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SHRINKING_SARA's Recent Blog Entries

82 Days + Engagement Photos

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I got my engagement photos back yesterday. They look great. I still think I look a little lumpy in some, but I'm not going to post those.

I've been terrible the past few weeks. I was going strong, and then hit a wall of fried food, booze, and excuses since the 4th.

I'm trying to get back on track but I'm honestly struggling.

Okay -- now for some happy photos!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKKI-G 7/17/2014 11:15PM


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SDLEE514 7/17/2014 9:54AM

    Beautiful!!! love these, thanks for sharing!!

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 7/16/2014 9:55PM

    Love it!! You two look great!!

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GODSCHILD2_2011 7/16/2014 4:22PM

    I personally think you look beautiful in all of them. These are some great engagements photos.

Was some of the photos taken at the Grand Basin in Forest Park? The scenery there is just wonderful and a great backdrop for engagement or wedding photos.

emoticon on your upcoming nuptial!!!

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STRONG_SARAH 7/16/2014 12:02PM

    You look great! What nice photos.

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VERSESTHATHURT 7/16/2014 11:42AM

    You look great and those pictures are too cute!

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STLADEE 7/16/2014 10:40AM

    AWESome pictures!

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NIMIRRA137 7/16/2014 7:39AM

    Love your engagement photos! The great thing about engagement photos is if you are unhappy with how you look in some, you don't have to worry about it because you have others that you look amazing in. Sometimes angles can just be bad.

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    awww! Cute :)

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LUCKYPRESENCE 7/15/2014 7:36PM

    Very cute :)

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ARUNNINGKAT 7/15/2014 3:46PM

    Oh my word! Those are the cutest photos! Love them all! You guys are adorable together!

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JTREMBATH 7/15/2014 3:45PM

    You look great.

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CHODGES83 7/15/2014 3:39PM

    Love the photos! You guys are super cute and the zoo is such a beautiful space!

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AMYSNEWSPARK 7/15/2014 3:29PM

    You look great! Congratulations!


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ADARKARA 7/15/2014 3:18PM

    Love the photos! I think you look fantastic!

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FITWITHIN 7/15/2014 3:00PM

    Very nice pictures of you two. Thanks for sharing your special moments. emoticon emoticon

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96 Days

Monday, June 30, 2014

96 days... until my wedding. Man this is going by quick. Most of the stuff is done... just little stuff now.

I've been sucking at weight loss. Food. Food is delicious. Food that is free and unhealthy has been my downfall this week. I bought some healthy options and I'm going to get my butt back to actually eating it. Money's tight right now. Haven't had many dog walking jobs this week, so I'm brining in like $30 this week. With the 4th coming up, I've got more work -- but nothing until the 3rd :-/

I'm trying not to stress about the money and the wedding and my job and my lack of a summer job... stress = killer. Stress = aging. Stress = stress!

I'm kind of just rambling. I'm trying to be more active on here, falling off that wagon too. So I'm just gonna quit rambling and go stalk your blogs.

I'm waiting for the man to leave for work before I take the dogs out for a walk. We're under a heat advisory with 105F heat index and high humidity, so I have to get out early. And the boy can't survive in the morning without me. He doesn't eat breakfast, doesn't pack a lunch, just kind of zombie walks out of the building and gets to work somehow. I'm apparently a morning person, which is good, since I'll be teaching at 8am two days a week, which means leaving my apt by 6:30, which means getting up by 5:15ish to get ready and take care of the monsters. *ugh, not looking forward to that! That's coming up even sooner.

Okay plan for today: walk the dog (and carry Beaker since he needs a knee replacement) -- workout with some strength training at home -- clean the apt as best I can -- and open one of my chemistry textbooks and start planning my syllabi. Oh yea... and eat healthy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODSCHILD2_2011 6/30/2014 4:10PM

    Dog walking seems to be fun and interesting. Falling of the wagon with food is common but I know you will be back on track soon.

Congrat's on the upcoming wedding!!!

St. Louis Spark team

Comment edited on: 6/30/2014 4:11:13 PM

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CARLYDK85 6/30/2014 3:10PM

    You can do it!

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ARUNNINGKAT 6/30/2014 11:57AM

    Wow! That is hot! I would get out and walk early too! Great goals! You can definitely do this! emoticon

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TOOTERFISH 6/30/2014 9:47AM

    good morning,
yours is the blog just after mine today, so i thought i would stop and offer a 'hug' message to a fellow sparker.

you've got a lot going on. Congrats to you on your upcoming nuptials, how very exciting!
i believe it will all come together for you. stay calm and cool in that heat and do eat those veggies :) om nom nom
All the best to you now and for your future.
Thanks for being a sparker

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ADARKARA 6/30/2014 9:17AM

    105!!!!!!! I thought you were in the midwest, is it really that hot there? Geez!

Keep yourself and those doggies cool =)

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INGBADEN 6/30/2014 9:00AM

    You can do it.

I feel you regarding the heat, it is getting brutal out there.

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109 Days

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I have 109 days to whip myself in shape for my wedding.

A friend of mine were talking last night about pictures on FB of daughters and their fathers on Father's Day -- most of them were the girls in their wedding dresses. We both *semi-shallowly* went on a bender about how fat arms look and how I don't want my arms to look fat in pictures.

This is silly. I know it is silly. The pictures I took on May 4th are a reminder to me that I don't want to look like that. I did all this work to lose the weight and get smaller, make my arms smaller, go through a pretty extensive skin removal surgery ordeal, just to make my arms look smaller...

What I want to know, is when the heck in history did women get so focused on their arms? I know this isn't a universal issue. Some women obsess about their butt or their thighs... I obsess about my arms. I have to get it outta my head that I'm not good enough or small enough.

In positive news, my tracking of food and walking has helped my weight. I'm down from 207 to 203.5. Moving in the RIGHT direction. I need to have a party when I get to Onederland again. I never thought I'd be above the dreaded 200 again. But I slipped. Repeatedly... often into a bag full of french fries.

I'm trying to eat better. Be better. Do better. Live better. I don't want to die early. I don't want to be a heavy momma. I don't want to get diabetes and heart disease. I don't want it to hurt when I walk (my hip joint is killing me again). I want to run (haha, well not really) -- I want to be able to be active and live.

So dang you fatty sugary foods... I'm opting to ignore you for a bit and indulge slightly.

In wedding news: we booked a Photo Booth -- we booked our AV equipment (no DJ -- just an iPad and a mic) -- we have our invite color scheme and font down -- we're working on a manageable guest list -- my mom and I are making our own living centerpieces out of succulents -- and I found a dress for my engagement photos! Whew.

I keep trying to make progress since I'm not working that much. In Chemistry news, I have to completely design and organize a chemicals stockroom that makes it logical, safe, and orderly. It is currently an unsafe cluster***k. I'm reading up and trying to follow protocols and guidelines to make this safe. Its a lot of responsibility. And it worries me. I want to do it right, so I'm going to ask for help.

So here's to taking care of myself, and staying on track!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VERSESTHATHURT 6/18/2014 10:41AM

    It's weird... I never cared about how fat my arms looked until I started losing weight, and now it's an obsession.

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SDLEE514 6/17/2014 2:48PM

    You KNOW I'm in the same boat as you about arms. The whole wedding /arms showing issue is what really gets me. I'm afraid to admit this in public but I know you'll understand--I went in for a consultation recently for a procedure for my arms...and they rejected me, saying I was not a good candidate and that most of the flab is skin and there's actually not enough fat. As I'm grabbing my arm flab fully with my hand, I'm trying to prove your wrong! just let me go through the dang procedure and all my problems will be solved! You and I both know thats probably a lie. Anyways, sorry for the rant. You're right, when did we get so focused on them? we have to get it out of our heads. I can't wait to see engagement pics in the dress you picked, I'm sure you will look fabulous!

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ARUNNINGKAT 6/17/2014 2:14PM

    It sounds like you are making progress - on both your healthy living and your wedding planning?

And I, like many others, share your arm issue! That is always my biggest pet peeve with myself, and my biggest incentive to weight train as well as lose weight. Gotta slim down those arms!

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SUSIEGKORN 6/17/2014 1:33PM

    109 days will just fly by I'm sure! Such an exciting time for you! Here's to making the good choices that will help you take care of yourself. (and me, too)
Best to you!

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114 Days

Thursday, June 12, 2014

114 Days

Sh*ts getting real. Planning has to be done. Why are there so many little details to take care of? Iím trying to not let it stress me out but money is a big deal.

My mother took my ďthere is no budgetĒ wedding and slashed her portion to $10k... which is VERY different than ďno budget.Ē I tried to have a budget talk SEVERAL times with her, fearing this would happen... and it did. SO now weíre back tracking and trying to save money wherever the heck we can.

Since my job doesnít start until August 14th Ė I have been scrambling to try to find a way to work this summer. I finally found something with a company that walks dogs and takes care of cats. Some of them are daily clients, but most are dogs that are being walked while their owners are gone on vacation Ė so summer is a big time for them. I could also help out around the holidays too since I get a lot of days off then as well. Iím just excited itís a job that pays $10/30 minute walks and I get to walk = exercise + money = success!

I have started back up on myfitnesspal too Ė feel free to add me on there as: saradrenk Ė if youíre an instagrammer I use the same name on there... and on Pinterest. What the heck am I supposed to do after I get married? Changing my name is just foreign to me at this point. The boy and I have chatted... I think Iím going to hyphenate and the kids will have his last name. But still super werid.

Iím on a two day streak of eating good and drinking lots of water and trying to stay moving. Today was a bit of a slow day. I had my first bridezilla moment when I saw the invitation proofs and freaked the eff out since they were kiiiiiind of hideous with the color scheme the designer started. I said peacock, which she took for grape, lime, and navy... it looked BAD. So now Iím waiting for the second set of proofs and holding my breath. TJ just wants to cancel the order and not work with them, but I donít know... the set they sent us was so preeeeetty. Iíll post pics once I decide theyíre not hideous anymore.

SO 114 days. I need a dress fitting in about six weeks. So after that Iím not supposed to lose too much weight. The way I carry my weight though I donít think it will matter. Iím not going to drop 20 pounds or anything. Iím just trying to muscle up a bit and get rid of some puff/bloat. My arms got puffy :-( Thatís the worst part of my weight gain. AND I have saddlebags now... my pants are not my friends. SO Iím getting my butt in gear. I officially weighed in at 207 three days ago... 8 above a # Iím comfortable with. And about 30 from where Iíd LIKE to be. I was about 180 when I started dating TJ. I was super fit and healthy. My surgery derailed that... after the whole, one-arm-not-attached-to-my-body-issue, working out fell out of my lifestyle.

SO Iím back. I have 114 days to get my butt in gear and my guns loaded with muscle.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIMMO 6/16/2014 10:20AM

    My family sucked about my wedding to Hubs. They didn't attend or even send cards. I don't let it get to me.

I was afraid of hideous invitations, so I printed my own (very cost effective too). I wanted a specific shade of pink and I got it emoticon

I have tons of really cool favor patterns that aren't budget killers if you want to email me I would be happy to help.

Don't sweat the small stuff. And as long as you and your guy are happy? The rest is ALL SMALL STUFF!

Comment edited on: 6/16/2014 10:21:30 AM

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ADARKARA 6/13/2014 11:33AM

    weddings are stressful! Just remember the day of to ENJOY it, and make sure you actually eat some of the food you paid for!

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NIMIRRA137 6/13/2014 9:23AM

    Wooh! 114 days! It's going to come up quicker than you realize.

Your dog walking job sounds really awesome. How did you find this company? I am so tempted to look for something like that in my area.

I like your idea of hyphenating your name but having the kids take just his last name. My brothers wife hyphenated her name and the kids name. I wasn't a fan of that only because he's the last in our family to carry on the name and it's sort of been ruined with her name in it now. Plus it makes their names SOO long with it hyphenated. So I think you hyphenating but the kids not is a great compromise.

I think you have plenty of time to work on weight you want to lose before the wedding. It sounds like you have a good realistic goal to drop a few and mostly tone up. You can do it!

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LOLATURTLE 6/13/2014 7:52AM

    Nice to see you back! Ugh, I do not miss the stress of wedding planning! Hang in there, it will be worth it. :) As long as you have fun and end up married, all those little details don't matter so much anyway.

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AHTRAP 6/13/2014 2:46AM

    Was just wondering what you were up to. Nice job scoring a job with exercise benefits...and puppies! Or giant shepherdy brutes, whatever, that's just more exercise, right?
And if you should ever find yourself walking a cat, pictures are a given, right?

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TRAVELGRRL 6/12/2014 11:05PM

    114 days can make a huge difference either way -- working on your goals or blowing them off. Here's hoping you do what will make you HAPPIEST in 114 days!!

It's exciting to hear about your upcoming wedding. Your mom is generous with 10K; I only gave my daughter 2K (10 years ago) since she only wanted a small wedding and had lived with the guy for 7 years!

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TREP13 6/12/2014 5:14PM

    My colors are peacock-y colors too. :)

Happy wedding planning!! I'm in the midst of that myself and it's fun but stressful.

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GEORGE815 6/12/2014 5:04PM

    You can do it!

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125 Days

Sunday, June 01, 2014

What can I do in 125 days? I am going to find out. Whatís in 125 days? My wedding. Eep! The dress, the show, the party. Iím excited. What Iím not excited about is how I look.

I did a quickie blog to show I wasnít dead a few days ago, but what I didnít mention is how fluffy I have become. I donít know how much Iíve gained. Iíve avoided the scale as much as the gym, but I know Iíve gained. Its gone to my arms (nooo!) and my butt (which fiancť isnít too upset about) and my belly. I tried on my wedding dress a few weeks ago, and my mom actually said ďoh Iím glad it still fits.Ē Yay! I just love being called fat in my wedding dress Ė thanks mom! *sarcasm, just in case you didnít notice. She hasnít been the most supportive person lately. They think that since I did a quickie marriage ceremony on May the 4th that my wedding in October is not only pointless, but a waste of money because ďits not special anymore.Ē Its becoming more prevalent lately to get paper married before a wedding for many reasons... Lots of our military friends have done it; I did it for insurance and so my religious fiancť/hubby could move in. BUT now my family is all up in arms. My least favorite sister called to tell me how disappointed she was, and note, I didnít tell her Ė my mom told her after we specifically told her this was a secret. We donít want the word getting around that weíre married Ė we want people to enjoy the wedding in October and given the reaction my family has had, I just donít want to tell a lot of people...

So my family kinda sucks. Not very supportive, and highly stressful. So I finally moved out! I now live across the street from Forest Park in Saint Louis. I started taking the dogs on walks, but theyíre tiny and wear out. I may have even hurt my chihuahuaís back legs with too much walking! Poor thing. The Pomeranian needs to go on a diet/exercise plan, so Iím making her walk and carrying the Chihuahua. So Iím trying. Iím also trying to get back in my routine of working out from home Ė arms/legs/abs Ė all stuff I can do on my own. Iíve got plenty of time. Iím not working this summer. I couldnít find any teaching positions. They apparently were filled in FEBRUARY! What the crap! Plus thereís not a lot of college classes teaching biology and chemistry in the summer Ė and they usually go to the full time faculty first. :-/ So Iím not working. Luckily the boy is going to help me pay my bills. Its only temporary though...

Because Iím a full time assistant professor in the fall! Yay! Iím officially an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. I have to teach two chems and one bio in the fall Ė and Iím currently developing my own Biochemistry class from scratch. Picking the books and labs and everything! Scary, but exciting! Hence all of the exclamation points!

But anyway, Iím going to try and do a few small blogs to get all of the hijinks Iíve been through out on ďpaperĒ to get them outta my brain.

I have 125 days to get this body rocking and an entire summer to do it. I also need to get the boy moving, but heís been a bit stressed out lately too. I need to wake his butt up so I can get the sheets heís sleeping on washed at my momís house, but for some reason I donít think heís going to like that at 8:30 on a Sunday morning ;-)

This photo made me go... damn, I paid $6k for those arms, I need to get them toned again.

May the 4th be with you

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKKI-G 6/2/2014 7:04PM

    congrats on the job! sounds fun to create everything yourself.

I think alot of us have gotten fluffy while getting distracted by other things at the moment. like everyone else is saying, don't let other people judge you. its your life & you are living it the way you want to do. When I get married I want to do it the same way you are, small ceremony & just have people party after.

rock it!

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CHODGES83 6/2/2014 4:32PM

    I know it's hard when it's coming from family, but don't listen to the chatter. It may take them right up to seeing your glowing faces at the October ceremony, but they'll let it go....Oh dear, I started singing that damn song in my head as I typed those 3 words. Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on all the big awesome stuff going on in your world right now!

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    Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do without worrying about other people. Folks forget that sometimes, and even though they've probably done it themselves, end up guilting others for the same. They'll get over it and forgive you (even though you didn't do anything wrong), I'm sorry that you have to deal with it.

Yay for the job!! Sounds fabulous. I'm glad you've got a plan, and I wish you the best of luck!!
I'll be losing the gain right along with you.... I've gone quite "fluffy" again myself.

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GYPSYGOTH 6/1/2014 12:35PM


Sorry your family can't just be supportive.

Guess what my mom said when she saw the wedding dress I picked out?

"You're wearing WHITE?"

emoticon Thanks Ma!

It will be a very special day. Lots of people are doing a party after they've already been married, indeed, for financial or geographic or other reasons. Don't let anyone else spoil what will be a lovely celebration of the commitment the two of you have made! emoticon

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ADARKARA 6/1/2014 12:34PM

    I got married on paper 3 months before my wedding for immigration purposes. We kept it quiet but we didn't have the judgment you're getting from the people who did know. All I know is that this is your special day. If people don't like the way you're doing it, calmly suggest they don't attend. ;) My adoptive mother wasn't invited to my wedding.

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