Posts Tagged ‘positive attitude’

Even though it was absolutely no fun to have the flu because I felt so miserable, now that I’m past the worst of it, I can see a bit of the silver lining.

The main thing was that I’d been in a huge rut/pattern of overeating/making the wrong choices for a few weeks. Not being able to eat anything for a whole day and then being on Cream of Rice for a few days really helped me break that patten.  I’ve been eating normally for the past two days, and so far so good.

Along with eating so much less came weight loss, which I really needed because my 3-weeks of I don’t care led to a 5-lb gain.  I am proud to say that I’ve lost all of that weight between being sick and now being back on plan.  I was a bit worried that the initial 2.5 lbs were going to come back on as soon as I started back to my 1200 calorie diet, but they didn’t.  And this morning I lost another 2 lbs, which really put me in a great mood for the day.  Not that I live and die by the scale, but it just reinforced this “light” feeling I’ve been having lately.

I got a lot of rest while I was out sick this week and it seems to be just what I needed to recharge.  I’m feeling really good today, and I know it’s because I am finally caught up on my sleep.  I’m going to make a point to try to go to be about an hour earlier than I normally do, because even though I can “survive” on 5 hours of sleep on a daily basis, I know that it’s better for my body and mind to get more sleep.  Not necessarily 8 hours, but maybe 6.5 or 7.

So it’s Saturday and I’m in a great mood – down on the scale, feeling better, decorated the house a bit (more on this in my next blog post), and I’ve gotten a lot done today.  What’s not to like and feel grateful for?



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No, I’m not being sarcastic with my title, and yes you did read that correctly.  I’m actually looking forward to school starting this year. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my summer’s off as much as anyone would.  And if I was somehow able to stop working and simply live my life the way that I have throughout the summer forever, you know that I would – in a heartbeat.  But this isn’t fairytaleland, it’s real life, and so I have to say that if I have to work, I’m actually really lucky with the schedule and classes that I have this coming year.

First of all, I’m teaching all higher-level classes.  Honors students come with their own set of issues, but I can guarantee myself that behavior and respectfulness won’t be among them.  Yes, there will be parents who overstep their bounds and yes, there will be point-mongers, but I can deal with that because my policies are solid and my standards are high and fair for everyone.  It will mean much more paperwork, in terms of grading, but it also means more fulfilling discussions that will challenge me and help me look at the literature in new and exciting ways.

And I also get to teach the classes I love – yearbook and journalism. Those classes are just plain fun.  Yes, they have deadlines and budgets that need to be met, but they’re also much more laid back and creative.  I get to know the students on a whole other level, and I love that. (I have two amazing examples, that I’ll get to in a moment).

I’ve also mentioned that having the last period as a prep every other day means that I will be able to leave school earlier than normal on those days.  Just leaving 15 minutes before the bell rings means that I can get on with the rest of my day 45 minutes earlier than I normally would.  That’s almost a whole exercise class!  I have a whole workout plan in place that I’ll mention later this week.

The main thing that’s going to make this year a great one is me.  My attitude.  Last year I didn’t really want school to start, ended up with some really awful, challenging students in two of my classes (about 30 really tough, hard to deal with, disrespectful kids), and my year went downhill.  Yes, I made the best of it, but I couldn’t wait for every weekend, school break, and summer vacation.  This year I am going into it with some very positive energy, because of the schedule and because of my classes, but also because of something that happened today.

Today I got two beautiful thank you cards and accompanying presents from parents thanking me for making a tremendous impact in their children’s lives.  Two separate sets of parents thanking me for making a huge difference.  Both complimenting me on my high expectations, passion for teaching, and inspiring spirit.  I mean, c’mon, how can you now feel completely uplifted with that?  I feel like those two cards will carry me through Winter Break!  🙂

So I’ve decided that this year is going to be a great year.  Beyond all the other things I’ve mentioned, it’s also the year that my students are going to watch their teacher completely transform before their eyes as she undergoes WLS.  (Not that I’m going to share that bit with my students).  By June 2012, I will be closer to being the me I’m mean to be.  I just know it.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Put it out there and it will happen.

It’s going to be an amazing year. 

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Something really unexpected happened yesterday; I got emotional over some jeans. But let me give you the background…

The day started out really well – I went to Bikram yoga and me my friend Ani. I hadn’t been to a hot yoga class in at least 6 months, and it was just as challenging as usual, but I was proud of myself for sticking with it the whole time and for doing ever single pose. Sure, I had to modify most of them, but that’s one thing I love about yoga – everyone in the class is modifying the moves to suit their own needs. It’s not about competition or comparing, it’s about your own “individual practice.” There were a few times that I looked at myself in the mirror and just wished that I wasn’t the biggest reflection that I saw, but I quickly put those negative ideas out of my head and focused on the fact that I was doing it. At my size, as the biggest person in the room, I was hanging in there and completing each and every move to the best of my ability. I didn’t sit one movement out, as many of the classmates did. I left the class feeling great, and even better when I calculated the calorie burn: 1388. (People are always floored by how many calories I burn, but you have to remember, since I weigh a lot, I burn a lot).

I didn’t do too much for the middle part of the day – eat lunch, play with the dogs, read some blogs online, etc. Although I should mention that Minnie had gone to the same groomers that I took Sofi to on Wednesday, and I was able to get Sofi’s ears trimmed a bit. I’m really happy with the results:

The shorter ears make a HUGE difference!

Then it was time for me to get ready for a baseball game that my family and I were going to. It was Italian Night at the San Jose Giants (the SF Giants’ AAA team). It was going to be a fun time with my parents and my sister. The only problem was, I almost didn’t go.

Every single pair of jeans I tried on made me look enormous. Yes, the ones that I normally wear that look decent on me had just come out of the dryer, so of course they were a little tight. But so were the ones that I hadn’t worn in several months. This was really depressing to me, and I just thought back to my huge reflection in the mirror at yoga, and I started feeling really sorry for myself.

I went next door to my sister’s house and started tearing up, telling her that I didn’t want to go because the seats would be too tight. That the other day when I bought the Adirondack chair at Cost Plus that I’d wanted all summer, I had to sit in it to make sure it would fit my ass. “How sad is that,” I whined. “I really cannot wait for the day when I don’t have to worry about fitting into a chair. When will that be?!!!” The tears welled up in my eyes, and I felt so hopeless, discouraged, and fat. And then LC said, “Bella, don’t let your jeans get you down.” And we both busted out laughing at how ridiculous it sounded. She knew it would lighten the mood, and she said that I was taking the whole thing way too seriously, but that if I really didn’t want to go, I should call my parents and let them know. And at that point I realized that I was feeling sorry for myself.

In the past I would’ve allowed myself to feel bad about the situation, and stayed home. And then I would’ve been even more depressed and sad. And then I would’ve probably eaten too much, “because I’m so fat anyway.” And the whole thing would’ve been a mess. And that type of wallowing is so pointless.

So I bucked up and went. And I had a great time. And I didn’t need to worry about the seats, because we ended up sitting in the bleachers. I even got a new visor out of it – my mom saw it and thought it was perfect for me. So when I was waiting at the tables while they were getting the food and drinks, I decided to use the self-portrait mode on my iPhone to see how the visor looked. I was so surprised by what I saw, so I snapped this self-portrait:


I don’t mean to sound conceited when I say that I really look nice in this photo. And the coolest thing is, I wasn’t trying to look thin or make my double chin less pronounced by holding my head a certain way as I do in lots of photos. It just occurred naturally. This is how I look. And I like what I see because I can see the progress. I can see my face getting thinner with all of the effort I’ve been putting in.

I’m so glad that I didn’t let those darn jeans get me down and that I went. Because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had such a good time. I wouldn’t have this cute visor, and I wouldn’t have felt so good about myself last night.

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Today didn’t start out very well. I have a few new stresses that I wasn’t expecting, and let’s just say that it’s hard to stay positive when life throws you a curveball. I’m just taking the attitude that I’m going to work with what I’ve got, and do my best to improve the situation slowly. I don’t want to cause anyone alarm – it’s nothing life threatening, it’s just the daily b.s. of life.

In order to clear my head and get into a better frame of mind I went swimming. I had planned to go to Zumba, but I just wasn’t up for it earlier. But swimming was just the thing I needed to relax, get in a good workout, and let all the worries fade away. I swam hard laps for 30 minutes straight and burned 415 calories. I finished my workout just in time for a few moms with kids to come and use the pool. I love kids, but it’s awfully hard to swim laps when they’re bobbing around the shallow end.

I feel good that I didn’t wallow in my problems and took them out on the water in the pool rather than on myself or anyone else. No use being upset about something I can’t change, right? The only thing I can control is my reaction, and I’m bound and determined to make sure I keep things as positive as possible.

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Today I started Day 1, Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet, and I am loving it.  I know that some people find Phase 1 too restrictive (no fruit, no grains), but compared to Medifast it is a joy.  Actually, it’s a joy no matter what you compare it to.  The thing I really like about it is that you’re eating plenty of food and the focus is on eating until satisfied, not on calorie counting.  Although because I’m still working on knowing what “satisfied” feels like, I am counting calories.  I’d like to keep them somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300, give or take a 100.  1200-1400 is what Kaiser outlined for me, and it seems to work well. I’m going to be tracking my food using LoseIt, so please add me, if you’d like to follow my progress and see my meal plans on there.

What wasn’t working well was going rogue on my diet.  For the past month I’ve half-heartedly attempted to stay on Medifast, gone through 3 “loading” days of HCG, done 2 500-calorie days of HCG, and then just ate what I wanted for over a week.  The result?  Weight gain.  No big surprise.  I’m still down from my February all-time high, but once again I am feeling disappointed in letting myself give in to out of control eating.  Which is exactly why the Lap Band surgery is going to be a great tool for me.

Now I have almost exactly 30 lbs to go to reach the 266 goal, and about 35-40 to be in the “safe scale zone” where it doesn’t matter what I wear on the scale at Kaiser.  Sisyphus comes to mind.  Sigh.

I want to focus on the positive, though.  I’m feeling good, looking good, and I know SBD is going to be a great plan to follow this summer and beyond.  Now that I’m eating enough to sustain vigorous workouts, I know I’m going to be much healthier as I lose the weight.  No only will the lbs drop, but the muscle and tone of my body will improve, making me look better (and feel better).

I went to the grocery store yesterday and got LOTS of SBD-friendly food. As with any new food plan, the first grocery bill is always a shocker.  I bought spices, extracts, dressings, not to mention meats and fish and veggies, all of which add up. But it’s worth it. Shoot, I was spending $300/month on Medifast food alone (not counting dinner), and I didn’t even like the taste.


Happiness = a well-stocked fridge, filled with healthy choices.

It feels good to face the music, take a realistic look around, and move on.

BTW – be ready for lots of posts now that summer is here.  At the moment, there is a lot going on, and I want to share it.  And remember, Sofi’s got her own blog, if you want to read more about our adventures.

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Things have been really intense and serious around here lately, and since the weather outside is gorgeous and it’s Friday, I thought I’d lighten the mood and tell you about some things that have been making me smile this week.

How much am I loving the fact that I have driven home with my convertible top down for the past 2 days?!  And I have those same plans again this afternoon.  I love feeling the sun on my face and the wind swirling all around me as I’m driving.  And yes, that temperature gauge does say it was 83 degrees after 5pm yesterday.  Ahhhh, spring!

Flowers always put me in a good mood.  They’re like bringing a bit of springtime into the house.  And in the past week, I’ve received lots of flowers.

A gorgeous bouquet from my vet's office, offering condolences for Lulu. They earned a client for life with this thoughtful gesture.

My sister gave me this tiny begonia because she was thinking of me yesterday. I put it in Lulu's corner.

My nieces (aged 8 and 3 1/2) were adorable and remembered that it had been 1 week since Lulu's accident on Wednesday. They clipped these from our garden and put them in a vase for me.

With all of this thoughtfulness and love all around me, how can I not be in a good mood?  The sun, the love, the convertible, Friday…all reasons to be grateful and happy.

What’s something that is making you happy today?

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It’s been about two weeks since I moved to my new house, and in that time, I’ve come to realize something rather significant: my attitude and outlook on life is so much more positive.

I was going through the motions for the last year at the old house.  I was often depressed, felt powerless to the neighbors, and hated the environment I was living in.  Which is not to say that I was in an awful state of mind the entire time, but looking back, I can say that I wasn’t as happy as I could have been and it colored so much of my behavior.

Because I didn’t feel safe, secure, or in control of my surroundings, that was reflected in many of my life choices regarding food and exercise.  I’d let the simplest thing set me into a tailspin that would take me weeks to recover from.  I’d give myself permission because I was too mentally exhausted to move forward.

In the new house I feel so much lighter.  I’m happy, organized (even without everything being in its proper place yet), and so much more myself.  I’m back in the neighborhood I grew up in and where I feel most comfortable.  It’s so much easier to get to the places that I like going – the farmer’s market, the gym, and the grocery stores.

My neighbors are nice enough, and the fact that I don’t really see them much is fine with me.  Of course, I’m hoping we become neighborly, but it’s just nice not having to worry about what they’re doing, how they’re acting, and how it’s going to affect me.  Because it won’t.  If they have a fight, I won’t know it.  It’s nice feeling so much more autonomous.

I’m already feeling so much more alive.  I don’t dread going out and leaving Lulu, because I know she has a whole yard to play in while I’m gone.  Which means that I can be more social and active.  I can go to the gym for an exercise class and not worry what will happen at home for the hour I’m gone.  It’s so freeing.

I’m re-discovering how considerable a role attitude plays in ACTION, and I’m looking forward to continuing to put this positive outlook into practice.

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I have been dying to write this post all day, but I’ve been stuck at work doing a million things at once, but I’ve finally got some time to sit down and write this. 

As you guys know, last Monday I started following Kaiser’s Lap Band pre-op 1200-calorie/day meal plan.  I have been using LoseIt to track my calories, and while I’ve been over 1200 each day, most days I’ve been between 1300-1400, which is still relatively low.  I’ve been focusing my meals around protein, and eating much less starch than I normally do.  Most of my carbs are coming from fruits/veggies, and while I do still eat rice, pasta, or other grains, I’m limiting them to 2-3 servings a day. 

I should also mention that this first week on the new meal plan has been my first week of quitting smoking.  Trying to quit and eating reduced calories has proved a bit challenging, but I actually surprised myself by doing so well this week (on both fronts). 

Possible TMI: One of the negative things that comes along with quitting smoking (besides an increase in appetite) is constipation.  I haven’t had too much of a problem with that this week, although this morning I did experience a bit.  To combat this, I’m going to start taking a fiber supplement, because the last thing I want to be is “backed up.”

I didn’t limit my social interactions this week, since it was my last full week before school starts back up and my time is more scarce.  Which means that I ate socially, I drank socially, and I enjoyed myself in moderation.  I was a bit worried about what these different eating/drinking events would do to the results on the scale, but as you’ll see, moderation is key.

Now, let’s get to that scale shot:

 Which means I lost 3.3 pounds this week!  An excellent start to the first week on a new program, I’d say.  Especially with everything else that’s been going on this past week.  I was so thrilled that my weight loss held steady from when I peeked at it earlier this week.  It shows me that following a lower calorie diet and eating/drinking socially in moderation really works.  I didn’t eat a lot of high-calorie foods, but I didn’t totally limit myself from them, either.  It makes me feel even more convinced that the Lap Band is going to work for me, because that’s the ultimate tool to practice moderation, since it limits the amount of food/drink you can consume. 

Overall, I’m hugely impressed with my attitude, my focus, and my determination.  I want to keep riding this wave, because I’ve been feeling so great about myself and my progress, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been so happy about everything. 

Some goals for this coming week:

  1. Water.  I got in at least 48oz every day this past week, but I should be taking in at least 64oz, so I have to fit in a few more glasses to reach my minimum goal.  I know I can do it, I just have to put it into practice.
  2. Exercise.  As I mentioned yesterday, I did a bit of extra movement this week, but only a few days.  I would like to get back to working out 4-5 days of the week, at least. 
  3. Continue tracking in LoseIt.
  4. Stay to 1200 calories more closely than I did this week.


Housing Update: I heard back from my future landlord yesterday, and he said that barring any unforeseen things on the background check, the duplex is mine!  This is fantastic news, and I am beyond thrilled.  I’m going to meet with him on Saturday to iron out the details of the deposit, etc., but by early next week, I should know FOR SURE that the place is mine.  Stay tuned. 

Smoke Free, Day 8 and I’m going strong. 

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

This week I have some big announcements that I’m feeling really good about.  Before I share them with you, let me give you some background.

I had a bad weigh-in last week, due in large part to TOM.  But that alone wasn’t the cause of a 4 pound gain.  I haven’t been giving the food my all, and I definitely hadn’t been getting all the water in.  Before you give me any tips about how to drink more water, let me say it’s not the drinking it that’s the problem as much as being free to take bathroom breaks during the workday.  I only have two opportunities to “go” from 8am-2:25pm, so it makes drinking a decent amount of water a challenge, but I have a workaround that’s working, which I’ll share in the minute.  To top it off, I heard some bad news regarding my job on Friday (don’t worry, I still have one), and let’s just say that I didn’t take it that well.  I tried to stay positive, but I think it upset me more than I realized, and I took it out on myself by making some poor food choices over the weekend.  Self-sabotage is a bitch.

The thing is, this past week wasn’t really any different than any other week so far in 2010.  My starting weight on Dec. 30 was lower than my first weigh-in, and ever since then I’ve been feeling as if I’m playing (and losing) at a game of catch up.  So, I decided that I’m not going to do that to myself.  I’m not going to keep seeing a loss, only to record an overall gain for 2010.  It affects me too deeply emotionally when I see that overall gain.  So, I’ve decided to reset my starting weight to whatever the scale shows tomorrow. That way spring brings with it a truly fresh start.  I’ve recently made some changes that are helping my weight loss (last week not withstanding), and I want a chance to show myself that I CAN do this.  Some of you may think of this as a cop out, but I consider it TAKING ACTION.  And really, I’m the only one that I have to satisfy with this decision.  I’m the only one that can make it happen.

This will be a four-pronged approach:

  1. Food. I changed the number of points that I use as my target from 33 (WW recommendation) to 28, which feels like a much more realistic number.  I don’t waste my points on filler foods, and just stick to eating 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks throughout the day.
  2. Water. Getting enough water to stay hydrated is almost as important as making sure to eat the right foods.  As I mentioned above, it’s a struggle to drink the water between the hours of 8-2:30 because of my regimented bell schedule at work.  I can drink the water, but if I’m bursting at the seams because I can’t use the restroom, that does no good.  So, I will drink 2 glasses of water before I leave the house in the morning, 2-3 glasses at work, and the rest when I get home from work.
  3. Activity. My goal in the past was a bit too high, I think.  I’d always say I want to get 6 days in, but I wouldn’t be able to make it, because life does get in the way, especially with my busy schedule.  So my new goal is to get in at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. I’ve really been enjoying doing lots of different activities and exercises, so as long as I make time 3 weekdays and both weekends, this shouldn’t be too hard to reach.
  4. Mind. I always try to keep a positive attitude. In fact one recent commenter told me that she found my blog when she did a Google search on the words “positive attitude.”  How cool is that?  But even the most positive person gets down on herself from time to time, and I am no exception. Going into this new spring season, I’m going to keep yesterday’s post in mindI will not be the brick wall that impedes my own progress.  I have to take to heart that if I believe in myself enough, and keep my ultimate goal in mind, I will eventually succeed. Even more that the goal, I have to keep the REASONS for the goal in mind.  To be healthy, to live life to the fullest, and to look as beautiful as I feel.

Spring, a time of renewal and rebirth.  And that’s just what I’m going to do.

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This morning I woke up at 6am (a little behind schedule) to make it to the TNT Coach Led Training at 7am.  We were scheduled to meet at a park that hooks up with the Los Gatos Creek Trail.  I love riding my bike on the trail, although I’ve never gone on this part of it before.

I felt great this morning. Full of energy and ready to take on this huge task.  The weather couldn’t have been better: cool, a bit overcast, but no rain.  It’s been raining here for about 2 days, so we were really lucky that it let up for this walk.  I started off at a good pace, pumping my arms like they told us to on Wednesday night.

After a few minutes, everyone started passing me.  I can’t tell you how much I hated this.  I kept trying to tell myself it didn’t matter, but it did.  I’m just too competitive, and I hated the thought of being the last one.  I ended up walking with Luciana, an adorable Italian lady from Milan who’s in her 60s.  I love talking to her because her accent reminds me of my Nana’s.

As we got toward the 1-mile mark, we arrived at a fairly large hill.  At this point, my calves were cramping a bit, but I knew that once I made it up the hill, we were going to stop for a minute or two to stretch.  Everyone cheered us on as we got to the top of the hill, and I was embarrassed, because I didn’t want to make a spectacle of the fact that I was one of the last two to finish.  But I got a few good stretches in, and my calves felt so much better.

Then I started walking again and the numbness began.  First in my left foot; then my right.  I can’t explain the way this feels – it’s awful not being able to feel your feet because you have the constant worry that you might trip and fall.  I finally said something to one of the mentors, and she stopped the head coach and asked her to attend to me.

I told the head coach that I had just bought these new shoes, and that I had been getting a lot of numbness with my other shoes, but that these shoes were supposed to be better for my feet.  She looked at my shoes and said that I had the laces tied way too tightly.  I started to undo the laces to let them out a bit, and almost immediately, my feet felt relief.  It was like my feet sighed.  She said that her shoes were loose enough for her to slip them on and off without untying them, but that that might be too loose for me.  She said to play around with the laces and see what felt best.  She also said that I may not need to have the laces go through every hole.

I started walking again, and the numbness was still there, but it was alleviated a bit.  I kept telling myself that I had to keep doing this, no matter what.  I did get tears in my eyes, but I didn’t want anyone to see me crying, so I told myself to stop.  I wasn’t crying because of pain, but because I was so discouraged, frustrated, and disappointed.  I mean, I hadn’t broken a sweat, I wasn’t out of breath, and I know that my body can do more.  If only my feet would cooperate.

I finally made it to the 2-mile turnaround point and this time I was the last person.  Luciana had passed me when I was loosening my laces, and I coudn’t catch up to her.  Everyone cheered for me, but again, I just felt so embarrassed to be the last person.  I tried to tell myself that this was my first day, and that I can only get better from here.  I also didn’t want to seem like I was feeling sorry for myself, so I told myself to toughen up and get through it.

The walk back was beautiful.  My feet were still numb, but it was almost as if I was in a zen-like state.  I wasn’t thinking about how strange it felt to not be able to feel my feet, I was just looking at the scenery and taking in the fact that I live in such a beautiful place.  I also thought about all of the donations I’ve already gotten.  I don’t want to disappoint any of the people who have been so generous, and I think that those contributions are going to be what help me stay motivated.

At about 3.5 miles, my numbness miraculously went away.  I could feel my feet again, and I was able to pick up the pace a bit more.  I had been walking a bit more slowly than I wanted to while I was experiencing the numbness because I was so worried about tripping and falling.  It felt good to be able to go a bit faster.  Although I think my sock on my left foot somehow got bunched up, because I could feel a bit of a blister forming on the ball of my foot.  Nothing too serious, and not enough to keep me from continuing on.

As I got to the “finish line,” everyone cheered, and I felt truly proud of myself.  I wasn’t the last one – a couple of other people were behind me.  I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does.  I don’t care how long it takes me, I just don’t want to end up being the last one to finish.

All in all, it was a good walk.  The numbness was frustrating and a little bit scary, but now that I know to loosen my laces, I’m hoping it won’t happen again.  It took me about an hour and half to do 4 miles, which isn’t too bad.  I know that my pace will increase as I keep practicing.  That’s one of the main things I want to do this week – walk on my own – so that my body starts building endurance.

I’m really proud of myself for all that I accomplished and can’t wait to see the improvements I know are going to happen as I continue on this journey.
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