SAMZA83's SparkPeople Blog SAMZA83's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community ...and then *everything changed* (for the better!) Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> I am not sure how many of you are still active…it would be reasonable after all to think that I too have disappeared. <BR> <BR> I am more of a happy spirit that shows up from time to time. <BR> <BR> When I read my old blog posts here I cringe, somewhat in embarrassment in how willing I was to reveal just how awful things were for me but more so because there’s a level of sadness in them that I cannot even bear in reflection. I have taken some of those posts down, ... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 18:25:11 EST Zumba and my anxiety about being judged Hello Everyone, <BR> <BR> Last week I asked readers of my blog to select a topic that is of relevance to my experience but also interesting to them. Well, there were two responses (a whole two!) to the following list: <BR> <BR> 1. Zumba and my anxiety about being judged <BR> 2. Bodymedia vs. Fitbit and my experiences with both <BR> 3. The positive and negative aspects of being so close to goal <BR> 4. What being recently diagnosed with Hip Bursitis meant to my oveall fitness practices <BR> ... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:12:48 EST What blog topic (written by me) would you like to read about? Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> As most of you know I work for a very progressive bilingual, Kindergarten that also serves children/families with special needs. I've made no secret about in the past that my colleagues, a too corporate outlook and the daily structure often fall short of this lofty concept but bless us for always trying to follow a successful path. The "topic de jour," so much so that all staff were mandated to do a two day-weekend Fortbildung or professional training on it, is PAR... Sun, 22 Mar 2015 14:23:08 EST If I wrote a Spark blog would anyone read it? Hello Everyone! <BR> <BR> Happy 2015 to you! February 1st already and no blog entry since October? What's the deal Samantha? <BR> <BR> The new year has been going great, I made a list of what I wanted to achieve this year and been on the path---but that path leads very little time for writing here. To be truly honest, as someone who has been Sparking for almost five years and very near goal, despite many hurdles like HIP BURSITIS diagnosed last week, my friend page is almost a wasteland of ... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 12:13:57 EST The Blessed Month of October! Hello Everyone, <BR> <BR> Can't help but to share my enthusiasm for this fabulous month. <BR> <BR> My Facebook Status for this month: <BR> <BR> October is always an amazing month, even more so this year! : my beloved longtime friend Novan Pradhika arrives in Frankfurt tonight (flying all the way from Sydney Australia,) and will be staying with us in the Ruhr for couple of days this week--- even bringing a bit of Australia to share with the children, staff & I at Kindergarten! The following... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 09:44:53 EST German Vegan Grocceries (picture blog #1.) Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Starting with this entry, I am hoping to compile a series of blogs that highlight the gradual, exciting and interesting process of perusing a vegan diet as the centre of the balanced life I am seeking in Germany. These blogs will feature a lot of pictures so they will take a month or two each to come to fruition-- be patient and enjoy. Future entries will include: “Vegan Street Day,” and pictorials of my growing Vegan cookbook collection and the real food I make an... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 11:41:32 EST Celebrating on year in Germany! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> I don't do too many Facebook statuses, yet, here is the one I've made for this very special day: <BR> <BR> "Today September 15th marks a year! And I hope the celebratory fortune cookie message I got comes to fruition in the next: “Sie werden häuslichen Frieden, finanzielle Sicherheit und gute Gesundheit genießen.” My first year in Germany has been nothing like what I anticipated. I experienced a great deal of loss, disillusionment and uncertainty in addition to tho... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:03:57 EST 'Kinder Krank' and my Experience with the German Medical System. Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> I keep meaning to do an update to that very intense blog entry I did two months ago----and I will I am busy (even when sick) but here are two tidbits for those of you who are wondering: <BR> <BR> The boss, who many of you rightly (but sadly) called a 'lunatic' is gone. She came down with a thyroid related condition, which could also explain the insane behaviour, and resigned after being sick for over six weeks. Our new boss is a nice lady who has inherited a diff... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:12:51 EST I need to get this off my shoulders. Hello Everyone, <BR> <BR> I have been gone for a while, after my work visa came through I began working---like crazy---and haven’t had time for much else. <BR> <BR> However, I am finding it harder and harder to cope with my work environment and co-workers and need advice or if nothing else empathy. <BR> <BR> I work at a kindergarten which should naturally be a supportive and kind workplace but it is nothing but. I didn’t know this until two months of working there but my organization has h... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 15:46:21 EST Update from Germany (Part III: New Kindergarten) Deciding to stay and find a new job in Germany after such a dreadful end, even with the ‘high’ of the concert was not an easy path to tread. I began to become very worried about my finances. I was also required within three days of receiving my official severance letter to file as unemployed with the Arbeitsamt or employment office and return to the rude majority of the Auslanderbeorde or foreigners office and ask for an extension on my visa to find new work. All of these appointments of cou... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 07:08:26 EST Update from Germany (Part II: Thirty Seconds to Mars, making the choice) The Saturday after I got the dreadful letter in the Kindergarten office, I was sitting in my apartment trying not to cry so I surfed the web. In a random google search I saw that Thirty Seconds to Mars was in Berlin that Friday and it occurred to me…I wonder if they would be in Cologne anytime soon, I did a quick search and indeed there would be a concert at Laxness Arena TOMORROW. Now for those of you that are ‘Echelon’ (30SM fans) then you know they tour damn near constantly and always s... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 07:03:59 EST Update from Germany (Part I: Highs & lowest lows) Hello Everyone, <BR> <BR> It’s been about six months since my last journal entry here at Sparkpeople, and therefore six months since I moved to Germany. I never intended to be more or less absent from this website (though through my bodymedia I did continue to upload exercise/calorie counts.) …But then again, I never ever thought my move here would have such highs and such heartbreaking lows. <BR> <BR> A few brief points: <BR> <BR> My health is much better, in fact I am in my best shape e... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 06:59:52 EST Celebrating my final 3 days in the USA (in pictures!) Hello Everyone! <BR> <BR> It’s been an amazing, overwhelming 24 hours on many news and activity fronts and likely the last entry I will write from the United States. I fly to Essen Germany this Saturday and begin working as an Erzieherin this upcoming Monday! <BR> <BR> Yesterday was my last day at my corporate office job. While inevitably there were some ‘haters’ and gossip (that’s the nature of offices) a vast majority of my co-workers were wonderful and I already miss them. <BR> <BR> I b... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:42:34 EST My German visa... Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Look what came over the weekend! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's like 50,000 pounds of weight have been lifted from my shoulders! <BR> <BR> I got an email from my Mom, who of course opened the parcel signed for from the embassy---and sat in my cube at work for an hour in shock. <BR> <BR> Today I spoke for *four hours* over Skype with my colleague 'M' she is so amazing and nearly as happy as I am. He... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 22:58:36 EST Still waiting. Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> A small update. I thought this Thursday I might actually lose it---it’s the first time in a long time I have felt so exhausted and frustrated in every way and about everything I could think of. I had been going on my 6th week of waiting for my passport to return. Knowing full well that most of the time the passport comes back on the 8th week. Well I heard nothing so I emailed my liaisons of my employer and asked them to contact the consulate. They said, given the ti... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 17:35:18 EST Horrible news for my friends & I I didn’t think I would be blogging so quickly after last week’s entry. My passport has not returned yet and that is ok, if not somewhat expected---what isn’t expected is now I fear its return. <BR> <BR> My future colleague, who is working at a different location than I got a horrible shock late last week: her visa has been denied. Stated reason: she’s ‘overqualified’ according to new *state* government mandates. <BR> <BR> A is in shock and scared, with less than a month left on her apartme... Sun, 28 Jul 2013 16:00:12 EST Planning & PLATEAU! Greetings everyone, <BR> <BR> Allow me to define ‘full plate’ for you :P <BR> <BR> It’s been over a month since my last entry and almost a month since my Visa Interview and Application appointment at the German Consulate in Chicago. How are things? They are chugging along almost to a routine pace which is scary; not because I dislike routine (being OCD I thrive) but because I know once my passport returns from German captivity with that sticker it’s all going to change almost overnight. Ove... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 12:09:06 EST Living a double life Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Time has been very precious lately and I am grateful to be so busy---stressed yes but busy which is when I feel happiest. <BR> <BR> I am incredibly grateful for the support for the difficult blog I felt compelled to write last time, that stress remains but I don’t want to dwell too much on it. <BR> <BR> I feel like I am living a double life. Mind my mind and spirit are split between two jobs, two continents, two countries and three languages! <BR> ... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 00:31:37 EST The nightmare of Irresponsible Parents I¡¦ll try to keep this short(er) and I know that many people here are around the age of my parents so I think your advice and insight might be worth it. I ask you to forgive me if I come off sounding like a bad child. <BR> <BR> My Mom just turned 50 and my Dad is 52 both are working but never have enough to pay their bills (no CCs but always delinquent.) Neither have any retirement nor savings. They are divorced. My Father has tax debt and likely other debt we don¡¦t know about¡ he's bipola... Sun, 19 May 2013 13:03:36 EST Incredibly happy! I am skeptical of metaphysics and self-help that advocates surface positive thinking; but as you know ( previous entries) I have struggled with severe anxiety most of my life and this has been exasperated by lengthy international job contract searches and negotiations. I am not a negative person but the nature of my stressful living situation + anxiety twists most thoughts in this direction so I must take meaningful steps to change this. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I wrote this: <BR> <BR> "Soon I ... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:43:12 EST Crippling anxiety Your brief words of encouragement and comfort would be wonderful at this moment. <BR> I have become a prisoner to my anxiety, unwanted negative thoughts coming from anxiety and its been gnawing away at my days (about two weeks.) <BR> <BR> I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (panic attacks) and OCD when I was 20 years old. I wake up in a state of panic now and often find myself shaking/ ‘panicked’ breathing throughout the day, I am having trouble even exercising (it doesn’t seem... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 21:00:58 EST Checking in from Austria Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> I trust everyone had a nice Easter holiday. I just wanted say Grüße Gott or hello from Austria where I have been relaxing, tourist-ing and speaking German for the past two days. I also got a chance to spend a day in Brussels Belgium too---mmmm waffles. <BR> <BR> First things first: I got an email from my soon-I-hope supervisor saying he is on vacation too until the 8th. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that a.) It shows that he knows time is of the essence b.... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 15:51:23 EST London Conundrum!! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Greetings from London! I have been here a week now and what a crazy week it has been-as one opportunity seems to have imploded (the family is *insane*;) the other what I have been calling my ‘dream job’ is in the palm of my hand. …That is to say I did my second interview yesterday and once again It went really, really well, no official offer granted yet because the person I interviewed with does not have that jurisdiction. <BR> <BR> In 2004 shortly before I first c... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 19:23:27 EST Packing & praying! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> You might be wondering...did the eating herring work? <BR> <BR> -YES- <BR> <BR> My interview went *amazing.* I will be conducting my final interview sometime next week online or on a side trip to Germany (accomplished easily from Austria where I'll be in a couple of weeks.) <BR> <BR> I won't bore you with the details but you can imagine, as I predicted, that I interviewed with the same knowledge base and passion that I bring to my line of work. I found immediate ... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 17:13:25 EST I want this so bad I can taste it. ....and am afraid! Hello everyone <BR> <BR> I wrote a wonderful blog last week about my upcoming departure and work trial in London, that’s all systems go this Thursday and I am nervous as can be. <BR> …But no yet another, potentially glorious, potentially heartbreaking, bomb was dropped last week. <BR> <BR> A place I have applied to three times, over the course of three years doesn’t know how they lost my portfolio in October but they apologise and good news----my qualifications have approval. <BR> <BR> My... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 14:39:19 EST Updates: work & travel! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> The previous blog is still open for your questions so ask away! <BR> <BR> In my previous blogs I have expressed my extreme frustration/alienation with so called 'schools' and their recruitement/hiring prospects. <BR> <BR> Let me be clear I am extremely passionate about education and this will be my life long vocation in one form or another. Yet combining that with a planned move to Germany has not been smooth at all. In fact, it has become clear to me that recrui... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:13:07 EST Any Sparkler, ask me any question you want... Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> My blogs have been really heavy over the past couple months...sorry. Nonetheless, I've had a very productive and positive February overall (will update that so soon) so I want to continue the 'happy enegry' and widen my Spark friend base (*so many* of the people I started here with in 2010 have gone MIA :( .) <BR> <BR> ...So I invite anyone to ask me any question about any subject which could include topics related to health and fitness but also the stuff we al... Thu, 28 Feb 2013 13:43:38 EST Samza 2.0-Bodymedia & Turbo Fire! It's been quite a day! In the last journal entry I discussed the possibility of purchasing either a Fitbit or Bodymedia device. As many of you know I have been Sparking for about three years and during that time have reduced my weight from 245 to 175 pounds---when people say that losing the weight is the easy part but keeping it off is the real work they aren¡¦t kidding! <BR> <BR> In the last year alone I lived outside the US and spent extended time in ten countries, I discovered I have ins... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 22:34:01 EST My unique Fitbit./Bodymedia questions... Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> I have been using the spark people trackers both for nutrition and physical activity for the greater part of the three years that I have been on this website. I think they are a valuable service…but I am increasingly doubting their accuracy. I feel like I lost a majority of the 70+ pounds I have down when I didn’t track anything at all (the early stages pre-spark.) and when I track I constantly wonder if really the calories burned vs. consumed is way off. Now the l... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 12:49:16 EST Tearful nights & Jobless days <BR> <BR> Thank you for reading all of this it means a lot. If you have advice or wisdom I'd love to hear it. <BR> <BR> I have a very strong sense of instinct and by the beginning of October began applying for so many kindergarten positions in Germany. I would have stayed in Russia until contract end in July but that inner voice was speaking… . You probably figured out from my page that I am half German and speak the language. I have been Germany four times within three years. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 23:29:57 EST Do I continue to try and help my Mom in 2013? *My apologies to Native people, who may be slightly offended by this blog* <BR> <BR> Good evening everyone, <BR> <BR> I am happy to write to you in very good physical health and not from Russia :) I have been home for six days now, and believe it or not it took every single one of those days to get over jet lag---my sleep pattern which is not normally a problem was horrible. Must be a sign I am not in my early twenties anymore :) <BR> <BR> In my blog tonight I was going to write about my f... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 12:04:17 EST Overwhelmed & angry..and about to leave Russia I'll keep this blog short. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow is my last day in Russia! <BR> <BR> I consider myself lucky because I have my Rubles set aside to get my hair done, buy that Matrioshka (nesting doll) paired with Bear Vodka I'll be giving someone in my family for our secret santa celebrations on Christmas eve. My friend also gave me a spa certificate for my birthday which I need to use. <BR> <BR> I am happy about these things. But am drowning in anxiety, sadness and a bit of anger tonight. ... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 14:57:33 EST The last two months (II) did I kill the Russian cookie monster? For the last week, completely! The drawer is still very much at work but when I commit to something I mean it. <BR> <BR> I made the mistake of overindulging, not eating enough of the right foods, not eating clean (something I have done since I began in 2010) and using the food issues we deal with in Russia as an excuse to not take action. I was eating to alievate the cultural/financial stress (I am out of a job soon!) that I have been suffering w... Sun, 9 Dec 2012 11:46:17 EST The last two months (I) I want to get something off my shoulders: I am not longer happy or as healthy as I should be in Russia.The last two months have been tremendeously stressful but I do believe in silver linnings and believe there will be a happy ending. I don't mean to be a dark cloud and this will overall be a positive blog---bear with me! <BR> <BR> When I returned here in September I brought with me over 50 pounds of school supplies (which I bought!) and a month's worth of lesson plans I was bound determined... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 11:53:25 EST 7 Countries, 1 concert and & 9,000 fitness minutes later! (pics) Hello everyone! <BR> <BR> Remember me? I promised there would be hundreds of minutes from the days of walking I have done around the world and today they have been added! <BR> <BR> Hello from Wisconsin, post: 1 System of a Down concert (Chicago,) one day in London England, seven days traveling in Morocco, a week in Barcelona Spain, a week celebrating Bastille Day in Paris France, a day trip to Austria and two weeks traveling all around my beloved Deutschland (Germany!) What a wonderful adv... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 17:18:40 EST Cried at work today... Ever held the joy, anxiety, worry, confusion inside until at an opportune but embarrassing moment it all spills forth? <BR> <BR> That was me at school the school where I work as a Kindergarten teacher this morning. The tears started coming out and wouldn¡¦t stop. I was frustrated about the computer and internet dying out for what feels like the millionth time (common in Russia) but that wasn¡¦t really it. I startled the staff who after some google translate explanation seem to totally sympa... Tue, 19 Jun 2012 07:20:20 EST They`re Skinny but they think I am lucky... Surprising title no? ...But apparently it`s true. <BR> <BR> For those of you who do not visit my page or my situation what you need to know is that I am American (ethnically half German and half Native American to be precise) but I live in Russia where I work as one busy Kindergarten teacher. Over the last two years I have gone from around 245 pounds to 176, my goal is to be around 140 (though love my body right now too :) ) <BR> <BR> For the purposes of this blog here are my measurements: ... Sun, 20 May 2012 15:07:42 EST Could I be `tiny` in Taiwan? Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> It`s rather late here in Russia, around 2:00 AM but my mind is centred on a new and specific health/weight loss goal and I might as well share! Typically I don`t let the cat out of the bag so to speak until I have 99.% certainty something is going to happen but here goes. My old room mate and close friend from my grad school days in Australia (way back in 2010 LOL) is returning to visit her family in Taiwan this August and she has her heart set on my coming to visit... Fri, 2 Mar 2012 18:07:13 EST Russia blog: R+ in Moscow & the Rules for Good Health here! Welcome to my second Russian blog friends! Since it has been about a month since my last entry I thought it might be nice to catch you up on teaching, staying healthy and overall life here in Russia while I have a spare moment (my students are eating lunch!) <BR> <BR> I am going to devote a little bit of this entry to the amazing Rammstein (my second favourite band) concert I saw in Moscow last Saturday…if that doesn’t interest you too much just skip/skim what is written between the German f... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 03:35:19 EST My first blog from Russia! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Welcome to my first blog from Russia! Where I have just begun working as a the head teacher at a private kindergarten in the city of Kazan. It`s been quite the two weeks as I have traveled to Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and finally onto Russia in that time span. <BR> <BR> There`s so much to say! For the sake of this blog I`ll keep focus mainly on health and fitness as I now experience it here....but I welcome your questions. <BR> <BR> There`s no doubt in my m... Sat, 14 Jan 2012 15:46:04 EST BIG News Blog! Hello Sparkers, <BR> <BR> What a December it’s been! First of all happy holidays to you, I hope you enjoyed them immensely. I know I did (they went too fast) and due to a stressful a snafu and politics I was fortunate enough to still be here to celebrate. <BR> <BR> Big news time: at the end of September I finalized a teaching contract that will take me to Russia---very shortly---in about a week if my visa *finally* comes back. Maybe I should have shared earlier and I wish I was more enthus... Mon, 26 Dec 2011 20:48:00 EST I am bloging...just not here. Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Thank you everyone who passed along their condolences about Matthew. Neither I nor his other friends still know what he passed away from. <BR> <BR> It's been a bit quiet for the greater part of this month. I am very busy working out and eating very healthy. I am also preparing for a giant life shift. I'll share that as the finer details become apparent---stay tuned. October as Vegan month was neither a success nor a failure as far as I am concerned. I learned to c... Sun, 27 Nov 2011 16:45:27 EST The Loss of a friend <BR> I logged into Facebook this Halloween to check messages and wish my close friends a happy holiday. To discover that a very close friend I made in Australia, a member of the ‘foreign students clique’ I had been in my first year at student housing, had passed away unexpectedly. Matt had just turned 29 years old a couple of days before leaving us. He was healthy and very close to beginning a promising career in medicine. His family hasn’t revealed the cause of his passing. <BR> <BR> He i... Sun, 6 Nov 2011 14:02:30 EST My 'Multicultural' 10K Trick or Treat Trot Playlist! Hello, <BR> <BR> Next week I am going to run the Sparkpeople Trick or Treat Trot. I estimate it will take me around 90 minutes to run 10k or 6.2 Miles. This will be a long run for me! This is what I'll be listening to. I am into all sorts of music but mainly Rock and Industrial. I am fluent in English, Spanish and German. <BR> <BR> This playlist is great but perhaps not for your kids...double that if you understand German :P HAHA. <BR> <BR> My 10K Trick or Treat Playlist! <BR> <BR> Evanes... Thu, 27 Oct 2011 15:58:40 EST Vegan month: A sort of vegan birthday! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> First of all thank you very much for the birthday wishes! Strangely, 28 years old feels no different than 27 which overall is a good thing. As expected vegan month during the week of my birthday was not 100% but well over 50%. <BR> <BR> What does that mean? Well, though I did make a vegan and gluten free (using rice flour) version of my dark German chocolate-cherry cupcakes---they just didn’t taste the way I wanted them to for my carnivore class. They were fine f... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:33:50 EST Vegan Month: Unproductive week & upcoming Birthday! Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Hope all is well. Today marks one week of my exploratory, fun vegan month. I must say I am pretty happy and really enjoying the diversity of food I ate an/or cooked this week. I am surprised by the overall lack of craving for cheese. I did have one mistake: I ate some 'Cheez-its' whilst babysitting my nieces. <BR> <BR> For those of you who like numbers my weigh-in on Thursday yielded some happiness: 3 pounds down, what I found even more interesting it just so hap... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 16:03:52 EST Start of Vegan Month! (Advice Needed Please) Hello Sparklers, <BR> <BR> Not just a normal blog today. The start of a fun new experimental month! I have been vegetarian since November 13, 1997---I was 14 years old and giving up meat was easy; as even as a child I hated most of it (especially pork and beef.) The great exception to my vegetarianism is international travel where on occasion I have had to eat fish or chicken---try being vegetarian in rural Hungary or saying no to fish in Japan J <BR> <BR> Dairy however, I still love. Tho... Sun, 2 Oct 2011 14:18:58 EST Thai Pumpkin Soup: Week 3 Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> Oh I love it! My favourite soup smell is definitely Thai Pumpkin which is slowly coming to fruition in the slow cooker---mmm dinner. What exactly is in this soup? I'll be sure to share in a couple of weeks in visual journal entry but for now let me summarise it in this: nutrient rich, high antioxidant, spicy heaven! <BR> <BR> Here we are at week 3 of my heartbreak recovery, prove that bigot boss totally wrong, refreshed zeal for getting healthy. It's going well! On... Mon, 26 Sep 2011 14:26:01 EST New Running Shoes!: Week 2 Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> This blog is coming at you one day early, HAHA, because I am so irrationally excited about my new running shoes! This isn't completely transparent in my blogs or on my page but I am a cheapskate, or rather a saver over a spender. Upon coming back from Turkey, determined to get back into the swing of things and proverbially prove my prejudiced principal how incredibly wrong she was I let myself financially slide to buy meaningful health/fitness materials. <em>216</e... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 15:19:43 EST Healing through exercise and nutrition: Week 1 Hello everyone, <BR> <BR> First of all massive Thank you to everyone who responded to my last blog. Being denied my job after all that travel, preparation and money spent over the slightly different way I walk---it remains SURREAL. <BR> <BR> I feel incredibly fortunate that I have my Sparkpeople foundations---laid just over a year ago now and instead of remaining in a constant stream of anger, tears and disillusion I have returned to a lifestyle focused on exercise, eating clean and getting... Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:32:07 EST