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Six Months to Fifty - Better Health through Diet and Exercise

It is finally time. I am six months out from my 50th birthday. With my goal being to be in better shape emotionally, spiritually, relationally, professionally, and physically, than I was when I hit 40, I don't have much time to get everything in order. Most of them I can say I have made some good progress, but physically is my challange. I have 180 days to get to 180lbs.
That means I have to drop 54 lbs in 6 months. That is about 9 lbs a month. I say it is doable as long as I have a plan and I stick to it.

So today I dusted off P90X, and two days ago started on SouthBeach Diet again. Both of these have worked well in the past. My problem is I get to about 200 lbs and I quit, or I get tired of hearing Tony Horton talk on the workout video. I need to figure out how to move into a lifestyle of health and wellness. So once again I launch towards a goal. This one is worth meeting.

One Man's Battle

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“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
― Mae West

I love this quote! Here is to living life right.

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Healthy Grocery Shopping

After two years I have the routine down. Nine months without kids I am getting the quantity part down. Now I just have to get the calorie/nutrition part right. Today's list is nothing but fruit, veggies and some chicken.

This is my current battle to be healthy

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Trust Yourself

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Decision making has always been hard for me on a personal level. I can make decisions all day at work. I set the direction for the team and facility, I hire, I fire, I determine how to spend our resources. But, come home and even choosing what to eat can stop me dead in my tracks. It really has never bothered me. I surround myself with people at home to make the choices of what movie to see,what to do on the weekend, and even which direction to walk at night. But now the kids are gone, and my wife is heading to Spokane for the summer to study. I am left with the realization that I will have to decide how to use my time, what to feed myself, whether or not to go out to a bar with friends. It's not that I can't make these choices, it's that I am afraid I will make a wrong choice, a bad choice, a choice that will cause people to question my motives and thinking process. For all practical purposes I don't trust myself to make the decision that I think everyone else would be most happy and supportive of me making.

You see, many years back I found it easier to do what you (and i use "you" collectively) wanted, think what you wanted me to think, go where you wanted me to go. It became all about making others happy because it created less conflict, promoted harmony, reduced problems. What I failed to realize, was that each time I did this I lost a little more touch with myself. I remembered less about what was important to me, what made me feel alive, what I was passionate about. I stopped thinking about me on a personal level and now I find myself unable to trust that I can make a good decision for me. I don't want to make the decision that I think you want me to make anymore. I want to make that decision which is best for me, the one i know will put a smile on my face, that will take me in the direction I need to go. I want to exercise my ability to think freely and chose rightly for me. I need to trust that I can make good decisions for myself and as the quote says, i will know how to live. It's time for me to grow up in this area of my life. Look out world, here I come.

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Portland MS Walk 2012

This year I have joined up with friends and family to participate in the MS Walk. On April 14th, thirty of us from Avamere Rehab of King City will be making a difference by raising money to defeat MS. You can view my Personal Web Sight by clicking this link. You can join us by making a small donation.

Thanks for your help

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The Story of Our Lives

I came across the video below as i was processing some issues in my life. The video is short and simple, and looks at the story that each of us create with our lives. It finishes by asking the simple question -Did you enjoy your story? By that I take it to mean the story of our own life. It seems like there is much in life that is unenjoyable. Should our goal be to enjoy as much as possible, and what do we do with those things that keep us from enjoying, or cause pain, do we discard them and remove them from our lives? These are some of the questions I am thinking through today.

A Story of Tomorrow

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Looking for Happiness

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness;
looking for peace.
They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions,
even other people,
hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them.
The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within."
~Ramona L. Anderson (1887-1949)American writer

As I was playing around on my IPad the other day, wasting time and trying to at least feel productive, I came across a post in Facebook from a friend of mine Mitch. I don't know if it was the great sunset in his profile picture or the fact that the post was from someone I find interesting, but I quit flicking my finger long enough to read the quote by Ramona Anderson.

I have to tell you, I hate it when a quote speaks into my life and this one definitely did. It got me thinking about my pursuits and the reasons for them. It started me questioning why I involve myself in certain things or behaviors. Is it truly a pursuit of happiness, or drilling down a little deeper, is it my attempt to make myself feel good, or, not feel bad? Why do I hangout with people, watch movies, work so hard, drink, smoke cigars, etc... Is it to try to make myself feel good, feel important, escape feeling lonely, insignificant, unloved or unlovable? Why is it that I define happiness based on external things like number of Facebook friends I have, how many nights I am out of the house, my job title, the car I drive, how many people I make laugh or smile? These aren't bad things, but if they are what I base happiness on, I will start out each morning having to score happiness point in order to define myself as happy for that day. How miserable to start each morning as unhappy, and have to work towards happiness, and who defines how many points you must score to be happy.

Ramona suggests that happiness is not externally driven, but internally based. I have to be honest, I have a hard time with this thinking. I don't always like to look inside and "cultivate the soul, or practice self care, or tend to the issues within." isn't that for introverts, not extroverts. That's the stuff of Psychologists, HR managers, etc... Those who are CEO's or oversee large groups of people, or must out perform the world everyday of the week, can't look inside. I don't know how to define happiness internally. Is it a feeling? I was told feelings aren't always reality. Is it a inner voice? I was told that could be the voices of past fear and doubt, or my elementary school teacher telling me I wasn't coordinated (thanks Mrs. Smith). But it does make more sense that happiness is a state of being rather than an endless pursuit. It is something you know instead of a destination on a map.

Obviously, I have no answers only thought, and that is what looking inward is all about for me. If you have any thoughts or input please add it to my blog or Facebook. May you experience happiness today. I am going to the Brewfest to contemplate.

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Insanity Workout Day 25 - Cardio Recovery

The alarm started to ring, it was already 5:30. How could that be? I hit the snooze and somehow hoped another 10 minutes would do the trick. It didn't! As I turned of the alarm I went through my checklist ritual. Rolling my ankles, contracting my calves, then my quads, and on up the body. As I went I kept telling myself it's recovery workout, no cardio. Throwing on my shorts I head downstairs to focus on a better me. How is it that deep breathing feels like work, deep muscle work, squats, pulses, just add to making me sweat. Yet, somehow half way through I start to feel better, looser, still tired, but my body feels good and I am once again glad that I didn't stay in bed.

Tip for the day: push yourself to get up and workout. You will be glad you did.

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Insanity Workout Day 24 - Cardio Circuit

Still hurting after this mornings workout. Legs feel tired and so do I.

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Insanity Workout Day 23 - Power Cardio

It is so nice when you see improvement from one week to the next. I am jumping higher and longer, I am pushing harder, I am smiling bigger. Still, I am not ready to star in Shaun T's next video. 23 days of Insanity Workouts and going strong. I am not seeing much weight loss, I have been stuck around 214 since my initial 5 lbs drop, but if I am in the process of trading fat for muscle, I should see some change happen soon.

I am still having fun and that is what matters most to me. I am into a daily workout routine that I want to sustain not only for the 60 days of Insanity, but for the next 360 days and ultimately the rest of my life.

Today's Tip - enjoy yourself, even if it is just listening to the music. 38 minutes goes by so fast.

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Insanity Workout Day 22 - Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs

I decided to do it a bit different today. I did the Cardio this morning, and the abs tonight. I figured why not. It looks like the guys on the video are starting fresh. So before I went to work i hit the cardio hard. I am pushing more and feeling it more. I keep wondering if these workouts will ever seem easy. All the squats, lunges and jumping is really starting to change the way my legs are looking and feeling.

Coming back tonight to do abs was tough. I had to force myself to put on the shorts and shoes and begin the warm ups. However, once I started I was glad I did. I completed much more of the workout and 20 minutes later am still feeling it in my gut.

Today's lesson- its not a bad idea to split the workouts. You'll feel stronger and able to go longer. 22 days down and getting closer to the finish line.

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Insanity Workout Day 21 - Day Off

Day 21 and a much needed day off. My knees are sore, I've felt sluggish, and while I would have pushed another day, it's nice to not have to. I am 1/3rd of the way through the Insanity Program, and I have noticed some changes. While I am not dropping pounds like I did I'm P90X last year, I am watching my gut shrink. The love handles are decreasing, I am down to the last notches on my belt, and my legs are toning up. Not to shabby for a 48 year old guy. What I am most excited with is the fact that for 21 days I have stayed with the program. I have picked a good time of day to do the workouts, I haven't been traveling, and things seem to have just nicely dropped into place.

While I wish I was seeing more than a 6 pound drop for all the hard work, my real goal is fitness. I have a goal to climb Mt. Hood with my wife when she turns 50. I also want to do the second half of life better than the first half. So far, so good. Here's to the next 21 days.

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Some Quotes you just have to think about

“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren't already complicated enough.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n, The Shadow of the Wind

I don't know this author, and I haven't ever read his book, but this quote I came across really hit me today. Why is it that we tend to make life more complex than it is. We read into things others say, we interpret glances to mean what they don't, we strive for things we shouldn't, and we get discouraged when we don't reach goals that are unattainable. We give opinions that aren't asked for, we give advice that causes more harm than good, we fail to enjoy what is right in front of us. Should life be simple? Should each day be enjoyed? Each day starts out new, with fresh possibilities and new experiences. Why complicate it by trying to make more of it? Why drag the past forward. Today does not have to be complicated, it just needs to be lived. It will be complicated enough without help from me.

Just a deep thought to start my weekend

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Insanity Workout Day 20 - Plyometric Cardio

It's a Saturday morning, which means sleeping in until 8:30, doing some reading and easing into my insanity workout. I hit the warm ups hard, knowing this was the last workout of the week. As the circuit started I knew I was in for a tough workout. My body did not want to respond. Suicides were ok, but the power squats took everything I had. In the second circuit the basketball jumps were ok but start the level 1 core exercises and I didn't complete any of the. It was more my arms then core that needed the breaks. I smiled big when we got to the stretches at the end

Looking back I think the issue of tiredness is linked more to nutrition. I have been going light on carbs and didn't get much in the way of protein yesterday. My goal will be to focus back in on nutrition and see what impact that makes next week. If any one has a few suggestions please leave a comment. As for the rest of my day, I am excited to have completed week three of Insanity workout. Still enjoying it.

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Insanity Workout Day 19 - Cardio Power and Resistance

Wow! I started today's workout feeling tired and a bit worn. I finished wiped and whipped, in a puddle of my own sweat. If I remember it was much easier last time I did this DVD, but all week I've been trying to push harder.

I'm sitting enjoying the after burn, and getting ready to make a shake for breakfast. I truly do like the workout. Makes me feel like I'm 18 and back on the football team again. That was over 30 years ago. It's nice to know I'm getting back into shape. Today's tip "know your limits." If you push to far beyond you are sure to injure yourself and loose all that you have gained to this point. Have an awesome day.

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Feeling Stuck

I find myself in a strange spot. The sun is shining but life seems foggy. I'm working out each day but I have no energy. I'm working hard but accomplishing little.
When I get this way I start thinking about change. I don't know if it is change in location, change in job, or what the needed change is? I just know that something is off. Could be a few weeks away would do the trick. I can envision time at the beach or up in the mountains. Not sure how to make it happen, how to change my outlook.
Key for me is feeling connected in my relationships, being successful at work and moving forward in life. At the moment each of those areas feels stuck. That's what I need to focus on changing. Let me know what your thinking about. I always learn from others.
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Insanity Workout Day 18 - Cardio Recovery

Stretching, yoga, balance. Not my favorite things, but after a few intense workouts, my muscles are thanking me for getting up this morning. So far i continue to stay on schedule. I may start later some days than others, but I am staying with it. I don't know if I am seeing any results, but I can feel them. More energy, my outlook on life is more upbeat, and I feel like I can tackle the challenges that come my way each day. I'll be back at it again tomorrow. That's insane for me

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Insanity Workout Day 17 - Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs

It's hard to get up in the morning and press play on the DVD, put I'm always glad after I get going. I can't say that I rock'd it, but I felt great during the cardio portion. The abs are a bit of a challenge for me. I was much better today than last time.

A few tips. Pace yourself through the workout. Realize you are not one of the trainers on the video so don't feel bad if you can't perform at their level. Take breaks when you need to. Celebrate the small gains.

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Insanity Workout Day 16 - Plyometrics

The alarm was ringing in the background, my head was fighting coming to a state of alertness. As I reached over I fought hitting the snooze button. How could it be 5:30 already. Still dark out, and cold inside, my bed felt so good. Jumping on the scale was discouraging, I weighed more today than 16 days ago, what was happening?

Hitting play the warm ups started, my knees ached, and the 40+ minutes of jumping and doing a variety of squats was under way. As the DVD ended, the sweat was again dripping. I was tired, but I felt good. I had again pushed my body. I was doing more than I had done a week ago. Insane I know, but I am on my way to being in the best shape I've been in for over 30 years. Maybe I'll make my own workout video someday.

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Insanity Workout Day 15 - Fitness Test

Today was my second insanity fitness test. Time to see if all the jumping, hopping, suicide squats, lunges, and getting up early has been worth it. As the test unfolded in some areas I was awesome, increasing by 10 to 20 reps. In some of the rotations I only went up by one or two. But exciting for me I am making some big progress in only two weeks. That's big for a 49 year old. Only a few people know what I'm up two. Not really dropping any weight, but that will come.
Leave me a comment and let me know where you are at in your insanity journey.
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Insanity workout Day 14 - Rest

Day of rest from Insanity. Much needed, much appreciated.

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Insanity Workout Day 13 - Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs

I killed it on Pure Cardio today. I started by blasting through all three sets of the warm up (a first), and then I stayed up through the rest. I wasn't at the same speed as Shaun T, and did take a few breaks, but I would say I performed at a 7 out of 10 today. It felt great. I sweat lots, and I couldn't wait for Cardio Abs.

Truth is! I probably should have waited for the abs. I could do all the standing workouts, but once we hit the floor I was out of my element. Could have been I was trying to get the form down, or could be I have no abs or real core to work from. I went from feeling great to discouraged in a minute. Might take me a few more weeks to go from 220 couch potato to 178 lean, mean, with rock abs. At least I am on my way. Must have been 2lbs of sweat on the mat today. Monday is the fit test. I am moving through it quickly.

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Insanity Workout Day 12 - Cardio Power

Day 12 is in the books. Lots of jumping and hopping and push ups. Still not able to keep up 100% of the time, but each day I'm feeling stronger, and know that I am accomplishing something bigger than a 45 minute workout. This is about life change, and moving towards one of my life goals before I turn 50 in17 months.

I have to say that i breathe heavy and sweat a lot. But, I love the feeling I have right now when the workout is over and your body goes into relax mode. If this is Insanity, I am loving being insane.

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Insanity Workout Day 11 - Recovery

Just what I needed. End of day yesterday my knees where sore again and I was a bit draggy. To only stretch and do some deep muscle work was a perfect switch from the cardio killer workouts the rest of the time. I couldn't stay with the squats or lunges the whole time, but am seeing overall progress in my fitness level. Also down 6 lbs which is really nice. If I keep that up I will be ahead of schedule for where I want to be mid summer. Making this the first thing in my day has been assuring that it gets done. Lesson learned, put first things first.

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Insanity Workout Day 10 -Cardio Circut

I woke up today thinking it was the recover cardio day. All day yesterday my knees hurt from the jumping, I felt tired, and I was wanting something that sounded easy. Easy being "Recover." foolish I know, because the recover DVD was anything but easy last week. However, when I pulled out my calendar, imagine my surprise when it said circuit instead. My initial thought was "No Way! ". So reluctantly I put it, put on my shoes and hit the play button. I was amazed as I made it all the way through the three cycles of warm ups. I may not of matched their speed, but I made it through the routines without pulling out. The rest of the work out I pushed hard to complete. When it came to the arms I could make it through the first interval ok, but after that I needed the breaks. All and all this was my best day yet. I am smiling, sweating, and looking forward to a day of challenges. No that is Insanity for me.

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Insanity Workout Day 9 - Pure Cardio

I'm not sure if it is because I am waking up earlier than normal, or if it just the normal signs of aging, but I missed a few obvious things that occur with insanity. First off, the DVDs do not rotate in order. Week #1 did, but not week #2. So not only am I working my body, I have to work my mind too. Second, just because the video says Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs, doesn't mean you've done both. You'll have to go back to the main menu and hit play again. All that to say, I may have done the wrong workout yesterday, regardless, I did something related to Cardio.

So today I didn't feel as strong, the arch in my right foot was burning during the warm up and stretching, and I felt twinges of pain in both knees during different jumping phases of the video. I needed to take breaks and did, and let myself not feel bad for not being able to keep up or. Complete each exercise. I keep telling myself that even doing one exercise is better than what I was doing two weeks ago. It just feels good to sweat. The time seems to fly by with these videos as compared with others I've done. I'm not sure why that is, but will give it some thought. Time to get ready for work.

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Insanity Workout Day 8

Start of week 2. Felt stronger and lasted longer. Muscles not as sore. I also am sweating more and able to pay closer attention to what Shaun is saying. The power jumps and globe jumps are killer. I think I hit pause after both of them the second time. Good thing they are not in the same grouping. Waiting for tomorrow.

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Insanity Workout day 6 - feeling stronger

Day 6 and back to the Cardio Circuit workout. What a difference doing a few of the workouts make. You know the routine, you know what's coming next, and your not surprised by your body yell stop!

Best part of today was I was able to push longer and a bit harder. I am now looking forward to the after glow, when my body keeps sweating and feels relaxed following the workout. Tomorrow is my first rest day, day 7. One week down 8 weeks to go. I'm liking it, sounds insane coming from me. Enjoy your day.

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Insanity Workout Day 5 - Pure Cardio

Day 5 is in the books, and while I still needed to take more breaks than those on the video, I feel like I was capable of doing more today, and I'm smiling after the workout rather than trying to get up off the ground. Best reward in the first week, my daughter asked if I was losing weight. She said my face looked thinner. I'll take that as a visible result. She doesn't know I'm doing Insanity. Only my wife is aware and those of you reading this. My encouragement to anyone just starting, push through the sore muscles, the discouragement of not being able to stay up, and recognize the small gains each day.

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Insanity Workout day 4 - Cardio Recovery

I'm sweating like a dog after the recovery day. What's wrong with that picture? This was a much need day of moving a little slower, and really stretching everything out. Even still I had to modify to get all the way through it. I only have 59 days left to complete the first circuit. My body is all ready starting to have more energy, and I am a lot more relaxed at work. The only thing killing me is the 5:30 wake up time. Here's to staying with it.

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Insanity Workout - Day 3

Let's just say it kicked my ass. Shaun T is an animal.

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Insanity Workout Day Two

It's dark outside as my alarm wakes me up. I can feel the ache in my left hamstring from yesterday. The voice inside my head asks, "what are you doing?". I lay there a few seconds longer and I answer, "I am ensuring a fit life for myself,". With that I drag my sorry self down stairs and subject myself to 41 minutes of Plyometric Cardio. When the warm up circuit kills you it means trouble. My word for the day was modify. No way could I do it all, so I didn't. I pushed when I could, slowed the pace when I needed and rested when I had to. 15 minutes later I am still sweating and feeling that great glow. Only 61 days left. Here's to a better, stronger, fitter, me. You should try it.

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Insanity Workout Day One

I slowly came to life as my alarm started ringing at 5:30. Could it really be morning already? I jumped on the scale to check my starting weight. I was a good 16 pounds lighter than a year when I started P90X. As I laced on my shoes and put in the DVD for the fitness test I was feeling a bit nervous. As I hit play and started the warm ups I knew this would be a challenge. Switch kicks, power knees, suicide jumps, all quickly sucked the life out if me. I could not complete the cool down as I was completely spent. They say 60 days to a better me. Here is to 1 days and a few more to go. It won't be easy

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Last week I was thinking through my plan to live a healthy life. I realized I have slid back into a less than healthy lifestyle. Chips, ice cream and diet coke have replaced the fruit, veggies and water that I made apart of my life for the previous seven months.

Last year I did P90X with great results. Having tired of that work out I ordered Insanity. It arrived today. Reading through it I have to decide if I want to follow their diet or develop my own. I am dreading the initial soreness, but excited about where I might be six months from now.

Darla wants to climb Mt. Hood in a year and a half, and my goal is to beat her to the top. First up, the fitness test.

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It's You're Life

I came across a picture today that really sums up my thinking this last week. As I have been wrestling with who I am and how I want to live my life, I continue to come face to face with my need to own my own stuff. Who would have thought an ad campaign for a clothing company would speak into my life. But, I was struck. The company is Holstee click on the name to learn more. They wanted to do more than sell clothing, the wanted to promote a lifestyle.

Here is the picture. Let me know your thoughts. As always, I am trying to take time to take a Deep Look Inward.

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Looking into the Mirror

"The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you, it is when you don't understand yourself" ~Anonymous

Over the last few weeks I have been spending a bit of time in personal reflection. The problem is the more I look into the mirror, the less I like what I see. In the past if that would happen I would simply shut my eyes and move on. However, that is not working so well for me these days. So I am back to taking a deep look inward after taking a bit of time off. Only this time I am likely to go deeper and battle more, than ever before. It is starting with the simple truth that the only one truly responsible for who I am, who I've become, is me. The devil didn't make me do it, my parents didn't force me, each step that brought me to this point and time, good or bad, was a step, a choice, a decision I made. I am responsible for all the good, bad and ugly. And, from that step of taking responsibility for me, I will look into the mirror, embrace the good, change the bad, and work towards beauty. Time to go look at my reflection.