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Archive for the ‘self esteem’ Category

Today marks one year since my VSG surgery!  To think that exactly 1 year ago today I was getting ready for surgery is really surreal to me.  In some ways it feels like the time has gone by in a flash, and then in other ways it feels like my post-op life is one I’ve been living for years now.

Once I actually got approved for and had the surgery, everything just fell into place for me.  My success has been constant and consistent because I knew exactly what I needed to do.  I followed Kaiser’s post-op plan to the letter, following all of the weight loss surgery “rules.”  I made the commitment to myself and my new lifestyle before I ever walked into the operating room, and have been unwavering in that commitment ever since.  I wanted this weight loss, this new life, so I did everything and anything I needed to do to achieve it.  I’ve re-created myself these past 365 days.

{I haven’t had a chance to take my measurements yet, so I’m going to skip those for this month}.

Photos

Since this is a special progress report, I figured I’d show a few photos that show what a difference a year makes.

left: the morning of surgery; right: today

left: the morning of surgery; right: today

side view left: the morning of surgery; right: today

side view
left: the morning of surgery; right: today

right: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight - Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

left: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight – Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

left: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight - Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

left: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight – Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

I don’t think I have the words to express how proud of myself I am for what I’ve accomplished in this past year or so.  The surgery is a tool that helped me reset my metabolism and finally start seeing success on and off the scale.  It’s given me portion control.  But it isn’t a quick fix or the easy way out.  Each of these past 365 days I’ve made decisions about what to eat, how often to workout, how to change my life.

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There have been a ton of things going on in my life this past week, and I’m way overdue to catch up on all of it on this blog.

2ed2d0252edacb00a145f73730352f96 First and foremost, for all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you spend the day doing the things you love with the people who make all your hard work worthwhile.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, my adorable niece set up a beautiful breakfast in bed for my sister this morning.  She and my mom got all the food, plates, napkins, cup, tea, etc.  I kept it hidden at my house for the week, and then this morning she came over to get it all.  She cooked everything, even using a melon baller to make the fruit salad (inside the Have a Royal Day plate).  It was her idea to add the fresh chives to the eggs.

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10252147_10152010991760426_2137854927835195283_n My younger niece made my sister an adorable mug – her teacher had the students draw a picture and then transferred the drawings onto the mug. I know this is going to be a keepsake for years to come!

My nieces are so sweet and thoughtful – all the hard work and sacrifices that my sister has put in as a single mom really have paid off. These girls are just the best!

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Yesterday I was all set to do the Willow Glen 5K with Tinkerbell, which was a fun run in support of one of our local elementary schools.  I woke up early, got dressed, and was about to make a cup of coffee when I decided to open a package.  I tried using scissors, but couldn’t cut through the tough plastic.  So I grabbed a knife, thinking, “I better be careful, this could be dangerous,” and at that exact moment, I gauged my hand right by the thumb pad.  It was really deep cut, and the blood started spurting out immediately.  I’m not good (to put it mildly) when I see my own blood, and I started feeling really light-headed and faint.  I ran over to my sister’s house next door, screaming that I’d cut myself and I needed help. I was already feeling like I was going to faint, when my sister went into calm-in-a-crisis mode.  She washed the cut, laid me down on the bathroom floor, and didn’t panic even when I started convulsing on the floor.  My body was going into shock, and I almost fainted.  My sister just said, “Bella, stay with me! Keep your eyes open, open your eyes!” And  then she bandaged my hand.  She called my dad to come and take me to the minor injury unit at Kaiser.

We had to wait about 30-45 minutes because the minor injury section hadn’t opened yet. I was in a lot of pain and was feeling really faint.  When they finally took me to the back and took my blood pressure, it was really low. So low that the nurse took it twice, just to make sure. When all was said and done, I needed 3 stitches.  The wound was deep, and I’d punctured the muscle, which was  what was causing me all the pain.

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This morning I’m not in very much pain at all, but my hand is super swollen. I don’t know if it’s coming across in the photo, but my left hand is a lot bigger.

20140511-100104.jpgI can get the stitches out on Thursday, and I can’t wait.

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On the work front, my principal asked me to be the English Department Chair next year.  I was really flattered by her vote of confidence in me and my leadership abilities, but I was very hesitant to accept.  I have four preps, meaning four different classes that I teach – English 3 honors, AVID, yearbook, and journalism.  All of them take a lot of time to prep and plan for, and the honors classes give me a ton of grading.  To top that off, I update our school’s website, which takes time each and everyday.  The department chair position adds lots of meetings, both at our school and at the district office. Plus all the time organizing everything for the department itself.  But leading people and organizing things are two of my strongest abilities, so it does seem like a great fit.  And my department could really use some positive leadership, so I accepted the position.  I had my choice to take a stipend or to get a second prep period, meaning I’d only teach four classes, instead of five.  Since the stipend isn’t anywhere near 20% of my salary (which would be the equivalent of giving up one class), I decided to go for the 2nd prep.  I asked if I could give up one of the honors classes I teach, since the grading takes me more time than prepping for the AVID class (which would have been the only other class I would have even considered giving up). My principal said that would be fine with her, so I’m all set. I’m actually really excited about this new opportunity.  Both for what it means to my department and for my professionally. I’m only obligated to serve as department chair for one year, but my principal did say she’d like to see me doing it for at least 3-5 years. which is very flattering.

And I am also really looking forward to the fact that I’ll have one 1st-period prep  and one last-period prep.  Meaning that on A Days I’ll be able to leave early and on B Days I’ll be able to come late.  Except when I have meetings or other department obligations, which will happen about 6-8 days of the month. Which makes me very excited about my workouts – I really want to start working out first thing in the morning, and on B Days I’ll be able to get up at the same time I do now and still get in a whole workout.  And on the A Days if I haven’t woken up early and worked out in the morning, I can get in an early afternoon workout, as I’ve been doing this year.

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I’ve tried some new fitness classes at the gym, but I’ll write about those in a separate post.

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Today marks eleven months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also Easter Sunday, so the eggs seemed fitting.  Today was all about celebrating with my family, and it was a really fantastic day from start to finish.  I woke up and saw a 5-pound loss on the scale, 2-pounds of which was getting rid of water weight from my vacation. I had a lovely brunch with my family at my parents’ house.  Then my niece and I finally watched Frozen together (she’s already watched it several times, mind you). And then it was time to sweat with the Tone It Up Easter Bunny Workout and an evening walk with Sofi. All in all, a really awesome day!

Measurements

3/20/14

 4/20/14

Change

Neck

13

12.75

-0.25 inch

Arms

11.5

 11.75

+0.25 inch

Wrist

6.5

 6.25

-0.25 inch

Bust

33.5

 33

-0.5 inch

Waist

33

 32.5

-0.5 inch

Hips

43.5

 44

+0.5 inch

Thighs

26

 25.5 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.75

 8.5

-0.25 inch

This month I didn’t see as many changes in terms of measurements, and in fact, I was surprised that I was actually up a half-inch or so in some categories.  One thing I should point out is that I took today’s measurements tonight at 9pm, after a whole day of eating and drinking.  I last month’s measurements were taken in the early part of the day.  So, I do need to be mindful of the time of day I’m taking these measurements from here on out.  In the last month I’ve lost 6 pounds, which is the same rate as last month.

Photos

I’m wearing the exact same clothes in the photos I took last month and then again today.

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left: 3/20/14; right: 4/20/14

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left: 3/20/14; right: 4/20/14

left: 3/20/14; right: 4/20/14

I notice slight changes in my body, especially in my waist and in my back.  I’m wearing basically the same sizes I was last month, but things are getting much looser.

I’m proud of my progress in this past month, and I can’t wait to see what I can do in the month ahead.

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One of my main goals for my Hawaiian vacation was to fill my time alone with as many fitness adventures as I could.  Since Oahu offers so many different options,  decided to do a bit of research and discovered that a 30-minute drive would bring me to the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail.

There’s something very intriguing to me about lighthouses.  They’re literally guides for sailors at night, and maybe because of all the novels I’ve studied, there’s something so romantic to me about them.  I never realized how drawn to lighthouses I am until this trip, but I am going to make it a point to go to the local lighthouses we have in the San Francisco area when I get back home.

When I looked up info about the trail itself on my Trail Advisor app, it said that it was a paved trail that offered a steady incline to the top, easy to navigate for people of all fitness levels.  I knew I could make the trek, and the promise of the views along the way were all I needed to decide that this was my Tuesday morning outing.

Getting to the trail by car was an easy, beautiful drive, and because I got there early, around 8:30am, parking was a breeze.  (I’ve been on California time throughout my trip, meaning I’m waking up at 3am local time).

10006917_10151952043440426_6763370043924131053_n The hills surrounding the trail were lush and green, and the path itself was very easy to navigate.  I put on some music, and started my assent.  I was a steady incline, enough to keep my heart rate going the entire way.

1534472_10151952042795426_132579950536500944_n Before too long, I saw the ocean peeking out among the brush, and if these were the views at the start of my journey, I was anxious to see what awaited me at the top. Between my music and these views, I think I was smiling from ear to ear the whole way up.

1601506_10151952043315426_8525203781774062793_n10259743_10151952043615426_6302813055275166739_n11893_10151952043700426_7882390771869107988_n10258807_10151952043655426_5132203295441575976_n1794676_10151952044000426_1692567953378443486_n It was right around this point when the breezy morning turned super windy, and the hat I’d been wearing to protect my face from the sun flew off my head!  Luckily, I was able to snatch it from the ground before it flew away.

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I walked for a while holding the hat with one hand and my iPhone in the other. Every time I stopped to take a photo, the hat flew off – about 4 times total. Until I remembered that I could tighten it in the back.

The water below me was so blue, the sky so clear – as I walked the trail I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to be living this life.  I’d decided that this vacation was my reward for all my hard work over the past year in accomplishing so many of my weight loss goals.  This hike wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable 132 pounds ago.  I would’ve been severely out of breath, concerned about whether or not I would make it all the way to the top, and not living in the moment and enjoying all of this natural beauty all around me.  Instead, I soaked it all in and truly felt blessed to be at this point in my life.

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Before too much longer, I was at the top of the trail, looking down at these stunning views of the surrounding area.

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10150652_10151952045015426_6540676470749329357_n It was so windy at the top that I nearly lost my iPhone capturing this shot, but it was worth it, even if it is a bit blurry, I think it helps capture the wind whipping all around.

And finally, the view I’d been waiting for all day – the lighthouse!

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It was smaller than I thought, but a true jewel on that hilltop.  I love this picture so much that I’ve made it my wallpaper on the phone.

1466037_10151952045100426_452066782254352158_n I hiked to the top of this hill, which is amazing to me!

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To offer some perspective, the parking lot is in the middle of the photo. I took this about halfway back down the trail.

There’s really no other word for this hike than glorious.  It offered everything I love – views of the ocean, a great workout, and the chance to remind myself how far I’ve come and how lucky I am.

After the hike, I noticed a spot around the corner from the parking lot that was a bit of a hidden beach, filled with black volcanic rocks where I could perch and watch the white-tipped waves crashing. It reminded me a of a place near Half Moon Bay that’s really special to me. Somehow being here all alone with no other souls in sight made it all the more special, like it was a secret spot just for me.

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I shot this quick video soon after I’d sat down on the rocks. I don’t know what I was doing with the camera angles, but I’m glad I got a bit of  video:

 I don’t know for sure that these rocks are the remnants of a volcano, but given that I’m in Hawaii, that’s the story I’m going with. I sat on the rocks for about 30 minutes, just taking in the majesty and power of the ocean. I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, there’s something very spiritual about it for me.

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If you look carefully about halfway up the hill in the distance, you can spy the little lighthouse.

If you look carefully about halfway up the hill in the distance, you can spy the little lighthouse.

1546144_10151952046655426_3891003743253631992_nEven though the lighting is bad and you can hardly see my face, I wanted to make sure that I captured the fact that I was there on what was a magical morning.

 

 

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bilbl_scale.jpgI usually weigh myself every single morning.  I get up, use the restroom, take off my pjs, and jump on the scale.  I use it as a check-in for how I did the day before and what I may need to do that day.  I don’t let the number define my day either way, although when I see a drop I do get a smile on my face.  I only record my weight once a week, on Sundays, because I know how much the scale can fluctuate.

This daily weighing may seem obsessive to some.  And for some people, it can be unhealthy.  But for me, I have used daily weigh-ins as a tool throughout my weight loss journey.  Longtime readers will recall that I used to avoid the scale (and recording the numbers on this blog) at all costs.  I’d go weeks without weighing in, mostly because I wanted to live in denial.  I knew how badly I’d been eating, or how much I’d overindulged, or that I’d stopped at the drive-thru one too many times, and I didn’t want to face those effects in the digital number that would show up on the scale.  At one point I moved to monthly weigh-ins, but that didn’t help my progress at all, in fact, it had the opposite effect.  When I moved to daily weigh-ins, I started to notice the trends in my body and the weight loss.  That I always gain weight right before my period, and then drop a ton the day I get it.  That eating sweets doesn’t affect my body as much as eating salty foods does; too bad I crave salty a lot more than sweet. That getting in a good workout helps me shed pounds, but overdoing it can actually make me “gain” water weight.  All of this info has helped me understand my body and the way things affect it.  Daily weigh-ins have been priceless for me.

The scale offers me motivation on the days when the numbers move slightly up and inspiration on the days when I see the numbers drop down into new weight loss territory.  The digital display offers me an accountability partner like no other. The numbers, whether positive or negative, offer me a bit of daily encouragement.

So you can imagine how out of sorts I’m feeling after being on vacation for 3 days and not weighing myself.  It’s part of my morning ritual like taking a shower or having a cup of coffee.  Without it I can survive, but things just aren’t as in sync.  I missed my usual Sunday weigh-in because I was here.  Which is totally fine. I know I’ve been eating well, have been getting in exercise, and have been staying on track.  I can feel that my clothes are fitting fine, and in some cases, a few garments feel a bit looser.  So there’s no reason to worry, and even if I come back from Hawaii up a couple of pounds, I know I  can get those off quickly.

But this morning I awoke and just had to get on the scale in the second bathroom here at the house I’m staying on vacation.  I’d just gotten my period and I knew I would see a loss.  But how accurate was this non-digital scale?  Scales can vary wildly, and who knew how this one was calibrated.  Still, it lured me.

So I got on and saw a 3-lb loss!  I did a little Hawaiian happy dance right there in the bathroom, and I’m sure Harvey the cat thought I’d lost my mind.  I didn’t record the weightloss on MFP because as I said, I have no idea how accurate this scale is, but it did give me a little pick me up and a sense of normalcy. I’m such a creature of habit, and I really like my routines. While I’m having an amazing time here in Hawaii, one thing I’m really looking forward to about going home is resuming my daily weigh-ins.

What’s the lesson here?  The scale is still a really important tool for me since I’m still in weight loss mode.  More than anything, I like the reassurance I get from it.  It’s like a trusted friend that I like checking in with everyday.

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After more than two months of planning, anticipating, and preparing, yesterday was finally the day I left for Hawaii.  All week I had the same feeling I had when I was 6 years old and my family was about to go to Disneyland for the first time. I had a lot of last minute errands, meeting, and grading to do to keep me occupied, but if I’m honest, my mind was really concentrating on the beaches of Oahu, and rightly so, I haven’t been on a true vacation since 2008, and I haven’t been anywhere tropical since my trip to Jamaica in 2001.

Back to Saturday morning. My flight was leaving at 8:55am, so my dad was set to pick me up at 7am to get there with time to spare. I woke up around 5am to make sure I had everything ready and I’m glad that it gave me time for a snuggle session with Sofi. Leaving her behind is the only downside to this trip. But she’s going to have a ton of fun with my sister, my nieces, and their dog, Minnie.

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Getting through the airport security was a breeze, even though that imaging machine is so strange. I even met a guy who was flirting relentlessly with me. Granted, he was 7 years old, but still. Lol. He was the cutest thing ever! He noticed that I had on an SF Giants tee and asked me to high five because he had on a 49ers sweatshirt. He said, “I’m going to Hawaii, where are you going?” And when I told him I was going there too, his face lit up. He asked me my name, and said, “bye, Bella” as I headed to get my Starbucks fix. We were seated a row apart on the plane, and every now and then he’s smile and wave. When the flight landed, he was right next to me at baggage claim, asking which bag was mine and then whether or not I was married. The scamp! His parents just smiled at me when I looked over at them. Finally, while I was waiting to be picked up outside the airport, he and his family passed me, and he said, “bye, Bella!!! I hope we see you in Hawaii!” Too cute! Now if only he was about 30 years older.

I had a major NSV as I took my window seat on the plane. Not only was I not spilling over into my neighbor’s seat, but I had lots of room with the seatbelt! On my last flight in 2008, when I was nowhere near my heaviest weight (in fact I’d just lost about 50 pounds because of that medically supervised fasting diet), I needed an extender. And when I went to put the tray table down, I was so scrunched that it wouldn’t sit flat. Not this time!!! This time, I had tons of room, and was like any other normal person. I could even move up & down the aisle of the plane, passing other people, with ease. Only someone who has been obese can understand the silent triumph I felt as each of these realizations hit me.

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The flight itself was amazing! I’d never flown Alaskan Airlines before, but definitely will again. The staff was friendly, the service was quick, and we we’re ahead of schedule the entire time. Not to mention the complimentary Mai Tai! I was seated next to a really friendly woman who was just chatty enough, but also respected my desire to read. At baggage claim my bag was among the first ten off the conveyer. And from there, I walked outside and within 15 minutes, my friend was picking me up to take me back to the house.

The house itself is awesome! It’s a little, hidden bungalow with this amazing view backyard view. First, let’s take a look at the inside: the living room, the kitchen, and the wall of windows…

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As nice and comfortable as the house is, the backyard and dock is by far the best feature of this place. Every time I see that dock, I’m reminded of the dock that Gatsby looks at in the distance, towards the green light at Daisy’s house.

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The view of the house from the private dock

The view of the house from the private dock

It rained a bit in the afternoon, but even that was so refreshing.  Hawaii is so humid, and the rain brings relief from that.  Plus, I love hearing the way it sounds against the dock.  I sat on the back porch and read as it rained, and it was so soothing, especially after a long flight.

One other “feature” of this place is ALL the stairs that lead to the street level.  There are three full sets of stairs that are fairly steep.  Yesterday I used them to get a workout in. No matter how much I may indulge on this vacation, I think I’m going to leave with my booty in better shape than it was when I got here.

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I went to Safeway to get some food for the week, and I can definitely see what they mean about how expensive things are.  I bought yogurt, salads, Flat Out wraps, salami, deli turkey, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, cottage cheese, strawberries, granola, coffee creamer, and some Boom Chicka Pop popcorn and the bill totaled $101! Needless to say, I’m going to eat as many meals at home/pack my lunch as often as I can.  I do plan to go out for sushi and maybe one other meal.

Once I got back from grocery shopping, I spent the afternoon lazing around – napping, reading, and feeling amazingly lucky that I’m able to spend this week here in what is truly paradise.  I stayed home last night, took a shower that let me wash off the day and made me feel like a new person, and just enjoyed a quiet night.

10154938_10151946586235426_644419868_n If yesterday is any indication, this is going to be an amazing vacation!

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Spring has (almost) sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 44 started off great because I spent hours on Sunday going through both closets in my house and going through every single item of clothing, deciding whether to donate or keep it.  My wardrobe is is organized and streamlined, which makes me feel so much better.  At work, I was able to complete all the grading that had piled up, which feels like a huge relief.  I ate well and logged everything. The one area that slipped a bit was in my workouts: I got some in, but didn’t do the Tone It Up strength sessions as often as I would’ve liked.  Now that everything is in order in the various areas of my life, the main thing I want to do is maintain it all.  Which means grading a bit at a time, keeping up with the housework/laundry, and setting aside the 1-1.5 hours a day to get my workouts in.  I know I can do it, I just need to set my mind to it.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 183.0, which is a loss of 1.6 pounds this week,and a loss of 94 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 132 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 33 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this week’s loss, especially because of the fact that I completed fewer workouts than I would’ve liked.  It really does go to show that weight loss is 70-80% food.  One thing that went really well for me this week was my water intake – I’ve found that making sure I have a water bottle or tumbler with me at all times makes all the difference.

One week from today I’ll have been in Hawaii for a day already!  I’m so excited about this trip, and I’m really looking at it as a reward for my hard work and determination.  It’s been over six years since I went on any sort of vacation.  Six years since I’ve been on a plane.  The last time I had to use a seatbelt extender, and that was when I was nowhere near my heaviest weight, in fact, I’d lost 50 pounds on that medically supervised fasting diet.  If I’m honest, I avoided any sort of vacation where I might need to fly because I didn’t want to have to deal with that scrunched-in feeling of spilling over into my neighbor’s seat. No to mention the look of dread on the seatmates’ faces when they saw me coming down the aisle.  I can’t wait to see how different it all is this time.

This week it’s all about making sure I have everything ready for Hawaii.  Yesterday I had a major shopping trip at Target, picking up travel sizes and a few more swim essentials.  Remember those Victoria Secrets bikini tops I’d bought?  They fit, and looked pretty good, but they were cut fairly small and showed more cleavage than I was comfortable with.  Especially for water sports like snorkeling or taking surf lessons.  I didn’t want to accidentally “pop out.”

2014-03-30 09.55.37See what I mean? I’ll definitely still wear it at the beach or walking around, but not when I’m doing something more physical.

So yesterday while I was at Target, I saw that they had swimwear on sale, and I found two other swim tops:

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This black bikini top has a lot more coverage, even though you may not be able to tell it in the photo, and that makes me feel more comfortable.  The tankini also offers good coverage, although I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to tuck it in.  What do you guys think?

The plan for this week is to make sure I fit in 5 Tone It Up workouts, along with cardio:
Sunday: Arc Trainer + run/walk intervals
Monday: run/walk intervals
Tuesday: hybrid elliptical
Wednesday: Arc Trainer
Thursday: hybrid recumbent bike
Friday: run/walk intervals

{I’ll update the toning routines as soon as the new weekly workout is posted on Toneitup.com}

As I mentioned, next week I’ll be in Hawaii, so I won’t be posting a weigh-in update.  It’s going to be really weird not having a scale there and not weighing myself everyday.  But I know I’m going to make great choices (more on that in another post), and get in plenty of activity, so I’m not worried about my weight.  Plus, taking a break from the scale while I’m on vacay seems right.  I will write a Sunday Smiles post, though, because I’m sure I’ll already have lots to share.

2014-03-30 11.07.19

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

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Spring has (almost) sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 43 was a bit overwhelming, if I’m honest.  Things are really busy at work, and I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day.  I still managed to eat well and to get my cardio workouts in, but I did let a few toning workouts slip by.  This next week is going to be just as busy, so I’m going to do my best to set things up today so that I don’t feel like I have no time for everything I have to do. Feeling organized is huge for me – it make all the difference in the world.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 184.6, which is a loss of 1.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 92.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 130.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 34.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m pleased with this week’s loss, especially considering I didn’t do many of the toning exercises that I’ve been doing 5 times a week for the past couple of months.  My eating has been great, though, and I did pretty well with my water intake, too.

More of the clothes I ordered for my Hawaiian vacation came in this week, and every single item looks as good or better than I’d hoped.  I don’t mean to sound conceited when I write that, but this is a whole new thing for me.  In the past when I ordered clothes online, it was always hit and miss as far as how the clothes would look.  Now it’s a whole different story because I have a whole different body.  It really is an amazing feeling.

Yesterday the high school I attended had an Alumnae Day of Service at a local charity, which fit in well with my volunteering for Lent.  One of my good friends attended, and I had a blast meeting a bunch of new friends.  There’s something about being an alumna from my school – we have an instant bond because of the shared experience of going to an all-girls Catholic school.  And not just because of wearing that plaid skirt; because of the values we were taught, the education we received, and the spirit of friendship that we formed.  It truly was an amazing experience, and I’m so grateful to my parents for sacrificing so much so that my sister and I could attend the school.

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A shot of a new friend and me sorting apples.

A great group shot of all of the alums who volunteered.

A great group shot of all of the alums who volunteered. The lady in the sun hat is in charge of food sorting at the center, and was our supervisor for the day.

This week the enormous changes I’ve undergone have become more evident to me.  In looking at photos I’ve been in with groups of friends lately (last weekend, this Friday night, and again yesterday) I can see that I’m a completely different person.  I’m not worried about how my body is going to look in pictures, because I know how hard I’ve worked.  It’s so freeing to just smile and capture the moment, rather than worry so much about what angle the camera is being held at. I see myself and I am proud of the lady being reflected back at me. A new confidence is emerging, and I am loving it!

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

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Today marks ten months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also the first day of spring.  It’s been sunshine and smiles all day today, especially when a colleague of mine, whom I don’t see too often on campus, stopped me in the teachers’ lounge and said, “you’re almost unrecognizable! You’re looking fantastic!”  He’s the track coach, and he knows I’ve been working on my run/walks and doing 5Ks, and I thought it was so nice of him to tell me that he’s noticing the changes. I’ve had several other people tell me how “skinny” I’m looking lately, and it never gets old.  I think part of it is that I was more bundled up in the winter, wearing heavier sweaters and jeans.  Now I’ve been wearing thinner tops and skirts, which show my shape more.  But I’m also proud to say that I’ve been really putting in the work to make these changes evident – eating great and getting in my workouts 5 or 6 days a week.

Measurements

2/16/14

3/20/14

Change

Neck

13

13

0/same

Arms

12.5

11.5

-1 inch

Wrist

6.5

6.5

0/same

Bust

34

33.5

-0.5 inch

Waist

34

33

-1 inch

Hips

48

43.5

-4.5 inches

Thighs

28.25

26

-2.25 inches

Calf

15.75

15.5

-0.25 inch

Ankle

8.5

8.75

+0.25 inch

I’m floored that I lost 4 1/2 inches in my hips and 2 1/4 inches from my thighs in one month!  I triple checked the measurements, and sure enough, I’ve made big strides.  Just this morning as I was getting out of the shower, I did notice that my thighs are looking much smaller lately, which is so encouraging.  I think it’s funny that I gained 1/4 inch in my ankles; I wonder if I’m retaining water?  Either way, I’m really pleased with this progress.  I’ve been working hard at toning up, and it’s paying off.

Photos

I’ve lost 6 pounds in the month between these photos. I’ve also been working on my base tan for Hawaii, as you’ll see from the difference in my skin tone.  In the photos on the right (taken today) I’m wearing different pants that are slightly looser than the running pants I wore last month.

Left: 2/16/14  Right 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right 3/20/14

I notice a few things between these two photos – I can see more definition in my stomach, my waist looks more “whittled,” and the skin on my stomach is getting looser.

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Sizes

  • Tops = size M or L, depending on the manufacturer
  • Jeans = size 14, and they’re getting a bit loose
  • Workout capris (worn in these photos) = size L
  • Boy short bikini bottoms from Victoria’s Secret = size L
  • Bras = 34D (on the tightest setting)
  • Workout Bras = 32/34 D/DD (on the middle setting) The workout bras I bought have a range, which I love because they fit well and have lasted a long time.

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Spring has (almost) sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 42 started with a 5K and ended with a Bay Area WLS meetup, with lost of busy days in between.  Even though so many of the workdays were long ones, I didn’t miss any of my workouts.  That fact alone is something I’m so proud of, and speaks to how much I’ve transformed my life.  In the past, long work days would have offered an easy excuse to skip workouts, but now they just give me a way to shake off a stressful day.  Just like that photo above, I really love working out and miss it when I have to take a rest day.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 186.0, which is a loss of 2.6 pounds this week, and a loss of 91 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 129 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 36 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this week’s loss.  The first pound came off right away when I did my daily weigh-in on Monday; the other 1.6 came off a little at a time as the week continued.  I’ve been feeling really strong all week – not just in my weight loss, but in my whole attitude and demeanor – I’m loving life!

One fun thing that also served as an NSV this week was shopping for Hawaii.  I’ve picked up just about all the clothes I think I’ll need: bikini tops, board shorts, sundresses, capri pants, and late yesterday afternoon – tanks.  Shopping these days is obviously so much more fun than shopping in the past, and I can’t wait to see how little room all of my clothes take up in the suitcase!  In the past when I’d go on trips, my clothes would take up so much room because there was so much material.  I’m super excited that this time around I’ll be able to fit everything into one suitcase, with room.  Although, don’t get me wrong, I’m an over-packer, so I’ll still be filling that suitcase, but this time it will be because of all the outfits, not because of how big the clothes are.

Today my friend Di and I are heading to a local lake county park to volunteer at a cleanup.  This is part of my Lenten Sacrifice, and I’m looking forward to it.  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here – 80 degrees and sunny – and today will be no exception.  Plus, it will be a great way to burn some calories as I’m giving back.

2014-02-05 20.26.41

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

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