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Every female does it.  Whether it’s at a friends house or in the privacy of your own home, none of us can resist a good visit to the scale.  Good being a relative term, that is, based on the results.

When I was struggling with an eating disorder in college, I had to go for weekly weigh-ins.  They used to make me use the scale facing the opposite way to ensure I wasn’t looking at the numbers.  I remember craning my neck to try to see what they wrote down.  Obviously this was during an unhealthy time in my life, but I think all of us get a bit obsessed with the scale read outs.  Opinions have always been mixed on whether or not the scale helps or harms your weight loss program.  Medicine Net has a great summary of the mixed opinions:

“Many popular weight loss plans, such as Weight Watchers, do not recommend weighing yourself daily. Instead, they recommend stepping on the scales once per week or even less frequently. Our weight fluctuates somewhat from day-to-day, and daily weighing can lead to discouragement and potential diet sabotage if you see a higher number on the scale than you saw the day before. Most diet experts believe that a once-weekly or even monthly weigh-in is a more accurate reflection of weight control progress….

But a group of doctors who studied obese and overweight adults who were trying to lose weight as well as overweight adults who were trying to prevent weight gain found that those who weighed themselves more often lost more weight and prevented more weight gain over two years than those who weighed themselves less frequently. Contrary to the advice given in many popular weight loss regimens, this study suggests that at least some people can benefit from the accountability brought on by daily weigh-ins. Potential advantages of daily weighing include recognition of slow patterns of weight gain that may not be immediately apparent and the chance to modify lifestyle habits before the total weight gain becomes extreme and difficult to control.”  –Taken from MedicineNet.com

Recently, I have been stepping on the scale every morning, and I have to say it hasn’t been too bad.  I’m putting more pressure on myself than usual, with the wedding coming up, as normally I only try to weigh in at least once a week.  However, stepping on the scale every day has definitely shown me that we truly do fluctuate on a daily basis, and one day’s worth of numbers isn’t enough to throw in the towel.

If you struggle with body image issues, I don’t recommend the daily weigh in.  Instead, pay attention to how your clothes fit.  That has been a better indication for me of my progress than any scale could ever say.

What do other people do to ensure they’re not becoming obsessed with the numbers?  What other healthy body image tips do you recommend?

Since I’ve now been to Eccola twice, I figured it was time to give it a proper review.  I have to admit, a few things initially turned me off to this restaurant, the first thing obviously being the name.  Sounds a little too close to Ecoli for me.  And who wants to think of Ecoli when they think about dining out??  Second was the location.  Located in a tiny strip mall on beautiful Route 46 in Parsippany, there’s not much going on aesthetically for this restaurant from the outside.  But let’s head inside, shall we?  🙂

Eccola has impressed me each time I went.   Even though the parking lot has been packed both times, since it shares a lot with other stores, they have people outside to direct you to a spot.  It’s valet without valet!  I hate narrow parking lots with no room, so this appealed to me.  Inside, Eccola is warm and friendly, a total surprise from the outside.  The wooden bar looks cozy, and the seating arrangements are close, but not so close that you’re afraid to talk with your dining partners.

I found the service at Eccola to be fantastic as well.  Each time I dined there, the wait staff was attentive and quick without being overbearing or rushing you through a meal.  And you definitely don’t want to rush through this meal.  The first time I went to Eccola, I had the Gnocchi con Pesto, which was a very filling dish, but not to the point of making me feel ill.  I thought the sauce was creamy, without being too heavy.  The second time, I had the Meat Tortellini alla Panna, which was also very good.  The sauce on this was a little heavier than the Gnocchi, but still definitely worth it.

During my first trip, we did indulge in dessert-the peanut butter pie was absolutely fantastic!  The serving of dessert was a bit awkward, as some of us got our desserts before others, but that was really the only service mishap.

Every now and then, you just feel like having a giant carb fest-Eccola is the perfect place to do so!  I’ve dined there on both a Friday and a Tuesday and would recommend calling ahead for reservations on the weekend.  During the week, although there are more people there than you would think, there are still plenty of tables.

My rating:  9/10

Eccola Italian Bistro
1082 Route 46 West
Parsippany, NJ 07054
973-334-8211

Vegetable goodness for your face!

As you’ve probably noticed from the products I do review, my skin is extremely important to me.  I’ve battled acne and acne scarring all my life, and continue to fight the battle despite being 25 years old.  (Shouldn’t it have gone away by now??)  A friend told me about the Yes to Carrots/Yes to Tomatoes brands, and a few months ago I decided to give the night cream a shot.

I first bought this product from Target around November.  Target is really the only retail location I can ever find them-I believe they sell exclusively to Target stores.  Since I bought this in the dead of winter, I was looking for something that would keep my skin moisturized at night without causing my pores to be too clogged.  C Through the Night promised to “boost the moisture level of the skin by promoting moisture retention.”  C Through The Night has organic carrot juice, cucumber juice, dead sea minerals, vitamin c, vitamin A, and pomegranate peel to protect the skin from free radicals.  It also has Ginkgo Bilboa Extract to detoxify and improve skin circulation.

One thing you should know about me is that I’m not much of an ingredient reader-that’s something I really have to convince myself to do more often when it comes to products for my skin.  In fact, I didn’t even realize C Through The Night had all that good stuff in it until I did some searching today for it.  Nonetheless, C Through The Night is a thick cream that actually goes on smooth and light.  I don’t feel like it takes awhile to dry, so I’m not afraid to put it on and then go right to sleep.

I do think that through the course of my use of the product my skin has improved greatly, having less breakouts and feeling a lot smoother overall.  I just bought my second bottle, so hopefully I’ll continue to see improvement!

Anyone else use the full product line?  Any benefit to using the face wash along with the night cream?  Better results?

So I finally gave in.  I have been frustrated lately at my inconsistency in working out.  Sometimes it’s my fault, other times I don’t get home until later, which pushes back my whole evening schedule.  I don’t really like to start a workout past 8:30, but sometimes when I stay here until 5:30, I don’t get home until 6:15 or later, and then making time for a workout becomes a vicious cycle.  So, at Jared’s urging, I decided to finally cave in and return to the early morning grind.

When I was in D.C., I used to wake up early pretty much every weekday to head to my expensive gym.  The motivation?  That I was paying about $90 a month for a membership.  At home, the motivation to wake up early and work out wasn’t quite there.  But, I have to say after a week of avoiding the snooze, I’m a new convert to the morning workout.  I seriously feel so much better during the day knowing I don’t have to rush home to rush through a workout.

But what are the benefits of waking up early to get a workout in?  Is it better for your body?  Do you work as hard?  let’s see what the experts are saying….

“Many experts recommend working out in the morning to avoid the distractions (and excuses) that may come up later in the day. To snap out of sleep mode, warm up by walking or doing some light cardio for about 10 minutes, then spend another 5 to 10 minutes stretching, focusing on the same muscles you’ll use during the workout. The bottom line, however, is that you’ll get the biggest benefit from a workout when you have the most energy, says David Upton, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist in Fort Worth. “If you’re sluggish in the morning and don’t work out as hard as you do at other times, you might burn fewer calories,” he explains.” Originally published in Fitness Magazine

“In the 8-12 hours prior waking, your body was in sleep mode and, depending on the quality of sleep, in a process of regeneration. A workout causes microscopic tears in the muscle fibers. Oxidation also takes place on the cellular level and energy stored in the muscle fibers are utilized. Sleep is the time for the body to repair damage. Antioxidants repair cellular damage. Food is digested and converted to glucose. In the morning, you’re using a fresh, repaired and, in some instances, new body. During REM sleep, dreams are also a chance for the body to rehearse or even learn new motor skills — that clean and snatch is smoother and easier than it was during your last workout because you essentially had time to practice during your sleep.” Fuller pros and cons from AskMen.com

“Research on lung function, body rhythms, temperature, and hormone levels says one thing – to exercise around 6 pm.  Surveys on exercise habits say another – to exercise in the morning before other commitments distract you, or during the day when you have a free period of time.” Fuller pros and cons from About.com

Bottom Line?  There are pros and cons to both the morning and evening workout, but I think the key takeaway is that working out at any time of day is better than doing nothing?

I know not everyone is as motivated by checking things off their evening to-do lists as I am.  😉  How do you motivate yourself to get out of bed in the morning for a workout?  In the evening?

I’ve gone and done it again.  Broken the cardinal rule of blogging, and ignored my little web diary here, blaming it all on the fact that I’ve been busy!  Not that it’s any excuse.  I will admit, the past few months have been a little hard with all of the changes I’ve been going through work wise, etc.  But, we’re back…

Instead of featuring a site this Friday, I thought I’d take the time to update ya’all on where we are with our wedding.  In case it escaped anyone’s attention, we’re only 2 months away!!  So, here’s the high level run-down.

1.)  Ceremony: Written with help from our officiant.

2.)  Invitations: Sent!  A cool story about the invitations:  Jared, my mom, my sister, Owen and I addressed and put these together at the same table my mom and aunt did their wedding invitations!  How cool is that??

3.)  Honeymoon: Booked!  Now on to figuring out which excursions are worth it…

4.)  Dress and Accessories: Dress is starting to really fit well!  Unfortunately for me, they had to take it in again, which means I have to be uber careful.  Going to hopefully pick it up for good the end of this month!  Thanks so much to the ladies at Alfred Angelo for all of your love and support.  It’s been so great working with you!

5.)  Hair and Makeup: Had both trials.  Still determining if the makeup is too much.  Might have to dial it back down a bit…

6.)  Rehearsal Dinner: Menu chosen!

All in all, we’re in great shape for not having to rush anything at the last minute.  Thanks to everyone who has helped us get here!  We’ll keep you posted!

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