Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

It’s been a long December…


One of my favorite songs is “Long December” by Counting Crows – it always feels very final, very matter-of-fact and a little melancholy. Granted, it’s only December 9th but the song perfectly sums up my feelings towards this year already!

I’m about 90% recovered from pneumonia that struck right before Thanksgiving and I’m getting back into the swing of things. This time of year it’s SO easy to fall off track and just say “eff it, I’ll start fresh in January” – but think how much better you’ll feel if you stay on track through the most challenging month and continue that great streak right through January! As my friend Stef says – stay accountable!

How am I doing this?

*planning workouts with friends – lots of Zumba dates, circuit dates and checking in with my brother and my fit friends. Workouts are a great excuse to meet up with someone and burn calories at the same time!

*avoiding the “but it’s the holidays!” food pitfall. I avoided Halloween candy completely, I barely ate at Thanksgiving (because I was sick) so I was far from overstuffed…now I need to keep that momentum straight through the season of gingerbread lattes, salted caramel hot chocolates and Santa sugar cookies!

*making the most of my time on and off! I have vacation from December 20th – 31st. While I’m super excited for time with family and friends I need to ensure I wrap up all my projects and meet my work deadlines without going nuts. Balance + prioritize!

*reminding myself that I’m striving for good, not perfect. I will never exercise 7 days a week and stick perfectly to my calories – but I can compensate for splurges and  ensure to up my water intake etc.

*last but not least- remember that the year is coming to an end and that means an exciting new beginning is on the horizon. I mentioned that I love sunsets and sunrises because they symbolize that everything (good or bad) will come to an end. I fully believe in that concept. 🙂

This past weekend my family put up our Christmas tree with old and new wonderful ornaments. I’m the family gift wrapper so those gorgeous presents were created by yours truly (and I’m modest too!).

image

As we approach 2014 one of my favorite bloggers and writers, Kate Northrop suggested something I can’t wait to do with my family: “Release it. Mike and I are having a Winter Solstice party this year. We’ll have little cards by the fireplace on which people can write down what they’d like to release and leave in the darkness of the shortest day of the year. Then we’ll have other cards where they can write down what they’d like to welcome in with the light as the days grow longer starting on Dec. 22nd. The end of the year is a beautiful time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not, and let go of what’s not. Spend some time letting go instead of accumulating and you’ll fee more free.”

What are you ready to release?

What would you like to welcome?

I’ll share mine: I’d like to release self-doubt (because this year I have really questioned my place in the working world, in friendships, in life etc.). I’m ready to release that worry and negativity about past mistakes that I harbor.

I’m ready to welcome in a romantic partner who pairs with me in a fabulous way. I feel like 31 was my year of trying new things and opening myself up to new ideas. I found Zumba, I got healthier and learned to focus on whole foods,  I grew through some challenges professionally, I lost someone I loved dearly and learned to appreciate the family (and friends) here. I tried my hand at cooking (and had a few successes!), I spent time alone and appreciated my quirks (and tamed some of annoying traits). I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life with someone I love by my side. ❤

As for resolutions, I had a giant list I started to build (42 things and counting) and I decided to go in a different direction – next year I will focus on being happy. Period. I will spend more time with my mom and less time on menial tasks. I’ll remember to pack my stuff for work/Zumba the night before so my mornings are less stressful. I’ll smile at strangers and try to be less sarcastic. I’m email friends I don’t see enough and take impromptu road trips to try new things. Little tweaks will add up to big happiness in the end. I’m sure if it!

Are you making resolutions? If so will you focus on one out two things or try to tackle a laundry list? I’d recommend trying to conquer one or two meaningful items. Read the rest of this entry »

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Happy New Year!


Fireworks 2013

I stopped blogging for a bit – not intentionally I just get so in my head that I couldn’t write without worrying about someone would think. In 2013 I will be writing when I want to and about what I want….which may mean I lose some followers. Meh! Life is too short to worry about how many friends you have on Twitter or how many comments your blog gets.

I’ve been watching episodes of My So-Called Life on Netflix- god I LOVED that show in 1995 – I forgot how much it spoke to me – and it still does. All the music from the season is still some of my favorite music and I swear I could have been Angela Chase at one point in my life.

“People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even. But every so often I’ll have, like, a moment, where just being myself in my life right where I am is, like, enough.” – Angela Chase

Sometimes, I feel the same way. Sometimes I feel like I lost touch with who I am. I get caught up in meetings and drama and nonsense and pretty soon I’ve gone weeks without reconnecting with my body (or my mind!). I start with good intentions, but then I get off-track and pretty soon I’m so far gone that I can’t remember all my healthy habits I had adopted. So, I stop blogging and I stop chatting with friends about healthy goals and I kind of shrink off into my own little world. It’s sad!

As always I’m thinking about what I resolve to do this year … what did I resolve to do last year?? Oh right – thank you blog!

In 2012:

I resolve to love more and fear less.

I resolve to trust more and question less.

I resolve to choose health over convenience or emotion.

I resolve to continue growing personally and professionally. Knowledge is never wasted!

I resolve to have more barre and less bullshit in my life. I’m at the point where I don’t want to subscribe to nonsense anymore.

I had more barre but I had a fair amount of bullshit too. I tried to love more and I ended up finding something I wasn’t looking for. Looks like I need to be more specific about what I’m looking for in a relationship – and what I’m bringing to the table. LOL.

So moving on – what will I accomplish in 2013?! Here we go……….13 goals in honor of ’13

* Complete Couch to 5K (using the fancy new heart rate monitor I bought – in pink of course!)
* Hike to the Hollywood sign! (I have ALWAYS wanted to do this – and I finally conned someone into doing it with me. So come February I will be hiking my cute butt up to see the sign and the lovely city of Los Angeles!)
* Go gluten-free (like legit. I want to go hardcore for a month and see how I feel – then adjust as need be).
* Get more fruits/veggies into my day (roasted, chopped, pureed – any form…just do it!)
* Stop stressing out about shit I can’t control (As the story goes: “Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.”
* Cook an actual meal – like 3 courses that go together for someone I love
* Buy cute workout clothes at Lululemon (Stasia this means once they fit we’re going on a shopping spree!)
* Have more adventures – who doesn’t love an adventure?!
* Spend more time with the people who make me smile – and less with the ones who make me self-doubt
* Write more (not necessarily here – just in general. I have these moments of brillance…and I lose them on scraps of paper and random note pads in between life)
* Stop trying to make everyone like me. I’m sure I’ve confessed this before but in case you missed it – I HATE when people don’t like me. Hate it. At work. At the gym. Anywhere. i need to be liked. In 2013 I will build a bridge and get the fuck over it. Not everyone is going to like me – and that’s OK!
* Complain less. I am a habitual whiner, I know I am. Sometimes my inner monologue becomes my OUTER monologue and that just isn’t sexy. Time to kibosh the bitching!
* Be more awesome (I know, this sounds so arrogant right? But I figure it this way – if I am more awesome I will attract more awesome into my life and frankly – that’s what I need!

I’m super excited for NYE – I’m going to a masquerade ball with a bunch of girls (including my NYC BFF Jewels and my barre bestie Stasia – yay!!!) – can’t wait to celebrate the new year in STYLE! I got this mask – but of course I have no idea what to wear with it. Oh the woes of being a chick. LOL.

Happy New Year! Make resolutions – resolve to love yourself more – resolve to be happy (especially if you’re not) and resolve to make progress in 2013.

See you next year (har har)

XO

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Peace out 2011, Hello 2012!


It feels strange to me that we’re about to ring in a new year. Where did 2011 go?!

(Side note: where is the snow? I’m not complaining…but it doesn’t really feel like winter in Boston!).

I couldn’t remember what my resolutions were last year (thank god for public blogs!) – reviewing them now, I’d say I get a C over all. My weight-loss efforts have been stalled, but my desire for self-improvement has paid off. I let go of some serious emotional baggage (and lost a friendship that I outgrew along the way). I got a new job that I love, I traveled, I tried new things….but I didn’t give life my “all”. I settled where I should have pushed forward, I walked away where I should have fought.

In 2012:

I resolve to love more and fear less.

I resolve to trust more and question less.

I resolve to choose health over convenience or emotion.

I resolve to continue growing personally and professionally. Knowledge is never wasted!

I resolve to have more barre and less bullshit in my life. I’m at the point where I don’t want to subscribe to nonsense anymore.

I’m turning 30 in 30 days. Insane. I need to get back on top of my challenge – and keep kicking ass. I need to continue making forward progress in life, instead of just stalling.

Are you guys  making resolutions? Did you stick yo your resolutions from last year?

 

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Resolution Alignment


Someone mentioned this weekend at the gym that she had forgotten what her resolutions were. I forgot mine too. So, I think 6 months in is a good time to revisit. Am I living up to the expectations I had for this year?

In this post I outlined 5 things I would be working towards this year. Let’s see how I’ve done! My current status in blue.

1. Take more pictures. When I look back at 2010, I don’t have many pictures of all the fun times I experienced! This year my Nikon Cool Pix will be coming everywhere with me. :)

Eh, I’d say I’m a C+ on this. I take lots of pics, I just forget to post them! I need to buy a USB SD card converter for my desk so I remember to upload them!

2. Make “random acts of kindness” a weekly goal. Do something randomly nice for no reason at all. I started this a while back with buying coffee for the car behind me at the Starbucks drive-thru. Small, but it makes a difference in someone’s day.

I have admittedly fallen off this. I need to get back on the ball!

3. Do one thing each month that is completely new and exciting. Maybe it’s taking cooking classes, maybe it’s slogging (slow jogging) – whatever it is, I want to conquer one new adventure each month and post pictures about it here!

Hmmmm. I’d have to say fail. I can’t think of the last new, exciting thing I did! I’ll fix that this month for sure. My new, exciting June thing will be going on a hike in nature.

4. Continue working towards my weight-loss goal, and blogging about my progress. I’m loving the process of talking about what I experience – it makes it seem more “real”. Like last month when I only lost 8 pounds – it helped to post about it and hear that I wasn’t alone! In 2011 I will post more religiously and include more pictures! :D

I have posted a lot this year, which makes me happy. I haven’t lost a lot of weight, which makes me sad. But, this is a journey and sometimes there are bumps along the way.

5. Let go of my baggage. Not sure how much I can really elaborate – basically I need a life/emotional/spiritual cleansing to begin my year.

I didn’t get to working on this until Amy Sigil and Unmata’s “Static” workshop at Tribal Fest, but it was amazing. I feel ready to tackle my life without shit that used to bog me down. I recently told my brother all about the workshop (it was focused on art and being an artist without all the static noise from external and internal sources). He could relate what I learned to his music and we could both relate it to life and weight-loss.

So, all in all I’d give myself a C+. I have made strides in some areas and fallen off the wagon in others. I’m going to work on realigning myself with my intended goals this week.

How are you guys doing on your resolutions?

Are you finding it easier to eat healthy now that summer has arrived? I know I am! This weekend I had some amazing strawberries on more than one occasion (breakfast, snack, dessert…I love berries). I really wish I lived someplace where amazing produce was in season all year-long! Oh, I had grilled corn too. Who knew corn could be so amazing on the grill?! Not me.

mmmm strawberries!

grilled corn = perfection!

What kind of seasonal fruits and veggies are you guys enjoying?

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2011 Resolutions


I have FINALLY made my resolutions for next year. It took a few weeks of thinking. 🙂

Do you guys make resolutions? Do you stick to them? I know I made them last yr and I only stuck to one: keep toxic people out of my life. I rid myself of the “Drama Mafia” years ago – and I refuse to let anyone negative in anymore.  I think this is a hard one to stick to – but a gratifying one. There are people I love, but I just can’t have in my life because of their bad attitudes.

So….here we go (drum roll please):

1. Take more pictures. When I look back at 2010, I don’t have many pictures of all the fun times I experienced! This year my Nikon Cool Pix will be coming everywhere with me. 🙂

2. Make “random acts of kindness” a weekly goal. Do something randomly nice for no reason at all. I started this a while back with buying coffee for the car behind me at the Starbucks drive-thru. Small, but it makes a difference in someone’s day.

3. Do one thing each month that is completely new and exciting. Maybe it’s taking cooking classes, maybe it’s slogging (slow jogging) – whatever it is, I want to conquer one new adventure each month and post pictures about it here!

4. Continue working towards my weight-loss goal, and blogging about my progress. I’m loving the process of talking about what I experience – it makes it seem more “real”. Like last month when I only lost 8 pounds – it helped to post about it and hear that I wasn’t alone! In 2011 I will post more religiously and include more pictures! 😀

5. Let go of my baggage. Not sure how much I can really elaborate – basically I need a life/emotional/spiritual cleansing to begin my year.

I don’t know why, but I like having 5 goals/resolutions but I do! 5 seems do-able.

Since I have a lot of dance friends who also read my blog, I’ll include my 2011 dance goals.

1. Perform 11 times in honor of 2011!

2. Perform a duet or group ATS piece. (ATS is the new style I am learning from Miz Sara Ford – eeee!)

3. Zill in a performance.

4.  Show my belly in a performance (closer to the end of the year I think).

5. Post videos of my performances – rather than over-analyze them on my own and never show anyone! 🙂

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Weekend Thankfulness


Morning All!

I feel like I’ve just come home from a mini-vacation! I worked from home Wed, then had Thurs-Sun off. Amazing! I feel great. 🙂  Of course, I made it to the gym 3 times in that little mini break! Woo! 🙂

While at the gym I was thinking about my December goal. I’m bored with the treadmill. Bored like WOAH. So, I need something new. OK – here’s a few possibilities for kicking ass during the busiest month ever:

1. Get 1 hour of cardio every day. This means just doing SOMETHING – dancing, walking, riding the bike…something to get my heart pumping and my fat cells shrinkin’.

2. Conquering the stair stepper.

3.  Other? (I’m open to suggestions!)

I also thought about how far I’ve come this year. I started off a complete wreck in January. I was so unhappy with where I was in life and how I felt physically….it’s amazing how much as changed since then! 🙂

I’m working on my New Years resolutions already, but I know there will be 11 small ones (since it is 2011) and probably half of them will involve fitness or things from my 30 list. I turn 29 on Jan 30th and my goal is to be 299 by then. This would mean I could be under 200 before 30. Having weighed over 400 pounds in January of this year…that’s AMAZING to think about!

Oh, and remember the debate about discarding my “too big” clothes? Yeah, I bagged them up and I’m donating them to Goodwill. I don’t need shapeless clothes in my wardrobe! Instead I opted to put my clothes that are just a bit too small in the top of my armoire – that means as I open the doors, the first thing I see is the clothes I am working towards fitting in. Good motivation! 😉

I have a lot of gatherings to attend in December, and I’m a little worried about staying on track with my nutrition. I think a few things I will need to enforce:

1. If I have no control over the restaurant chosen, eat a small healthy meal and drink a large glass of water before going.

2. If I do have a choice in the locale, pick someplace with lots of good options and few temptations (Chinese = no good).

3. If I am splurging that night I can have a small dessert (or share a big one with a friend) so long as I have gone to the gym that day. No gym? No dessert!

Good strategy, right? I think so! I am sticking with no alcohol until NYE and hopefully won’t falter…although I must admit, martinis are my weakness! 🙂

Do you guys have any tips for staying on track during the holidays?

Are you making resolutions? How often do you keep yours?

Oh, my last little tidbit is my new favorite quote: “Bloom where you’re planted“. It’s such a fabulous saying that I first heard from a friend a while back. While you may be surrounded by weeds, you can make the most of your circumstance by blooming right where you’re planted!

 

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