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Goodbye holiday weight gain and regret!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This is the first time in years that I'm not dreading the holidays and the food-fest that accompanies them, followed by the holiday weight gain! In the past, the holiday season was a reprieve from 'dieting'. How many of us thought that we would start again after New Years Day? Then after stepping on the scale on January 2nd, I would regret every Christmas cookie, glass of eggnog, and calorie infused 'goodie' that I consumed over the holidays! That was then and this is now. I decided that there isn't a Christmas 'goodie' on the face of the earth that's worth that feeling!

To be honest, it was never just ONE cookie! But deprivation is NOT the answer either, moderation is. I was so proud of myself over how I handled Thanksgiving. Portion control, moderation, and smart choices were what enabled me to lose weight that week. But if I want to eat an 'occasional' Christmas cookie I'll have ONE, and factor it into my calories with my food tracker. I will NOT be eating a plate of cookies! Three words that I don't want in my vocabulary any longer are DIET, GUILT, and REGRET! I plan on having a guilt-free holiday season and see the number on the scale go down. Come January 2nd, I will be doing the happy dance on the scale, NOT throwing it out the front door!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANITAWPG 12/3/2009 10:56PM

    Good plan!!!

If we deprive ourselves then we are setting ourselves up for failure

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NGCHILD 12/3/2009 12:15PM

    I didn't get a notification you blogged! emoticon

I ould like to ditto what MTNHIKER1971 said. Amen to that. I am so truly glad that we stubbled across each other and can continue to laugh and cry together. You are doing an amazing job -- 30 lbs is FABULOUS!

Cheers to your new thinking and Christmas cookies!!


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MTNHIKER1971 12/3/2009 12:23AM

    Sounds like your cognitive skills are at their best. Congratulations on mastering them. Wow, the last few months you have mastered the skills in weeding out poor friendships, relationships, focusing more on you instead of just everyone else, getting some serious exercise in on your bike and how to speak your mind in difficult confrontational situations! A major feat not to be taken likely Doreen. You're doing absolutely awesome!

You are an inspiration!


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TRAVELNISTA 12/2/2009 7:00PM

    emoticon attitude! You can do this! I am so proud of the way you handled Thanksgiving and that was the test run. Now comes Christmas and all of the parties. Your gameplan is in place and you should navigate this well. emoticon emoticon

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LAMOUR0 12/2/2009 5:34PM

    Yippee, this sounds like a plan. I am with you. I never make New Years resolutions because it sets yourself up for failure, so when I am ready and motivated that is when I make my plan of action. No time like the present (Xmas or otherwise). Good luck and enjoy those holidays, if I bake I eat, so I don't bake anymore. No more guilt, no more dieting, just enjoying our days in moderation. Good for you for losing over Thanksgiving. Way to Go, keep up the great work!


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    Sounds like a great plan. The other thing that I used to do is if I took it, I felt I had to eat it and not waste it. Well, some of those holiday goodies that LOOKED really good, really weren't but I ate them anyway! (How STUPID was that????!) Now, if I don't love it, I don't waste my calories on it and just throw or give it away to my hubby or kids if they want it. You are doing so great! Keep it up.

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RASTUS55 12/2/2009 4:50PM

    WOW!!! Isn't it a great feeling to know that you control all aspects of your life from the old albatross to the food you eat! LOL! By golly you got this baby licked!!! Good for you Doreen!
emoticon emoticon

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    Sounds like you've got a good plan in place and you should be good to go! Your resolve is strong girlie! We're doing our cookies a week before Christmas so they're not in the house for too long but they'll be on high cal days. I'm not depriving myself of buckeyes! LOL (I'll also be freezing some for later in the year and burying them at the bottom of the freezer!)

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CATHYGETSFIT 12/2/2009 4:04PM

    I completely agree! You might want to try some vegan cookies. I will be making some but have to wait for the local health food store to get agave nectar in. :-)

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W82GOWHEE 12/2/2009 3:14PM

    Great blog--sounds a lot like my plan! No more throwing everything to the holiday winds. It's mindfulness and vigilance for me, and lots of healthy choices!


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DIFROMWYOMING 12/2/2009 12:06PM

    I LOVE this! You are so right, moderation IS the key to success overall. I also ate what I wanted at Thanksgiving and had a loss. Yes, I chose to eliminate some extra carbs I could live without, but I had the rest of what I wanted, including the pie, and did just fine. I did not,however, consume an entire pie or 'eat up' the leftovers like usual. And you nailed it perfectly, that DOES feel good! Congrats on your successful week!

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FREDDIE_13 12/2/2009 11:51AM

    Amen to that! We can still have a good holiday, and enjoy the food. Its all about moderation. Not DEPRIVATION!!

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WEEZBUG82 12/2/2009 11:15AM

  Nicely done!!!!! emoticon

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JILLSMYTH 12/2/2009 11:13AM

  Go you! The best way to get through the holidays is by having a workable plan. Sounds like you're all set to take Christmas by storm :D

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JERSEYGIRL1950 12/2/2009 11:13AM

    read comment on blog below posted on the wrong one..LOL

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KIRSTEN 12/2/2009 11:10AM

    amen sistah! emoticon

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I survived Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I actually feel proud of myself for how I handled the temptation of the calorie-killer meal, know as Thanksgiving! In the past, a holiday would have been an excuse for falling off of the wagon for the day. Heck, I wouldn't have just fallen off, the wagon would have run me over a few times! But that was then, and this is now! In the battle of me vs. Thanksgiving, I WON! I told my DH that I would allow myself a SMALL piece of dessert, ONLY if I exercised first, so we went for a nice bike ride in the morning.

We went to our friend's house for the holiday, as usual. I resisted the cocktails and chose sparkling water with fresh lime. Despite the fact that my friend told me 'to go off of my diet' for the day, I didn't. I don't want to look at the WAY I eat as something that I'm either on or off of. It's not about deprivation, but instead moderation, and making smart choices. The way I see things now is totally different than the past, and I had no apprehension about facing a big holiday meal. I thought about how long I would have to ride my bike to burn off the calories, and realized that it's just not worth it!

Instead of focusing on the food, I decided instead to have a good time enjoying the company of my DH and our friends. I was careful with my choices and my portions, and yet still enjoyed a holiday dinner. We always watch a Christmas movie after dinner to kick off the holiday season. We laughed, talked, and really had a great time! And yes, since I exercised, I allowed myself a very small piece of pie, which was delicious. I didn't stuff myself like a Thanksgiving turkey, and the best part - NO guilt!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RASTUS55 12/2/2009 4:54PM

    I just now read this and I am so glad you had a great Thanksgiving. No wicked witch or albatross around the old neck!! Good job Doreen, like always you inspire me and make me so very proud!!!

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JERSEYGIRL1950 12/2/2009 11:11AM

    Your so funny and a wonderful blog and attitude..look out 2010 she's coming with a force to be reckon go girl! Hugs emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IM4KINGDOM 11/28/2009 9:57PM


Comment edited on: 11/28/2009 9:58:08 PM

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CAROLYNVIL 11/28/2009 8:31PM

    emoticon emoticongood for you! carolyn

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TRAVELNISTA 11/28/2009 7:26AM

    Doreen I am proud of you too! emoticon

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DYNAMICDEB53 11/28/2009 12:40AM

    Yes it is wonderful to be gaining control. I loved your blog. It really shows just how much working and learning about good health and ourselves can take us to a good place and not feel deprived. We can have a good time and enjoy food. Its so cool.
congrats on losing another 3 lbs.

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DIFROMWYOMING 11/27/2009 11:26PM

    Wonderful day! I wish I'd thought to try to exercise before's so cold out to do anything outdoors and my gym is closed. But, I DID keep myself on plan for the day, and I did NOT stuff myself, either, which was wonderful. Isn't is a relief to not feel that you're controlled by the food any longer, but can enjoy the day like a 'normal' person (whatever that is, LOL!) So glad you had a good day. Have a great weekend!

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MTNHIKER1971 11/27/2009 9:15PM

    Good job Doreen,

It's hard, but you can sleep better tonight without the ole self-conscience saying you shouldn't have had this, or that... You've reached the point where you really want this for yourself, to lead a healthy life; and from your previous blogs about choosing the right friends, balancing out your choices and taking time out for you, you truly are well on your way; and really, the hardest part is over.

Congratulations again and thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts; truly inspiring.

Enjoy the rest of the evening.



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MEOWMAMA3 11/27/2009 6:17PM

    Excellent strategies and mindset Doreen!

There go "friends" again trying to derail us.... Nothing personal against your friends, we've all got 'em. Would they tell alcoholic to just have one drink for the holiday? Would they offer a needleful of heroin to a junkie? Sheesh, people, IF YOU KNOW where we are in our thinking about food, why would you ever suggest sabotage???

Along with the purposely evil/spiteful/jealousy-based motivations (recently addressed in several Sparkfriends' blogposts), with all due justice, the "ignorance-is-bliss" explanation must also be considered. Sometimes it's a kneejerk reaction comment that folks just spit out without even thinking, trying to tie the blinders over your eyes as they give you the go ahead to screw up your progress. Like their saying it's ok will give us forgiveness for our sin. And how many times have we all processed such well-meaning comments as a green light, only to forge ahead, remorselessly pigging out? It's amazing the number of ways outside influences throw bait at us to catch us with our game weak and our guard down. Thankfully our Sparksperience makes us stronger every day so we can deal with these hurdles.

Now we're all ready to tackle Christmas/Hannukah/New Year's celebratory food with our pre-season game victory in place!!!!

Go Doreen! emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 11/27/2009 3:41PM

    Awesome job!!! It CAN be done, you just have to want it bad enough. We did the same thing, started out the day with a good strength workout and then didn't deprive myself of anything I wanted, stopped when I was full and was fine with that! :)

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ANITAWPG 11/27/2009 3:36PM

When I read the title
my first thought was
OH NO, the Wicked Witch showed up!!

I am so glad you had a good Thanksgiving, enjoyed your pie and still feel good after it

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RITEEBEE 11/27/2009 3:21PM

    emoticon you did it!!!

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Feeling thankful!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, it's only natural that I would be feeling thankful for all of the blessings in my life. We spend every Thanksgiving with our best friends, which are our make-shift family. We'll go to their house tomorrow, and every Christmas Eve they come to our home to celebrate the holiday. We started a tradition years ago at the dinner table, before we eat. We take turns going around the table saying what we are all thankful for. After dinner we always watch a Christmas movie to get into the holiday spirit. It's always a wonderful day.

This holiday is about so much more than turkey and pumpkin pie, it's about feeling thankful for what we do have in our lives. The way things are out there in the world right now, there are people without a home and food to eat. There are places in the world where people don't have clean water to drink. There are people that aren't safe and struggle to have the basic necessities. We have soldiers, separated from their loved ones, that put their lives on the line. I don't want to ever take the blessings that I have for granted. I feel thankful for my life!

Here are some of the things that I feel thankful for:

My hubby - always at the TOP of my list.

Good health - for both my DH and myself.

Our friends that are our make-shift family, and their health and happiness.

Having a comfortable home.

The 3 little furballs that share our home with us, that love us unconditionally.

Having healthy food to eat and clean water to drink.

Feeling great and having increased energy.

My Spark friends, and their friendship and support.

SP, which helped me get my motivation back.

Feeling positive about reaching my goals.

Feeling strong and determined.

Feeling good about myself again. YAY!

My shrinking butt!

A MIL-free holiday, since the Toxic-Turkey is NOT invited to our friend's house. Always a reason to feel thankful!!

I could go on and on, but the above list was just off the top of my head. Naturally this is a time of year that I really miss my family, but I have good memories to look back on. Plus, I choose to concentrate on what I have in my life, NOT what's missing. As I look forward to spending Thanksgiving with the people that I love most, I feel blessed! I hope that all of my Spark friends are preparing to spend the holiday with the important people in their lives, and also feeling thankful for life's blessings. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTABOUTHEFACE 11/27/2009 9:19AM

    Great list! You have so much to be thankful for and I'm thankful for you! I'm glad you were able to enjoy a toxic turkey free holiday! One week until my journey into outlaw hell! Pray for me! LOL

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MEOWMAMA3 11/25/2009 10:15PM

    You're so right, once again!

Today I had my remedial reading group write a quick "What I'm thankful for" paper while I marked their workbooks before the next lesson and one little dumpling, ever the big macho "he-man", pain in my behind sez "I ain't thankful for nothin'". I said, "Did you sleep in a bed last night?" He sez, "No, I sleep in the dark in the basement."

He then proceeded to write that he wasn't thankful because he sleeps in the basement with the rats and the insects. Clearly he was campaigning for laughs and being a jerk, so I decided to avoid that battle. Later, with the threat of spending his lunch recess writing something more appropriate with me, he finally caved in and managed to at least write that he was thankful for some games his Dad gave him.

I stopped by his classroom later to tell his teacher that he had finally gotten himself together and I put him in a gentle headlock and told him that I have a formerly homeless friend who really did sleep with rats and insects in the streets of downtown Philly for over a year. His eyes got really big and I told him "You better think about that when you're pulling those covers up around you in your nice warm bed tonight. It's really nothing to joke about" He apologized and I gave him a hug and sent him off to lunch.

Hard-headed little boys are my specialty.

I know I'm certainly thankful for my nice warm bed, my formerly homeless friend (who has a miraculously inspirational story I'll share with you all another time), my knack for reaching the toughest kids' hearts, so many big and little things and for my friend Doreen!!!!

You rock! Enjoy your day and kitty rubs all around!

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ALEXSGIRL1 11/25/2009 7:03PM

    good blog. happy thanksgiving turkey or not. you know what the holiday is about, emoticon

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MTNHIKER1971 11/25/2009 6:10PM

    Gr8 Blog Doreen. Your plate is definitely full and you have many people in your life who love and support you, in all aspects of your life.

Cheers to you and yours!

Now bring on the turkey! :o)


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KIERSTENELLA 11/25/2009 11:19AM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Time to stop and count our blessings is so refreshing! I hope tomorrow is as restful as it can possibly be!

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Grateful for the lessons!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Every morning I read from a book of daily meditations, and then go for my bike ride. I like to use that quiet time to think about what I read. Today's topic was the power of gratitude. My first thoughts were of how grateful I felt to be sharing my life with my husband. I'm also grateful for the good health that he and I have, as well as the health and happiness of our friends and extended family. I feel grateful EVERY day for my life. But during today's bike ride, I focused on how grateful I felt for all of the lessons that I've learned so far.

I never thought that this journey would teach me SO much about myself, but it has! I've said from the beginning that it's about so much more than a weight issue. I've learned to tune in to that little voice inside my head, which for years it seems that I silenced. I've become very aware of what my strengths and weaknesses are, and how to use them to learn more about myself. The really good lessons have felt like a revelation or an AH-HA moment. The tougher lessons have been challenging. But I've realized that until I 'GET IT', I'll be re-visiting those lessons over and over again! I'm happy to say that I've made progress, which is a good thing!

When I joined SP almost 4 months ago, I was hoping to SPARK my motivation. Not only did I get my motivation back, but I also met some great people, that offered their friendship and support. And I feel VERY grateful for how my friends and this site have enhanced my life, and helped make this journey SO positive and rewarding.

One thing that I've learned, is that until I dealt with the feelings that I kept locked inside, the outside 'package' would NOT change. I've known that excess weight can be a symptom of other areas in my life that aren't balanced, and that's what I've been working on. If I always do what I did, I'll always get what I got! So I'm doing things differently, by working on myself from the inside out. I feel so grateful for all of the lessons, both good and challenging, because they've helped me move forward on my journey. I've learned that until I pulled the weeds from my garden, there's no room for the flowers to grow and bloom! And I'm feeling something that I haven't felt for awhile - pride!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTNHIKER1971 11/25/2009 1:58AM

    The butterfly fits you sooo well. You're taking what you learn and applying it to your life. I bet your pseudo friends that you previously mentioned are noticing a very big change in you; and how happy you are. I bet when it's all said and done, you will be their inspiration.


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MEOWMAMA3 11/25/2009 12:33AM

    You are so eloquent and heartfelt in your blogging. You manage to say lots of things that I swear I'm right inside your brain thinking with you but am just to busy and/or tired to articulate when I sit down to spark. You are a winner through and through!
Life will only get better, and you are ready for that uphill ride, biker girl!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 11/24/2009 11:41PM

    Doreen one thing I am grateful is SparkPeople and you! Great blog! emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon Keep doing your awesome work! You have come a long way! I'm proud of you.

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ANITAWPG 11/24/2009 2:51PM

    you have lots and lots to be proud of!!

I am so glad you recognize it

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SLIMNUBIAN 11/24/2009 2:19PM

  That's what it's all about,learning ang growing.Anything worth having is definitely worth the effort it takes to get it.You should be proud,that is a great achievement!Keep growing and learning.We're right here with you.

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NGCHILD 11/24/2009 2:17PM

    Yeah Doreen!! You have achieved so much in 4 short months! You are a wise lady and I am glad to call you my friend!!


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ANGELBELIEVER 11/24/2009 2:05PM

    You are doing so well. We have to grow and learn to love ourselves before we can truly change. Change begins from the inside out. I wish you continued success and happiness.

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I'm WORTH the effort!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Recently I've let life side-track my efforts. By doing that I've skipped breakfast on some mornings, and haven't consumed enough calories. As a result of that, the scale didn't budge, and I feel tired again. It started to dawn on me when I noticed that I take better care of our cats than I do of myself sometimes. I never miss feeding them! Also every day I make sure that my DH takes his vitamins and takes a large bottle of water with him to work, along with a healthy lunch. However there are days that I haven't taken my vitamins, or even come close to drinking all of my water. Webster's dictionary defines the word 'WORTH' as 'equal in value to' or 'deserving of'. So I asked myself, how could I be of less value than the 3 little furballs running around our house? Okay, I've learned my lesson as far as making my health and weight loss a priority. I can NOT neglect myself and expect results!

I know what works for me, and what doesn't. And skipping meals does NOT work! I happen to be a list-maker and a somewhat organized person, so I need to use those qualities to my advantage. I know the importance of planning ahead and being organized. For me, having a food plan in place is vital to my success. I use a monthly planner and once a week I sit down and write out the dinners for the week. I usually go to the farm stand once a week and stock up on fresh veggies, and then jot them down on my planner. I also love the idea of 'cook it once, eat it twice'. I always double the amount of brown rice or quinoa I cook, so that I have it for a second meal. And it also freezes well. I do the same thing when I roast chicken, so that I have dinner for another night. Tonight I'm making chicken with lemon, garlic, and artichokes. I'll bake 4 pieces, and we'll have the leftovers on Sunday night.

I'm trying to be organized and stay a step ahead. I soak my steel cut oats in water overnight in the fridge, to cut down on cooking time. And I make enough for 2 breakfasts, so that it's ready to go on mornings that I don't have the time. I also try to stay a step ahead with my yogurt. Because of a food intolerance, I have to drain the whey from my plain yogurt, so it's like Greek yogurt. I keep a large container in the fridge, and when I eat the last of it, I drain the next container. I try to keep up on these things so that having a healthy meal is convenient.

The last couple of weeks I've gone for my bike rides in the early evening, but this isn't working because I'm coming home in the dark. I need to get back to my routine of early morning bike rides, which I really enjoy, followed by breakfast. I just can't let anything side-track me in the morning. I've realized that nothing is more important than my health, so I need to make the effort. I also know that being on SP helps keep me focused and accountable, plus I really enjoy the contact with my friends! So I need to log on every day, even for a little while, if time is short.

The last week or so I've fallen off of my 'organized wagon', so to speak. And the results were a big zero on the scale today. That's okay - lesson learned! I know that I can't expect results if I don't take the time to do the work. And that includes eating properly, drinking my water, and taking my vitamins. I need to focus on what works for me, which is being organized and make it a priority. A big part of this journey is realizing that I'm WORTH the effort that it takes to succeed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 11/22/2009 8:54PM

    You'll be fine Doreen, a 12 mile bike ride!!! WOW!!! I'm impressed!
You're ultra-organized from my perspective, but we're not robots and sometimes *&%$ happens! SP is our anchor when we start to drift.
Go SparkPeople! Go Doreen!
Have a smooth and organized week my friend!


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NOTABOUTHEFACE 11/22/2009 12:04AM

    Way to learn from the standstill. I think it's really important to look back when the scale stays still just to make sure you can spot a pattern or lack of one thing or another. If you can honestly say you did everything, you're good to go. If you see room for improvement or something you cut out then you can tweak and move on with another lesson under your belt. You're doing great! Keep it up!

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DIFROMWYOMING 11/21/2009 10:07PM

    I am amazed by your 12 mile bike ride! That is wonderful, good for you.
And for putting yourself first, or at least up at the top of your list. I am like you, if I PLAN, I stick with the plan most of the time. If I don't, heaven only knows what kind of choices I'll make! You ARE worth it! I am hoping for a wonderful week for you, and a great holiday.

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TRAVELNISTA 11/20/2009 5:01PM

    It all boils down to the fact that this is a journey of baby steps, one after the other. To be successful on our journeys we need to make some stumbles along the way. The important thing we need to do is to learn from them. You have and are fine tuning your direction. emoticon emoticon

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MICHCLEARY 11/20/2009 2:50PM

    Good post. Congrats on your 12 mile bike ride.

Organization is key. Every weekend we go shopping, clean and organize the fridge and make a plan for some meals. It usually includes grilling a bunch of chicken breasts to use for healthy lunches.

Keep up the good work and making your healthy journey a priority. This is certainly a week to do it!

good luck during Thanksgiving!

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LAMOUR0 11/20/2009 2:38PM

    Yup, you are worth and you will succeed! Go, go, go! You know what works, just try to keep up the motivation even though sometimes life gets in our way.


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