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Doesn't everyone wear sunglasses at breakfast?

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My little Zoe, I miss her!

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At my cousin's wedding in my new "Sexy Mama" dress...nice hand placement, Jack!

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OK, here I go again....I am now almost 45 and have tried just about every plan out there. Have had a few successful attempts, never QUITE reaching goal, and eventually gaining it all back. I need to somehow get over my addiction to sweets! I love to bake and cook and would eat a whole jar of cookies if no one was watching! I watched the documentary "Fat Sick and Nearly Dead", and am all gung-ho to start juicing! Have been doing it for 6 days and lost 9 pounds! So off to a good start. Must....Keep.....Going....... Have been overweight since about 12 yrs old, have yo-yo'd up and down my whole life. Need to make a lifestyle change! Hope to lose alot juicing and then keep up with partial juicing to keep weight off and be healthier.

I have always battled low self esteem, and tend to get caught up in thinking negatively about myself. Whether it is about how I look, what I have or have not accomplished in my life, what I have done or haven't done. I often feel sorry for myself, and I hate that. I am always looking at other people's lives, thinking the grass is greener over there. I'm always feeling overworked, unappreciated, underpaid. Why do I do this? I have a great life! I have a husband and 3 kids who love me, a house, a job, many friends. I need to concentrate more on how wonderful these things are, and how lucky I am, and how important I am in these people's lives. I may not be famous, or rich, or changing the world, but I am worthy, and God loves me!! :^)
This helped me realize that:

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to
be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter,
never to be seen again.

She's going . she's going . she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,
and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not
to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair
was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

"To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam.

He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a
great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.

And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Member Since: 6/30/2006

Fitness Minutes: 75

My Goals:
Want to be fit and healthy, have a weight goal of about 150 lbs.

My Program:
Starting a Juice Plan, off to a good start!

Personal Information:
Gina R., from Mosinee, WI

Other Information:
I used to have hobbies, now I have kids. I eventually would like to find time to read the pile of books that I keep adding to but never get around to opening, to find time to put music on my MP3 player, and to see a movie that isn't put out by Disney or Pixar. I really have always loved seeing "indie" films and foreign films, I'm sure I have missed out on many over the last 15 years. I also love photography, have closets full of photo albums. But one of these days I will again photograph something other than little rugrats!

Read More About GINASR - Profile Information moved here. (Updated October 2)

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    Hello there! I am the leader of the sparkteam Medical Students and Professionals. I realized that you were still active of sparkpeople so I thought I'd mention that i am trying to get that sparkteam back up and going. I am sending out weekly and daily challenges if you'd like to try them out.
    If you have any questions, just let me know!!

    2455 days ago
    Hey Gina, thank you!! Your kids are beautiful as well. How is it getting back into the swing of things? I have found it to be a little harder after baby #2. It for sure hasn't fell off the same way!! Good luck to you!!!
    2862 days ago
  • v SUEKKY
    Hey there, you still around?
    3017 days ago
  • v SUEKKY
    Of course I remember ya!!! Glad to see and hear from you! I have been back and active the last couple of weeks. I have decided to do the C25K program. I have never been a runner, hated it but that was mainly because I was afraid of running. This seems to be the best thing for me so far. I am not able to go to a gym now because we are in the process of selling our house in Sicily and we are paying rent on another house... we moved to northern Italy. So anyway.. running is free =) ... I hope what you are doing gives you a good jump start!

    Thanks for keeping in touch
    emoticon We gotta stick together for support!

    3124 days ago
    Hey... Just checking in to see how you are.. Back on spark again lol.. Had some female issues had to take hormones and now off them and trying to lose again.. Hope you are well.. emoticon
    3337 days ago
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