Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hello There!

Wow, I have some fessing up to do! Okay first of all, my weigh in last week was at a remarkable 179.8!!!! HELL YEAH! I FINALLY MADE IT TO THE 170's!!!!!!!!!!!! Its an amazing feeling and I'm still basking in the glory of it, however...I have not been a very good girl the past few days. Allow me to explain:

The past few days have not been your typical 'binge' but I did eat unhealthy foods. I had correct portion sizes and I stopped when I was full (I even threw out the left overs of my Chinese takeout on Friday night, so I wouldn't be tempted to snack on it late at night) but on top of the poor food decisions, I neglected to go to the gym. I have no excuses for that. I can only fess up and say that I was being lazy and I wasn't doing everything I should have been doing in order to lose this weight.

After being sick and out of the gym for two weeks, I've been feeling so out of shape and when I go to the gym and I try to run like I used to (before getting sick) and I can't anymore....I feel like a bit of a loser. But, I'm now making it a point to remind myself that I need to keep going and keep working at it, because I have to rebuild my stamina. Its a work in progress.

Today I put up a post on the Super Secret YT WLC FB Page (man, thats a lot of acronyms! haha) and it basically said that I've lost a bit of my focus and motivation and I needed some of my fellow YT Weight Loss Members to give me some tough love or words of encouragement to make me want to get up and go to the gym. A few minutes passed and my request had been answered. A wonderfully intelligent woman named Nancy came at me with some much needed tough love. She reminded me of the video I put up on New Years where I said the very bold statement, "I WILL BE 140lbs BY JULY 25th". She suggested that I go back and watch that video to remind myself of what I vowed and promised I would do. Boy was she right. Not only did it refresh my memory of what I claimed I was going to do, but it also opened my eyes to the determination, motivation and focus that the girl in that video possessed. I was shocked to see how clear headed and matter-of-fact I was. And so, my friends, I'm slowly getting my mind right.

I think its only natural for all of us to slip here and there within this process. Sometimes life presents us with situations where we feel like we can't handle everything and we feel like giving up. But its in these moments that we define and characterize who we really are. Do we just give up and let life and its circumstances win? Or do we rise to the occasion, take the bull by his horns, and make life what we want it to be? I would like to say that I am the type of person who will rise up, and accomplish my goals in the face of any and all adversities.

So, if there is anyone else out there who's in a funky state of mind where you feel like this whole idea of losing weight and getting healthy is just in no way attainable: sit back, take a second to reflect on what you really want, stop making excuses, own up to your poor choices, and vow to get back on track.

I've said it once and I'll say it again:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Yes, that's right. I'm BACK!!!! And I'm ready to go. It is so crazy how being sick can make you feel so horrible. Not only do you feel horrible because you're sick, but you start to feel horrible because you feel like you're never going to get better.

I have been battling a horrible cold and a rather painful sinus infection for the past TWO WEEKS. Which had totally knocked me out of commission as far as exercise goes. I have not been to the gym in over two weeks, not because of being lazy, but because I know better than most that the last thing you want to do when you're sick is over work your body. When you're sick, your body needs rest and nourishment. So that's exactly what I did. I will admit that somewhere along the lines I started to feel defeated and depressed and just 'disgusting' in general because of the lack of exercise. But then again, experiencing those emotions made me realize just how far I've come.

I know I've said it before, but it bares repeating: I am someone who thoroughly ENJOYS a good, hard workout. This is a very new thing for me, because I have NEVER been this way. Not until I started this weight loss journey, did I ever realize the wonderful side effects and rewards one gets from working out. I mean, the endorphins aren't even the half of it! Sure, they're great...but the real reward is being healthy and in shape and being able to attain goals that you once thought were truly unattainable! In my past with weight loss, I would get really into working out and dieting, and then I would either get sick or a major holiday would come along and I would just drop everything, binge, and never get back in the groove. But now, its different. These past two weeks that I've been sick and stuck at home, I've been ITCHING to get out and go for a run. I've been dying to break a sweat and burn some calories...this is a definite switch from 'the old Jules'. And this switch is good thing, a very VERY good thing.

So, here are my plans. Last week I skipped my YT Weekly Weigh In video and opted to use my power of a "Sick Pass". But this week, I think I will go ahead and weigh in to see where I'm at. I'm already planning a 'comeback' to the gym this evening, and will start getting back in the routine of going every morning with my little guy. ---> Oh yeah, my son is doing much better as well! No more coughing, no more runny nose, no more wheezing!<--- So, that's it. I'm pretty much all better and its time to jump back into the game of weight loss head first. After all, as of today I only have...


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Sick Pass"

Tomorrow is supposed to be my "Weigh In Day" on my YT channel. I usually make a video about my weigh in and how much I've lost for the week...but this week, it will not be happening. I'm invoking my right to a "Sick Pass". I have been battling this stinking head cold for days now. Rather than continuing to go to the gym and push myself when I know I'm sick, I've decided to allow myself to take a few days off and focus on my Vitamin-C intake and getting better. Working out hard core when you're sick is not such a great idea. So, this is me saying...I'll be week. :( I'm still going to be eating healthy and counting my calories...but there will be a significant lack of physical activity due to me trying to get more rest. I hope everyone understands! See ya next week!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


The last post, I told you about how sick I was. Well, I'm not entirely better....I still have a sore throat and a highly stuffed up nose..but I had a tiny breakthrough, and I thought I would share it with you.

So last week I had ZERO energy, I ended up gaining a pound for my weigh in, and I was in a general mood that I like to call "Debbie Downer". I just couldn't pull myself out of this funk of inactivity and it didn't help matters that I was sick. Well, after a trip to Emergency on Sunday and some antibiotics for my throat...I'm started to feel a little better. But, my poor little guy is still sick himself, and as such, I cannot take him to the daycare at the gym in the mornings like I usually do. So what does that mean? That means I have a general lack of activity until he gets better. I started to think, 'well...I can't even work out so whats the point of even keeping my food under control? I should just binge and enjoy this time off..."


You know better than that MissJulieJanee! And yesterday it just hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. WAKE UP! STOP GIVING UP! I got my lazy butt up...I went out to the produce store and stocked up on my healthy goodies, and I decided right then and there that if there's a will, then dammit, there's a way! So I decided to go to the gym after my class last night. Yes, I was tired after class and I really didn't want to go at first....but once I got there and started my workout, I can't even describe how good it felt. I hadn't been to the gym since last Wednesday, so when I started my 2 mile run, my legs felt like they had no idea what they were doing....but in a good way. In wasn't difficult to do the running, it was actually very ENJOYABLE! It was FUN! I got that rush of endorphins after my workout and I felt like, ' THIS is my drug of choice.'

So this leads me to my next topic. I said in my last video that I was going to be implementing a 7day challenge for myself to try a whole bunch of different classes at my gym. Well, with me being sick and the baby being sick..,.that just didn't happen. (we need to understand that sometimes, life and circumstances don't always allow us to do everything we want to do, right when we want to do them...) But after last night's run and workout, I realized something. I'm not giving my body adequate rest time during the week. What I mean is, every single day I run and run and run, FOR 6 DAYS A WEEK!!! I think last night's run was so enjoyable, fun and easy because my legs had a tremendous break from running for about 4 days! So here's my new idea. I will be switching my workouts every other day. I'm sill interested in taking as many classes as I can, but I'm also interested in improving my time for the 5k. So, 3 days a week will be running and the other 3 days will be a class (I'm more interested in classes that incorporate full body workouts like abs and arms ). And of course, I'll still have my one day of rest.

See, this is the wonderful thing about exercise...when you feel yourself getting bored, you can always switch it up and start something new! The wonderful thing about exercising in general is, you can't go wrong! If you're moving your body and getting your heart rate up..then you're doing it right! Its so simple!

So, if there's anyone else out there in this cyber-world who was having (or IS having) a rather "blah" week and defeated mentality...I hope this entry helps. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, remind yourself of your goals and why you're REALLY doing this whole "weight loss/ healthy living" thing.

Oh, and listen to some good music too....that helps! ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I know i was supposed to be updating the blog about my new 7day challenge to myself, but here's my personal dilemma: my son is pretty sick and when he's sick (obviously) i can't take him to the gym daycare. So...I haven't been to the gym since Wednesday. :( I feel HORRIBLE!!! Secondly, now I'M SICK! I had to go to the ER this morning and get an emergency steroid shot to reduce the swelling my throat. I can't really talk or swallow all that well without severe pain. So, needless to say...I will not be at the gym anytime soon until I'm 100% better. So....all I can say is, this sucks. What do you do when you really want to be doing constructive things to help yourself lose the weight, but life and circumstances are just not permitting you to?

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I have decided to take these 'sick days' and focus solely on my eating habits. No more processed gross foods, no more sugars, no more sweets. Just natural, clean, healthy foods. I figure if I can't work out just yet, then eating is the next best thing to take control of and perfect...right?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where did it go?


Where did it go? Where? What am I talking about? ENERGY!!!!!!!!!

So, last week it was like I was practically on drugs I had so much energy. I was waking up at 6:30am everyday and getting so much done. My workouts were so intense because of this excess energy and I just felt so great. But this week? This EPIC BADNESS of a week? Where in the HELL did my energy go? Its like this week, I'm waking up with less and less and less energy. I'm draggin ass on my way out the door to the gym. My workouts have been half-assed at best, my eating has not been as healthy as it should be, and as a result, I've gained a pound. Now, I'm not depressed, or angry, or defeated about that one measly pound. I mean, after all, its only ONE POUND. It could very well be extra water weight, or a number of many other trivial causes. So I'm no where near giving up, but here's where I really feel like a big ole' piece of crap: This week, I didn't give it my all. I didn't do my best. I did enough to get by and as a result, I wasn't where I wanted to be. And I have no one to blame but myself.

I suppose I will be talking about a lot of this in my 'WeeklyWeighIn' video on my YT channel, but I might as well hash it out here first, in preparation for making/editing the video. I'd like to take the chance to point out to myself (and those reading) all the things I did that were NOT conducive to losing weight. -#1- I've been getting "snacky". To explain, I have night classes. 3 nights a week you can find me at my local Community College, sitting in a classroom from 7pm to 9:45pm (yes, it sucks). BEFORE I get to class, I stop by my local gas station (here, they're called Wawa's) and I grab a coffee. This coffee originally started as a little treat. I would allow myself to put some nice flavoring in it, and "candy it up" a bit, as I like to call it. But then, somewhere along the lines, I would grab a little bag of chips while I was there too. THEN while on my 10 minute break DURING class, I would become a victim of: The Vending Machine. UGH! I've been having some chocolatey goodness or worse, MORE CHIPS. Seriously???????? WHAT IN THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?! - #2 - I have not been getting adequate sleep. And for those of you who don't know, not getting adequate sleep, then turning around and getting up early, then heading to the gym and pushing yourself...well....its not a very good idea. NO WONDER I HAVE NO ENERGY! DUH JULES! SLEEP = MORE ENERGY!!! - #3- I have let my food choices go to shit. Usually I'm a pretty "clean" eater without even having to work at it. I'm not too big into processed foods (except the occasional grilled chicken breast in my salad). But good lord, I have been letting myself go a little "Processed Food Crazy" this week. To explain: I cook all my husband's meals (he's an annoying person who can eat whatever and not worry about gaining any weight). So he's a processed food lover: mac&cheese, Zatarains Rices, Au Gratin Potatoes, you name it, he loves it, and I COOK IT. Many of you might know how hard it is to cook and not 'sample'. Well, I'm normally really good at controlling myself, but this week for some reason....was not the case. I had spoonful after spoonful (and even a couple servings of the crap).


The answer is simple: SELF SABOTAGE! I got lazy, I got cocky, I thought, 'sure I can have that mac&cheese, I just ran 3 miles.' Well guess what, you can exercise all you want but if you still eat like shit, then the exercising is for nothing!!!! So I'm taking the day to re-assess. I'm making today my "Day of Rest" and I'm formulating a NEW plan for the next few weeks. I'm going to be doing a bit of a cleanse to get this nasty processed gunk out of my system and then its back to work. If you want the specifics of my new plan, then stay tuned for a video on my YT channel. I'll save those of you who have read this far, from having to hear the mind numbing specific ramblings of a psycho like me, trying to do different things to lose this last 30+ pounds.

A wonderful, intelligent young woman posted this as her FB status today and I feel like it spoke STRAIGHT TO ME this morning. So here ya go, consider this:

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Living in the NOW!

Sometimes I think those of us who are trying to lose weight, live too much in the past and the future, and we don't spend enough time within the "Now". What do I mean? Well, its a very simple idea, based on two simple facts, 'No matter what we do, we cannot change the past' so, why dwell on it? And ' we can't predict the future' so why plan on it? These ideas come into play quite often during the weight loss journey, but its important to apply them correctly.

Many of us have identified why we have a weight problem (i.e. emotional eating, rewarding yourself with food, comforting yourself with food, etc.) and knowing the why is winning half the battle of losing weight. If you know why you have a weight problem, then its obvious that you know how or what to do to overcome the problem. (Does that make sense?) But here's the problem many of us face, what do we do when we screw up? Lets say that we know we're an emotional eater, so we do everything we can to not eat out of emotion. Then something horrible happens in your personal life and you have a weak moment and you reach for a tub of ice cream or an entire pizza. Uh oh! You screwed up. <--HERE is where the ideas come in to play--) So you screwed up...? MOVE ON AND MOVE FORWARD! That screw up is IN THE PAST. What can you do to rectify that split second decision you made to eat the ice cream or pizza? NOTHING! The decision has been made and acted out already! Can you take it back? NO! (not unless you have a time machine in your back pocket) SO MOVE ON. Instead of worrying about that horrible decision that you made and beating yourself up about it, move forward and worry about what you can do RIGHT NOW, in this very moment, to move TOWARDS your weight loss goal.

Secondly, when we live too much in the future, it becomes more like wishing instead of doing. For some people, it helps to set future goals (I know it helps me) and setting these goals is a healthy thing to do. But it becomes unhealthy when all you can do is fantasize about what the future will be like, instead of actively doing the things you need to do to get to your future goals. So, stop cutting out pictures from magazines or buying "goal clothes" and START DOING!

We must work on changing our inner dialogue. What is our inner dialogue? Its the things you say to yourself in your head that nobody else can hear. When you screw up you might say things to yourself like, "I'm such a loser. I can't even control my eating. I'll never make it to goal. I'll never be able to lose any weight, I'm worthless." etc. etc. etc. INSTEAD of saying these things to ourselves, we need to change that inner dialogue to something more proactive. Instead, we should be saying, "Okay, I shouldn't have eaten that pizza, but I can't change the past. What can I do right now to feel better about it? Okay, I'm going for a walk. I'm going to do some sit ups. I'm going to try my best not to give in again." Do you see how that works? We went from beating ourselves up and belittling ourselves, to empowering ourselves and taking matters into our own hands!

It all goes back to a post I wrote a while ago. It all goes back to NOT GIVING UP. You can screw up every single day, and still succeed. Even if you're not losing weight, if you're correcting your state of mind and your way of thinking, then you're growing and learning and that's a success story too. Its like what we learned when we were young: when things don't go the way you want them to, are you gonna just pick up your blocks and run home? Or are you gonna roll with the punches and make the best of it. All the biggest success stories in our world come from those who continue to try, who continue to push the envelope, who continue to challenge themselves.

I guess my point is this: don't let one mistake determine the demise of your journey. Make it a point to keep trying! Consider this: "The only way we can fail, is if we stop trying."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

FEELING a difference...

Scroll down a ways, or click to the previous post from yesterday and you will see that I posted a picture of myself. The caption reads "80 lbs GONE FOREVER!". I did a progress shot a while ago (before Christmas). I made it a comparison photo, on the left is me right after I had my son (my heaviest weight ever) and on the right is me, 80 lbs lighter. Yes, I was at the SAME POINT I AM NOW, just a few months ago. So what happened? The holidays are what happened. I lost my focus, I lost my drive and I just stopped caring so much. I inevitably gained almost 10 pounds in the course of about 3 weeks. Yes, that IS some serious eating.

So why did I post THIS picture?

Its actually very simple to explain. Although I'm STILL at 80 lbs lost, I feel a huge difference. I've never actually felt thinner before.....not until now. For the first time, in a long time, I look in the mirror and I am proud of what I see. I want to explain the extent of my "proud" emotion. I'm not proud because I think I look "hot". I'm not proud because I think I look like my favorite model/actress (lord knows, I could never be as beautiful as the lovely Julia Roberts *wink wink*) I'm not "proud" because of the size pants I wear. When I look in the mirror, I think only of all the hard work I had to do to get here. All the times I wanted to eat that piece of pizza, but I didn't. All those times I really just wanted to stay home, not go to the gym and just watch TV, but I got up anyway and trudged out there and made myself sweat. All those times that the haters laughed at my videos and made fun of me behind my back, but I kept going and kept doing my thing because I knew it was working. THROUGH ALL OF THIS, has come my reward, my pay off, my happiness.

There's nothing better than knowing that YOU accomplished something. Knowing that YOU are the real reason why you have succeeded. I do take so much pride in where I am with my weight loss. Now, do I have over 30 more pounds to go? Yes. But here's the wonderful thing about getting this far: I think about those next 30+ pounds and I think, 'well, I've come this far, it would be a shame and such a waste of my hard work and efforts thus far to just stop now'. In other words, after everything I have been through so far, I'll be damned if I don't GET TO GOAL. I WILL get there. I CAN get there. There is no 'CAN'T' in this girl's vocabulary.

So, I would like to take a moment to thank those that have supported me. All the encouraging comments (no matter how small or insignificant you might have thought they were) were the things that kept me going. All the love and support I have received from friends, family and perfect strangers via the YT WLC has been overwhelming, and I can honestly say that I don't know if I would have gotten this far with out it. To reiterate what I wrote underneath that picture I posted yesterday: THANK YOU for inspiring me, THANK YOU for encouraging me, THANK YOU for telling me, 'You can do it!' when I felt like nothing more than a failure, THANK YOU for all the friendly advice, THANK YOU to my friends in my personal life who have had my back and told me to keep my head held high when these haters started to attack, THANK YOU to everyone who cares, THANK YOU to everyone who reads this blog, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. From the bottom of this girl's heart.

There are more "body improvements" to come. But its important to take a step back once in a while and marvel in a job well done....even if that 'job' is still in progress. ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Thank you to everyone who encourages me, inspires me, supports me,

and genuinely cares about my successes with weight loss.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If we were all the same.....

There's this wonderful video out there in cyber-space, that shows what all exactly is done to a model before and after her photo is taken. I'm talking, crazy amounts of hair and makeup that the normal woman would never have access to, different lighting and camera angle techniques, and even airbrushing of tiny, minuscule, imperfections. This video amazed me. If you want to watch it, go here:

Well, maybe I shouldn't say that it amazed basically just confirmed my beliefs, but it was still eye opening to see it performed right on my computer screen. This video just reiterates what we should all already know, and if you don't this, allow me to educate you: What we see in a magazine, in advertisements, commercials, you name it: ISN'T REAL!!!!!!! Did I just blow some of your minds? I should think not. For those of us within the weight loss journey, this has been a well known fact. My question is, if this has been a well known fact, or truth in my book, then why do so many of us do these horrible crazy fad diets and kill ourselves for not losing a certain amount of weight in a week? Why do we punish ourselves? Why do we say negative or diminishing things about ourselves and our appearances? Why can't we accept a compliment, wholeheartedly, without making a joke out of it? Why? Why? Why?

When it comes to my videos on Youtube, I get quite a few comments on each video. Not a whole heck of a lot, but just enough to let me know that there are people out there watching, cheering and rooting for me to reach my ultimate goal. But every so often, I get a comment that makes me want to reach out to a person, and really have a heart-to-heart conversation. Sometimes I get comments that say things like, "Man, if I could just look like you, I would be totally happy with myself...." I will readily admit that this type of a comment is ridiculously flattering and I do appreciate it, but I want to say immediately to this person, 'why don't you love yourself just as you are?' I know, I know...its all so much easier said than done.

When I had my "wake up" moment (see the 1st post to this blog 'My Story') I too, hated myself. I was angry, I hated the way I looked, I hated myself in general. Every time I looked in the mirror, I wanted to cry or smash it into tiny pieces. I'm going to be really honest with you all right now. When I was in middle school, I had an eating disorder. I would often starve myself until I felt light headed, and as I was involved in sports...this was not such a good idea. I actually remember one day at home, my Dad asking..."Hun, did you eat dinner? You look a little pale.." Then I begrudgingly sat down and ate my dinner, while feeling guilty the entire time for the calorie consumption. And why was I doing that? Because at that point in my life...I thought the only way I could be worthy of attention, love, friendship, etc., was if I looked as thin and as pretty as Joey on "Dawson's Creek". IT SIMPLY ISN'T ATTAINABLE!!!!!

A while back, my Dad asked me something that really made me think. He said, " I'm proud of you for trying to become healthy and lose a little bit of weight, but I have to ask, why do women put so much emphasis on their looks? Aren't there other things about themselves that they could take pride in other than how much they weigh or how pretty they might appear to others?" WOW. Of course, I came up with an immediate defense..."DAD! You just don't get it!" (Yep, there's that teenager in me). "Its so much more difficult for women. Its a double standard for us. We have to be pretty and intelligent." To an extent, I did have a point there. But I think the point my Dad was making was much more pensive and observant.

Does it really matter that some of us will never be able to wear a size 2? I'm one of those women! No matter how much weight I lose, my body will never be below a size 8 or 6. Its just the way I'm built! But does that really matter? NO! I repeat: NO! IT DOESN'T MATTER. And why doesn't it matter? Because there are SO MANY other things about me that make me a wonderful person. WE ARE NOT DEFINED BY THE SIZE OF OUR PANTS OR A NUMBER ON OUR SCALE!!!!!!!

If you're reading this and thinking, 'Oh yeah, easy for her to say..she already lost a lot of weight and likes the way she looks...' then I have a challenge for you. If you're reading this, and you're thinking you could NEVER love anything about yourself, then I've got a challenge for you. The challenge is this: you send me a picture of you, or a short video introducing yourself and telling me a little something about yourself, and I'll send back an entire paragraph full of wonderful traits and characteristics that not only make you BETTER than any model or actress out there, but DISTINCT from them in many ways (many positive ways). Its a simple thought that most of us were taught in grade school, but, consider this:

If we were all the same, it would be an awfully boring world...wouldn't it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Measuring Success....

For some people, measuring success on the scale and letting the numbers dictate how 'well' or how 'poorly' you're doing, is a "no-no". For others, living and dying by what the scale says is the only way they can keep themselves focused and determined to keep going. So, how is it possible that people who are trying to accomplish the same thing (i.e. losing weight) could have such different views and beliefs and practices when it comes to actually doing it? The answer is very simple, and a wonderfully brilliant, young woman from the YT WLC said it best herself, 'what might motivate one, might stifle another...' When I read that, I sat back and said, 'Wow....couldn't have said it better myself."

The fact of the matter is that we're all different. This is an obvious fact, so its curious to me how some people don't fully understand this idea. For some people, seeing that number on the scale continuously going down is just more and more and more motivation to keep exercising, keep eating healthy foods, keep doing all these good and wonderful things for their bodies. And when they see the number go up, its like DOUBLE motivation to push it a little harder and kick it into high gear. <--Whats wrong with that?--) Still, other people choose to look at their weight loss in different ways. Here in the WLC we like to call them NSV's (NonScaleVictories). For those of us who are fans of NSV's, we prefer to measure our success regarding weight loss by the size pants we can now fit into, or by the measurement of inches around our various body parts (i.e. thighs, waist, hips, arms, etc.) <---Again I ask, whats wrong with that?

The point I'm making here is very simple: There is no right or wrong way to measure your success with weight loss. If hopping on the scale everyday does something for you to keep you focused...then so be it. If taking your measurements around your waist and hips is how you measure your success, then that's fine too! If how many miles you can run without stopping is what you use to determine how far you've come, then great! Different strokes for different folks!

I feel like all too often people, in general, get so set and fixated in our own ideas or beliefs that we become deaf, dumb and blind to the opinions, thoughts and beliefs of others. We should all learn a wonderful tool in life, called: TOLERANCE. I can give you a perfect example: I have two very close best friends. We all talk on a regular basis and have been close since junior year of high school. To illustrate my point, one of us is very Liberal in belief, one of us is very Conservative, and the other is slightly on the fence between the two. People often ask us, "How do you three get along so well? You all hold such different beliefs on almost EVERYTHING!!!" Our answer is, 'We love each other. We wholeheartedly accept each other. We respect each other. And we don't pressure each other." Does the previous sentence not describe the word TOLERANCE to a tee?

We must always remember that not everyone is going to agree with us. Not everyone in this world will see eye-to-eye on many things. Not everyone in this world will even like each other. But we CAN tolerate each other. We can entertain and consider the beliefs, opinions, thoughts, practices, of others. Maybe the biggest conflicts in our world today would be resolved if we could all just realize that tolerance is key. Alas, we are all human...and there's always going to be a few "bad seeds" out there.

Consider this: "Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to ones own beliefs. Rather, it condemns the oppression or persecution of others." John F. Kennedy