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Hi, I'm Natalie

Friday, April 13, 2012


My first vlog, just saying hello to friends!

Forgive the weird- I was eating pineapple and I'm sure this will either start or end on a bad frame, for that is life. Love to you all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEIAMLOW 4/22/2012 1:59PM

    So fun to hear your voice and see your face! Sorry I missed this when you posted it. I need to figure out how to get better updates on my friend feed. :) Keep Vlogging Girl!!! emoticon

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EMKO0916 4/20/2012 4:44PM

    Haha! I love you! You're absolutely right...I love to see the "real" person. (now this is where you ask why I don't have a video, right?) ;)

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THINKSHRINK 4/16/2012 1:01PM

    So nice to "meet" you! What a terrific idea, and your video came out great. I'll try to figure out how to make a vlog soon. How fun!

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Comment edited on: 4/16/2012 1:01:49 PM

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ABIGAILJ22 4/14/2012 2:11AM

    Cute! So nice to meet you.

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RYDERB 4/13/2012 10:10PM

    Hi! emoticon It was so nice to "meet" you! You made it look easy, and you're even more beautiful in "person". emoticon

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CINDYBUNNIE 4/13/2012 8:40PM

    Oooh, I didn't think I'd ever try to attempt vlog, but it's awesome that you did one, so I'm a little inspired to try one later on. Maaaybe.

You're so cute!

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OMMAMA7 4/13/2012 7:07PM

    Hi! Super cute. It does make such a difference really seeing you and hearing your voice. Maybe someday I'll do this....but until then I hope some of my other friends do!!! :) Glad you posted!

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MTPOETNH 4/13/2012 6:51PM

    Nice to meet you ,Natalie- what a great way to introduce yourself -!! It is nice to see and hear a video instead of just see a picture. Hope you enjoyed the emoticon!! Peggy

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MIGHTYMISCREANT 4/13/2012 6:44PM

    I miss you friend!!!!!! You are cute as a button, and it's nice to meet you! haha. Been wanting to do the same as well! I actually tried a few weeks ago, but it wouldn't upload for some odd reason. haha!

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SMWATRMLON 4/13/2012 6:43PM

    Your so cuuuute emoticon
I really should try a vlog one day I even have a bit of an English accent!

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Food Love

Friday, April 13, 2012

I am food obsessed. I cook, and eat, and think about cooking, and think about eating. I also sleep and work. Yeah, like that.

Here are a few meals I've made recently:


mini meatloaf with smashed cauliflower and green beans, chile verde with brown rice and a fried egg, pulled pork baked toastadas, and yellowtail handrolls

I take pictures all the time, and if I can't share them here, then where?

Hope everyone is having a delicious Friday emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TORIAMAE 4/13/2012 7:12PM

    Looks delicious! Good for you!

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MTPOETNH 4/13/2012 6:47PM

    Your meals look very delicious!! It is very hard NOT to be obsessed with food but it looks like you are making some very healthy choices for meals. Makes me want to try smashed cauliflower! emoticon on your great weight loss- looks like you are very near your goal !! emoticon Peggy

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/13/2012 6:16PM

    Yeah, back when I was losing weight more rapidly than I am now I got really obsessed with food too. I hope you're not hungry all the time like I was though!!

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RYDERB 4/13/2012 5:35PM

    Everything looks so good. I seem to make the same things over and over. I need to be a little more adventurous. I want those yellowtail handrolls right now! emoticon Thank you for sharing your pictures.

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SMWATRMLON 4/13/2012 4:32PM

    I do the same thing emoticon
Looking forward to doing it tomorrow cause I've been stick a few days . Any time you want me over for dinner I'm there emoticon

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2BEABETTERME 4/13/2012 3:53PM

    Yum-o! I have to say I am obsessed with smashed cauliflower right now (like mine smashed with little potato).

The pulled pork tostadas would be a huge hit with my boys and I! Thanks for sharing!
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Week 14: from 145.5 to 142.8

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hello Sparkers!

You KNOW there had to be some craziness going on in my life for me to put off a blog bragging about my big loss this week!!! More on that later... First, I'd like to thank you all for the helpful/kind comments about my -0 loss last week (a result of salty restaurant food and mucho bread and wine in San Francisco!). I started last week with a renewed attitude and dedication, as well as a plan to lose the infamous final five pounds by the end of April.

In week 14, after many hikes, bowls of oatmeal, salads, and a run, my body dropped nearly 3 pounds. BOO-YA!!! And it wasn't easy, either- my brother Greg was visiting for his birthday. I did well, though... We went to a Laker game, I had two glasses of white wine (the official beverage of the NBA, no?), at Ventura Beach, I had two pints of Guiness, and when we went out to eat, it was all egg whites and light plates. Watching loved ones eat fried calamari and drink wheat beer to their hearts content could be a capital punishment!




The visit was great. I miss my family so much. We are all spread out, and it's about to be a lot farther out because...

MIKE AND I ARE MOVING TO HAWAII!!!

Back in December, Mike applied for a job and interviewed, but we hadn't heard anything since... Until we were waiting at the airport for my brother, and Mike got "the call" and was offered the job. Wowzas. There is so much to think about and DO, but for now, I'm just overjoyed for Mike (he'll be back to archaeology, his love), and in shock that we will be living in paradise. I think our life here in Santa Clarita is pretty amazing...

In week 15, I will keep on keeping on. Keep eating my oatmeal, taking my walks, and reading your wonderful/hilarious/inspirations posts. Much LOVE to you all this and every week!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 4/11/2012 2:02AM

    Great job on the healthy food, keep on going!
Do you track the calories?
Excited for the new job, post pictures when finally in Hawaii!

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RYDERB 4/11/2012 12:54AM

    emoticon emoticon 3 pounds is AMAZING! Way to go! emoticon Congratulations on your move! Hawaii is going to be fabulous! emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/10/2012 7:58PM

    Oh my gosh, moving to Hawaii?? That is amazing. Congrats! (Also congrats on the nice weight loss this week - you just keep going and going!!)

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ABIGAILJ22 4/10/2012 6:53PM

    AMAZING!!

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WHQPHQ 4/10/2012 3:24PM

    Well done! Hawaii - amazing! So jealous!

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THINKSHRINK 4/10/2012 11:47AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss and your big news! How much more excitement can you handle in one week?

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You look AWESOME in these pics, btw!! Keep up the good work!

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OUT-OF-ASHES 4/10/2012 10:18AM

    Wowzers is right! Crazy balls! Hawaii+weightloss=AWESOME!
So excited for you!

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FITNESSMONSTER8 4/10/2012 10:01AM

    Congrats on your weight loss! It's going to be so awesome living in paradise!!!

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TIMEIICHANGE 4/10/2012 9:50AM

    way to go on kicking those 3 pounds into dust. It's hard to loose even one pound at times but 3 lbs is awesome!! Keep up that great work. Congrats to Mike for getting the job in paradise!! How exciting. We're going on vacation this august to hawaii and we're excited just to visit! keep us posted =)

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CINDYBUNNIE 4/10/2012 9:45AM

    Oh, I definitely think you'll hit your weight loss goal at the end of this month now, lol. Congratulations! As you told me before, when you have a maintenance week, the next weigh-in is going to be a great one.

Now you can wear your new bikinis at your new home all the time! :P

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2BEABETTERME 4/10/2012 8:40AM

    Awesome weight loss! You are doing great!

An awesome way to start life in paradise...keep us updated on the move!
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TORIAMAE 4/10/2012 6:01AM

    Congratulations on your loss this week and your exciting news!

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BUBBLEJ1 4/10/2012 2:03AM

    Grea weight loss this week! You must be so happy!

Also, can I come to Hawaii too? I'm quiet, and I don't eat much. You won't even notice I'm there! emoticon You must be so excited for your move!

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Week 13: From 145.4 to 145.4

Monday, April 02, 2012

This has been one crazy week. In week 12, we went out of town (to beautiful San Francisco) for Mike's sister's wedding. I went in with a plan to eat really healthy balanced meals, but more bread and wine sneaked its way into my diet than I would have liked. And small as that sounds, it REALLY freaked me out.

Since January 2nd, I have been a pillar of dietary strength (realize that sounds stupid, moving on...). Around week 6 or so, I hit this stride and had the realization that I was NEVER going back. Not just to a number on a scale or the inside of my jeans, but to a boring sedentary lifestyle that included moments of shame, denial, and depression. I was DONE. For the last 12 weeks, if someone offered me another piece of bread or glass of wine (in any circumstance), I would have politely declined. But last week, I accepted just about every time. Sure, there were good moments- the egg white omelets, water, and walking, but the stupid bread made me doubt how far I've come.

So, once I got home, I knew it was time to re-evaluate where I am and where I'd like to be. Saturday was a mess- I felt anxious and disappointed in myself (my weigh-in didn't help), but then Sunday (yesterday), I literally pulled myself up by the bootstraps, and Mike and I went for a crazy 6 mile hike.



Getting moving and talking all of this out with Mike helped immensely. No amount of bread or wine takes away all that I have achieved this year. And on this beautiful/heart exploding hike, I came up with my April goal, and it is a doozy.

BY THE END OF APRIL, I WILL HAVE REACHED MY GOAL WEIGHT OF 140 POUNDS.

There it is, in all caps. In order to achieve this goal in a month, all I have to do is keep working. Continue to meet my calorie requirements, move 5-6 days a week, and drink water galore. My brother is coming out this weekend for his birthday (YAY!), but I'm not going to get out of step. I want to reach this goal badly.

Best of luck to all of you Sparkers in this brand new month! Thanks for all of the encouragement and inspiration!!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPER_WINGS18 4/9/2012 10:19PM

    Awesome! Hey, I consider maintaining during vaca a huge victory!! =) It is so easy to let ourselves get into bad habits and get out of control, and if you said "yes" to bread and wine a few too many times, no biggie! The important thing is that you get back out there and keep kickin ass! I have no doubt April is your month!

Victoria

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THINKSHRINK 4/5/2012 11:42AM

    You can totally meet that goal! And it sounds like after splurging a bit you just maintained, not gained, correct? I think it's totally normal to have a little pity party - you just can't stay at the party too long! Good for you for getting back on track. It seems like you're handling things beautifully and have A LOT to be proud of!

emoticon (I'm pretty sure those are hiking shoes...)

Comment edited on: 4/5/2012 11:43:15 AM

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RYDERB 4/4/2012 10:18AM

    You enjoyed a wonderful weekend with family and friends, a wedding, made lots of happy memories, didn't feel "deprived" when it came to your food choices, and you didn't gain an ounce! emoticon
Forget the bread! The sodium in all the restaurant food could have made you gain 3 pounds! You're an inspiration to the rest of us! I love how focused and determined you are to stay on track with your weigh loss. Obviously NOTHING is going to stop you from reaching your goal weight!
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Comment edited on: 4/4/2012 10:19:02 AM

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2BEABETTERME 4/3/2012 12:57PM

    The hike looked beautiful and invigorating. You will rock your goal!
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KIMCOLLINGS 4/3/2012 12:38PM

    You'll do it! You sound determined and you have a plan. Remember to congratulate yourself for how far you've come too. You are emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/2/2012 9:46PM

    I agree with OUT-OF-ASHES...the fact that you maintained your weight this week is pretty good! I am the total queen of yo-yo dieting, sadly, and a week like this to me would have given me a hefty gain...and then I'd have trouble getting back on track afterward. I sense that you're totally still in it to win it. I can't wait to see you say that you've hit 140!!

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CINDYBUNNIE 4/2/2012 6:13PM

    I believe you can hit your goal at the end of this month. You hit a minor bump, but it's not a regular thing that you have to deal with it. Personally, I think special occasions allow for some wiggle room, as long as they're not like every single week.

Do you just hike and jog/run for exercise? Have you cross-trained? A lot of people seem to have success with adding more variety to their workouts and/or increasing the intensity to finish the end of their goal. Maybe adding an extra type of exercise or two, like biking, Zumba, swimming, kickboxing, circuit-training (I believe Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred is considered circuit-training), yoga, Pilates, P90x, etc., will help you towards your goal.

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SMWATRMLON 4/2/2012 5:36PM

    You will definitely be at your goal! You have great attitude and you inspire me a lot
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OUT-OF-ASHES 4/2/2012 2:55PM

    No pounds gained, and that ain't bad! I think you have all the power to achieve your goal. I know you can do it.
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APONI_KB 4/2/2012 2:49PM

    you can totally do that

I'm impressed that you maintained through this. I've seen this weight appear briefly and then get scared off. I'm getting annoyed about it. My goal for April is for that elusive weight that I've seen twice now end up at the upper end of the limit. I want to leave the 150's behind and see at the max 149.9 on that scale.

Ok that won't happen because my scale only does half pounds so 149.5 then.

Comment edited on: 4/2/2012 2:52:15 PM

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WHQPHQ 4/2/2012 2:44PM

    Sounds do-able! Keep up the motivation!

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 4/2/2012 2:22PM

    I'm so glad you found your groove again on that beautiful hike. The good news is that you didn't gain. You're so close to your goal. Even though you weren't happy with your choices lately, you did well enough to maintain through a challenging time. Yay for you! Here's to reaching your goal before May. emoticon emoticon

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OMMAMA7 4/2/2012 2:20PM

    Awesome. I think you've inspired me to make a goal. I'm at 236. My goal will be to be at 230 (or in the 220's) by the end of April. :) Thank you!!!!!

I'm glad you got to have fun, though I'm sorry you felt all of the anxiety :( BUT you did just what I wrote about earlier. You noticed, and you did something about it. You got moving. You didn't give up. You made new goals. You got back on here. That is AWESOME :) (And I think after a weekend like that it's great that your weight wasn't up!! You did good - even if it wasn't quite how you wanted to be!)

I know you can reach your goal - I'm rooting for you!!

Let's do this!

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DANCINCAJUN1 4/2/2012 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BIZZ27 4/2/2012 1:13PM

    Wow sounds like an amazing plan!!! I know you can totally do it too, because you've got the willpower!! Reading this today makes me want to push harder to get back on this wagon of life... Thanks for the uplift!!!

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San Francisco!

Friday, March 30, 2012

This one's for you, ALYSSA! A photo blog of my adventures in the beautiful city of San Francisco...

Mike and I headed up to see his sister Pam get married this week at the beautiful city hall (I'm the one with the purple behind!):


But first, we explored Fisherman's Wharf (where we stayed):


Enjoyed an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe:


And then took the trolley to downtown where we walked for hours in the rain:


The next day, we witnessed the lovely wedding, had lunch afterwards at an amazing restaurant called Sutro's in the Cliff House (here's a pic of my crab Louis salad and us outside with our nephew Ethan):



Later, we all met up for an out of control fancy schmancy dinner at Harris' Steakhouse:


And here's a sneaky shot of the new Mr. & Mrs.:


It was a very special trip for a very special occasion. We had a blast! But now, it's back to reality- I weigh-in tomorrow (uh-oh!) and have PLENTY of school work to catch up on, but this mid-week trip was well worth it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALYSSA40 4/1/2012 3:55PM

    Man, you look like you had a wonderful time! I showed my husband and we were like, "Awww man!" Especially the trolley and Fisherman's Wharf! I've never been to Cliff House so that's going to be one of our stops next year when we go back out. Oh, I bet it was so lovely....Whaaaaa! LOL

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BGSTELLA 4/1/2012 1:46PM

    Glad you got to Cliff House -- this is one of my favorites --- we've seen whales playing off the shore too --- emoticon

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TORIAMAE 4/1/2012 9:15AM

    Looks fun and the food looks amazing!

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ABIGAILJ22 3/31/2012 4:33PM

    Looks so fun!!

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THINKSHRINK 3/31/2012 11:14AM

    It looks like you had a lot of fun & some good eats! You look GREAT, too - all that hard work pays off. Thanks for sharing the pics...SF looks like a great city!

Welcome back! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/31/2012 11:14:56 AM

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OUT-OF-ASHES 3/30/2012 8:38PM

    Looks like it was a wonderful trip! Glad to have you back :) You look adorable in all the photos you are in, and the food looked glorious.
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MISTYBLUE716 3/30/2012 8:21PM

    great pictuers!

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2BEABETTERME 3/30/2012 6:49PM

    Love the pictures and the food looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing! If your weight isn't exactly where you want it, don't worry...it will go back quickly. And, it was worth it!

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WHQPHQ 3/30/2012 4:38PM

    Looks like you had fun!

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RYDERB 3/30/2012 4:28PM

    Thanks for sharing photos from your trip! Your food pictures made me hungry! AGAIN! emoticon Good luck with your weigh in. No matter what the scale reads you know you had a great week!
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