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I'm Back from Europe!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Well hello's been so long!

Since I've last written, I had a really wonderful Christmas...

First, I helped get things ready:

Then my mom and me talking at dinner:

And me stuffing my face (oh, and that really cute guy in the gray sweater's gonna be my hubs in six weeks):

The morning after Christmas, we left for Europe! First, we stayed at a CRAZY hotel AT Heathrow Airport for our waste-of-time overnight layover:

(We were going to squeeze in a quick trip into London, but we were exhausted and the trains were running on a Sunday schedule because of Boxing Day. With the city being an hour away from the airport, we decided there really wasn't enough time and we'd do best to just sleep. We had to get up at 5 a.m. for our next flight the next morning!)

So we flew to Amsterdam, then took a train to Paris...finally after a day and a half of traveling, we settled into our hotel, which was right near the Arc de Triomphe:

We loved going to the Louvre:

...and seeing Mona Lisa!

Seeing the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night was memorable...

...although the trip to the top was even more thrilling!

Back in Amsterdam, we saw a whole lot of beautiful canals:

We saw where the "red light" district got its name (though we didn't take a lot of pictures there...seemed to be frowned upon!)

(This one was a bit removed from the majority...and we were across a canal so you can't see, but there actually was a... er... "businesswoman" in there waiting for customers!!!)

And the coffee shops didn't just sell coffee!!!

Happy New Year!!
(Fireworks in Leidseplein at midnight...from our view out the window upstairs in a warm toasty bar!)

Finally, after a long trip we were very weary, and didn't mind at all being bumped into first class on our long flight west over the Atlantic:

Finally, home sweet home (or at least, Jess' neighborhood in the city)... and we thought the weather in Amsterdam was bad! We came home to a two-day snow storm!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNTRILAUGH 1/14/2010 4:29PM

    What a great trip report! Looks like a lot of fun!

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    Looks like you had a wonderful New year!

Thanks for sharing all of the pictures!


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JOYELYSE 1/7/2010 4:29PM

    Looks like a great trip!!!

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KENSINGTONC 1/6/2010 6:37PM

    Awwwww what a great trip!! You look SO happy in those pictures!!! I'm glad you had such a great time, how was the food/wine???

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SANDEROSE 1/6/2010 11:57AM

    Yay! You're back! And you posted pics! How fun! I'm jealous! But I'm glad that you shared! It's just as though I were right there with you for a few minutes! Quite the nice little break from work!

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CRYSBROWN1 1/5/2010 10:48AM

    Thanks for sharing the pics, you look like you had a great time!

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ZIRCADIA 1/4/2010 7:30PM

    The trip looks awesome, and YOU look LOVELY! :) Welcome back!

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LFLFLPLP 1/4/2010 5:38PM

    Sounds like a fun adventure!! Thanks for sharing those pictures. The one of the canal was beautiful!

Glad you made it home safely!

Have a great 2010!

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RA4945 1/4/2010 4:04PM

    Wow! I loved the pictures! What a perfect way to start the new year! So glad you squeezed in such a fun trip!

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SILLIANGEL 1/4/2010 3:14PM

    Looks like so much fun! I'm still waiting for the day I get bumped to first class...

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KJNE8O 1/4/2010 12:33PM

    Welcome Home! Looks like you had such an incredible trip to Europe - so very jealous, especially of the First Class Upgrade!

And 6 weeks - OMG! How exciting! I fully expect lots of wedding pictures when it's all over :)

Happy 2010

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MBSHAZZER 1/4/2010 12:15PM

    Looks like a GREAT trip! So glad you enjoyed it!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 1/4/2010 10:06AM

    What a fabulous trip! Way to end the old year and ring in the new on a high note!

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SEEHOLZ 1/4/2010 9:53AM

    One day I'd like to go see Mona Lisa, as well!

Happy New Year Susan!

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FRIZGIRL 1/4/2010 8:53AM

    ohhh love the pictures :) Thanks for sharing! And I hope you are doing awesome and the wedding planning is coming along and not too stressful!

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GERMANPICKLE 1/4/2010 7:58AM

  ah - poor thing, first class!


thanks for sharing

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HOPERY 1/4/2010 7:28AM

    Awesome trip! Great way to make some memories. Are you going somewhere more exciting for you honeymoon?

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PAMELA984 1/4/2010 5:32AM

    Sounds like you had a blast! Now back to reality

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SKYFYRE 1/3/2010 11:45PM

    How fun! Thanks for sharing!

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CHASINGTHENOW 1/3/2010 10:45PM

    Looks like you had a FABULOUS trip. I'm jealous!

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SPARKNMOM 1/3/2010 9:57PM

    Wow.....FABULOUS pics!! Love it : ) So glad you shared.

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Me: On Track

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The longer I do this (been Sparking now for almost three full years!), the more realizations I make, and the more I learn about my own behavior and bodily needs, the stronger I become. Here's two realizations I've made recently:

A few weeks ago I heard a piece on NPR about willpower. It suggested that the more one's willpower is tested, the WEAKER it gets. This really resonated with me... if I have two food-centered events one right after the other, I have a much easier time showing restraint with my portions at the first event than the second. On vacation, I almost always start off strong, eating under control, but succumb to food temptations by the end. I think this realization has huge ramifications for planning to stay on track in the future. It tells me that for me, the danger zone is whenever I have more than one food-centered event in my future, so that's when I have to be on my highest alert!

The other day as I was driving home from school, I thought about what my life was like when I was off-track. Since I started Sparking, I have gone through several cycles of being on track for a handful of months, losing about 30 pounds, and then a handful of months of gaining it all back. Seriously bad, and I seriously need that to stop. When I'm off-track, I don't just get a little off...I seem to go for full-blown horrible. It's as if I'm overcompensating for having to restrain my eating by forcing even more food down my throat than I even want. But the thing is, I don't feel better by doing that. Even eating yummy treats gets boring after a while when you give yourself too much of it. My stomach feels no better over stuffed than it does slightly hungry. But feeling and looking a million times better when I'm on track is huge. So, the next time I see myself starting to enter yet another cycle of rapid regain, I will remind myself that the gaining feels far worse than staying on track would feel. Sure, that might mean a moment of denying immediate gratification, but the sting only lasts a moment. The benefits of staying on track will be with me always.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYELYSE 1/7/2010 4:27PM

    That rings so true!!! I was able to eat so well on Thanksgiving, not exactly a holiday known for retraint, but by the end of the week in Chicago, I wasn't even having vegetables with my pizza and french fry meals. It was SO HARD to get back on track. I even find that after only one day of over eating, the next day, I feel HUNGRY with normal portions. I have to make a decision to ignore it and take a few days to slog through. And after a week, it's really hard.

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KENSINGTONC 12/28/2009 2:10PM

    Interesting theory...and totally true for me too! Makes total sense, especially in light of today, my last day on vacation, and 2# heavier than when my vacation started!

Thanks for being so candid on your blogs. I really love reading them.

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 12/25/2009 7:25PM

    I heard that piece too, and I just wanted to point out how it may, in fact, have as much to do with your second paragraph as it does your first. I have always yo-yoed b/c I lost by being too strict. Finally my brain is like "ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE CONSTANTLY GIVING A SHI$ WHAT GOES IN MY MOUTH!!!!" When I heard that piece at first I thought, "No way, its like a muscle. . . " and then I realized that it was totally true for me, if I get too strict I lose it. Just my own experience, but you may examine your "own track" so see if maybe a "path" is more appropriate than a track, if that makes sense.

Regardless, I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.


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MBSHAZZER 12/25/2009 10:10AM

    I totally agree with you... it's easy to stay on track for ONE event, but for several, it gets harder. Same thing with vacations (which is a big & totally pathetic reason why I don't take them!)

Anyway, it seems like you are on your way to finding a middle ground between feast and famine that you can really live with! What a great way to start a new year!

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DRAGONFLY180 12/24/2009 11:17AM

    awesome blog! yes, my willpower does go down some, too, near the end. i'm doing much better this year than last, due to all i've learned from my friends and the info on SP!

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AFLBANDWAGON 12/24/2009 9:32AM

    Great blog, I still have about 15 pounds to be at my ideal weight but I am starting to realize that I need to prepare for maintenance. It is a little intriguing. Two books from my past that I think you would love are Zig Zigglers See you at the Top and Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant. Start with the Awaken. There are so many great points in there about how the human mind works, explains much. I ended up doing 30 days to personal power and the edge also. I still believe that all my success in business over the years is because of those programs. Great tools for the mind :) YOu look marvelous :)

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AFLBANDWAGON 12/24/2009 9:32AM

    Great blog, I still have about 15 pounds to be at my ideal weight but I am starting to realize that I need to prepare for maintenance. It is a little intriguing. Two books from my past that I think you would love are Zig Zigglers See you at the Top and Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant. Start with the Awaken. There are so many great points in there about how the human mind works, explains much. I ended up doing 30 days to personal power and the edge also. I still believe that all my success in business over the years is because of those programs. Great tools for the mind :) YOu look marvelous :)

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GERMANPICKLE 12/24/2009 2:21AM

  what a great blog - and great knowledge for you and your upcoming family ;)

I have to admit that I feel WORSE when I overeat or when I eat too much sugar. I'd rather be just ever so slightly hungry and considering the options than have eaten a feast 20 minutes ago.

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SKYFYRE 12/23/2009 11:48PM

    What a great realization! Oddly I am pretty sure that I heard the same vignette on NPR, and not so oddly- I think the same is true for me... sigh, we have to stay strong!

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CAROLTTG 12/23/2009 11:26PM

    The same thing is happening to me. It seems as though the harder I try, the worse I do. I put way too much pressure on myself. I am going on a cruise on Jan 15th, I really wanted to be less weight, but I have done the opposite!! So I know exactly what you mean.

A quote that has helped me along the way that I got from my Weight Watcher leader is...

Don't give up what you want MOST for what you want NOW.

Benjamin Franklin

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SEEHOLZ 12/23/2009 10:17PM

    I know exactly what you mean! I think like that about binging-- while ONE binge might feel great, the spiral and the way it all gets out of control and the weight gain and all that useless energy spend are not worth it! I do also think that you are a "perfectionist" and sometimes when you try "too hard", it can backfire--- at least I've seen it in too many people. But, you know you, you know-LOL? I'm proud of you for actually taking the time to figure out what works for you!

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SPARKNMOM 12/23/2009 9:03PM

    Wow!!! LOVE the last 2 sentences!! And that's exactly what I do. I've learned I'm not deprived when I don't eat crap. What I'm not, is fat!! I'll take that over sugar any day!! You're gonna be looking fabulous for your wedding!!

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Birthday Recap

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to have a happy, healthy birthday, SeppieSusan style:

Step 1. Treat the morning like a normal Saturday. Spend a bit of extra time in bed cuddling in the morning. Go to the gym, where when you scan your gym card instead of hearing the usual automated, "Have a good workout," you hear, "Happy birthday!" Have your normal breakfast fruit smoothie and spinach feta pasta lunch.

Step 2. Make the easiest possible meal for 8 people: Trader Joe's pesto chicken, which already is covered in pesto sauce. Whole wheat pasta tossed with olive oil, more pesto sauce, sauteed mushrooms, pine nuts, and walnuts. That's it! Have everyone else bring the apps and desserts. :)

Step 3. Have an awesome new family: future MIL, FIL, BIL, and BIL's new girlfriend. Have them all over, plus your parents, their pup, and of course your amazing fiance. Have your condo already all clean from a showing (condo still on the market) earlier in the day, so there's nothing to do to prep for guests except put the leaf in the dining table and light some seasonal scented candles.

Step 4. Portion control at dinner, of course!

Step 5. Let everyone else eat the peppermint bark, seconds on cake, take home the leftover dip, etc., so it's not sitting around tempting you.

Step 6. After they all leave, cuddle up and watch The Hangover with your fiance. Let it snow outside while you're all cozy inside.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 12/23/2009 8:04PM

    The roses were actually from my fiance's mom, not him! Haha. She's really sweet.

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FITGIRL15 12/23/2009 8:01PM

    Happy Birthday, Susan! It sounds like you had just the perfect day!
(I just remembered my birthday is coming up too in about 3 weeks... OMG CAKE, CAKE! I'm so freaking excited! LOL)

I hope your holidays are just as amazing as your birthday has turned out to be! Your roses are beautiful! What a sweet fiancee you have!

Comment edited on: 12/23/2009 8:01:34 PM

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SANDEROSE 12/22/2009 5:20PM

    1st of all... sounds like a lovely birthday! Thanks for posting pics! 2nd: You are so lucky to get to have Trader Joes! It would take me about a 9 hour drive to get to the closest one to me!!! Anyway, 1 birthday down, 1 wedding to go!!! I'm so excited for you!


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SKYFYRE 12/22/2009 11:32AM

    Wowzer! That was a busy but fun day! Glad it was a good one!

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ZIRCADIA 12/21/2009 9:49PM

    You look beautiful and happy! :D Sounds like a fabulous birthday!!!!!! :D

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STEFANIE822 12/21/2009 3:19PM

    Glad you had a great day!!!

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SEEHOLZ 12/21/2009 9:37AM

    That's my kind of birthday! Filled with love, comfort and a piece of yummy cake!

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MBSHAZZER 12/21/2009 9:32AM

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like an awesome day!!

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DRAGONFLY180 12/21/2009 7:25AM

    sounds like it was a nice day! :o)

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SPARKNMOM 12/20/2009 9:33PM

    What a great day. You guys are super cute!!

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PAMELA984 12/20/2009 9:31PM

    Sounds like an amazing birthday!

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JENONTHEROX 12/20/2009 8:20PM

    What a WONDERFUL day :)
I'm definitely goign to try out that WW pasta dish, love the idea to add some mushrooms too (so good for us!)
Again, happy of happiest birthdays to you!
ps. so cool that your gym has those automated messages - interesting..

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MEGSFITNESS 12/20/2009 5:27PM

    What a perfect day! and a great way to share it too :)

Happy Birthday, dearie!


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SILLIANGEL 12/20/2009 4:42PM

    Cute =) Sounds like a great day!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 12/20/2009 3:11PM

    That sounds like an AWESOME birthday! Very, cool! I definitely like Seppie Susan style birthdays :).

BTW your lunch sounds so good! Can you elaborate? Thanks and happy Birthday emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRUIN2 12/20/2009 2:30PM

    Glad you had such a good birthday!!!!

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Birthday Weekend

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm turning 32 tomorrow. Sigh. I'm getting farther and farther from 21! But you know what? I am liking my life more and more the older I get. :)

My weight has been going nuts lately - it stayed the same for a long time, then down half a pound, up a pound, down three pounds, up a pound...anyone who's tried to lose weight knows the drill. The net effect, though, is a loss! I'm currently down about 13 pounds from my highest and I'm back in the healthy BMI range once again.

My parents are starting to get the RSVPs back for my wedding. So far several highly organized people have already responded within the first few days, and so far they've all said YES! I'm getting so excited. Eight weeks left!

The next couple weeks are so busy too. In addition to my birthday, there's the last few days of school, then Christmas with my fiance's family, and then we're off to Europe!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARRINGTON5 12/20/2009 12:36PM

    WOW, I guess you are busy! Busy, but fun and exciting. You have so much to look forward to. Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and Best Wishes! Cynthia

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SKYFYRE 12/20/2009 3:30AM

    emoticon Happy Birthday! emoticon Hope you have a good one! I totally know what you mean about liking your life more the older you get, I'm right there with you! (Oh, and I am 32 in January, so don't worry your not alone!!)
How exiting about Europa! Fun! Fun! Fun! So exciting!

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SEEHOLZ 12/19/2009 8:19PM

    WOW! Susan, I can't believe it's already time for your Europe trip!!! How fabulous- I'm curious as to what you'll think!
Congrats on being in the healthy range- once again! You sound in a great place and really happy!

P.S. Thanks so much for the kind words on my blog- it felt good, especially coming from you!

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MARATHONER340 12/19/2009 6:48PM

    A lot of excitement coming up! Isn't it fun getting all the RSVP's back? I was so excited every day when my parents got more in the mail! congrats on the 13 lb loss!

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 12/19/2009 12:49PM

    What a wonderful birthday! So many awesome things are thing going on for you :)! Yay for the "yeses" and the loss and Europe! Where are you guys going in Europe?

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SANDEROSE 12/19/2009 12:32PM

    I turn 32 in May... and really I haven't freaked out about being in my 30's. I think it's because I really do feel like I'm getting better with age, and I still FEEL like spring chicken! I think that makes all the difference, and I think that I portray a younger more vibrant age by the comments I get all the time. And I'd categorize my BFF's in the same category too. Oh, and BTW... I would've never known you were in your 30's had you not mentioned it! I figured you were still in your 20's!

I'm having the same up and down issues with my weight... but in the long run you're losing and that's what really counts! Way to go!! Slow and steady wins the race!

How exciting! You're getting RSVP's back already! Word is getting out on my wedding as people start receiving Save the Dates and people that I didn't expect would be able to come are.... and I'm ecstatic! Also, my MOH is crazy organized and already has my Bachelorette planned out for JUNE... in another STATE... and she's invited tons of people... lots who I haven't seen in YEARS... and they're RSVPing back for THAT already! It's crazy! Who knew I was so loved?!

Have a great weekend, chica! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DRAGONFLY180 12/19/2009 9:20AM

    wow, i thought my next couple of weeks were busy! have fun traveling! and happy birthday! i turn the big 3-0 next year, so i feel ya on that getting away from my 20's thing. eek!

Comment edited on: 12/19/2009 9:22:59 AM

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GERMANPICKLE 12/19/2009 3:07AM

  a very very very happy birthday!

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JENONTHEROX 12/19/2009 1:06AM


30s are the best, savor *every* year.

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STEFANIE822 12/19/2009 12:59AM

    Happy Birthday beautiful!!!!!

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SPARKNMOM 12/18/2009 10:54PM

    Wow wow wow....busy is an understatement!! Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas!

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MBSHAZZER 12/18/2009 8:22PM

    I am loving my 30's.. SO MUCH BETTER than my 20's! Happy Birthday!

Great news on the weight loss! Enjoy the holidays and your trip to Europe!

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1972ROSES 12/18/2009 4:57PM

    Happy Birthday. I'm really impressed with how you have been able to stay on track over all and lose weight before your wedding (8 weeks before) and not leave it for a mad crash diet the week before.

Good luck. I hope it all turns out beautifully but if the frosting melts off you cake like mine did, remember it's just a good story to tell.

I LOVE EUROPE. I'm soooo jealous.

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TRON2007 12/18/2009 3:48PM

    Congratulations. I just turned 21 a week ago. emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 12/18/2009 3:47PM

    Pssh, you look like you're in your early 20's piece of cake. :) Congrats on being back in the healthy BMI range! That's great! I'm working on trying to lose a bit or at least maintain until the end of the year -- got so much going on here, too. Family visits, parties, and MOVING. :P But after that I should be golden! HAVE SO MUCH FUN IN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

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Odd but effective party strategy... and gym pet peeves!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Yesterday I went to a daytime party where there were tons of refreshments. I have resolved that it is easier for me to say no to everything than it is to try to limit myself to a little bit, especially nine weeks before my wedding! So I decided ahead of time that I wouldn't eat or drink anything at the party, and I am quite pleased with that decision. I feel like I've figured out my own personal triggers and dealt with them. I had my normal big, healthy breakfast, mid-morning snack, and lunch before I left, and I even induldged in a skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks too, so I was good and stuffed before I got there. At the party, I didn't want any weird comments orquestions about my lack of indulging, so just before we got out of the car I made a plan with Jess. We both got drinks, but only Jess would drink them. On the sly, we'd switch glasses so that I'd hold his empty and he'd hold my full, and then he'd drink that too (yeah, he got pretty buzzed, and I was a good designated driver!). It worked - nobody batted an eye about me not drinking this time around! I don't plan on forever denying myself of everything, of course. In fact, today a student gave me a tiny wrapped Godiva milk chocolate (she called it a "prize" for her birthday). I secretly weighed it (9 grams) and entered it into my food tracker (41 calories), and I ENJOYED it.

Now on to my top three gym pet peeves:

1. When you're strength training, and trying to count your reps in your head, but a personal trainer is working with a client nearby and barking out the count to THEIR reps, and that messes up your own count.

2. When you need to use the Smith machine, but some guy drops off all his stuff by it, and then alternates between using it and doing some jumping up on a step nearby, but when you ask him if he's done with the Smith machine he just says "no." (Not "want to cut in?" or "just one more set," just "no.")

3. When the woman on the elliptical next to yours coughs repeatedly without covering her mouth. Hasn't she been watching the news? There's a flu epidemic! Cough into your elbow! Heck, cough into anything, I don't care - just not my air space!! Ick!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDEROSE 12/19/2009 12:34PM

    BTW... I am SO going to steal your swapping your drink for an empty bottle trick! Genius!

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SKYFYRE 12/17/2009 10:38PM

    Ugh, I hope those didn't all happen in one day at the gym, ugh, again!

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MRS.NG.06 12/17/2009 11:34AM

    3. When the woman on the elliptical next to yours coughs repeatedly without covering her mouth. Hasn't she been watching the news? There's a flu epidemic! Cough into your elbow! Heck, cough into anything, I don't care - just not my air space!! Ick!

UGH....not only that but she also gets her germs from coughing on the machine and who knows who can pick up that stuff. GOD I know how hard it is to not cover your mouth to cough but if you don't want people how to get kind..rewind? kind and cough in your elbow ; ) STAY safe from those germies, you don't want what I have!!! Thanks for checking in on me and keep HEALTHY girl...and go kick butt in the gym for me : ) xooxox

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ARUBINST 12/15/2009 5:02PM

    LOL at the drink trick! emoticon

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RUN_LIFT_EAT 12/15/2009 2:25PM

    Those are definitely some legit pet peeves! I really despise people camping out at equipment.

Also, have you noticed that a lot of trainers are super-uncreative? Like I see several people without trainers getting what look like way more intense workouts. OMGAW I almost forgot there was this trainer the other day who is not even in good shape, imo, who had her client doing workouts with TERRIBLE FORM! Like planks with her butt sticking up in the air, and bicep curls swinging, so she was both using momentum and her back. I felt bad for her. Trainers definitely run the gambit, that is for sure.

I think you have a totally legit reason that people won't give you any grief about not eating junk, you have a wedding! Everyone gets that, the alcohol be careful they will all think you are pregnant if you don't drink!

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SEEHOLZ 12/15/2009 1:56PM

    With regards to pet peeve # 2: I'd ask to cut in... if he gives you the look, smile really nice ( he'll hate it)
With regards to pet peeve # 3: Tell the woman to please cough the other way- if she won't, nothing changed
With regards to pet peeve #1: I'd say, call your reps out even louder ( LOL) but truthfully, I wouldn't do that- I'd just move away... ( I'm not very confrontational)

I hate people who take their darn time on weight machine, as in take a break sitting there without doing anything- it's hard to say a thing, because technically they are still using the machine. It drives me nuts.. hello, I don't have all day.. I have said stuff at times, but sometimes you can just tell by the demeanor that people don't give a rats $ss. Oh well, TG we are considerate gym goers-LOL!

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DANIE11ECINCY 12/15/2009 1:45PM

    ha, the drink trick is great!

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DIANEMARY126 12/14/2009 9:47PM

    i hear you on the gym pet's proper gym etiquette to let someone work in sets with you..i would have walked back and said "well you aren't using it this second" if he's going to be like that!

awesome party strategy- i know what u mean about comments..i got that the other night at dinner over food and blogged about it too

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SPARKNMOM 12/14/2009 9:01PM

    Love your party strategy! Reminds me of an episode of Desperate Housewives!

And I'm so with ya on the gym pet peeves!!

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DRAGONFLY180 12/14/2009 8:16PM

    good strategy at the party! i can't say no to a little wine while with friends, but to my advantage, my hubby and i are taking separate cars to a party sat. night, so i can't drink! (i will NOT drink and drive) those gym pet peeves are annoying. i have tons more! :o)

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CLOWN54 12/14/2009 6:04PM

    you had great ideas for the party. I was at a ww meeting the other day and someone said that he ate 0 point soup before he went to a family dinner . I thought that was a good idea too.

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TRACYZABELLE 12/14/2009 5:54PM

    Congrats on sticking to your guns! YOu are awesome!!

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SHAYDENISE1 12/14/2009 4:19PM

    OMG do you go to my gym?? lol jk. That last one is the worst! I feel like this lady ALWAYS gets on the machine next to me coughing all over the place!! lol

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 12/14/2009 3:18PM

    This is what I'd do:

1. Listen to music so another's counting doesn't distract me.

2. Ask "may I cut in?" I'm more likely to get a "yes" because only a selfish jerk would say "no."

3. When someone else coughs, hand them a paper mask.

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MBSHAZZER 12/14/2009 3:14PM

    That sounds like a really good party plan! Glad it worked out - for both of you!

As for gym pet peeves... I am so with you. At my gym, my biggest pet peeves are equipment hogs... there are a few people who do a circuit with 3 or 4 pieces of equipment and don't want anyone working in! Also, people put their towels or water bottles on a bench. They're not using the bench for anything other than storage. Annoying! Also, there is this one woman who takes the weights all over the gym and doesn't return them, so I end up looking all over the place for some stupid dumbbells. And then when I get back, someone has stored their towel on the bench I was going to use!!! GRR! Yes, I have strong feelings about this subject!

Glad you enjoyed the chocolate!

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GERMANPICKLE 12/14/2009 2:51PM

  my number one pet peeve bothers me sooooo much that I've failed to create more anymore:

when people don't clean their machine after them. especially people who sweat, as in S.W.E.A.T


even if I don't plan on using that machine, my blood pressure shoots up

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DOT121 12/14/2009 2:44PM

  I agree to all 3 gym pet peeves....

Good idea about the parting eating. You are really sticking to your plan.

Continued good luck.

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BURGHGIRL 12/14/2009 2:22PM

    Great job on planning ahead for the party and avoiding temptations! Doesn't that just make you feel *that* much stronger!!!! emoticon

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