ZELLAZM   95,785
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From Florida

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Greetings from Florida! After an uneventful flight on the 23rd, and a lovely Christmas eve (beautiful candlelight church service) and Christmas day (gift exchange and dinner out with my parents, phone calls to out of town relatives), I've got a chance to check in here at SP.

So far, I'm doing pretty well on eating and exercise.
I did have a big turkey dinner yesterday afternoon but I think I burned off most of the calories on a nice long walk/jog this morning. I'm enjoying some of the treats that I can't get in Germany - peppermint candy! - but keeping the portions small.

I'm making a Spark Recipe for my dparents and myself for dinner. They generally like to eat healthy too.

Weigh in? No scale here, but I'm planning to visit a gym as a guest sometime this week, and I can weigh there.

My mom and I braved the mall today. I've been looking forward to shopping here in the states, and planning to take advantage of the sales. Normally, I wouldn't go to the mall on the 26th but the clothes budget needs all the help it can get, and I want to be a good steward. Macy's is having an offer on denim and jeans were on my list. I actually tried on a pair of Ralph Lauren size 2's and they fit! I have never been a size 2 in my life! But they were much too expensive so I took the DKNY size 4's instead. Also got some size 6's at the Gap, and a couple of sweaters and t-shirts.

Went down to the dock with a book and watched a beautiful sunset just now - time to get dinner...it's been a good day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINILEE 12/27/2007 8:06PM

  Michelle, So glad to hear from you. I had a difficult time with junk this Christmas. I ate way too many cookies and candies, but I got rid of all that was left and am back on my way as of today. Tomorrow I will use my tracker, finally go for a walk, after 3 days idle, and figure out a beginners exercise program again. I was doing well with calisthenics and strength training till I hurt my shoulder . When I had healed I didn;t go back to my workouts. I can't afford a gym so I just do spark exercises at home. I have 3lb weight which are plenty heavy for me and I got an exercise band for Christmas, I was thrilled. Hope you are enjoying your time with your family and the warmth of Florida. It just keeps snowing here. My daughter left today for a 4 hour drive home in the snow. It always slows everything down. I hope she got home in time for work. Take care and enjoy your time in the states.


Gini


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JANETELIZABETH1 12/27/2007 4:15PM

    Ah Michelle, Thank you so much for sparing the time to blog and check into SP. So happy that all is going well, foodwise and exercise...I just know you're going to do very well while you're away. What did your family think of the 'new 'you??
I well remember the shopping Malls in the States and such good prices, because of the competition of so many stores.
Have a wonderful and happy New Year and we look forward to further updates when you're able.
Blessings and hugs,
Janet.

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TKLINKEN 12/27/2007 4:05PM

    Michelle, I loved your comment about fitting into a RL size 2. That's absolutely great! You should be very proud of yourself.

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Shutting down...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Time to pack up the laptop. I'm just about finished packing everything else, cleaning, tidying, and am ready to get some good sleep before my trip tomorrow. I'll be underway for a total of 15 hours door-to-door. The airline sent me an email reminder today with my itinerary and confirmation code. Nice service!

Prayers appreciated for a safe, uneventful trip, that any children on the flight will be quiet and well-behaved, that my luggage arrives intact and at the same time that I do, and that I'm maybe blessed to have some good conversation with a fellow traveller along the way.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETELIZABETH1 12/24/2007 1:28PM

    Hi Michelle,
Have a truly wonderul trip...we will miss you but will wait to hear all about it!!
Season's greetings and wishing you a very happy, healthy New Year.
Blessings,
Janet.

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NOEILAND 12/22/2007 9:28PM

    Have a nice and safe trip! Happy Holidays!

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GECKO140 12/22/2007 5:57PM

    Hope your trips was wonderful and I did say a prayer for a successful, fun, safe and baggage arriving with you trip. Blessing and good health to you in the New Year, 2008.

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IGADS!

Friday, December 21, 2007

That's the battle I'm fighting today! I've Got All Day Syndrome!

Finished my presentation on the postmodern worldview on Wednesday for my seminary class and had my last day of work at the language school yesterday. The "extra" Christmas party scheduled by my boss was last night, the last fixed appointment before my trip. Now I have two whole days to do everything that needs to be done before I fly to the States on Sunday. It would be so nice just to kick back and relax but laundry, packing, cleaning, errands are calling.

On the up side, it's a gloriously cold and crispy, sunny day, so I'll do some of my errands on foot, getting in some good exercise for the day.

By the way, the dinner last night was fun - nice to have some time to socialize with my colleagues. The meal was very "chic" - the waiter and waitress had to explain everything that we were eating because a lot of it was unrecognizable. And the presentation was very stylish as well. For example, the appetizer was a seafood aspic served in a real shell. It was delicious! When I finished, I noticed that there was a dollop of some kind of paste under the shell, keeping it from rocking and rolling on the plate. It looked edible, so I tried it. It turned out to be a pesto of sundried tomatoes - tasty! We got a good giggle out of that as I passed the word down the table to the others to try the hidden treasure under the shell.

No way I'm going to be able to track that meal, but I am going to track today as prep for my trip. I think it will help me to keep focused and prevent any mindless eating caused by nervousness and excitement about the journey ahead.

My next blog entry will be posted from Florida - hard to believe! I may not be posting much till after the Christmas holiday so let me now say...

Remember the reason for the season and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!

  


I COR.13...A CHRISTMAS VERSION

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I CORINTHIANS 13...A CHRISTMAS VERSION

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table
at mealtime, but do not show love
to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties,
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating
to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has
coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able
to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas and
lots of love to you and yours!

Author Unknown

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYWANNABE 12/16/2007 10:38AM

    Thanks for sharing! And it's so true, it's ALL about LOVE! I'm amazed that more people don't see the Bible as the greatest love story ever written or lived.

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Looking Ahead

Monday, December 10, 2007

From December 23, 2007 to January 21, 2008, I'll be in Florida visiting my family and possibly doing some shorter trips within the state. Can I maintain? We'll see! I've already looked (online) into a one-month guest membership at a health club and I look forward to (Nordic?) walking on the beach.

Food will also be a challenge. Living alone as I do, I don't normally have the problem of family members bringing things into the house that I don't need to be eating. But I'll be spending a lot of time with my parents and, although they generally eat very healthy, they have some habits that don't work for me - like eating the biggest meal of the day in the evening. Mom also generally likes to serve two carbs at each evening meal - a potato AND fresh bread, pasta AND fresh bread, rice AND fresh bread. You get the idea. And I love fresh bread! But I'll be doing some of the cooking and I'll introduce them to some of the good Spark Recipes I've tried over the past few months.

The other thing is restaurant eating. The portions are usually way bigger than I need and there's always the tendency to eat more because it's paid for. But that too is something I'm aware of and can plan for. Most places these days offer "heart healthy" alternatives, and there's always the doggie bag option.

As far as holiday sweets and such, I've been repeating the "nothing tastes as good as being skinny/healthy feels" sentence a lot lately. I'm sure the need for that won't change. One year at Christmas time, I took a whole shopping bag of food gifts to the homeless shelter in the city. I'm grateful for the thought behind the gifts, but there is just so much one can indulge in buttery, sugary treats.

I'm also looking forward to shopping the winter-end sales for much-needed new clothes, so much cheaper in the States even before the added discounts. Yay, new jeans are in sight!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGELWOOD 12/12/2007 9:13AM

    Wow! I sure wish I were you. What a great amount of discipline you have. Something I really need to re-learn. Our Father God must be beaming with pride and joy! Congratulations on all your future successes while in maintenance mode. Enjoy your trip back home!!! =D

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JANETELIZABETH1 12/11/2007 3:41PM

    Hi Michelle,
I'm so impressed with your approach for your coming trip. You seem to have covered all the danger areas...just need to avoid falling in them!lol!!
But I'm sure everything will be fine AND with the thought of buying new clothes, sure would keep me on track!
Have a wonderful time.
Blessings,
Janet.

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SPARKYWANNABE 12/10/2007 4:18PM

    Great job in being proactive and not giving the excuses a chance to begin. Love the idea of buying a one month membership to continue your routine!

Breads are my weakness too, and I love your little motto! Keep the spirit going!

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