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Weight Loss
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jimedmondsfan
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PostPosted: Thu 8/23/07 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whoo-hoo Amy! good for you! I am so pathetic! I have almost completely stopped walking -- its just too d##n hot outside!
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 9/20/07 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I only lost 1 pound this month, but that does make 41 overall. I'm not devastated, but I am a bit discouraged, as 1 just sounds so lonely.
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Sandi
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PostPosted: Thu 9/20/07 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But maintaining and NOT GAINING is great, too. Especially after a month of lots of goings on.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Thu 9/20/07 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my gosh Amy I think that is great. To have lost that much weight and still be losing is awesome. Please don't get discouraged. Whenever you lose that much the last few pounds are always the hardest. Hang in there. We are all very proud of you.
Jan
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yagsy
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PostPosted: Tue 10/16/07 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First CONGRATS to Amy for her journey of learning and accomplishing!

HUGE success!!!!

Will post my story...I think it will help but I'm off for an appt with my physcal trainer. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you can afford one!
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yagsy
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PostPosted: Wed 10/17/07 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my story... LONG so if you're are interested, beware...

I am and always have been an athlete. Now you take one look at me, you would NEVER think that. Why? Because I'm not thin. I don't look "cut", at least not at first glance. I've always been super active whether it was playing kickball, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, tennis, swimming, diving, cycling, horseback riding, roller skating, volleyball, hiking, rock climbing, ballet, walking, figure skating. If someone asks me to do something active, my answer is, "when do we go"?

I just feel alive when being active. But I hated the gym and I hated going to aerobics classes. I hate running.

I was never consistent with anything until '93 when I went back to figure skating (did it for a short time as a kid) and by this I mean lessons, signed up for practice sessions. I had a real structure every week on when I was to skate and how to skate. It was training. I loved it! I finally found something that I was passionate about that I would stick to doing. I was tired of doing a daily 5 mile walk (and I mean 7 days a week) for several years because it really cut into my social life. I had little time to do anything else. And 2 or 3 miles wasn't cutting it for me. Actually I reached a point where I was doing 5 miles with a speed approx 17 min a mile when I realized that I would really need to increase the distance and thought it wasn't enough. That's when I went back to training. It required less time, I got more out of it and I was gaining real athletic skills. I could now compete with these skills and test to higher levels. What a perfect answer to the perfectionist in me.

My point in telling you this part... as Amy mentioned, exercise consistently and my advice is to find something you love doing so you make a habit of it.

Even though I was working out so hard and my coach PUSHED me (I affectionately called her "Atilla the Hun") I wasn't really losing weight. I've always had weight issues and over the years have tried everything. I've learned about nutrition but what I didn't learn was what worked for other didn't necessarily work for everyone. As Amy is finding out, life changing diet and exercise combined works. Pills, quick fixes do not.

In late summer '03, after taking 6 months to seriously consider the gastral bypass surgery, my coach's son (he's like my nephew) begged me to not get the surgery because their neighbor had just died 3 days after having her surgery a week before. So I knew I had to do something and it wasn't going to be a "quick fix".

I discovered the principles of the South Beach Diet and this FINALLY is what worked. The combination of this life changing diet and how I viewed simple sugars, how a body of various ages processes that sugar and the combination of SERIOUS skating training, I lost 55lbs in 7 months! The weight just kept coming off sooooooo fast but my exercise had LOADS to do with the speed of the weight loss. I went from a size 20W down to a size 12. SHOCKING for me since I had not been in a size 12 pant since I was a pre-teen! I had more weight to go but I could see that I weighed a LOT more than most women of my height. My muscle mass was and is incredible high, especially in the lower body. So the idea of "losing weight" isn't what I needed to focus on because it was not a healthy way considering the number. As you probably know, muscle ways much more than fat. I look like I weigh A LOT less than what appears on the scale. The number is not something I need to look at and especially on a regular basis. "Losing weight" can mean feeling healthier, losing inches, toning, seeing that you are going down in clothing sizes. These are the things I need to focus on and not the weight in lbs. In the end, I did check my weight and was pleased to see the amount overall. I still needed to lose more but I didn't end up staying with my strictest part of the diet, but I retained the principles. I also stopped exercising due to life changes i.e. jobs, trips, and lack of competition goals. The biggest problem turned out to be my daily schedule was constantly being shifted due to not having a steady schedule. My job requires lots of intense overtime at times and I have to be willing to put the time in. When I was in the middle of training, I would make myself take time out during the day but it meant an extremely long day at work. Exhaustion was a constant, but I was training for a national competition (figure skating) and I stayed the course.

But when the following year came up, I found that while I was training, I also had some long trips to break up the routine, and it seemed like I was CONSTANTLY on a tight deadline at work. I was always working 10hr days, 6 days a week. Some weeks, I worked 7 days. But I still signed up for the competition, paid the fees. Then the company being so nice as they were, decided to wait til I signed up and paid for the competition to lay me off. Now, I had no job and not sure when I would get another one so I couldn't do the competition where travel costs, costume fees, music fees, coaching fees, ice time fees all make it a very expensive endeavor. I stopped skating until I could get a job and make sure to have the right schedule to allow for skating. Well, that didn't happen. Oh, I got a job but the commute was an hour in traffic. HORRIBLE. By the time I got home, it was so late and I was tired, I just relaxed. Oh, I tried to exercise, my body was craving to do something but it was never enough. All the while I am preparing to move to San Diego (from MA).

Then I made the move across the country and I had to find a job. You see, I didn't have a job ahead of time because I knew I could find one and within 3 weeks, I did find one. Again, needed to establish a routine in my life. I now needed to find a place to live since I was staying with a friend in a very small apt. But I was grateful for a place to stay. After a month of working, I found a great townhouse and made that move. Settling in took all summer and I had to buy furniture among other things.

I started skating sporadically again that fall (last year) but I really lost my passion and I realized why. I really missed my coaches from back east. I had one for 13yrs and the other for 10yrs. Both had been with me through so much, including the death of both parents, emotional highs and lows of life and they both became very close friends. I didn't realize how much I would miss them on the ice but I didn't even give any other coaches a chance. And the skating became infrequent, no routine established.
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yagsy
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PostPosted: Wed 10/17/07 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On to my workouts:
For me, April is always the "bear down and get busy" with skating month. Why, because it's the month when the US Adult Figure Skating Championships occur and I competed in 8 out of 13 Nationals and the mindset was there. So April '07, I finally started lessons with a new coach in SD. I liked her, she was tough although very different from my old coaches. But work would get in the way of lesson time and practice was not easy. And after 5 or 6 weeks, I got laid off again from a job (nature of my industry). So I quit but I felt at the time it was temporary.

My apt complex has a really nice gym, cardio, classes, weight machines, free weights, pools (5 of them), tennis courts and to this point I had not taken advantage. I was home during the day and thought, why not? It was something but I knew I needed a trainer since I knew nothing about gym workouts and I needed to have someone get me there. I needed accountability to keep me on a schedule. So I hired my personal trainer and off we went.

Fortunately, because of my past, I was able to gear up to a hard core, competitive (I need this) routine fast. I can't stand to look dumb when it comes to physical activity and if a person who shows me up, I find it a moral imperative to outdo them. My trainer knew my competitive nature so she used it as motivation and it worked. And even though I still do not have that perfect thin body, I get guys watching my workout with admiration. I was doing my crunches with a 10lb weight (I do straight up and double side to side ones) last night and mine are almost full situps on the big Pilates ball. This very cute guy was watching me and smiling. I found out later that he was another trainer. And me being a skater, I am a natural performer, so I LOVED it that I could show off. It also makes doing them much more interesting.

After about a month of going to the gym 3x a week, I started seeing big differences in my body. It was an overall change and I loved it. By the time I had been doing it for 4.5 months now with a couple vacations thrown in, my body is now back to where I am more comfortable with it although it's only motivated me more to keep going. Two weeks ago, I did something that my trainer didn't expect. I asked for a 4th day and she said I'm her only client that does 4x a week. Hooray, another won competition for me.

Now, scheduling has been difficult at times, and I did have to lose one day at the gym due to work but my company is paying for that session since they asked me to cancel it to stay to work. I have been working at a new job now since late Aug and the idea of fitting in my training time has been difficult. But the motivation is there, my trainer helps.

I don't know if I'll go back to skating. I have til the end of this month to decide if I go back in order to compete at Nationals in April. I don't want to leave my training to the last minute and I need a new choreographed program.

Scheduling sessions though, is going to be extremely difficult so the commitment is going to take a lot out of me. I would have to do early mornings and I'm not so good at early morning. I am going to try to establish an early morning session by trying to go tomorrow's session at 7:30am. Now to some of you that may not sound that early but for me... it's extraordinarily early because I would need to be up by 6am to be on the ice by 7:30am. I am not a morning person and I have insomnia issues so to "go to bed early" doesn't work for me. But I'm hopeful yet again to try... Then once I get used to the 7:30am session, I hope to add a couple more in the coming weeks to determine if I can keep up this schedule. Oh and I am also keeping up my gym training. I might cut back though to only 3x a week if I can get my skating sessions up to at least 4x a week.

And now that I've typed this out...laid out my goals in detail, I expect to follow through and I expect you guys to keep me on track and honest. I figure if I have to answer to others again, I'll stick to the plan.
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yagsy
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PostPosted: Wed 10/17/07 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Food/Diet

The South Beach Diet principles really taught me a lot about how my body handles what kind of food I can and cannot eat. I was always a starch fanatic. Still am and I try hard not to be but it's not an easy battle.

Things like candy, cakes, pies were never really a problem for me to turn down since I wasn't really a fan. I would rather have more chicken or beef and potatoes and even string beans then have dessert. I love cookies though and I am careful about that.

I need to stay away from simple sugars though and that includes starches. Amy mentioned some before that most people do not realize are a problem: peas and corn. I can't tell you how often I would see corn served as the veggie with potatoes and they called that "balanced". People wonder why this country is at epidemic levels of diagnosed diabetics or pre-diabetics. Our whole food industry rests on us going to the next phase of our dieting...ALL processed food is not good. No matter how you slice it, all of it is bad. The chemicals alone are a problem but to make food taste good, there are three different ingredients often used and used together: saturated fat, sugar (disguised in all kinds of ways) and salt. To have a "reduced" label on the packaging, one of the three fat adding ingredients is reduced and at the price of increasing one or both of the others.

One of the catches you need to look for is in yogurt. Sooooooooo many people eat yogurt and think they are healthy and helpful for their weight losing plans. If it's the ultimate plain, completely unflavored variety then yes, indeed it is helpful. If you add FRESH ONLY fruit, even better. But, in reading the labels of many of these reduced fat flavored yogurts, you'll see the reduced fat but look at the sugar grams. Then, remembering that is one serving amount, check the amount of servings in a container. You'll see anywhere from 25grams of sugar per serving to 35grams. And in some cases that is half the container. Shocked yet? Oh wait, there's more... If you look at a standard reduced fat container of vanilla flavored yogurt, you can find 45grams of sugar per serving. Well, sheesh, why not just have that Snickers bar, it's far more satisfying!

99% of processed food also contains an ingredient that directly links to the cause of Diabetes. This ingredient most people had never heard of or if they had, do not know anything about: hydrogenated palm kernel oil. Do a search on the internet, you'll find some interesting results.

Amy learned a very important lesson, one that I did on the South Beach originally (still am, just not as strict) to give in to your cravings but to be smart about it. If you want a chocolate bar, have a couple bites and either store it away for another time or here's the killer....THROW THE REST AWAY if you can't handle putting it away. Another suggestion is to freeze it which helps.

The more I stuck with the SB Diet, the better I got at controlling my cravings. Why? Because I stopped eating simple sugars and when you do that, your body stops craving them and you end up making better choices for yourself because you can control yourself much easier.

I've done loads and loads of nutrition studying and I don't know it all and I constantly try to learn more. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, if I don't know it, I will find out. I currently work voluntarily with the American Diabetes Association and the nutrition studies are getting better and better.

Hope this was helpful!
Oh and drink loads of water. One suggestion, I have been using sparkling water (no sugar, no sweetner, no salt) in half my glass and the other is iced tea (sugar free) to get my water in. I drink LOADS of water in general but that was one way to get me to drink more water. Now I drink plain water on it's own more often but I still love my mixtures. Water down your juices, all that sugar (natural sugar but it's simple sugar) does not give you any health benefits. So you think a glass of Orange juice is healthy, well for anyone over the age of 40yrs old, it just turns into simple sugar in your body and direct fat calories. You're better eating an orange directly with some water. Sorry Linda. Sad
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Wed 10/17/07 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yags,

Thanks for the wonderfully informative posts. They were quite inspirational. I hope we get to meet some day.

Amy
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 10/18/07 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woo Hoo!

Just got back from my monthly weigh-in.

By the grace of God, I've lost another 6 pounds (47 total now).

Since my goal is to lose somewhere between 90 and 100, I'm approximately half-way!
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yagsy
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PostPosted: Thu 10/18/07 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amy, YOU'RE the inspiration!

That is FANTABULOUS!!!!!

It's also wonderful since you are going to continue on your journey.

Remember one thing, don't forget to address the emotional side of the weight loss. Recognize things like seeing youself in the mirror still as that bigger person, buying bigger clothes out of habit, and other self conscious things you go through as well. Look at yourself through the eyes of supportive others and allow them to be the judge of your outward appearance. I bet you are too hard on yourself. Smile

ENJOY YOUR HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Get a facial, make someone else smile, buy yourself a cashmere sweater in your new size! Something to reward yourself for being AMAZING!!!!

And if I can help in ANY way, let me know!
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 11/15/07 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a rough month. I couldn't pass up on the Halloween candy, though I didn't "binge" like I would have in year's past. Thankfully, I kept up my exercise though, so at my weigh-in today, I discovered I've lost another 2 pounds. I'm now at 49 pounds gone over all.
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Sandi
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PostPosted: Thu 11/15/07 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think any loss should be looked at as accomplishment. So congrats! And if you're only able to maintain this month and next month, with all the holiday gatherings and parties, even moreso.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Thu 11/15/07 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is awesome Amy. Keep us updated.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 11/15/07 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks girls. I'm hoping to at least just maintain through the holidays.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Thu 11/15/07 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can do it. Just a little over a month left.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 12/20/07 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I weighed in this morning to find out I've lost 2 more pounds -- 51 pounds gone overall. It was thrilling to pass the elusive "50-pound mark".
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crzblue



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 1847
Location: Dodgerland, CA

PostPosted: Thu 12/20/07 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IlliniAmy wrote:
I weighed in this morning to find out I've lost 2 more pounds -- 51 pounds gone overall. It was thrilling to pass the elusive "50-pound mark".


WOW! Congratulations! That is a BIG accomplishment, especially during the holidays! I can't stay away from all the sweets in the office so I am afraid to weigh myself.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Thu 12/20/07 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is awesome Amy. Thanks for keeping us updated.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 1/24/08 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weighed in this morning and I've lost another 1.6 pounds, but I sort of round that down to give myself room. I've skipped an update or two, but this brings me to 54 pounds (54.6) total! Yay!

I've also dropped nearly 4 sizes. This time last year, I was starting to have to buy 24s and now I'm buying roughly 50/50 18s & 16s...it all depends on the brand & style.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Thu 2/28/08 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been struggling this week. I'm out of my normal environment -- in an office building not conducive for walking on breaks like my own. They're also tempting me with high-fat food included in the cost of my training...donuts, fresh baked cookies, thickly iced brownies, bagels & cream cheese, homemade coffee cake, etc. I did allow myself two of the homemade rice krispy treats yesterday.

So, my food choices are a bit more challenging (but I think I'm doing well with it) and I'm not getting in as much exercise.

However, I had a check-in today (it had been 3 weeks since my last one). I lost another 3 pounds and have now lost 58 overall. Smile I couldn't be more excited as I'm seeing some major effects of leading this healthier lifestyle already.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Sun 3/2/08 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so happy for you Amy. It must really be great to be feeling better especially with summer coming. I started weight watchers a few weeks ago. I have lost 8 lbs. I hope I can do well over vacation.
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Sun 3/2/08 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way to go Jan! That's a terrific start. Perhaps we can support each other by sharing portions or something during our trip.
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stlred
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PostPosted: Sun 3/2/08 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds great Amy. I have packed some lean cuisine and smart ones. The hard part will be no alcohol on vk.
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Sandi
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PostPosted: Sun 3/2/08 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll buy you ladies a Diet Coke! (Almost always my drink of choice, anyway.... though ice cold water really hits the spot when I'm hot. lol!)
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Wed 3/5/08 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, coming down with this horrible viral cold caused me to lose 3 pounds in 5 days. I've lost 61 pounds now. I'm going to get to wear a skort that I bought off a clearance rack last November that was seriously too small, but too cheap to pass up. I tried it on last night and it fit and it got packed! Very Happy

See you ladies tomorrow!
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stlred
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PostPosted: Mon 3/24/08 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I can't believe this but I've lost 13lbs altogether now. I really was afraid to weigh myself after Florida so I waited 2 wks. I had to get on the scale 5 times because I didn't believe it.
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Sandi
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PostPosted: Mon 3/24/08 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is excellent, Jan! *high five*
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Tue 3/25/08 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way to go Jan! Hitting the double digits in weight-loss is a wonderful line to cross.
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chocmalt
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PostPosted: Wed 3/26/08 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi IlliniAmy,
I'm still trying to learn this site! So much stuff to see, and not enough time to see it all!

Congrats on your weight loss. I'm currently doing Jenny Craig, and eat out of cardboard boxes on a daily basis LOL! I've lost 25 out of 40 pounds ,and it's NOT easy! I became desperate and decided Jenny was best after being unsuccessful on my own. I don't have to worry about picking and choosing.

I've done Weight Watchers in the past, and think it's a good program. Definitely not as expensive as Jenny!

I am curious about the BMS study you joined, since I am a research nurse myself. I will have to not be lazy and read the entries you made from the start.

Anyhow, you have a friend in this lifestyle change. I say that, rather than weight loss challenge, because I've really come to realize it's gonna have to be a permanent way of thinking for me, and I have to accept that fact. Darn it anyhow LOL! Dodger Dogs have enough fat in them for a day's allowance! It's a good think the chocolate malts I love aren't too bad! Why can't broccoli be the fattening stuff???
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