat too much) for the next 3 days so I'm going to have to workout lightly ... with the a/c turned up. Can't miss a workout!

Salon people over here usually tend to push hair products on their clients but the stylist in this salon didn't, which I find really professional. I had to be the one to ask what shampoo I should use to maintain the effects of the treatment and he didn't name a brand, he just said it has to be sulfate-free. I even had to be the one ask if they had anything available. He explained what they had and even recommended that I get the cheaper one since they're basically just the same. I love that they weren't pushy at all.

Anyway. I don't usually spend too much money on hair products - I just usually use whatever shampoo my mom buys. But today, somewhere between the brushing and the blow dry, I realized something in line with maintenance - weight loss or otherwise. [U][B]If you want long-term, lasting results, you have to make the investment. [/B][/U] Investment can come in the form of money or time or effort.

It's pretty simple actually - If I want to make my hair treatment last long and I want to maintain its intended effect, I have to use the proper shampoo. Same with this maintenance journey - If I want to stay within range, I have to make time and put in the effort. That's it! I know it's easier said than done [B][U][COLOR="Red"]but guess what, we are so worth it. [/COLOR][/U][/B] Just the other day, I was thinking how tiring it is to plan out a menu or to wake up before dawn to get my work out in, whine whine whine but today's realization has re-energized, re-invigorated and re-focused me. This is the first time I've bought a fancy-schmancy shampoo from a salon and I'm glad I did because it'll remind to care for myself. After years of many salon treatments, it's the first time I've felt that I'm 'worthy' of a USD20 shampoo.

Now I see that it all boils down to self-esteem and self-respect. Back when I was obese, I never thought about caring for myself - physically, spiritually, mentally. I never even tried to make the effort probably because I felt ugly and undeserving. Now I see myself in a new light - not a selfish or self-centered way; it's about self-improvement so that I can be the best me I can be.

While I had a tough week dealing with the bloated feeling and weight fluctuations, I managed to power through. It was definitely a test of body acceptance. I am slowly but surely learning to love, respect and care for the new me.

After my salon epiphany, I headed to my favorite place on Earth - the supermarket! I bought new things to try out for next week - Kashi Go Lean Crunch (haven't tried this variant), wholewheat tortillas (less than 30g a piece), tofu, cottage cheese and a frozen low-calorie meal]. The variant I got is the asian tofu with brown rice and it's approx. 300 calories. I'm adding grilled veggies to it though when I have it for lunch tomorrow.

Ended the day with Mass. The priest even related the gospel to food and diet. He reminded us that we are what we eat. Put in too much fat, we become fat. We have to nourish ourselves properly, he said, so that we can live out our lives properly. Same with feeding our spirit and our faith - we have to nourish ourselves with God's word so that we can live in His grace.

I love it when things come full circle.

Great day indeed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHIROIHANA 1/30/2012 10:38AM

    Isn't Billy Blanks awesome?!! Loved working out to his DVDs. His abs workouts are still one of the best out there. No worries Vada, you will be able to wash your hair soon. Have a nice week!

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RYDERB 1/29/2012 12:11PM

    "Investment can come in the form of money or time or effort." That's great advice! We all need to continue to invest in ourselves, because we're worth it! Thanks for the reminder! You're definitely DONE! Welcome to the team! emoticon

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VADAVICTORIA 1/28/2012 8:08PM

    @Veg: Just tried the Honey-Almond variant this morning -- it was good and the sweetness was alright but I think I prefer Original.

@Susan: Ooh thanks for the baby powder tip. Does the keratin treatment really last for 3-4 months?

@Tanya: You are definitely worth it!

@YCoolio: I'm a much calmer person now. You're right, once you respect yourself, you learn to respect others. Awesome feeling, awesome outcome.

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J0ETTE 1/28/2012 8:08PM

    Wonderful day! Taking care of you. I enjoyed reading your blog. :)

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YCOOLIO 1/28/2012 11:03AM

    awesome day and and an awesome post. You know, once you realize you are worthy of respect, decisions come so much more naturally, don't you think? Interestingly, being kind and good to others come more naturally as it does make the world a better place if you take care of yourself. Well done!

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TANYAP71 1/28/2012 10:29AM

    Nice realizations and great deal at the salon! I too only started buying good hair products after I started this journey (actually JUST after so I was still quite heavy). All tied together with the idea that I *am* worth taking care of... that not taking care of me really isn't helping me take care of anyone else.

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SEPPIESUSAN 1/28/2012 10:01AM

    When I had my keratin hair treatment my stylist told me a trick for dealing with the three days without shampooing...she said that sprinkling baby powder in your hair makes it look clean. She was right, it worked!

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REVIVINGFAITH 1/28/2012 8:47AM

    What a lovely Saturday. Kashi Go Lean Crunch is my favorite. In fact I don't like their other cereals, but that one I love. It really fills you up and tastes so good you don't have to (or wish you could) sweeten it.

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Declutter Mode

Monday, January 23, 2012

I've had such a relaxing Monday so far. No work since it's Chinese New Year and the government declared it a national holiday. Woke up at 4am - yep, my circadian rhythm has been set to get up at that time no matter what and did a round of Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga before breakfast.

I weighed myself after my workout and the scale said I gained 600g overnight! I wasn't too bothered - I'm still not - because I know that weight fluctuates. I'm just curious as to what caused the gain. Could it be water retention? Could it be that beans just bloat me (I had edamame yesterday)?

Whatever it is, there's no need to panic just yet. I'm still within my maintenance range - hurrah! I sound like a totally different person from who I was a couple weeks ago. If this had happened then, I probably would have freaked out, cut back even more on my food intake and exercised like a maniac.

After breakfast, I let my food settle first then I tried out the new bollywood dance workout I downloaded last night. It was so much fun - loose and relaxed like a slower Zumba but it still made me sweat. It teaches moves called "Feed the Chickens" and "The Gorilla Walk". It even has its own version of "The Running Man"! The instructor constantly reassures the exerciser to have fun and smile and laugh at 'yourself'. The video gives you room to embellish the moves as you please! The ab workout was a shocker, didn't expect it to be so intense and I actually kept falling over. Eventually, my core will be strong enough.

I had lunch at exactly noon as I was already pretty hungry. Because it's Chinese New Year, my lunch was chinese inspired. Had beef broccoli stir fry with oyster sauce and a fruit salad of kiwi, papaya and Dragonfruit! It's the year of the Dragon after all. Dragonfruit was a little bland on its own but it complements the other fruits in the mix very well. Was hoping the flesh would be red but the one I got was white.

I booked an at-home spa manicure and pedicure and the nail technicians came in after lunch. Oooh 3 hours of bliss. It was so blissful that I fell asleep while my nails were being done. I picked a bright red polish to ring in the year of the Dragon. I loved the leg massage part of the foot spa - great way to soothe my tired muscles! Next time, I'll get the full body massage package. I should really make this a monthly thing - me time is important!

While the nail techs were doing their thing, I chanced upon SP's Secrets of Success on Organization. The tip that sparked me was one on decluttering - it suggested that you throw one thing out everyday. One thing, just one thing! I plan on making it one of my February 2012 goals but I got so excited that I threw out a bunch of things right after my mani-pedi!

My room is full of forgotten junk and I've been wanting to clean it up for a while now. I just never got around to it because I never seemed to have 'time'. Well, no more excuses now. All I have to do is throw one thing (ONE THING!) out every day. I can so totally do that. I usually get excited with projects like this, go all out and then get burned out and just completely chuck the idea. One thing I've learned on SparkPeople is to take things slow, especially when it comes to building a habit. So instead of going on a cleaning spree, I stopped myself after the third bottle of old moisturizer. Though I only threw out a bunch of little things (lighters, paperclips, lotion/moisturizer, etc), my room already feels lighter and I can breathe better!

Also reviewed my January goals - one of them is to read 1 book! I totally spaced on that one so after my mini-decluttering session, I picked up a book I haven't read. Again, to make sure that I don't burn out, I'm reading it 1-2 chapters at a time. The book I'm reading is called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. Interesting premise - a successful trial lawyer gives up his practice after having a heart attack to search for his life's purpose...and become a yogi! I think this book found me at the right time! The book has 13 chapters so I just might make it to month's end. Already put an alert on my phone to remind me to read.

Now I'm just waiting to get hungry for dinner. Hope you're all having a nice day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATTYCAKE17 1/30/2012 12:36PM

    My friends that attend Curves (the gym) tell me that they are told to weigh in BEFORE WORKING OUT, because Curves have found that people weigh MORE after a workout than before. They should know, right??!! and my same friends who work out at Curves first and then come to our weight Watchers scales and meeting almost always show a weight gain! it's something about the muscles getting pumped up during workouts, probably with fluid, certainly not air. Hope this was helpful and encouraging to you.

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KANOE10 1/24/2012 11:53PM

    Happy Chinese New Year..My son was going out for Chinese food in Seattle..decluttering is a great way to start.
I love to read so reading is great.
Have a wonderful day.

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MOONSTORMER 1/24/2012 12:25AM

    what a great idea - de-cluttering always seems like such a (huge, insurmountable) project. one thing a day - brilliant!

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REVIVINGFAITH 1/23/2012 8:49PM

    I too fall into the trap of getting so excited about a goal and then the burnout leads to stopping completely. I can't tell you how many times I've done that with eating better and exercising.

In home manicurists sound like an incredible idea. I wish we had that here! Happy Year of the Dragon :) I like dragons, hope it's a great one! emoticon

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-ADRIENNE- 1/23/2012 1:08PM

    Yay decluttering! I'm working on that. Organised my top waredrobe and happened upon some old canvases I'd painted and I'm thinking I might have to rehouse those like at work or something because all they do it take up a box. I'm so bad though, I've got holy towels but I keep them "in case I need a ratty towel".. well how many ratty towels will I need??!! haha I went through and de-cluttered my clothes the other day and when I told mum of a particular top I threw out, that I've worn at least once a week since I was like 18 (That's an INSANE 12 yrs) she was blown away! haha figured it was time it went after all it's got a couple of cat holes in it etc (for the record the top was still in good condition and really flattering and i've never seen one since, should I find one i'll be buying it! lol)

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LILOLME105 1/23/2012 9:49AM

    Good luck on your decluttering, one thing to throw out a day is easy, maybe i'll give it a try!

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MLIANNE 1/23/2012 9:36AM

    Hooray maintenance buddy! Keep it up. Glad you had a great Chinese New Year.

I worked out today (I sent you an email!) too - finally starting to feel better with less tummy issues!



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SHIROIHANA 1/23/2012 8:06AM

    I also hope you stay consistent until your 3rd lunar cycle, but not I'm just being greedy.
I enjoy workouts that are fun because you will look forward to doing them again. WTG on achieving your book goal. I read a few pages a night, so don't see myself finishing a book by Feb. I should aim for a chapter at least.

emoticon emoticon

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