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Jelly Bean Laxatives?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

So I had to go to the drugstore to pick up a few things and I noticed little bags of sugar-free Jelly Belly jelly beans! Cool! I love Jelly Belly (Except for the buttered popcorn ones! Eeeeew, I don't understand how people can eat those!) so I picked them up on a whim without looking at the package carefully. 80 calories for 35 beans. Pretty good!

They look benign enough, right?

Then there is the warning label:

Um, what?!!! I thought that jelly beans were basically just sugar and I figured these would just be sugar substitutions. I looked at the package and saw that 35 beans have 8 GRAMS OF FIBER!

That seems like a lot for jelly beans, no?

Here are the ingredients:

Malitol, Malitol Syrup, Polydextrose, Modified Food Starch, Contains 2% or Less of the Following: Sucralose, Citric Acid, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Color Added, Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 40 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 5 & 6 Lake, Blue 1, Tapioca Dextrin, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Confectioner's Glaze, Salt.

So I guess it is the Polydextrose, a soluble fiber used as a thickening agent in low-cal foods (Source: Wikipedia). Huh. There's a good article on Slate about how they try to boost the fiber content of "high fiber" foods (such as sugary cereals and high-fiber yogurts) with it despite it having little nutritional benefit. The only benefit, unlike the more natural fibers, is that it gets your GI system rolling, though supposedly not as much as "natural" fiber:

Since I never EXPECTED good fiber in my jelly beans (unlike if I'm eating Fiber One products), I'm not worried about it as long as it's not a dangerous additive. BUT I also don't want to be running to the bathroom over a seemingly harmless little jelly bean.

So there you go. Next time you're blocked up, grab a Jelly Belly. YUM!


OK, I worked up the courage and tried a couple (licorice and cherry). I don't like them because they stuck to my teeth big time. They taste OK, but not as good as the regular kind. Ah, live and learn. I think that's enough for me!


RUNTRILAUGH noted that Wikipedia had something similar about Maltitol, which notes "Due to its slow absorption, excessive consumption can have a laxative effect and produce intestinal gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It is very easy for food producers to use it in vast quantities, due to its similarity to sugar, so consumers often end up ingesting far more than they could most other sugar alcohols. This means that maltitol is particularly associated with gastrointestinal upset."

I guess it's a laxative festival with these things. I never would have guessed!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMMIESMOM13 4/17/2013 9:22AM

    Check out Splenda too. Alot of people use it thinking it is "good" sugar substitute. It's a "non-food" and it's horrible for you too. I never use it. I posted a blog on it in April, 2013 (recently, but if someone reads this a year from now, they'll know where to look)= Splenda- the not-so-good for you non-food.

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CLYNN8810 4/6/2012 12:57PM

    I just stumbled across this blog post... I know it's quite old, but this blew my mind!! I think I'd only buy these for my worst enemy!!! haha. Wow! I will start check ALL of my sugar free foods!!! HAPPY EASTER!! :)

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SUNBELLE74 2/11/2011 3:33PM

    I just came across this blog post. OOO-MMMM-GGGG! I thought the package of Brach's Sugar Free Cinnamon Disks were right up my alley since the package said "Splenda" on the front. NOOOO WAAAY! I have been running to the bathroom alllll day (still am) which is SOOOO not good since I'm a teacher! I feel like a balloon filled with gas! UGH! I am miserable.

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BUTTERFLY_MT 12/30/2010 1:00AM

    You said: "Since I never EXPECTED good fiber in my jelly beans (unlike if I'm eating Fiber One products)...."

Well, not sure if someone's mentioned it or not, but this article (http://www.reuters.com/article/idU
STRE6675QC20100708) mentioned that Fiber One uses the SAME type of thing to add fiber in--(from the article)

"The label may list inulin, chicory root extract, oligosaccharide, or oligofructose. For example, the Fiber One Chewy Bar with 9 grams of dietary fiber lists chicory root extract as its top ingredient."

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SDAVIS4544 10/4/2010 1:22PM

  I ate these once. Big big mistake. Since they were so low-cal, I had the whole (small) bag rather than the suggested serving size of 8 beans. You can only imagine. My evening was ruined.

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MEGAERA0529 8/31/2010 9:47AM

    Holy crap - pun intended!!! The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know and the more appealing it is to go with an organic raw diet. I'm not there yet but I can certainly see myself heading more and more in that direction as time passes. *sigh*

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PCOLAGATOR 8/23/2010 11:09AM

    I wonder what other products have become laxatives. I think I'll stick with my regular candy from now on

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ONLY1TAN 8/21/2010 2:13PM

    It would give me that effect even without the added fiber because my body does not like Splenda at all! I have to be careful of sugar free things!

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GOODBYEHORSES 8/21/2010 2:10PM

    I drank 4 cups of sugar free cranberry grape juice. Let's just say I was on the toilet for two whole days. Never again!

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KRISTEN282 8/17/2010 6:33PM

    Haha...at least you saw the warning first. My Dad ate a whole bag once then saw the warning. It wasn't a pleasant night for him.

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SASSY_FAE 8/17/2010 12:27AM

  Wow, that's one of the weirdest products I've heard of in some time, thanks for the warning!

I love regular Jelly Belly jellybeans (even the buttered popcorn ones!) but I think the pear are my favourite.

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HANDAPANDA 8/11/2010 6:00PM

    Wow! This is crazy! :) Thanks for sharing

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FULLOFFAITH 8/10/2010 5:02PM

    LOL... I have that bloating problem with the sugar free crystal light candy (hard candy) I thought they would be something to get me thru that tuff time in the afternoons after lunch at work but nope not worth the stomach problems.

Thanks for Sharing.


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    I have also figured out about the artificial sweeteners that are in sugar-free candy. I love to chew on candies throughout the day and I realized that when I switched to sugar-free I started having stomache problems, gas, bloating and discomfort. Now that I only eat them occasionally I do not have these problems!


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UABHAMCHICK 8/10/2010 11:32AM

  I actually worked at a place in a mall that sold those. There was a girl that came in and bought them four days in a row before she noticed the warning label. She promptly put the bag back and exclaimed, "That explains a lot!" I didn't ask questions, but I got the idea I shouldn't eat those.

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ANNABELLA007 8/10/2010 7:45AM

    Who knew???? I have been tempted to try these, but no more! emoticon

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SOPHIETR 8/9/2010 9:48AM

    thank you! for sharing...

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POPCORNGURL 8/9/2010 12:29AM

    Thanks for the info

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DBAILEY0438 8/8/2010 3:59PM

    good to know

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GAILRUU 8/8/2010 8:41AM

    Moderation in everything is the key! For some of us the laxative effects are not all bad. (I love the buttered popcorn flavor!)

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JUBEESH 8/8/2010 1:52AM

    thanks for sharing this information!

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GWENHAVEN 8/6/2010 5:37PM

    Now I know why I got such an upset stomach the day I ate four Reeses sugar free mini peanut butter cups!

They will always continue to produce food stuffs that are NOT good for people just to make more money. We have to be SO diligent with labels and educating ourselves about additives!

Too bad we can't do anything about all the genetically modified foods out there. That's a whole OTHER mess that's bad for us.

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JUSTME29 8/6/2010 5:35PM

    I'll take the buttered popcorn ones off your hands. They're my favorite, but no-one else in existence seems to like them. None of those though, yikes! Thanks for sharing, I'll have to look closely at the labels next time I have a "bean" craving.

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    I noticed that myself a while ago when I was on a quest to find "healthy" candy. It's crazy about the laxative thing. Also, I agree that popcorn flavor jelly beans are gross. Thanks for the post.

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KIMMAS82 8/6/2010 1:33PM

    Warning label for JELLY BEANS!?!?!?!? Oh my!!

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DJNELSON1962 8/6/2010 1:31PM

    Tis the same with the Sugar Free turtles and other candies. A friend of mine and I were headed on a cruise ship with tons of things not healthy for us Diabetics so we bought an assortment of the Sugar Free yummies --- after a couple of days we were both sick to our tummies and making lots of trips to the potty.

SO be very careful of anything marked sugar free


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SPARKDEB111 8/6/2010 9:40AM


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TONISTRELEC 8/6/2010 9:03AM


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FUNFROG79 8/6/2010 8:28AM

    Wow, thanks for the info!

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IN_IT_2_WIN_IT 8/6/2010 8:14AM

    The sugar free low fat chocolates that contain sugar alcohols have a laxative effect. I guess that would be true of all candies that contain them. Kind of makes eating them feel a little guilt free, if you can stand the after effects.

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BABLARINA 8/6/2010 4:38AM

    Yikes! Thanks for the info.

Once my mom bought some boxes of sugar-free candy hearts, the kind with little messages on them, for my kids. It being Valentine's Day, I let my little ones go ahead and eat them up. I then spent the evening rushing them to the toilet.

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BABLARINA 8/6/2010 4:37AM

    Yikes! Thanks for the info.

Once my mom bought some boxes of sugar-free candy hearts, the kind with little messages on them, for my kids. It being Valentine's Day, I let my little ones go ahead and eat them up. I then spent the evening rushing them to the toilet.

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BABLARINA 8/6/2010 4:37AM

    Yikes! Thanks for the info.

Once my mom bought some boxes of sugar-free candy hearts, the kind with little messages on them, for my kids. It being Valentine's Day, I let my little ones go ahead and eat them up. I then spent the evening rushing them to the toilet.

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KIN59VARA 8/5/2010 6:41PM


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LAINYC 8/5/2010 9:14AM

    emoticonfor the info.

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SUNSHINE084 8/5/2010 12:31AM

    Any artificial sweeteners can make you go. You have to be careful with Sugar Free candies. It is nothing new... I used to get into my Dads Sugar Free candies when I was young and I paid the price.

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BANANNA38 8/4/2010 5:04PM

    We played a joke on a co-worker once by putting a bunch of sugar free jelly bellies in a bowl in our workroom. (She was a candy junkie and ate most of them by the end of the day). Needless to say she suffered with a lot of gas that evening. Those artificial sweeteners are crazy!

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SHELLEY81 8/4/2010 2:45PM

    mmmm jelly belly. I'm a fan of the PB&J ones together! yummers! I guess, like with all things, moderation is key!

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LAMKOCH 8/4/2010 10:33AM

  Hmm, I wonder if this is why I've been having, ahem, the opposite problem since giving up these kinds of foods! Maybe my body was somewhat dependent on the laxative effects?

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NIFTYFIFTY5 8/3/2010 11:40AM

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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KELLIBELLE 8/3/2010 10:34AM

    Very interesting! emoticon

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BUCHCAB 8/3/2010 9:26AM

    Thanks for the information. I guess everything in moderation and some things not at all. I have eaten the fat free, sugar free gummy bears at a local Wegman's and I love them, no side effects but I only use them as a snack every now and then. They don't taste like the real deal, but they curb the sugar craving I get. I just can't go crazy with every little thing, information is always changing. I wish everyone well!

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GODMOM5426 8/3/2010 7:49AM

  Sugar alcohols like Maltitol are the devil! Every time my husband buys me "sugar-free" ice cream (because the dern fool still thinks I want to eat stuff that I can no longer have thanks to being diabetic), I check the label to see what if any sugar alcohols are listed on it--and invariably I have to send him back to get a refund and get me some fruit or plain yoghurt instead, because...damn.

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LOSING107 7/31/2010 5:09PM

    Sugar-free ice cream had the same effect on me. Never again!

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SHANTODD420 7/29/2010 8:08PM

    Thanks for the information have not had a sugar free jelly bean in a long time. I do know that the sugar life savers will do the same thing lol.

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WALKERSSS 7/29/2010 4:07PM

    Great information. I love sugar free Jelly Belly's. Although I don't eat them often the buttery pop corn ones are yummy!

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 7/29/2010 10:18AM

    Oh I havenīt tried the sugar-free Jelly Bellies but have tried a few other candies that gave me gas BIG time! Never more! Lesson learned.

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LIMASTAR 7/29/2010 12:29AM

  Thanks for the very interesting info.

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STARGLADE 7/28/2010 9:43PM

    Any of the sugar alcohols (those things that end in -tol, like maltitol and sorbitol) can have MAJOR effects on one's digestive system. My mother (bless her soul) found out the hard way, by indulging in far more than a serving of sugar-free hard candies sweetened with maltitol. She was, shall we say, "indisposed" for the better part of an evening.

For myself, I have them occasionally as a treat, but NEVER more than what is allowed per the serving size--and often fewer pieces than I could have, because one or two is plenty for me. I don't NEED five. :-)

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MINIJEAN 7/28/2010 5:04PM

    Really interesting emoticon

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Tales From the Burgh

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I had a wonderful weekend visiting my best friend in Pittsburgh! What a cute little city! I really liked it. My friend lives in a section of town called Shadyside which was really quaint with lots of little coffeeshops and boutiques and restaurants and it was nice just to walk outside.

I got in on Friday night and we just caught up and chatted and went to bed. I must have been exhausted because I didn't wake up til 10 a.m. on Saturday morning! That's super late for me. We walked around Shadyside for a bit but it started to downpour and we took cover in this local coffee chain called Crazy Mocha. I had a Cafe Au Lait and LOVED that they had the shaker of cinnamon and nutmeg nearby. I must have put like 3 teaspoons of that stuff in there. YUMMY!

Mural at Crazy Mocha

When the rain subsided, we headed over to Pitt, where she goes to school. It was a cool campus! In the Cathedral of Learning, there are classrooms that are decorated to look like rooms in a specific country or culture. It was neat to see some of them.

I couldn't believe the Austrian room! I think I'd want to eat a three-course meal rather than study in there, don't you think?!

A view from the Cathedral of Learning

Then, a visit to Primanti Brothers, which so many of my SparkFriends from the Pittsburgh area raved about. This sandwich was featured on Man v. Food and a bunch of Food Network shows. It did not disappoint! I had the roast beef and cheese, which featured french fries, a vingarey pepper coleslaw and tomatoes as toppings. I could only eat half! It was enormous! I had a couple of chili cheese fries too.


Then it was on to the Andy Warhol Museum, which I really wanted to see despite not being a huge fan of pop or modern art. I'm so glad I went! It was super interesting to read the origins of each piece instead of just being encountered with a painting of Campbell's Soup cans or something equally mundane. I found myself actually being inspired by a lot of Warhol's lesser known works as well.

A cool room in the museum was one with all these floating silver helium balloons called Silver Clouds. You stand in the room and you can either try to avoid them or let them smack you in the face!

After a busy day, we just went back to her apartment and chilled out, played video games and had some homemade yakisoba with pork and veggies. After sharing a bottle of wine though, I needed a little air. We went for another walk and I had some yummy raspberry truffle gelato. It was nice that you could buy it by the ounce! So I had 2 oz. and it was just enough.

On Sunday, I ate the other half of my sandwich (picked out the fries this time!) for breakfast, went to another cute coffeeshop, and then we had a nice walk through Schenley Park (namesake of SCHENPOSSIBLE!). It was so nice. I love big urban parks and this was no exception. Then to the Pirates game!

What a gorgeous day to be at the ballpark. We had a coupon so we got box seats for $24! You can't even get standing room for that much at Fenway! I felt rich! Hehe... They had like a gourmet topping bar for hot dogs, so I couldn't pass one up. I put peppers, onions, buffalo sauce, pickles, jalapenos, and tomatoes on mine! YUM. Washed it down with a pint of Yuengling, which got me a little homesick for my days living in Philadelphia. Nothing like a beer and a dog at the game. It was a good game too! A couple of home runs, extra inning, totally not boring. Oh, and I won two free tickets for my friends to use at a future game and they won me a baseball cap to bring home to Jon! Woohoo!

After chilling out for a bit, we went for a late dinner at this restaurant called Elbow Room and it was delicious. I had a Long Island Ice Tea which I hadn't had in AGES and it didn't disappoint! Woo! Then a garden salad with lemon vinigarette on the side, half of a cup of bean soup, maybe a third of my sweet potato fries and a salmon filet with orange and basil. I had a couple of bites of my dining companions' brownie sundae too.

And then I got to watch the Celtics win! YAY!

I had a great time, and I don't think I did TOO badly with food and drink considering (though my veggie consumption was way down) but I definitely was feeling Sunday's salt intake the next day. I did the obligatory scale hop to see what damage I did, and I was only up a pound, so I'll be drinking my water for the rest of the week. I wish I could have gotten a little more vigorous exercise in, but oh well.

What surprised me the most was how much I missed my husband. We transatlantic dated for a year and a half, but we've only been apart for 4 days since he moved to the US when he had to go home for family funeral. I'm super lucky to have him.

While I got a little walking in, I guess I underestimated how fast I go, because I felt like I was walking through molasses when I slowed down to match my companions' pace. Amazing how things have changed! I also was greeted to tons of pictures of myself on the walls and shelves from my best friend's wedding, my wedding, and our college days, and the difference in the photos was so striking!

When I got back on Monday, I tried to go for a run but I was thwarted when I saw two teenagers duking it out in a fist fight about 20 meters up ahead and decided just to turn back. Innocent bystander! Hehe... The flying, too much salt, and dehydration was making it a difficult run anyways. I'm going to try to do better this evening!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMWST36 6/12/2010 12:33PM

    I am originally from Pittsburgh (living in California for 9 years now though). LOVE THAT CITY! Your post made me homesick for all the great things about Pittsburgh!

I went to the University of Pittsburgh and fondly remember trying to find a corner in the catherdral to take a nap and the cozy fireplaces in the winter. *sigh*

Glad you had such a great time!

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ALIMESSA 6/11/2010 6:35PM

    Sounds like you had a great time...I'm happy for you!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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CAALAN23 6/9/2010 11:27AM

    That sounds like an awesome trip! Love the silver clouds, that's so cool. :)

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LANTECH19446 6/9/2010 11:16AM

    Totally shoulda come to philly too you'ld love it here.

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SUGIRL06 6/9/2010 11:09AM

    Awesome weekend!!! I am jealous of the fact that you could order 2oz of gelato! LoL. And Yuengling is awesome. It will make its way to you soon enough. If not, next time I'm on vacation in New England, I'll bring you a case, ok? Haha! And I totally know what you mean about slowing down your walking pace! I don't think I walk that fast until I walk with someone who doesn't "go for walks" very often! Then its like "woah! are we even moving???" Have a great day!!!

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DOPKIGIRL 6/9/2010 10:42AM

    Glad you enjoyed your visit!! You deserve to ENJOY time for yourself and what a great way to do it.

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    Sounds like you had fun and love the pics. Man I want to go to the museum, they don't let you take pics in ours! :( Primanti Bros is so good. (I have to get mine without all the sides stacked on it though, it grosses me out! LOL) Hope you guys got to take some current pics so she can add that to the walls/shelves! :)

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LIBBYFITZ 6/9/2010 7:45AM

    Sounds like you had a great time. You will make up with exercise now that you are back home. Thank you for the 'photos. emoticon

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/9/2010 6:59AM

    I am so glad you enjoyed our beautiful city!

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BAYBELIEVER 6/8/2010 10:00PM

    You look like you had a great time! And it's all about living life! So a little more to eat, a little fewer vegetables, but memories to last forever. The food won't. You'll have it off in no time (if it even hung around.)

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1BIGDREAM 6/8/2010 8:21PM

    Sounds like a fun trip!

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TRACIENICOLE 6/8/2010 5:30PM

    sounds like an awesome trip! and i'm totally impressed that you were able to indulge AND hold back at the same time...i tend to be all or nothin'...I'll do REALLY good and wish i'd indulged...or i'll do NOTHING but indulge! good job!

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JEANNETTE59 6/8/2010 4:37PM

  Sounds like you had a blast. You've worked hard and deserved a short break, so now it's back to the program emoticon

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CHICAT63 6/8/2010 4:32PM

    Great visit, hmmm your spicy sandwich sounds awesome...hehehe just like I would have ordered but with chicken *lol*. Catching up with old friends and seeing their towns is always a treat. Ah, isn't cute that you missed your husband always a good sign *wink*. I wouldn't fret about your workout, drink your water and resume your training. Today and tomorrow are an another day. emoticon

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ABETTERBECKY 6/8/2010 4:27PM

    I didn't know you used to live in Philly - Yuengling is the bomb - house standard :)

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    I love Pittsburgh! And I love the shout out too! Glad you had a good time in the burgh. The Elbow Room is so much fun! A lot of places you talked about are Pittsburgh staples for me. I will have to get out there soon! Keep on keepin on!

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COTTRELL11 6/8/2010 3:43PM

    What a great visit! Next week I'll be going down to LA to spend 10 days with my best friend. Your trip gives me courage that the food part will work out okay. Thanks so much for the narrative and the pictures!

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    What a great weekend! Drink lots of water and keep doing what you are doing. You'll get that pound off and feel great again in no time!

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GRACEISENUF 6/8/2010 3:27PM

    Felt like I was there, sounds like you have wonderful friends and that you had a great time. It's funny I used to not travel without my hubby but since I've joined SP and regained my self confidence I absolutely love getting away and the reunions are that much sweeter. ;)

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MAIA2011 6/8/2010 3:18PM

    Flying is superdehydrating. I love the pic of you and your friend.

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STARGIRL66 6/8/2010 2:51PM

    What an amazing weekend! Primanti's would definitely be on my to-do list after seeing Man vs Food. I can't wait to travel with my little ones when they are a little older, so much to do, so little time!

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WHGRN60 6/8/2010 2:08PM

    Sounds like a fun weekend! I don't think you did too badly on the food either. You have to live life, after all.

That pound is probably from the salt, and will be gone before the weekend.

Glad you enjoyed it!


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    Sounds like a fun trip! I too don't realize how much of a speed walker I am until I go walking with someone else and they start yelling at me haha.

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WEEZBUG82 6/8/2010 1:38PM

  Looks like you had a blast!! I have been dying to go on a few little weekend trips this summer too to visit friends in far away parts! My fiance and I are also planning a trip to Philadelphia for the first time, so if you have any recommendations of not-to-miss places, lemme know.

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CHRIS4338 6/8/2010 1:30PM

    Glad you enjoyed Pittsburgh! I live in Squirrel Hill which is the neighborhood adjacent to Shady Side - my husband works at the University of Pittsburgh. Come back and enjoy the city anytime :-)

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ALISONF2 6/8/2010 1:30PM

    Sounds like you had a great time! I've never been to Pittsburgh, I live in Boston and realize it's not terribly far away and I always see great airline deals from Boston to there, but I have never gone. It is on my list of places I'd like to visit one day, looks like a great place to spend a long weekend.

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ANNASBF 6/8/2010 1:06PM

    Awww, missed the hubby amongst all that fun and fries! Lucky man. I'm glad you had so much fun and let your hair down in such a reasonable way! Great example. Taking bites of dessert and nibbling just enough and taking left-overs....good idea....I'm just wondering how jalapenos and hot sauce are tolerated by your tummy all on one hot dog.... whew. I'm a food wimp when it comes to heat/spice.. ;) Thanks for adding me as a friend. I enjoy your exploits and your style!

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KYMMC3 6/8/2010 12:55PM

    Sounds like a ton of fun- ! And that hot dog bar sounds wonderful YUM!! I would LOVE Buffalo sauce on a hot dog!

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NANASAMM 6/8/2010 12:45PM

    Sounds like a fun whirlwind trip. Your photo tour has me wanting to go visit Pittsburgh now.

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JWENZEL723 6/8/2010 12:42PM

    sounds like a yummy weekend! hehe oh, and i LOVE Yuengling!

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JME1631 6/8/2010 12:40PM

    Wow sounds like an amazing mini-vaca! Thanks so much for sharing with us. You will be back to running in no time.

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AMINABEE 6/8/2010 12:34PM

    Great pictures! What a fun trip!

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THREADBENDER 6/8/2010 12:29PM

    So glad you liked "the Burgh"....I lived in Shadyside when we got married 33 years ago this coming Friday.

You got a great shot of Heinz Chapel.

Maybe dh and I need to go back and do a weekend in the burgh w/o family visit obligations in the area. Of course, we'd also stop at the Rock'n Roll hall of fame in Cleveland on the way.

Thanks for inspiring a future get away! emoticon

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CAROLYN1213 6/8/2010 12:20PM

    I have heard from my east coast friends that Primanti's is the place to go! I've never been, it's a bit a drive from my home town in VA. Your trip sounds awesome! I bet it was a bit surreal to see old pictures of yourself! You look amazing Kristina and I am so excited for you and the beautiful life you have created for yourself!

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SUNFLOWERGRRL 6/8/2010 12:10PM

    "...I also was greeted to tons of pictures of myself on the walls and shelves from my best friend's wedding, my wedding, and our college days, and the difference in the photos was so striking! "
What a fun weekend, and this had to be the icing on the cake! You go, girl!!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/8/2010 12:07PM

    I really hope I get to visit the East Coast sometime in my life (hopefully sooner rather than later so we can plan a run date!). Looks like you had an awesome trip!

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LINDABENEDICT 6/8/2010 12:06PM

    Glad you had a good trip to the Burgh !!!! I love living there !!! It is a very family friendly place ... I have loved raising my kids in such a cool place !

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MBSHAZZER 6/8/2010 12:04PM

    What a great trip!! The Cathedral of Learning is so beautiful! And I love the mural on the coffeeshop wall! It sounds like such a nice city and it seems as though the weather cooperated. Sounds like you did great with the eating... it's no fun to go to a place and skip the specialities because of a "diet", BORING! Nice job incorporating all of the fun stuff. "Real life" awaits and I know you'll be back to business ASAP!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/8/2010 11:54AM

    Wonderful Blog KARVY09!
loved reading about your "peeay" adventures. i was born in Erie and have tons of family in and around Erie and Pittsburgh. there is always something wonderful to see and do there. and they don't have any oil slicks on the beach either!

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TEAM-SARAH 6/8/2010 11:48AM

    Sounds like a fun little trip! I love quaint little streets like that. One of my coworker friends moved out here from Pittsburgh and she talks it up fondly. Of course you know how I feel about the East Coast ;) It drives me crazy to substantially slow down my walking pace. I'm tall coupled with being very fit so when I'm with my short little friends who completely putz around when they walk I wanna kill em haha.

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SUZANDALE 6/8/2010 11:29AM

    It sounds like you really had a good time!! Love the pictures!!

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NIELSENSLADY 6/8/2010 11:19AM

    The crazy balloon room! LOL! Looks like you had alot of fun. I hope I can eventually make it up to PA again. There is so much history in the New England area!

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KIMMAS82 6/8/2010 11:07AM

    Sounds and looks like you had a good time!

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WYND10 6/8/2010 11:06AM

    That sounds like a great trip! I'm glad you had so much fun. :)

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CRISPINI 6/8/2010 11:01AM

    Great blog! Sounds like a fun trip!

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STORMTMB 6/8/2010 10:45AM

    Sounds like such an awesome weekend. I'll bet your friend was surprised to see your weight loss and excited for you.

BTW - Fenway Park is worth soooo much more than that. Visited Boston once and I'll never forget getting to see the Big Green Monster for myself! so exciting.

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SUZEQ09 6/8/2010 10:43AM

    Thanks for sharing all the photos. Looks and sounds like you had a very enjoyable visit.

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SARAHJ19 6/8/2010 10:37AM

    love the pictures! glad you had a great weekend! that sandwich sounds yummy!!!

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NICOLE12-01 6/8/2010 10:32AM

    I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip! And I'm REALLY glad you got to experience the Primanti Bros sandwich and chili cheese fries! :)

Shadyside is definitely one of my favorite areas of Pittsburgh. I'm glad you were able to spend some time there!

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 6/8/2010 10:24AM

    Sounds like a great trip-glad you had a wonderful time!! One of these days I have GOT to go to the east coast. A American History Major who's never been to the east coast? Tragic!! Enjoyed reading the blog and seeing the town through your pics!!

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Just Du It

Friday, June 04, 2010

If you guys made it to #88 on yesterday's list (congratulations if you did, btw!) you'll know that I signed up for a duathlon for October. I'm excited! People told me I need a fancy bike or whatever, but you know what? I'm not doing it for the fast time. If I can't find a cheap used road bike, I'll drag out my mountain bike and do it. Or "du it" if you will. It's not a super strenuous one: 2 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2.4 mile run. Totally manageable. But it will be fun!

So here's my schedule:

June: 10K
July: Maybe a 5-mile relay race with DH. We'll see.
August: 4.2 miler
September: Race for the Cure 5K (my first 5K... one year later!)
October: Duathlon
November: Half Marathon

I'm excited!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thanks so much to everyone for all the best wishes on my Sparkversary and all the sweet comments on my photos. I can't get back to everyone, but just know that I read all the comments and they are all appreciated! This community has meant the world to me over the past year.

This weekend I'm off to Pittsburgh to see one of my best friends and I've been informed that they like to put FRENCH FRIES on their subs there??? Yikers. I'm gonna do the best I can. But there's an art festival starting that weekend and I'm excited to go to the Andy Warhol museum and a Pirates game and maybe drive through West Virginia and Ohio just to add two more states to my "been there" list.

I'm also tempted to do a hot wings challenge that was shown on Man v. Food while I'm there. I could never do the gluttonous huge volume food challenges, but I'm intrigued by the spicy ones... I love hot stuff!


Still, probably not the best idea.

Anyways, have a wonderful weekend! Be active and happy and good to yourself. I'll see you all Monday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JACKSOAN 6/21/2010 1:54PM

    I've done long bike rides (i.e. more than 50 miles) on both my road bike and my mountain bike. Since the road bike is half the weight of the mountain bike and more aerodynamic, it's a lot easier to complete the race, especially if there's a lot of climbing. BUT, if I could manage over 50 miles on my El Cheapo mountain bike from Target without dying (I couldn't even run more than 2 miles without stopping at the time), you definitely can!!! Good luck!!!

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HEALTHYSASSY 6/9/2010 6:33PM

    Your upcoming race schedule sounds exciting! It makes me want to register for a race. I've always wanted to try a duathalon... but I would need to get a bike first.

Are you getting excited for your half marathon? I was so excited when I ran in my first half marathon. It felt like such a milestone to train, and actually run in it.

emoticon emoticon

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SUGIRL06 6/9/2010 11:11AM

    Pfft no fancy bikes! You'll look that much more awesome riding 10 miles on a mountain bike! My hubby and I ride on the street on our mountain bikes all the time!

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LIBBYFITZ 6/7/2010 10:32AM

    Just catching up with everyone. You're weekend sounds fantastic.

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MAGIC764 6/6/2010 12:55PM

    Have a great time and congrats on signing up for these activities this summer!


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MBSHAZZER 6/6/2010 12:44PM

    Have a wonderful weekend away! And congrats on the du! Can't wait to hear about your training!

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GRACEISENUF 6/6/2010 12:40PM

    I've seen Adam eat those wings.....ooohhh baby have plenty of milk on hand and have a GREAT time!

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WISLNDR 6/6/2010 7:27AM

    I hope you had a great weekend and you're all fired up for the next big goal! I know I am!!

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REDRIDER68 6/5/2010 9:24PM

  Can't wait to read about your trip. Excited for you and all the goals you've set. Good luck.

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YINYANGSJM 6/5/2010 9:06PM

    I hope you had a great weekend. I've wanted to go to Pittsburgh, to see a baseball game and to try the food. I love Man vs Food...I don't know how he does the challenges but it's fun to watch and I get lots of good restaurant ideas. I hope you had fun!!!

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JSOL170 6/5/2010 3:25PM

    The Andy Warhol museum sounds like fun... I love art. Have a great time emoticon

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    hi there thanks for your awesome blog and your schedule sounds so exciting, you are going from strength to strength enjoy your journey, great job on the blogs too, gives me a bit kick to read them as despite lots of cardio the weight is moving slowly, So i'm off to do more weight training now, have a great time training and racing emoticon

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/5/2010 8:53AM

    Hey, I'm in Pittsburgh. Just be warned that if you go to Primanti's they WON'T customize the sandwich for you. You have to take it with the fries (I don't eat there myself but I have heard from others). The Arts Festival is awesome and PNC Park is one of the best ballparks there is. I hope you see a good game - home runs by the Pirates = fireworks! Enjoy the Warhol - my DS and DIL got married there.

Have a great weekend!

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ADAMARIE50 6/4/2010 11:29PM

    I just love your blog! Youu have such an inspiring and positive spirit. And you have that extra something special...a desire to encourage and help others. I look forward to your every word. I hope your weekend rocked! emoticon emoticon

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TREKKSTER 6/4/2010 10:37PM

  Awesome! I'm doing the Susan G. Komen 5k in October. You are very inspiring! You can get a good used road bike many different ways but I know REI has a used equipment sales for their members once or twice a year. They check out the equipment and make sure it's okay. Also, you may want to check your local bike shops. Sometimes when athletes upgrade they donate their bikes to the shop etc. and you can pick up some good used stuff that way. Then again a good bike is a nice investment for yourself. I have a mountain bike that I love but I've been looking into road bikes too now that I've been training more for speed. Good luck! You're awesome! emoticon

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ALIMESSA 6/4/2010 8:41PM

    You are so inspiring...keep on doin' what you are doin'!!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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TUBLADY 6/4/2010 7:19PM

    After reading you schedule, WOW. Wish I was 20 years younger I'd give it a try. But you go girl, good luck. emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 6/4/2010 5:59PM

    I was interested in doing a reverse triathalon in September, but I thought I'd get laughed at with my mountain bike. A guy at work said he'd lend me his "sticky tires" for another race, so maybe that would help a bit. (My other problem is figuring out how to get my bike there, because it is about 50 miles away and my little convertible doesn't hold my bike.

I've never heard of duathalon's in my area, but I might have to search Active to try and find one.

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TIME4AFITME 6/4/2010 5:53PM

    have fun

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WHGRN60 6/4/2010 4:31PM

    Have a wonderful trip. Live a little on the food, but not TOO much. French fries on subs? Yuck!

Yes, I read all the way to #88.

Your schedule looks daunting to a non-runner like me, but I KNOW you can do it!!


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JEKRUNS 6/4/2010 4:19PM

    Yes, watch out for the fresh cuts (french fries). They not only put them on sandwiches (a la Primanti Bros) they put them on salads! Good wings at Quaker Steak and Lube (where Man vs. Food did the wing challenge)in Robinson. Also amazing food shopping in the Strip. I do miss our years in Pittsburgh. Its a great town - Have fun!!

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CALLIKIA 6/4/2010 3:05PM

    Wave if you're coming through WV! *wave* Hopefully you get to see the beautiful landscape we have here and don't end up driving through craps-villes. *lol*

You've set some wonderful goals for yourself throughout the next few months! Going to be so much fun to "watch" you knock each one out of the park!

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KARVY09 6/4/2010 3:05PM

    OK, I think I'm skipping the wing challenge and doing Primanti instead. Y'all have me drooling.

But I still can't abide by fries on a salad. Blech.

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WYND10 6/4/2010 2:52PM

    Yeah...PA....the land of french fries on your subs. In the area I am in we have a place that does a salad and throws french fries on top. Along with cheese, chicken strips, steak and shrimp. It's called the 'Everything' salad.

Have a great trip!

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MOCOHOLO 6/4/2010 2:34PM

    I went to college in Pittsburgh and one of my favorite things to eat there was a salad that came with french fries and melted cheese. So freaking good! But you have to stop at Primanti Brothers if you get a chance because it's really what the Burgh is known for and that is where they put fries and cole slaw on every sandwich. Yum! Have a great trip - I miss Pgh so much!!!

As for your race schedule -- whoa! I am impressed and awed by the challenges you are setting yourself. You're going to do awesome!! I know you're going to have a blast!

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FUNFROG79 6/4/2010 1:21PM

    Sounds like a fun trip! What half marathon did you pick? I think that one I want to do is in November as well.

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KYMMC3 6/4/2010 1:15PM

    The Dulathon sounds like the PERFECT amount of miles to do! Love the idea. Wish I could find something like that here. You sure have some exciting things planned, can't wait to hear about each of them!

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STORMTMB 6/4/2010 1:14PM

    I was just printing registration forms for various local 5K's and fun runs scheduled through the end of the year. I'll be walking and running both for a while, but I've gotta start somewhere. You've set the bar!! Have a great weekend!


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ZAEZAE 6/4/2010 1:07PM

    Hope you have an amazing weekend! Can't wait to hear all about it!!

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BURGHGIRL 6/4/2010 12:53PM

    Ahhhhhhh....primantis! We also like french fries on our salads...so watch out! Have fun at PNC....great park, not so great team!

I wanna see pictures when you get back!!!!!!

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FLYINGB16 6/4/2010 12:49PM

    Have a wonderful trip!

Just remember if you try the hot wing challenge...what goes in must come out! emoticon I'm just saying... emoticon


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BURKEBRIZ 6/4/2010 12:39PM

    In Cleveland we have Panini's that does it up like Primanti's and I LOVE the bacon, egg and cheese Panini. SO DELISH! If you make it to the CLE, we have FANTASTIC cuisine/restaurants (including 3 by Michael Symon) and wonderful park systems!

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SAMSPARK1 6/4/2010 12:30PM

    You too have a great weekend! Enjoy your visit!

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FOXXYROXXYD 6/4/2010 12:22PM

    There you go inspiring me again... OK - no, wait, I am not signing up for anything that involves a bike! Not this year anyway:)
But... I am going to find some races to sign up for in the fall and Just Do It!!
Have a great weekend!!

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TEAM-SARAH 6/4/2010 12:03PM

    Woo! I never thought about doing a duathlon. I'm always thinking "hey I'd like to try a triathlon someday... but I do not swim!" but running and biking I loooove. You can do 10 miles on any ol bike for sure so I wouldn't sweat that. I have a hybrid bike and Jon has a road bike and I bike way faster than he does, so it doesn't matter that much. The only people who really ever pass me when I'm biking have expensive looking road bikes and hardcore cyclist gear with sponsor logos all over them haha. Sounds like it will be fun!!

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HOSTALADY 6/4/2010 11:57AM

    Full schedule and very do able for you. Your trip sounds really fun this weekend so enjoy. You'll work it all out!
Have an awesome time!

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DREAMRUNR 6/4/2010 11:42AM

    Wow are are doing so great and inspiring so many.

I love the schedule and look forward to hearing all about the experience. You are braver than me. At this point I can't imagine doing multiple activities in an event. I wish you the best of luck!

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BENJAMINSBABY 6/4/2010 11:39AM

    What an awesome schedule of events for the rest of the year! Should be super fun!! Have a blast in Philly!

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MERISSA1315 6/4/2010 11:38AM

    If you do decide to take on the wings, I hope they taste good. My bf did a challenge and said it was like eating battery acid because there was no flavor whatsover

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LOTUSBLOSSOM126 6/4/2010 11:37AM

    have an awesome trip!! Sounds like you also have an awesome summer ahead of you. I wish you the best! :)

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KARVY09 6/4/2010 11:36AM

    OMG, Josee, we're exactly the same... Malaysian is my favorite. Chili crab, chicken rice with tons of hot sauce, mee goreng... *drool. My DH has boring, bland Brit tastes (no offense to UKers!).

NICOLE12-01: I *may* go to Primanti. We'll see. The subs looked killer on Man v. Food. Do they call them hoagies there like they do in Philly?

1BIGDREAM: I probably will get a road bike. I'm gonna try a long ride on the old mountaineer this summer and see how it goes!

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CHICAT63 6/4/2010 11:31AM

    Woohoo on signing-up for a duathlon, amazing !!! You take the bike you want, the most important is that you are comfortable on it. We have one other thing in common I love hot & spicy foods: mexican, malaysian, indian, etc. much to the demise of my hubby who DOES NOT DO spicy *lol*. Have yourself a great weekend seeing your friends. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/4/2010 11:36:34 AM

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CAT5599 6/4/2010 11:29AM

    Stop by and see us here in Columbus, OH!!

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1BIGDREAM 6/4/2010 11:29AM

    Even worse, Pittsburghers also put french fries on their SALADS! Good food there. You don't think of Pittsburgh as a place to go for regional cuisine, but they have some good restaurants and food there. Not diet-friendly food, mind you, but I like to check out the tastes of the places I visit, and I enjoyed Pittsburgh!

I will be anxious to hear how the non-roadbike race goes. I've heard that on your first race, it's usually a good idea to have a very light-weight bike, because you will feel it. I would also like to "du" it someday, but worry about the bike issue. Good for you for going for it!

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NICOLE12-01 6/4/2010 11:27AM

    You'll be close to my neck of the woods! And although it sounds strange, yes, coleslaw (not the mayo-based kind...the vinegar based kind) and french fries are AMAZING on the Primanti Bros. sandwiches. I know it's a diet BOMB, but if you're in Pittsburgh and you're near Primanti's you should at least try a bite! I haven't had one in MONTHS...it's one thing I actually DO crave from time to time.

Awesome schedule for the upcoming months!

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CORINNAW71 6/4/2010 11:23AM

    Have a great, fun weekend!!!!!!!!! Sounds like you are lovin life!! emoticon

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KARVY09 6/4/2010 11:21AM

    I probably won't do it. Part of me wants to though.

JAMIEMARIE922: Oooh, Philly. Best food in the US. Next to maybe New Orleans of course. I'd kill for a soft pretzel right now.

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ITSHOWYOULIVE 6/4/2010 11:16AM

    Wow!! Amazing schedule!! The dualthon sounds like fun! Since you are doing it for fun any old bike that is in good working condition should be fine!! Kristen and I have casually discussed triathalons and I always figured I'd use my mountain bike...Have fun in Pittsburgh...Fries on Sandwiches??? Okaaaaay....whatever :).

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BAM0827 6/4/2010 11:14AM

    At Quaker Steak and Lube they have grilled chicken skewers that you can get any of the sauces on - make up your own challenge :)

Oh and Pittsburgh puts french fries on salads, too. I hear that's a novel idea as well.

Enjoy your trip and have fun training for your upcoming events.

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BRILLIANTAQUA 6/4/2010 11:11AM

    Ooooh! Fun! Sounds like you have a great running schedule this summer/fall. Also, the Andy Warhol museum would be great!!--I just love Andy Warhol's work. If you do decide to tackle the atomic hot wings maybe take some pepto bismol caplets shortly before?--it might help with any tummy troubles caused by the excess fat in the wings.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

88 in 365: 88 Things I've GAINED This Year

Thursday, June 03, 2010

This is it! One year ago today, I joined SparkPeople and really took control of my life.

I wasn't perfect right out of the gate. My first weekend, I went to the Seacoast Chowder Festival and had about 5-6 cups of chowder for lunch and two hot dogs for dinner. I stayed in my ranges, but my head hurts now just thinking of all that salt! I didn't make a SparkPage and add my first friends (my oldest here are WISLNDR, KNITTINGFROG, DEFTERA and SLARTYB) until a little later. I wouldn't blog for a couple of weeks. I didn't get to my first workout until more than a week later, when I dragged my butt to the gym and did the elliptical for 40 minutes.

But that one baby step set the stage for a year of wonderful things.

Since my last official weigh in, I've lost 88 pounds. 88. That's a lucky number in China, a fact that was not lost on us when we tried to snag 8/8/08 as our wedding date (we settled for 8/16/08, but technically since it's in 8/08, I still consider it lucky!).

There are so many things I've lost this year: 88 lbs, 6 pant sizes, a double chin, more than 4 feet worth of inches from my waist, hips, thighs and arms. But I've gained so much more! So without further ado, here is a list of 88 things I've gained in these 365 days:

1. Confidence. I walk with my head held high, knowing I'm unstoppable!

2. Speed. I'm usually the fastest walker on the sidewalk now. I can run an 11-minute mile!

3. Physical strength. I can lift the heavy groceries without problems now.

4. Emotional strength. The little annoyances don't faze me as much and there are no more crying jags.

5. A love of running! Something I never expected nor wanted to love is now something that brings me the greatest joy and sense of accomplishment. Speaking of...

6. Joy! I smile so much more now!

7. Accomplishment. Not everyone can say that they've lost almost a whole person!

8. A dresser drawer full of workout gear. Before I used to love shoe shopping because I was guaranteed to find my size. Now I love finding a new sports bra or workout shirt on the cheap!

9. The support, encouragement, and stories of my many SparkFriends. You are all wonderful, but I need to give special shoutouts to WISLNDR, PINKCOCONUT, JAMIE_OQUIN, CHICAT63 and HOSTALADY, who have always lent me the most support here and my favorite runner divas STINA6584, TEAM_SARAH, 4EVERADONEGIRL, ITSHOWYOULIVE, and COURTNIZZLE82 who have been inspiring me with their running stories and running with me from the very beginning.

10. A photographic memory for calorie counts. It's kinda scary how well I can estimate the calories in restaurant food and other meals. I would totally kill that challenge on the Biggest Loser.

11. More sleep. Crazy how exercise helps you to sleep better!

12. A love for CLEAN FOOD. Who would have thought I would learn to love salad without dressing or slathering condimetns over everything.

13. Race shirts! I have t-shirts from 4 5Ks and I wear them like badges of honor.

14. Knowledge of how to use those "intimidating" strength machines at the gym. Yes, I learned I don't need to be afraid to ask!

15. Lots of quick, healthy recipes that my husband doesn't turn his nose up at.

16. A softball team. Me? Play competitive sports? Apparently yes!

17. A bunch of new kitchen staples: natural almonds, flaxseed, pitas, Greek yogurt, oats, and a ton of colorful and fresh veggies.

18. A stability ball! Fun to bounce and to crunch on!

19. Runner's legs. OK, maybe I'm not quite there, but look at those calves!

20. More fun in the bedroom.

21. Flexibility. Yes, there's a reason that's after the "bedroom" one...

22. Perspective on why I shot up to 288 lbs in the first place and how I can avoid heading back there in the future.

23. Lots of health and fitness tips courtesy of SparkPeople and other healthy living websites.

24. The ability to wear those clothes I saved because I'd fit into them "eventually."

25. Compliments and admiration from family members and friends who not only find it hard to believe that I've lost 97 lbs from my highest weight but also that I run three times a week now and that I started at 275 lbs!

26. The faith in myself that I will complete a 10K and a half marathon this year and a triathlon and a marathon in the years to come.

27. A true lifestyle change. I eat what I want in moderation and don't deprive myself of the foods I love.

28. Fitness DVDs. Jillian kicks my butt in my own living room and I do bicep curls in front of my Wii.

29. Some fab new clothes, including Size 12 and 14 pants and jeans and shirts in a size L!

30. Catcalls from construction workers. Never thought that would be me!

31. The courage to take my jiggly butt to the pavement and run outside. I haven't heard any snide comments yet, but if they are any, I've got my tunes to drown out the haters.

32. The knowledge that my husband is proud of me and knows that I have come so far.

34. A blender to make yummy smoothies!

35. The ability to climb up the steps of my apartment and the stairs in the train station without losing my breath.

36. A love of kickboxing! A great way to work through all the stresses of the day.

37. The ability to confront some of the painful memories of my childhood that have hindered my ability to care for myself.

38. Instead of a cabinet full of chips and chocolate, it's now full of protein bars, energy gels, popcorn, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

39. An actual lap!

40. Oh and legs that can cross...

41. The beginnings of collarbones too!

42. The money we would have spent on going out to eat or on junk food, we've used to buy softball gloves, tennis racquets, and running shoes!

43. A love of the outdoors. Things like hiking, kayaking, rafting, and diving thrill me now.

44. The ability to truly enjoy my vacations and to be active, enjoy food, and come back without having gained 5 pounds!

45. Cravings for healthy foods like fruit, fresh vegetables, and light dairy.

46. Boundless energy! I can run 5 miles and still have the energy to cook dinner and chat with my husband.

47. Knowing that my future children will have a mom who can keep up with them.

48. 20,217 Sparkpoints.

49. 20,020 Fitness Minutes!

50. The realization that at the core, I am a writer and that writing needs to be a major part of my life.

51. Dozens of Popular Blog Post awards... You like me, you really like me!

52. The friendship of awesome people at the Couch to 5K Team, the 2010 Half Marathoners, the ABers, the Spark Warriors, and the Done Girls!

53. Motivation and drive. I never thought I'd want to strive to run longer and faster and to accomplish more and more fitness acheivements.

54. A goal bikini that I am hoping to wear in Vegas on my 30th birthday!

55. Knowledge of the fact that big girls can do anything! Running While Chunky, baby!

56. Bouncebackability.

57. The ability to fit in subway and plane seats without being squeezed to death.

58. The endurance to run 3, 4, 5... even 6 miles!

59. A positive attitude. I can truly call myself an optimist rather than a pessimist for the first time in my life. Half full!

60. Dozens of non-scale victories (NSVs): fitting in the bathtub, seeing my belly button, saying goodbye to plus sizes, etc. etc.

61. The ability to have a good time without a ton of food and alcohol.

62. Lots of yummy snacks that seem like indulgences but are good for me.

63. Knowing when to push myself, when to rest my body, and when to forgive myself.

64. The ability to wear shorts out in public for the first time since high school.

65. A love for fresh, cold water to fuel my body rather than sugary drinks.

66. Knowing that spin class or any other intense exercise won't kill me!

67. Hand weights and resistance bands.

68. A multitude of nighttime activities that AREN'T spent on the couch in front of the TV.

69. A love for the person I am now as opposed to the person that I wish to be or strive to be. I am so worth it.

70. #9 in fitness minutes in May in the whole city of Boston! (OK, just those Massholes on SparkPeople...)

71. A clean bill of health from the doctor's office. Low cholesterol, normal blood pressure, and a healthier me!

72. Because of all of my achievements and feeling so much better to myself, I'm now a better wife, daughter, and friend.

73. Sexy underwear from Victoria's Secret!

74. I know how to do a proper pushup now. I just need to actually gain the extra strength to do a set of 10!

75. A love for the little things in life: a cool breeze during a hot run, the smell of freshly cut grass, the tingly feeling in my lungs after a good workout.

76. A heart rate monitor. I love seeing all the benefits of my hard work!

77. A host of rewards for all of my hard work. Pedicures, nights out, and weekend trips!

78. The ability to savor a delicious meal rather than just scarf it down.

79. So many laughs, tears and aha moments from all of YOUR inspiring stories and blogs.

80. I'm so much more organized in my personal life and finances thanks to learning how to organize my fitness and nutrition here on SP.

81. A better complexion and softer skin thanks to nixing the junk food!

82. Liking new activities like tennis, Zumba, and ice skating which I never thought I would enjoy!

83. A fresh herb garden.

84. Learning how to streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

85. Sun salutation as a relaxation method.

86. A better awareness of exactly what I'm putting into my body.

87. A reignited spark in me that I never even knew was there.

88. A spot in a Duathlon this October... I just signed up today as my Sparkversary gift to myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THATFITCHICK 12/9/2010 11:16AM


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JENNY32MN 6/27/2010 11:01PM

    Very inspiring, thank you!

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LAURIETAIT 6/21/2010 10:40PM

    Awesome Blog! You write very entertaining stuff. Congratulations on your amazing transformation. It's obvious in you're writing that you're loving life and not letting anything hold you back. You go girl!

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KCLARK1355 6/16/2010 12:22PM

    WOW Girl - you are awesome! I'm a newbie (well a couple months in) I just started the C25K - owie! You inspire me!

emoticon And yep - those are nice calves!

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NARA87 6/10/2010 11:46PM

    Damn. I said I wouldn't read this and less than a second later I was reading... See, but I'm reading all your blog posts since the first one. I hope I don't sound stalkerish! emoticon

Like, today I just wanted to sleep and then I saw your blog and proceeded to get up and exercise for more than an hour! Uhm... Not to avoid reading, though... emoticon

Seriously, thank you so much! You are such an inspiration! Also, geia sou, ti kaneis? Eimai ki ego Ellinida! emoticon

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BELLE_MORTE 6/10/2010 5:05PM

  I loved this entry. Thanks for sharing. You really are such an inspiration.

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JOELYGIRL29 6/10/2010 2:05PM

    This is so encouraging and inspiring to read. You come so far! There was a few aha's in there for me as well, Thank you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBLYNN323 6/10/2010 1:50PM

    emoticon Congratulations on ALL your successes!

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JQZFY348 6/9/2010 8:52PM

  You rock

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BROWNEYEDGRL71 6/9/2010 5:14PM

    You are inspirational and give me hope! Way to go!

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DOTTYLADYBUG 6/9/2010 4:44PM

    This-YOU- are amazing! What an accomplishment...and such an inspiration for all of us here!

CONGRATULATIONS to you! Doing a little celebratory dance for you!

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NOWEAPON 6/9/2010 12:17PM

    congrats.u look marvelous darling!!!!!

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EPHSTOP43 6/9/2010 12:05PM

    This is so awesome!! Congratulations and great job!
I love your list of things... (which I think I'm using alot as my "goals" since I'm still in the beginning stages of my journey)

Thanks again for your great words.... they are a pleasure to read!! emoticon

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ANNCRA39 6/9/2010 11:40AM

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!! emoticon

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SUGIRL06 6/9/2010 11:18AM

    Love this blog of course! How did I not read it days ago? You are awesome and happy sparkversary! Reading your blog, I just realized my 1 year is today!!! Wow does it come up fast. Congrats on everything girlie!!! You are such an inspiration and such a great spark friend!

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ERMAC22 6/9/2010 8:51AM


69. A love for the person I am now as opposed to the person that I wish to be or strive to be. I am so worth it.

Yes!! You are such an inspiration and so amazing. Keep it up lady!

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SMYGIRL 6/9/2010 12:33AM

    Wow! Way to go on your reflections over the past year! Thanks for taking the time to share it with everyone!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 6/8/2010 11:46PM

    Great blog!
Thanks for sharing and all the best towards your next Spark year! emoticon

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SPARKY2025 6/8/2010 5:38PM

    That is awesome emoticon emoticon

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LINDABENEDICT 6/8/2010 12:03PM

    What a great inspiration you are. Thanks for sharing !!!

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RITA218 6/8/2010 10:14AM

  What a wonderfully inspiring blog! I am where you were a year ago (except for age and future children). I know a year from now I will have my own successes. Thank you so much.

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SINGER_GIRL 6/8/2010 9:54AM

  Wonderfully inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing! Been in a rut for a while, and this has definitely been the kick in the booty I needed!
Thank you again.

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ELSCO55 6/8/2010 8:07AM

Wonderful blog. You give us all new reasons to keep on our journey.

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50PLUSANDFAB 6/8/2010 12:28AM

  As someone just starting out (day 1) on SP, I wanted to let you know how inspiring your words are--in particular I loved #69 on your list (A love for the person I am now as opposed to the person that I wish to be or strive to be. I am so worth it.) and want to post that on my desk as a reminder to myself. Thank you!

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AML05030 6/7/2010 8:29PM


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KISSATESSA 6/7/2010 8:18PM

  Wow, you've achieved so much in the past year! Keep it up!

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ZACKLE 6/7/2010 6:48PM

  loved loved loved your blog. what a truly great accomplishment in just one year. WOW WHICH ALSO STANDS FOR WITH OUT WORDS WOW. YOU JUST SHOWED IT CAN BE DONE AND I AM GOING TO START WORKING ON MY LIST AS WELL. WHAT A WONDERFUL IDEA.

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MY4CATS1 6/7/2010 6:01PM

  OMG! How amazing. I just started Spark and I hope a year from now I have 100 things I have gained! Best to you! Keep up the great work!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELLEBE725 6/7/2010 5:33PM

    Terrific!!! Awesome!!! Good for you!! You have made some amazing accomplishments and should be proud!!!

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DNMENDEZ 6/7/2010 5:04PM

    you're inspiring! keep up the great work. i love how you worked up to running the way you did. for me it's cycling and having been a chubby kid all my life, finding a sport to love is a big deal!
you look great :-)

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SHEILA8383 6/7/2010 2:44PM

    Great blog and I loved your list! Thank you for the inspiration as it is more than just losing the pounds. emoticon

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CPESCE1 6/7/2010 1:30PM

    What an inspiration you are! And i just love your smile! You look amazing. Congratulations!!

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DUSTEDTWIN 6/7/2010 12:49PM

    AMAZING transformation, lady! I can understand why you have come so far, after my own 1 month experience on SP. Keep on truckin!!!

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HRSALESSAGE 6/7/2010 11:44AM

    Woman, you are amazing!

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COLOURFULME 6/7/2010 8:15AM

    Another blog I needed to read today!
I really admire you.
I started so well here at SP but I have fallen back.
By reading your 'gains' I am confident I will make it.
Will not reach 88 of loss this year anymore that wouldn't be healthy.....not I settle for 22.
Way to go and keep up the good work!

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LAURELSPARK 6/7/2010 7:20AM

    Loved your blog. I tried to pick my favorite but it turned in to picking my favorites. emoticon

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KIMOTHY77 6/7/2010 6:40AM

    I love your list and positive notes:)

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FATHINSN 6/7/2010 4:38AM

    wow, what a list, some are unseen unless we write it. maybe I should make mine, too, perhaps there are some hidden progresses nd motivated me to go on forward!

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DARE.DIVA 6/7/2010 12:34AM

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to see today. I've been stuck...plateaued....demotivated for months. Because I haven't been losing, but you've given me some wonderful reasons to keep at it...that have nothing to do with the scale.

Thank you!

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CINDYHN 6/7/2010 12:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CAPRICH 6/6/2010 10:45PM

    Wow! This is really inspiring to me. I am so happy for you! emoticon

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SEIBLESS 6/6/2010 9:53PM

    Awesome! Great job and congratulations on ALL your accomplishments!

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KSHENELL31 6/6/2010 9:21PM

  Wow!! Way 2 Go! emoticon

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SCARLETT0517 6/6/2010 8:34PM

    Awesome! Way to go!!!

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LBEASEY 6/6/2010 8:10PM

    WOW emoticon for sharing the positives of weight loss. I will have to book mark this to help motivate me on my journey.

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FORALLTOSEE 6/6/2010 6:46PM

    I must save this one!!! AWESOME!!!

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LAYDEJ 6/6/2010 6:24PM

    Thank You I needed to hear that... you inspire me to get back up and try again. thank you!

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MIS2101 6/6/2010 5:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ALYFITN 6/6/2010 4:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TRIXEL 6/6/2010 4:22PM

    Wonderful blog!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Photograph Your Journey

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

In the run-up to my one year anniversary on Spark, I'm sharing some of the strategies that have worked for me as I changed my lifestyle from June 2009 to June 2010.

Today, I would like to stress the importance of PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR JOURNEY. I think it is so important to see how far we've come! I tried to make this my first video blog with an introduction by me, but I am somewhat technologically disabled, so it will have to wait.

The first thing I will say is that you are WORTH EVERY PHOTOGRAPH. I don't care if you're 200, 300 or 500 pounds. You are worth it. You might be ashamed. I was. You might be embarrassed. I was. But you are worth it. I read a blog awhile ago where a woman mentioned that she feels so bad she was not in any photos with her children when they were younger. She was always behind the camera, taking the pictures of her child with other family members. Even if you'd like to be thinner, don't lose those moments. I guarantee that there were times when you were happy, beaming, and radiant even if you were overweight or obese.

I never took before photos in June 2009 but I do have photos from that era and before. And I still think I was beautiful in my old pictures. The before photo on my front page for example...

The story behind this photo is that it was the night before my husband's brother's wedding in Summer 2007 and we convinced my husband's parents to try on all of their wedding clothes so we could check each other out. When they came back down, we had champagne waiting and we announced that we had gotten engaged a couple of days before while holidaying in London. Now because of the quick change, I wasn't wearing support hose or Spanx like I did the actual day of the wedding, and man, can you see ALL of my rolls. But I was beaming! And I love this photo because we were sharing our news with our family and we were so happy!

Don't miss out on a moment like that.

I took some New Years "before" photos on 1/4/10:

So now I'm sharing my newest photos with you! These were taken this morning when I weighed in at 190 lbs.

See the differences? Well I can no longer wear these guys anymore even though I absolutely loved them and I got really good wear out of them during the last 5 months. Soon I'm going to send them off to a SparkFriend who could use them.

One of my goals was to wear shorts again in public. Well, I am proud to say that this weekend I wore my shorts outside and actually took a long walk in them.

And I'm going to hopefully get a chance to look hot on the town this summer!!! No Spanx here, promise....!

Earlier in my journey, I related the saga of the "big pants." These were the biggest pants I ever owned, a pair of Size 24 pants that I bought for $5 on the sales rack when my Size 22s started getting tight. They were my personal shame because these were some big old pants. I finally retired them a month after I started on SparkPeople and in the fall, I took some funny photos with them (Complete with a basketball! Check out my photos on my page...) Well, I dragged them out for a new photo shoot.

Now, I know you can't see it very well and I'll have to take another photo soon, but in that last photo, I was actually able to shove both my legs into one pant leg so I'm holding out the other leg and NOT sticking my leg out. Yahoo!

A year ago today, I wore these pants to visit a wellness counselor, where I cried my eyes out over the things I couldn't do. Today I can fit in one freaking PANT LEG! No tears today. Just happiness!

Oh, and today is also NATIONAL RUNNING DAY! Try to jog around the block or even to the street corner today. It's amazing what the human body can do!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARMONICA 9/30/2011 7:38PM

    You looks very great! You're patient! I didn't lose any weight almost a month since I join SP. I think diet is my challenge because I don't cook and always eating outside. Maybe it's hard to control my calories. emoticon

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DEBSGETTINFIT 8/5/2011 10:10AM

    Oh my goodness - that is just awesome. Long Journey and well worth it. Congratulations and thanks for the pics. Keep up the good work.


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VAMOMMA4 6/26/2011 7:58PM

  You are fabulous!! One of the weight loss "tricks" is to take pictures. Sometimes seeing ourselves helps with body image. Best of luck in your journey! emoticon

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JOHNSONZ 6/26/2011 12:57PM

    This really is an awesome way to do it. Pictures do not lie & you look amazing. Way to go on your journey. Thanks for sharing it!

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LAURETTA1966 6/25/2011 3:58PM

    WOW Awesome Blog you look amazing Great Job and thank you for the inspiration

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-SHE-WOLF- 5/1/2011 3:54PM

    emoticon HIYA, fae Bonnie Scotland emoticon

Well done on all your hard work you sure do look absolutely AWESOME!! Sometimes it takes just reading through a page and looking at someone like yourself who has worked hard through all the obstacles with the greatest of results.

I am sooo happy for all you have achieved, i am so proud for you!!!

Sending you lots of Love, Laughter, Happiness and may the Scottish Sunshine i send make you Smile.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMPIAN 4/30/2011 3:49PM

  GREAT PROGRESS! emoticon

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PICKLEDGINGER2 3/13/2011 6:41AM

  That was fascinating. Thanks for sharing those photos with us. You're an inspiration. No Kidding. emoticon emoticon

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JTHOLL 2/11/2011 5:40PM

    You look AMAZING! And YAHOO for the pants! I think holding on to that one pair of "shame pants" is a good thing.. reminds you how far youve come when you are having a bad day.

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19ELISE 1/8/2011 2:57PM

    Thanks for sharing. It makes me feel that this program will work for me. You look great!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EARTHTONED84 12/28/2010 7:41AM

    You look amazing! Truly inspiring! I think I a going to start my photo blog today.

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CANADAUAE 12/28/2010 1:24AM

    Wowwww you really look amazing...what a great job and I love your pics!!

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APIRLRAIN888 12/28/2010 12:53AM

    couldn't agree more! my pics are my no 1 motivation

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ESMOMMY13 12/11/2010 2:50PM

    What an awesome story! Thank you for sharing! :) I love the photo journal. It is something I wish I did but have been looking for photos of me over the past year to help show how far I have come so far.

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NOPOLI 7/20/2010 1:26PM

    Woiaaah! thatīs really amazing. You better be proud of yourself... And please keep going.

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NOPOLI 7/20/2010 1:16PM

    Woiaaah! thatīs really amazing. You better be proud of yourself... And please keep going.

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TEESLIM 7/7/2010 6:54PM

  Fantastic - well done!

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ANGELALYNN82 7/6/2010 4:16PM

    I loved reading this blog. It is so awe inspiring to know what you accomplished and what I CAN accomplish over the next year. Thank you for taking the photographs. You are right, I am worth it to be in photos too. I love taking them, but right now, I hate being in them because I am embarrassed of others seeing them.

Again, thank you for writing this blog. :)


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ALLIEJO88 7/4/2010 2:01PM

    Such an encouraging blog! You look fantastic!!

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MPARKEROT 6/19/2010 7:56PM

    amazing blog! and great work, too

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EPIPHANYANGEL 6/14/2010 5:38AM

    emoticon emoticonYou look amazing

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CHWYVN 6/13/2010 11:32PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JUDYPETE1 6/11/2010 7:33AM

    GREAT blog, awesome pictures!! WOO-HOO for you!!!

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MERANDUM 6/10/2010 8:51PM

    Congratulations on your journey. You're a total inspiration for me, and you have convinced me I should take some before shots in all my unedited glory. I am currently straddling the line between a 22/24. I'd like to get down to 12/14. I'm just starting my journey (after a week of working myself up with walking, I did the first round of C25K today!). I'll be eager to see how your work continues. Keep it up and, as I said before, congrats!

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MSWANDACHAN 6/9/2010 2:41PM

    I'm so happy for you. This is a very inspiring blog post. emoticon

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SASS-I 6/9/2010 10:15AM

    What an amazing journey! Congrats on the success, and you are absolutely right. No matter what your our size we are all beautiful! Love yourself first and when it's time to make changes you will know. Congrats again you are an inspiration to us all.

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CHRISSY889H 6/8/2010 8:54PM

    Congratulations you look great and I appreciate the advice. I avoid cameras like the plague but maybe it will help me see the truth and see the progress like you did emoticon

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GEODAWG 6/8/2010 8:13PM

    Fantastic accomplishment! What a great effort. You are absolutely amazing. I am so proud of you and I don't even know you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FAB464 6/8/2010 7:55PM

    You are such an inspiration! I'm so impressed by your drive and determination, aside from the bravery of documenting your year through photographs! Thank you and keep up the amazing work!

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BEINHAVE 6/8/2010 4:12PM

    Great story - and thanks for sharing it. I've been there before and I REALLY want to do it again (trying clothes on that hang off of me I mean!)

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BELLALUCILLE 6/8/2010 3:52PM

  Thank you for the great inspiration!

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MYRAL85 6/8/2010 3:37PM

    Love your blog! emoticon and emoticon

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DEBBIEKAY1 6/8/2010 3:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MZLADY77 6/8/2010 2:21PM


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VONSODEN 6/8/2010 1:09PM

  WOW good for you!!!

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MASCHMID121 6/8/2010 12:53PM

    You look great! And you can just see in your face that you're beaming. Congratulations on how far you've come and thanks for the blogs! So helpful and inspiring.

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    Great job! You look amazing. Keep up the good work. You are well on your way to your goal.

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JWENZEL723 6/8/2010 12:38PM

    i completely agree!!! i wish i had taken more pictures of myself in the beginning of this journey. i too have to rely on pictures from that "era". you look absolutely stunning and have come so far! thank you for always being an encouragement to me!

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SHAYGETSFIT 6/8/2010 12:28PM

    you look freakin' AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up!!

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EMMAJEAN50 6/8/2010 12:24PM

    What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it.

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NANDE77 6/8/2010 12:21PM

    This is a wonderful idea. I am starting now.

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VABCHCHICA84 6/8/2010 10:56AM

    wow you look wonderful. its people like you that give me hope that this is long hard journey will not go un rewarded. I hate pictures that I take and hate them, but once I lose this weight I'm gonna want to keep those pictures to remind me of what I used to look like. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your pictures. It couldn't have come at a better time for me :)

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NAGEM26 6/8/2010 10:26AM

    That is amazing!!! I wish i would've taken more pictures during this journey but no time is better to start than now!!! Keep up the great work.

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MARINAK3 6/8/2010 8:48AM

    I really enjoy seeing the pictures of others and realizing 'it could be me'. Thanks so much for sharing! May you have great success always!

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MZDOLPHIN 6/8/2010 7:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


emoticon Well Done emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DECIWOMAN 6/8/2010 7:27AM

    You rock! It is amazing to read your story and I hope I will make it as well! Thanks for the inspiration!

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ROCKYCPA 6/8/2010 7:19AM

    You look really great and should be so proud of your accomplishments. I am sure that you will keep up the good work.

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SIOBYONE 6/8/2010 4:11AM

    I've lost 20lbs so far & I've been meaning to take some pics from different angles so I can really see my progress. I want to have a visual record of my weight loss journey like you do. Great pics, you should be so proud of yourself!

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BABYRN73 6/8/2010 1:19AM

    WOW, the photo of you in the "one pantleg" is jaw dropping! You have done an amazing job! Either way, you were a beautiful person inside and out before this journey for you even began. :)

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MAKING140BY40 6/7/2010 10:14PM

    Woo-hoo! That is above and beyond awesome. I had my husband take some pics of me today. I'm going to keep a photo diary too! So inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

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