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Started work today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today was the first day of my one-month internship as a hotel receptionist at a local hotel called Sokos Hotel Lahden Seurahuone. I was so nervous at first!!!! As someone who has been suffering from anxiety and even panic attacks and is very nervous in new and challenging situations, things like this usually freak me out BIG TIME. But this time I was able to remain calm and not let my nerves get the best of me!

It was very exciting though. I've never worked at a hotel before so everything there is all new to me. I'm a first year student at a local college majoring in hospitality and hotel management, and we all must do at least a month of interning at a hotel during our first year of studies. My first day went well but I have to say there were so many things to learn and to memorize that my head is still spinning!! I feel like I don't remember anything they taught me.

My co-workers seem really nice and I felt more than welcome to join them. That also made me feel more relaxed. I think that once I get the hang of it, I'll like it even more! I especially like talking with foreign visitors and I love love love that I finally get to use and practice my English!

All in all, a very good first day. Right now it's all very overwhelming (I'm the type of person who needs time to adjust and get used to changes) but I just need to stay calm and not let my anxiety get in the way. I'll do just fine! I might not know how all things work just yet but I'll get there soon :) I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PASKALINI 5/29/2012 5:40AM

    It's so funny that I am so EXCITED FOR YOU!!! It's great and I hope you have a fantastic time with your internship. I loved when I had a job where I got to see and speak to NEW PEOPLE everyday. Things rarely get boring when you have a flow of new people coming through all the time. Enjoy yourself and don't let the anxiety get to you. You've got this!

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IUHRYTR 5/28/2012 11:45PM

    Sorry for the double post. The site is acting up tonight. Have fun in your internship. -- Lou

Comment edited on: 5/28/2012 11:47:38 PM

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IUHRYTR 5/28/2012 11:38PM

    For someone interested in meeting people from across the country and the world, a hotel receptionist position seems a natural fit. People want to come to your hotel and have a good time, clean rooms, etc., but their first impressions, other than the building itself, are of the staff they first meet. Your enthusiasm should be welcome by your guests. I know you will have a successful internship. emoticon -- Lou

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WALKINGRED 5/28/2012 7:53PM

    How exciting! I am a big believer in internships- it's so nice to have opportunities to explore new fields and organizations. Best of luck to you in the next month, friend!

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CANES4EVER63 5/28/2012 4:34PM

    That's awesome! I'm very similar and get really anxious about new situations - it also takes me a long time to adjust to a new environment! I'm glad everyone seems really nice and I hope it's a great experience for you!! emoticon

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KRISZTA11 5/28/2012 4:18PM

    emoticon to your successful day #1!

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Ready to tame my sweet tooth!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

So I decided to restart the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge, and today is Day 1. I contemplated whether I should just call it quits but then I decided I'm not going to let myself down and for once, I'M GOING TO FINISH WHAT I STARTED! I started this challenge for a reason, and I really need to finish it for me. I can't keep giving up on myself when the going gets rough!!

Here's what I posted on the team message board today. I think it sums up what I'm thinking right now:

"I stuck with it for two weeks but then my birthday came up and one slice of cake on my birthday turned into having something sweet every day for about a week. I didn't binge or go over my calories, but I did get hooked on getting my daily sugar fix again and I was thinking it would be best just to restart the whole challenge. I really want to do it right this time and stick with it for the entire four weeks!

My reasons for doing this are:
1. I want to learn to control my cravings and to eventually get less cravings in general by eating less sugar.
2. I want to keep my blood sugar levels balanced.
3. I want to put sugar where it belongs to in my diet: to keep it as a special treat, not an every day occurrence.

I'm sure there might be more, but these are the three big ones that came to mind. I don't want to cut out sugar from my diet completely (I believe in having all things in moderation) but I do hope that this challenge will make me crave it less and keep it as a treat mostly reserved for special occasions. Wish me luck!!"

I know that I will never live my life completely without sugar and honestly, I don't even want to But I do think it would be beneficial to take this four weeks (a really short time when you come to think of it) to assess my sugar eating habits and stop relying too much on my daily sugar fix. Hopefully, I will get less cravings and learn to find healthier and satisfying substitutes for my usual sugary treats. I want to keep sugar as something I enjoy from time to time, not every single day.

I'm going to keep track of my sugar intake this week and really focus on how much sugar I eat and when and why I eat it. I'll share my discoveries with you at the end of week 1!

HERE WE GO! Taming my sweet tooth, take two.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 5/27/2012 10:20PM

    Way to go by not giving up. I sense a real difference in your attitude this time around and know you will stick with this. As you said, it is but a small amount of time and will teach you and us the insights your effort brings. -- Lou

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LUCYGODDESS 5/27/2012 7:25PM

    You'll do fantastic! Take it a day at a time and if you want something sweet, go work out or clean a drawer or closet or something.

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My "trouble goal"

Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm now on Stage 3 of the SparkDiet and tackling Diet Strategy #4 which is called You Can Overcome Setbacks. As a part of this strategy, one of the action steps was to write in my blog about one single "trouble goal". Here's a quote from the article:

"We all have that thorn in our side, an itch we can never get rid of. We all have that one "trouble goal." As hard as we try, it always seems to come back and cause problems. (....) Itís time to make that trouble goal go away! Write about this goal in your online journal. Talk about why it happens, what problems it causes, and what you can do about it. Talking about the problem may not solve it, but it can help you gain insight that you may not have recognized before, leading to that elusive breakthrough youíve been waiting for."

I'm having trouble choosing just one! Haha! I have a few trouble goals that I should probably focus on, such as getting 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day consistently and staying within my calorie range on the weekends (although I'm already doing pretty well with that one these days!) or eating less sugar.

But here's my pick: eating less fat. Even though I stay within my calorie range and meet all other nutritional goals, I often go over my fat grams. Almost every day, actually. I really want to start focusing on eating less fat because I want to lower my cholesterol and eat healthier in general. Honestly though, I don't know where all the fat comes from! I'm going to go through my tracked meals and try to find the most common sources of fat in my diet and hopefully it'll be easier to find healthy substitutions and lower my fat intake for good.

What are your "trouble goals"? :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 5/26/2012 8:29PM

    Checking back through what you have tracked is a good idea and will let you pinpoint what foods are taking you over your daily range. It may be eye-opening. It will be interesting to read what you learn. Keep on the positive path you're on. You're making terrific progress. -- Lou

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PASKALINI 5/26/2012 9:11AM

    I think the fats and the 5+ servings of fruits and veggies are my trouble areas too.

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WENDYSPARKS 5/25/2012 5:05PM


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Not doing very well with taming my sweet tooth

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I joined the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge as you guys know. Week 1 was about recognizing your sugar downfalls and tracking everything you eat. It went smoothly and I learned a lot about my sugar eating habits and cravings along the way. Then along came Week 2 which focuses on eliminating sugar from your diet, and that's when things went wrong I guess. My birthday came along as well, and I had some cake and cookies. The next day I had some ice cream... And the next day I had a small piece of chocolate... I didn't get back on track. I didn't go over my calories but I did eat something sugary every day for a few days. I only had small portions and I'm glad I stayed within my calorie range every day but it was still sugar and I had some when I shouldn't have.

At this point, I'm thinking about maybe restarting the whole challenge. If I decide to do this, I want to do this the right way. No shortcuts.

But at the same time I'm having mixed feelings about the whole challenge. While I think it's perfectly fine to eat everything in moderation, I think cutting back on sugar might be beneficial and a good idea health wise. But to be honest, though, I don't know if I want to cut out sugar completely. My portions are usually small and I rarely go over my calories these days. I used to eat a lot more sugar and compared to that, my sugar consumption these days is pretty minimal. I know sugar is not healthy but having some in small portions a few times a week keeps me from binging.

I don't know what to do. Maybe I'll just sleep on it and decide tomorrow. It's almost 1 a.m. here already and I'm getting tired. Off to bed! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KICKINGIT@56 5/29/2012 2:23PM

    I have also joined the "Tame your sweet tooth challenge", and can empathize with you. I don't think the idea is to cut out all sugar, but to cut down drastically on all those unhealthy calories and to decrease your susceptibility to binging on it. Being able to pass by the candy dish or vending machine for me would be a major accomplishment and that's what I'm hoping to get out of this challenge. If I were you I would finish the challenge ( don't worry about the glitches, nobody's perfect), and if it is not as satisfactory as you would like, then you can repeat it. The second time around will probably be better, and each time you gain more confidence that you can turn that lion into a kitty cat.

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KENDRACARROLL 5/25/2012 10:48AM

    All things in moderation. The minute you ban something completely you'll want it even more and that usually backfires big time.
Personally I try to limit artificial and processed, but the keyword is 'limit'.
I think you're on the right track. Awareness is the first step.

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LIZ1147 5/25/2012 3:17AM

    I know exactly how you feel! I have an awful sweet tooth. There is just absolutely no way I can ever completely give up sugar. However, I have made some good swaps. I eat a lot of yogurt (mainly Chobani or Fage greek yogurt with fruit) instead of ice cream. The greek yogurt with fruit in it has sugar, but still has protein and live cultures. I have learned if there is dessert in the house, I will eat it. Especially cinnamon gummy bears. Yum. Since I eat far less processed sugary food, I crave it much less. Good luck!

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PASKALINI 5/25/2012 2:18AM

    I am the same way! Allowing myself 1 small square of chocolate or one small serving of something sweet keeps me from freaking out and binging. I can't even fathom trying to cut it completely out. I eat TONS of fruit but when I want a piece of chocolate nothing is going to make me happy until I get it. I usually only need a bite or two and I'm ok. Also like you I used to eat WAY WAY more sugar then I have in the last 3 months since i started re-sparking. I think this is HUGE. I'm not eating 3 scoops of ice cream a night anymore. I'm not baking brownies every other day. So I don't feel bad when I have a scoop of gelato in town with my family, or when I have an ice cream or a piece of chocolate. What I have had to do though is buy everything in single serving sizes so I know I have 1 and I'm done no "accidentally" ending up with 4 servings. We obviously can't tell you do it or don't do it but I think even 1 small serving a day is much better than cutting it out completely and ending up on a crazy sugar binge.

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IUHRYTR 5/24/2012 11:52PM

    I am not a proponent of the attitude that something has to be totally eliminated in order for successful weight loss. To me, that makes us dwell on the banned item instead of ignoring it. So I agree with you, all things in moderation, with a variety of foods, fruits and vegetables, along with portion control and staying within our daily calorie range. -- Lou

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CHICKYBEE 5/24/2012 7:44PM

    I know that imagining a world where you never have sugar again can be super depressing, and can cause you to fail in a short challenge. Think of this challenge as just that -- a SHORT challenge. We are not asking ourselves to do this forever. But knowing that you are having such a hard time now should show you that you probably could benefit from it. I say... we all fall off the wagon some time. Just get back up, shake it off, look to a future when sugar doesn't rule over you (as in, you might not even need to think about it, it might just come naturally to eat it within reason always!) I hope you can use this challenge in a good, supporting way. That is what it is there for... not to make you feel bad about yourself, or make your life miserable. I have failed too, and it was also during birthday celebrations. Some days are just too hard... but don't let them keep you down... c'mon - join us and beat this challenge!

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LAINGMOM 5/24/2012 5:53PM

    Everything in moderation, including cutting out the sugar. Being aware of what you eat is always a good thing. I have given up all sugar for short periods of time (4-6 weeks) and find that each time I did, I ate less each time I returned to the sugar. I think challenging yourself is always a good idea. Good luck.

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3 months and 22 pounds gone!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's been three months since I started my journey towards a new and improved me. It's been an interesting three months and I've learned so much along the way! I don't know what has changed but this time, everything is different. I feel like I can do this, without a shadow of a doubt. There will be bad days and bumps in the road, but I know this time I will not give up on myself. I'll get right back up and keep moving forward!

I've lost 21.8 pounds so far! I'm so proud of myself for taking small steps towards my goal every day. THANK YOU, my SparkFriends, for encouraging me and supporting me along the way! I couldn't do this without you.

I took my measurements today, and here are the results:

Waist: 34.2 inches (2 inches lost)
Hips: 43.3 inches (2.7 inches lost)
Bust: 45.2 inches (2 inches lost)
Chest: 34.6 inches (2.8 inches lost)
Thigh: 25.9 inches (1.6 inches lost)
Calf: 15.3 inches (0.8 inches lost)
Upper arm: 14.6 inches (0.8 inches lost)

This month, I didn't lose any inches off my waist. On the other hand, I lost most around my hips and thighs. I'm very happy! Next month, I hope to fit into one of my favorite skirts that has been too small for a couple of years. I tried it on today and I could almost zip it up but not quite! So that's my goal measurement wise for next month.

I lost 6.6 pounds this month. I'm very happy about that as well! I'm taking it slow this time to make this change last. Now I've lost a third of the total amount of weight I have to lose. The last two thirds will come off just as smoothly as the first one (I HOPE!).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PASKALINI 5/23/2012 4:06AM

    Way to go!!! We have pretty much the same journey going right now! You will get into that skirt and you will feel amazing! Congratulations and keep up the good work!!

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WHQPHQ 5/22/2012 4:43PM

    22lb well done!!!!

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LIZ1147 5/22/2012 2:51AM

    Congrats! You are making great progress! Keep it up!

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IUHRYTR 5/21/2012 11:19PM

    So proud of your effort ans success, Annie. I love your focus, determination and positive "will-do" attitude. You WILL reach your goal. That will be a wonderful day, won't it? emoticon -- Lou

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    I am so happy for you! Congratulations and great work!!!

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CANES4EVER63 5/21/2012 6:01PM

    Congrats!! Keep up the great work!

What I find absolutely surprising is that our inches are almost identical right now (since we're the same height and weight!), but you look stunning in your pictures! I wish I looked like that! emoticon

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CHRISZ40 5/21/2012 5:58PM

    Impressed by your determination and weight loss.. congratulations!

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ERH12275 5/21/2012 5:56PM

    Congrats on your losses. I have been at it the same amount of time. I know that the measurements happen differently not only for everyone but even on one person. One month I lose an inch the next I have gained an inch in muscle...ugh. It will get better for us right?

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