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Portion Sizes/People Sizes

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Read a recent short article summarizing info from the US Centre (spelled differently!) for Disease Control comparing fast food portion sizes in the 1950s to today's portion sizes.

Average "soda" (what we call a soft drink, or a pop) then 7 ounces, now 42 ounces. (Forty-two!!)

Average hamburger then 3.9 ounces, now 12 ounces.

Average French fries then 2.4 ounces now 6.7 ounces.

No comment on average people sizes then and now: but I know my vintage size 14s are about the same waist size as my current size 8s and 6s. And I'm pretty sure that airplane seating has become smaller as portions and people have become larger!

Do you suppose there's a connection??

Remember those big boat cars with fins? It's a bit ironic that average car sizes have shrunk so dramatically over the past 50 years. People not so much!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOLAZYBUTT110 5/29/2012 3:54PM

    I think its all due to advertisement because I know when Tv first came out (telling my age) there was no commercials for food to make you hungry while you watching the boob tube! Blame the advertisers, and TV was free to watch, you did not have to pay for the service, now we do, and were still bombarded with advertisement on the TV! I resent having to pay twice, or should I say three times! They make you hungry for all that junk food.

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KALIGIRL 5/29/2012 3:06PM

    Definitely a connection! emoticon

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ID_VANDAL 5/29/2012 2:38PM

    Great information. As these portion sizes increase we just continue to eat them. I think some of that gets back to our upbringing (us older folks anyway). Things like "there are people starving in the world so you better clean that plate!!!"

In my psychic anyway it is hard for me to throw food away even if I am full. That's where the Beck's program has helped me - I just need to work it a little harder!!

I liked your last couple of blogs as well - where do you find this stuff?

Thanks for sharing it.



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_LINDA 5/29/2012 2:16PM

    Like Veronica, my Mom also eats like a bird, according to today's plentiful portions. She never had a weight problem, unlike her kids, brought up on McDonald's with extra large sizes..
If we all ate normal portion sizes in all the prosperous countries, and gave all that extra food left over to starving countries, I bet no one would go hungry. Its mind boggling how gluttonous modern society has become..

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NANCY- 5/29/2012 1:38PM

    "It's a bit ironic that average car sizes have shrunk so dramatically over the past 50 years. People not so much! "

So True!!! And to think it is all profit driven.

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CRYSTALJEM 5/29/2012 1:00PM

    Doesn't that just explain a lot right there! Thanks for posting - I'm always partial to comparative numbers.

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VERONICAVW_140 5/29/2012 10:40AM

    This is so true. My mom will be 68 this year. She is soooo good at portion control. I think it is bc growing up people didn't have the crazy portion sizes that we do now. Now we think that eating half the meal we order is really cutting back when in reality since the portions are so large, even eating only half of our meals can still account for lots of calories.

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MEADSBAY 5/29/2012 9:59AM


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LISALGB 5/29/2012 8:30AM

    I have thought of this quite often. The idea that bigger is better in everything except our clothing sizes has gotten terribly out of control. My Mom and aunts were teenagers in the 1950's. They were thin and shapely and according the them about a size 8-10, not a 2-4. Yet, they appear to be the same size as what is considered a 2-4 in todays sizing.
I suppose knowing this, we shouldn't pay attention to the size label inside our clothes, but concentrate on being healthy. Afterall, the number on the label does NOT define who we are.

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PHEBESS 5/29/2012 8:12AM

    And we wonder why people gain weight without knowing it..........

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/29/2012 7:43AM

    Every time I read something like this, I remember how hopeless I felt when I was that "large" human. Why portion sizes or historic comparisons do that for me, I don't know. But it helps me appreciate being "normal" sized.

Yes, size inflation is a real deal. The size 16 that was my mom's wedding dress would have been an 8-10 in the 1995 world. Today, I'm pretty sure it would be a 6. The dress hasn't change... the measurement has.

The real important thing for me is to know what my body needs, give it just that, not a whole lot more... and then enjoy being able to function oh so much more easily. It takes a long time to get from both the body size and the mindset of 225 to that of 125... but it is so worth the journey, even though it may be fighting an uphill battle against societal trends!

Spark on! emoticon

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Vitamin N

Monday, May 28, 2012


Being outside in nature: yes, it's a measurably good thing!

I love walks in the woods, what the Japanese call 'forest bathing".

Swinging a golf club is as far as I'm concerned somewhat optional. Although excursions with a golf club work better if I stay out of the woods and stick to the fairway as much as possible.

Gardening as an Xtreme sport? I engaged in some of that yesterday. About three steady hours, hacking away. And I have the scratches and aching muscles to prove it!

Numerous overhanging branches sawn down (some too high up for me with assistance of DH) and hauled to the compost heap. I was staggering like an ant carrying a burden many times its size.

And I finally cleared out some flower beds and pruned out some old rose canes . . . clipped back spent tulip and hyacinth foliage, removed leaves . . . . weeded a bit too. Enjoying my iris now in bloom as I did that. Nothing else smells exactly like iris, and the shape of the petals is so elegant.

Also planted a few of the geraniums and other annuals I'd picked up at the nursery near the back door. But there's more to be done there, including my flower boxes for the verandah and high back deck. After work I'll try to pick up a new sprinkler head for my hose since the old one is cracked and showering mostly me.

If that article is right, all that exposure to nature means that my cognitive focus ought to be vastly improved today!! We'll see . . . I'm thinking that the distraction of the muscle soreness (hey, I thought I was in shape!!) may reduce any mental sharpness induced by that massive dose of Vitamin N!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 5/29/2012 6:08AM

    Vitamin N and vitamin D, definitely the way to go.

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M77355 5/28/2012 10:57PM

    Sounds heavenly to me! I love the idea of 'forest bathing' and will pass that on ... that's just what I love about some hikes.
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful writing style and life with us - which lets us relive happy memories :-)

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/28/2012 6:22PM

    done that and more...lost a pound doing it too! ( Ya jealous?) But I do know about those sore muscles... I worked yesterday for 2 hours and in the heat and got a sunburn on top of a sunburn yesterday; and today (I was samrter) I took advantage of the cool morning and worked from 8 am until 1:30pm when I started to feel a little sick from the heat (and Hubby brought me water) ! I only ate two meals today. Hoping I lost another pound by going without and exercising in my garden. It will be a real joy if I lose another pound today! lol we shall see. But I do love a good workout in my garden! It gives me twice the rewards! Dont you just love the flowers? susana

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 6:30:27 PM

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_LINDA 5/28/2012 3:29PM

    LOVE that term -forest bathing -I would be doing it every day if I could! Sounds like someone should have been following Spark's pre-gardening conditioning exercises ;) For sure, we don't do sawing, cutting and digging in the gym! A long hot bath, followed by a soothing massage might help with those muscles..
Your garden sounds awesome! In bloom here now -bleeding hearts, tulips and some of the ground cover. Very few people are putting annuals out -too risky the way our weather has been so cold and wet. Some won't even plant until June. We have had snow at the end of May, although this year its supposed to be nice -keeping fingers crossed so my sister can come in from the farm for my 50th on Thursday!
Hope you can make it through work!!

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PHEBESS 5/28/2012 9:55AM

    Forest bathing - I love the concept! Very Thoreau!

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CRYSTALJEM 5/28/2012 9:12AM

    Forrest bathing - now that's a new term for me and I love it! I intend to add that to my vocabulary since forrest bathing is definitely one of my most favourite activities. Sounds like you got so much done - and included in the process was exercises, nature, fresh air and a "shower" to boot - now what more could you ask for. Have a great day. Here's to vitamin N!

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NANCY- 5/28/2012 8:58AM

    You are in shape, used just put little used muscles through their paces.
Hmmm... fractal patterns for my walls... now there's a thought. For me that article rings true. I find nature walks restorative.
All that gardening you did will help restore you.

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MEADSBAY 5/28/2012 8:41AM

    Interesting article.
My DH, a long time former smoker, adores walking in the woods.
I prefer sitting at the beach, myself, communing with nature (but not when it's crowded).
Great blog- nice way to start my day.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/28/2012 7:50AM

    There is something about outdoor exercise. One of the reasons I love the bike paths when they go through green space or out into the countryside. I'll be in cornfields and woods today, but somehow I don't think it will have quite the punch of a quiet walk! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 5/28/2012 7:48AM

    Agreed - nothing better for th body, mind or soul!

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Obesity School

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Would you pay $50,000 a year to help your obese teen drop weight? This video link to a school for overweight kids really brought tears to my eyes. Can't agree with everything taught there (for example 0 fat grams) but it's hard to argue with success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOUTHPONDCAMP 5/29/2012 10:06AM

    They have televised some of these kids joureys...not sure if they are doing any more seasons but it was on TLC or MTV..."reality TV" called "too fat for 15". It was interesting because, while heavily edited, you saw the kids struggle and learn over a period of months. Some did great...some....not so much. Just like the rest of us.

Comment edited on: 5/29/2012 10:07:25 AM

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/28/2012 6:58PM

    Hm.... I see it as no different than parents choosing to pay for a private school - and I think it's kind of neat to instill life skills of any kind in any child. I am sure there are plenty of skinny kids with poor eating habits - and great metabolism - who could also benefit from these skills as well [and they might need them when they get older :)] My friend, Chloe's son, was overeating - she says he gets it from his dad's side of the family - his family just keep eating til "all of the food is gone." She said if it wasn't for the fact that he plays soccer all day long he would be overweight too. So she starting making him more aware of "eating consciously" and portion sizes and it seems to be working. In essence, she is re-training him and how he thinks about food, but she is a VERY involved parent, whatever that means. He is 8 so I'd say he's got a good head start :)

So I guess I am saying - all learning is good learning - and sometimes people need help attaining/learning/teaching good habits. As long as the help is attained, I don't think it matters much "where" it comes from.

Anyway, thanks for the post. Very provocative. You post the coolest stuff. I almost cried when I saw that sweet little girl running. How friggin' cool is that?!!

PS - Zero fat cals - ain't right for me. It is so bad for my hair and skin. I guess that it is one of things you learn along the way .... Cheers.

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 7:02:14 PM

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LISALGB 5/26/2012 10:40PM

    I saw that on the news the other morning. I agree with all that has already been posted on this subject. I just think it is terribly sad that so many children are obese and unhealthy.

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DDOORN 5/26/2012 8:48PM

    How tragic it is that enough isn't already done and provided for through existing means...family, schools, etc. But even more: that we cannot harness the power of our media for GOOD rather than EVIL! Our kids could grow up salivating over the thought of munching on a broccoli floret rather than a bag of chips or fries!


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_LINDA 5/26/2012 7:15PM

    Great for well-to-do parents I suppose, but the average majority could never afford this. Its nice to know there is some intervention for some of these obese teens. But they are really missing the point. Its how they got there in the first place. If they go back to the same environment they got fat in in the first place, of course they will put it all back on. Change has to happen where you live. This is not much different then that Biggest Loser show everyone is so interested in.
Here is to families waking up and realizing they have to all live a healthy lifestyle together.

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/26/2012 2:09PM

    I cant believe a child would lose all the weight they gained over night or even in a summer camp. I remember when I was a kid when my brother and I were both sent to a summercamp/health camp. Neither of us put the weight on and in fact they even served what today would not be considered healthy food...like what you get at McDonalds! The first day we went to McDonalds. Kids dont lose as fast as they think or gain as fast as one thinks, it takes years to get like that and years to undo the damage. Its a struggle for a person with any weight issues and its an all your life worry and work in their lives. It never stops! I cant see spending money for someone else to help you lose weight! Money cant buy you love nor weight loss without the desire to lose. And Kids dont know how to desire weight loss without a mother and father supporting them, and I dont believe any child should be sent away to do that! I cant see separating kids form their parents for helping a child lose weight ... when they go back home the parents are still the same; cooking and eating the same as they did before. Kids need parents to take control chaneg their eating habits and ways of living and have to care and learn how to change those bad habits before kids will change their weight goals. Better for the parents to spend time learning how to eat and cope with frustrations so they can help their children. That would be a better investment!

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NANCY- 5/26/2012 11:46AM

    50K for school to help learn healthy habits vs. surgery and possible death, I'd opt for the school. It's a lot of money. I think we all need a better education when it comes to our health.
Personally I'm still trying to teach myself.

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CRYSTALJEM 5/26/2012 10:31AM

    The key for me would have to be intervention before my child got to this point. I'm not trying to be mean, but we all know we don't become obese over night. When I see people, especially children, this obese, it seems to me that they ignored the "obvious" for a long time before taking action. I'm not judging, I realize just how hard it is to take that action. Having said that, if you find yourself in that situation, I can see how it could be a life saver, and if I had no other way you bet I would do whatever I could to help my child. After all, tuition for any private school is usually steep and that's what this basically is.

Thanks for sharing, it's been a real eye opener.

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NELLJONES 5/26/2012 10:14AM

    No. Any weight loss, or any other task that requires 100% willingness to change everything they think they love, 100% commitment 100% of the time, can't be bought. It's a good deal for those selling the camp for $50,000.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/26/2012 9:20AM

    Actually, I did lay out quite a bit of cash to help my desperately hurting teen (19 back then) get in shape. When his dad left, he practically dragged me and the checkbook to the gym to make this investment. It was the beginning of "no turning back" for him. Gym membership, personal trainer... with the trainer's nutritional advice as well as the workout plan, he dropped weight, got fit, earned back his confidence... went on to acquire GED, driver's license and start college. Which eventually led to his current service and his marriage.

No way the majority of us can afford that $50,000 a year, but I'm pretty sure most of us here on Spark *want* that healthy life for our kids, and will do what we can, to whatever extent we can.

Thanks for sharing the link!

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" . . . . that skinny man!"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

That would be my own description of my DH, who started SP March 4, 2012. TUFFMUFFIN weighed in today at 171 -- down from 183!! He's comfortably wearing his 34" waist paints, he's carrying his golf clubs . . . and he certainly looks (even more) terrific!

And I was at 141 yesterday, which may be my lowest sustainable weight, although I haven't given up hope of middle number 3 entirely.

Maintenance. That's the challenge! But, it's really helpful having two people thinking about the calorie count (and nutritional benefits) of everything we eat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 5/30/2012 11:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOPAPGH 5/30/2012 9:25PM

    Good for him and I agree wight loss is easier as a team sport

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    What a great love story! emoticon Pat

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SLENDERELLA61 5/24/2012 9:21PM

    Congrats to your hubby! You should be so proud of your effective influence on him. That is fantastic!!

And oh, I'm so jealous. My hubby has zero interest in nutrition and eating healthy and even less interest in activity and exercise. Despite his diabetes and heart attack history, he still thinks of himself as skinny like he was in high school, when in reality he should lose at least 30 pounds -- probably 40 or more. Oh, well. I try.

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/24/2012 4:18PM

    You. Are. Awesome.


Great work!!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/24/2012 9:10AM

    Its alway a nice sight when a twosome become the skinny couple.... lol Hope you can get to the numbers you desire. Isnt it more fun when you can do such things together? Keep up the good work! susana

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DONNACFIT 5/24/2012 12:29AM

    Woohoo..skinny couple!!

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DOKEYOKEY 5/22/2012 8:06PM

    Go, team! emoticon

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ID_VANDAL 5/21/2012 8:03PM

    What a great team you two make!! You should enter the great race!

Glad you're both having so much success in getting to the goal and then maintaining!!

Something I need make happen for me!! Thanks for the inspiration.



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DDOORN 5/21/2012 1:38PM

    What wonderful inspiration you are for each other and everyone else! :-)



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NANCY- 5/21/2012 11:47AM

Here's to that skinny couple.
You are doing an amazing job of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


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KALIGIRL 5/21/2012 11:16AM

    Here's to the two of you!

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TRYINGHARD1948 5/21/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon for both of you.

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_LINDA 5/21/2012 2:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon to your husband -well done!
It does pay to have you both on the same page -double motivation to stay on track!
Keep up the great work!

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MEADSBAY 5/20/2012 10:51PM

emoticon+ emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 5/20/2012 9:19PM

    I think it brings people closer together when they have a common goal! I know you are both spurring each other on in a very positive way. Keep up the good work.

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PHEBESS 5/20/2012 8:26PM

    You must be the skinny couple!!!!!!

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    Well done - what a great team!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/20/2012 4:09PM

    Supporting each other's efforts has GOT to be a huge plus! emoticon to "That skinny woman and that skinny man!"

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LINDAJ0621 5/20/2012 3:13PM

    Congrats to both of you!!! emoticon

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M77355 5/20/2012 2:32PM

    emoticon for BOTH of you!

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. . . . that skinny woman!"

Saturday, May 19, 2012

No kidding, she was referring to ME!

I was at the hospital last week (routine test, no problems) and dressed in a hospital gown plus robe, not exactly flattering.

And next to me, another lady similarly clad. Both of us undergoing general anaesthesia, both of us requiring to be weighed so the anaesthetist could determine the appropriate amount of juice on a per pound basis!!

And . . . "It's not fair that I have to get weighed right beside that skinny woman," the lady said indignantly to the nurse.

I looked around to see who she was talking about. Nobody else there. Me??

OK, so I hadn't eaten for about 15 hours in accordance with the protocol required. Nothing to drink, either, so pretty thoroughly dehydrated. Clocked in at 63.5 kg which is just under 140. Don't know what she weighed: I averted my eyes sympathetically to give her at least the illusion of privacy.

And tried not to rejoice. Me? Skinny?

And yeah, I'm back to 142 now that I've resumed my normal maintenance range of calories, my normal quota of coffee!! Darn. Short lived, I guess! But for a couple moments, I was "that skinny woman!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRACTALMYTH 5/26/2012 3:08PM

    Wooohoooooo :D It's the little things :P I posted my latest pregnancy pic on facebook and a friend made a comment about "beanpole legs" lol... I'm sure it's just the huge tummy making an optical illusion, but it still made me grin all day!

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DONNACFIT 5/24/2012 12:26AM

    Yeah!! Skinny woman!! You rock!!

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 5/21/2012 9:12PM

    Congrats. I'd say you still are that Skinny Woman. I have been told to see oneself as skinny in order for the body to do what it needs to be skinny. Keep enjoying your skinniness.

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LISALGB 5/20/2012 10:24PM

    Way to go, Miss Skinny!! Love it!!

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NANCY- 5/20/2012 9:26AM

    I can only imagine how wonderful that must have felt.
You still are that skinny woman!
Isn't it amazing what perspective and adjectives can do,
Sometimes we hang on to old perceptions, is it time for you to take a new look?

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CARRAND 5/19/2012 8:27PM

    You would look skinny next to me, too. I'm at 157, and I'd be happy with 150, let alone 140.

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PHEBESS 5/19/2012 7:11PM

    YAY for hitting skinny!!!!!!!!!!

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IMAGINE_IT 5/19/2012 3:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon YES...rejoice..rejoice....because if it is true..it is true!!
This blog makes me smile...thanks for sharing.... skinny woman!! emoticon emoticon

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SALSIFY 5/19/2012 3:39PM

    I can't ever imagine anyone calling me skinny! Although people already are saying that I've lost too much. I just say that, according to the government, I'm still overweight - which is true.

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SLENDERELLA61 5/19/2012 12:51PM

    You are, you are that skinny woman!! Yes, you are. Embrace it. And beside being lean, you are an active, smart and strong woman. Sure hope your routine test turned out well. You are wise to get all that recommended testing. Take care, my lean SparkFriend! -Marsha

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MEADSBAY 5/19/2012 11:23AM

    I would give my first born child for that!

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TRAVELGRRL 5/19/2012 11:22AM

    Don't use the past tense -- you ARE that skinny woman! I would be so happy to be at 142; I weighed that for many years and it was a sustainable weight for me. But I'm only 5'2"!

Yes, you ARE that skinny, strong woman! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/19/2012 9:48AM

    Sometimes all one needs is an external comment to let it finally sink in -you really are that skinny woman! You have succeeded in your weight loss goals. An unbiased stranger has just told you so! You have arrived!
I have to admit I couldn't get used to people in the hospital calling me so skinny, tiny, petite, and 'frail' which wasn't so good, but basically illustrated they thought I was a normal weight and a very small woman.
I hope you test is okay.
Enjoy your skinny day and weekend!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOLAZYBUTT110 5/19/2012 9:22AM

    Yes, skinny compared to a 300 pound person (man or woman) ! Lol. You got me going! (I am so jealous, would love to be that skinny woman again! ) It looks better when you write KG's! Like to be 63.5 Kgs... YYes, but I am NOT! Yes your even skinny compaed to me at 177! But many people think I am skinny! lol I guess weight is in the eyes of the beholder! lmao! Go skinny girl! (Hope its nothing serious, that is... the surgery!) Hope all is well beside your pride being pinched! lol Call me skinny any day! susana

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/19/2012 9:08AM

    I do a double-take less these days than I did a couple of years ago when someone refers to me as having a "tiny little body". Stay the course, and you'll feel more at home as "that skinny woman"... and rejoice in it!


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