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Abercrombie Kids size L bottoms and XL top, taken 10/28/09. Still working on the abs!!! XOXOX

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I'm the one with the white hat and the rod, taken fall of 2006. Cankles!

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Liberation! Taken October 25, 2009. Topless in Raleigh North Carolina.

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THECITYMOUSE is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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I am an emotional eater.

I overate.

And I ate a bunch of crap, didn't exercise, therefore I got fat.

Food controlled me.

It's time for me to regain control.

So now I'm here doing something about it.

You are too.

Now shut up and read.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

**You are...what you think you are....if you keep thinking and saying out loud that you are a fat sowbag, you're gonna feel like a fat sowbag, and people will start agreeing with you. Remember that old addage: "if you don't have anything nice/positive to say, don't say anything at all" and start being positive. **

**Don't make your goals attainable. Just don't do it. If they're too easy to acquire then they aren't worth reaching. If you think you'll never be a size 6, then guess what? You'll never freakin' be a size 6....but if you make a goal to be a 2, put it in writing, know you can do it....because I just did and I'm not at my "goal" weight yet. Make them challenging!!**

**Speaking of goals....don't lose weight for prom or for your wedding day .... or that class reunion... DO IT BECAUSE YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT AND BMI IS BIGGER AND WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OF THOSE EVENTS PUT TOGETHER...and then some!**

**Use your food and fitness logs and make them public. Don't lie on them, either, cuz the only person you are lying to is yourself. Hold yourself accountable for everything you put in your piehole and every movement you do or do not make.**

**Life is gonna throw you some curveballs, hardcore, sucky, ugly,"do-I-have-to-deal-with-this" curveballs...don't you DARE use those curveballs as your excuses...don't put YOU on hold, perservere through these times, stay focused on healthy living and your's very empowering when you realize you are in control of your waistline...and the exercise really really helps with stress and depression. Honest. **

**Buy yourself a small kitchen scale that measures food in ounces and grams AND USE IT. Buy measuring cups and spoons AND USE THEM, too.**

**If you are having a weak moment and you MUST have something icky....don't eat the entire package! Measure out a PORTION, enjoy that portion, log it, and hold yourself accountable.**

**You're going to "fall off the wagon". And when you do? You're going to dust your happy azz off and get right back on it again.**

**Slow down....get proper portions with each meal and eat slowly....put your silverware down between'll get full....and eat less.**

**Eat breakfast. Coffee with four tablespoons of creamer does not count as breakfast. Eat breakfast every morning and make it a good one!**

**Remember that you never want that "Imma-bust-a-gut" feeling. You never want to do that to yourself again!**

**If you hate wheatgrass juice and soy milk and flaxseed, don't try to make yourself love them....So don't try to convince yourself to like something that just isn't working for you....remember to choose foods wisely and enjoy in moderation [just take a gander at my food log, would ya?].**

**Do, however, try new foods. I'd never eaten a cooked sweet potato until just a few days ago! Experiment in your kitchen. Check out the recipes here at Don't think losing weight has to be all about celery and carrot sticks. Or cabbage soup. Sheesh.**

**I don't cook using Teflon coated cookware. I figure if it's not good for our pet birds to be around the gases that are emitted from using said cookware then it's not kewl for me to cook food for me and my family with said cookware. So I've thrown it out and now it's all stainless steel.**

**Take photos of yourself in your bathing suit or skivvies. Look at yourself. Don't go run and bury your head in the sand, but really take a look at yourself, be realistic about your goals, and get off yer duff and make some life changes.**

**Do not cut out any particular food groups. Period. You need to be eating a balanced diet.**

**REMEMBER: food=fuel. Sure, we want it tasty but remember that it's fuel, not a an emotional punching bag, not a hobby, but fuel, to keep the body and mind going!**

**For kicks and giggles, I am tracking various nutrients here on Spark [iron, calcium, fiber, sodium, cholesterol, potassium] and it's really helped me round out my diet, so to speak, it's much more balanced now. Try it and see.**

**Once you get the hang of the nutrition log, plan and enter your meals and snacks for the day....print it off if you have to and stick it on your fridge or to your mirror or to your FOREHEAD so you know what your caloric boundaries are....stick with your menu and do not deviate....this has been a great help to me!**

**Always remember to be kind to yourself. Always.**

**Be kind to others, too. If you don't have anything nice to say to/about anybody, don't say anything at all.**

**Subscribe to some sort of health/fitness magazine and read each issue cover-to-cover. Keep them and refer to them often to remain inspired and motivated, especially if they have "before and after" stories in them.**

**Mix veggies with pasta and rice dishes to lower your calories and add some nutritional value....cuz let's face it, pasta and rice don't have a whole lotta anything but calories.**

**Try on your summer clothing in the winter months. Bathing suits, too. We aren't don't think you can hibernate cuz it's cold and eat and eat and eat then b*tch when your spring/summer stuff doesn't fit.**

**NEVER reward yourself with food....if you just burned 1100 calories on a kickazz hike or run, don't go eat an entire Papa John's pizza...stick to healthy choices to recharge after a great workout... Instead, at certain intervals in your weight loss allow yourself a reward such as a super groovy new pair of shoes....or a vacation .... something that you can't put into your piehole....just never make the reward EDIBLE.**

**Water. Drink lots of it. I usually drink between 8 and 15 cups of water a day, but I have to cut off around 8 or 9pm or I'm up all night.**

**Strength train. Let me reiterate. STRENGTH TRAIN. You can be cardio queen [or king] if you want to be a smaller version of your fat self. Strength training will set your metabolism on fire, seriously, and the inches will FLY off. So! Start with doing body weight squats and go from there. You'll be shocked and amazed what strength training will do for you.**

**Be patient. Realize that fatness didn't just happen overnight. It was a process, months perhaps years of bodily abuse and ill eating habits. You have to be patient in order to break those habits.**

**Good posture exudes confidence, even if you're not. Work on your posture.**

**Ladies [and gents] don't need to get all "gussied up" to go for a run/stagger....leave the makeup, perfume and cologne at home, there's nothing more disconcerting than running near someone who has a purple cloud of fragrance hovering about them.**

**I refuse to eat artificial sweeteners. I'd rather have a lil' sugar than anything with aspartame or Splenda in it. That's my personal take on artificial sweeteners. **

**I no longer drink soda, regular, diet, ZERO, whatever, I don't drink it and you shouldn't, either.**

**I'm sorry....but your period is NOT an excuse to A. eat with reckless abandon, B. not exercise, or C. gorge on chocolate all day long. Your period is part of the BEAUTY of being female, ladies....suck it up, and HEAD TO THE GYM.**

**Do some form of cardio at least 30 minutes day.**

**Buy "goal clothes". And try them on once a month. I have a dress, a skirt, and two pairs of jeans I'm going to get into. It's more about getting into them and staying in them than seeing magic numbers on the scale.** UPDATE: I got into the dress, the skirt, and the two pairs of jeans...In fact, they're all too big. My new "goal clothes" are a few pair of my daughter's jeans, they're all size 0 or 00. Ack!

**Do not think that losing the weight is going to change your life and make everything perfect.**

**You have to believe this is possible....don't go looking for a perfect solution or a magic formula because what works for some won't necessarily work for you.**

**Eliminate or minimize the amount of processed foods you consume.**

**Exercise will help you declutter your mind, henceforth declutter your life.**

**I weigh myself every day, once a day, same time every day. This works for me. **

**Absolutely DO NOT eat anything with TRANS FATS in it. This is the law. Period. There's no compromise on this one.**

**Avoid fast foods like the plague.**

**You are not being selfish doing something for yourself, nobody else will do this for you, trust me.**

**Measure your neck, chest, upper arms, waist, hips, thighs, and calves and record these measurements. Sometimes the scale won't budge, but the little notches in that tape measure WILL.**

**Love every day of your journey. As the song goes "sometimes the journey is more important than the end or the start". You're going to learn so much about yourself and your body and those around you....and that's priceless.**

**On the days that you workout hard, make sure you fuel your body, too, especially if you are lifting heavy weights. Make your food choices whole, natural, and clean!**

**Goodwill your "fat" clothes. Don't keep them as a safety net.**

**Don't whine. Do something. Now.**

**Every day when you wake up, be thankful that you are healthy and vibrant and alive....and make the most of it!**

**Make it a New You Resolution, not a "new year's resolution". Don't start January 1st. Start NOW. What are you waiting for?**

**I have yet to overcome my emotional eating and sugar addiction. I slip every once in a while but I'll be damned if I throw in the towel!!**

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Personal musings about appearance...because we need to look and feel our best at **all** times....

**Never wear a white bra under a white shirt....if you do, wear a cami so the bra doesn't show through like a beacon. Better yet, invest in a well fitting nude colored bra or two...and for every fifteen pounds lost, check bras for fit as this is one of the first places the weight dropped for me :o)**

**Always wear sunscreen. Always. Period.**

**Make sure your clothing fits you right....I don't care if you are a size 24 or 2 ....clothes that fit well regardless of brand are priceless.**

**Men? Should you wear a suit or a sport coat....NEVER put your hands in your pants pockets. Period. I don't care what your weight is or if it's casual Friday....ANYONE who wears a blazer must NEVER put his [or her] hands into ones' pants pockets. This is a terrible eyesore and makes you appear sloppy. And you aren't sloppy.**

**Never leave the house with chipped nail polish. I don't care what Hollywood starlets do, this look is not cool, not on Lindsay Lohan, not on you.**

**Every girl needs a wrap dress. It can be an actual dress that wraps around the body and ties at the side or it can be a "faux" wrap need one in your closet."

**She also needs a great pair of heels. If the thought of wearing high heels makes you shudder, try on a pair that has a mini platform in the front...makes walking and standing doable if heels aren't your thing.**

**Hands are one of the first thing people see. You don't need to go get a high end manicure with elaborate tips and nails and stuff...just make sure your nails are trimmed, clean, and invest in a nail buffer [read: CHEAP] and buff your nails to give them a healthy sheen without polish.**

**Steer clear of overly trendy looks....and I say this at any size. Because pleather leggings aren't flattering on anyone and need to go die.**

**Dark, trouser cut jeans need to be in your closet. No fading. No embellishments. Just a great pair of dark wash trouser cut jeans. They can be dressed up or down. Brand isn't important, but color and cut and style is. They will make you appear long and lean. And that's what we all want. **

**If you are heavy in the neck/face/chin, avoid crew neck cuts and turtleneck sweaters....they'll just make you look rounder. Opt for boatneck and vee neck cuts instead.**

**If you are genetically, or otherwise, gifted with shapely calves [a-hem, mine measure 16" around in circumference], do not wear skirts or cropped pants that end at the heaviest'll just appear chunky...and we don't want that.**

**If you wear makeup, NEVER leave the house looking like a Pasty Faced Troll. NEVER. Makeup is to ENHANCE your face...don't try to cover up your freckles....don't "hide" behind a mask of foundation and powder....let YOU shine through, because you truly are fabulous.**

**Think good long and hard before you slap on concealer....with wear, it tends to cake in fine lines and creases making your face look more wrinkly, especially after you hit your 30's, we don't want to appear older than we are.**

**ALWAYS wear rubber gloves when you do chores, ALWAYS. This is not a maybe. You absolutely MUST wear gloves when you do dishes, clean the bathrooms, any time you touch water and harsh detergents, you had better wear gloves....and slather on moisturizer when you are done...It's the law.**

I'll be thinking of more stuff and adding to this list on a regular basis....

Member Since: 5/21/2007

Fitness Minutes: 66,899

My Goals:
To work out at least six times a week.

To eventually weigh right around 125.

To lose more body fat and have a higher percentage of lean muscle mass.

To be a role model to my family and friends.

To diminish the blues through regular exercise.

To one day look at my midsection and not compare it to bubble wrap.

To get into and be able to wear a size 0 bottoms...I thought size 6 would be my "goal size" but my goals keep getting loftier....Just bought size 2 button down shirts at Banana Republic and size 0 skirts at Express...and I'm wearing my daughter's size kids' large bikini in this photo to the left....

To incorporate strength training so I can wear sleeveless clothing without worrying about dreaded BATWINGS. **UPDATE** Not just incorporated strength training but doing it every other day and LOVING the results. You need to do it, too. No batwings here. :-)

To be completely debt free in 2010. Period.

My Program:
Everything I eat/drink is logged in the food logger here. EVERYTHING. And I'm keepin' it public.

Drink at least 8 cups of water daily; I was shooting for twelve, and did that for two and a half months, but it kept me up at night if you knowwhatimean. **UPDATE** Downing about 120 fluid ounces of water daily now. The bladder does get used to it...and I swear I have never felt nor have I ever looked better.

Eating as many fresh fruits and vegetables as I can, lean proteins, higher fiber snacks, that sort of thing.

Alcohol only on special occasions and moderately on weekends.

ABSOLUTELY NO TRANS FATS ARE ALLOWED IN MY HOUSE! Period. End of story. I don't care how good it might taste, it's illegal here... :o) Just read an article about VISCERAL FAT and how it affects your innards. ICK.

Personal Information:
I was born in a suburb of London, England and moved to the United States when I was 12.

As a general rule, I like myself ... I'm usually positive and like to surround myself with similar people.

I'm a real estate broker ... so .... my stress levels are paramount. I am the proud single parent of a fiercely independent gorgeous twenty four year old girl. I have a twelve year old Pomeranian named Stella who is basically my other child ... and I've adopted a 110 pound seven year old German Shepherd, Lopez ....

Other Information:
I am an avid shopper. In fact, if it were an olympic sport I would have earned a gold medal. Several times over.

I like stalking other people's blogs and fitness/nutrition trackers and if I see you whining I'm going to say something about it, okay?

Read More About THECITYMOUSE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated February 3)

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