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10 Phrases to BAN from Your Vocabulary - according to Fitness Magazine

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I just got my July/August 2011 issue of Fitness magazine.

While quickly paging thru it, I stopped at an article titled:

"Hey, Beautiful!"

It's about learning how to accept a compliment.

It said: "Learning how to accept a compliment and truly own it is key to greater confidence and success."

Here are 10 Phrases to BAN from your vocabulary:

"Who, me?"

"Oh, it was nothing. Really."

"This old thing?"

"You're just saying that to be nice."

"You're so much better at ..."

"I got lucky."

"You must be desperate if you're asking me."

"I'm fat."

"I'm so bad at..."

"It looks so much better on you."

Lots of food for thought, don't you think?

Best reply?

Just say: "Thank you!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSEWCI 7/6/2011 6:46AM

    Yep! We're worth it! I couldn't agree more! emoticon

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SMARGED 7/5/2011 10:15PM

    Wow, Maria! I hardly ever watch the news here and had no idea that you went through such a bad storm! I join with you in thanking our God that you are all OK! I'm sorry for all the damage your buildings sustained, but material things can be repaired and regained. The important thing is that you and your family are all unhurt, and as an added bonus, your animals are all OK too! Your guardian angels were all very busy taking care of you and keeping you out of harm's way!

I hope all gets back to normal fairly quickly! Know that you and yours are in my prayers, my friend!

emoticon Marge

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1BEACHWALKER 7/2/2011 3:23PM

    emoticonGood to be reminded of this! It is hard sometimes! I get compliments off and on and sometimes I want to explain things like, I bought it at..... or if it is about weight loss, I will say thanks, I owe it all to That way, I feel less uncomfortable about getting the compliment. I appreciate it, no doubt, but I guess when you aren't used to them - it is a surprise and you feel at loss for words. So a simple thank you. along with a smile, is easier! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/2/2011 3:24:03 PM

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WINFIELD28 7/1/2011 10:53AM

    I to have had to work at accepting a compliment graciously.

My husband was the first one to point out that when I didn't, I was insulting the 'giver.' Which I did NOT intend to do.

I agree, on some level I felt it might be conceited or boastful to accept as I get older (& wiser!) I do understand it better.

I smile and then thank the person for their kind comment.

They're nice to receive and to give!

Thanks for reading my blog post here!
~ Maria

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ONEGREATCAT 7/1/2011 10:27AM

    Very good reminder. I try to be a gracious receiver, but sometimes I have to admit that I don't feel worthy of the compliment.

Keep up your great blogs! And that was a compliment!!!! WTG!

emoticon Gwen

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TELLITFORWARD 7/1/2011 12:13AM

  Why is it that accepting compliments is so hard? Maybe we think we'll be considered arrogant or puffed up? I know it's hard for me. Thanks for this.

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DRLCORNETT 6/30/2011 11:27PM

    Nice! Great advice

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SMARGED 6/30/2011 11:13PM

    I liked your blog - so very true!! We should accept compliments graciously. Personally, I don't have a problem accepting compliments - I love it when someone comments on my weight loss, or how well my clothes fit, or whatever! For a long time, everyone I met would comment on how much weight I had gained!!! I hated it - I would get so mad that it was all I could do not to tell them that it was none of their business!! So I love it now when everyone comments on my weight loss, or just tell me how good I look!

Thanks for sharing!! emoticon Marge

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GRACEISENUF 6/30/2011 10:59PM

    Good stuff!

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ONEWEIGH 6/30/2011 10:28PM

    What ElisaDenk said! That's why I was taught that it was RUDE not to accept a compliment graciously.

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MJ7DM33 6/30/2011 10:11PM

  It is lots of food for thought! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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TURBOADDICT444 6/30/2011 8:41PM

  Great post. It is really hard for many people including myself to accept a compliment. I took a Dale Carnegie class and one of the 4 hour classes was all about how to give and receive a compliment. The funny thing is your last comment on how to reply was exactly what they said to do!

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ELISADENK 6/30/2011 7:31PM

    Wow! I sooo don't like it when I give a compliment, one the person replies with one of these statements. I want to shake some sense into them. Ruins the compliment for me, for sure.

Thanks for posting.

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MEADSBAY 6/30/2011 6:20PM


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SMILEYBEE 6/30/2011 4:35PM

    Huh, there are some on the list that I need to work on! Thanks once again Maria for sharing good things you've picked up elsewhere!

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SYDNEY_DE 6/30/2011 4:00PM

    That's great advice!

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Don't forget that YOU are an Amazing Woman!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

My sister sent me the following and I wanted to share it with all my Female Spark Friends!

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men....

They bear hardships and they carry burdens,

but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.

They sing when they want to cry.

They cry when they are happy

and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in..

They stand up to injustice.

They don't take "no" for an answer

when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.

They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.

They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel

and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about

a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.

They grieve at the loss of a family member,

yet they are strong when they

think there is no strength left.

They know that a hug and a kiss

can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you

to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what

makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideas.

They give moral support to their

family and friends.

Women have vital things to say

and everything to give..


Please pass this along to all your women friends and relatives to remind them just how amazing they are.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMARGED 6/24/2011 10:07PM

    Just now read this blog - Love it! Thanks, Marie, for sharing!

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1BEACHWALKER 6/13/2011 2:01AM

    emoticon So true! emoticon
We need to especially show it to the men in our lives! emoticon

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COOKWITHME65 6/10/2011 8:23AM

    Thanks Maria. I will pass this along.

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SMILEYBEE 6/9/2011 12:50PM

    Thanks Maria! I am so blessed to have some wonderful women friends ... including you!
emoticon Sending healing thoughts your way ... Much love! Betty

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MEADSBAY 6/9/2011 12:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon


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ROSEWCI 6/9/2011 12:46PM

    Oh my! This makes me swell w/pride for being a woman! And for ALL women! emoticon We possess GREAT strength & take care of so many...& it's AWESOME that many of us have finally begun to take care of ourselves! You GO girls!

And thanks to your sister for sending this to you...... & a big THANKS to you Maria for the post! You're an AMAZING woman!

emoticon & LOVE to us all!


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TURBOADDICT444 6/9/2011 12:33PM

  Wow, this is great, I will definitely be passing it on to my friends. Some of them really need to hear it, great post!

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ONEGREATCAT 6/9/2011 12:30PM

    WOW!!! Awesome thoughts...and SO TRUE!

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GOCELTICSGO 6/9/2011 12:05PM

    We all are!

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A Very Nice Day

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I had a very nice day today.

Each Memorial Day weekend we do about the same things; but this year just seemed so much more meaningful to me.
I seem to really 'stop and smell the roses.' I do think it's part of my new lifestyle - living life in this moment. Not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

My day started with 35 minutes of walking with Leslie Sansone - followed by my regular healthy breakfast of Multigrain Cheerios, low fat milk & orange juice.

Then it was out the door and off to a few cemetaries and a Family Reunion (My Mother's Family - a group of Germans that settled in Southern Minnesota) which is held each year on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

First we stopped at the cemetary where my in-laws are buried and placed a beautiful pot of geraniums and petunias on their grave.
They were wonderful people.

Then it was an hours drive to the cemetary where my Grandparents, Great Grandparents (2 sets on my Mother's Side) and Great-Great Grandparents are buried. We met my parents and 2 sisters and their families there. It was a little, rural cemetary next to fields of crops and a pasture of horses. Such a peaceful place. Then it was off to the reunion. There I would visit an aunt and uncle from Washington State. Uncle will be 83 next month. He is the one that started this reunion nearly 20 years ago. Always good to visit with them.
Another aunt & uncle that live near our gathering site and several of their children, grandchildren and even a great-grandchild this year. Many cousins and lots of in-laws.

Oh, and did I mention the food? They roast a whole hog. Serve it with German potato salad, sauerkraut, baked beans, scalloped potatoes (for those that don't care for the German potato salad), green bean casserole, mixed fresh fruit & then everyone brings a dish to share on top of what is always there - provided by that 83 year old uncle. We are encouraged to bring dessert. This year I made a pan of Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting. They actually turned out to be more like cake. There was an entire table of brownies, rhubard dessert, caramel apple triffle, a bundt cake, homemade butter caramels - candies, etc. etc. Way TOO much food! OH, yeah - a table of chips and crackers and snacks. (Can you see why I have a weight problem? I come by it genetically! LOL!)

I had hamburger bun with pork and I had to have some of the sauerkraut and German potato salad. I also chose the fresh fruit salad. And I did have a pumpkin bar...had to see if they were any good.

I can honestly say that even with the wonderful food...the day was more about the people this time. Visiting with those aunts and uncles I don't get to see but once a year. Talking to cousins and hearing about how their kids are doing. How fast they have grown fast life has gone.

Oh, and I did have several people (including a brother) notice that I had lost weight since last year's reunion. I could honestly tell them that "Yes, I did lose weight...over 50 pounds since last year's reunion." I told them that I did it slowly.
It was nice of them to notice and comment.
I felt good in my own skin today...a goal I have had for a long time.
Being comfortable, being me!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, everyone!
~ Maria

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 6/4/2011 1:05AM

    Late reading this one but glad you had such a good time!

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1BEACHWALKER 6/1/2011 4:05AM

    emoticon Sounds like good times! emoticon

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COOKWITHME65 5/31/2011 7:13PM

    So glad to hear you had a great weekend!

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THINRONNA 5/31/2011 3:36PM

    How wonderful! Your descriptions of both the cemetery and the family reunion brought forth my own memories of such things with my own family in MN. I love the vision of you mingling with your relatives on a lovely Sunday and you feeling so good about yourself. And them noticing! Nice! I also love the description of all of the German dishes! Oh it all sounds so good! Your pumpkin bars sound excellent!

Thank you so much for sharing you r day with us and for bringing about such good memories for me!

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    Just reading that make my mouth water! Sounds delicious and glad you had such a good time

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NPDSLEUTH 5/30/2011 12:30PM

    Sounds great! xx

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ROSEWCI 5/30/2011 7:35AM

    I'm so glad you had a wonderful day Maria! How nice that you take the time to honor those that have passed on!

And how awesome that others have noticed your weight loss efforts! But I'm certain it's more than that my friend! You said you're feeling good in your skin today & that you're more comfortable being you! Now THAT'S what others are "seeing" too! A more confident & self assured you! You're glowing...& it shows!

Thanks for sharing your day w/us! emoticon emoticon

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WARMSPRINGDAY 5/30/2011 1:34AM

    So glad you had a good day.

And for someone to notice helps make that hard work worth it, doesn't it?

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SMARGED 5/29/2011 11:14PM

    I'm so glad you had such a wonderful day with family, Maria! And you deserve to feel happy and proud of your accomplishments!!

And thanks for your nice comment (as always!!) on my blog!


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KJMPEACHES 5/29/2011 11:12PM

    emoticon day! The compliments are nice,,,, and put motivation,,,, and determination in the journey! emoticon

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SMILEYBEE 5/29/2011 11:05PM

    That does sound like a wonderful day! You've come a long way since last year at this time! I'm so happy for you!

emoticon The pumpkin bars sound delish!

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MEADSBAY 5/29/2011 9:45PM

    That sounds like a wonderful day!
How nice that people noticed your efforts, too.

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The Parable of the Pencil

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My mother sent me this: the old fashioned way ~ in the mail ~ hand written.

I thought I would share it here.

Parable Of The Pencil

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.

"There are 5 things you need to know," he told the pencil, "Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be."

"One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand."

"Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil."

"Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make."

"Four: The most important part of you will always be what's inside."

"And Five: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write."

The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.

Now replacing the place of the pencil with you. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.

One: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God's hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you'll need it to become a stronger person.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

Four: The most important part of you will always be what's on the inside.

And Five: On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.

Allow this parable on the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.

Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.

Unknown Author.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 5/29/2011 6:09PM


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1BEACHWALKER 5/29/2011 4:06PM

    emoticon emoticonGood words to live by!

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RASMUSSEN5 5/28/2011 9:31PM

    "This was wonderful! thanks so much for sharing!

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TURBOADDICT444 5/28/2011 9:26PM

  I love this! Thanks for sharing!

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SMARGED 5/28/2011 9:16PM

    I like this parable, too, Maria. We sometimes use it with the kids. It's a great message!

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ELISADENK 5/28/2011 5:17PM


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SMILEYBEE 5/28/2011 3:20PM

    What a great message Maria! Timely too! Your Mother must be a sweetheart! Thanks for sharing! Love, Betty

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ROSEWCI 5/28/2011 2:24PM

    Mom knows best! That's for certain!

We ARE capable of performing GREAT things!
And experiencing life DOES make us stronger!
We CAN fix our mistakes...or at least LEARN from them!
And what's inside is MOST important!
And we DO leave our mark w/every thing & every one we touch!

We are special! We certainly are!
And we must be the best that we can be!

Thank you mom & Maria for the post! EnJOY the weekend!

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/28/2011 2:24:59 PM

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THINRONNA 5/28/2011 2:14PM

    Beautiful. Thank you.

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GRACEISENUF 5/28/2011 1:31PM

    Really great blog Maria, thank you.


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Almost! Dreams Coming True...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

49 Weeks ago on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 ~ I started
"My Healthy Living Journey!"

The day I logged on and joined SparkPeople I was given a goal weight and a date to reach that goal by.

It was to lose 49 pounds by June 1, 2011.

The goal weight seemed reasonable & obtainable to me - not too high, not too low. I could DO this...if I set my mind, body & soul to it!

Certainly if I could reach that goal weight I would be alot healthier and happier I thought.

I would be able to move easier...I would be able to wear clothing in several sizes smaller.

I might even be 'comfortable in my own skin' finally! That thought would keep me moving truly 'feel good' about body, my life...

I had lots of dreams that day...

I dreamed of reaching into my closet and pulling anything out and having it fit!

I dreamed of enjoying doing something physical & not seeing it as punishment, but as a loving act of self-care. Because I was worth it!

I dreamed of being able to eat out at a restaurant and make healthier choices.
To truly enjoy my food. To eat what I wanted to eat, but eat it in moderation. I wanted to be "an intuitive eater."
I wanted to eat like a "naturally thin" person.

But how was I going to do this?

I hoped SparkPeople would supply me with the tools I needed to make my dreams...come true!

SparkPeople sure has helped me set & obtain goals.

I have learned to take small, doable steps that seemed to add up quickly and produce big results. At the scale and just generally in my life. I have learned so much about myself on this journey.

I have learned to be patient with myself.
To be gentle at times.
And to be stricter at other times.

I have even had dreams come true that I didn't even expect...

I have had a wonderful support system of SparkFriends...people I would have never met anywhere else. They seem like life-long friends. So encouraging, so supportive, so consoling...true friends in every sense of the word.

So today, 49 weeks into my 'scheduled 50 week journey' my weight loss total is 48.8 pounds ~ or .2 pounds away from my 49 pound goal. I have one more week to 'get there on schedule.' I just can't believe that goal planning and small steps really got me here...on schedule. There were detours and set-backs - but I was always encouraged to 'keep moving forward.' And it has moved me closer to my healthy living step at a time.

Thank you everyone for your friendship, encouragement, inspiration, kindness, prayers and well-wishes! You are the best!


"There are no short cuts to any place worth going!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 5/29/2011 4:11PM

    So happy for you for the goals you have achieved! You too have helped many in their journey, including me! Sparkpeople is a great tool to accomplish what we can only dream of and it is happening to me too! Thanks for all your support too! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NPDSLEUTH 5/27/2011 10:11PM

    I'm so proud of you -- Love ya, my friend! Nikki


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SMARGED 5/27/2011 8:38AM

    Loved your blog, Maria! You are an inspiration to all of us. I loved the way you expressed your dreams and all that you've learned on your journey. Congratulations!! emoticon

I didn't reach my goal on time, but I'm not going to let that discourage me!! At least I'm moving forward - albeit slowly! But you inspire me to set a new goal date and really work to achieve it! Thank you!

emoticon Marge

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COOKWITHME65 5/26/2011 9:36PM

    Love your ending quote Maria! It is so true. So proud of you! emoticon You have been a great friend. I look to you for inspiration and pointers, and the lost recipe on occasion. Thankyou for everything!

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MEADSBAY 5/25/2011 10:58PM

    What an incredibly amazing and inspirational blog!

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CARRENK 5/25/2011 10:54PM

    Brava! Congratulations on your phenomenal success and constant encouragement and support to others.

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KJMPEACHES 5/25/2011 6:53PM

    You are emoticon and a very well written blog! Like so many of us here~~~~sparkpeople has changed our way of thinking! All the motivation,,,,inspiration,,, friendships ,,,caring,,,of one another keeps us all going!!!! You my friend are a great example for all of us!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/25/2011 6:54:41 PM

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MJ7DM33 5/25/2011 6:40PM


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THINRONNA 5/25/2011 5:27PM

    You are so neat! I have always been so impressed with your amazing attitude and positive thinking through out this all. I love that your dreams have become a reality! You have done it my friend! The things that you have learned are really lessons for us all. I am so happy for you and truly glad that we have met along the way!

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SMILEYBEE 5/25/2011 2:32PM

    Ah Maria, how beautifully you've expressed your dreams and achievements! You've faithfully worked toward your goals and it's wonderful to see how your hard work has paid off! Congratulations!

I feel very fortunate to have you as a friend! Thanks for all the encouragement you send my way!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNRAY123 5/25/2011 1:59PM

  Hey It was motivational to read your blog entries on slow and steady… I need to be slow and understand that my body will not change overnight.

sometime i am looking for quick results.

I see that its doable

Thank you

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ROSEWCI 5/25/2011 1:54PM

    emoticon Maria! Well said my friend! You ARE my inspiration! You ARE a WINNER! CONGRATS on all that you've accomplished! I admire your ability to remain constant & determined! And you've truly blossomed into a confident & self assured woman right before our eyes! You're absolutely beautiful! Stunning, that you are! Insight & Out!

emoticon for your friendship, encouragement, inspiration, kindness, prayers, & well wishes! YOU are the BEST!

emoticon emoticon


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SEANSMOM31 5/25/2011 1:39PM

  You have done a remarkable job..most of all its the internal change that takes place that helps most on this journey ...Enjoy and smile .. at what you've done

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