Thursday, January 14, 2010
It's the final month before my wedding! I wake up so excited every day! I don't really have time to plan during the week, but each weekend we make tons of progress but there's still so much more to do! My diet and exercise are going really well - if you're ever lagging in motivation, just plan your wedding! Ha! I did succumb to temptation while in Paris and Amsterdam, but I am totally committed now that I'm back and have only a few weeks to go.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Well hello again...it'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!
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.
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.
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