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Yes, I guess I have grown 'a set'!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The title of today's blog is courtesy of one of my best friends. She lives in Portland and when we spoke this morning she started choking on her cup of tea in response to something I said. She said that she was proud of me, and that I've changed. Her next comment was "not only have you grown 'a set', but I think that they're clinkers"! We both laughed. She also told me that I sound great and that I seem different. So thanks Lora, this title is for you!

Every morning I read from a book of daily meditations. Some days I feel no connection to the entries, but other days they seem to really hit the mark. On the days that they seem to resonate, I usually go for a bike ride and think about what I just read and try to get some insight. As I opened the book this morning, the first thing that struck me was the quote printed on my book marker, which I've had for years, but somehow stopped me in my tracks today. The quote was:

I AM NOT AFRAID OF STORMS, FOR I AM LEARNING HOW TO SAIL MY SHIP
-Louisa May Alcott

I really liked that! Then I looked at the title of today's meditation, and it was;
"YOU HAVE THE POWER TO REDEFINE YOUR WORLD"

As I read the entry, the author wrote about how we all have the "ability to redefine what we believe, and how we can learn to see things in a new way". The last sentence was - "you are free to redefine and help create the life you choose; you're free to see life in a new way". I thought about how this pertains to the changes I've made as far as health and weight loss, but especially how I've seen myself in the past. I have been working on discovering myself long before I joined Spark in August, and I feel as if I've made progress. I have stumbled here and there and let old beliefs return for a short visit, before bidding them good riddance. There's a reason that experiences we've had in our lives are called 'our PAST' - because that's WHERE they belong, in the past! I'm learning to leave them there and continue on my path of self discovery. I see the changes I've made as growth!

I used to feel like the fattest one in the group when we went out with our friends. Despite the fact that I always complimented our friends on how nice they looked - I NEVER got a compliment in return - NEVER! Even though I felt SO large, I also felt invisible at the SAME time. I used to ask my DH "don't they SEE me'? I no longer feel hurt by their lack of a return compliment, as I do NOT need validation or approval from anyone other than MYSELF!

I'm sure that many of you understand the hurt caused by dirty-looks or stares from strangers. My favorite, and yes I'm being sarcastic, is when they look you up and down - without EVEN trying to hide it, and then turn around for another look as you walk past them! This very thing happened to me recently, and was a prime example of how I've changed. Some nasty old hag gave me the up and down as I approached her, with a look on her face that can only be described as she smelled a fart! Sorry, but that's what she looked like! She didn't even try to hide it and had the nerve to turn totally around to get a second look as I passed her. Instead of putting my head down, feeling hurt, and like total crap, like in the PAST - I turned back around and faced her! I gave her the best 'death glare' I could muster, and said "take a picture - it lasts longer"! She was speechless as I turned back around and walked away. I thought to myself - here you go, you hag, you wanted another look, well take a look at my shrinking @ss!

I had another example of the progress I've made when a friend took me to lunch last week for my birthday. I have clothes that I bought and put away in a smaller size. That day I pulled out a pair of navy capri pants in one size down - and they fit perfectly. I then pulled out a cute white top, and a light blue hoodie jacket with little flowers embroidered on it - in a smaller size. All of it fit, and I stood in our bedroom and did the 'happy dance' in my new outfit! I felt SO good! At lunch I told my friend about my doing the happy dance and how good I felt about my progress so far. Instead of 'that's great', her reply was "well, I won't wear pants like that because they make my butt look too big. Won't you be glad when you don't have to wear pants like that anymore"? I said "why, I think that they're cute". I told her that I bought about 7 pair of pants that I bought on sale and put away in THIS smaller size. She looked me up and down and said "you should return the other pants you bought". Bitch!!! I stopped in my tracks and gave her a cold stare and said "why, they fit me perfectly, and I like the way I look in them". She didn't say another word. My days of taking crap are OVER!

I have changed, and I hope that I continue to do so. I will NO longer define myself by my weight!!! Yes, I'm still an overweight woman, but so what - it doesn't define WHO I am. I'm working on both the inside and the outside, and I'm making progress. I've realized that if I keep looking behind me, I won't see the road before me. The most important thing - I like who I'm becoming!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLYINGB16 3/25/2010 12:18PM

    Congrats on your new set. You wear them well. emoticon I am so proud of you for many reasons. I love your honesty and I relate to EVERYTHING you write. Honestly I may have b*&^%slapped my "friend" if she spoke to me that way. Be proud that you are #1 a wonderful person and #2 For all you have accomplished. Here is a quote I LOVE: "It is the weak who are cruel; gentleness can only be learned from the strong."

I have a few individuals that are not very nice to me since I started my journey. The more success I have the more catty they become. I have an invisible piece of mistletoe on the back of my belt. I smile whenever I walk away knowing I am telling them to kiss my a@@. emoticon

Stay strong and focused! You are emoticon!

Hugs,
Bonnie

Comment edited on: 3/25/2010 12:19:55 PM

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JACKIEBLUE222 3/23/2010 11:50AM

    Good for you! I bet you look great in your new clothes.


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MARCHMAID 3/14/2010 6:17PM

    I agree. You need a new friend! Does she have redeeming qualities? Hope so 'cause your description leaves me wondering.

Congratulations on having attained " great 'tude!"

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FRANRN76 3/13/2010 8:50PM

    Congrats on your success. WTG staying positive and sticking up for yourself. I can't believe how utterly RUDE that your friend was.

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MEOWMAMA3 3/13/2010 7:47PM

    Friends? Time to set them straight or kick 'em to the curb. You are quite ready to do either! You rock those smaller capris and enjoy. When you least expect it somebody will comment on how good you look. THOSE are the best compliments! Meanwhile, the haters live on in their lives of judgement and negativity while your world sparkles!
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TRAVELNISTA 3/13/2010 2:27PM

    Doreen as soon as I saw the title I knew this was going to be good. You did not disappoint. emoticon emoticon You've come a long way Baby!

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KBUCKMASH 3/12/2010 11:31PM

    I like your attitude but not your friends. People can be so heartless at times and it is time we stood up to ourselves and let them know how their words and actions are hurtful.
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DIFROMWYOMING 3/12/2010 9:54PM

    emoticon Doreen! emoticon

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MTNHIKER1971 3/12/2010 9:41PM

    The pair that rocked your world. Awesome Doreen. You've come a long way since the first time we met... your strength is motivating

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RASTUS55 3/12/2010 7:23PM

    You got yourself a good set of steel kahunas now you need to sort through your friends and get rid of the ones that belittle you like your friend did at your luncheon. Gadzooks how totally rude that bitch was!! You are making such awesome progress on self confidence...Doesn't that feel so very good??? Keep up the good work! I am so proud of you! Get a picture of yourself in your new "little" outfit so we can all enjoy it as well....maybe wear it and do the happy dance and make us a video....I WOULD LOVE THAT!! You are so cute Doreen!! No you are so beautiful on the outside and inside both!! emoticon
Ruth

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-NAMASTE- 3/12/2010 7:00PM

    All I can say is BRAVO!! Good for you for standing up for yourself! And as far as your "friend" is concerned, you need to lose her and get a real one! You deserve to have supportive, loving people in your life, not bitches like that! Keep up the great work and I agree, where are the pics? Have a great weekend!

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MELA1953 3/12/2010 4:01PM

    I am doing the happy dance with you for having clothes 1 size smaller!!!! Good for you for standing up for yourself- your self-esteem is worth so much more than you can realize and it is shining through with this blog!!! Good luck to you on your continued journey!

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 3/12/2010 1:21PM

    My God what kind of FRIENDS are these people!?!?!? I would've been REAL tempted to say "well yeah YOUR @ss would look huge in them but MINE looks FABULOUS!!!!" Have you ever talked to her about that? Why she feels the need to put you down and if it's because she's so damned insecure herself that she needs to make everyone else feel like crap too.

I LOVE WHAT YOU SAID TO THE HAG!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Sistah's found her voice...HOLLA!!!! (Oh God, I'm doing 5 year old lingo references)

Oh yeah and I want PICS of said capris please!!!

Comment edited on: 3/12/2010 1:26:54 PM

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NGCHILD 3/12/2010 1:15PM

    Doreen -- you need to live by me or Lora! These people that you surround yourself with ARE NOT NICE PEOPLE! Holy Cow! I would have loved to have seen you do the happy dance .... I would have been dancing right beside you!! CONGRATS TO YOU for all of your great progress and the new clothes!!

YOU DESERVE THEM. Don't sweat the small stuff!!

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Karma and my new 'I'm DONE taking crap attitude'

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm a firm believer in KARMA!!! I don't think that you can go through this life hurting others, and not have it come back to bite you in the keister at some point. The last two days I've thought about this. So for those of you that know of my toxic MIL, you may be surprised, and even call me a sap. In the past when I limited my contact with her I was always pulled back in because of some emergency or illness, and that's what happened this week.

She said that she found a lump in her breast and wanted me to go with her to the surgeon on Tuesday. I REALLY didn't plan on going, as I've been down her lying road of manipulation MANY times before. TWICE - yes twice in the past she wanted me to go with her and told me that she found a lump in her breast. While at the doctor's I waited for her to tell him about the lump when we were in the exam room - she didn't! So I spoke up in front of the doc and asked her about the lump. Her reply was 'what lump'? I said the lump you told me about in order to get me to come with you. She said "oh, that went away". I told her that she should have told me weeks before! The doc actually rolled his eyes at me, which let me know that he TOO was on to her. So when she called on Sunday saying she found 'another lump' - which would be #3, I asked about the lump she told me about 6 weeks ago. Her reply was very familiar - 'what lump'? I said the one you told me and EVERYONE at the church about??? 'Oh, that went away' was her response.

Well since I stopped being a polite doormat, this witch was NOT going to wipe her feet on me ever again. I took a deep breath, and told her exactly what I thought, without holding back over fear of being impolite. I basically let her have it, and it felt GOOD!!!! She did have breast cancer 2 years ago, so that's really 'why' I did go with her before. She insisted that this was a lump and that it's red and filled with liquid. I said that it sounds like a blister, which only pissed her off more. My gut instinct told me to go anyway, so I met her there. The doc took one look at her and said 'you put a heating pad on didn't you'? She said 'yes'. He told her that she burned herself, and that it was a - blister! Imagine that. His tone with her was impatient. I told her that she's like the boy that cried wolf, and if she keeps this up - nobody will believe her.

So what's more fun than spending HOURS with your shrew of a MIL?? Spending hours with her - in the emergency room!!! This morning as I sat down to eat my breakfast, she called and said that she fell and "split her head open" in a parking lot and was being taken to the hospital. I did the good DIL thing and went to the ER. To be honest, I was NOT a happy camper, and was rather aggravated. Driving there I thought about karma and doing the 'right thing', even if it's for someone like her. I also realized something else - that she's miserable just about every day, and finds NO joy in her life! How sad is that? Is she getting back the negativity she puts out in the universe, and that's why she's so unhappy?

My mood quickly changed and my compassion kicked in. She had a cut on the back of her head less than one inch long, but since she takes blood thinning medication, she needed 2 stitches and a CT scan. As I stood next to her bed she grabbed my hand and looked afraid. Here's the kicker, who do you think she gave medical power of attorney to? Not my DH or my SIL - ME!!! You're all probably saying 'pull the plug', but she does know me, and knows that I would always do the right thing. I dealt with the doctor and nurses, as she was even nasty to some of them. She was giving one of them a really hard time because she needed to draw her blood and check her coumadin level. She wouldn't give the woman her arm! I told her "stop it and let this woman do her job - now stick out your arm and let her draw your blood!" My tone must have spoken volumes, because she looked at me as if it were the first time, and pulled her arm out from under the blanket. I guess my new 'I'm DONE taking crap attitude' really came through.

I learned a few things about myself in the last couple of days. I can still have compassion - even dealing with HER, but I will NOT be manipulated. There must be balance and I will never again give away more of myself than I'm comfortable with. The doctor asked me if I was bringing her back for a coumadin check on Saturday. I asked if she was okay to drive, and they told me yes. So I told them NO, she can drive herself. As she sat there wallowing in her nastiness, I saw glimpses of fear in her face. As I drove her back she told me that she doesn't know what she would do without me - that was a shocker! I'm not a stupid woman, I realize that she's still the same nasty person - that just happened to be afraid. Maybe she'll remember today the next time she tries to zing me with one of her toxic put-downs. And if she doesn't she better watch out because I found my voice, and I'm prepared to use it! And as for karma, I don't think that it's my keister that needs to worry.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIRSTEN 3/14/2010 5:11PM

    You are an amazingly patient and compassionate person, I would have not even answered the phone when she called. I'll give you my medical power of attorney, too. LOL. emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 3/12/2010 9:53PM

    I think it is beautiful that you can refuse to be a doormat while still opening your arms in welcome when its needed. You are a special person!

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ANITAWPG 3/12/2010 1:11PM

    You are a far better person then me - i likely would have told her I didn't believe her and would not have gone.

I am not glad that she did need stitches, but I am glad it was something real, and that you were able to stand up for yourself and show compassion at the same time.

You rock!!!

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ROX2013 3/12/2010 12:48PM

    Way to go!! I have a family member like that and I had to learn to stand up and say I can't do something. It is hard for some people to understand that there is compassion and the williness to help others and being a doormat, sounds like you have just the right balance now. emoticon

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WALNUT5612 3/12/2010 12:21PM

    Stand up for yourself!

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LORING102466 3/12/2010 10:07AM

    I don't think your keister has anything to worry about regarding this "lovely" woman. In fact, I think your good treatment of her is erasing any of your bad karma that you might have had. I know standing up to her is hard, I face that problem with my "darling" SIL. You are my new hero!!

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KBUCKMASH 3/12/2010 1:00AM

    I beleive this quote sums up how you will need to be to deal with your MIL

"We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind with a tender heart." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who knows, maybe standing up to her was the best thing to do to help with your relationship.

Comment edited on: 3/12/2010 1:06:05 AM

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RASTUS55 3/11/2010 11:01PM

    THAT'S MY GIRL!!! WOO HOO! I enjoyed reading this blog like none other!! This is the just beginning of finally holding up for yourself! You are on your way to freeing yourself from being everyones slave and doormat. You handled everything very well...I am so proud of you!! The transformation in you from that first blog I remember reading is like night and day! And the very best thing is you came to this all by yourself! You should be so proud of yourself Doreen! GOOD FOR YOU!!!
Ruth
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WALKOFFWIN 3/11/2010 9:56PM

    Right on Doreen!!! Compassion is virtue that the world needs more of, but a compassionate person should still never allow him/herself to be manipulated and abused! I think it's great that you've found your voice here, because there's NO WAY you should take anyone's crap, when crap is all that it really is.

Keep it up, cause you're doing GREAT!!!

Chris
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NGCHILD 3/11/2010 9:19PM

    Doreen -- you are such a wonderfully nice person! Good for you for sticking to your guns! I would have probably helped her too but don't let her walk all over you!

You are a strong, beautiful and powerful woman and she should be very afraid!!

LOL

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TRAVELNISTA 3/11/2010 9:19PM

    I am so proud of you! I also would have loved to have seen her face when you told her to stick her arm out for the bloodwork. I bet that was priceless.. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TNLONGHORN 3/11/2010 8:49PM

    You have a beautiful soul.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 3/11/2010 8:48PM

    Nope your keister doesn't have to worry and you're a much nicer person than I am.

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WORKINGSTIFF 3/11/2010 8:22PM

    I'm not a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, but your MIL sounds like someone who is just begging to get some or any attention and going to the doctor or the ER when it isn't necessary is her favorite way of getting it. As a patient representative in a hospital, I've seen it many times.

I hope her doctor doesn't get fed up with her and fire her from his practice.

I'm glad that you have decided to show your MIL your backbone. It won't be easy, but it can be done.

We teach people how to treat us, and now you've got to show her the new way you want to be treated.

Best to you.



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Thanks Dr. Phil, you pompous @ss - for helping me!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Despite the fact that I think Dr. Phil is a pompous @ss, two of his life strategies are stuck in my head! They are:

"You can't change what you don't acknowledge"
"You teach people how to treat you"

I guess you can tell by my name - WINGSOFCHANGE, that change is important to me, so I've decided to take stock and acknowledge a few things. This blog started out as many of mine have, as an entry in my journal. I wrote this days ago, but hesitated in posting it because it's pretty revealing. I realize that all of us face challenges in our lives, and as a result we're changed in some way. This is my quest to heal my past and understand WHY I am who I am - NOT for any kind of pity. My birthday was last Saturday, and it's always a reminder of my mom, and how much I still miss her. Even though I've tried to distance myself from my MIL's toxic behavior, it still hurt my feelings that she didn't even acknowledge my birthday. I'm not keeping score, but for the last 26 years I've always done something for her on Mother's Day and her birthday. I really wish that it didn't hurt my feelings a little, but it did.

I knew growing up that my mother loved me and my sister more than life itself, and that she was proud of the young woman I was becoming. My father on the other hand worked all of the time and didn't have much involvement with me or my sister. To be frank, he probably shouldn't have been a parent because he always put himself and his needs before ours. He thought that if he provided a good living, that was enough. It wasn't! I was an honor roll student and graduated in the top percent of my class - yet he did NOT even go to my high school graduation! That still hurts! We were raised to be polite and to not talk back, so essentially - do as we were told. Over the years I've worked on forgiving my father for the hurt that he caused, but I still have lingering feelings.

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer when I was 18 and my sister was almost 12. She was in a hospital in New Jersey recovering from having a lung removed when I received a call that my father suffered a stroke while working, and was taken to a hospital in Philadelphia. I had taken over partial control of the family business when my mom first got sick, but now ALL of the responsibility was on me, as well as taking care of my sister, and running back and forth from one hospital to the other.

Within 7 months my mom's cancer spread to her brain, and she passed away. Three days after her funeral, my dad's new 'friend' came over to the house for a visit. Yes, that BITCH came over THREE days after we buried our mother!!!!!!!!! My sister and I were expected to be 'NICE' to her and be 'POLITE' - not an easy thing to do! We had no warning that she would be there, let alone of her existence! To this day, I can't even wrap my head around my father's TOTAL lack of respect for my mother, and his lack of regard for my sister and myself! I've asked myself SO many times how he could have done that!

My father wanted me to get rid of my mom's things, but I told him NO, I couldn't do it. She didn't share a closet with him, so space wasn't an issue. I would go into her closet and touch her clothing and cry. I could still smell her perfume - it made me feel close to her. One day upon coming home, I heard women's voices coming from upstairs. I asked my father who was there, but NOTHING could prepare me for what I saw. I ran up the steps and into my mom's closet - and there were two waitresses from the local diner - trying on my mom's clothing!! I almost had a total meltdown! My screaming at them at the top of my lungs, sent them running down the stairs and right out the front door. Vultures! I felt like spitting in my father's face - how could he do that? I was grateful that my sister wasn't home to see that.

Since my mom's family despised my father, the day of her funeral was the LAST time we saw them, except for an occasional visit from ONE second cousin. So I felt isolated and alone - with my growing anger! I was appointed my sister's legal guardian when I was 19, and basically raised her and ran the business. And how did my father thank me? There are 2 sentences stuck in my head that he said to me over and over again:

'There's something wrong with you, honey!'
'I hate you!'

If it wasn't for my best friend and her family, I would have lost my mind! Her parents became Aunt Maria and Uncle Gino to me and my sister, and I loved them! Other girls my age were going to concerts and dating - NOT me - all I did was work! Instead of my sister turning her anger towards my father, she directed it at ME, fighting with me constantly. Her favorite thing to say was "I hate you - you're not my mother, you can't tell me what to do!" One night she got physical with me and literally knocked me out. I came to on the kitchen floor with Uncle Gino kneeling over me. I felt like I lived the life of an old woman, not a 19 year old girl. My father went on dating that witch, while I acted like a robot on automatic-pilot, just doing what was expected of me - but losing myself piece by piece.

I tried to find my 'voice' in the following 2.5 years, but there was NO speaking back to my father. I slowly started going out, which made him fight with me. I started dating and had what I thought was a serious boyfriend when I was 21. Since we were part of a very tight-knit Greek community, and ALL of our customers were Greek also, everyone knew everyone else's business. My father went around and told our customers that I was a 'PIG'! Why, because I was dating??? About a week before my 22nd birthday, he threw me out of the house. He told me that he HATED me, and that he wanted me out! I had no place to go, and asked for a week to find a place. I moved out on my 22nd birthday! I felt like my father shamed me, and I carried that with me for years!

Looking back, my sister and I should have gone for therapy. I continued to run the business, but tried to do so while avoiding my father. He needed me to do the work, but he didn't want me living there. My sister was almost 16 years old and continued to live with him, but I still saw her just about every day. She resented me most of her life, as she saw me as the one stopping her from doing what she wanted to do. Sadly, they have both since passed away.

I have worked on my issues, but I still have a way to go. I feel as if the last 6 months I've been peeling back the layers of an onion. I made a decision to NOT sugar-coat things, despite how raw and exposed it has made me feel. I believe in honesty, no matter how hard it is. There are two parts to my weight issue. First, I do have a thyroid problem, and was diagnosed as a young teenager. The last few years it got progressively worse and I was under-treated. Thankfully I found a new doctor that has helped me, and I'm feeling and doing much better.

The second part is that I used food to comfort myself and numb my emotions. However it didn't start until after my DH and I got engaged. Dealing with my future MIL was horrific, to say the least! Looking back I realize that I didn't have the coping skills needed to protect myself from the hurt that she caused. She was and is a negative, toxic person, that takes pleasure in hurting others. What didn't dawn on me until now, was how alike my father and my MIL were - ZERO regard for others! The emotional eating issue started after having run-ins with her. I would stand at the kitchen sink, eating - while sobbing the entire time. I have since realized this behavior was unhealthy, and didn't solve anything, and it is no longer an issue for me. I've learned how to use other methods to deal with my feelings, like writing in my journal, and even exercise. Both have helped enormously!

My past did leave a lasting imprint, which I'm working on changing. Years ago I felt as if I had NO voice, was treated with no regard, disrespected, and yes, emotionally abused. Self esteem or self worth are built up as a child or young adult when you feel valued as a person. My mom valued me, and I know how much she loved me - because she told me EVERY day. The woman I am on the inside is because of her and the values she instilled on me. I know who I am as far as my values are concerned, so WHY has my self esteem been such a struggle? I think that it was something that was slowly chipped away at, and will take time to build back up. But, I AM working on it. I have forgiven my father, as I've realized that he did the best he could. His mother left her husband and took my father and his brothers back to Greece when they were very young. My father didn't come back to this country until he was 18 and drafted. He spent all of those years without a father, so in my forgiving heart, maybe that's why he didn't know how to put his children first. I'm not trying to make excuses, I just don't want to carry that anger in my heart any longer!

And as for the 'teaching people how to treat us' part of the equation, my not standing up for myself in dealing with my MIL in the past - taught her that it's okay to disrespect and hurt me. Well guess what, it's NOT OKAY!!!! My birthday triggered memories of how she used to write the wrong name in cards that she sent me the first few years after we were married. My name is Doreen, but she would write Dorraine, which rhymes with Lorraine! She did that for YEARS despite us telling her that she's calling me by the wrong name! I know that my desire to be part of a family, and to be loved and accepted is WHY I've put up with SO much of her crap for the last 26 years. I've since kicked the 'polite-doormat' to the curb, as it's NO longer who I am. It's time for some NEW lessons - if you don't treat me with basic human kindness and respect - HIT THE ROAD! I'm working on letting go of the past, healing myself, and giving myself the acceptance that I've longed for! So thanks Dr. Phil, for your life strategies - because I'm learning to give myself what I need - love and respect!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORING102466 3/12/2010 10:29AM

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. As I said in my comment on your other blog, you are my new hero.

Oh, and I don't like Dr. Phil either... emoticon

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WALKOFFWIN 3/10/2010 8:44PM

    I guess you really needed to get all that out, and I'm glad that you have a supportive place like Spark to do this. You are absolutely right - we can't change what we don't acknowledge. Change begins with clear self understanding and self forgiveness, and also an awareness of all that made us who we are, both good and bad.

And yes, I absolutely agree that we teach people how to treat us. If we teach them that we have a healthy sense of our own self respect, they're far more likely to respect us as well. And I for one, NEVER take any needless, mean spirited crap from anybody! So I'm wishing you the very best on your voyage of self discovery, as well as success and happiness.

Oh, and one more thing... Dr. Phil IS a pompous @ss! But I guess that sometimes it's possible for wisdom to come out of the mouths of braying donkeys! LOL

Please take care,

Chris
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LMB-ESQ 3/9/2010 7:25AM

    Wow. Well, I think your name "wingsofchange" really says it all. You have come so far in coming to terms with the circumstances of your life, it was certainly not easy! But now you are learning to value yourself for the wonderful person you are! Congratulations on this great progress! emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 3/8/2010 10:23PM

    Doreen, you are made of Teflon my dear. You've warded off the mentally and physically destructive blows with your drive and determination. You survived it all with your dignity intact. You can rest assured that you took great care of your sister and father, despite his ungrateful and cruel treatment of you and she was probably so full of confusion and anger at being abandoned that she took it all out on you. Never think that strength and sensitivity are mutually exclusive... Even the strongest among us have places that hurt and that hurt can linger for a long long time. I can't imagine losing your mom the way you did or seeing your father flaunt the floozies in front of his children and demean your mother's memory like he did. I'm surprised that in such a big Greek family that no one stepped up and put him in his place. My best friend is from a big Greek family and I've been around them for over 20 years and know how protective they are of each other. (btw, what part of Greece is your family from? They are from a village near Ionnina.) Anyway, you are just flying out of that old cocoon and taking the world by storm! Every time you face these tough memories and the bad feelings they bring up say sayonara to them and let them fly away forever and keep the good memories close to your heart! You are a very, very special person and great friend! Big ole Philly hugs, Kim

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WANNABTHIN02 3/6/2010 8:55AM

    Hey Doreen,
Happy Late Birthday. I feel for you girl. We all have a cross to bare and I'm sorry that yours feels heavy right now. But, it sounds like you are on the right tract. I agree ....get rid of the toxic people. They are not good for us. My self esteem is pretty fragile, but I'm working on it. You have a great day and just know we are here for you.

Helena emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 3/5/2010 5:55PM

    Doreen you have had so much thrown at you since a teenager and I amazed at what a really nice person you are with the hand you were dealt . I think that most other people would be bitter and yet you are so loving and caring. I felt so bad for you as I read this and yet I couldn't stop reading it. Kudos to you! You have grown so much since I have known you through Spark People. Right now I am a little speechless. emoticon my friend.

Comment edited on: 3/5/2010 6:01:25 PM

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ANGIEEB1229 3/4/2010 9:08AM

    thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts with us. Sometimes it feels so much better to write things down and let it all spill out. I lost my mom (who was my one and only best friend) back in 2002 when I was 28 yrs old. And I blame a lot of it on her stressful lifestyle with my stepdad. And after she was gone he made a choice of pushing me away and having nothing to do with me or my son at the time. It was VERY difficult to handle but I came to understand that is the life he wanted. My mom lives in my heart everyday of my life. Keep strong. Everything will turn out well in the end. And as for the MIL....we all have "odd" ones. I get frustrated with mine all the time. I just let my husband deal with his mother cause thats exactly what she is HIS mom. Take care.

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KBUCKMASH 3/4/2010 2:08AM

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Unfortunately you and I have some similar issues but I have not been brave enough to write them all down. Have given out bits and pieces but think it time to follow your example, Dr Phil's words and take stock of where I have been and where I want to go.

Thank you again for showing me what I need to do.

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TNLONGHORN 3/3/2010 11:38PM

    There is much that I already admire about you. Now there is even more.

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ANITAWPG 3/3/2010 10:41PM

    I think you are exceedingly brave - to ahve come so far and become such a kind caring lady

and even braver for posting this.

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PONYFARMER 3/3/2010 6:44PM

    wow!

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 3/3/2010 6:36PM

    Just getting this out had to have been cathartic. Keep spreading those wings and building yourself into an even stronger woman than you already are! You know there are alot more of us out here supporting you than you have tearing you down so keep your chin up!

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RASTUS55 3/3/2010 6:21PM

    WHOA!!! That explains so much of why you have taken so much from the old broomstick hag MIL! Your right you have learned to actually accept being treated with great disregard!!! Do you realize though how truly strong you are for working through this all on your own and realize the issues that have kept you from blooming. You are very aware of the problems that lie deep in your soul and now you are squaring off and facing them. I know what that is like and it is a very hard thing to do but you are already 90% there. Only let the positive people into your life and love the ones that are there for you with all of your heart and you will find that peace that is long over due for you!! I have known all along the beautiful person you are and for those of them who have walked on that precious heart of yours don't deserve a second thought! When you find yourself thinking about those negative times as many of us who have struggled through life do...just think of those wings your wearing and the changes you have alrady come to know!! You will find that each time you think about those times will come fewer and farther between. It all takes time when you have been hurt so deeply but You will do it....THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND WHAT SO EVER!! God bless you sweet lady...You are a treasure to all that know YOU and love YOU!
Ruth

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MAKULEWAHINE 3/3/2010 6:07PM

    What an insightful blog! Thank you so much for sharing your deepest feelings and experiences. Both my parents were alcoholics so I know of some of your pain. My father died when I was 22 but my mother lived until 83. This gave me a lot of time to heal my relationship with her and be able to honestly tell her I loved her. Both were the products of their own upbringing but the pain is still the same.

Continue on your path to healing. It will come, in time, and life will be better. Love yourself first and foremost and do stop letting that woman get near you.

My prayers are with you. emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 3/3/2010 4:58PM

    I know already know this but you are amazing. You deserve to hear it everyday because even the strongest of people have broken under circumstances like that in the most violent of ways. I don't want to say you'd have every right but I think you'd have a sympathetic jury that's for sure. You are so much stronger than I could ever be and I am so honored to call you friend.

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MRNOTABOUTFACE 3/3/2010 4:57PM

    You've been through a lot. Seems to me you're already out of that cocoon and ready to fly away and leave all the past behind and just take the good stuff with you to new heights.

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NGCHILD 3/3/2010 3:56PM

    Doreen you are such a strong woman. I can't imagine the things you have had to deal with in your life and at such a young age. Thank God that you found such a wonderful and loving husband to stand by your side. (Too bad the MIL came as a package deal.) Your mother would be very proud of the person and wonderful friend that you are today!!



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CATHYGETSFIT 3/3/2010 3:51PM

    Wow, Doreen thank you so much for sharing this with us!!! While I had health issues to deal with growing up, you had to deal with your dad not being a dad and your mom dying when you were young, Along with so much responsibility landing squarely on your shoulders! This really was an outstanding blog!!! I'm sure it wasn't easy to write this. I'm sorry you had to deal with so much at a young age. We are both survivor's!!! I'm so glad that you have kicked that "polite-doormat" to the curb!! Don't let that b*tch of a mother in law get to you ever again! I know it still hurts a little all of the crap she puts on you but don't let her know that it does. You are a powerful strong woman and I know you will continue to get stronger! It sounds like you are learning to love yourself and that's not easy I know because it's been hard for me. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/3/2010 3:55:43 PM

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OVERWEIGHT 3/3/2010 3:50PM

    I am one proud person for you. You will learn to love yourself, your self esteem will rocket straight up and you will get the respect you deserve. We had a program on self esteem in TOPS that told how self esteem can be build on child hood experiences and relationships with others. We have to let go of some things so we can move ahead with our life and get the treatment we deserve from others. We have to learn to love our self so others will treat us right and our self esteem will reach the sky. I know writing this was hard but it is a step in recovery for you. emoticon emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 3/3/2010 3:15PM

    So glad that you took the time to look at the ugly past and how it still affects your future today. I can only say "Bravo" for the stand you are taking for yourself.

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DEB4HIM1 3/3/2010 3:14PM

  Very powerful and well written blog. I am happy you are working on letting go of the past, healing yourself, and giving yourself the acceptance that you've longed for. You deserve it.

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YAFENELRA 3/3/2010 3:03PM

    You are making all the right decisions. No one has the right to mistreat you or anybody else. Be all that you can be and don't bother about them at all!!

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LITTLE_QUEEN 3/3/2010 2:57PM

    Wow! This is a great, powerful and theraputic blog Doreen, Even brought back some memories of my own dysfunctional childhood, Sounds like you are well on your way to getting past it,There is a saying I have heard of that states: "When you forgive someone, the prisoner you set free is yourself", Congratulations on setting yourself free! emoticon

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MARCHMAID 3/3/2010 2:53PM

    Sounds to me as if you've got it figured out. Interesting--it's taken me a lot of years to understand it all, too, even though I really did get it years ago. I just didn't want to do the work it takes to be myself. I bet you're going to be fine. To heck with the mother in law! She's not really a problem if you don't permit her to be. Right?

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MALUQUINA 3/3/2010 2:45PM

    Wow, your blog entry is powerful. I can see how this is a cathartic experience for you and my heart goes out to you for all of the pain you endured. You are an amazing survivor...not a victim. You have finally come into your own and I wish you all the best with your newfound attitude. You will attract all the good that you deserve. Good for you!

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WHOVIANPRINCESS 3/3/2010 2:35PM

    Wow this is an amazing struggle I can't even imagine. Congrats taking the initiative to stand up for yourself!

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Oh happy day, I did it!

Friday, February 26, 2010

After a few weeks of scale-frustration, I was ready! I put thoughts of beating the scale with a hammer out of my mind, and instead focused on reaching one of my mini goals. Weeks ago I set a couple of mini goals for myself with a time-line - February 27th, my birthday. Both goals seemed easy at the time, but I didn't plan on the blasted scale sticking for weeks at the same number. However I was determined to reach one goal - losing 2 lbs, and breaking a number that I haven't seen in close to TEN years. I weighed myself this morning feeling very hopeful. Oh happy day - I lost 2 lbs and reached my mini goal! YAY!!!!!!

That number represented years of failed attempts and a 28 week plateau. I had to lose 1 lb to reach the number that I haven't been able to break, and lose 2 lbs to break through into 'new scale territory'. Despite a stressful month, I was so determined to do it. I feel proud of myself, which is a feeling that's been dormant for far TOO long. In the past I felt beaten down and pretty hopeless, but today I feel that anything is possible!! To me this was a huge deal and the best birthday present I could ever give myself!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANNABTHIN02 3/4/2010 2:25PM

    Hey Girl, Happy Late Birthday. Havent been sparking alot lately. Glad you reached your mini goal. Much kudos emoticon

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CATHYGETSFIT 3/1/2010 7:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You're doing fantastic with sticking to it and not letting the scale stop you! There's nothing you can't do! emoticon

Happy Birthday and it is indeed an awesome present to give to yourself! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NGCHILD 3/1/2010 10:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANITAWPG 2/27/2010 1:18PM

    You did it - that is a marvellous birthday present!!

Sometimes it is the small goals that make it easier to get to the big ones.

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MARCHMAID 2/27/2010 12:19PM

    I've checked you out simply because notaboutheface credits you with good vibes! And as an over 50 gal with issues, I am pleased to meet you!

Hope it's OK--I'm going to add you as a friend because I need additional inspiration!


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TNLONGHORN 2/27/2010 10:51AM

    Rock on Lady Bug!

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MEOWMAMA3 2/26/2010 9:26PM

    Excellent! You once told me I was unstoppable....My turn! YOU, my dear, are UNSTOPPABLE!!!

Have a wonderful birthday, celebrate all this success and feel good! Here's a link to get you hopppin' ...

http://www.youtube.com/watc
h?v=B1wOK9yGUYM

The videos with my man JB dancing in his younger days were too grainy to enjoy....this one has clear audio. Crank it up, grab Rick, and have a ball! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 2/26/2010 9:24PM

    emoticon emoticon I am so proud of you for sticking it out! emoticon emoticon

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TAKINGCAREOFKIM 2/26/2010 8:23PM

    Way to go!!! Happy birthday a little early as tomorrow will be super busy for me and I know I'll forget to send wishes then. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 2/26/2010 7:55PM

    emoticon I am SO proud of you for hanging in there through ALL you've had on your plate, and I don't mean food! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

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BEGONIAC 2/26/2010 6:25PM

    Don't you love it! WooHoo! I think setting the mini goals is genius! emoticon

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MMICKEYP 2/26/2010 6:16PM

    I'll bet that feels awesome! Great work!! emoticon

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/26/2010 5:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/26/2010 5:03PM

    emoticonYOU ARE AWESOME!!! emoticon

This is only the beginning. You can do anything!

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ROBYNSKIC 2/26/2010 4:52PM

  Congrats! It's so exciting to hit goals and NEW SCALE TERRITORY! Way to go!

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Frustration leads to thoughts of total scale destruction!

Friday, February 12, 2010

This morning started out as every Friday since August - with me looking forward to stepping on the scale! After looking down, and stepping on and off of the blasted thing 3 times, I started to fantasize. No, it didn't involve some hot stud-muffin, like Mario Lopez! As I stood there filled with frustration, I could visualize myself doing something that I've never done before, but REALLY wanted to on many occasions, but didn't have the nerve to do. I could SEE myself doing it, and working up quite a sweat - beating the crap out of the scale with a hammer! I've had many similar thoughts over the years, some more graphic than others, but the end result was always the same - total scale destruction!

Yes, I DO know better than to let a mechanical device have any power over me as far as measuring my success, but yet I couldn't shake that feeling of frustration. I did measure myself earlier in the month, and was happy with the 5 1/2 inches that I lost, but this was something else - disappointment. I set 2 mini goals for myself WEEKS ago, and both involved a time line - February 27th, my birthday. I thought that both goals were possible to achieve. I am ONE lb away from reaching a number that would be my lowest weight in YEARS!! So goal #1 involved me beating that number, which would mean that I had to lose 2 lbs. Goal #2 required me to lose 7 lbs, and fall below a number that would be a milestone!

As I stood there on the scale, and saw NO loss, which meant that I lost a whopping ONE lb in the last 3 weeks, I realized that goal #2 was impossible. But there was still hope for goal #1 - I have 2 weeks left. Unfortunately that nasty witch, Aunt Flo is coming to town this weekend for her monthly visit. And she brings with her in her dreaded bag of tricks - BLOAT - in the form of 3-5 lbs of fluid retention! And if that's not enough, she makes long bike rides miserable. The last time she visited I went on a 12+ mile ride, and ended up with a chafed cootchie from that darned 'cotton canoe' (AKA-pad), and wound up walking like John Wayne for days! UGH!

Okay, so I already know that next week's weigh in might not be great - until I can kick Aunt Flo's keister to the curb! I've been under some stress the last couple of weeks, and I can't help but wonder what role that played in the scale being stuck. I knew that my blood pressure was up and I've been having trouble sleeping through the night. So I've been feeling 'off' and kind of drained. I AM working on eliminating the 'source' of my stress from my daily life, and I have made progress. I DO feel better than I did one week ago, so that's good.

Being the stubborn, goal-minded wench that I am, that leaves me 1 week after I bid good riddance to my dear Auntie! So now my frustration has lead to something else - DETERMINATION!!! Goal #1, I AM going to reach you! I have a new pair of pretty red sandals (I live in Florida), with a small heel, that are ready for when I do the 'Happy Dance' on that scale! And if for some reason the scale doesn't want to cooperate - there's always the hammer!!! Wish me luck.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANITAWPG 2/22/2010 11:41PM

    hammer = both cardio & srength training!!

but then you have to buy a new scale

Ok, like has been said - the scale shouldn't be only thing - but lets face it - that dang number really MATTERS!!!

I like losing inches, I like my clothes fitting better, but I still want that number to go DOWN DOWN DOWN

With your determination I am sure you will see some movement down

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WANNABTHIN02 2/22/2010 12:25PM

    Hopped on the scale friday and went into a blue funk. Spent all week end doing the Wah Wah. Pity me Party. Trying to lose a certain number of pounds for my husbands birthday on the 27th of Feb. I ate my sorrows away this weekend....Now I have a steeper price to pay. I should have just beat the h...... out of the scale. Why didn't I think of that. We will still be here after next weekend. I know you will have a wonderful birthday because you are going to continue to do well and I too will have a wonderful birthday celebration for my hubbie. See you next week and we'll hammer out the scales.

Helena

PS Hope you are still keeping DMIL at a distance. LOL

Comment edited on: 2/22/2010 12:26:46 PM

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CATHYGETSFIT 2/18/2010 11:37PM

    I, like you, and countless others at times would love to beat the sh*t out of the scale when it doesn't move as much as we want or at all when we're doing everything right. Try to revel in how far you've come and think about how much different you life would be if you hadn't started on this journey. NATF is right about the water while Aunt FLO is visiting...that usually helps me.

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THE_SILVER_OWL 2/17/2010 8:13PM

    emoticon Some days I just want to throw it out the window!

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NGCHILD 2/14/2010 6:33PM

    I can totally relate but I know that you, like me, will keep on doing what we have been doing because we KNOW this is the way to be. Healthy, happy and loving our spark friends!!

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DIFROMWYOMING 2/13/2010 8:35PM

    Boy can I relate to THIS wonderful blog. Yes, I too have been feeling that stress. And while I am (thankfully) too old for Aunt Flo to visit me any more, I can relate to Mrs. NATF about the fluid gains and fluctuations.( And yes, I am one of those who have probably said not to let the scale rule our lives...Uh oh!)
You WILL get there. Whether it is next week or two weeks from now or two and a half weeks from now: you WILL get there. Because you are determined.
If all else fails, ask DH for a hammer for your birthday!
Hugs, Di

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RASTUS55 2/13/2010 1:55PM

    Boy I can relate....tmy scales took a severe kick across the floor this morning as well! Only thing I can contribute to a 1 pound weight gain is the stress I have been under. It will all come in time Doreen!! I know they say that goal setting is a good thing but when you don't reach goals it even becomes that much more frustrating. I can see both the good and the bad side to defining goals. You whip this just like you always do and come out the victor! NO DOUBT IN MY MIND!

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MTNHIKER1971 2/12/2010 11:55PM

    Even though things are a bit disappointing now, think of where you were a year ago today, that one or two extra pounds will come off in no time compared to what you've overcame in the last year.

To continued progress to the person you wish yourself to be....

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JERSEYGIRL1950 2/12/2010 4:41PM

    LOL..More than once I've kick the crap out of my scale..I know it shouldn't be a big deal..but we have old school thinking where the scale counted for everything..now it shouldn't be the 1st on the list..you feel better ,you have more energy, clothes look better, you've lost inches..plus have you taken a photo???
Take one as close as the one above..and compare it and then you will go OMG!!!! check at that hot mama and she ain't done yet..you come a long way baby...and stress will definitely hold onto the weight and you sure had your fill..so be gentle with yourself...enjoy the weekend sweetie emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/12/2010 4:43:27 PM

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SMERTZ 2/12/2010 3:33PM

    I HEAR YOU!

You would think the scale would get the hint as we jump on and off it several times in a minute. emoticon Like WAKE UP......I DON'T LIKE that NUMBER. My scale will rebel and add a pound or two the more I jump on and off it. Maybe it is the approach. I think next time it is stuck on a number, I will take some nice fragrance's soapy water and give it a nice relaxing scrub.
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I wish you and your scale the best. Remember to use threats and tell you scale it can easily be replaced.

Comment edited on: 2/12/2010 3:35:19 PM

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 2/12/2010 3:13PM

    I am so with you. I just journaled and was p*ssed off for the same reasons you are. It just plain SUCKS. I get so sick of people saying "don't let the scale rule your life." (No offense if anyone said that) You have to use SOMETHING to measure your progress with and when you see little movement in scale, measuring tape or clothing (me) then dreams of the hammer breaking out surface. So girl, I empathize. I admire the fire and determination and I'll just say drown yourself in water because when I do I typically lose 1-2 lbs now whereas when I didn't drink the water as much that week, I retained or lost nothing. Keep fighting the good fight!
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MEOWMAMA3 2/12/2010 2:59PM

    Please don't hurt Mr. Scale. Mee-ow, somebody's a little edgy here.... lol!
Take it easy on yourself. When your birthday arrives celebrate that # (date and age...less), the pounds and inches you HAVE lost, and the "10" s on your confidence, energy and self-esteem scales!
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SANDYSKY1 2/12/2010 2:51PM

    I've had my own problems with letting the scale rule my life. I wish you luck in finding your way. Don't forget you are making progress. Just keep moving forward. You will get there. (I love this little blue flower in the background).

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TRAVELNISTA 2/12/2010 2:49PM

    I will wish you luck my friend but I know emoticon. I too hate it when that stupid thing doesn't tell me what I want to hear/see, That is the reason I chose the icon for my team that I did when we renamed it.

One of my Spark Buddies and fellow team mate calls it the square box thingy with the telling numbers and it cracks me up every time. We have to have a sense of humor when it comes to the scale. I used to let it validate me.

Now I go by how I feel, how much energy I have, inches off, clothes falling off, etc. My scale went up 2 pounds with my meds for the shingles and I have only lost one of them. I have not lost any weight since Jan. 1st. If I still paid homage to the scale I would have lost my mind by now.

You are doing great and you have come so far in all areas in your journey to a healthier you Just stick with it and you will be fine. emoticon emoticon

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DONNABGOOD62 2/12/2010 2:42PM

    Maybe I should be wishing the scale luck. emoticonHave you ever thought of taking up kick boxing? emoticonGood luck. emoticon

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