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The Spibelt

Friday, July 11, 2008

What an awesome idea! I saw this product featured on the Rachael Ray show this morning, and it's just what I've been looking for! I really want to get back into running more regularly, especially outdoors. But the problem with running outside is that I have a lot of stuff that I need to take with me: phone, ipod, keys. I hate fanny packs, especially ones that bounce around. Well, it looks like the spibelt is exactly what I need. It's small, made of thin stretchy material and -- according to the company that makes it -- it doesn't bounce around when you walk or run.
I'm not sure what stores carry this; I've only seen a few Web sites that sell it. I'd love to go and look at it in person. But I might order one and send it back if it doesn't work out. It's not super expensive at $20.
Oh, and the abs in the picture would be nice to have too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JKB113 7/31/2008 12:02PM

  Hey MD~

Just thought I'd share what I learned when I first met Kim Overton in Chicago for a marathon expo!

The SPIbelt (small personal items) was created by personal trainer and fitness expert Kim Overton of Austin, Texas. Kim use to stick her key in her sports bra on runs and it was never very comfortable and she thought "there's got to be a better way!" So she went home and designed the first SPIbelt on a Friday night and by Monday morning had her 1st prototype!

The SPIbelt is sleek, expandable and secure with a low profile to the body. It can hold an iPod, Blackberry, cell, keys, GU Packs and other small personal items. The SPIbelt does not bounce, ride or shift while running or doing other activities.

It's available in 15 fun color combinations and 2 sizes (S/M M/L) at or log on to the site to find a retail store nearest you selling the SPIbelt for $19.95. Hooks can also be purchased on the site to hang your racing number from the belt too!

Kim just created the SPIband for those who prefer using an adjustable arm band. And the SPIband has the same expandable pouch with the 100% no-bounce guarantee.

Look for the new Safety Reflective Belt soon, for those who run or walk at night.

btw~ those are Kim's abs!!

In good health~

Comment edited on: 7/31/2008 12:02:40 PM

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BELLABOOKWORM 7/13/2008 10:29AM

    Hi MD,

You should check out this website:

They may have something similar to this, if not exactly what you are looking for!

I love Rachael Ray! I subscribe to her magazine and I love it!
Cooking Light is a great magazine too!

Hope this helps! emoticon

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BLONDEGIRL10 7/12/2008 9:01PM

    COOL!!! Thanks MD!

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MOM2ACAT 7/12/2008 1:04PM

    That would be nice for my MP3 player when I take my walks.
I currently use a neoprene arm band, but sometimes that gets to feeling kind of sweaty on my arm. I bet this would be quite comfortable.

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PIGLETSMALL 7/12/2008 9:46AM

    yeah! Cool abs! Can we buy them too? lol! If only.

Good luck with your outdoor running! I'm having to take a break from running too many lower leg pains.

A little rest will do them good I think.

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SPARKNMOM 7/11/2008 11:00PM

    Hey....where'd you find that pic of me???? Ha!!! j/k emoticon

That is a cool looking thing. I've not been running like I want to, but that would help me out at the park with the kids, etc...hmmmm...

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2NEWSTARTAGAIN 7/11/2008 5:18PM

    I need one to ...just for walking even....I have way to much to carry I wanted the abs too.

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PUPPYWHISPERS 7/11/2008 3:30PM

    Cool! I SO need one of those! And I too am a bit discouraged that the abs don't come with it...

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    The abs aren't included?


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Psychology and our anniversary dinner

Monday, July 07, 2008

Yesterday was our 6th wedding anniversary, so hubby and I decided to go out to dinner. Earlier this year, a Fogo de Chao opened in our area. Hubby (being a guy) was instantly intrigued: All you can eat meat, woo hoo! I ignored the little "spark" voice in my head warning me that this was a bad idea for my waistline, and we decided to check it out.

Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse and also a place where gluttony reins supreme. This is how it works:
1. First, you visit the monstrous salad bar and fill up with however much you want.
2. When you are ready for the main course, you turn over the little cardboard coaster they give you to the green side. That is when the waiters swoop to your table every 5 seconds or so with offerings of 15 kinds of meat. Filet mignon, sausage, chicken, sirloin, lamb, other kinds of steak, etc.etc.
3. Along with the meat, they put three sides on your table: mashed potatoes, plantains, and friend polenta.
4. EVERYTHING is all you can eat. You can visit the salad bar as many times as you want. If you want to take a break from the meat, you just turn your coaster over to the red side and they stop coming. Hubby joked that instead of a coaster, they should have a little white flag that you could wave when you were finished eating, telling them that you surrender!

The salad bar was fantastic. And that is where I should have stopped. But of course, this was a special occasion and a new place, so I wanted to try the entire experience. And what an experience it was!!

As we ate, it quickly became apparent that this place was all about getting you as full as possible as quickly as possible and move you out of there as fast as they can so that they can seat another party. I had barely put my fork down on my salad plate (with some food still on it) when the waiter was at my side, asking if he can take it away and bring me a clean one. Hubby's iced tea and my water was never less than 3/4 full, at ALL times. When we turned over the coasters for them to bring the meat, they were at our table in 2 seconds. When we were winding down a bit, I wanted to relax and digest my food, then decide if I was done or not. We had no sooner put down our forks when the waiters came by to grab our plates and the side dishes that we hadn't finished yet.

We didn't tell them it was our anniversary but in any case, there was no hope of having a quiet dinner. Someone was at our table every 2 minutes. The tables were close together, so even when they were not at our table, it felt as though the wait staff was always buzzing around . Good service, yes! But I think there is more to it.

I started to think about psychology and how it can work for a restaurant's bottom line. As I mentioned, it seemed to us that they tried very hard to get us full and out the door as quickly as possible.
- The wait staff was working hard, but very quickly. They grabbed our plates quickly, refilled our drinks quickly, and even spoke quickly. This created a sense of urgency to eat faster.
-People rushing around your table at all times also creates urgency and signals your brain to eat faster.
- As I mentioned, the drinks were never less than 3/4 full. The more you drink, the faster you become full.
- By placing tables close to each other, you can easily see what the next table is getting. Once you see that, you think, "Hey, I want some of that too!"

It's interesting how big of a role psychology plays in the layout, design and business practices of restaurants and places where we shop. Next time you eat or shop somewhere, pay attention to the subtle ways they can get you to buy, eat, spend more money. Ambiance, lighting, placement of certain objects, even the wait staff or store employees' demeanor. It's truly fascinating.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELLABOOKWORM 7/10/2008 10:37PM

    Happy Anniversary! :)

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DNJEN471 7/10/2008 2:23AM

    I think I would have had a total freak out! "IT'S OUR ANNIVERSARY, LEAVE US ALONE UNTIL THE SIGN IS OUT!"... you seem more patient then I am though, LOL emoticon
It's crazy how buffets are set up... eat til you are full... I try to avoid them all together.

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CHARKEN 7/9/2008 5:31PM

    Wow that is an interesting take on things...sounds plausible too. I must admit though it does sound intriguing to visit. Luckily, this restaurant is nowhere near me. By the way Happy Anniversary!!!!

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PIGLETSMALL 7/9/2008 3:56PM

    Congratuations on your anniversary! What a special time for your both. I'm glad you had a lovely time.

emoticon Here's to many more!

Hugs and love Helen xxx

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CHARVONNE30 7/9/2008 2:57PM

    We share the same anniversary - and I celebrated 6 years on the 6th as well!

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MUSTANGAMORE 7/8/2008 10:01AM

    Happy Anniversary! There is a similar restaurant in Orlando called Texas de Brazil. The food is awesome and I love the ambiance it feels like a cultural experience as a good meal. We have some friends from Brazil and the man said when you go there don't eat anything but the steak-skip all the stuff to fill you up. I can't do it though, the salad bar is too good. Your husband is right about the white flag! (This is a super fun place to take a teenaged boy and it's my son's favorite place to eat)

As far as the pych. role in the restaurant I couldn't agree more. My son has a friend who works in a local restaurant and he said they switch the music depending on if they want you to stay or leave!!!!


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MOM2ACAT 7/7/2008 9:29PM

    I have never thought about that way before, but that all makes sense.
I am going to keep these things in mind next time I eat out. You gave me something to think about.

A belated Happy Anniversary to you too!

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    My feelings would have been the same, I think. Its nice to be served, but its also nice to have time to reflect on and absorb the experience, not to mention time to digest. That wasn't what the restaurant you went to was all about. I do hope it was enjoyable, all the same.

Have you ever been to a "meat and three" restaurant? I had my only experience with one in Nashville. I loved it, but the concept seems to be similar: sit them down, shut them up, feed them fast and kick them out.

Both a meat and three and a Brazillian steakhouse would do well here in my community, I think. A Chinese buffet or Pizza Hut Smorg is as close as we get, though. No, I don't go to either, anymore.

We have a restaurant in town that is very pricey and reserved for our anniversary. The food is good, but we could probably get a similar meal somewhere else for less and much quicker. It takes all night to dine there. For folks who are headed out to a show after, its a "no go". For when Hubby and I want to enjoy a glass of wine, a view and PEACE, however, its what we crave. And they are awesome about giving me an extra veggie instead of a starch.

Gawd I'm hungry now. LOL Pass the lettuce.


Comment edited on: 7/7/2008 4:40:41 PM

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MELINKY 7/7/2008 4:03PM

    Congratulations on your six year anniversary. Too bad the atmosphere wasn't relaxed, but there's always next year for a new place. =)


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New nephew, too much food, lacking in motivation...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hello Sparkfriends!

I hope everyone had a great July 4th holiday! Our big news of the day is that we now have a nephew! My husband's brother and his wife had their second child early this morning! We are very excited to be a proud aunt & uncle once again! We can't wait to meet him.

It rained (again) for our July 4th get-together last night. Thus, instead of sitting outside on the roof deck, Hubby and his friends played the Wii. So, a different sort of fun, but fun nonetheless. It stopped raining long enough for us to go up and watch the fireworks.
The bad news is, we have SOOOOO much food left over! If anyone wants any chips, pasta salad (2 kinds), quinoa salad, chicken or key lime pie, just let me know and I will mail it to you! I think we will be eating this food for at least 2 weeks. At the expense of my waistline I'm sure.

Which brings me to my next point -- that my motivation is seriously lacking. And this has me worried. I haven't been tracking my food this week. I never minded doing it before, but lately it's become a dreaded chore. Not sure why. Maybe after more than a year, my brain has had enough? Secondly, I haven't been to the gym in a couple of days. My mom fell and broke her hip about 2 weeks ago. My dad has been home with her but he had to go to work on Wed. and Thur. so they asked me to come over and help out on those two days, which I gladly did. But I was unable to get to the gym for those 2 days. Yesterday I could have gone but was worried I would not have enough time to make all the food for the party so I skipped the gym to work on that. Today, I am just plain lazy. I will go later this afternoon. I HAVE to. But why is it is darn difficult? I love to exercise, I love the gym and I love the way I feel after a workout. So why is it that if I get out of the "groove" of going to the gym for more than a day, it feels (mentally) like I am starting all over again?

I think I need a new reward to focus on for reaching my goal weight. Israel was a truly awesome reward, and this one will not be on that scale of course. It will be something small, yet meaningful and something I can get excited about. Not sure what yet. But in the past, if I had ice cream in the freezer, I would say to myself: "Do I want to eat ice cream or do I want to go to Israel?" Now I can't say that anymore. If you have any ideas for a really cool incentive, I'm all ears!
I wish everyone a great rest of the weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARVONNE30 7/9/2008 2:55PM

    Congratulations on your nephew - I am so happy for you.

Secondly - throw the food out, better to have waste than to put on you waist...

Lastly - let's think of another huge goal to keep you on track - you are looking amazing and I know you don't want to go back.

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MOM2ACAT 7/5/2008 9:46PM

    Congrats on your new nephew!

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    First of all, FRIEND, do NOT eat that food. Have another party. Invite some girlfriends over to finish it off. Send it to work with Hubby; he'll score some serious points. Your parents may like to have some handy leftovers. Can you take it to them?

As for your reward, I guess you need to decide on something that's meaningful to you. My newest reward idea is an adorable lunch tote. That beats packing my lunch in a plastic grocery bag.

Congrats on becoming and aunty again! Is the baby closeby? Would a visit be a reward if he's not?


Comment edited on: 7/5/2008 2:18:54 PM

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Battling the ice cream monster

Monday, June 30, 2008

Hi everyone! I haven't blogged in a while. Last week was busy with jury duty. Out of hundreds of people, I was one of the lucky 14 (12 plus 2 alternates) to be chosen for a trial. It took all week but we had deliberations on Friday and now it's over!! I am so happy!!
My weight is hovering between 117 and 120. I'm afraid I might start gaining soon. Because of the jury duty, I did not go to the gym last week. It's like, if I don't go in the morning, there is a very good chance that I won't go at all. I have also been eating way too much ice cream. I am an ice cream FIEND, but for about a year I had it under control. But once I started to buy it at the store again, I can't stop eating it or buying it. What is wrong with me???
I am determined to do better this week! I am going to get back to my usual gym routine and I will stick to about 1200-1300 calories a day. I hope this will jumpstart my weight loss again. I just want to make my goal once and for all. Finally... I can't WAIT to see 115 on the scale.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 7/2/2008 10:40AM

    You are so darn determined! I know you will reach your goal! I used to love ice cream so much.. now if I eat it I get a really bad stomach ache... guess cause I don't eat hardly any dairy at all.... sad... but a good thing too :)

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    You need an alternative to ice cream. Seriously. Is it really THAT good? Seriously?

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SPARKNMOM 6/30/2008 11:02PM

    I feel ya...I toppled the 120 mark today for the first time since last OCTOBER!!! Gotta get back on plan - starting now!! You with me??

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HUGS2013 6/30/2008 3:06PM

    I bought some Skinny Cow ice cream products and they were good. Also, I'll look at Wal-mart when I go for the name of another low cal ice cream bar made with splenda and get back with you. All things in moderation is my motto unless I can't control myself then I just have to leave the food off. Read, in my case, sugar. Good luck with your goals. Deanie

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MOM2ACAT 6/30/2008 12:47PM

    I recently tried the Weight Watchers frozen latte bars; only 90 calories a bar, and they are huge! They take awhile to eat too, so that makes them quite satisfying.

I've also had their Cookies and Cream bars, but right now I don't have any in the house and I don't remember the calorie count on them, but I think it was around 140.

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PUPPYWHISPERS 6/30/2008 12:07PM

    Just say NO to ice cream! If you really want something cool, have you tried any of the weight watchers frozen goodies? They're pretty tasty, and not as many calories or fat as ice cream. Or do what I do...when I indulge in a treat, I make a deal with myself that I will exercise off the calories that I eat. So far that's worked for me.

You can do it, and you are my inspiration!!

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CHARVONNE30 6/30/2008 11:37AM

    NO MORE ICE CREAM until we see 115lbs - that can be the treat when you reach your goal - but only for one day and then do maybe bi-weekly treats if you maintain your calories, stay within your weight and accomplish your exercise for the week - you have come to far and you are my shining star so I need you to stay focused.


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MELINKY 6/30/2008 11:25AM

    DO NOT go down the ice cream aisle. LOL
Now with jury duty over you'll be able to concentrate on you again.


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"You look great"

Friday, June 13, 2008

These three words from a near-stranger totally made my day yesterday.
I was walking out the door to go to the gym when I saw my next-door neighbor at her door. We smiled and said our hellos, and then she said to me, "You look great, by the way."
She doesn't know me very well, and I don't know her. She of course had no way of knowing how much I've been struggling lately to stay on track. That compliment and small act of kindness on her part kicked up my motivation by leaps and bounds. I smiled all the way to the gym.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELINKY 6/18/2008 12:30PM

    That is so sweet! What a nice compliment for your neighbor to say. Some people notice, but for whatever reason don't comment. And she probably has no idea how much her compliment meant to you. Have you told her? I'm glad it helped kick up your motivation.


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PUPPYWHISPERS 6/16/2008 9:45AM

    You DO look great! Let's get back on track together, okay?

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PARAMEDIC8 6/15/2008 11:10PM

    That's so neat when someone actually tells you something positive when they didin't have to. Most never know the impact they have on others. I make it a policy, especially with friends and family, if I notice something nice about them, I tell them immediately. I know how good I feel when someone says something nice about me and I want to make sure I give that back to others. emoticon

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    Fabulous! You DO look great. Wow. A bikini. You ROCK!

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KATHYMB 6/14/2008 10:24PM

    What a nice boost for you!

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DNJEN471 6/14/2008 12:58PM

    Oh! That is worth it, isn't it?!

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BINEMELLES 6/13/2008 1:46PM

    i think it is wonderful that almost strangers can make our day that way. and that they care enough to do. and you DO look great by the way!

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