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The Twelve Days of Sparking

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Spark gave to me:

Twelve months of tracking
Eleven thousand fitness minutes
Ten (times three!) pounds lost
Nine glasses of water a day
Eight 5Ks run
Seven days a week of goal-meeting
Six trophies for points
Five log-in points!
Four support teams
Three healthy meals a day
Two treats a week
And a healthy and happy new me!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my wonderful Spark Buddies! Couldn't have done it without you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TABBALOOSA 12/27/2009 8:06PM

    Smiles! Hope you're holidays are great, and that the new year is awesome. Can't wait to hear how your move unfolds - I love the plan and your aspirations.

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ALLISON4EG 12/26/2009 6:08PM

    AWW so cute

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KAYAKID 12/24/2009 11:43AM

    You are so creative - You and bobby should get together. thanks for being my spark friend! I also couldn't do this without friends like you!

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HELLAVAHC 12/24/2009 9:14AM

    Love it!

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PINKCOCONUT 12/24/2009 9:06AM

    You're too cute! Merry Christmas my friend!!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 12/24/2009 8:57AM

    Very creative :)

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AXISLADY 12/24/2009 8:49AM

    You know we'll all be trying to sing it! Very well done!

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BBAHONORS 12/24/2009 8:47AM

    Great blog! I love how you worked SP into an old favorite song!

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It's a Christmas miracle!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've been sick and hurting and lazy, so I haven't been a gym regular in about two weeks. Eek! Yesterday I felt good to go - I woke up early, got a great workout in, and then thought to myself "I really should weigh myself." Ugh. Two weeks of hardly any gym? Christmas cookies? Sickness? Got on the scale and... I nearly fell off! I actually was down at my previous low! I didn't gain any weight. huh. So that was a nice start to the week.

I can see how lots of people (myself included) put off the gym this time of year. Cookies to bake, presents to wrap, cleaning to do... it was so easy for me to say "One day of skipping the gym won't hurt." But soon it turned into a week... and then I was sick, so it turned into *another* week... If I wouldn't have sucked it up yesterday, I KNOW that it would have turned into "well I can just hold off until the new year. Then I'll get back into it." I nipped that right in the bud!

Two more days of school until break... I am looking forward to the holiday craziness to be over and the relaxing to begin. Can't wait to take some time for myself and get some important stuff done.

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive in my last blog about moving - it's a risk and I'm a little anxious about it, but I think we are making the right decision. We're starting to look at jobs and apartments in Vancouver; we are really excited! It's going to be such an adventure! I never knew I had this desire for all this change - I really think that by using Spark I discovered a lot about my true self.

Happy Tuesday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 12/23/2009 6:25PM

    Same low weight - that's awesome! I wish I knew your secret - the moment I stop keeping up with any aspect of my routine, the weight piles back on.

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HELLAVAHC 12/22/2009 8:19AM

    You are awesome for fighting the gym blahs! It is so easy to "rest" this time of year with everything else going on. Plus, your move! Wow, that is so exciting. Vancouver is supposed to be such a cool place! A new adventure!

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PINKCOCONUT 12/22/2009 8:04AM

    Way to get back into woman! Glad you're starting to feel better!

VANCOUVER?!?! Oh MAN! I didn't represent T.O. enough! Gonna have to practice my "Move to Toronto" pitching skills! LOL

However, if you're going to choose a place, Vancouver is an excellent choice! One of the best places in Canada to live!

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CFMOSS 12/22/2009 7:58AM

    Spark has definitely been more than a weight loss journey for me; it has been an on-going journey of self-exploration and understanding AND is still continuing. Glad for the excitement in your life even with the nervousness. Glad for making good choices and finding time even when the temptations to do otherwise are very great. Have a beautiful day.

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MYUTMOST4HIM 12/22/2009 7:57AM

    Congrats and good luck on the move!!!

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Growing up mom...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've certainly been getting my share of thinking these last few days!

When I was younger, I always felt as if I was more like my mom than my dad. I was happy with this - she spent her money when she wanted to, she was very close to her family, and she knew a ton of people wherever we went. My dad? "No way," I thought. He cut coupons, wanted to save his money, and while he talked to his family, they lived in different areas of the country. As I grew up I was very happy. I liked being close to my family, I liked spending my money when I wanted to...
About three years ago my fiance and I moved a bit away from our families. Only about 60 miles, but it's farther away than I had ever been, even for college. I have really gotten a chance to think about what is important to me, without having family pressure. (I never realized that this pressure was there until I moved away.) I decided I really liked getting involved in causes I believed in, running, being fit, saving money, living simply... things that I never thought would ever be a part of me. Things that really are more like... my dad! Who'd have thunk?

Fast forward to this holiday season. I have really discovered myself... I am confident in who I've become, and I finally feel as if I have defined myself. I know exactly who I am. This me is not anything like I was in the past. I think this is difficult for my mom to take in, or maybe even for me to take in, too. I feel like I'm not as close to my mom anymore. Today she called to ask what I wanted for Christmas - my aunt and uncle were going shopping and they wanted to know - and when I told her I really didn't know, she sounded annoyed. It was just weird. She also asked how I was, and I told her I was sick. I took a sick day yesterday, and I woke up with a cough and some chest pain today so I took another sick day and went to the doctor and got some meds. When I told her this, she said "oh, really?" like she was reprimanding me for taking two sick days in a row. I felt like a little kid. Like I had to justify being sick.
How do I get over this? I know I don't need my mom's permission to do stuff, but I just feel like in some way I do.

My honey and I want to move to a city in the summer. We want a smaller place, we don't want to own a home right now, we want to be close to more culture and fun stuff, and we want to live a little "greener" by getting by on one car and a couple of bikes. We have been looking at Philadelphia, Toronto, Vancouver, and Portland. Philly is closest, by far, to my family. My mom is not so keen on the idea.
But I called my dad to tell him of our plans, and he is supportive. He thinks while we have the chance to do it, we should.

I don't know if this sounds horrible, but I feel like I am a little healthier when I am living my own life. I love my family and I wouldn't be who I am today without them, but I feel like I can live my life when I am not feeling like I have to live up to their ideas of what I *should* be doing with my life.
How do I keep from feeling like I need permission to do everything? I don't want to disappoint my mom but I need to live my life, even if it means moving kinda far away for a while.

Sigh... 'tis the season.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT4LIVINGLIFE 12/22/2009 8:24AM

    One of the hardest parts of growing up is letting go of that need to please our parents...I love my mom and I do live near her...she is alone and I am here to take care of her, but I live my life and go on...she shares her thoughts, opinions, but respects mine and accepts my choices.I think by inclusing her, listening to what she says and then doing what I feel is right for me, allows her to feel she still matters in my life....maybe the hardest part of growing up is getting our parents to realize we are grown up...good luck on the upcoming changes!

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MYUTMOST4HIM 12/22/2009 8:00AM

    I never looked at it as getting "permission" per say - but that I wanted to please them - never do something that would disappoint them

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SEPPIESUSAN 12/18/2009 10:12PM

    I'm finding I have more and more in common with my dad the older I get, too! My brother used to live in Portland. He said it was a great city for "being green" and being active outdoors.

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 12/18/2009 12:39AM

    Wow, you have a lot of responses - seems like everyone wants to put their two cents in...and me too!

Well, Carrie, the thing is - you have to live the life you want to live. Period. It isn't shutting out your parents to move to a big city. It is you and your fiance making the decision that is right for you. Guilt is a useless emotion, so don't fall for it.

I LOVE Philly - almost went to grad school there, had the best time when I visited the campus! Love the little neighborhoods, too.

I've been to Vancouver, too, very interesting, kind of European in seems like a fun town.

I have never been to Portland, but I have heard great things about it, too.

I know that your mother's disapproval feels bad to you, and that can be really tough. But you are not obligated to stay in your home town just to please her. It is your life, and you get to decide. That's what is so great and so terribly overwhelming about being an adult.

Just so you know, I live within 5 minutes of my mother and 45 minutes of my dad. But I spent 4 years over 1000 miles away from both of them, then 6 years 75 miles away from them. But my parents have always been (well, once I no longer lived under their roof) completely open and accepting about who I wanted to be and where I wanted to My best advice: Be who YOU want to be. Your mom will still love you, even if she doesn't understand you.

Take care!

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CEESNOW 12/16/2009 10:01PM

    We spent 6 years of married life near my parents and we are far happier across the country from them LOL mostly my mom. I love her, I just can't live near her.

We live a simpler life here and she doesn't get it. We don't need to shop every day for stuff we don't need or impress anyone.
I vote for Vancouver!! Go Canada!

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HELLAVAHC 12/16/2009 9:16PM

    Very deep thoughts! It sounds like you have a big life change coming! I think my favorite line of your blog was I am confident in who I've become... that is such a wonderful thing to be able to say.

I know you have the strength and confidence to make a good decision for the future!

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MYMONSTERSX3 12/16/2009 9:03PM

    I had to move very far away to be able to deal with my mother, and now we have a suitable relationship.

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BLABBERMOUTH2 12/16/2009 8:44PM

    Hey, Carrie. Loved the blog. However, I'm here to tell you that you are always going to be the "child." It's easier done from afar then being right next door to your parents. The good thing is, the older you get the pendulum swings the other way.

Enjoy yourself while you are young, but enjoy your parents even more while they are here. Time has a way of going by very fast. You blink and a year has gone by.

Good luck and welcome to adulthood. Spread your wings and fly!

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COOPSM 12/16/2009 7:54PM

    Carrie---you do not need their permission, but we always seek approval..but this is your life and they will love you no matter what you what YOU want so you have no regrets...moms are moms and will always worry no matter what you do..even if you lived 30 minutes away.....she may be feeling a little blue because she sees you growing up...

Make YOUR decision....

have a great night, hope you feel better and keep that head up!!!

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MIAMIA7 12/16/2009 7:15PM

    Ah Carrie-life does take some twists and turns huh? As Bobby said-you don't need their approval. But that doesn't mean that you won't want it sometimes. You need to do what is right for you. As far as where to live....Bobby and I have lived 8 hours from our families at the farthest and 1/2 mile at the closest. Now (at the 1/2 mile) we are taking care of our parents. Glad we moved home so our kids could get to know the grandparents. My boys are extremely close to them. Now is a good time to live away and enjoy your young life. When you have children you're feelings may change. Way to go on trying to live more green also. I always say I would like to but don't apply it to much. Still time to change. Keep blogging and let us know how the process is going. Anne

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BOBBYD31 12/16/2009 6:48PM

    philly put you on the other side of the state from us, sorry mike, so that would be my vote. you don't need their approval, this is your life. dont shut them out but don't seek their approval either. it is tough

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BOBBYD31 12/16/2009 6:48PM

    philly put you on the other side of the state from us, sorry mike, so that would be my vote. you don't need their approval, this is your life. dont shut them out but don't seek their approval either. it is tough

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SMILE2HAPPINESS 12/16/2009 6:46PM

    Family can definitely interfere with the choices we make in life. It gives you a better perspective when you're not too far or close to them. I think it's great that you want to move to a city. I love living in a city, there's so much stuff to do you'll never get bored! emoticon

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MISSCLEO11 12/16/2009 6:13PM

    LOL not sure we're ever not vulnerable to our parents influence, but at some point I made the transition to not having to hope for their approval for everything I did.

I think what did it for me was we chose to get married in Las Vegas (couldn't see planning a wedding! Yikes!) and my parents refused to come! The biggest decision of my life and they refused to come! And what made it worse, is not only did they refuse to come, but they gave me a bad time of it: "We thought we raised you right", "we wanted better for you", etc.

After going to bed and crying for a couple hours, I realized how ridiculous what they were saying sounded. Since then I'm done seeking their approval :)

We did, however, get the church blessing afterward, just to keep the peace :) But it was a choice and not a compulsion.

But I think we all tend to get a little more vulnerable to mom and dad's influence around the holidays. Hang in there.

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KAYAKID 12/16/2009 6:12PM

    Carrie I vote for Portland! of course I am biased. its hard getting away from mom and dad sometimes but it looks like carrie is growing up and ready to be a fullfledged adult.LOL if you are looking for green - Portland is the place! I can't believe how green it has become - maybe too much for my tastes sometimes. I am a contractor and more and more people around here want bamboo floors becasue they are green. Lots of people on bikes. its crazy!

Well loved the blog and take care!

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The blahs

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today is a sick day. Last night I felt just awful, and today is not much better. I've been living on the couch and enjoying my Nyquil.
Sunday was brunch at my mom's house. My fiance and his parents were there; we had a really nice time. The drive down and back was not so good - a bit icy and dark. But since I drive slow anyway, we made it just fine. The visit made me think a lot - how I eat now is a lot LOT different than I used to eat. So of course, I noticed some habits at brunch. Made me not miss being younger.

- Had on my skinny jeans (because, dammit, I can finally *wear* skinny jeans!), and my mom and I were talking and she said something to the effect of "well you certainly can't go any tighter" with the tone of "you are just about spilling out of those" which is totally not true. The waist is a little loose, and the legs have plenty of room in them. I was instantly transported back to my younger days when my mom would say things like "You're a 14 trying to fit into a 4"; "Well it *almost* fits," and various other comments that made me feel like a whale. I was so sad inside. It's those kinds of comments that I had put out of my mind. When she said that, I couldn't help but think of them again.

- I have a serious problem with Jenny Craig. I think it's crazy that people pay that much money for pre-packaged food and a weekly weigh-in. My mom is one of those crazy people. She has lost weight with Jenny Craig (well who wouldn't, when you can only eat 1200 calories a day?), but on Sunday I saw a real reason why those programs don't work. They don't teach you anything other than how to open cans and boxes. We had Monkey Bread for brunch (a really gooey cinnamon bread - yum) and there was some left over. As I was getting ready to leave, I saw my mom just picking at the bread. All I could think was "OMG does she know how many calories she just ate?" I knew that because Spark taught me to really look at my food. Knowledge is power. Most diet programs don't have people eating real food, so as soon as they are presented with something other than the pre-packaged stuff, nobody knows how much they are really eating.

But anyway, there is some happy. Yesterday I went to the dentist to pick up my new braces and both the dentist and her assistant asked me if I lost weight. Wahoo! I haven't really, but it would seem that the extra strength training I'm doing is paying off in how I look. Yay!

I have some homemade chicken noodle soup tonight, courtesy of my honey. He made some for me last night when I felt crappy, and I have some leftover for tonight. I'm so looking forward to eating it. SO much better than a can!

back to the couch for some TV, nap, and water.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AXISLADY 12/24/2009 8:56AM

    I'm a Mom of a 42 yr old beautiful gal and i would never hurt her by talking about her weight when I have my own problem. She is a very encouraging daughter - love her so much. She takes meds that really hurt her weight loss progress, but she loves herself as she is but still tries every day to eat healthily. I think sometimes Mothers try to invoke on their daughters their own values and maybe they see them as an extension of themselves. They are their own persons and we are blessed to have them.

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CEESNOW 12/16/2009 8:58AM

    O.M.G. do we share the same mother? LOL
I can see from the comments that some of our mothers must be related. I wonder if it's that generation? Thinking about it, my mom grew up in the generation where 'packaged foods' were a novelty. Hmm..nah - my gram has issues with food too - she's one who will hype the "benefits" of phen-phen haha! who cares if people died? at least they died skinny! true story she said that to me once!

My mother is always on the fad diets or telling everyone she works out when she doesn't. It always feels like she is competing with me to lose weight and she definitely lets the scale rule her mood. My mother is always sending me clothes that "are waaaay too big on her" or so she says. Umm first off I am a complete foot taller than my mother and she's in her 50s LOL not quite the same clothing tastes.

You're doing a great job!


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MUFFIY831 12/16/2009 8:32AM

    I hope you feel better soon!!

I agree with you on the Nutrisystem thing EXCEPT ... you have to do what works for you. I have a very dear friend who knows exactly what she *should* do and yet simply doesn't. She gets busy or stressed or bored or whatever and she slips right into old habits. For her, having meals delivered and labeled Monday-breakfast, Tuesday-lunch, etc. is exactly what she needs. She doesn't have to think about it in the slightest and she loses weight. It's not a permanent solution, granted, but it works for her. You're right, though, most people use it as a crutch, then when they're off Nutrisystem and gain all the weight back they blame Nutrisystem instead of themselves. Big problem with the logic.

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HELLAVAHC 12/15/2009 7:13PM

    Oh... it is so sad when your mom can't be your greatest cheerleader because of her own battles. I am really inspired by your reaction to it, though- you have your head on straight and recognize what she's doing.

Feel better soon!

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RUNNINGWILD 12/15/2009 6:41PM

    I think our mothers must be related... ignore her. She won't go away but at least her words won't have any power over you anymore. emoticon

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PINKCOCONUT 12/15/2009 4:14PM

    Feel better soon woman! And I hear ya on the habits you see in yourself when you go back home. My mother has always jumped from one fad diet to another and is currently on another that I HIGHLY disagree with but she keeps trying to push it on me (not the diet portion of it but the "athletic" package). But I see the way my family eats and know that was how I ate and just how different things are.

Now go eat your chicken noodle soup and get healthy!

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JOKERFAC13 12/15/2009 3:57PM

    I hope you feel better soon. Man, those comments really sting.

I agree on Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem programs a little for the long term. I think they are a good starting point to get someone on the weight loss journey, but it is definitely not the final destination. One of my friends is using prepackage frozen meals to lose weight. Although it is not optimal and I am trying to convince him to try Sparkpeople. It definitely beats his former habits of picking up fast food most nights.

I am glad that your honey is taking great care of you.

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SEPPIESUSAN 12/15/2009 3:49PM

    Feel better soon. Sorry your mom doesn't appreciate your efforts at healthy weight loss. She also must not be up on clothing trends because skinny jeans are SUPPOSED to look fitted right now! If your skinny jeans are anything like the ones in your profile picture, you look great!! My mom lost weight the healthy way a few years ago, so for me the maddening thing is when I'm off track and she reminds me that I'm eating too much. Yeah, Mom, I know...I'm just not motivated right now to do anything about it!! (Not right now, really. But when I am off track.)

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CFMOSS 12/15/2009 3:45PM

    Love my mom and she drives me nuts; i'm glad i can spend time with her even when she has me in tears (not of laughter); i do better with removing myself from situations that stick - all that is said to say I Hear You and don't have a miracle cure and that it doesn't change with age (I just hope I do better with my daughter) I fully agree with you on sparkpeople helping give KNOWLEDGE as opposed to preportioned - no self-involvement (but of course we have to do the self-control thing so...) Anyway hope you feel better tomorrow.

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ALLISON4EG 12/15/2009 3:34PM

    OOh hope you feel better soon! And I can understand, its interesting when you eat at someone elses place and notice the changes you have made in your diet, that go by semi unnoticed in your own kitchen. It takes a new perspective to see how well you really are doing.

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TURBOAMIE 12/15/2009 3:30PM

    We are temporarily living with my mom and I find her trying to sabotage or pick at my plan. She keeps a closet full of candy even though my husband and I have asked her to cut it down. It's seriously full of about 30 different kinds of treats - smoked almonds, 10 different kinds of chocolate, 10 different kinds of sugar candies. Then she buys those toxic hostess packs and bags of cookies and chips. ARGH When I don't eat something carb with dinner, she asks if I'm avoiding bad food. I try to tell her that it just didn't fit in my calories that day. I had to ask her to stop giving us candy for the holidays. It's maddening. She knows my goals and yet does nothing to try to help. Sorry to vent on your blog but I've been carrying this around for a while!

Anyway - on to other things - I hope you feel better soon! I totally understand the Jenny Craig thing. I also think the same things about Nutrisystem. They're learning nothing on those plans but spending lots of dough!!

Your picture looks great! Keep up the good work!


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Tricking myself

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So about a week ago I decided to change my nutrition and fitness input so that it would calculate for me to lose a pound a week. Now I would be perfectly happy with 1/2 a pound a week, but I thought that maybe if I calculated for 1 pound a week, I'd def be able to keep within my calorie range. I think my trick is working. Even though yesterday and today I went over my calorie for the day, when I mentally think of it as an entire week's worth of eating, I think I did pretty well on average. It's amazing what a little trickery can do.

I've been going back and forth on whether or not to weigh myself until after the holidays. I joined a challenge to *not* weigh myself until after New Year's, and I also read a blog and article about weighing in every day to keep from losing track of my weight. I find myself leaning toward weighing in every day. While I want to enjoy myself over the holidays, I want to stay trim even more. I am about 5 pounds away from my next major goal - at this point, even if I gain one pound over the holidays, one pound gained seems like a big jump in the wrong direction. Five pounds and I will no longer be "overweight." I don't think there was ever a time in my life where I was not "overweight" as determined by a chart.

Tomorrow is brunch with my mom and my fiance's parents. It's the first time that his parents are going to my mom's house. Big day!

Off to finish this glass of delicious Pinot Noir and then to retire to the couch under the down comforter. Some nights I think I could just live on the couch.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HELLAVAHC 12/14/2009 1:55PM

    Hey thanks for explaining that to me! I played with my tracker, too. Uh-oh, I am going to be Hungry with a capital H! I changed my goal so my nutrition tracker now says 1200-1500 calories.

Umm... this should be interesting??!!

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SEPPIESUSAN 12/13/2009 7:27PM

    Mmmm, pinot noir and a down comforter?? Sounds like a PERFECT Saturday night to me! ;) (PS - I weigh myself every single day! Such an addict!)

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LORIBBB 12/13/2009 5:31PM

    Good luck to you! I weighed every day while I was losing (and usually still do), but that scale is just so EVIL I think if you have the moral character to NOT weight every day that's great!

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JHERTERT 12/13/2009 2:26PM

    How do you change your tracker?? I am VERY interested:) I like this blog! I am also unable to wait to weigh, doing it once a week. LIve and learn;) Hope your wine was amazing!!

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HELLAVAHC 12/13/2009 1:19PM

    I want to hear more about this trickery you are doing... What do you do to change the trackers? Up your exercise goals?

I find a daily weigh-in keeps me on track. I will probably have to pack the scale since I'm going to the BF's family after Christmas. Can't help it- gotta drag that contraption along!

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CFMOSS 12/13/2009 8:07AM

    What a life we lead. Glad your "trickery" is working. Glad you can enjoy your glass of pinot noir. Hope your parent/future in-law gathering is more fun than stressful. Keep up your good journey.

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ETTEZEUS 12/12/2009 10:21PM

    Great job!! Enjoy your glass of wine and down comforter!

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KATISONIT 12/12/2009 10:05PM

    Wine and down is the perfect method for winding down after a long week.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

I'm all about the mind games, flipping them, swapping them, keeping them constant, whatever it takes to keep you actively participating in your goals. Hope whatever you decides works for you! And thanks for the support on my end!

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CAROL- 12/12/2009 9:55PM

    I do lots of 'fakeovers' as I call them. They keep me motivated and focused.

I decided to weigh myself daily. I don't want the pounds to sneak up on me. I have survived Thanksgiving and two Christmas parties and didn't gain. It works for me - - perhaps not everyone. I am trying to pay extra attentions to the details. Even brushing my teeth two extra times a day.

Good luck as you push forward! You are a terrific example.

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COOPSM 12/12/2009 9:51PM

    Carrie---you are doing awesome...I too have been wondering whether to abandon the scale till after the holidays.???
I am going to brunch tomorrow..too..

Hope all goes well at your moms...enjoy!!!

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GEODAWG 12/12/2009 9:22PM

    Good idea. Now if I can figure out how to do it! Hope your parent meeting goes as splendidly as possible.

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