Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

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

Epic February Travel Commences!

travel gnome

I am embarking on a month of epic work travel, starting tomorrow. In the morning I am heading to NYC for 4 days for client visits, then I’m home for 3 days and doing a tour of Texas next week (Dallas, Houston, Austin in 3 days!). Lastly I am spending a week in LA for work followed by a lovely week of vacation with Mom.  There’s no way I could stay on my number and continue losing weight without some serious planning!

For NYC I am driving (with my new manager and a coworker) because we have to stop in Stamford to see clients. I have snacks packed, I picked the hotel (because of their healthy restaurant menu!) and I scoped lunch and dinner menus for all my meetings and veto’d one place I know I could never be healthy in. It’s important to be honest with yourself. I know I have a weakness for dessert – going someplace with world-famous dessert is not a good idea for me right now! 🙂  I also have armed myself with the mentality that I DO NOT get to eat like I am on vacation. I will choose grilled proteins, salads/steamed veggies (or grilled or braised – some healthy cooked veggie!) and minimal salt. I get really bloated when I travel (think Michelin Man) because I have a weakness for all things bacon / salty delicious. Gotta be careful about this! As for exercise I have balls and bands packed so I can do an improv’ barre n9ne style workout and I have my sneakers and my FitBit. 10,000 steps should be a breeze.

For Texas I am meeting my sales manager and a coworker in Dallas then driving to Houston then driving to Austin and flying home from Austin. That’s 440 miles total in a car. Whew! I picked restaurant options near my site visits and I planned which snacks I can fly with and which I can pick up en route. I am going to be “that guy”  about restaurants – looking up menus, veto-ing things that don’t offer healthy choices etc.  I don’t have control over the hotels, but my sales manager has excellent taste, I know he will stay someplace classy that offers me a gym (which I will need for stretching after spending 4 hours in the car!) and nice restaurants for healthy breakfasts. Again I will have some fitness essentials – Zumba DVDs, iPod and sneakers. 10,000 steps will be cake!

How crazy is this!??!

How crazy is this!??!

After Texas I am home, sweet home for 12.5 days (in which I have 9 barre classes – yay!), then I head to LA for a week of business, followed by a week of pleasure. Mom asked if we could have “fake life” again in LA and I was happy to oblige! So I will meet clients, do some future planning with them and drive my butt off then I will pick up Mom at LAX and spend a week relaxing and enjoying being a tourist in my favorite city! I can’t wait. LA is the one place I know I can eat healthy ~ and exercise. The hotel has a healthy menu and a gym – WITH A BARRE! I’m worried about this trip the least. Oh and during this trip I get to hike to the Hollywood sign!! So excited for that.


The keys to rocking this epic month will be:

#Planning, planning, planning  – which I’m good at. I love to plan!

#Staying “in the moment” and NOT getting swept into “I’m traveling and can eat anything I want” mode

#Moving. Zumba, gym, walking – being active will not only keep my weight down, but it will also help with the bloating AND maybe even let me come into March 1 size smaller!

#Remembering the goals I have (especially the clothing ones) and keeping those in the forefront of my mind before making decisions!


I’m sure I’ll blog between now and then – but wish me luck on rocking this epic month!!


Take Me On A Trip…

“I’d like to go somewhere! Take me to New York, I’d love to see L.A.

I’m off again – one day in Chicago (today!) for meetings. Then off to NY the following Tues-Friday then (possibly) off to LA. Waiting on confirmation for that….eeep!

Then I have a few normal weeks and it’s back on the road – Atlanta, Orlando, Minneapolis…Oy. LOL.

So I need to buckle down. Stick to my number – get as many steps in as humanly possible and find time for workouts. In NY I will opt for a DVD but in LA I think I’ll try a Cardio Barre class.

I have 2 barre DVDs I can pack – neither are as good as an in-person DVD (but truly no DVD is!):

Anyone else have other DVDs they can recommend? Obviously you’ve got limited space in a hotel so nothing that requires running or walking lunges. LOL.

I might try to improvise a barre n9ne workout – but honestly I never push myself as hard as I do in class. I always wimp out! There is really something to be said for the power of in person motivation!

This time around I feel pretty good going into a trip. I’m in a good place emotionally and mentally ~ I don’t have fear that I’ll “forget” to eat my number or go crazy and eat junk I shouldn’t. I feel in control.

I’m not worried about steps – especially in NYC. This morning alone I took a wrong turn in the airport and I’m already at 3222! LOL.

My only complaint is the travel will disrupt my barre n9ne challenge schedule – which I meticulously planned! Then again, the best laid plans of mice and men…. 😉

After these I think I’m due for some down time at work. I daydream about sitting around doing absolutely nothing then driving to the beach to enjoy a sunset. My next true vacation isn’t until October (Mom turns 60 and i decided we need to celebrate in Los Angeles. She’s never been to the west coast!).

I guess this is the whole “living”part of the challenge. Not everyday will be perfect and planned out, how will I adjust to that? We’ll see! Wish me luck.


March Madness!

OMG it’s March 1st! And its snowing…boooo! I’m supposed to head out to Detroit at 5pm today for a weekend install (and a family visit!)  but I suspect my flight will be delayed/canceled thanks to this snow. Fingers crosses I still get to Detroit Rock City!

So, what am I referencing with this March Madness title? Surely it’s not NCAA basketball ~ baseball is the only sport I care about (and that might even be jeopardized now that Tito has left the Sox!). Nope, not a sports reference, “March Madness” is the nickname for my month which includes the following:


4 cities: Detroit Rock City, NY, Tampa + Boston (I’m counting Beantown because I live in the suburbs and will be spending time onsite in Boston!).


2 trainings at work: one where I have to present! GULP!! I get *so* nervous talking in front of people…I turn into “The Micro Machine Guy” circa 1988!


10 amazing barre classes: No lie! I have signed up for 10 live barre n9ne classes in the month of March!! Classes with my the adorable Julianna, twin bloggy friends and teachers-in-training Jess and Jo and their fellow teacher in training, Alison. Tanya – not one is with you! So sad about this. Next month! Promise! 🙂


I’m committed to making March a month of growth and opportunity. I want to be able to look back and say “hell yeah March – you ruled!” on April 1st.  I’m making investments in myself that will pay off in the future. This comes with less time for socializing (unless my friends want to join me at the barre!). But, I think I’m at a point where I need to be a little selfish and concentrate on improvement in both mind and body. I have goals I have not been meeting and it’s time for shit to get real!


What are you focusing on in March? Are you at a point where something has to give in order for you to move forward? I think I’ve been at this juncture before – but I chose to ignore it and keep chugging along without making changes. No good comes of that friends, trust me!


Traveling does not equal vacation!

Hello world!

I am back from whirlwind travels. I hit Chicago, LA and NY in a span of 12 days. Crazy!

I’m sad to report I have not lost an ounce….but I haven’t gained either! I did really good in all 3 places about walking and getting a ton of water in during the day. Staying hydrated during a trip is KEY. So, why didn’t I lose weight? Oh that’s simple….I had dessert every single night. No lie. Suddenly when I wasn’t home it was like I was on vacation! Crème brûlée in Chicago…then LA (twice)…then NYC. Oy. I swear, I could LIVE on desserts. Legit.I kept justifying it in my head by saying “Look how much you walked! You didn’t snack once!” – but we both know those are bullshit reasons to eat dessert every freaking night.

I blogged about being nervous about meeting my new clients – well, I’m happy to report all 3 trips were a success. I made great first impressions – and I wasn’t self-conscious or freaked out at all. OK….a little. Haha. There is always a voice in your head that says “I’m not what you thought I would be, am I?”. Ironically, 2 of the clients I talk to the most weren’t at all what I pictured. One was nearly 7 feet tall (I felt like I was standing in a hole) and the other was about 4-tall. Voices can be deceiving! 🙂

Aside from travel and weight staying the same….I don’t have a ton to report. I have a pair of jeans that stopped fitting – they totally fit now. Yay! Since I got home and saw the scale isn’t moving, I jumped back into tracking everything I ate. I swear, I will be someone who has to track their food until I die. I let myself get a little lax one week and suddenly I’m surrounded by cupcakes and caramel macchiatos!

No one said this process would be easy – I guess I just didn’t realize how crazy the path would be!

How are you guys doing? Feeling the seasonal effects kick in and change your routine?

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Friday the 13th / Travel Tips

My black cat, Ebony

Well kids, it’s Friday the 13th. I own a black cat. Am I doomed? 🙂  In the past it’s actually been a good day…so I’m hopeful. I weighed in this morning and was happy to not see 311. Instead, 310. OK, I lost a pound. Jewels and I talked last night about celebrating every victory, no matter how small. So, I will take that one pound with a smile! I won’t weigh-in again until after my trip and I am hopeful that I’ll be closer to getting under 300. Slow and steady baby, slow and steady!

I’ve got to pack for Cali this weekend, which includes my suitcase and my carry on. This got me to thinking about travel tips and I wanted to share some things I do, and get feedback on stuff you guys do.

I used to hate flying because I would arrive bloated and grouchy. Then I started talking to frequent flyers and got the skinny on have a successful flight. Oh sure, you could still have delays/turbulence/flight neighbors so annoying they could be from Jersey Shore…but you can’t control everything! 😉

I always wear sneakers – flip flops might be good when you have to take your shoes off for security, but they are AWFUL for your feet, and dangerous! I sprained my foot a few years back in the airport wearing flip flops and it was horrible. It took months before I felt better. I travel in yoga pants and a t-shirt with a hoodie for when I get cold/need a pillow. I might not look amazing, but I’m comfortable and I feel great when I land! 🙂 I used to wear jeans, but let’s face it – sitting for that long will leave you with a button indent no matter how loose your jeans might be. Yoga pants seem more breathable and less constricting.

I try to avoid salt for a few days before (nothing like flying while already bloated!). The night before I fly I make sure I get a really good night sleep (when possible!) and use lots of moisturizer. I am also a fan of taking allergy pills for a few days leading up to the trip (I have seasonal allergies and I don’t take Allegra every day, only as needed). This ensures that if I land and something in the air doesn’t agree with me, my sinuses won’t be in total shock.

I also always pack Neutrogena face wipes ( I might be alone here, but planes make my skin feel yucky), hand lotion and a sleep mask. I never wear makeup when I fly, and I try to wear my glasses instead of contacts when possible. I also prefer to fly at night/on the red-eye because then I’ve had all my meals. Sadly during this trip the prices didn’t work out to take night flights. So, I’m leaving Boston at 9am on Tuesday and landing in SF at 12:30/1pm. This means my body will think it’s 3:30/4pm and I will be famooshed (worse than famished!). I plan to pack a banana, some Kind bars and some almonds to hold me over until we can get some food.

Anyone have ideas for portable, non-perishable snacks I can bring?

Flying home we leave SF at 7am (which means we are getting up at 4am…let’s not even talk about how thrilled I am, K?) and landing in Boston at 4pm (damn you jet stream!). This means I will be eating breakfast and lunch on the plane. I’m thinking of packing a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, along with snacks. But, I’m open to any other ideas!

Someone just happened to post this article in my FB news feed and there are some more interesting tips! I wish someone would invent a way to teleport you and your luggage to a destination. Flying is such a pain! 🙂

What things do you guys do ahead of time/in flight to help you feel great when you arrive at your destination?

Have a great weekend everyone!


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