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10.08.2012

Eating to Live, not Living to Eat

I'm going to admit that I've gotten way behind on doing weight loss post updates, because we've been swamped with about a gazillion projects around here, so I thought that it would be a good day to check in, say "hi" and chat a little bit about how things are going; especially the eating portion of things, because I know a lot of you have been waiting for me to address this.

First things first... let's just get this out of the way.

:)

For my entire life people and doctors had told me that my weight problem was probably do to an eating disorder. I kind of agreed, but I didn't fit into any specific categories. I don't binge eat, throw up, starve myself (obviously), and to be totally honest, I don't even overeat all that often. So I got thinking... is my being overweight necessarily an 'eating disorder'?... I dunno. But if it was, it would be called. "I.eat.it.cuz.it.is.yummy-itis"

I don't sit down and eat an entire bag of chips, down a gallon of ice cream or polish off a pan of brownies; but I DO love all of those things, and before I decided to make this lifestyle change, I just simply wouldn't restrict myself from any of those foods. It's as straightforward as that.

If I wanted it, I would eat it.

Food looks good, smells good, and tastes even better.

Can I get an amen?

I just want to eat food because it's so FREAKIN' yummy! Does that make me bad? ... no. Does that make me fat?... um, yeah.

Working out to lose weight works wonders for me, but continuing to eat whatever I wanted, WHILE working hard at the gym, just helped me maintain my current weight; not lose any.
That had to change.

I've been getting GOBS of emails from everyone begging me to post about my eating plan, and before I start listing or recommending anything, there's something that I have to tell you that you may or may not know already.

BEING ON A DIET
(aka: restricting a lot of the yummy foods you like and eating much less)
BLOWS!

Nobody likes to restrict themselves from things they love, am I right? But no matter what the media tells you, THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT AND MAINTAIN IT in a healthy way IS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE AND FOOD CHOICES FOREVER.

My basic rule of thumb is:
If I'm taking in LESS calories than I'm burning, I'm GOING to lose weight.
End of story.

I don't stick to one specific diet or plan. I've tried that, and I get bored way too easily. I counted calories in the beginning of my journey, just so I could really see how much everything I ate added up, but then after about 3 weeks I no longer needed to do it anymore. If someone were to ask me, in a nutshell, what my "eating plan" is, I would say:
High protein
 Low Carb, Sugar & Calories
Lots of Veggies & Fruit
and tons of water.

Everybody's body is different, so what works for me, may not work for you. My meal/snacking suggestions below are just that. SUGGESTIONS. There are lots of other alternatives, everyone needs different amounts of food according to their size, and you may or may not agree with what I eat. Obviously I'm NOT a nutritionist, doctor or personal trainer, and as much as you don't want to hear it, I DO suggest consulting with someone who does do this for a living, to get you on an eating plan that will have the best results for YOU.

Side Note: These photos are not intended to be "pretty". They are quick shots from my phone, when I remembered to take them, to show you examples of what I really eat.

Before workout:
Protein shake and my supplements (multi vitamin, Omegas, etc...)
For my shakes I actually use Isagenix. It's a bit pricey, but compared to a lot of other protein shakes, it's really so much better. VERY low in sugar and calories, and packed with tons of vitamins. My suggestion, if you're looking for a store-bought protein shake mix, would be to visit an actual nutrition/health supply store and find a low sugar, low cal, low carb, high protein option that works well.

After workout options:
* 1whole egg, 2 egg whites, sliced tomatoes, light string cheese, cooked spinach.
* Breakfast burrito on small wheat tortilla, sprinkle of cheese and 2 slices of turkey bacon. 
* Mostly egg-white omelet w/ veggies, sprinkle of cheese
As you can see, my go-to for breakfast is eggs. You either love 'em or you hate 'em; fortunately I think they're yummy, so I use them as the main source of protein after my time at the gym. I make this meal REALLY count, because it's directly after my workout and I'm still burning lots of calories. A helpful tip, is to buy egg whites in the carton so you can add them to a full egg or two, without having to waste the yokes from another egg, AND invest in one of those little non-stick egg pans. They are AWESOME and make cooking eggs way less messy and a ton quicker (I got mine from World Market). If you need a SUPER quick option, hard boil your eggs ahead of time and then just chop them onto a tortilla, warm it up and you're ready to go!

Mid morning snack options:
Small handful of coco covered almonds
Light yogurt
2 Light string cheese
Piece of Fruit 
Veggies with low-fat dip
1/2 protein bar (low in sugar)

Lunch options:
* Pulled chicken with salsa, cilantro, a teaspoon of light sour cream on lettuce wraps.
* Chicken salad (with light mayo) and a pickle on a whole wheat tortilla.
* Chicken over spinach with veggies and dressing
* Hamburger patty in lettuce wrap with all the fixings
* Home made taco salad, use non-fat sour cream and salsa as dressing.

Obviously you can add fruits and other veggies to go along with your main dish, but remember to make the majority of your meal protein based and go light on sugary dips and dressings (the calories really add up with those). Also, a really great tip for quick protein prep, is to buy those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store or Costco. They're SO yummy and already cooked. All you have to do is pull them apart, store the meat in a container, put it in the fridge and when you need chicken for something, it's ready to go!
Below are my favorite fast-food choices... because I know a lot of us have to eat on the run sometimes.
* Chili (lots of protein, low in calories and sugar)
* Grilled Chicken salads. Choose smaller sizes if they have them, and go for less sugary dressings. Omit candied nuts or cheeses if possible, and if you're really hungry, ask for extra chicken!
* Grilled Chicken club or burger in a lettuce wrap, no cheese, no mayo.

Late afternoon snack options:
Same as morning snack options. Pick one or two.

Dinner options:
* Salmon and veggies
* 1/4 cup noodles, grilled chicken with sugar-free spaghetti sauce and veggies
* Grilled chicken with pineapple and a splash of light teriyaki sauce
* Asian lettuce wraps
* Grilled chicken and peppers with pesto

Obviously there are a TON of variations you can do with chicken, beef and fish. Just try to stay away from too many carbs at this meal and again, sugary sauces. It's fine to have a very small amount of some but reality is, your body won't break it down and process it the same as it did in the morning or early afternoon.
I get a lot of my yummy ideas from the Our Best Bites blog and cookbooks, because even though they aren't necessarily focused on only healthy eating, their recipes are easily adaptable to my needs and they aren't loaded with fattening or hard to find ingredients.

Late snack options: 
A piece of dark chocolate
I don't know about you, but I NEED chocolate. Even just a small piece of dark chocolate is a great way to curb that sweet tooth I get at night. Also try sticking a few of the small York peppermint patties in the freezer for a late night snack. Super low cal, and the minty-ness of them stops my cravings.

 And last, but not least. WATER!!!

You've GOT to drink lots and lots of water, because fat can't burn if it's dehydrated! Find a water bottle you like and keep it filled up all the time. Put it by your desk at work or keep it in your car so you can always sip on it.

As you can see my eating "plan" is really nothing too sexy. There are no special tricks or cool diet foods I'm eating. I'm just making healthier choices and remembering to eat like a King in the morning  -- but like a Prince at noon and a Pauper at night. 

When I started out on my lifestyle change I REALLY restricted myself. NO carbs, NO sugars, NO soda. I did this for about 3 full months with only ONE "cheat day" a month and well...


...the truth is, I wasn't the only one who suffered. I can't tell you HOW many times I snapped at my poor kids and husband. Oh gosh... I cried a LOT for those first three months. Maybe that sounds like a total "fat person" thing to say, but I was so sad I couldn't eat what I wanted to, and then on top of that, I had to watch everyone around me having those yummy foods. It sucked. Deciding what to eat and what NOT to eat, is ALL about self control. The only one who can hold you accountable for your "little cheats" or "snitches here and there" is YOU! But also keep in mind that being on a "diet" doesn't ALWAYS have to be all or nothing. It took me MONTHS of learning and practice to be able to put my fork down, when I started to feel like I had had enough or skip out on the dessert at Sunday dinner. BUT, I still allow myself to have small indulgences every once in a while. A sliver of cake at a family birthday party, half a cookie if a neighbor brings them over, etc... Just don't make it a habit, and only have about a 1/4th of what you REALLY want.

The HARDEST part is starting. I remember that the ONLY thing that kept me going, was when I began to see the actual results of my discipline and hard work. Remember this?

This day, was that moment, and as much as I hate to say it, it took till week 11 to get there. I know you've heard it a billion times, but I am here to testify that in all honesty I can say first hand, NOTHING tastes as good as getting this thin, so far, feels.
Yes, I still have quite a ways to go, and currently, the numbers on the scale are moving SO MUCH slower than I'd like them to, but the inches I'm losing are crazy-awesome.
:)
So where do you start?
First and foremost, visit your doctor.
It's embarrassing, uncomfortable and makes you feel completely vulnerable, but guess what? If you get the right one, they can REALLY help.
I had my hormones tested, got my thyroid checked out, found out I had a very minor pituitary gland issue and was even diagnosed with ADD; one of the BIGGEST reasons I overate. My mind and body were always trying to stay busy and active (no shocker, because I've always got a trillion things going), but since I wasn't releasing off the specific chemical in my brain, naturally, that made me feel good and relieve stress, I would do it with food; which sent it off for me. It sounds crazy, but that's why I have such an emotional connection and even borderline addiction to how food makes me feel.
Once my doctor and I got this all figured out, she was able to put me on an Adderall-type supplement, and I have to say... it was life-changing. I can focus, stay on task without feeling overwhelmed even when I have a ton going on, and my cravings/"need" for overeating and indulging in food all the time to satisfy me, have almost disappeared. As cliché as it sounds, knowledge is power on a weight loss journey... if there is ANY way to lighten the load, then it sure makes the trip a whole lot easier; so checking in with a doctor, to make sure everything is working properly is just an all around good idea.

Food is STILL the ultimate sacrifice for me, when it comes to losing weight. I'm 100% positive that it will continue to be a temptation through my entire life that I'll have to resist, but finding an eating "plan" that worked for me, so that I could be as successful as possible, has been a huge turning point in my journey.

119 comments:

  1. You are doing great! It's so exciting to see these positive changes. Although I've always thought you were just gorgeous, being a long time reader (need to comment more!).
    I agree, that food looks scrumptious and ooey gooey.. I'm not helping am I??

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  2. You really are an inspiration! I love your blogs and I wish you all the power to continue your journey! I hope I can jump on board after this baby!

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  3. You're awesome. I love reading these posts because I'm also working my butt off... literally. I've been struggling lately; I'm just tired. Tired of going to the gym, tired of not eating what I want, tired of constantly thinking about it. I have to remind myself daily of why I'm doing this, and sometimes that isn't even enough. Thanks for the encouragement :) P.S. You are looking amazing! I can't believe that last before and after; you rock!

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  4. Great food suggestions and it looks like all your hard work is paying off! You look great!!!

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  5. You look great! I'm in the same boat as you and can feel your pain. It does get easier but some days are worse than others. Keep up the great work!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this! You are doing an amazing job and you look SO good! I just started exercising regularly and really counting calories about a month ago, and I am going through some of the same feelings you mentioned. I sometimes fee like I'm on a roller coaster...when I see results on the scale and in my clothes, I am practically euphoric, and then other times, I am just craving my yummy comfort foods and feel frustrated that I can't eat as much as I want to. It's a process and a choice everyday, right?!? :) Kudos to you and all that you're doing! You are an inspiration! :)

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  7. This post comes at the most perfect time in my life, you have no idea how much you have inspired me. So many things about you remind me of myself, so I can completely relate. As my father used to always say, "whatever you do, just keep moving forward".

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  8. You freaking rock. I sit here fat, pregnant and sick totally wanting to get off my toosh and be like you! You were sooo beautiful before but it is so fun to see how your smile stands out even more now, and your ridiculously tiny/ cute nose! Good on ya! My day shall come!

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  9. I LOVE these posts! In fact,I almost added to your gobs of emails to see how you were doing and when you'd be posting an update. :)I can relate so much to what you are saying. And honestly, I never thought ADD was connected to over-eating. Makes me wonder........ Anyhow, you are doing great! The movement on my scale has slowed down considerably but I keep on plugging along. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I have part one of mine saved in drafts.........waiting to go live....one of these days.lol XOXO

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  10. Way to go girl!!! You are such an inspiration!

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  11. Yay for you! So exciting! I too am on this lifelong journey. I started it January 16 of this year at 230 lbs. With diet and exercise, I now weigh 135 lbs. I weigh every Monday and am now in the maintenance phase. I am not trying to lose anymore just tone up and get stronger. I am so much happier and more energetic! I do allow myself cheats every now and then and I follow the 90/10 rule. If I am "good" 90% of the time, I can indulge in special treats 10% of the time. Good luck! You are doing amazing!

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  12. Amazing and beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I am not overweight but I do work out and I do always want to "lose 15 pounds). My trainer once told me " if you don't eat it you don't have to work it off " and this really stuck with me. Now when I eat something "bad" I actually try to ask myself "Is that really worth having to walk 5 miles for?"

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  13. Have ADD and wonder what the name of the supplement you are using is?

    BTW - congrats and keep up the good work, you look great!

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    1. I was interested in this as well. TERRIBLE time focusing and concentrating due to fibromyalgia. Soooo proud of you girl!

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    2. I am interested as well. I didn't want to take medication for it, but have been second guessing myself. I haven't thought to look into alternatives.

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  14. Thanks for the inspiration! It can be exhausting to say no to the stuff you love but you've done it and it looks as if it's totally paying off. You have always been so pretty but now you look even more amazing! Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Kudos to you. You are looking great and you have a sensible, achievable method to lose weight that is working for you. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  16. I just lost 38 lbs and I am working on my last four for high goal weight. For me it has all been about discipline, portion control, writing everything that I eat down everyday and weekly encouragement meetings with my WW group. Keep on going you can do it! I feel great!

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  17. You look amazing I wish I could find a plan that worked for me. I've been to the doctor and that didn't help all my tests were normal :(

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  18. this is fantastic! I'm so proud of you! and I don't even know you :) I've followed your blog for quite some time, and about a year and a half ago I started my own weight loss journey, I got back to my highschool weight in just over 9 months! which was huge for me, and am pregnant again now with our 4th child, and this has been the easiest pregnancy so far. Besides the gaining back a whole bunch of weight, but it's worth it right :)
    Anyways I just want you to know to stick to it! Even when it's slow going, I always told myself that as long as the scale was going down that was all that mattered!
    You go girl! and your looking awesome!

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  19. this is fantastic! I'm so proud of you! and I don't even know you :) I've followed your blog for quite some time, and about a year and a half ago I started my own weight loss journey, I got back to my highschool weight in just over 9 months! which was huge for me, and am pregnant again now with our 4th child, and this has been the easiest pregnancy so far. Besides the gaining back a whole bunch of weight, but it's worth it right :)
    Anyways I just want you to know to stick to it! Even when it's slow going, I always told myself that as long as the scale was going down that was all that mattered!
    You go girl! and your looking awesome!

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  20. All I can say is WOW!! You look fabulous and such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal journey with us--you are helping so many...

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  21. Wow! Your journey is an inspiration, Shelley. Love that you're taking the time to focus on your amazing progress and not the feeling of punishment- that's how I sometimes feel when I'm fighting to resist the temptation (but I "want" it!). It's obvious you feel good about making healthier choices despite the challenge and sacrifice. Keep up the good work!

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  22. You are an inspiration. You look great...

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  23. You're just so awesome and beautiful. Keep up the good work and keep the updates coming, I think that you are such a great motivator for people. Thanks you for sharing!

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  24. what a great post and update! loved what you shared about making lifestyle changes, i think they are practical tips anyone can use no matter where they are in their journey. thanks for sharing and being an inspiration!!

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  25. Wow, what an awesome post and such an inspiration! Thanks so much for sharing and congrats on the transformation you have gone through - such amazing results! xxx

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  26. That's amazing! You are an inspiration for us all to take better care of ourselves!

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  27. You may not think so, but this is so freakin inspiring for me. Thank you for having the courage to share your experience and pictures. You are awesome! I wish I could meet you in person. Maybe one of these days if I am in Utah.

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  28. Congrats and keep it up! You really can do it!!!! It's a daily battle for me to maintain my weight. I dedicated this year to my health and lost 25 pounds and just ran my first 1/2 marathon.

    I like the chocolate protein powder from Costco. It only has 160 calories per scoop so I can add 8 oz. water, 1/2 a frozen banana and 2 tsp. light peanut butter (plus ice) for the same calories as an Isagenix shake. Or I get the vanilla and add 8 oz water, 1/2 frozen banana, and 3 frozen strawberries.

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  29. Congratulations!
    I would love to know how much you've lost so far, and how much more you'd like to lose (just curious :) ).
    Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you for your hard work, as a fellow dieter (at least once a year), I know how hard it can be and how nice it is for your effort to be recognized. Also, although I've done every diet out there, I've never paired it with exercise because I'm too lazy...I don't know how you do it 5 times a week.
    Keep on keeping on, you're doing great!

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  30. oh...just a quick question? Why is it better to eat just the egg whites?

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    1. She's doing a low calorie/fat diet, and the majority of the calories in an egg is in the yolk. If you subscribe to the low carb mentality, then the fat is good for you, because it triggers the fullness sensation, and thus stops you eating.

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  31. I really needed to hear this today. Thank you for posting this. Would you consider doing a similar post on my site, ADD Moms? I think my readers would benefit from it.

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  32. Amen! Thanks so much for this post! You and I have spoken about my weight loss "plan". Recently, I've fallen off the wagon. Your post is so inspiring and I'm determined to get back on that freakin' wagon!!!

    xoxo
    Dawn@EventuallyCottage

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  33. I have finally changed to a low-carb higher protein way of eating too. And I have come up with some healthy alternatives for the things I used to miss if I went on a diet. No more diets for me: if I have to count it other than making a quick carbohydrate check on the label, it is not going to happen. And I am definitely not going to put everything I eat into an online calorie or point counter. However, I do write down what I ate into a journal on most days. Weight comes off me slowly, but that is OK. I am thrilled to be fitting into pants I could not wear at the beginning of summer. Thank you for the inspiration. You are doing great.

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  34. You go girl!! You look amazing! You inspire me to want to get healthy!!

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  35. Thanks for this detailed post. I'm late 50's and this is HARD. I lost over 100 lbs (diet and exercise) and have put about 40 back on. Stress eating, etc. I've been exercising. Praying. But yes, I love food. OK, endure to the end means I won't give up. I rock. And so do you!

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  36. I love your weight loss update posts. I love seeing your progress. But I really loved the title of this post because it was a revelation I just had like a week ago: eat to live, don't live to eat. I have been noticing that all the really thin people around me don't treat food the way I do (like my world revolves around it) and they only eat to basically stay alive. I would love to adopt that attitude, to eat merely just to stay alive rather than to always be thinking what can I eat? I've been kind of doing the Weight Watchers method but mostly my eating habits are like yours: low carb, low sugar, high protein. Eat less at night. And even though the weight loss has been incredibly slow, it's weight that is staying off and IS coming off. Plus since it's taking so long it's more of a lifestyle change rather than a crash diet. I've lost 21 pounds so far this year and it has been hard work, but it's SO dependent on mind over stomach and will power. It'll probably be something I'll have to work at my whole life but I'm happy that I had to learn this lesson now while I'm young rather than when I'm older and it's really super hard to lose weight. My ultimate goal is to be healthy and active even when I'm old so that I can enjoy life to its fullest.

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  37. Thank you for sharing an being so open and vulnerable. I mirror everyone's comments when I say that you truly were gorgeous to begin with, but I can see a spark/glimmer in your eye now that is inspiring. Keep up the hard work. You're an inspiration!

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  38. you're gorgeous...notice in the before picture you have your head straight and no smile - after...looking at camera smiling!!

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  39. Wow! You look great, you must be super proud of yourself. I hope you share some new pics of yourself soon, I can't even recognize your face in the newest picture ( not sure if its just because its from the side though?) thanks for sharing your journey, I'm sure u r helping so many people. Have a great day, and stay positive! : )

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  40. You look amazing! Congratulations! I am a huge health nut and just love to read things like these. Yes, you have to do what works for you. My husband can cut out carbs with no problem, but it drives me crazy. I don't need to eat a bowl of pasta, but I have to have some carbs. Maybe it's a girl thing. ;)

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  41. I just made an appointment with a nutritionist this morning and then I see your motivating post. I am so pumped now that I can do it too! Thanks for your tips and sharing your experience! Keep the updates coming, you're doing fantastic =)

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  42. Thank you so much for sharing Shelly! I love seeing your meal ideas. You look amazing! I have always struggled with my weight. Your journey has helped me so much.

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  43. Keep up the good work!! You look amazing!

    For me working out is the easy part, saying no to sweets is the tough part. Thanks for sharing your story :)

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  44. Way to go! Here's a internet hug, too. I can relate to everything you said. I really enjoyed this post! I am a full-time-work-from-home Morman mommy to 4 young girls and I too am focusing on being healthy...but I'm a interior decoration novice. I started reading your blog for the decorating/DIY home posts, but I have really enjoyed your weight loss/health journey posts! Once again, way to be strong! Keep up the HARD work!!!

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  45. The new you is so stinkin' young looking! WOW! Keep it up! Inspiring!

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  46. Have to say keep up the good work! :)
    I have struggled with being overweight my whole life and it is now in my thirties that I know and realize what i have done wrong and what I need to do.
    And yes...you do cry along the way.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

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  47. Thanks Shelly for the post. Obviously, you have impacted a LOT of us ladies. When you started last year, you were posting pics of some of your meals that you were eating. Some of those meals looked so yummy and inspired us to look for copycats. Can you share where you were getting those recipes from? I am really interested in that!

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  48. Thanks Shelly for the post. Obviously, you have impacted a LOT of us ladies. When you started last year, you were posting pics of some of your meals that you were eating. Some of those meals looked so yummy and inspired us to look for copycats. Can you share where you were getting those recipes from? I am really interested in that!

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  49. Wow, this was just the post I needed to read today. I don't usually check your blog very often but I'm super glad I did... I have about 80 lbs to lose & I feel totally out of control with my eating.

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  50. good job, you look awesome shelley! and so that's what those cute little frying pans are for! i keep seeing those and had no idea what someone would cook in them! ha ha! i was tempted to just buy it for my daughters' play kitchen :)

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  51. Girl, you are just plain awesome. I had to go to my doctor a month or so ago, and it was so embarrassing. I have a LOT of weight to lose, but I still just can't seem to get started. I know I use food as a distraction, as a comfort, as a way to feel better. Just don't know how to stop. :s

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  52. You are seriously a huge inspiration to me.

    Thank you, thank you for sharing this journey.

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  53. You look amazing and you are so inspiring! Your ass looks fantastic in your latest photo (is that weird to say?). Keep up the good work!

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  54. I love how real you are about this whole thing - it's hard and you admit it and you don't shirk away - thank you! This is the kick in the tush I needed today to get back on track and not be scared of the hard work. Keep it up; your progress is incredible!

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  55. You look so awesome!!!! :-) I've been reading for a long time and rarely comment either - but you are a total inspiration!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GIRL!! You are beautiful - and now it's prob easier for you to believe ppl when they say that. I've always thot you were very pretty and you're just looking more awesome all the time. WAY TO GO!!!

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  56. Congrats!! You are awesome! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

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  57. Shelley! WOW! Good for you... keep up the great work! Love your posts.

    Tina Matteson
    singin(at)compuserve(dot)com

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  58. You're AWESOME and AMAZING and I want you to come live in my cupboards and motivate me. :)

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  59. So happy for you! I too am on a weight loss journey. And your post are so motivating for me! Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  60. Keep up the good work. In 3 months I've gone from size 24-26 down to a size 14. No bread, potatoes, sugar/artificial sweetener (except Stevia), no corn, carrots, wheat of any kind (no gluten free products either)...I've had no hunger or food cravings. I work out every morning and teach water aerobics then lap swim every afternoon. I have really found a new way of eating. Basically NO SUGAR, NO STARCHES....but lots of herbs and spices to tempt the retrained tastebuds!!! Good luck!!!

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  61. Wow, you look amazing! Thanks for the great post.

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  62. I ran into you last year at Gardner Village... I can't remember if it was Witches Night Out or not... anyway, I would love to see you this year. You look AMAZING. You have always been gorgeous, but you have such a spark now. I want that spark. Thank you for this post. I actually started back on my journey just today. I have 30 lbs to lose (actually, 40...if you go by what my IDEAL body weight should be, but I'll be thrilled with 30 lbs) and your post is so motivating. I am trying to learn to love eggs... I don't. So breakfast is hard for me. And the sugar. I'm an addict. I have an appt with my dr. and I'm going to have a serious weight discussion with her. I didn't really think about that. I eat like you did... never a whole bag of chips, never a whole pan of brownies... but I just eat ALL THE TIME. I'm a grazer. I eat because I'm bored, sad, happy, etc... Anyway, man, I obviously needed to vent cause I've written a novel. I'll just end it by saying THANK YOU for putting yourself and struggles out there. It's so inspiring. And by the way, I hope this doesn't sound weird, but you have the cutest tooshie ever!! You look so great.

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  63. What an accomplishment!! You should be very proud of yourself!

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  64. You. Are. Awesome!

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  65. Shelley, I'm one of those people who was hounding you to post this. Sorry! I am so so so so grateful that you did. I needed the inspiration. You are an example to so many, most of us strangers. This is your gift - you inspire others in many ways. Keep up the amazing work, and keep us posted. You are incredible.

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  66. What workout routine do you use. Or did I miss that in a previous post.

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  67. This was exactly the inspiration I needed for today! Keep up the good work, you look fabulous!

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  68. You were a beautiful woman before and you are a beautiful woman now. Congrats on all of your hard work and determination, and thanks for being so honest about this journey!

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  69. You look great!! Keep it up and thanks for sharing something so personal.

    ~alicia
    Proof-of-live.blogspot.com

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  70. I am at the beginning of the same journey. You are inspiring!!! Doing a great job and looking fabulous!! Thanks for sharing

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  71. Everything you try to do is positive so just keep moving! I like junior mints, just 3 or 4 is a good little dark chocolate minty treat I also like chobani chocolate chip yogurt for dessert it's the kids kind but not bad as a dessert with protein and one more thing is a tbs of peanut butter with a few chocolate chips on top again protein with yum! Good luck your doing great!

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  72. You are awesome Shelley! I'm so excited for you. Someday I'll lose some weight too. I want to, but I feel like other things in my life are so out of control that I eat my feelings all the time and don't have the strength to lose the weight. Someday. You are an inspiration!

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  73. Starting IS the hardest part.. I've already had everything checked out by my doc.. he even gave me some info on losing weight when I left his office.. that was a month ago.. what am I waiting for?! you've inspired me.. I WILL start tomorrow ;-)
    And you look amazing.. keep up the great work! I know it's hard to stay on track but you're doing it!

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  74. You look fantastic!!! I'm 46 years old and I've been dieting all my life. And the last few weeks I've been eating without sugar ( I only eat natural sugars, like from fruit and honey) amd that worked out for me. Sugar was an addiction for me and now it isn't anymore! And the cakes and so with natural sugar taste so much better! So, that was my story, thanks for sharing yours!

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  75. You look fantastic!!! I'm 46 years old and I've been dieting all my life, but the last few weeks I'm eating without sugar, I just eat natural sugars like in fruit or honey. And that's the thing for me! It seems that sugar was my addiction! I'm eating cakes and cookies now with natural sugars and they even taste better! So, that is my story, thanks for sharing yours!

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  76. you look great !!! keep up the good work!
    Eleni M.
    Chania - Greece

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  77. Thanks for being so honest and open in your weight loss journey. You have inspired so many of us and I hope you can feel the love and gratitude. I was always thin and could eat anything I wanted (yes, you have permission to hate me!), BUT about two years ago I suddenly starting putting on weight at an alarming rate. I pointed this out to the doctors right away, but because I had been so thin they mainly ignored it, long story short, the steroids I had been on for so long due to medical problems had made me cushnoid. I am now nearing 180 lbs., this from a person who never weighed more than 114lbs! I haven't a clue how to diet because I never had to think about it before, I also never really overeat, but I also wasn't stopping myself from eating what I wanted. I really had a lightbulb moment with this post, I cannot keep eat even small amounts of those things everyday and expect to lose weight. Just because I could before doesn't mean I still can, no matter how unfair I think it is.

    Thank you for helping me to realize this and for the good suggestions for meals and snacks that are healthy and still tasty. I am so proud of you, and thankful to you! Good luck with your journey and please keep me in your prayers as I embark on my own!

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  78. Thanks for being a great example! You really are an inspiration. I recently made the decision to go for it again (about the hundredth time), but this time I know I can do it. Watch out world!

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  79. Wow! I've been reading your blog for awhile now and have never left a comment but, holy smokes! You look amazing, way to go! -Chelsea

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  80. Shelly I love reading your blog and your weight loss journey has been awesome to see! Way to go! You are doing it! Thanks for the updates and the details! It is helpful to see what works for someone else and get some new food ideas. My husband and I have recently embarked on a lifestyle change to be healthy and man is it tough sometimes! You are inspiring!! Thanks again for sharing your experience. :)

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  81. This is inspiring! Keep it going Shelley you are doing great! I know it's not easy. I've been watching my husband suffer and sacrifice right along with you and YES, food is the hardest:-( But he is determined and wants to stop taking all those BP and Cholesterol medications and we want him around for many more years. He's been watching his food intake (and I've sacrificed along with him), he's been getting up at 5 am 3 times a week to go swimming, and working out 3 nights a week. We are definitely seeing results. So keep it up girl, it's workin! xo

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  82. Your story inspires me to get back on the weight loss train!! Thanks so much!! Keep up the good work!!!

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  83. You look amazing and what a wonderul model you are for you girls!! I get on board, see small results, then stop?? Seems like you posts come at the perfect time for me!! I also, really think I need to visit my doctor! Thanks, girl!!

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  84. Great job! Keep up the good work! You are looking awesome!

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  85. You are doing awesome! Congratulations on how far you've come. Thank you for being so transparent. I have the same problems as you when it comes to food, I just LOVE it. Haha!

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  86. Seriously Awesome Shelley! You've hit the nail on the head with the simplicity that is weight loss/maintenance, and taken away the cloud of confusion that all the weight loss companies have worked so hard to veil the public with. Keep up the amazing work - even when its tough, or the cookie looks way better than you feel - cause it is worth it, and you are living proof! Just look at the smile in your last portrait!!! Congratulations on sticking to it girl!

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  87. You look incredible! Wow. Congrats and keep up the hard work!

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  88. You are such an inspiration Shelley! Thank you for sharing this. You look totally amazing!

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  89. I'm pretty sure everyone else has said it all, but I just wanted to congratulate you too! Besides you looking AWESOME WICKED AMAZING... on your latest before/after pic, you look SO HAPPY!!! That's the biggest key I believe! That cute smile on your face says it all :)

    Love you!

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  90. I have to say that your before and after images are BOTH beautiful! I am a new fan of yours for many reasons (mostly your tips, tricks, and sarcasm)- and I would like to applaud you on sharing your journey! Keep up the good work, there is nothing as satisfying as fitting into a smaller pair of pants! I look forward to keeping up with The House of Smiths! Cheers!

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  91. You look awesome!

    And AMEN to all that. We all used to be skinny when we were 15. But then those hormones woke up and kicked in. UGH. We could binge, starve, you-name-it and still not be skinny again. lol.

    Just love yourself as you are. :) You are awesome!

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  92. Nothing is better than health in the world. If you love eating, no matters but you have to consume the same by doing a lot of exercise.

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  93. Thanks for sharing your struggles in your journey - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one! As someone who is trying to lose weight and also has plantar fasciitis, I'd love to know how you're doing with your plantar.

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  94. Thank you for sharing your journey! You're doing great. As someone who has struggled with exercising due to plantar fascitis, I'd love to know how you're doing with your plantar.

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  95. Shelley, I am SO happy to read that you're incorporating Isagenix into your life! From your very first post about your weightloss journey, I said, "She NEEDS this amazing nutrition!" SUCH a huge blessing! Your posts make my heart smile. It is so nice to see such an honest, forward transformation! Keep up the good work, lady!

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  96. Way to go!!! Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!

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  97. I love your blog!!! you are so inspiring!!! Thank you!!
    You are doing so amazing!!!! you look 10 years younger!!!! :) go!!!! your inspiring me!!
    Angela Young
    Ohio

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  98. You look SO GREAT!!! And thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning that people shouldn't "diet" to lose weight. It HAS to be a lifestyle change if you want to lose the weight and lose it for good. I get so frustrated when I find out friends are doing the HCG diet or whatever the latest fad is. I lost around 30 pounds a couple of years ago - I had been going to a gym, doing the classes, whatever, for a few years before that, but until I changed the way I ate, I didn't lose weight. And I don't even like to eat the way I did before! I feel gross when I do. I'm so much pickier about the "treats" that I eat now. And my body thanks me for it :) I've been able to maintain my weight since I lost it and I feel great! Thanks for sharing your weight loss journey with us! That would be a scary thing to do, but I really enjoy reading your blog and, since I'm passionate about health/eating healthy now, I love reading your weight loss journey posts :)

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  99. Hooray for you! You look so good and so happy! You are lovely (befores and afters). Thank you for sharing your story. Blessings to you!

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  100. Good job so far...but if you really want to make it easier and healthier, you have to check out WHEAT BELLY - the book. He has a blog...wheatbellyblog.com . And best is to read "posts by others" on his facebook page and you will be amazed at the wonderful things happening to folks. Basically, absolutely NO wheat/grains, no sugar/fruit. Eat LOTS of healthy fat like coconut oil, avocados, grass fed butter. Eat meat, above ground veggies. Bake with almond flour and coconut flour. You will be so happy if you check it out!!! Sounds like you are already heading in that direction. So much of what we are taught as being healthy is wrong. Big time. Best wishes to you! :o)

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  101. Thanks for this, great information, and REALLY motivating...as I am in a weightloss Rutt. I appreciate all the pics, and information. Thanks!

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  102. I was thinking about this issue before Conference this year and wrote down "How do I eat healthier and strike a better balance in my nutrition?" as one of the questions I would like to answer. That answer came from President Bednar. When he was talking about the people who "had a change of heart and had no more desire to do evil." All of a sudden it hit me, instead of RESISTING these foods and DEPRIVING myself of them-I needed to have a "change of hear and have no more desire to eat unhealthy foods." This is a quote from Elder Bednar (sorry didn't write down the reference, wasn't planning on sharing it, but it would have been a Conference talk within the last 2 years I think)

    "The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses much more than avoiding, overcoming, and being cleansed from sin and the bad influences in our lives...This mighty change is not simply the result of working harder or developing greater individual discipline. Rather, it is the consequence of a fundamental change in our desires, our motive, and our natures made possible through the Atonement of Christ the Lord." We are not merely abstaining from our weaknesses; we are delivered and changed through the healing power of Christ."

    My trainer hasn't had sugar in over 12 years. No cakes, no cookies, nothing. I order to make a true change I have decided I have to make if from the inside out-begining with a change of heart.

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  103. Keep up the hard work! You're looking amazing! Now I need to get your discipline!

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  104. You look fantastic! Great post and cheers to you for making those lifestyle changes. After a while, it just becomes who you are... it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. You are the healthy eater, you are the exerciser, you are the one making smart choices to power your body. It's awesome :)

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  105. Thank you for this post, your honesty is refreshing! I too have struggled, not with my weight, but with my love of food in general & i always crack up over those tips that are given to "help you feel full longer." Ha! ha! Who the heck actually eats because they're hungry???

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  106. You look amazing! Thank you so much for an update. I read and watch your blog for pictures so I can get a glimpse of your progress. You are amazing, you look amazing and are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  107. Thank you for your honesty and humor (and fabulous before and after shots) during this journey! Your story about your girls has inspired me to examine the choices I have been making for me and my family- and to make a positive change. Congrats on your success!

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  108. Hi, I'm new to your blog and it's such an eye-opening experience!!! Yay! for you, Way to Go!!, You Are The Best!!,You Rock!!!, and you just flat-out inspire me. :-) What struck me as I began to read about your life, your wonderful home and your wayyy too adorable children and husband is that none of us have it easy!! Just as I would kill to have a handy husband who loved me so much that he would help with projects and support me and tell me I'm beautiful, I have many, many things that I am very thankful for.

    I am so thankful for your blog and that I found you through Pinterest. I am finishing my tenth day of Jenny Craig (losing this 30 pounds again!) and I was feeling so depressed. My husband is out of town and our youngest left for college this year so I have spent the evening crying off and on and just having a pity party for one. lol Having been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue eight years ago has contributed to my being overweight for the first time in my life - gaining 50 pounds after a lifetime of being on the thin side. Still, no excuses!! You are such an inspiration to at least be honest with myself and face the fact that I am not going to feel as good as I used to but that doesn't mean I don't still have to take care of my health.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Everything about your life makes me want to try harder, care more, give more and love more.

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  109. The other day I ran into to you out in South Jordan and told you that "You Inspire Me!" Well this is how it goes. I have followed your blog and made many of your projects. Blue Chair last week. Well when I saw you I so bad wanted to tell you how your journey has helped me. I am in need of a kidney transplant and have to lose 30 more pounds and my diet is crazy because of my dialysis diet. But your thoughts and comments help me realize I can do this. So thank you for the projects but most of all for the constant encouragement I get when I see you doing it. I know that I can do this too!!! Thank you!

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  110. Wow! Thank you so much for the update. My slow journey for weight loss has been stalled a bit by having surgery and I'm trying to keep my spirits and motivation up while I recover. This post is just what I needed. You look fabulous and you're so real- love your candor! Your title hits home, as I often have to remind myself "it's not the last supper! It's JUST supper!"
    Thank you!

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  111. I think it is great that you are doing something about your weight. I know it can be hard. I'm on Weight Watchers and it has helped me so much. I still eat what I want but I am now accountable for my actions. I'm really proud of you!

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  112. Did you just go to a family medical doctor or a specialist? To find out about your ADD, etc. Thanks!

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  113. THIS IS ME, ESPECIALLY THE LAST PART. I want to print it out and take it to my doctor. Thank you for sharing. I just found your blog through interest...love it and have you on my bookmarked!

    I look forward to catching up on your blog.

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  114. Great stuff, losing weight is no fun all to often you come to a grinding halt, then along comes some new information that inspires you to get going again. thank you for sharing.

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