I've never haggled for a salary... I know it's possible when you work for a company, but working for the government, you either take it or leave it. But quite honestly, the government overpays a bit. I'm an admin assistant and have tried to get jobs in the corporate world, have asked for the same salary and was told I was asking for too much money. *shrug* I'm the lowest paid person here... and still get paid too much for the "real world". I think I'll stay put (in the public sector, anyway - I have no intentions of staying at this job forever... I've got too much education to stay here). Anyhow, good luck with the haggling!
In regard to weight... *sigh* someday I'll get my act together and things will start moving again. You're doing great! Keep it up and you'll be in those 10's sooner than you know it!