ZELLAZM   96,062
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ZELLAZM's Recent Blog Entries

The Scream

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yesterday I was looking for a suitable photo to share on my blog. I did a google search for "scream" and there were a bazillion choices, dominated, of course, by Edvard Munch's famous painting (waving at Claudia!).

I thought this was more appropriate, though, for a Spark scream. And, even better, because of my personal photo shoot, I was inspired to get in an extra portion of fresh veggies today.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 3/4/2012 6:07AM



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DEBBIEDAY 3/3/2012 11:21AM

    LOL....cute! Think I'll make a pepper 'scream' and gt it sliced for a snack later this afternoon!!!....

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MAMASUDS 2/28/2012 4:46PM

    Now, if I cut my bell pepper open and it was looking back at me, I think I would be the one screaming!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 2/28/2012 4:37PM

    Love the photo....very appropriate!

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SPARTAN40 2/28/2012 1:06PM

    cute photo

Comment edited on: 3/1/2012 9:54:44 AM

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STRIVER57 2/28/2012 4:23AM

    plus it's my favorite veggie (well one of) ... brilliant.

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LILLI56 2/28/2012 1:10AM

    too cute

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EJOY-EVELYN 2/28/2012 1:07AM

    Beautiful photo . . . one red pepper has 300% of your vitamin C for the day. What a great fruit!

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SUSANFREE54 2/27/2012 5:20PM

    Love it!! How funny. emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/27/2012 2:09PM

    Love it!

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FITMYPANTSO9 2/26/2012 5:25PM

    lol emoticon

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CTEMPLE 2/26/2012 4:10PM

    V funny!

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RUNNINGOMA 2/26/2012 3:50PM

    Now that is an awesome screem!
I checked your food and you got some yummy ideas there!

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NDTEACHER1 2/26/2012 3:48PM


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JUSTAGIRL45 2/26/2012 2:21PM

Love it!

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MTNGRL 2/26/2012 1:44PM

    emoticon emoticon

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M77355 2/26/2012 1:44PM


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JOANNKW 2/26/2012 12:10PM

    I love it!

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CHICKEYBABE 2/26/2012 11:08AM

    I love it!

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DDOORN 2/26/2012 10:05AM

    LOVE my red peppers...always have a stash on hand...YUM! :-)


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VISUALLYRICS 2/26/2012 9:50AM

    That was a healthy high pitched scream....I heard it across the sea! Lol!!
Love that Spark scream. emoticon emoticon

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SOXYINMO 2/26/2012 9:42AM


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NEWLIBRARIAN 2/26/2012 9:16AM

    Hey it works. My first thought was really and than I got it.
I was looking at a pepper not a scream to start with.

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HOMEBUNNY 2/26/2012 9:08AM


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5-Minute Blog

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I'm off to go Nordic walking (may be in the rain?!) and then to the grocery store on the way home, so this will be short.

I've recommitted for the XXXXth time to tracking food and to staying under 1600 calories. Started yesterday. Hold me accountable! My tracker is public!

Monday I'll be weighing in for the first time in a couple of weeks, so don't be alarmed if you hear loud screaming from my direction. ;)

(OK, so it was a ten-minute blog because I got side-tracked in an unsuccessful search for a suitable illustration.)

Happy Weekend, all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 2/28/2012 4:41PM

    Good for you....I keep going back and forth about tracking my food.

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CTEMPLE 2/25/2012 6:24PM

    Will do it together dear Michelle I have the same goal. We'll exchange notes next week? I'm sure you'll make it because you like exercise not like me!

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    So funny.

I want the Nordic walking poles, they're on my future to buy list, after I get a job.

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DDOORN 2/25/2012 2:29PM

    Nordic in the rain...? I'll take my treadmill and tunes, thank you...! Keep 'er moving! :-)


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RUNNINGOMA 2/25/2012 1:23PM

    Hats off to you for just keeping on. I probably should make my food log public too. I will look at yours because you might have some helpful things that I can copy being that we have access to the same kinds of foods.

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JERSEYGIRL24 2/25/2012 1:19PM

    You and me both!!! Just want you to know that I know we haven't "spoken" in awhile but I think of you often and hope you are doing well. We can do this!!!

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VISUALLYRICS 2/25/2012 12:32PM

    LOL!! I distinctly heard a ScReAm!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon ...just kidding. But I'll be tuned to your direction. Lol! =))

emoticon Brave Michelle....so brave of you to make your tracker public! Wow!

...keep me laughing, Laura

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JODIRICHARDS 2/25/2012 12:15PM

    How was the walk? Did you buy some healthy food choices to stock your fridge with? Would love to hear more details about your plan for success. I'm working on mine too, maybe I'll have to join you in the screaming on Monday, I was thinking I'd postpone until March 1st but the scale should return today with DH. God is so good, He graciously helps us up and so no matter how many times it is, He's ready to help if we just ask, let's be victorious in HIM!

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CHICKEYBABE 2/25/2012 12:12PM

    Go Girl! Success can be defined by doing what is good for you and you are there. emoticon

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AEO_SUNSHINE 2/25/2012 11:50AM

    Welcome back - I am with you on the recommit thing - trying to stay within the calorie range if hard. I think the only way I will be doing that is the plan meals at the beginning of the day and have planned snacks (and stay out of the kitchen after supper!)

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REDRUNNERMOM713 2/25/2012 11:04AM

    Hope you have a great walk. Good luck with the food tracking. I'm terrible at that myself so I am inspired by anyone who can do it. And you CAN do it!!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 2/25/2012 10:31AM

    good luck!!!

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CAROLYN0107 2/25/2012 10:18AM

    emoticon on the Nordic walking. I plan to do some of that soon as the weather in Omaha is getting better. It HAS been a few weeks since the last challenge started. March is coming for that Spring Challenge so I imagine it might start next Saturday. I've not yet heard.

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NEWLIBRARIAN 2/25/2012 10:05AM

    I doubt I will hear a scream all the way from Germany. I am glad to see you're back blogging. I always enjoy your blogs!
Go with the Nordic Walking.

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CHUM48 2/25/2012 9:38AM

    Thanks for the laugh! Have a great day!

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On Degrees

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Progress on my final integrative project! I now know that, if all goes as planned, I will be going to Albania this fall to teach a compact course in a Bible school there. I was able to touch base with the young pastor who oversees the program and, although the dates aren't set and there are many open questions, they want me to come in September-October.

My preparation for the course will be my final project for my degree in International Theological Education. Earlier this week, I was able to recruit a "mentor" to give input and feedback along the way. This is one of the requirements, and his evaluation also will figure in the final grade. Yesterday, I spoke to the prof who has to approve my proposal and give the final evaluation. I was able to run some ideas by him and get his tentative OK. My mini-goal now is to get that proposal written and turned in - there is no set deadline, but I'm aiming for Monday, Feb. 20.

In other "degrees" news - we've been in the minuses for a couple of weeks now. One one day, the Fahrenheit difference between here and Naples, FL was 70 degrees!

So, it's REALLY cold here, but I'm loving it. It's crisp and dry, not the bleak, slushy winter weather that we often have here in January and February. A light dusting of snow makes everything much lighter and covers up the gray. There's not enough snow to really interfere with driving, though, and that's another good thing. And, when we went Nordic walking last Saturday, we were able to hike across fields that are usually too muddy to navigate.

I hope we'll also be able to try another similar route today. I want to try to catch a photo of the sheep we see in those fields. Some of them are "heavy with child" and I'd like to get a "before" shot.

Edited to add this lovely lady and her entourage:

Have a good weekend, all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 2/19/2012 3:18AM

    You must post pictures and blogs from Albania!
I have never been there, but heared the people are nice.
Happy for your course!
To which church do you go to?

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JANETELIZABETH1 2/15/2012 9:11AM

    Hi Michelle, glad I came to get a picture of which direction the Lord is sending you. Albania will be a wonderful challenge and I know you're well prepared for that. I'm really praying your plans for your mentor are accepted, it's so important to have someone you have confidence in. You are now so close to your degree it must feel surreal !!
That snowy scene makes me feel cold..now if I were a ewe I'd be alright!! Makes me miss England at this time of year even more.
We are still waiting for a buyer for the house but nevertheless are moving back on 24th March. Life will be a struggle without the money from our house but we know somehow the Lord will undertake.
Hope your dad is doing OK, are you able to visit again soon?

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RUNNINGOMA 2/14/2012 8:28AM

    One of my favorite views, the Sheep!! I love watching them, hate eating them, though.

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    emoticon emoticon

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MAMASUDS 2/13/2012 4:13PM

    I'm glad to hear that your walking has been going well in spite of the weather, or because of the weather. I was too afraid to cross the fields for fear that I would hit an ice patch. Since we are right on the river, many of our field flooded before it froze, so I am not so sure about where to walk right now. It has been the trampoline and gym for me for the most part. HAve enjoyed the sunshine though, so very much. Not much in the forecast for this week, so I am glad that I tanked up last week.
Congratulations on Albania! I hope you love adventure!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 2/13/2012 9:39AM

    Sounds like you have found your focus! emoticon I'm so glad that it feels like plans are starting to come together. Sending prayers your way as you write your proposal.

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CAROLYN0107 2/12/2012 6:14PM

    I'm glad your schooling is going well. Keep Sparking and Keep Trekking!

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DDOORN 2/11/2012 8:56PM

    Just saw a great photo post on Europe's deep freeze:


My cross country skis and I are MOST envious!


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EJOY-EVELYN 2/11/2012 6:35PM

    I love and miss the white stuff this year. I regularly get to the outskirts of the city where the snow hasn't had a chance to disappear, while all I can I can see outside my picture window is the dried grass of our yard without any snow . . . it's a wonder how we managed to get two plowings in this winter, as the snow left all too quickly. Fortunately, I was able to spend the best time ever with my Dad and enjoy all the beauty Lake Superior has to offer.

My best to you as your final project plans come together.

Comment edited on: 2/11/2012 6:36:32 PM

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CTEMPLE 2/11/2012 5:38PM

Lovely pickies of the lambs.
Hope you meet your deadline dear M.

Comment edited on: 2/11/2012 5:43:59 PM

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VISUALLYRICS 2/11/2012 11:00AM

    Albania!! Wow, Michelle! Praise the Lord for His hand in your life!
...I'm glad to hear you can enjoy the wintry weather due to how crisp & dry it is.

Happy Saturday to ya! emoticon

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ABETTERSOUL 2/11/2012 9:34AM

    Enjoy your walking!

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Finding my Focus

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frosty February, Finding my Focus, Fabulous, Fresh, Fruitful, Forward-looking: I was going to title this post "The F Words" but I thought better of it. :-D

Now that the two challenges I was participating in are over, it's time for a new focus.

I've been slacking off on my tracking, and eating things that I almost never eat. Not sure what that's about! I'm dealing with a rather high level of uncertainty in other areas of life, and that sometimes causes snack attacks! But it's not a trend, just fits and spurts. This too will pass.

Exercise has been a little spotty, too. I'm exercising daily but I need to pick up the intensity a little. With the cold weather, I'd be happy to just hibernate, but I want to start getting in a few early morning workouts as time permits. I feel so good when I do a short AM indoor cardio session or outdoor run!

My studies are still in the forefront, but it now looks like my exams will be taking place in May and June instead of February-March. To make a long story short, I mistakenly thought that I could do my final practical project parallel to the exams. It turns out that the project has to be graded before I begin exams. No problem - I can still graduate in October, but this requires a shift in perspective and time frames. I think it's going to turn out for the best because I'll have more time to do a really practice-oriented project to include one or more actual teaching units, possibly at different locations. More on that later!

Happy FFFFFFFebruary!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYCLINGSANDY 2/6/2012 3:32PM

    Shifting your focus for February is not a bad thing! emoticon

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    I just finished reading all your winter blogs. Oh, those unexpected things that come up--someone once told me to focus on God and not the situation. It works for me when I "can still my soul and know God" as you mention in one of your blogs.
Then that peace comes.

You look great--healthy, trim, and vibrant.

I love your background and the lovely color you choose. The perfect one for winter white.

I've added you to my prayer list and will pray for a calm mind,
peace, provision, and a successful completion of your school goals. If there is anything else you'd like for, please let me know. God Bless

P.S. You perfectly named the IGAD! I could relate!

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SJG1953 2/3/2012 12:46AM

    God has a way of making things work out for us even when they don't work out how we had planned. I had this happen to me just today. God was totally with me as I laid out a large portion of my life in an interview for a job. Imagine that! God is so very good!

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/1/2012 4:23PM

    Always a little disorienting when plans go awry. You will soon reboot and get back to your solid footing. Keep warm my friend, I ffffeel the chill. emoticon

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SPARTAN40 2/1/2012 1:03PM

    I find stress and uncertainty always tend to fuel cravings for me. Good luck finding your calm.

Another F word: Faith.

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DZINE4KING 2/1/2012 9:42AM

    Enjoyed your blog and all the "F" words! Ha! It sounds like you are going to be Focused through February! Great start!

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DDOORN 2/1/2012 8:46AM

    Another "F" that's been on my mind: fulfillment! Pursuing actions that are fulfilling! :-)


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CAROLYN0107 2/1/2012 5:46AM

    It is kind of nice to be between challenges. I have enough going on here to keep me busy and I'm still trying to do some exercise most days. Are you taking your classes in German or are you at an International School where you study in English?

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EJOY-EVELYN 2/1/2012 12:25AM

    I love all the f words as I've made my goals around a whole lot of them. I'm hoping we get a few wintry spells along our Great Lake so that we can escape with a little glee to the warm sunshine state. I'll be ready for the Plant City Strawberry Festival the last week in February.

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HOMEBUNNY 1/31/2012 8:29PM

    Way to stay with it! You have your focus on the goal & you will get there!!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 1/31/2012 5:56PM

    You are one fine, fit, fabulous Firecracker! You will find your focus. It does seem strange to come off challenges and suddenly have energy that has to be focused somewhere. I am staying on the Post Your Progress thread to help keep myself accountable. I still have the 100 Day Challenge at the rec center to keep me going too. The weather has been unusually warm here, so the winter hibernation drive has not been as bad for me this year, but I know exactly how that feels. Hang in there, and you will get back into a rhythm. It is all in God's time, so buckle up and enjoy the ride! emoticon

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NEWNAC304 1/31/2012 5:51PM

    I'm sure you'll find your focus. I think it's probably better that the project be done before the exams. It sounds less stressful to me. Good luck in your studies!

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VISUALLYRICS 1/31/2012 5:41PM

    I too love AM indoor cardio session or outdoor runs! emoticon
Uncertainty has also been my culprit ....I like to be "On the Jazz" ....love to have the edge on fitness...it is so refreshing to have that Energy!
I am sure you will find your spot to be! emoticon

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CTEMPLE 1/31/2012 4:30PM

    Sounds better that way, less stressful. In winter because one wants to hibernate and eat heavy food, in summer because it's too hot to exercise. That is my life, never the right time for exercise. But I know you like at at least dear M!
I'm sure you will be able to do all the readjustment in time to face the challenges. Are you going back to the US when you graduate and settle?

Comment edited on: 1/31/2012 4:31:23 PM

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EBLOOMING 1/31/2012 4:08PM

    Catchy title...with the f..... words.
Time is everything...when it comes to exams. I pray that your healthy lifestyle will contribute to a successful result!!! God Bless!! Thanks for the blog. Elaine emoticonIn advance....Finding my Focus, Fabulous, Fresh, Fruitful,Fantastic!!!

Comment edited on: 1/31/2012 4:10:12 PM

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It's a Wrap

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Winter %5 Challenge ended yesterday. I ended up with a 2 pound overall loss. I lost and gained and lost and gained and lost that same 2 pounds over the 8 weeks of the challenge. But I've decided it's gone for good now!

It was fun getting to know the new Firecrackers and hanging out with the returnees from the Summer challenge. Shout out to you fine folks!

I probably will skip the next challenge because of my studies and an upcoming stay in the States. I wouldn't want to make the commitment to the team and then not be able to check in regularly. But I'll be keeping in touch on blogs, pages, and status reports.

During the challenge, my church had our annual week of prayer and fasting. This was a very special time for me. Without going into a lot of detail, with the Lord's help, I was able to break through some fear issues. I also gave up diet cola for over 10 days. I won't say I'll never drink it again, but it was getting to be an addiction and I'm glad to have that broken. I used to fast one day a week and I plan to start that habit again.

In fact, the past 8 weeks have really been a time of returning to some healthy habits rather than starting new ones. I'm doing my 10 pieces of paperwork each day and keeping my sink shiny :), thirty minutes of exercise a day goes without saying and my ST has been pretty consistent, too. Now that the challenge is over, I plan to go back to Monday weigh-ins, a habit that just seems to work better for me than Saturdays.

I also completed the Spark January Jumpstart challenge - really wasn't anything new for me except that one of the requirements was to do a certain Spark video every day. I "discovered" a few new ones that I really like (9-minute arm sculpting, and 9-minute total lower body workout). I'll be incorporating those exercises into my routine. Anything that helps make ST more fun and that brings results - and a trophy - is good by me!

Have a good new week,everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTAGIRL45 1/30/2012 8:59PM

    Congratulations on the 2% loss and completing the January Jumpstart. I will miss you on the Spring Challenge, but I will be sure to check in on how you're doing.

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SPARTAN40 1/30/2012 5:50PM

    Sounds fantastic. I'm really impressed.

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NEWNAC304 1/30/2012 10:03AM

    I'm going to miss you on the next challenge but understand that life gets in the way. I hope we're able to stay in touch.

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    Awesome job all the way around! I think my favorite part of that was " . . . With the Lord's help. . . Overcame fears"! Those are the special moments of life when you know you have reached another level with the Lord! Great job on the contest and good luck in the next couple of months with all you have going on! What part of the States are you coming to??

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EJOY-EVELYN 1/29/2012 9:46PM

    Success, no matter how slow, is still success. WooHoo! The longer we live healthy habits, the more ingrained they become. I'm happy to be beginning Week 28 of maintenance and within the month, will likely be one of your neighbors, preparing for the next challenge.

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REDRUNNERMOM713 1/29/2012 9:31PM

    It's been great getting to know your Michelle! Great job on the 2lb loss and getting back to habits you know work for you. emoticon

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DDOORN 1/29/2012 9:01PM

    Good for you!

Used to fast a day each week too...hmm...might be worth dusting that off again! :-)


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/29/2012 7:34PM

    Congratulations on completing the challenges!

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RURAL3 1/29/2012 6:43PM

    emoticon You did good Michelle. Keep up the good work.

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/29/2012 6:40PM

    emoticon on completing the challenge! I liked many of the videos too.

emoticon on your breakthrough during your fast!

emoticon on losing 2 pounds and giving up soda for 10 days.

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ABETTERSOUL 1/29/2012 6:00PM

    Michelle, emoticon Glad that you conquered, started again and have made some new habits. I need to conquer some of my bad habits that I keep returning to. I also agree...I like a shiny sink too.

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CTEMPLE 1/29/2012 4:22PM

    Excellent news all round dear M. One feels so much better when back to good habits.
I hope you feel like going to visit your dad, I have trouble with that.
Congratulations on your achievement, that challenge is quite demanding!

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VISUALLYRICS 1/29/2012 4:10PM

    Happy Dance for you, Michelle! emoticon

emoticon for New Habits and good old ones revived.

I like a shiny sink too.... emoticon

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