Posts Tagged ‘dreams’


Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 48 was busy.  Lots of long days at work meant that I didn’t get in quite as many workouts as I would’ve liked.  Don’t get me wrong, I got in some great workouts, but took a couple of rest days I hadn’t planned on.  One of the reasons I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten into the habit of planning my meals is that it assures me that my food will be on point, no matter how hectic my week gets.  It definitely came in handy this week!

bilbl_scale.jpg So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is no loss and no gain this week; I stayed exactly the same. This is  a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  After last week’s epic weight loss, I didn’t expect much of a loss this week.  If I’m honest, I was hoping I could break into the 170s, and I actually saw that number for a split second on the scale at one point this week.  But I’m in no way disappointed with today’s result.  My body just needs to take a quick break for a second.  Plus, I’m PMSing, so I know I’ll  see a loss very soon.

I continued to enjoy the  green smoothies and lots of kale at dinner this week.  I love greens, and I’m really happy to be incorporating them much more into my meals.  Last week was a lot of leftover Easter ham, and I do wonder if the sodium in that contributed to the scale.  The ham itself is very lean and low in calories, but it does have some sodium.  Either way, I’ve eaten it all, and this week I’m back to using rotisserie chicken in my salads at lunch and more variety in my proteins at dinner.

In terms of my workouts, I’ll be getting in lots of cardio, as usual, but I’m super excited that Tone It Up‘s #bikiniseries is starting tomorrow! If you’re at all curious, sign up and give it a try.  I think you’ll be amazed with how much Karena and Katrina put into their workout plans, recipes, workout playlists, and fun challenges – all free. Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday: Turbo Kick + walk Sofi
Monday: elliptical / TIU: 3 Moves for a Sexy Upper Back + Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Tuesday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series workout (comes out Tuesday) + Sunset Stretch (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Wednesday: walk with Sofi + Body Combat (5:30pm) +/ TIU: Malibooty
Thursday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Cowabunga Routine
Friday: walk with Sofi / TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) + SunKissed Abs
Saturday: walk with Sofi

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday: Make a vision board writing out your goals and getting super focused on the top 3 things you want to accomplish by the end of this challenge.
  • Tuesday: Take your official BEFORE photo for the challenge. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but trust us, you’ll be so happy you took it! What you achieve in the next 8 weeks will amaze you and it’s important to be able to see how far you’ve come once summer is here. It’s also important to have a before photo when you submit your story at the end of the challenge for a chance to win the Grand Prize trip with Contiki Vacations! Oh yes!
  • Wednesday: Take out the list of goals or your vision board that you created on Monday. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and spend 5 minutes visualizing yourself achieving each one of them. Breathe deeply and remember to keep your mind positive throughout the entire process!! Picture how amazing you’re going to feel when you accomplish your goals.
  • Thursday: Send your friends some love! Write a note, text or email to a friend and surprise them with 3 things you love most about them.
  • Friday: Paint the town with smiles! Walk around your neighborhood  with friends and write notes of positivity on the sidewalk with chalk. Spread messages that will make people smile like, “You’re wonderful,” or “Never give up,” or “Today is YOUR day!” Be creative and share your photos with us on Instagram with hashtag #CreateYourSummer

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts: protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashews
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mixed with protein –  grilled salmon, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon, mahi mahi burgers, filet mignon.

I’ve been doing pretty well in terms of hobbies lately, especially reading and blogging. I haven’t started the photo book yet, but maybe later this week.  If not, very soon.

I absolutely love this quote today.  It’s something that I’ve kept in the front of my mind this entire time.  Yes, I had weight loss surgery which is an amazing tool, but the reason I’ve been so successful with my weight loss is because of my drive and determination. My daily decisions to workout, my daily decisions to eat well, my daily decisions to create consistency.  My dreams are coming true, and I am so excited by all that I’ve achieved thus far.  And along the way, I’ve done my best to make sure I enjoy each moment, each new NSV, each new size, each new ability.  Because those are what add up to an amazing new life.


Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!


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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 10: Inspiration
What inspired you this year?  How do you think this will impact the year to come?

I don’t mean to sound conceited or self-important, but I can honestly say that this year I have inspired myself.

For so many years, weight loss was this elusive dream, this faraway goal that was just beyond my grasp. For every positive step forward, I’d do something that would take me 3 steps back.  This cycle went on for years. Yet through all the struggle and frustration I never gave up.  Perseverance was my mantra.

So this year, when everything finally clicked in my head and I stopped allowing myself to make excuses, I started to achieve what had been unattainable for so long.  My actions brought on positive momentum, and I started to motivate myself.  My new body meant that my outside finally started to match my inside. With each success on the scale, I gained strength.  I’ve always been a strong woman who believed in herself, but now I was unstoppable.

I have been inspired by my weight loss, and my greatest hope is that through this blog, through my photo status updates on FB, through my TBT pics on Instagram I will inspire someone else who is feeling as desperate as I have.

My story makes me proud. My journey fills me with joy.


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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 9: Surprise
What surprised you the most this year?

One of the things that surprised me the most this year shouldn’t have been much of a shock at all.  When I researched WLS, I knew that one of the main benefits was rapid, sustained weight loss.  I’d read blogs and watched YouTube videos about people who’d lost massive amounts of weight in a short period of time.  I knew exactly what to expect from this journey I was about to begin.

But when I started stepping onto my own bathroom scale to see my own weight declining rapidly, I was happily surprised.  As my weight went down, down, down each week, I was so excited that my hard work was paying off.  Each new pound I dropped spurred me on towards greater success.  I happily followed the program that Kaiser outlined for my eating, cheerfully logged my meals in MyFitnessPal (which delighted me by bringing me lots of new friends), gladly drank my water, and gleefully completed my workouts (which came with their own set of joyful surprises). Now that I look back on these past 28 weeks post op, I am shocked and amazed that I’ve lost over 110 pounds, and counting.

To think that I started at 315 and now I’m nearing the major milestone of Onederland is simply incredible to me!


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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 8: Adventure
Did you go on an adventure in 2013?  What sort?

As much as I enjoy traveling to new places, trying new things, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures, I am sorry to say that 2013 did not take me away on any vacations.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t embark on any adventures.  I just did them closer to home.  This year, especially since the summer, I’ve been on quite a few Adventures in Fitness (AIF).

  • 2013-09-27 16.01.00 By far, the most memorable and dangerous AIF was when I attempted StandUp Paddleboarding in Half Moon Bay.  I won’t rehash the whole thing now, but let’s just say my adventure involved getting saved by a wizened, old fisherman.
  • 2013-10-03 11.01.21 For the first time ever, I participated on the faculty powderpuff team during homecoming.  The shots of me bent over into position as a center weren’t flattering, but I had the best time.  And I’m determined to be a receiver next year, especially if I keep up with my run/walk program.
  • Speaking of run/walk, I’ve mentioned before that I’m doing C25K, and this time, my third attempt, I’m really enjoying myself.  Each new workout leaves me proud of what I’ve accomplished, but also amazed at what my body is capable of.  It’s really cool!
  • I have lots more adventures on my Fitness Bucket List, and I look forward to crossing them off, one by one.

Beyond my fitness escapades, fashion has become a real adventure, in the best way.  Each new (smaller) size I fit into is like a medal marking how far I’ve come.  Something as simple as fitting into a new size of underwear is a thrill, especially now that I can buy them in regular stores.

Another major NSV that occurred without me even realizing it was that I can now cross my legs!  Only plus-sized girls can really understand the joy I felt the first time I looked down and realized that I had one leg crossed over the other.  It’s so comfortable!  Since my thighs are thick, I’m not quite ready to take a pic of this new NSV, but as the inches fall off, that will definitely be something I post.

This quote by Oprah is so true.  I’m living the life that I only dreamed about in the past, and I’m finding that reality is so much sweeter than I could have ever imagined.


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Happy Monday! The weather outside is glorious – it should get into the mid 80’s – very sunny, clear skies. Sunny days like this make me smile. That, and the fact that there are only 31 more school days. Gotta love this time of year!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Inside My Head

I like…sunny spring days

I don’t like…mean people – they suck.

I love…my friends and family – they stand by me and support me through everything.

I dream of…a time when I’ve retired from teaching and every day is like summer vacation.

I wonder…what I will look like at goal. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

I know…that I need to buckle down and get lots of grading done over the next few weeks so that if when I am called for surgery, I’ll be prepared to leave.

I went…to my alma mater high school’s 50th anniversary celebration on Sunday. I had expectations of seeing lots of former classmates, but no one from my graduating year attended. The best part of the day was spending time with my sister and nieces. Oh, and the outfit.

I think…a positive attitude makes all the difference.

I plan…everything! Lol.

I regret…very few things. I don’t think it’s healthy or productive. Learn from mistakes and keep moving forward.

I do…the best I can everyday.

I drink…at least 8 (but usually more like 10) glasses of water a day. Along with several cups of coffee and some tea, I always have a drink going.

I wish…for my surgery date to be set for the beginning of May.

I am…heading to the grocery store later this afternoon and I need to think of some good meal plans.

I am not…sure what I’ll do for my birthday this year, but it’s in July so there’s time to decide. (Stole this one directly from Kenlie, because it fits).

I need…to do laundry and a few other household chores.  I had a whirlwind weekend and left too many things on my To Do list.

I hope…I am able to pursue my ambition to become a health educator in the future.

I want…to organize my weekdays for the next few weeks so that I can fit everything (grading, housework, workouts, fun, leisure) in.

I sometimes…like to imagine an unlimited bank account balance.

I always…tell it like it is.

I can…fit into clothes that were too small a month ago.

I cannot…wait to get a surgery date. (Sorry, it’s the MAIN thing on my mind).

I avoid…negative people.  The world has way too much ugliness in it already.

I will…continue to appreciate all the little ways that my life is getting better day by day.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions! And also be sure to go back to Kenlie’s blog and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments! I really encourage you to comment on as many people’s posts as you can – I’ve met some fantastic people through FMM. You never know who you’ll meet today.

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Tonight as I was writing an email to ScaleWarfare, I mentioned the fact that there are about 9 weeks left before I am on Winter Break.

9 weeks. 23 pounds to go to my mini goal.  2.5555 lbs per week.

Totally doable. Very realistic.  Completely achievable.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve been on this journey for years.  This is one of the greatest accomplishments I will ever achieve in my life, and now is the time to do it.

I am committing to put in the work – 100% Jenny Craig, 10 glasses of water/day, 5 workouts a week, totally at least 45 minutes each.

I am worth it.  I can do it.  I WILL do it. I believe it.  I will make my dreams come true.


Mark my words.

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Are you as addicted to Pinterest as I am?! I absolutely love going on there to dream, to be inspired, to learn, and to grow. And, okay, to waste a ton of time. I find so many interesting ideas from Pinterest everyday, and I just wanted to share some of it with you guys on a weekly basis. Hence Pinterest Perspectives.

This quote from Thoreau is one of my favorites.  It’s especially apropos as I strive to reach the mini goal weight quest.  In order to have the life that I’ve always wanted, I need to live that way now.   Because it’s not as if something magical is going to happen and some switch will turn on suddenly.  It happens gradually, with small changes and little choices every single day.

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I’m sorry for my lack of posting this past week; it’s been so busy with getting ready for the start of school tomorrow.  But I promise to be back to my regular blogging from here on out.  I missed writing and I had so many ideas to share that I was practically bursting at the seams.

Since tomorrow (Monday) is the first day of school for me, I have been thinking a lot about how I’m going to fit everything into my more complicated, busier schedule.  I don’t want to fall into the common habit of letting my food and exercise go to the wayside as I get into the daily grind of work.  That’s not healthy, nor will it get me to my goals.

Speaking of which, my main goal at the moment is to reach 266 lbs by the beginning of November.  It will be a challenge, but if I stick to my plan, it is definitely achievable.  That way, I will get on the WLS waiting list (which takes about 6 weeks), and I *should* have the surgery sometime between the middle of December to the beginning of January.  What better way to start the new year than with a new body?

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” ~Pablo Picasso

I love a good plan, and in the days leading up to back to school, I’ve come up with a strong, two-pronged approach  to achieve my goal.

1.  Bella’s Back-to-School Workout Plan

  • On my early-end days (when I have my prep period during the last period of the day), I will leave school 15 minutes before the final bell rings (to avoid the parking lot nightmare) and head straight to the gym.  On these days I’ll do cardio (elliptical, treadmill, or bike) and some core work or strength training.  While the weather is still warm (through October), I may head to the outdoor pool to get in some laps.  Then I’ll get home, take Sofi for a walk, cook and eat dinner, and get on with the rest of my evening.
  • On my full days (or when I have meetings and can’t leave a bit early), I will come home right after school, take Sofi for a walk, and (hopefully) attend a group exercise class (kickboxing, Afro-Belly Boogie, aqua aerobics, spin, or Zumba) at 5:30, 6:30, or 7:30.  Then I’ll come home and eat a light dinner.***

***These are the days that are much more “iffy” for me.  I’m like many of you, I’m sure –  once I get home and start to relax, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to get back out and go workout – unless I’m meeting someone else or I’m extremely motivated.  I know that sometimes I won’t make it to the gym, and that’s ok. Even if I only workout on the early days, I’ll still workout 2-3 weekdays.  Add with the fact that I’ll be walking Sofi for about 30 minutes a day every day, plus my weekend workouts, and I’ll still be moving my body every single day.  And I’ll be getting in more intense workouts 4-5 times a week, which is excellent.  While I’ll strive for intense workouts each day, I also want to be realistic.

2.  Bella’s Back-to-School Eating Plan

From now through the end of August, I’m going to stick to eating 1200-1300 calories per day, focusing on getting in lots of protein.  I’m going to make sure that I cook enjoyable meals and give myself something to look forward to each day (as the therapist recommended).  On the weekends, I’m going to allow myself to eat 1400-1600 calories and factor in at least one scheduled treat (again, as the therapist recommended).  I want to savor the last fruits of summer while keeping my daily food log and making sure everything fits within my calorie budget.  I’m going to write everything down, even if I go a bit overboard, because I want to be accountable and not have any “secret food.”

Beginning September 1st, Monday – Friday: I’m going to do my own version of Medifast.  Instead of spending all the money on Medifast, I am going to use the Premier Nutrition RTD shakes and protein bars from Costco.  I’ve priced them, purchased them, sampled them, and I really like the way they taste.  Plus, they each have 30g of protein, and are very low carb.  Then I’ll have a Lean and Green meal for dinner.  The day will look like this:

Breakfast: protein bar (280 calories)
Break: (only if needed) protein shake (160 calories)
Lunch: protein shake (160 calories)
After school/pre-workout snack: protein shake (160 calories)
Dinner: Lean and Green meal (around 350 calories)
Daily Total: 1000-1100 very low carb calories

On the weekends:I’m going to eat real food for all three meals.  One day will be around 1200 calories, and the other day (with the scheduled treat) will be up to 1500 calories if I feel I need that many.

I know what you’re thinking, “Bella, you just did Medifast, and yes, you lost 30 lbs, but as soon as you started eating real food, you gained 15 lbs of it back.”  While that is true, I didn’t do it this same way before.  The Medifast food didn’t taste as good as these Premier Nutrition products due.  Plus, I was eating Medifast 7 days a week, not giving myself any breaks or anything to “look forward to,” which meant that once I stopped doing it, I went off the wagon.  By including more variety to my meal choices on the weekends and taking away the concept of “off program foods,” I think I’ll be much more successful.

Everyone in the WLS support group that I spoke to was adamant about me “doing whatever I needed to do” to get the weight off and reach the surgeon’s goal requirement.  Following this plan I’ve outlined above, I should be able to get there with no problem by the beginning of November. Plus, I had sort of an Ah-Ha moment when I realized that once the goal weight gets officially recorded by Kaiser, all I have to do is maintain that weight loss for the 6 weeks leading up to surgery. It’s not as daunting to think about it that way.  Even if I gain 3-5 lbs in those 6 weeks that I’m waiting, I can easily take that off right before surgery if I need to.

I’ve thought about each part of this plan carefully and I know that I can do this.  I’m motivated by so many factors, the biggest of which is that I don’t want to enter 2012 in the same spot I am right now.  I want to have turned a corner, met a major goal, and accomplished the beginning of my dreams.

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Since it’s Friday, I thought today’s post would be something of a dream/hope/future goal.  Recently, I asked my students to describe what their life would be like if they were able to achieve their American Dream.  If they were able to reach their ultimate goal, what would it mean? And then I started thinking about my own life goals…

I always wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve gone far within my profession.  Besides my BA in English and my single-subject teaching credential for secondary education, I have a masters degree in educational leadership, which opens up opportunities for me to become an administrator should I ever want to go down that path.  I still love teaching, but the state of education in this country is making me question how much longer I’ll be able to teach in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable for me and my students.

There seems to be a backlash in this country against teachers.  It is the only profession that I can think of that EVERYONE thinks they know how to “fix,” or do a better job at than those who have gone to school and received training for it.  It’s almost as if people think that because they’ve been a student and have been exposed to lots of teachers, they know exactly what it’s like to be a teacher.  And how wrong they are.  Teaching is about so much more than what it seems to be on the surface.  And if you’re a good teacher, then you make it look seamless and easy.  When in reality it’s anything but.  And the time commitment goes well beyond the 6-7 hour school day.  I can’t begin to calculate the number of hours I spend outside of that time planning, preparing, and grading for my classes.  Not to mention that during my workday there is no down time.  I’m always “on” and I’ve got 35+ people to contend with at all times. Until someone has been a teacher, they have no idea all that goes into it.  Forget about the stress of budget cuts, layoffs, and pink slips.  And don’t even get me started on Wisconsin…

But I digress.  This isn’t supposed to be a rant about teaching.

My point is, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be teaching.  If things in education change as dramatically as I think they might in the coming years, I will no longer be fulfilled as a teacher.  Plus, I think I may be ready for a change with 5-7 years.

So when I ask myself what I’d like to do if I could do anything, the first job that pops out at me is someone who works in Nutrition.  Not a traditional nutritionist, but someone who not only educates people about what proper nutrition means, but also someone who plans meals and even offers cooking demonstrations for students.  That way  I could combine my love of teaching people something new with my strengths of organization and planning, and add in my love of cooking and food.

I’d love to be one of those people you see on Heavy who takes the clients to the grocery store and shows them how to read food labels.  But I think I’d take it a step further and visit them at home and help them plan their meals for the week, make a shopping list, get the groceries, and then maybe even help them prepare some of it.  And then they could drop by my office/storefront and learn how to cook some new meals every so often.  Maybe we could even do field trips to local farms or farmers markets and then cook with those ingredients.  The options are limitless.

To achieve this goal, I would need to go back to school and get my degree or certification in nutrition.  I would also need to figure out what it would mean to have my own business, so some financial planning would be in order.  There are a million little details that would need to be ironed out, but it is definitely something that could be possible. And I think I’d have a bit of an edge over the competition, because I’ll have successfully lost 150 pounds by then, so I’ll be a living success story who knows just how difficult it is to lose weight.

What do you think?  How much would you pay someone to help you with this sort of thing?  Is it realistic?

No matter what happens in the future, it sure is fun to be a bit whimsical and just dream.

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Lately I’ve been doing OK  with my eating and working out (overall), yet there is this underlying feeling of frustration that the 34 lbs that I need to lose in order to get on the waiting list for lap band surgery isn’t coming off as quickly as I’d like or feel that it should.

Part of the frustration is that one of the reasons that I want/need to have the lap band surgery is that I find it difficult to control my portions.   Very difficult.  And yet they want me to lose 30 pounds (which is no small amount!) on my own.  Now, I totally get that they want to see that I can stick to an eating program and that losing the weight will aid the surgery, because there will be less fat around my organs, etc., but it’s still overwhelming for me.

So much so that I get really upset with myself.  I wonder if I should have quit smoking when I did, because since quitting the scale has crept up, not back.  I’m seeing numbers I never, ever wanted to see.  I’m battling myself to deal with the cravings that hit every once in a while to have a cig.  Which does not mean that I’m going to start smoking again – I’m not.  And I’m proud of myself for staying smoke free for 99 days.

But that doesn’t negate the fact that I am snacking more than I should, and it’s showing up in the scale.  And  that’s so upsetting to me, because I am putting so much pressure on myself to finally show some results on the scale.  I have a clear goal, lots of motivation, so WHY CAN’T I DO IT?

These are the thoughts that roll through my head throughout my waking hours.

And then last night I had a dream that was so comforting, so reassuring that I woke up with a sense of calm and peace.  I can’t remember exactly what the dream was even about, but when I woke up, I KNEW that I would lose the weight I needed to. I knew that this time it would work.  That if I just gave myself a little more credit, and was a tiny bit patient with myself, I would be on that pre-op liquid diet before I knew it.

And that was such a relief!

I think this dream was meant to show me that I need to keep going, that I’ve been on this journey for over 2 years, and I’m FINALLY making small progress, so I shouldn’t give up on myself.  I need to keep the faith that I WILL be able to lose the weight to get on that list so that I can start the real journey of losing over 100 pounds.

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