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Archive for the ‘self esteem’ Category

2014-07-25 10.02.15

(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my trip to Oahu in April.  This is Waikiki Beach, and I loved the color of those umbrellas).

1.  As soon as I finish writing this post, Sofi and I are hitting the road and going to the beach for the first time this summer.  I can’t believe I haven’t been to the beach at all yet this summer. I’m excited to beat the heat (it’s supposed to hit the mid-high 90s here today), walk along the beach with Sofi, and just enjoy the crashing waves. Look for pictures on my Instagram later.

2.curly-curling-creme_0For those of you with curly hair, you know how important it is to find the right products.  It’s only recently that my hair has returned to it’s normal curls. After getting my hair smoothed with the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment last December, my curl pattern was completely changed; it wasn’t curly anymore, it was barely wavy.  I’m glad that I got the keratin treatment, because my massive weight loss affected my hair terribly, making it thin, frizzy, and really difficult to manage.  But I’ve realized that I’m just not great at blow drying my own hair on a regular basis (I just don’t have the technique), so I’ve decided not to get the keratin treatment again (which costs $300), and instead treat myself to Dry Bar appointments now and then. But let’s get back to the products.  Now that my hair is back to it’s normal curls, I wanted to find a product that would keep them defined, control the frizz, but and not build up. After trying lots of different things, I found Curly Sexy Hair. I’ve been using the shampoo, conditioner, Full-On Curls, and the Curling Creme.  I like that these products are really affordable, and that they work. I’ve been enjoying lots of compliments on my hair lately, which I haven’t had in about a year.

3. I’ve had a few clothing NSVs this week.  On Sunday, I found the cutest top, but it as in the petite section.  I liked it so much that I decided to try on the petite Medium anyway, and it FIT! Then on Monday, I was shopping around Target and found a cute 49er tee that was a juniors Large (see Instagram photo). The week before last, I went online to Venus and found a bunch of cute tops, all of which were size Mediums; they came on Tuesday, and every single one fits great (see the turquoise, floral peplum top in my Instagram). Yesterday I was thrilled to finally fit into the Chase Infinite tank that I’d bought a couple of months ago (again, see yesterday’s Instagram workout post). Every time I buy clothes in these small sizes, I am amazed at the fact that they fit. Not only fit, but that they look good.  Shopping is such a pleasure now.  I’ve always loved getting new clothes, but now that I can walk into any store and find something adorable, I am loving it!

4. I usually love watching movies in the summer, but I have to say that I’ve been very underwhelmed at the offerings.  The last movie I went to was The Fault in Our Stars, which was very good.  In the many weeks since, there really hasn’t been much I’d be willing to see.  But suddenly there are a few that I’m looking forward to:

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  • boyhood_posterart
  • wiwh_poster_finalsm

5. 2014-07-13 00.05.37 I found this photo on Instagram awhile ago, and I love it.  Not only is “choose happy” the way that I try to live my life on a daily basis, but I also love the beach and the image of the sun.  Seeing this just makes me smile, and I’m going to put it up on my white board at school as a daily reminder.  Because no matter how stressful the situation, how disappointing the news, or how unfortunate the event – I choose my reaction and I choose HAPPY.

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Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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summer

It’s summertime! Which means that school is out, my schedule is my own, and I’m footloose and fancy free.  Summer means the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and I can kick my workouts (and my weight loss!) into high gear.  I have less than 30 pounds to go to reach my ultimate weight loss goal, and I plan to lose quite a bit of that this summer. But this summer is about so much more than losing weight; it’s about living my new life.  I worked so hard for this new, healthy body, and I want to spend this summer doing a lot of the things I only dreamed of doing when I was at my heaviest.  That means riding rollercoasters, running in 5Ks, trying new water sports, wearing styles (and sizes!) of clothes that I could never wear before.  I want to LIVE every moment of this summer to the fullest. I’ve moved my weigh-ins to Wednesdays as a way to check in midweek. My Wednesday progress updates will be called Sensational Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 60 was quite a mix.  I started off the week pretty strong – eating well and working out.  Then on Thursday, I got some really disappointing news and took a bit of a downward turn on Friday and Saturday. By Sunday I’d sort of pulled it together, and I’ve been going really strong since Monday.  Whew! Did you follow all that?

bilbl_scale.jpg So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.8. Technically, this is a gain from last week (2 lbs), but I went up over the weekend (<4 lbs), so this is a 2.8 lb loss since I weighed in on Monday.  I’ve lost 96.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 134.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.

I’m not thrilled with myself that I let my emotions get the better of me on Friday and Saturday and spent much of the time sitting on the couch snacking.  I did get out with friends on Friday night, but that led to quite a few cocktails, which also had an adverse affect on my weight.  Could I have handled things differently?  Of course.  Was it a human response that I got under control after two days of wallowing?  Yes.  So I’m actually pretty proud of my ability to bounce back and move on from heartbreak.

The thing I’m actually excited to talk about today is the way I’ve tweaked my eating plan since Monday.  One of my pals on MyFitnessPal messaged me on Monday, asking about the idea of upping calories.  She’s about 6 months out from VSG surgery, and had an appointment with her doctor and nutritionist where they told her they wanted her to start eating more calories. Specifically, that they wanted her to get 1000 net calories per day.  She’s been following my food diaries from the beginning, and has modeled the way she eats after me – trying to eat a balanced diet of protein, veggies, and carbs.  Mostly whole foods, with the occasional treat thrown in.  She said she was hesitant to raise her calories, but tried it for one week, and after stalling on the scale two weeks in a row, she lost 5 pounds the week she upped her calories!

As you guys know, I’ve been basically the same weight for the past several months.  Even though I’ve been eating well, working out, getting lots of water, etc., my weight loss has basically become very stagnant.  I know it’s because I have so few pounds to lose to get to goal (compared to how many I had to lose to begin with)When I went to my 1-year follow up appointment, the nutritionist recommended that I increase my calories to 1200 per day, but I really didn’t think much of that advice, and just continued my normal eating.  Which meant eating between 850-950 calories a day, about 500-650 net calories.  Which is very low, when I think about it in those terms.  Now that I’m post-VSG I will never consume the amount of calories that someone with a normal stomach can, but I have been wanting to change something with my eating to see if I could shake up my body and amp up my weight loss. It makes sense that at this point post-op my body is getting too used to so few calories, and might even be in a bit of “starvation mode.” Although it’s much different for me with only 20% of a normal stomach, I do think upping my calories and eating more frequently will jumpstart my metabolism and lead to weight loss.

Actually, I don’t “think,” I know. I lost 2.8 pounds since Monday following the 1000 net calorie plan.  What I’ve come up with is adding in more snacks throughout the day, as well as incorporating some higher calorie, but very good for me, foods. For example, yesterday:

breakfast

A yummy green smoothie

Morning Snack

Morning Snack

A really great salad

A really great salad

Afternoon snack

Afternoon snack

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Evening snack/dessert

Evening snack/dessert

Daily Total: 1437 calories, 102g protein, 138g carbs, 35g fiber, 68g fat! Net calories: 979.

The thing I like about increasing my calories this way is that I am eating foods that I’ve shied away from because they had more calories, but that I love. I’ve noticed that I haven’t had any cravings, either, because I know that I’ll be enjoying something I like soon enough.  I’m going to give it until next Wednesday and see if the results continue.  If not, I can always go back to what I was doing before. But I have a strong feeling this is going to work well.

Workouts are going great, and I love being able to workout first thing in the morning.  The realization hit me today that I only have 2 1/2 weeks before I start my teacher meetings and school starts, and I’m very grateful that I will have a morning prep so I can continue the beginning of the day workouts without having to get up at 4am!

My goal for these next 2 1/2 weeks is to enjoy every bit of summer vacation that I can.  Which means going to the beach, riding roller coasters at the Boardwalk, hitting the road for a girls’ trip to Long Beach, and simply enjoying the quiet moments in my backyard with Sofi.

This week is all about being open to changes. I’m grateful that I’m someone who embraces change – it’s needed and necessary.

2014-04-06 19.15.38

Until Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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I haven’t spent too much time on this blog talking about my dating life because I didn’t want to “jinx” anything by talking about it too much, and I wanted to keep things to myself until I knew what was going on with TR and me.

As I mentioned briefly at the bottom of another post,  TR and I met on Match.com and were really enjoying going out.  We’d gone on four dates before I left for my teaching conference in Sacramento, and each one was as much fun as the last.  He and I had a ton in common, came from very similar backgrounds, and really liked each other’s company.  He has a dog, and when Sofi met his dog, they were fast friends.

One thing that seemed to be missing was communication when we weren’t with each other, which surprised me, because I consider myself a really independent, confident person.  I enjoy spending time alone, feel great about myself, etc.  Yet I found out that when I’m dating someone, I like for him to text me to let me know he’s thinking of me even when we aren’t together.  For example, I’d text TR “Good morning,” and he wouldn’t respond until much later in the day. Granted, he’s working and I have the summer off, so I totally understand not being able to get right back. But everyone can take 2 seconds and type, “thanks, you too.”  While I was in Sacramento, he didn’t text me once, unless it was in response to a text that I’d sent about the SF Giants game, or the restaurant we’d tried.  (I was trying to check in to see what was going on with “us,” and thought that if I sent “small talk texts” it would help).

One thing my sister pointed out was that TR gives his full attention to whomever he’s with at the time.  When he and I are out on dates, he’s not checking his phone or responding to texts, which I like.  So he definitely could have been very occupied with friends, etc while I was gone.  But it did make me feel insecure that he hadn’t sent one greeting text just to let me know he was thinking of me.

When I got back from Sac, he told me he’d be spending the weekend with his family at his uncle’s beach house, which really disappointed me, since it would be over a week since we’d see each other.  But I tried my best to take it in stride and occupy myself with other things.  Another half a week went by with no real texting.  Until finally, TR called me on Thursday evening.

I was out at a free local music concert and missed his call, which  turned out to be better in the long run.  When we did end up talking on the phone, I knew it wasn’t going to be good.  My intuition told me that he was going to say goodbye.  And I was right.

Without going into too many details, he called to let me know that he’d done a lot of soul searching while I was away.  On our first date the subject of having kids came up, and I said, “I’m not planning on having any kids, given my age, so hopefully that’s not a dealbreaker.”  To which he replied, “not at all.”  He said that he had given it a ton of thought while we were apart, and he was lying to himself and to me when he said that.  He said that he wanted it to be true because he really liked me – “you’re smart, pretty, fun, funny, great personality.  We have so much in common, come from similar families, you’re Italian.  You’re really fantastic. But I do want to have kids. I’m so sorry.”

What can I really say to that?  This is where our age difference plays a factor – I’m 43 and he’ll be 37 in October.  I told him that it was actually a relief to hear that this was the reason why I hadn’t heard much from him because I had thought that he just gotten to know me better and didn’t really like my personality.  And he said, “God no, I love the way you are.”  I told him that of course I was disappointed because I loved spending time with him.  That he was the first guy in so long, but really the first guy that I’ve dated EVER who had every single thing I was looking for in someone.  I told him my feelings had been hurt because I thought he’d just decided I wasn’t the one and he had moved on, and he said, “I’d never do that to you.”

Then he said he’d still like to take me to ride rollercoasters.  I’d explained to him how important that was to me because for years I’d been too big to ride any rides and now I could ride anything I’d want to, but no on else wanted to go with me.  For him to remember that was really special, which I told him.  I think I will ask him to take me to ride the rollercoasters, because although it will be hard to be “just friends” with him, I can’t think of a better person to do that with than him.  He also said he’d love to meet up once or twice a month to go to dinner or something.  I could hear it in his voice that he was really struggling with all of this because he really likes me, but yet he really wants to have kids, too.

Before we ended the call, I told him, “well, just make sure you meet the right person.  Don’t just go with anyone.  You deserve a really GOOD girl.  Wait for her.”  To which he responded, “YOU are a good girl.”

And right there is where my heart broke, the tears flooded my eyes, and I wished him all the best and got off the phone to cry.  The whole thing is just super sad.  It’s so hard to meet the right person at the wrong time.

Part of me hopes (as I alluded to in the title of this post) that life turns out like a romantic comedy.  In fact, the last thing I texted him was:

I really do appreciate you letting me know.  It sucks, because you really have every single quality on my “wish list,” and I loved being with you.  I saw so much potential, but I get it. On the bright side, I’ve seen the movie Serendipity, and you never know what can happen in the future. (If you haven’t seen it, add it to your “must watch” list, along with Into the Wild and Importance of Being a Wallflower).”

He didn’t respond; I didn’t expect him to.  It’s enough that I wrote it.  If I’m honest, I do hope that he dates a few girls, realizes that none of them are as cool/put together/fun/sassy/perfect for him as I am and he changes his mind about the kid thing.  I know it’s a long shot, and I’m not going to hold my breath waiting.  But it sure would be nice, right?

-1I spent most of Friday on the couch feeling sorry for myself, but I am happy to say that I put an email out to my girlfriends about what had happened and that I needed to go out on Friday night.  They were totally there for me, and we hit the town on Friday night.  It was fun, and I’m glad that I didn’t spend Friday night wallowing.  I did, however spend all day and night Saturday back on the couch, partly because I was hungover, partly because I was sad.  Yesterday I had fun plans with Tinkerbell for her birthday, which was great.  My pity party was over, and I was moving on with my life.

Watch out, guys!

Watch out, guys!

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2014-07-21 13.01.20Today marks fourteen months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also Monday, so I figured this was the perfect Motivation Monday post.

Measurements

6/20/14

 7/21/14

Change

Neck

12.75

12.75

same

Arms

11

11

same

Wrist

6.25

6.25

same

Bust

33

 32.5

-0.5 inch

Waist

32

31.5

-0.5 inch

Hips

43

42

-1 inch

Thighs

25

24.5 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.5

8.25

-0.25 inch

It’s good to see that I’m still making progress in the “parts” that count – bust, waist, hips, & thighs.  My older clothes are fitting looser, and I’ve gone down in sizes, so it makes sense.

Photos

I have on the exact same clothes in both photos.  My sports bra and VS yoga crops. The left photos were taken 6/20/14 and the right photos were taken today, 7/21/14.

I know my body looks higher in the photo on the right, and my legs are more widely spread, but I think you can see a difference in my waistline.  (And in my tan - I was DARK last month!)

I know my body looks higher in the photo on the right, and my legs are more widely spread, but I think you can see a difference in my waistline. (And in my tan – I was DARK last month!)

2014-07-21 12.49.47

Last month my body was turned slightly, but even still, I think the photo on the right shows that my waist is more defined and that my butt has gone down a bit.

2014-07-21 12.50.46

I don’t really notice much difference between these two photos. I think I have a bit less “back flub” in today’s photo, but because of the angle, it’s hard to tell.

I’m happy that I can still see the changes in these photos.  They may be slight, but they’re still there, which is motivating to me.  I’ve continued to kill it at the gym and in outdoor exercise over the past month, so it’s nice to see those changes show up in photos.

I have just under a month until school starts again, and I am really excited to see what I can achieve in that time. Thanks for sharing my 14-month surgiversary with me!

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summer

It’s summertime! Which means that school is out, my schedule is my own, and I’m footloose and fancy free.  Summer means the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and I can kick my workouts (and my weight loss!) into high gear.  I have less than 30 pounds to go to reach my ultimate weight loss goal, and I plan to lose quite a bit of that this summer. But this summer is about so much more than losing weight; it’s about living my new life.  I worked so hard for this new, healthy body, and I want to spend this summer doing a lot of the things I only dreamed of doing when I was at my heaviest.  That means riding rollercoasters, running in 5Ks, trying new water sports, wearing styles (and sizes!) of clothes that I could never wear before.  I want to LIVE every moment of this summer to the fullest. I’ve moved my weigh-ins to Wednesdays as a way to check in midweek. My Wednesday progress updates will be called Sensational Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 59 was great!  I spent 1 1/2 of the days at the beginning of the week in Sacramento at a teaching conference.  The weekend was full of activity, and the past few days were just fun.  It was a busy week, with lots of eating out, yet I’m proud of how well I stuck to my plan and fit in all the exercise.

bilbl_scale.jpg So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 178.8, which is a loss of 1 pound this week, and a loss of 98.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 136.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 28.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. This is a solid loss for a week that was completely outside my normal routine.  Not only that, but this week’s weigh-in takes me to my lowest weight as an adult, which is exciting!  I’m also really happy to see a loss after a few weeks of maintenance spurred on by indulgences.  Not to mention the fact that weight loss is so much more difficult at this stage of the journey.

Now that I have less than 30 pounds to go to get to my ultimate goal weight, weight loss has really slowed down.  I know it doesn’t help that I’ve been going out a lot, drinking more alcohol than normal, and enjoying the summer to the fullest.  Not that a healthy eating plan can’t include meals out or cocktails, but let’s be honest, there are a lot more calories when you eat that way.  So, it’s a balancing act – I want to continue my active social life, but I have to keep my focus strong so that I can continue to see losses on the scale.

My workouts are the things that haven’t suffered one iota in all of this merriment, and for that I’m eternally grateful.  I absolutely love working out – the way I can move my body, the ways I can push myself to new levels, and of  course the proud feeling I get after a kickass workout. I’ve really discovered how much better morning workouts make me feel, and I am looking forward to continuing those during the school year.  This week I’ve got a couple new workouts planned, which should be fun to try.  Working out has really become my major hobby; it’s not just something that I get through, but something that I enjoy.

At this stage in my journey, I am content.  I still have pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, but I’m very pleased with the way that I look and feel right now.  I’m not ready to call this my goal weight or to say that I’m in maintenance, but I am also very happy with the person I am right now in this very moment.  That’s something I’ve never experienced before.  I like the woman who is reflected back at me in the mirror.  I enjoy shopping for clothes at this size, and the admiring looks I get from men as I walk down the street/in the mall/at the grocery store. Not to mention the fact that I can run up a flight or two of stairs without getting the least bit winded.  I’m still striving towards my goal, but I’m loving the NOW, too.

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Until Wednesday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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celebration

We’ve hit the time in the summer that is both a blessing and a curse for me.  A blessing because celebrating special events with friends and family is always fun.  A curse because these memory-making events always come with indulgent foods and drinks. Still, I feel lucky to have so much to celebrate over the course of these two weeks:

  • Italian Heritage Night at the SF Giants (Tuesday night)
  • My dad’s birthday (Wednesday night)
  • A Silpada party (last night)
  • Impromptu BBQ w/ my parents (tonight)
  • SJ Giants baseball game (tomorrow night)
  • Dinner out with a friend for my birthday (Tuesday)
  • My birthday (next Wednesday)
  • 4th of July
  • My friend’s annual 5th of July party

At each of these events, I’m going to make the best choices possible.  For example, Wednesday night at my dad’s birthday dinner, which we had at a local bocce court and restaurant, I ordered steamed clams and mussels in a white wine/tomato/garlic broth.  Healthy and very delicious, but we also had red wine. Which is fine, and wouldn’t affect my weight loss, except that I had a beer at the Giants game the night before, and I had cucumber sangria at my party last night.  See what I mean?  None of these choices alone are bad; but together they make it hard to lose weight.

Which is honestly why I didn’t weigh in on Wednesday.  I’d had an Italian sausage (no bun), beer, and a bit of kettle corn the night before at the game, and I knew it would put me up on the scale, even if it is just water weight.

Now I’m not saying that during this next week and a half I’m going to throw everything out the window and eat with wild abandon while lazing around at home inactive. That’s just not me anymore.  I’m still making good choices, I’m still eating small portions, and I’m still working out as much as ever.  But at this point in my weight loss journey, indulging a bit and working out equals maintaining my weight, not losing. 

Which I’m fine with – until July 6th.  I’ve decided that I’m perfectly happy to maintain my weight loss for the next week or so.  I’m actually really happy with the way I look and feel right now.  I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished and enjoy seeing the person who looks back at me in the mirror.  But I still weigh more than I’d like to, so I’m not quite ready to call this my goal weight.  Not just yet.

So beginning on July 6th I’m going to get back to my weight loss mode.  I want to drop another 30 pounds, and while I know it’s going to be a lot harder to do it now that I’m at this weight, I know I can do anything I put my mind to.  Those 30 pounds aren’t going to come off in just one summer, but I can lose 1/3 – 1/2 of them if I get back to being a bit stricter with my food choices.

Which is not to say that I can’t have fun this summer, but I want to keep my ultimate goal in mind. My journey isn’t over just yet, and I’m excited to continue on with it after this brief rest stop.

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Today marks thirteen months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also Friday, so it’s really a cause for celebration.  I was really interested to see my measurements today, since I skipped measuring last month and because I know I’ve gone down a size in my clothes.

Measurements

4/20/14

 6/20/14

Change

Neck

12.75

12.75

same

Arms

11.75

11

-0.75 inch

Wrist

6.25

6.25

same

Bust

33

 33

same

Waist

32.5

32

-0.5 inch

Hips

44

43

-1 inch

Thighs

25.5

25 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.5

8.5

same

I’m happy with this progress, although I did think I might see bigger changes between the two months.  Still, I’m so happy knowing that I’ve gone down a size in both pants and tops.

Photos

I have on different pants in the photo from today, but the top is the same. The photos on the left were actually taken for the Tone It Up #bikiniseries on April 29, 2014 and the ones on the right were taken today, June 20, 2014.

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Even though the two photos are slightly off in angle, I can see a difference in my abs and in my hips/thighs.

2014-06-20 20.51.20

My body is turned slightly in the photo on the right, but I do think I can see more of definition in my midsection. (Part of the problem is that the pants I’m wearing on the right fit me a lot more snugly than the ones on the left, so it’s a bit deceiving).

2014-06-20 20.52.29

Again, the angle is off between the two photos, but I think my butt looks smaller in the photo on the right.

And just for good measure, I thought I’d include a great comparison picture, my driver’s license.  The “before” was taken 4 years ago, and the one on the right was taken yesterday, right after I got out of the DMV.  Quite a difference, right?  And that wasn’t even me at my heaviest on the right.  Wow!

2014-06-19 10.31.28

I look forward to seeing what I can achieve over the next month. Thanks for sharing my 13-month surgiversary with me!

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