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MARIASPARKLE's Recent Blog Entries


Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm FINALLY getting around to telling you about my Berlin trip (two weeks later!).

Arrived at 10am, it was snowing and f-f-f-freezing. Got to the hotel, checked in and decided to have a look around the area. We tried a currywurst from a roadside fast-food booth, not bad. It was LASHING rain so we took one of those city tour buses, the hop-on/hop-off ones. Only we didn't hop off. It was a great way to see the sights - Brandenberg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, The Reichstag.... Then we found a nice little pub and sampled the local beers. No complaints there!

For the next few days, we strolled around and found our bearings. We were just around the corner from a Ku'damm, one of the main shopping streets, it was glorious. I couldn't believe how cheap the prices were. We're really being fleeced here in Ireland. So I bought some shoes and a couple of shirts for work.

The Berlin Film Festival was on also, but we couldn't organise ourselves to go to any of the films. There seemed to be a really good buzz around the city.

We visited the zoo (the poor animals were freezing) and the Natural History Museum, we walked for miles over the 5 days we were there, with food and drink stops every few hours. I loved the food, lots of meat and bread. Somehow, I managed to pile on 5lbs - that's 1lb per day....sheesh!!

So, it was a great break - a pity it was so cold but what did I expect in February?!!

xxx M

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDERRELIC 3/4/2009 1:28PM

    Glad to have you back.

Comment edited on: 3/4/2009 1:29:50 PM

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SQUIRTZIE 3/3/2009 11:46PM

    Why is it so easy to put the pounds back on? It should be easy to take off and hard to put on--wouldn't that be fun?
I am glad that you were able to enjoy yourself even with the uncooperative weather.

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JULESGL 3/2/2009 9:32PM

    That's so beautiful! Wish I could have gone with you, but you enjoyed it enough for both of us, right? emoticon

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CATCHRISTA50 3/2/2009 4:56PM

    I was wondering where you went too. You have been missed. I will send you an email soon. Take care. Christa

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CINDERRELIC 2/28/2009 6:23PM

    Sounds like you had a great time!!! Sorry about the pound a day thing. Good to have you back. You'll get that 5 pounds off. Just keep up the eating healthy and exercise. C..

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FISEFTON 2/28/2009 10:25AM

    Glad you had a great time. Don't worry about the weight, you'll get it off again.

Take care

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Well, I did it and I'm heading to Berlin in Germany next Tuesday for 5 nights to celebrate!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBLOOMING 2/27/2009 1:40PM

    emoticonThis is something to celebrate! You are looking good after quitting, I know I did and everyone said so. emoticon I'd like to hear about your trip to Berlin. Elaine emoticon

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TEENYA20 2/10/2009 3:53PM

    AWESOME!!!!!!! And enjoy your trip - you certainly earned it!

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SQUIRTZIE 2/7/2009 5:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Have a great time!

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SINCERELYSUSAN2 2/7/2009 12:20PM

    AWESOME Accomplishment, Maria!! emoticon
emoticonBe Proud and Loud . . . . Maria is a GREAT Quitter ;)

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You're amazing! One whole year! Wonderful achievement.
Enjoy Berlin. You deserve this reward. You took it one day at a time and you succeeded so well.
Congratulations and best wishes


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SKISINCO 2/6/2009 5:08PM

    Oh that is fantastic! I'm happy to read that you are going to celebrate! Enjoy yourself and some good German beer! ;-)~

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FISEFTON 2/6/2009 1:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Have a great time in Berlin.

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CINDERRELIC 2/6/2009 1:22PM

    Woohoo!!!!! Congrats on quitting for a whole year. I would say you are doing great.
Wow! Berlin? Now that is a reward! So are you taking a laptop with you to give us a play by play while you are gone? If not we will be missing you. I know you are going to have a great time there.--C

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm falling apart! AAAGH!

Last Wednesday, my right foot started hurting. Next morning I couldn't put any weight on it and the side of my foot was bruised. I have no idea what happened, maybe it was from my sudden return to walking. I've been limping around ever since. Also for the past 2 years I'm like an old woman in the mornings getting out of bed, I can't put my full weight on my feet and I kinda hobble around for a few mins. That can't be normal so I made a new years resolution to get it sorted out "early in the new year" The fact that I've now hurt my foot has brought forward D-day and I've got an appointment with a chiropodist tomorrow to get my feet checked out.... wish me luck!!

This morning I woke up with a crick in my neck which has gradually become worse and I can hardly move my neck now. I'm off to bed with a hot water bottle....

UPDATE MONDAY 12JAN09 - I visited the chirpopdist/podiatrist and she said my feet are 90% fine, in future I should stretch my feet before exercising. I have to keep my weight off my right foot as much as possible till the pain is gone.

She said the bruise is from my sudden return to walking without gently easing myself back into it. Bit of a waste of money really, but it's better to pay 40 to be told there's no problem, rather than ignoring it and spending 000's in years to come...

The crick in my neck is still there but it's not as bad as yesterday. I'm going to have to do something about my posture. Pilates perhaps?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDERRELIC 2/2/2009 4:06AM

    Good advice from your doctor. Did he/she also tell you that we have being over weight to thank for a lot of these foot problems. Mine did. I was looking at having another foot surgery or losing weight. I don't need the foot surgery any more because I did lose weight.
He also told me that I MUST stretch my feet and legs and gave me exercises to do just that.
Daily I am supposed to put one hand on the closed door and stretch one leg out behind me as far as I can with my feet flat on the floor and then lean forward into the door. Repeat with the other leg.
Hope your stretching exercises work for you and you start being able to walk again without hurting.--C. Astronomy Club Team leader

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TEENYA20 1/16/2009 2:49PM

    FAR from old, my friend! Just a slight glitch in your plan, but once all is healed you will get back into it. Just be gradual and make sure you stretch EVERY time!

hugs, Teenya

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SKISINCO 1/14/2009 7:30PM

    LOL...old lady, ya right! I'm glad you went to see the doc, and that it's something that can be corrected with some stretching. I had foot surgery done about 2 years ago due to arthritis in my big toe. The surgery was called a chillectomy, sounded cool, but recovery sucked! I am grateful I had it done though as the pain is mostly tolerable now. Cricks in the neck are the worst! You just have to wait them out. Try hot/cold presses.

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TBAXTERLMT 1/12/2009 10:01PM

    Maria... when you have an injury you should use ice at 20 min on 20 min off for the first 24-48 hours to help get the inflammation out or at least keep it to a minimum. Heat will increase inflammation.
When your foot starts to feel better you can use a tennis ball to help to stretch it out, roll it under your foot as it gets better you can move to a golf ball.
My husband is a chiropractor and I am a massage therapist... wish you were in the U.S. we'd take care of you :)
If you have any other questions you can feel free to ask we'll do our best to answer them :)
Get to feeling better. Now we know where you were :)

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FISEFTON 1/12/2009 2:01PM

    My husband had a pain in his heel when he walked long distances and was advised to try an insert in his shoes. As for the crick in your neck it may be worth going to your GP and asking if is is muscular. If it is, it may be that a sports massage would sort it out. A good sports therapist should also give you some stretching exercises which should help too. In the meantime, pilates or yoga may help.

I hope you are feeling better soon.

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Back on track after the Christmas debauchery!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I'm slowly getting back on the wagon, it was pretty difficult after all the excesses of Christmas, but I just HAD to do it. I went for a lovely lunchtime walk yesterday and a brisk walk in the frost after dinner last night. It really woke me up and I felt alive after it! Exercise seems to be the only thing to keep me on track. It motivates me to eat healthily and drink all my water.

I think I'm going to have to buy some kind of cardio machine for home use. Whenever the weather gets horrible here in Ireland (which happens very often!), I go off program because I can't get outside for a walk. Something gets triggered in my brain, I think "what the hell" and ditch the whole regime. It then takes me weeks (sometimes months) to motivate myself back into action. The result is I keep losing the same 5lbs....aaaaargh!!

I bought a manual treadmill a few years ago, but I sold it after a few months. It was a cheap one and was set at a 10% incline and it was hard work for a beginner. I need something adjustable. Maybe an elliptical? Or a stationery bike?

Actually, I think I have a mini stepper thing stashed away under the bed (very safe there...)

Any other ideas?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TBAXTERLMT 1/9/2009 6:24AM

    You're doing great!
I love my elliptical... my knees are shot, so I need something that doesn't kill them, but gives me a good workout and this does the trick!
Keep up the good work!

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TEENYA20 1/7/2009 8:51PM

    i think you have it - the exercise seems to be what triggers getting everything else on track. When I exercise, I feel better, so I feel more motivated to eat better. And it never fails to amaze me how long it takes to accomplish fitness and how quick you can lose it! I am scared to go more than 3-4 days without exercising, cuz it is so hard to get back into it. I have an elliptical at home. I won't lie, the hubby bought it for me probably 4 years ago, and I have only in the last 2 months started using it regularly. But I now love it, it is a good workout, and still low impact. Motion just like cycling, only with all your body weight. What is your favorite thing to do at the gym when you go? You should get something that you will enjoy doing, otherwise you will just be throwing your money away (I did that with a treadmill that ended up as a clothes rack for years before I got rid of it!)

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CINDYT63 1/7/2009 1:31PM

    I have had the hardest time getting back into it myself! I bought a combination elliptical/stationary bike-it will get here soon, but I am struggling with the eating right. I ate a whole box of yogurt covered pretzels! I seem to lose/gain the same 7 pounds, it's very frusterating. Wishing you great progress for 2009-

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SKISINCO 1/7/2009 10:21AM

    A jump rope! =)

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FISEFTON 1/7/2009 7:28AM

    Bicycles are great because they give you a good cardio workout but are kind to your joints as they aren't weight bearing. However, I had a stationary bike at home but it never got used so we ended up giving it away. I personally find it easier to make an appointment with the gym in my diary and go to the gym/swimming and, when I get back to it, karate 3 times a week.

I think it is easier if you find something that you enjoy doing. Have you thought about seeing if there are any classes for exercises or sports which you might like to try? Is there a local government sports centre near you that offer these on a pay as you go basis? The problem with most gyms is that you have to sign up for a years contract and then pay monthly for something you may not enjoy.

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ANDINA 1/7/2009 5:50AM

    Bicycles are good. I use one most days (well I try :)
As for steppers - beware the knees!! I used to do all kinds of exercise and now my joints are really painful. Bicycles are good cause you can use them even if you suffer from painful joints! Good luck

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Eleven months quit!!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Woo hoo!!! Another month down and only one to go before I'm a whole year quit!!
I've tipped off my life insurance company already, can't wait for my premium to be HALVED!!

Here are the stats:-

11 months smoke-free
5,027 cigs not smoked
1,872.56 saved (huh????)
2w 3d 10:55 life saved

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TBAXTERLMT 1/7/2009 5:34AM

    That deserves a big pat on the back.... congratulations! I know how hard it is to quit, I watched my dad go through it... so KUDOS for the job well done!

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TEENYA20 1/6/2009 5:00PM

    YIPEEEEEEEEEEE for you!!!!!

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SKISINCO 1/6/2009 9:34AM

    Happy quitaversary, next up...0ne year! =)

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MARIASPARKLE 1/6/2009 8:59AM

    Yes Fiona, I saved MOST of the money in a separate account, I've almost got 1,500 there!!!
I'm treating Eddie (my BF) to a 5-night break in Berlin at the start of Feb to celebrate my 1-year quit! He's been an absolute rock and put up with my lunacy during the first few mental months. Shucks. Who says romance is dead?

After that, the money is going into my "new roof" fund (I need to replace my roof by the end of 2010 or it will fall in around my ears according to my roofer - that's if it lasts that long). That'll cost 8,000.

After that, I will have to save for another car....the banger I have won't last forever...

Sigh! There's always something!!

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FISEFTON 1/6/2009 8:26AM

    emoticon Did you actually save the money or just let it get swallowed up in other spending? I so wish I had made my hubby put the money he used to spend on cigarettes in a jar so we could actually see the money accumulate. Imagine what you could do after a year of no smoking.

Take care

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