Operation Skinny Jeans: October 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get in my belly

So I have been thinking of writing this for over a week now, but I keep thinking "oh! I should take pictures!" but every day I forget so I am gonna write it without. Maybe one of these days I will get my shit together enough to take pictures of all of my food ;)

I have started eating more food and more regularly in the last month, which has really helped me personally so I thought I would share what a typical day in the life of my food looks like. For a day to day account of what I ate, check out My Fitness Pal.

6:30am- Wake up
Drink Iced Coffee with Almond Milk
Eat oatmeal or toast with PB or AB or B or whatever I feel like.

7:00am- Workout

7:30am- Breakfast
Usually a 2 egg omelet with sautéed mushrooms and a little cheese
Post workout shake (Protein, Shakeo, Water or almond milk, raw spinach and kale)

8:00am- Work!
I try to drink at least 50 ounces of water in the morning (which is 2 water bottles for me)

10:00am- Snack
String Cheese and grapes

12:00pm- Lunch!
Usually something left over from the night before or one of my go to lunches which are:
Burrito Bowls
Pita Sandwiches
I also take my dog Max on a 30 minute walk/jog so I can get out of the house.

1:00pm- back to work!
I try to drink another 50 ounces in the afternoon

3:00pm- Snack!
Either Red Peppers with Hummus (one of my absolute FAVORITE snacks) or an Apple with AB or PB

6:00pm- Dinner!
I cook something so its ready when my husband gets home. We have lots of favorites.
Stir Fry Chow Mein
Beef Stroganoff
Meat and veggies (usually Chicken, Steak or Pork with roasted veggies and potatoes)
Burgers (bunless) with veggies

8:00pm- if munchies hit...
I drink water. I have worked really hard to reach for water when I want to reach for snacks after dinner and it has helped me a ton. It takes focus and determination but it has changed my life. That sounds crazy but I used to eat over 1000 calories after 8pm.

Yeah basically thats it! It usually adds up to 1700-2000 calories, depending on what I have for dinner. And with these things I seem to be getting pretty close to my macro goals. Like I said the other day I rarely hit Protein, but I am okay with it.

And in case you are curious, no I don't follow any specific diet. I try to eat veggies at every meal and a few fruits a day. I try not to eat white grains (brown rice, brown bread, oatmeal) are my go-to's, I don't eat a lot of noodles anymore, which I used to eat all the time. And no, I don't want to eat low carb or no fat or dairy free or gluten free or paleo or vegan. I am really happy how I eat right now. I eat real food, its tasty, I feel satisfied and I don't feel like bingeing. I feel like its a really sustainable way for me to fuel my body and I am happy with it.

And yes I'm sure something I eat is going to give me cancer or kill me, like I hear every time I share what I eat, but considering the fact I grew up in a household of second hand smoke AND I subsisted off fast food for the first 25 years of my life, I am not really worried about my soy protein and almond milk killing me. :D
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Feel Pretty

I realized something funny the other day.

People RARELY smile in their Before pictures. If you scroll through the fitness parts of instagram, the vast majority of before pictures feature people looking sad, with bad posture, and no make up on. I clearly didn't get that memo the day I took my before pics.

I realize that is huge, but it helps illustrate my point.

I put a lot of effort into my appearance when I took these pictures. I took a shower, did my hair AND put on make up. I am smiling! AND I am 99% sure I am sucking it in. I remember telling myself not to, but as the timer was ticking down I couldn't help it.

I may not look as happy as I do now in my before picture, but I put in the effort. This isn't to say that I was happy by any means before I started losing weight. That girl was really troubled and lost, but she knew how to put on a good face. The people around me had very little idea that I was as depressed as I was. To them, I was still fun, boisterous, shockingly inappropriate but funny Jess. But on the inside I was deeply insecure unhappy inappropriately funny so I could hide behind it Jess. I think its because I care SO MUCH what other people think about me. I try my absolute best to look beautiful in every picture I take. And back then, I would't be caught DEAD without make up on. Make up was the thing that made me FEEL pretty. I had a LOT of ugly days, those days that no matter what you feel ugly, so I would cover that up with make up and feel marginally better.

Things are a little different now. I took this picture yesterday.

I am still smiling, because I love to smile, but I am not wearing an ounce of make up. And I took this picture about 10 minutes after a workout. And the girl in this picture is proud of herself, fun, confident Jess. I am not wearing make up (which isn't anything new, all but maybe 2 pictures I have ever posted I am not wearing make up) but I feel beautiful. And that shit comes from inside ;)

I don't know what my point is with this post. I guess that I used to care so much what other people thought of me that I was pretty good at not being myself. I still care what other people think about me, but not nearly like I used to.

Gosh guys! Why does every post have to have a point! :P

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I'm feelin alllllrrrrriighht- uh huh

That song is stuck in my head.

I guess the reason I haven't shared what I am up to specifically is that it really isn't news. I am at this weird place right now where things are going well. I have a workout plan I love, P90 for those just tuning in, I have tracked my food in MFP for 31 days. THIRTY ONE DAYS. I am not sure I have ever stuck to MFP for that long before. It is starting to feel like second nature. I measure/ weigh everything before I prep it/ make it. I eat pretty much the same kind of thing every day, and I am eating between 1700 and 2000 calories a day. I have been getting REALLY close on my Carb and Fat macros, but I am consistently 25 lower than my protein. I feel good, so I don't know if I should stress or readjust or what, but I am not worried about not hitting it. I am eating more protein than I ever have, so I consider that a win.

That's a new thing too. Winning. I have been working on accepting my successes for what they are (no matter how small) and not losing my shit in a gallon of ice cream over every failure. Its been a while (months) since my last binge, and I know that has to do with working on this.

I think another huge win for me has been consistency. I am 3 weeks in to P90, and while I struggled a little bit with it last week, I have a renewed drive to kick ass this week since next week I start part B. I am excited to have new workouts and keep moving forward. It really has become part of my routine. I think if you are struggling to find the motivation to workout, look at what you are doing. I wake up excited to workout. I enjoy the program, and I like doing it. When I hated what I was doing, I wouldn't do it! Finding happiness in my workouts has made being consistent WAY easier.

So overall I would say I am doing pretty well. I have a gym at my apartment that I keep thinking about visiting. They have weights and bars that I don't so I could really up my lifting game. I haven't made it over there yet, but I keep thinking about it. Maybe if I could find a good beginner lifting program I would add that to my routine. Bring it on, Pinterest.

So that's what's up with me. If you are into that sort of thing and want to know what I am eating and how I am sweating, MFP is the place to stalk me. I track all my food there (the good, the bad and the ugly. For real- there were M&Ms this weekend and I enjoyed every single one) AND I track my workouts there. I even update my status from time to time ;) And if pictures are more your thing, I instagram at LEAST once a day. And I am on Twitter. But I don't really tweet about workout or fitness stuff... so if you want to see the non fitness side of me, thats a good place to do that.... I don't know how this turned into a pimping out of my social media.... but I am on Facebook too ;)

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Monday, October 27, 2014

New Years Resolution

Yes, I know its the end of October, not January 1st yet, but I wanted to talk about New Years Resolutions. Have you started thinking about yours yet? Year after year I would always resolve to get healthy. Every year I would say "THIS is going to be my year!" I would alway dabble from September to December, but come January 1st, I was ALL IN.

For 3 days.

I would put together the perfect plan. I was going to stop eating sugar. All of it. And I was going to workout 60-90 minutes EVERY day and I was going to become a runner! I would plan out my week of meals, full of chicken, veggies and rice. I was going to be ON POINT and I was going to SUCCEED!

And every year, after 3 days, I would quit. I would be SO SORE that I couldn't move the next day, and I would be SO HUNGRY and dissatisfied I would binge. I could go hard for 3 days before I gave up. It really is no wonder I had a fear of working out and diets. My only experience with them was extreme, and really unpleasant.

I would tell myself I CAN'T succeed, and I would go back to bingeland where I lived until September.

I realized something pretty valuable when I started this blog. I started on December 2nd. Not January 1st. There was nothing special about that December, except that I was ready to commit. I was not waiting for a new year to motivate me, all I needed was a Monday. And that Monday I decided to change my life.

What are you waiting for? January is still 2 months away! What could you do with those 60 days? You don't need a new year to start, you just need the faith that you can do this. And you don't need the perfect extreme plan to succeed. In fact, I really don't recommend it. All you need to do is decide today to start with what you have, where you are today. Make small choices today that over time will compound into more. Instead of grabbing a diet soda, grab a water. On your 15 minute break, go for a walk around the building. Dance to some music while you make dinner. Get on the floor with your kids tonight. You don't have to change your lifestyle to make healthier choices. And you don't need January 1st to change your life.

There are so many small changes you can make to make a big difference in how the next 60 days go. What could you change in your daily life to take a step in the right direction?

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Friday, October 24, 2014


Like I mentioned when I updated my About Me tab, I need to also update my progress tab. Its been a few months so I thought I would re-do it too.

I think more than just pictures, its important to show weight progress and measurement progress. As you know this journey for me hasn't been all down, which is actually really normal. I have met a lot of really awesome people along the way that have struggled with plateaus, regains, and being stuck. I believe it is what you do after that that matters. Some have quit. Some have deleted their instagrams and started over. Some keep on chugging along. It can he so discouraging when you find yourself taking steps backward, but its nothing to be ashamed of, it's part of the process.

So I wanted to show you what losing 60 lbs, gaining 30 back and losing 5 of that looks like, cause thats me today.

And here is what it looks like on a graph

Am I happy that I gained that weight back? Nope. Not even a little bit. But I got out of control, and it happened. Am I proud that that line is going back down right now? FUCK yes. I am back in control and that is what matters. 

Am I pleased as punch that I have lost almost 10 inches from my waist? You bet your ass I am. 

I knew I would struggle with weight loss. This shit is hard. When I started this blog, I did so to chronicle my struggle and my journey, not my success. I never promised I would succeed. I am proud that I haven't given up yet, and thats what matters. 

This is progress. 

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Under Where??

I want to talk about something we all use, need and should love. Our underwear.

I was putting away my laundry yesterday and I came across my old lingerie. I bought it about 4 years ago, when I was feeling the opposite of sexy, in an attempt to feel better about myself for the sake of my marriage. I haven't worn it in about as long, but only because when I put it on after I got it, I felt the opposite of sexy. I was so deeply unhappy with my body that I couldn't feel sexy in anything, let alone the $100 or so of lingerie I had just bought. So to the back of the sock drawer it went, to be moved many many times, but never worn again.

So when I was putting away my socks, I grabbed it and thought I would try it on. My body is different than it was the last time I wore it, and my mind is DEFINITELY different than the last time I wore it, so I figured what do I have to lose. And the awesome thing was- I felt sexy! I was kinda shocked how what once highlighted all of my flaws was now highlighting my curves. Which gave me the idea for this post.

I believe that every woman of every size deserves to feel sexy. But feeling sexy isn't just about the clothes (or lack there of) you have on. It is about how you feel about yourself. I can't help you with that one, thats between you and your mirror, but I can show you my favorite pieces and places to find good quality, well fitting, sexy (and normal) underwear.

I own pieces from all of these places, so I feel pretty good speaking to their quality. I wouldn't ever recommend something I haven't tried, and clearly these people don't know who I am, I just want to show you my favorites.

#1- Lane Bryant. This habit dies hard when it comes to underwear. While I revel in the fact that I don't have to buy all my clothes here anymore, I can't seem to find a good day to day bra and underwear I love like theirs. Now its important to get fitted and try on different styles, because some styles I love and some I hate. I found one style that fits me and is comfortable, so I stick to it. I am pretty lame.

The Smooth T-shirt bra is where its at for me. I am a no frills kind girl, so I like that it doesn't have lace or anything fancy. It goes well under clothes, and is supportive and still cute.

 The Sassy Cotton Hipster Panty is where its at for me too. They are comfortable, fit well, and sit perfectly (they don't come up too high).

They also have a nice selection of sexy stuff, so you have options.

#2- Torrid. Can I just talk about how much I love Torrid? I feel like its the hip and young version of Lane Bryant. They have really stepped up their underwear game recently. And since I have my day to day stuff covered (literally, I wear the t-shirt bra and hipster panties every day) I like to look at Torrid for sexy stuff.

The Lace Unlined Demi Bra is pretty. Its like a date night bra.
Why does she look so annoyed?
I would wear this with the Lace Hipster Panty.

And lastly #3- Hips and Curves. As far as I know they are exclusively online, but I have been impressed with their quality.

I won't give you recommendations.... That feels weird. Go. Have fun. They have some really pretty stuff :D

I hope that helped for those of you asking where I get my underwear. And if you are still wearing those $3 for 10 Walmart panties and you aren't feeling very sexy, maybe taking a trip to one of these places can help.

Where is your favorite place to buy underwear?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Apple Pie Smoothie- and a Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post for Puritans Pride, through Sweat Pink. I was given products in exchange for my recipes, but my recipes and opinions are all my own. 

So as you know, I like shakes. I drink at least one a day, so I am always looking for great recipes. So when Puritans Pride approached me (through SweatPink) I was excited to experiment! I love coming up with new yummy recipes, so this was right up my ally!

I was so excited when my box of goodies came, and I couldn't wait to start! For real tho, if you have been stalking my MFP, you know I use the Unflavored Soy Protein Isolate daily. I am in actual romantic love with it. It has a smooth texture and no flavor and it is SO FULL OF PROTEIN! It has 24 grams of protein, one gram of fat and ZERO carbs. Its exactly what I need because I am struggling to get my protein in, but I don't have carbs or fat to spare. We're a match made in heaven!

Honestly, choosing a yummy recipe to feature was the hardest part of this. Over the last few weeks I have made SO MANY and so picking one was tough. I fought the urge to feature a pumpkin pie smoothie (one I have made tons of times using the protein powder) and instead decided to share an apple pie smoothie I am obsessed with right now. mmmm apple pie!

Apple Pie Smoothie

1/2 apple (I grabbed gala) roughly chopped
1 scoop Puritans Pride Unflavored Soy Isolate Protein Powder
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tbs vanilla extract
a few shakes of cinnamon

Put all the ingredients into a blender.

If you are feeling fancy- pour into a mason jar, and top with a pinch of oats and a few pieces of apple.

And here are the stats!

And in all honesty- I have to tell you after I made it and tasted it, I added vanilla Shakeology to mine. I can't help myself! I love it and it goes well with this if you are a Shakeo drinker. So my stats are a little different.

BUT this isn't about Shakeo, its about Puritans Pride and I love their protein. I have been adding it to my daily Shakeology every day for a few weeks.

What is the coolest part of this whole thing is that Puritans Pride is gonna give you some awesome stuff! Woop!

You can win the:
Puritans Pride Unflavored Soy Protein Isolate 
Super Greens Powder
Carob Powder
Barney Almond Butter

All you have to do is:

  • Follow @puritanspride on Twitter
  • Tweet about the giveaway.
  • Post a smoothie on Instagram using #seasonalsmoothie and #puritanspride hashtags (or repost my smoothie with the same hashtags)

I love giveaways!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I shared this today in my Rocktober challenge group, but I wanted to share it with all of you too. 
I wanted to talk about commitment today. When we think of a commitment, we think of a relationship, maybe marriage, but it's usually something that you stick to no matter what. I love this quote because I totally agree. Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you. I think that is pretty spot on. 
I have been married for 4 years, and some days I don't want to be married. I am not in the mood. But I made a commitment, before God, our families and the state of Colorado that I won't break, even if I am in a bad mood. Marriage isn't easy, it takes work, but I am committed to it. 
What if we treated weight loss like marriage. What if we made a public commitment, before God and our loved ones, to focus on our relationship with ourselves. Do you think we would look at it differently? I am not sure I know anyone who doesn't take marriage seriously, but I have met PLENTY of people (myself included) that don't take a weight loss commitment seriously. Why are they different? Why do we think its okay to cheat on ourselves, but not our spouse? 
What if today you made a commitment. A real one. Commit to yourself to love yourself. Commit to yourself to eat like you love yourself and MOVE like you love yourself. And take that as seriously as you take your wedding vows. Because it is serious. Being successful at weight loss isn't about doing it when you are in the mood. It's about doing it day in and day out regardless of your mood, and I think that is something a lot of people struggle with. 
Decide what you want. Commit to it. 
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Monday, October 20, 2014

P90 Week 2

So I just finished Week 2 of P90! I am really excited about my progress and I am still loving the program!

In case you missed it, I posted a video about week 1 last Monday, and I will be making another one to post today.

So far I can feel my strength improving and I am able to do more/ longer while still maintaining good form. I think by the time we move on to B, I will be able to do pretty much everything unmodified, hopefully even sprawls. My half push ups are getting better, which is awesome, and overall I am just feeling really good! 

I am going to keep going on schedule this week, but I might add a little something to what I am doing. I am starting Shaun T's Diet Bet this week, and I want to crush that, and I am kinda missing PiYo, so I might add a few of those in. Or some P90X3 Yoga and Pilates. Who knows. 

I am also going to try to get closer to my macros each day. I have been staying under them for the most part, but I haven't focused on adding more food at the end of the day to get exactly to them. I want to at least hit my protein. I have learned tho, that you have to track your food before your workouts because your workouts change your macros. Fun fact! 

Oh and I am sure what you all have been waiting for, as of this morning (and my new official weigh day, doing it Wednesday for one thing and Monday for another got confusing) is I am down another 1.5 this week, so 4.2 total in 2 weeks. I am super excited about that! And that puts me firmly back in the 240's, which feels pretty good too. Hopefully with more focus and calorie burn I can get back to where I was in the 230's and keep moving right along. 

If you are interested in talking to me about P90, you can always email me at Jess at operationskinnyjeans dot com. It's on sale until the end of the month, and a portion of the proceeds are being donated to the Wounded Warrior Project this month. 

Here's to another awesome week!
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Looks I Love

So as you probably know, I love to go shopping. I don't have the money to buy 99% of what I want, but I can live vicariously through the internet. Some places that I love, tho, are almost impossible to go to in person. Torrid is one of these. Sure, I could drive 45 miles to the other side of town, but 1. Who has that kind of time? and 2. Who has money for that gas??

So instead, I get to get my lust out over the internet. If there is something I just HAVE to have, I might plan a day trip over there one weekend. But for now, I am happy with this :D

So allow me to present to you something that might happen more than once- Looks I Love. Virtual shopping for stores I can't get to to take dressing room selfies of clothes I am never going to be able to afford ;)

First up is Torrid (which you could have guessed.) I looked through their website and found some pre-made outfits that I love! How lucky is that! Here they are.


The first look is something I would wear on date night! I like the military detailing on the top, and how it flows which is really flattering. I think that top would also look great with jeans, so there's that. I also am in the theoretical market for some cigarette black skinnies. In theory they make your legs look longer. My legs are short as shit so if that will help, I am happy to try. 

I have to say I am kinda in love with this dress. I discovered that peplum is super flattering on me this summer, and I think this dress has it all. It's sexy and a little sophisticated, and is something I would totally wear to my husband's work Christmas party. Yep- I might have to make a day trip for that beauty. 

I am tapping into my inner lumberjack this season with my love of plaid. I have always been afraid of it, but I am obsessed with my plaid shirt from Old Navy. I pair it with rolled up skinnies like these (tho mine have WAY less holes) but I am totally digging the combat boots. I am not sure I would buy jeans like this, I am just fine with less hole-y skinnies, but I need some combat boots. 

And back with the peplum. I like the sweetheart neckline, great for chesty girls like myself, and the lace detail is pretty! I would wear this on date night too. Or on a Tuesday. I am cool with looking fancy sometimes. 

I am also loving the colors with all of these. Hunter green is one of my favorites and happens to bring out my green eyes. And black is always in. 

So yeah- that's what I am loving right now at Torrid! If there are any stores you want me to virtually shop, I am more than happy to do so. Leave suggestions below :D And I am sure you know this, but Torrid doesn't know me and I was not perked or paid to write this. Just a bored girl on the internet wishing she had 7 million dollars to buy all the clothes with. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Grab life by the drill

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to build furniture. Not like Ikea, but from wood. I had some, but very little, woodworking skills and none of the tools. But I loved the idea of making something functional and being able to say "I made that." My husband thought I was nuts. He also had no woodworking experience, and really no desire to build anything, but he loves me so he agreed.

We decided our first project would be a bench. We had a long window in our living room and we could always use some extra seating, so we went to work. I found bench plans on a woodworking plan website, we purchased all the materials and decided not to follow the plan at all (cause we're those people) and we went to work. It took us probably 6 hours and 10 meltdowns to make this stupid bench. And it was crooked. But it was ours. We were so stinking proud of that stupid bench. Any time someone would come over, we would show them. And they would (kindly) say "Oh wow! I wouldn't even think you made that!" while glancing over the 7 half in stripped screws sticking out of the sides. We didn't care, we were so proud.

Could this picture BE any blurrier?? 
Shockingly that inspired us to build more furniture. We made a few shelves before we dove head first into our next big project. A bed. God that thing was a beast. It took us an entire weekend, dusk till dawn, but we did it. And it was beautiful. We had a better handle on woodworking at that point, we had more tools and we didn't have any half in stripped screws hanging out this time. After the bed we went on to build a dining room table, two other benches, and an entertainment center. Each piece better than the last.

We eventually fixed the crooked door lol
We were classy and kept our liquor in the garage.... apparently lol
You are probably thinking "this is a nice story, but what the hell does this have to do with fitness??" and that is a great question.

My point is, you don't have to be great to start. We made some huge mistakes in the beginning, but we didn't let it ruin us and we didn't stop there. We just kept getting better. That journey has been a metaphor for my weight loss journey. I have made some rickety ass benches with screws sticking out of the sides, but I am so proud of them anyway. I have failed countless times, but I don't stop trying. I keep looking for ways to improve and things I can do to be better.

I am not perfect. I am not a fitness expert. I am not a woodworking expert. But I am someone who decides I am gonna do something, and I keep trying, no matter how hard it is, and I never give up.

Pick up the drill. Take the first step. Even if you have no freaking clue what you are doing, do it. You never know where it might lead.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Your Biggest Weakness

So I had a job interview this morning and I just knew they were going to ask me that question. I don't like preparing an answer because it feels rehearsed and disingenuous. I think its better to be candid in that moment. So I was.

What's funny is my biggest weakness applies both to my position in an office, and my life in general. What is it, you ask? I give so freely that I have a hard time being selfish with my time.

I think this is the plight of every people pleaser, as it certainly has always been mine. The place it comes from is entirely different now than before, but its still there. I used to give give give because I wanted acceptance. I felt like I had nothing to bring to the table except my indentured servitude. I have a really terrible and funny example of this that I definitely won't get into, but my desire to help other people has gotten me into some interesting situations. Now that I actually have self confidence and self worth, I give out of a genuine desire to enrich other people's lives. I want to help you so much. It genuinely enriches my life when you succeed. I am SO excited when you succeed and it brings me so much happiness. But that doesn't mean its not my weakness.

I made a decision a few months ago to focus on me. It was selfish and uncomfortable but I decided that I needed to come first for once. I came clean about the Marathon. I came clean with myself about how I was going through the motions, and I decided that I needed to work on me, for me. And through that, I think I have actually become a better leader! I have been able to help you more effectively because I am taking care of me.

I'm sure I will always struggle with this. My heart is too big to not care so much for all of you. And I am sure I will always struggle to answer that question. It's hard admitting faults.

On my drive home tho I came up with the perfect answer. My biggest weakness is that I have never been a very good dancer. It's something I have always struggled with ;)

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