Daily Glow

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A few years ago, I decided that I was going to take control of my life and get healthy. My eating disorder was toxic and sucked the life out of me. I finally hit rock bottom and the only way out was up.

I knew I had to make a big change in my life, but fear made me resist this change for a very long time.

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I started to take baby steps in the right direction, even though I often felt like I was taking one step forward and two steps back. It didn’t matter though because with a determined spirit anything is possible, I just didn’t know it at the time.

One day, as I was chatting with my friend Leah, she said something that struck a cord with me.

She said, ‘Ange, I can tell that you are being good to yourself because you have a real glow now that you didn’t have before.’

She knew that I was trying to beat my ED and her words of encouragement made all the difference. The word glow stuck with me so much that I decided to make it my theme.

From then on, my goal was to do things that made me glow and avoid things that did not.

It was simple and it worked.

Over time, I realized that inner happiness and confidence is more attractive than any number on the scale. I wanted to be a Size Healthy, not a size ‘x’.

Despite my good intentions, I don’t always feel the ‘glow’ in my life…especially during the gloomy Winter! It is easy to fall into a slump and just get discouraged about things in general. Instead of letting negative thoughts get the best of me, I now know that the beauty of life is not in being perfect or happy 100% of the time, but it is overcoming the challenges that we all face.

The good news is we can always take action if we are not content with something in our life. I used to see myself as a product of my environment, but I learned that I am in control of my happiness and no one else.

I don’t just want to be inspired, I want to harness inspiration in my life. I want to grab a big lasso, throw it in the air, and pull inspiration toward my life. Some days, inspiration hits me when I least expect it- a positive thought, idea, or plan of action- and I get all excited about it, only forgetting about it later on as I go about my day. If only I had written it down, I often say.

I have a blog, so why not write it down?

I have always felt like there is a wonderful energy on this blog…all of you. We can channel this energy and use it in a positive way to build each other up and inspire each other to do simple, but great things. My writings and conversations on this blog gave me the courage to leave my unfulfilling career. This is when I really started to realize that great things can happen when you put a group of people together…even virtually!

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The Daily Glow feature will be a place to write down inspirations, thoughts, questions, themes of the day, quotes, and the like, as they come. They will be short reflections and inspiring thoughts to hopefully add some joy, reflection, and inspiration into our lives. Daily Glow will not be on a ‘daily’ basis literally (unless I am really feeling inspired that week!), but I hope to include this feature on a regular basis. Most importantly,  I will need your help, your ideas, your contributions. I think that we can do some amazing things if we put our heads (and hearts) together.

I will kick it off with a quote that I love.

Life without a purpose is a languid, drifting thing; every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves, ‘This day let me make a sound beginning’.
       -Thomas Kempis

I often find myself going through the motions of life, without taking time to reflect…to stop…to breathe. I catch myself holding my breath or taking very shallow breaths of air when I feel tense about something in my life. This quote reminds me to stop and reflect on my purpose, even if only my daily purpose. It is very easy to lose sight of what is meaningful among the clutter in our lives and in our minds. My goal for today is to reflect on the actions that I take, the thoughts that I make, and to be mindful of my breathing.

What does this quote say to you? What can you do today to live with purpose?

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{ 146 comments… read them below or add one }

maria @ Chasing the Now January 27, 2011

Great idea! Winter can be so tough on a lot of people–me included!

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Jessica @ Black Cat Kitchen January 27, 2011

I love, love, love this idea! I’m working with a fabulous woman who’s doing something similar. She’s writing 365 days of inspirational letters and every single morning I’m anxious to see what topic she’s chosen. You can read (& sign up to get them in your inbox!) here: http://www.jennifertardy.com/jennifertardy/letters-my-girlfriends

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Jess - The Domestic Vegan January 27, 2011

Beautiful post, Angela! You have the best ideas!

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Ashley January 27, 2011

I had a terrible, terrible day today. Everything seemed to go wrong, and one of my good friends told me something that broke my heart. And then I came across this, just moments ago, and I want to say thank you. I think Daily Glow is a wonderful thing, and what an inspiration you are! Thanks again:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2011

I’m sorry you had such a bad day Ashley. I hope it goes better today. :) Thanks for your kind words!

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Baking 'n' Books January 27, 2011

I feel your pain Ashley. Know that you aren’t alone…

Beautiful idea Angela – do I sense a book idea brewing….? ;)

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Ashley January 27, 2011

It’s so good to know– because sometimes, I do feel very lost. I struggle with anxiety attacks and sometimes, it’s good to hear kind words and feel inspired to have a great day:) Have a wonderful Thursday!

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Baking 'n' Books January 27, 2011

I tried your blog link – but it doesn’t go through?

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Ashley January 27, 2011

Hi! Sorry about that– here’s the actual link, I must not have copied it completely:)

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Katy (The Singing Runner) January 27, 2011

Today (or I guess yesterday since it’s after midnight here) started off pretty rough. I was in a bad mood and not inspired at all. A few positive tweets from some fellow bloggers made all the difference. My day ended up being great and because of those tweets, I was able to “restart” my day and make the best of it. Each day is a new beginning and it is important for us to take advantage of every opportunity to make the best of it.
I know that I spent too long trapped in my own ED and I feel like I let those days go to waste. I am now making up for lost time and I want to get my story out more, so that others don’t have to go down the same path I did.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2011

Yes each day is a new beginning :)

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Sana January 27, 2011

What a beautiful world you have created in your little space of the internet! i am happy to be a part of it and share it with you :)

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Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty January 27, 2011

I love this idea!!

My thing is to be a good person. Just in general. I want it to shine from the inside that I have nothing but love to give!! :)

Awesome, love this so much!

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Bethany @ More Fruit Please January 27, 2011

<3 Angela, I love how your glow is not just a physical glowing beauty, it's something that originates from inside you and shines through you. Your fun, kind spirit and passion for what you do are always woven into all of your posts. I can't wait to read more of the Daily Glow!

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Marina January 27, 2011

This is a wonderful idea!You have been such an inspiration to me, with your life story, your courage and that wonderful glow.I hope soon I’ll be able to banish Ed completely, and be happier.
Can’t wait for Daily Glow!

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Sophia @ Raven Waves January 27, 2011

This is a great idea. The quote says to me that we can’t be content with the monotony that can sometimes seep into life. We need to have a reason for doing something, a goal, something that inspires us and wants us to be better. I really can’t wait for the Daily Glow. Inspiration can be hard to come by sometimes, especially with a full-time job and being away from home 11 hours a day. Can’t wait for this feature!

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Bronwyn Coyne January 27, 2011

I’ve been feeling so without a purpose recently. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because I have always had a goal; a running goal, a school goal, this goal, that goal. And right now… nothing. I don’t feel like I need to improve everything, (dare I say anything?) about me right now… and that’s left me stuck… what can I do to invite purpose into my life if it isn’t about improvement? Maybe that’s a self-fish point of view for purpose, but it’s not like I’m not volunteering, or giving, or being a good friend and person. But I’ve felt directionless lately, and I more question what is “purpose” to me?

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Sabine @ thefruitpursuit January 27, 2011

Hi Bronwyn, can’t the purpose in your life, if only for now, just being? You say you feel like you are a good person and friend, and you don’t need improvement in yourself. isn’t that a great thing? much more important than achiechiving some running goal? I think if you live from goal to goal sometimes you can miss out on the REAL purpose of life, just being yourself and enjoying life and being a good person. I know it’s sometimes hard to see wat you have but pleasure treasure where you are now and how good you have it and live in the moment. :)

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Bronwyn Coyne January 27, 2011

:) Thanks! I’m tending to agree with you. I honestly feel pretty good about not having goals and just… enjoying the simplicity of life. But at the same time it’s weird to get used to.

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Julia January 27, 2011

Hi Bronwyn!
I can really feel with you. When your live is dominated by tangible goals like finishing school it’s so hard when this changes! I had a rough time after I finished my master degree and started a “real” job because there wasn’t something I could work towards.
I agree with Sabine that it’s important to take time to just enjoy your live and acknowledge what you’ve achieved so far – which IMHO is a lot from what you write! Your individual purpose should not solely be defined by goals and personal improvement. Those can be a part of it.
Maybe you should take a step back and ask yourself why you think you need improvement. Why do you feel that you and your life don’t seem to be good enough right now?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2011

That is such a great question that you have touched on. I think it is actually great how you feel. It tells me that you feel very balanced in your life and I think that is a great thing. :) I think as Sabine mentioned, sometimes you can focus on just ‘being’ and focus on being present in your life. It sounds so easy, but for myself, that is one of the biggest challenges that I face each day. I don’t think it necessarily has anything to do with self-improvement in the traditional sense, but just to be mindful of things we encounter each day can be a prupose in itself. Of course, only you can define what purpose is in your life obviously…I am glad the post got you thinking about it.

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Bronwyn Coyne January 27, 2011

It’s such a huge challenge being present and just “being” in my life! But I always find when I am present, when I’m not thinking about what will come of this action, or what’s going on behind that action, that is when I’m happiest and feel most calm. It’s definitely a learning process, but one I’m enjoying.

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Sabine @ thefruitpursuit January 28, 2011

so happy to hear that :)

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Andrea@Thin Thighs & Sweet Potato Fries February 18, 2011

Angela, I loved that you touched on this “just to be mindful of things we encounter each day can be a purpose in itself.” I feel like this has been on my heart so much lately. Stopping to evaluate your current situation and determining where you can make in impact for the time being is something I’ve been trying so hard to do lately and have even been trying to spread the word on to others. We truly are in charge of our own happiness and it all starts right inside our own minds and with the attitude we choose towards the circumstances we find ourselves in. It has already been making a difference for me! :)

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Megan January 27, 2011

Thank you for this lovely reminder, Angela.

I’ve felt quite lost this winter. Work stressful with long hours, I’ve often sacrificed exercise to stay late in order “catch up on things”, I’ve skipped meals to work and binged the first unhealthy snacks I can lay my hands on once I feel starving – yuck. Then, things culminated three weeks ago when my dog was hit by a car and my husband and I had to make the very difficult choice to put him to sleep. In the days following the accident it was hard remember where and in what I found joy after watching my beloved dog suffer so much. He meant so much to me. He was one constant source of joy and love – and our walks were one of the few times each day that I took time to just be.

After the accident I threw myself headlong into work in order to keep myself occupied, worked late night after late night, and binged on horrible, fatty, sugary foods for each meal, (even meat a few times! and my husband and I are vegan), telling myself over and over “I deserved to ‘treat’ myself after the past weeks of sadness and over-working.” Now I feel exhausted, lethargic, grumpy, and disconnected from everyone around me – even my husband. I’ve lost my way.

Tomorrow I will live with purpose by finding my way back one healthy choice at a time: a ‘treat’ is food that sustains me, that makes me feel balanced and energetic, not grumpy and lethargic. I will remember this at every meal tomorrow.

For tonight I will live the reaming part of my day with purpose by remembering to savor the moments with the people (and animals) in my life who I love and who love me. Staying connected, not pulling away is the source of strength and healing. And I’ll start by turning off the computer, going to bed early, and snuggling with my hubbie!

Thanks again for the reminder, Angela! I appreciate you. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2011

Thanks for sharing your story Megan. My heart goes out to you about the loss of your dog. :( I too lost my dog from a car accident when I was younger and the grief was very difficult to overcome. I think your goals are wonderful too.

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JenATX January 27, 2011

Megan, what a great purpose to embrace for the day. I really hope you feel better & start fueling your body to make you feel your best! And of course snuggling with the hubby always helps :)

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Sabine @ thefruitpursuit January 27, 2011

wonderful idea Angela! I love quotes and affirmations too, so I’ll definitelt contribute a few that I have featured on my blog :)

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Julia January 27, 2011

I love when you write these inspirational posts!
You can really feel that everthing you say/write comes directly from your heart and that it’s important for you.
The Daily Glow is a wonderful idea as everyone now and then looses sight and needs to take a step back. Something as little as a quote can make a big difference on a rough day.

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 27, 2011

LOVE this idea! It is amazing! You are SO inspirational Angela, and you definitely glow! :)

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Casey Thomas January 27, 2011

Beautiful idea Angela. I know that quote well and love it too.
Like you I have a business I put my whole heart and head behind every single day so I feel like every action I take to help others health, be healthier, happier and have a better life is my way of taking the step that gives the sound beginning.
Thanks for this lovely idea!

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Jill January 27, 2011

I love this post…
I needed to hear that quote today…I just turned 30 a few days ago and have been really feeling like I need to remember to live my life on purpose and not get caught up in the daily motions of a busy life…
I also have been reading a few books (Vegan Freak and Skinny Bitch – 1/2 way through this one) that have really challenged me to drastically change the way I am eating/living…
I struggle with ‘food addiction’ and I really want to change my lifestyle, but I continue to binge on things that make me feel terrible…I am not sure if this is considered ‘disordered eating’, but it sure feels like it to me…I really want to break out of this cycle and your blog and healthy lifestyle has inspired me a lot. I kind of wish I knew you in real life so you could be my bestie ( I am sure you get that a lot, since you are so awesome!)
I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of animal products in things I had no idea they were in…so I am taking it slow…I have committed to being vegetarian (since my 30th) and seeing where that takes me…I really want to go vegan all the way, but I think I am going to ease into it as I learn more and more…
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your story and your recipes! I have tried so many of them already!
I am curious if you use vegan beauty products/make-up? As I have been reading about becoming vegan, I am amazed at how many animal products are in those things and I wonder, as I progress further with this if that is something I will want to change in my life too…right now it just seems quite overwhelming and expensive and confusing.
Because I respect your opinion and your decision to go vegan, I wonder if you have any advice for that aspect of it? I know some people can be judgemental as to ‘how vegan’ people are, so if you don’t prefer to comment on this question I understand. In the book Vegan Freak, the authors even feed their dog vegan food and use ‘vegan tires’ on their car!
Anyways, sorry for the essay…in conclusion…
I adore your blog! My son (2 1/2) thinks your picture is pretty at the top of the site and says ‘I want to see Angela again!’ while I am trying to read…haha!
Also, it was neat to see ‘The Coup’ featured on your blog…I live in Calgary (on the west side), so if you want to hang out with a non-creepy admirer next time you visit your fam, I would love it! It would be like meeting my favourite bloggie celeb :)
Thanks for doing what you do!
Jill

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Kayla @ Fitterthanchoc January 27, 2011

This post is really inspiring! I love how you’d set your goal to do things that made you glow and avoid things that did not. There’s something really beautiful about this goal!

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 27, 2011

Angela thanks for sharing about your past, and now I know why your blog is named the way it is! Very awesome story!

And what a fabulous message…a place to celebrate the positive, to have a daily dose of glowing. Even if it’s not technically daily, can’t wait for The Daily Glow segments!

And that quote…oh boy, it’s sooo easy to put life on autopilot, work-family-chores-workout-repeat. Or whatever those things are, that someone puts on autopilot…yes, we all do it and the purpose of life is greatly diminished. When i start feeling that way, I try to step back and just stop. Stop and smell the roses, breathe deeply, meditate for 90 seconds, whatever, to SNAP myself out of that rat-on-the-wheel of life circle that is not fulfilling, but just a series of chores and tasks.

Being mindful that we all have a greater purpose than the next blog post we write, meal we cook, or chore we do…is KEY to remember :)

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Traci(faithfulfoodiefashionista) January 27, 2011

Great post and I love the quote. Your blog has been a very big inspiration to me . I too struggle with an eating disorder and I hate it. At times I feel I have complete control over it but I must be honest and say at times it still rears it’s ugly head. My desire is glow from the inside out and to see others do the same. It feels like I will never get there but I do know it is possible :) Thank you so much for sharing your heart and life through your blog…..it’s a always a bright spot in my day :)

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Roxane January 27, 2011

You, Angela, are simply amazing!! :)

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CathyK January 27, 2011

what a wonderful, awesome post, angela. i love when you share recipes, but when you share inspiring thoughts and your own personal experience, it just is so meaningful – thanks so much!!!
to me, this quote says that making long-range plans is great…but don’t forget that each day is a special entity to itself – you can make a difference JUST TODAY in either your own life, or in someone else’s – just one small step at a time.
looking forward to more DAILY GLOW reflections! :)

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Elevine January 27, 2011

thankyou so much for such an inspiring post!
really, it means alot.

x

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Dani @ Body By Nature January 27, 2011

Beautiful! What a motivating quote! Last night I attended the most amazing yoga class where our instructor told us that in order to show kindness to others we must first show kindness to ourselves which is some really great advice!

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JL goes Vegan January 27, 2011

Inspirational, Angela!

This quote reminds me of one of my favorite Buddhist quotes: “The journey is the destination.” If your sole focus is where you want to be, you’re missing the most important part — the process of getting there. Each day why not rethink the seemingly mundane and consider how the mundane might be important in the big picture?

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amy January 27, 2011

I’ve started to be more conscious of my breathing too. Many times I’ve found that I almost hold my breath and breath very shallow. As I’ve become more intentional about breathing deep I start to feel more relaxed and calm.

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lindsay January 27, 2011

I always love it when you share straight from the heart. You to harness inspiration, you do glow, and you have passed that glow on to many many others (including myself).
Cheers to the DAILY GLOW!
LC

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Sarah January 27, 2011

Lovely… Often our purposes can be hidden beneath depths of self hatred, guilt, and the nagging voice of negativity hiding in our heads (I’ve named my voice ED). Yet even when we feel frustrated and hopeless, we can rediscover hope and purpose in the words of another. Your blog and your words provide more wisdom and possibility for your readers. By sharing your struggle and journey to find your glow has inspired readers like me to hope and believe that we can break free of our demons and live purposely. I don’t know what your purpose is (or mine for that matter) but I personally believe it’s to provide hope and inspiration to those who need it. One day I’d like to have a similar purpose, to provide hope and glow to those individuals who need it the most. Thank you for all your beautiful posts :)

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 27, 2011

Well, first of all this quote gave me goosebumps! I think that having a purpose in life is essential – whether it is being a teacher, a mom, or completing 3 selfless acts a day – it all matters. What is life without a purpose? It’s not a good one – it’s going through the motions and not really LIVING.

Thanks for the reminder!

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 27, 2011

I love this post. I was at dinner with a few acquaintances in the fall and one of them told me that I looked good…that I used to look much more worn down. It really hit home with me, in much the same way your friend’s comment did. I’m excited to see where you go with this feature- I’ve always looked to your blog as a source of inspiration myself, both for food and for learning to enjoy it!

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Faith @ lovelyascharged January 27, 2011

I really love this segment idea! The “glow” and positivity of the community was exactly what drew me into blogging a year ago and what’s kept me here all this time :) Yours was actually the first blog I read and I found it through “The F Word” when I was looking for sources of inspiration to help draw me out of the final phases of my eating disorder when the stresses of facing the real world were tempting to me relapse. At any rate, I’m so glad to have found blogs like yours that have helped me become the stronger, happier, healthier woman whose life is looking better and better each day :)

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Holly @ couchpotatoathlete January 27, 2011

That quote immediately made me think of Jason and I working so hard to get our finances in order — paying off debt, saving, etc. We made it a point to focus every single day on getting that done. Every purchase had to reflect that goal: do we “need” this or do we just want it? If we need it, lets get it, if not, forget it.

Same with treating ourselves better and finding our purpose — why not spend our time finding our purpose and pursuing our dreams? This quote is all about getting your priorities in order!

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Trish @I_am_Succeeding January 27, 2011

I love this and love following your transformation and the tips and recipes and so happy you are blogging it and sharing it all to us.

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Lauren at KeepItSweet January 27, 2011

I think this is a fantastic idea and will be an inspiration for so many readers.

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Hillary January 27, 2011

I love this quote. It’s so important for working women to remember themselves and their piece of mind.

This post also touched me as I’m going through the motions of finally overcoming an ED that has taken over my life. Every day is a challenge but your inspiration helps me. It especially helps on a morning liike this (I’m in Boston…SNOW!) when the world seems to dreary that it inevitably makes me feel just as badly.

Your daily glows could not have come at a better time. Thank you!

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun January 27, 2011

I loved hearing where glow came from! And this idea is fantastic…as is that quote. I love the thought of recognzizing purpose in life and going after it.

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Tosca January 27, 2011

Thanks so much for writing this blog, it give’s me courage and one day I hope to glow just like you

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Heather (Heather's Dish) January 27, 2011

i just love that last part about making a sound beginning every day…that’s definitely something that i have not chosen to do and need to!

i think this is a beautiful idea, and i loved hearing your story about behind the glow :)

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wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) January 27, 2011

A very inspirational, learned person said the following, “The battle for life is the battle for sanity.” Hearing this gave me so much peace. I know more than ever that everyone is struggling with something. Knowing that I am not alone makes it easier to overcome whatever comes my way.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 27, 2011

Oh wow Ange, I love this feature! I love that quote too and it really strikes a chord with me this morning for many reasons. I’ve been getting very ahead of myself lately and (pardon the cliche) not taking much time to stop and smell the roses. Slowing down is something I need to work on. I’m going to write down that quote on a post it right now! :)

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