HS Graduation. From A Mom Of One. It Is Happening. Am I Ready?!

Life becomes weird at times.  Like now.  My boy is about to graduate HS.  I have NEVER been that Mom that “couldn’t believe”, at what state her kiddo was in.  ie. OMG!  I can’t believe he is in his terrible two’s…  I can’t believe he is in the 2nd grade!…  Is your kid a picky eater like mine?   I was never like that.  I took it all in stride.  Did some things annoy me?  Of course.  Did he drive me C-R-A-Z-Y?  Yep.  Still does.

I have tried to take in all of the life moments in stride.  Embrace them.  Share it with others.  Excited about the next things in life.  However, this whole graduation thing just hit me in the face.  I started addressing Calvin’s Graduation Notices — is that what you call them?  Or is it “invite’s”?  And yes – I am addressing them.  I just don’t think it is a busy kids thing to do.  If you don’t agree, that’s cool.  I’m pretty sure my kiddo will thank me in the end…  And wow – it is THAT time.  Graduation.  He has been in school since September of 2006.  He Graduates in June of 2019.  June 7th. 36 more days…  I remember the day he started Kindergarten.  He had the teacher everybody warned me about.  You know that teacher where that back room is a disaster?  I’m glad I didn’t listen to you — we loved her and her mess.  We love running into her.  Still.  Now he is about to walk in his blue cap and gown.  Red and blue tassel.  We have been in the same school district for all of his schooling.  I have LOVED every minute of Eastmont.  I know there a a few that see my kid and want to run.  Yeah–sometimes I do too.  We know who you are.  It’s okay.

I look back and simply thank God for all of the parents that helped me with my Village.  I hoped I helped you, in return.  There have been some true friendships with a lot of you.  Our closeness has mattered.  I will treasure it forever.  There are others, that, I’m sure, you are glad we will no longer be around you and yours.  I’m fine with that too.  I’ve learned to let go and be happy with that.  You probably are too.

I will miss the kiddos the most.  The sleep overs.  Buying doughnuts and milk for the morning.  I will miss the loud music that wakes me up.  I will miss hearing the kiddos talk in the hot tub.  I will miss the pool parties.  The pizza’s.  Explaining to all of the kids how important it is to douse yourself in sun screen.  That being tan isn’t that cool.  I make sure there is always a Bible in site.  Just in case.  I will miss everybody’s phone going off.  You know that beep, beep, beep, that inevitably drives you nuts.  I will miss doing laundry and wondering who’s shirt I am actually folding.  Setting it aside, hoping Calvin actually gives it to the right person.  The crazy-loud music from my kids car as he opens the garage door.  Our house is a Hub.  The house people can show up at, at any time.  No questions asked.  It’s the fun, safe place.  Parents trust it.  The kids love our animals.  Well, they love the cat.  The dog drives them nuts.  But they put up with her.  I will miss the kids leaving to play golf.  I will miss hearing about the game.  How did you play?  I will miss this.  All of it.

I know it’s almost time.  These kids are going to FLY high.  One is finally getting to move where Mom is.  Already has work lined up.  One is college bound with my kiddo and they will be roommates.  One is wanting to go to a tech school or a CC, but close to his gal pal.  One is going to college in another state.  It’s close, but yet so far.  One is going to college out of the country.  He got a scholarship to play football.  Are they ready??  Their Mom’s aren’t.  Either are their Dad’s.  But, it’s the next step.  I did it.  It’s just that I’m the Mom now.  It hurts.

I’m excited, too.  This is a new life for us parents, as well.  What does that entail?  When I find out, I will let you know…. *tear*

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Life Is Changing…

I’m not sure where you are, but I am in a new space in my life.  My Boy is 17 and life is
IMG_6637changing.  I’ve never been the Mom that was ever concerned about the “terrible two’s”, starting school, turning 13, 16 and driving, etc.  I have always embraced all of that.  Things are changing.  I get that.  But, now I’m questioning that.  Am I ready for this?  I mean, am I?  When my Son turned 16 nothing really changed.  Actually, it was nice.  He went to the store for us, would go get gas in my car if asked.  No biggy.  It was a nice convenience.  Then he got a job.  That was good because, he needed to make his own money.  He really liked his job.  Then he started texting and asking if he could go out to “Bob’s” after work.  No, big deal.  Then the movies.

Whatever.  I did all of this too.  Right?  I did, right?!  Well, then the weekend would come and my husband and I were bored stiff.  Last summer my husband was like, “Let’s go to Costco.”  I was like, “Oh, we can’t, I don’t have a list.”  I always had a list because my Son wanted to spend the least amount of time in Costco that he could.  The list kept me on track.  My husband said, “You don’t need a list anymore…”  True.  So we were off.    2.5 hours and 2 carts later, we left.  It was kind of fun and THAT was when IT was happening.  Life was changing.  My Kid is growing up and there is not a thing I can do about it…  *sniff*  After that Costco moment, I realized I needed to get over this whole thing and move on.  Fine.  Things went back to normal.  Or so I thought…

About 3 months ago, my Son and I started traveling to Colleges.  We went to 4 Colleges total.  It hit me that this was happening.  He was a Junior in High School.  OMG!  That means he is almost a SENIOR!!  It hit me again–I’m not sure about this.  In fact I was getting scared.  Kind of nervous.  At one point I tell my husband this.  He tells me he’s not going to have any issues because he will be moving with our Boy.  That, of course, cracked me up.  Again, I got over it.  I mean, I have to, right?  Yeah.  I, guess.

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Well, now it is different, in  different kind of way.  What do we do on weekends?  My husband and I?  Last weekend my husband cleaned all of our kitchen cabinets and then proceeded to oil them.  Oil them?  Who does that?  He then got on his hands an knees and scrubbed the tile floor.  With bleach and a tooth brush.  This weekend I cleaned out all of our cabinets, pantry and fridge.  It took a whole day.  Not fun.

The hubs decided to clean up our boat.  Open it up for the summer.  Hose it down, Change the oil and gas.  The week prior, we decided to sell it.  Bummer for me as I LOVE to take the boat out.  It puts my mind at ease.  I need it.  But, now we have a kiddo that will be leaving and is at the point that taking time out of his day is a hassle to come with us and “go boating…”  I get it.  So, it is time to sell.  I guess.  My husband was shocked that I suggested this.  But totally got it.  So he cleaned her up.  We were going to take her out and make sure she was good to sell.  Fine.

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My husband told me he would be ready to go in about 25 minutes.  I then changed my clothes, put on sun screen and was ready.  I then remembered all of our fun water trips.  Countless time on the Columbia; Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee.  My boy a his buddies learning to water ski.  Tubing on the back.  The fun.  Then I remember all of the teachings.  Why we have to put on sun screen.  Over and over again.  Don’t ask me why.  Just do it.  Your life jackets are on, right?  Do we have enough life jackets?  Did I feel like so and so is a strong enough swimmer?  He knows how to swim, right?  We brought enough food, right?  What about water?  Is there enough?  Is there a store close–just in case?  Do they get bored easy?  How long is to long?  What if they have to go potty?  Are they okay with going over the edge of the boat–with a Mom in the boat that is putting her hands over her eyes?  If not, how convenient is it to get to a potty?  This is the crap I am still thinking about.  I didn’t have to today.

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We had such a good time today.  No kids.  No lunch packing.  Yes, we did have a potty stop-for ME!  Sun screen was on point.  Hubs packed me an Iced Tea.  The weather was awesome!  Don’t get me started on Pontoon Boat Guy that had never launched a boat before…  But it was a blast.

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As I was missing my boy, or was it feeling guilty?  Not sure.  He was at work.  I called him.  I wanted to know if he could see us?  As we waved–like he could tell…  He said yes he could–and then sent us this picture.  It is us out on the boat, while he was at work.  This is our new life.

By the way, we are no longer selling the boat.

A Couple of Things You May Know. Or Not.

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What you may or may NOT know about me is that I LOVE books.  I love to read.  REALLY love to read.  If I could just read all day long, everyday and just not function, I might do it.  It brings me peace.  And makes me happy.  And content.  My Mom used to be a reader.  She LOVED to read.  Reading seems to be a struggle for her now.  She still reads her People magazine that she gets weekly, but it takes her about a week to read it.  It is still what she asks for every Christmas, though.  She used to read fast.  And read a lot of Louis L’amour books.  I’ve never read one, but I should.  I will some day.  She still has all of those books.  She never wanted to get rid of books.  I GET it. I can’t part with books either.  I love them.  My husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas one year.  I was so happy to get it.  It was so easy.  You could just order a “book” and poof!  It was there.  It just showed up.  They were even cheap.  I mean, who doesn’t love a cheap book?  The Kindle thing lasted for about 6 months.  And I really only “liked” it for 3-ish.  I forced myself to use it.  I just like a book.  The smell.  The feel.

As I am on my own time tonight, in a town that is not my own, am away from my family, don’t have to cook, clean, take the dog out, etc.  I decided to walk around, in downtown.  I am staying in Spokane.  In the middle of down town.  Right in the middle.  I am at an Elections Conference.  Tonight my co-workers are on their own.  One had to go home a day early (due to sons Kindergarten graduation) and one was going to do dinner with her niece, that happens to live here.  So what does that mean for me?  I walked around.  Got some dinner, walked to the park–you know–the one with the Carousal?  The park that has those goats that you stick your garbage in front of and it eats it?  That tall building with the clock?  This is the park I remember so well because this is where my Gramma and I would go to as a kid.  She lived in Spokane for years.  I remember her when I am here.  She was so fun.  Anyway, now that park has “updated” things.  A water-spray park.  Food trucks.  The carousal is covered.  How long has it been covered?

Anyway, on my way back to the hotel, I stopped at a book store.  Aunties Bookstore (www.auntiesbooks.com).  It’s right across for the hotel that I am staying at.  The last time I was here, I wanted to stop there and didn’t.  Looked at it several times, walked by it even more.  I did today.  It was glorious.  It had THE smell.  The books were divine.  I loved how they were in order.  How they were put on the shelf.  How they had notes on some that the staff recommended.  I love that.  It made me so happy.  I saw a kid moving a book cart around.  Using it to make a new end cap.  With new, fun bookmarks.  I saw my favorite book.  I read it at least once every two to three years.  I’m sure you have, too.  I will give you a couple of hints–Atticus?  Scout?  Yes, I had To Kill A Mockingbird in my hand.  Why? I own it.  Mine is old.  Has been read so many times.  The new one was pretty.  It hadn’t been opened.  Ever.  I put it back down.  I wanted to go buy a book mark.  I didn’t.  I just left; after 45 minutes.  It was my kind of fun.

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Another thing you may or may not know.  I love Subway.  It makes me happy.  My husband REFUSES to take me there.  He says it is the biggest waste of money.  My Son takes advantage of this.  He loves Subway, too.   When we are not around Chris (the hubs) he always wants to go there and of course, I say YES!  My sandwich goes something like this- 12 inches / on wheat / 3 pieces of ham / white cheese / very light mayo.  And that is it.  Nothing more, nothing less.  The person that is making it, always says, “Three pieces of ham?  That’s it?” Yes, that’s it.  Well, I put chips on it too.  Lays.  Plain Lays.  Sometimes Doritos.  Whatever my mood.  As I am on my own for dinner tonight, I walked to Subway.  About 5 blocks.  Totally worth it.  The kid today asked me if I would like to take the extra ham that I would have normally had on the sandwich, home.  No.  No, thank you.  What would you do with that?  Eat it later?  Eww.  No.  But, thank you.  They also never know how to ring it up.  They feel bad, I guess?  Some charge me regularly.  Some charge me as a kids sandwich.  Today the kid said to start having people charge me for a vegetarian sandwich with 3 pieces of ham.  It would be cheaper.  I wont; but good to know…!

Thanksgiving.Thankful.

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What is your favorite holiday?  Mine is Thanksgiving.  Turkey Day.  It is the  holiday that I remember the most as a kid. My Mom was never the “good cook”.  As an adult, we have had many funny conversations about her cooking.  Come to find out she hated cooking.  Still does.  I remember when I moved out, my roommate introduced me to food things.  I never knew what garlic was.  Or an avocado.  We were the family that had the same thing on every Monday, Tuesday, etc.  Monday’s were always pork roast.  Every Monday.  My Mom’s tacos were horrible.  She browned meat and put a can of tomato sauce in it.  Nasty.  What kind of pizza did she order?  Hamburger.  Oh, with extra cheese.  Yes, hamburger with extra cheese.  This was my normal.  I knew nothing different.  Until I moved out.

Needless to say, I remember good “food” things about Thanksgiving.  My Mom made a good stuffing.  She actually stuffed the bird.  Her potatoes were lumpy.  Lumpy, but good.  My Dad started making them in about Middle School.  They were much better.  He was the better cook.  Still is.  He doesn’t cook much now, but he can still cook; good.  Our turkeys were always so good.  We ate for days. I would eat turkey, stuffing, cranberry sandwiches.  They were divine.  My Dad always bought the best bread, too.  The leftovers were the best.  I’m so thankful for these kind of memories.  I hold them close.

As I get older, I want to make sure my son has great memories.  Food, travel, etc.  I want him to hold those kind-of things close.

As I was at work today, my phone rang.  My Sisters name and number came up.  When your parents are my parents age, your not quite sure that is a good thing, or not.  She told me she was leaving the ER with our Dad.  My Mom had fallen and broke her nose and her arm.

I thank God every day for the good things in my life.  I am thankful.  I am fortunate.  My family and Friends make for a good life.

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I am thankful for so much GOOD.

Are You Up For A Challenge?

Are you up for a challenge?  Typically, I am not.  But, I am going to give it a try, starting Monday.  Monday as in, September 25, 2017.  Bah!  I’m nervous.  Scared and flat freaked out.  My Trainer is challenging me.  Against him.  Body Fat only.  Ewww.  Right?  But at least I don’t have to get on a scale.  Right?  I told my husband about it.  I asked him if he would cook for me.  He said, of course.  The challenge is 6 weeks.  Six weeks without coffee.  Can I really do THAT??!! No dairy.  I don’t drink much milk, but really?  No dairy?  I guess there will be no ice cream.  Dang…   I have unlimited workouts.  I wonder how many I will do.  I kick box Monday – Friday at 5am.  I also work out 2 to 3 more times during the week, at lunch, with my co-worker.  She keeps me sane and is a GREAT partner.   I would do it Saturday and Sunday to, but the gym is closed.  I think I am ready mentally, but 6 weeks?  Yikes.  –I will keep you posted…

It’s the Friday before the Challenge.  2.5 more days .  No sugar, no coffee, nothing processed, blah, blah, blah.  So what did I do?  I bought pizza for my office.  I’m not sure if I bought it just because or if it was something nice for what they have to encounter for the next 6 weeks.  Needless to say, the pizza was great.  On ward and up ward.

I’m not going to lie– this was my last H-O-O-R-A-H, from last night.  I even ate it late, too.  It actually made me happy.

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So, I’m on day three.  Day three.  Day one was easy, day two was horrible and three is fine.  Day two I did not eat any protein.  Lesson learned.  Very sluggish and hungry.  I feel good.  Work outs are going great.

Okay, how was week one?  Can I tell you I’m super glad its over?  I did not cheat.  At all.  I feel good.  But I was wiped out.  Super sleepy.  But my calorie intake was limited.  It was weird eating at home all week.  We are always on the fly and eat out a lot.  It was nice to eat at home–and it was so much better for me!!  Lesson learned.  I didn’t do any double workouts last week.  I couldn’t.  To wiped out.  I’m back on the program today.  I actually wasn’t going to, but as I was leaving today my Trainer says, “See you at lunch…?”  Ugg, REALLY??  I’ll be there at lunch.  The best thing about week one?  I lost 10 pounds.  10 pounds–now does that mean I wont lose anymore?  That seems like a lot.  I am still super committed.  As I came to work today, my co-worker gave me this perfect, pretty apple.  It made my day.

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And, I’m not going to lie, it was FABULOUS!  Fresh, out of his orchard. Yum!

Week two has been much better!  I seem like I am back to my “normal” self.  Whatever that is.  My eating is going just fine.  Body is getting used to eating well.  I’m not as sleepy, etc.  I guess the thing I find the most interesting, is how your body feels when you do not eat anything processed.  Let’s face it–anything fast and easy, is what works the best, for most of us.  Having to actually make lunch and dinner E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y has been new.  I’m not going to say it has been a challenge, but it is new.  Time consuming.  Calvin has now decided after like 5 years he wants a home-packed lunch, too.  I do appreciate lunch and dinner much more.   It’s also funny how I now come home and immediately fix dinner.  I don’t want to wait around because I don’t want to eat late either.  It’s been fun doing this stuff.  We all have been taught this for years, but putting it together…??  I’m doing it and learning as I go.

I just started week 3.  Not bad.  The whole eating thing has become “normal”.  I don’t eat much anymore.  My body is not craving anything.  Food is just now something that I have to eat when I’m hungry.  I did weigh myself today.  I lost 1 pound.   I mean for eating nothing but cardboard it feels like I should have lost 15 pounds!  When I went in to the gym this morning I promptly told my Trainer that I had only lost a pound. His Protein Shake 1

response?  Why does it matter, you are not on a weight loss program.  Needless to say the work out was awesome and my head is in the game, and I am no longer weighing myself.  I will wait until I am done.  I feel really good and strong.

I have a Protein shake every other day-ish.  My favorite brand is this one -> Protein Milkshake. Do you see that flavor?  Yes, it is “Ice Cream Cake“.  Not only is it divine tasting, it is so, super creamy.  It’s like a real milkshake.  I also love “Cake Batter“. You need to go check them out on the web: http://www.proteinmilkshakebar.com

The one thing that I have learned on this Challenge is how important breakfast is.  I literally get up, work out, shower and eat oatmeal.  I have never been a breakfast person.  I mean, I like going out to breakfast and eating biscuits and gravy with a side of toast, but really…  Typically I go to work and wait until I am hungry and eat.  Yogurt, apple, banana, whatever.  Cereal.  Doughnuts; you name it.  Oatmeal has been my saving grace.  It instantly fills me up and pretty much sets me up for the day.  I make it with water-no milk and put a dab of brown sugar in it.  I’m pretty sure that is a mental thing.  Anyway, this is my new found fave.

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So, most of you know I am an EARLY BIRD.  I like early.  And by that I mean, I go to bed EARLY too…  Anyway, Monday-Friday, I get up at 4:15, get ready for the gym and I am out the door.  Workout by 5am.  It took me awhile to get here.  I’ve never worked out that early before-EVER.  Mentally, I always wanted to, physically, I could not get out of bed.  My Boss, who works out at 5am a couple of days a week told me, “Just do it.  Give yourself 2 weeks. You will never go back.”  I did it and will never go back.  If I could, I would go Saturday and Sunday, too.  When I started at 5, I knew NO ONE.  I was freaked out. Scared, I guess.  The week I committed, my Trainer was going to be gone the whole week due to a vacation.  Now I really knew no one.  However, Marcie, took me under her wing and made it happen for me.  She showed me how to do things I had never done before and made me feel welcome.  She is maybe a few years older than me and is TOUGH.  Strong.  She is one that counts perfectly, does everything exactly like it is supposed to be.  I look up to her.  I love her dedication.   She’s the one on the left.  This is the 5am crew.  All of us are here

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My Daily 5am. Accountability Crew

consistently.  5 am. is “our” time.  We get shit done.  Period.  We all like 5 am.  We are all Friends and help each other out.  When one of us is down, this troop brings you up.  I love these Peeps!  Can you not tell how much of a morning person Heath is?  He not only loves  mornings, he also LOVES having his picture taken.  **Heath is our Trainer (Owner) @ Chief Fitness; check him out at http://www.chieffitness30.com .  He truly has a passion for Kick-Boxing.

Most ask, “How did YOU get into kickboxing?”  It was actually something I had never thought about until a friend of mine at church had told me she was very interested in doing a self-defense class.  Hmmm, I thought…?  That might be fun.  It was a four day class that was so much fun.  Addy Hernandez from Ki Fighting Concepts  (www.kifightingconcepts.com), taught the class.  She is super fun and a total bad-ass.  She really opened my eyes to being strong.  I was then turned to start taking kick-boxing classes.  Steph Hersh taught them (at Ki Fighting) and she taught me what being strong means.  She’s a total bad-ass, too!  I met great people (Kathy Beck…) who I will be friends with for a long time.  Very thankful for what changed me.  I now kick-box every.single.day. at 5am. and then I try to do it a couple times a week, either at lunch or after work with my co-worker.  It makes me happy and accountable.  I really depend on my work-out crew.  We are all dedicated.

I’ve just started week 5.  WEEK 5!!  I can’t believe it.  I can’t believe I have not cheated–yet!  I’ve lost 18 pounds and feel GREAT!  I’m finally not “craving” food.  Yes, food-in general!  I seriously think about food when I am hungry.  That is good.  I still have not had coffee and that is the only thing that I know I will be having when this Challenge is over.  I miss my coffee “time”.  I’m sure coffee misses me, too!

So, just a reference–I have not been able to do a lot of walking lately due to my hurt foot.  As you may or may not know, my left ankle has been broken twice.  It ALWAYS hurts!  (**Thank You Heath for always giving me “other” options, instead of jumping!)  Due to this, I have been unable to do any “extra” walking, treadmill, etc.  I FINALLY went to the Foot Dr., who then made me go get a new orthotic.  I found out yesterday, as I used it for the first time, how strong I have gotten.  I got on the Tread and fast-walked a couple of miles.  Apple Music + the Tread is not such a bad thing.  It was actually pretty cool.  I’m understanding what it’s like to be strong.  Great feeling!

Okay, so going into week 6 was tough for me.  For the first three days, (of the 6th week) I was wanting to cheat.  I really don’t know why.  After the third day, it was fine.  I’m not sure what that was about.  The last weekend of the Challenge I was in Seattle — with my Best Friend — for the Garth Brooks Concert.  I was super scared I would cheat.  We ate glorious food, but I didn’t give in.  Unless, you consider the Coors Light that I drank at the concert.  I mean, who can say no to a beer at Garth?  I mean, really!  I never had a cheat meal.  I am probably the most proud of that.

As the Challenge is now over, I still have not gone crazy.  The Monday of my weigh in my co-worker was determined to make me my favorite dessert.  Her Pumpkin Roll-Up.  It is divine.  So I did have a piece of that, along with 1/2 of a Dutch Bros. Freeze and a slice of Tillamook Cheese.  It was all so good, however, what was weird and almost uncomfortable, was that I felt so full the rest of the day.  It had been a while since I felt like that.  Needless to say, I did not have dinner.

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The Best Pumpkin Roll On The Planet

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For the first time in my life I was mentally ready for this Challenge.  The hard part now, is not being so mental, if you will.  I am constantly asking myself–what will that do to my body if I eat that?  I’m not sure that is just something I will do from now on?  Will this go away?  Not sure.  It is a good tool, though.  I still have not had any bread and that is probably the one thing I am still not wanting.  The thought seems so filling…  In a not so good way.

You want to know what I missed the most??  C-O-F-F-E-E!!  You ask — Could you not drink coffee?  Yes, I could.  Black.  I don’t drink Black coffee.  I don’t like it.  So, why would I start drinking Black?  I put a little creamer in my coffee.  That’s how I like it.  This was my first Cup-O-Joe…

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Now that this has come to an end, why is it that I am thinking about the next Challenge?  The old Andrea would never think of that.  Here is to the next adventure!  Cheers!

Results You Ask?

In six weeks I lost 21.6 Pounds and 4.97% Body Fat.  I came in 2nd place and did beat my Trainer.

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Thanks Heath For All Of Your Help.  You Are So Appreciated.