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      Scaling Back: Dana Potocki blog #1

      Thanks for taking the time to hear about my story! I am a work at home mom to two beautiful girls. I've been married for 14 years to a wonderful supporting guy - he continues to amaze me with his ability to see past the surface of things and offer great wisdom in situations. My primary focus is raising our girls - being there to take them where they need to go, lend a listening ear (which I'm working on - totally not easy sometimes to just listen and not "fix"), and just supporting them in general! I have tons of things I enjoy doing - gardening, canning, raising animals, and sewing. I also enjoy finding ways to simplify our lives - live more self sufficiently where and when possible. To supplement our family's income, I assist businesses and organizations with creating an online presence and managing websites.

      The past several years have been pretty brutal for our family. My income dwindled due to the economy (whose hasn't!), so there were a lot of financial stresses. A year ago in May, my dad developed Cancer. As soon as I found out, my girls and I packed up and headed west to help any way we could. He was such an amazing dad - always so strong. It was just so shocking he could be sick. We lost him in August of 2011. That hit me incredibly hard. The single most difficult thing I've had to go through. And, it was a wakeup call. I had to quit smoking.

      This is going to sound incredibly simplistic, but I was able to quit smoking. I just celebrated a year of being tobacco free! It wasn't easy, oh man, it was hard getting to that point of doing it, but once I took the step over the threshold, so to speak, it actually became easier.

      Currently I weigh 214 pounds. Of that, 20 pounds are addiction free pounds J. My weight had slowly crept up over the past few years with all the junk going on in life, and quitting smoking put that number right on over. Ok, that's not completely true - I was making bad food choices before, and they just kept getting worse.

      When I was younger, if I felt I needed to shed a few pounds, I could just cut the soda or the fast food, and voila! Not so much anymore. This is really hard for me. I had attempted to get healthy before, but I got discouraged because the weight wasn't coming off like I had hoped. So, I stopped. Very counterproductive, I know. I struggle with just doing it. The voice in my head is constantly working against me. I think too much about what needs to be done, and shoot myself in the foot before I even get started! Two things that are huge struggles for me are snacking and exercising. Well, those are two that come to mind. In reality, the whole thing is a challenge or I wouldn't be here!

      The first couple weeks have been hard for me to get rolling. I think the more times you have to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and start again, the harder it is. This past weekend I had to finally say enough! I was waiting for everything to be perfect - have the right food in the house, the right tools, no junk food, and I just had to say enough. I cannot create a sterile environment while doing this - that isn't reality. The truth is, there will always be junk food around, or fewer healthy choices, and the bottom line is I have to be smart enough, strong enough, to make the right choice.

      We are our own worst enemy. We are what stand in our own way of succeeding - whether it is losing weight, quitting smoking, or any other challenge we face. It is time to step out of the way and be what we know we can be.