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Newjojie, Bella, & Tinkerbell

Newjojie, Bella, & Tinkerbell – A smiley selfie before the race!

This morning, despite losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings Time, Tinkerbell, NewJojie, and I all met at 7:30am to head to the Mardi Gras Madness 5K, which benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma society.  NewJojie is a wonderful lady I met on MyFitnessPal who has been supporting me (and Tinkerbell) for over a year.  After Tink and I did the Jenny’s Light 5K, NewJojie emailed me and said to let her know when our next 5K was, because she’d drive the two hours from her house to meet us and join in on the fun.  Can you believe that she was willing to drive 4 hours total (2 hours here, 2 hours back) just to meet us and do a 5K?!  How special!

It doesn’t take much for Tink and I to plan a cute race outfit, but knowing that NewJojie was putting in that much effort, we had to make these extra special.  Tink found these awesome, purple, sparkly running skirts from Rock City Skirts, as well as a cool iron-on Fleur-de-lis that said “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!) on it, and because Mardi Gras colors are purple and green, she found cool green Calvin Klein Jeans tanks at Marshall’s (mine’s a L!!). We were all set to turn heads for this race!

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You can’t tell from this pic, but the skirt is sparkly, adding just the right amount of Mardi Gras bling to the morning.

Everyone who saw us told us how much they loved our skirts, our matching outfits, our entire look. It was fun to hear before the race, and even better as we were running the 5K.

But enough about fashion, let’s get to the details of the race…

I woke up way before my alarm, probably because I was so worried that I’d have a hard time getting up and losing the hour.  So I had a leisurely morning starting at 4:30am – time to shower, get dressed, begin writing my weigh-in blog post, and have half a cup of coffee before I left.

2014-03-09 07.25.09 It wouldn’t be a race day if I didn’t take my ritual bathroom selfie before leaving the house for the race.

Since they were handing out bibs and shirts on race day, we wanted to make sure to get down to the race with plenty of time to spare.  What would we do with the extra time? Take pre-finish photos, of course!  Our thinking was that we wanted make sure we got a good shot with the Finish line in the background.

I love the cool angle Newjojie used for this pic!

I love the cool angle Newjojie used for this pic!

We also took some photos with the masks that they had surrounding the finish line:

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Notice that I had to stand on my tippy toes just to fit my face through the eye hole of the mask. #shortie

Then it was time to put down the phone cameras and get ready to race.  Newjojie and Tinkerbell are both more experienced runners than I am, but they were sweet and agreed to run at my pace, which was 2min run/1min walk.  On the treadmill my pace for the run is 4.5mph and the walk is 3.5mph and it’s a great pace. I feel strong and comfortable.  Outside, it’s a whole other story.

I always start out too quickly when I’m running outside, and today was no different.  In fact, I’d shot ahead so fast that Tinkerbell told Newjojie, “just let her go” with a smile.  I’d warned them both that the momentum and adrenaline gets to me at the beginning of a race and I go much faster than I can sustain for an entire race.  And within a minute or so, I realized I needed to slow down and go at a more moderate pace. Tinkerbell matched my pace, and Newjojie was leading our way, a few paces ahead of us.

We were running for what seemed like forever, and I was wondering why my interval timer hadn’t beeped to indicate we should start walking when I looked down and discovered it wasn’t on.  Doh!!  I apologized, turned it on, and we started the true run/walk.

The beginning of the race, until about mile 1.3 was good.  I was running well, and felt strong.  And then right before the turnaround, my breath became more labored and I was having a much harder time with the runs.  Being outside is just so much more difficult, and I probably should’ve paced myself even slower so that I didn’t get that slight burning feeling in my lungs when I ran.  But all it took was Tink holding my hand and encouraging me during one of the walking portions for me to know I was going to keep this up, even if I had to slow down a bit to do it.  Twice, I stopped my run portion about 30 seconds early, apologizing profusely to Tinkerbell and Newjojie, as I told them to run ahead without me and I’d catch up. Tink told me I had nothing to apologize for, and she and Newjojie actually did a loop around to meet me at my pace when I was back to my run.  What awesome running pals these two are!

Newjojie snapped this action shot of us.

Newjojie snapped this action shot of us.

Once we hit 2.85 miles, I felt a renewed energy.  We agreed we’d continue the run/walk pace until we could see the finish line in sight, and then we’d run into the finish line, as Carina taught me.  It must be a surge of adrenaline that comes with that FINISH sign, because I felt amazing as we ran into it!!

The race organized captured this great shot of the three of us running into the finish line.  They loved our outfits so much that they used the pic on their FB wall.  How cool is that?!

The race organizers captured this great shot of the three of us running into the finish line (bottom left). They loved our outfits so much that they used the pic on their FB wall. How cool is that?!

After the race, with water and banana in hands.

After the race, with water and banana in hands.

All told, I hit another PR today!!  I completed the race in 42:21.44, which is a pace of 13:39/mile! That’s 3.87 minutes quicker than my pace at the Hot Chocolate 5K in SF!!!!! I’m so proud of myself!  It goes to show that I’m much too hard on myself when I’m running.  I was getting so down on myself and frustrated that breathing was getting challenging and that I had to add 30 seconds to my walk a couple of times.  In reality, I had my best time yet, so I need to cut myself a break on the next 5K and really just enjoy the day. I would’ve never been able to do any of this 126 pounds ago, so I need to relish that fact!

Beyond my personal accomplishment, the best part of the day was doing the 5K with these amazing ladies.  Tinkerbell is one of my best friends, and now Newjojie has become an “in-real-life” friend, too. We’re already planning our next 5K, when Tink and I will drive up to Newjojie’s neck of the woods.  I can’t wait!!

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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 41 was a busy one, but I’ve been working hard to make sure that I keep everything in balance.  I’m not willing to let a workout slip by or to make poor food choices, so staying organized is even more important than ever.  All week I’ve been looking forward to the Mardi Gras Madness 5K that I’m doing with Tinkerbell and Newjojie (one of my MFP peeps). Newjojie is actually driving two hours to meet Tink and me and do the race with us, which is so exciting.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 188.6, which is a loss of 1 pound this week, and a loss of 88.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 126.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 38.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I am so proud of today’s weight loss, even though it’s “only” a pound. After my 4-pound loss 2 weeks ago, I stayed the same last week and most of this week the scale hadn’t moved. But clothes are fitting looser & my sizes are getting smaller. Still, I love seeing a loss on the scale, especially a hard-won one like this.

In the past, I would’ve been so frustrated to see the scale stall for almost a week and a half, but I’ve learned so much about weight loss and how my body reacts through these past few years.  I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t thrilled to see the scale hovering around the same numbers even though I was working out hard and eating on plan, but I didn’t panic.  I realized that I’ve lost over 125 pounds, and my body just needed a bit of a break.  I didn’t immediately try to switch everything I’ve been doing (as I used to do so often in the past).  I just stayed the course, kept doing what I know works, and had confidence that sooner or later the scale would move again.  And really, one week of maintaining isn’t a bad thing; so many of the people in my weight loss support group and on MFP have stalls that last much longer.  The body is really an amazing and mysterious thing sometimes, and it reminds me that having faith in myself and what I’m doing will see me through.

This week’s workout plan:

Monday: Walk Sofi + TIU: SunKissed Abs & MaliBooty
Tuesday: run/walk intervals + TIU: TBA Toning Routine (they post it Tuesday morning)
Wednesday: Recumbent bike + TIU TLC (Tone, Lift, & Cinch) Workout
Thursday: run/walk intervals + TIU: Bikini Arms (it’s on their Beach Babe 2 DVD, which I downloaded)
Friday: Spinning + Kettlebells w/ Katrina & Spankin’ Booty Routine
Saturday: cardio rest day + Flat, Fit & Sexy Abs
Sunday: I’m volunteering for a park cleanup, so I’ll burn lots of calories that way.

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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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Lately the work clothes side of my closet has been looking like someone snuck in and stole everything they could get their hands on.  Lots of wide, open space and nothing but empty hangers. It’s definitely seen better days. I’ve been “getting by” wearing jeans and sweaters, but now that the weather is getting nicer outside (aside from the rainstorm we’ve had the last few days), it was time to do something about it.

The thing is, I haven’t wanted to spend tons of money because I’m still losing weight rapidly and sizes don’t last long.  So, I figured a trip to Marshall’s was in order.

When I was wearing sizes 28, 26, or even 24, I could never shop at Marshall’s because they never had anything that fit me.  And on the off chance that they actually had a garment in my size, it was never the right fit – too boxy, too “old lady,” or just too ugly.  I longed for the day when I could walk into Marshall’s and find a bunch of clothes in my size that looked good on me for a great deal.

Well, I’m so thrilled to announce that today was that day!!

First let’s start with the things that didn’t work…

For one reason or another, these didn't make it out of the dressing room.

For one reason or another, these didn’t make it out of the dressing room.

  • The top left was a cute INC shirt in medium, and I was all set to get it, until I noticed that it had a bead missing on that accessory in the middle.
  • The bottom left was a size large and just too loud.  I grabbed it and thought maybe it would look better on than it had on the hanger, but no dice.  Plus, it had a dolman sleeve style which doesn’t look good on me.
  • I almost brought home this bright orange top on the right.  It’s from Juicy Couture, and I loved how happy it looked. It was also a medium.  In the end, it was $30, and while that’s a good price for the brand, I didn’t want to spend that much on it.

Ok, so let’s get to the things that came home with me. Let me preface these photos by explaining that I had on skinny jeans and Uggs, and because the dressing rooms at Marshall’s have bare floors, and I didn’t have socks on, I didn’t want to take off my Uggs or jeans.  Which is why you see the jeans around my ankles, which is an oh-so-Klassy (yes, classy with a K) look.

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The thing that I love about this dress is how thin I feel in it.  It’s got a racer back, and has a gold zipper on the outside of the dress in the back that adds a perfect touch of style.  It has side pockets, too, which are really convenient.  I can’t believe that it’s a size L and it’s not tight at all in the booty, hips, or thighs. And with a price tag of $29.99, it was definitely coming home with me.

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I loved this pattern because it’s very spring-like and happy, but it’s still sophisticated.  This one is a faux-wrap dress, and it hits me just at the knee.  It’s a bit clingy in the hips & booty, but that’s what shapers are for.  And actually, don’t mind that it’s slightly fitted because it will fit me for quite some time. This dress was also priced right at $29.99.

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This outfit makes me feel young and light.  The skirt is slightly short, but I think it will look great with tights.  Plus, I can wear a skirt for a lot longer than I can pants. When pants get too big, they are really unflattering.  When this skirt starts to get a bit bigger, it will rest lower on my hips, and it will still be a good length. The skirt was $30, which is a good price for the brand. And this top… it’s a medium! I love the color blocking because it’s so flattering, and the hot pink color is really my favorite. The top was $16.99, which is an amazing deal!

So, I got two dresses, a skirt, and a top!  Three cute outfits, two pieces of which I can mix and match with other things.  Oh, and I also picked up an SF Giants woman’s tee ($12.99) that I’m going to wear to the BBQ tomorrow.  And because it’s Marshall’s, I also picked up an 18-pack of Tully’s Hawaiian coffee K-Cups (to get me in the mood for my trip!) for $8.99 and an Alladin stainless steel coffee tumbler for $5.99.  My total bill was $149.53 for all of that stuff! Not too shabby!!

The Marshall’s I went to had a huge activewear section that I didn’t even go through because I was trying to show some restraint.  Believe me, I’m going to be a regular customer of that section very soon.

I had an amazing day today!  Shopping is always fun, but shopping for clothes like these in sizes like this was truly exceptional.  I was so proud as I slipped each item on and saw how it looked reflected back to me in the mirror.  And when I look at these photos as I’m writing this post, I am really thrilled that I see collar bones jutting out, dimples prominently displayed, and such a happy look on my face.  Losing 125 pounds is an awesome accomplishment, but seeing myself as this new, dare-I-say…thin woman is breathtaking.

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bilbl_shoppingFriday Five

  1. I am so excited! I woke up early this morning (because it was payday) and booked my flight for Hawaii!!  After a lot of searching and decision making, I settled on non-stop flights each way on Alaskan Airlines.  I paid more than I would’ve if I wanted settle for 1-stop, but I decided my time was worth the extra money.  Not to mention the ease of travel.  I’ve heard great things about flying on Alaska to Hawaii, and now that I’ve purchased the tickets, it’s really feeling REAL!!  35 more days and I’ll be enjoying views like this:  Kaneohe-Bay-Sunset-Tilt-Shift-Tablet-Wallpaper
  2. 1016675_599508403402351_910665212_nToday I go for packet pickup for the 408K race.  The cool thing about this race is that I organized a faculty group from my school to participate.  I love doing things like this, and I thought that doing something healthy together would be a great way for our teachers and staff to bond.  My original idea was that we’d get together to train (walk/run) on our high school track; the problem arose that it was soccer season and the games were on the same field where we have the track.  Still, I created a FB group and we all checked in with each other about our trainings.  Sharing this experience of doing an 8K (almost 5 miles) on Sunday is going to be a great thing.  Since packet pickup is at a popular spot for dining and shopping, I organized a post-packet pickup TGIF, which I’m looking forward to. This has been difficult week back and easing into the weekend with colleagues after school will be a fun way to end it. (I’m still deciding if I’m going to walk this one, or do my run/walk.  Most of the faculty are saying they’re going to walk it, so in the spirit of collegiality, I may do the same).
  3. Even though I’m “just a renter” I take pride in the way my yard looks.  Recently two of the trees in front of my house had to be removed because they were deseased, leaving it looking desolate and sad.  As I’ve been walking Sofi I’ve been on the hunt for something new to go in the space.  I wanted something with color, but also something that would last for years to come.  I found this Razzle Berry (botanical name: Lorapetalum) bush in several neighbors’ yards, and I absolutely love it:2014-02-23 16.05.03 2014-02-23 16.05.08  I like that when it’s in bloom, at this time of year, it’s  got this beautiful burst of hot pink, and then when those fall away, it’s a nice green bush with a hint of the hot pink on the leaves.  On Saturday I’m heading to the nursery with my dad (and his truck) to buy two bushes.  I’m buying them either way, but I’m hoping that my landlord will split the cost with me, since they’ll remain even after I leave (if I leave) someday.  (If he doesn’t split the cost, you can bet I’ll uproot these babies in the case that I do ever leave).
  4. This Sunday I’ve been invited to a BBQ at the home of a friend I haven’t seen in a couple of years.  He and I worked together back in 1999-2000 at an internet company and have remained friends (mostly on FB) ever since.  I’m looking forward to the party because a few of my former colleagues should be there too.  Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to wear.  While most of the people didn’t see me at my very heaviest weight, they did see me weighing a lot more than I do now, so I really want to look my best.  The problem is, I hardly have any clothes in my closet.  So, I guess this means a shopping trip is in the works for me!  Fun!!  Another reason to look forward to the party.  Plus BBQs make food choices fairly easy.  Now I just have to come up with a good salad to bring.  Any ideas?
  5. Sunday is a big day (408K, BBQ…) and also the Oscars.  I always love watching the Oscars to see what everyone is wearing, listen to the acceptance speeches, and see whether or not the Academy got it right in terms of who they give the awards to.  It seems like the perfect way to end a busy weekend.

2013-09-27 12.14.29Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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February – love is in the air, and this month is going to be all about loving myself enough to continue making 2014 my year to shine. I’m vowing here and now that I will reach my goal weight in 2014. What an amazing accomplishment it will be! To achieve my goals, I’m going to focus on the basics – eating well, drinking lots of water, taking my vitamins and getting in 5 cardio workouts a week. I’ve started strength training with #ToneItUp and their #LoveYourBody series is helping see just how strong I am as I change my body. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. This month is going to be all about loving all the little things that make life special. My Sunday progress updates will be called Fabulous February Weigh-Ins.

Week 39 was nothing short of amazing!  I had the entire week off, got to spend time with a few different friends, planned to try a bunch of new fitness classes at the gym, like Spin and Zumba Step, and it was also my 9-month surgiversary.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 189.6, which is a loss of 4.2 pounds this week, and a loss of 87.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 125.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 39.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. What an amazing week!!  I’m in the 180s!!!!!  I haven’t seen a loss this big in quite some time, and I can only attribute it to the fact that I didn’t have any stress, could spend the days working out and drinking plenty of water, and cooked delicious, healthy meals for myself.

This week someone told me I was lucky to have lost so much weight since surgery.  I responded that luck had nothing to do with it, that it was a lot of hard work.  And it has been.  I haven’t just sat back and let the weight loss happen.  I’ve put in the effort of planning, shopping, cooking, and logging each meal.  I’ve spent the time in the gym, on the track, and on the hybrid.  I’ve chosen to make the most out of these first 9 months after surgery because I know it’s when the maximum weight loss happens.  I’ve changed my life.  And that has made all the difference. That’s why I know I’ll reach every single goal I set for myself.

I had a lot of time this week off to celebrate my successes.  I was able to write lots of blog posts, and reflecting like that really helps me put things into perspective.  I am in completely new territory in terms of my weight, and I don’t want to forget any of these moments.  For so long I dreamed of arriving at this moment, and I don’t want to take a second of it for granted.

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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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bilbl_superI’d been looking forward to trying Zumba Step for the past month, ever since I first saw the flyer for the new class at my gym.  The only problem was, they only offered classes while I was at work – 11am on Thursdays and 8am on Fridays. So having this week off, I knew I wanted to try the class out.

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I love the music and the energy of Zumba classes, and I used to have fun taking step classes back in the day, so I figured the combination of the two could be really fun…or a catastrophe.  I could see myself tripping over the step as I tried to samba to the beat.

The teacher had brought two other instructors with her so that people on each side of the room could have someone to follow along.  She told us to grab a step, and at the most, to get one riser.  I decided to stick with the step by itself for this first class.

The class was really fun.  The teacher did a great job of cueing us about the moves ahead of time.  The difference between this class and a regular Zumba class was that the step was used about half the time to add some height to some of the moves.  We did the usual step-ups and knee raises, but included swaying hips and fun arm movements.  I’m happy to say there was absolutely no tripping over the step.

I’ll definitely take the class again.  I like the challenge including the step adds, and I could definitely feel it the next day.  As the class becomes more popular, I know they’ll add more sessions in the evening and weekends.  In fact, in checking the schedule just now, I saw that they now offer a class at 8:30pm on Tuesdays, so I’ll probably incorporate it into my schedule a couple of times a month.

The thing I really loved about the class was my own personal progress from the last time I took a Zumba class.  I haven’t taken a Zumba class since surgery, and the weight I’ve lost made a major difference in what I could do this go around.  I always gave it my all in Zumba classes, even when I was at my heaviest.  The thing is, my all was keeping things no-impact: no jumping, no hopping, no bouncing. Sometimes I’d end up a beat or two behind the class because I wasn’t able to keep up with the fast pace.  This time, I was jumping, bouncing, and hopping right along with the class. In fact, I was “that girl” who was going above and beyond.  The best part was that even though I was exerting myself and really getting in a sweaty workout, I wasn’t overwhelmed or out of breath.  At one point I got major tears in my eyes when I realized just how far I’d come.

In the past, I enjoyed Zumba so much that I thought “maybe someday I’ll be able to teach Zumba,” but it was a far off dream.  On Thursday, after I felt like I’d mastered the class, I knew with certainty that I will be a Zumba instructor.  That confidence is the coolest feeling in the world.

I snapped a quick pic after class, and as you can see, I was definitely "glowing" after the class.

I snapped a quick pic after class, and as you can see, I was definitely “glowing” afterward.

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bilbl_shoppingFriday Five

  1. Pink-Fuzzy-Scale-Close-Up This week the scale has been especially friendly.  I weigh myself every morning because it helps me stay on track, but I usually wait to record my results until my “official” Sunday weigh-in posts.  This week I’ve been posting my weigh-in results on MyFitnessPal almost daily because I’ve been seeing so much success.  This morning when I stepped on the scale, it showed me that I am in the 180s!!!!!!  I hit 189.8, and I can’t think of a better way to cap off this fun week.
  2. house-of-cards Why oh why did I start watching this show this week? Don’t get me wrong, I am LOVING this show – Kevin Spacey is at his wicked best in this role. The problem is I have a ton of essay that I should be grading instead of “binge watching” this show.  I’m in the middle of Season 1, and each episode is better than the last.  Have you seen it?
  3. 641824507c73119da15f061879f96791 I’m a huge coffee fan, and one of my very favorite blends is Casi Cielo from Starbucks.  The package says that it has notes of lemon and dark cocoa.  It’s also only available for a very short time – January through late February, which makes it all the more special.  My sister and I are obsessed – we buy a new box of KCups every time we go into a Starbucks. On a side note, I’m actually really proud about how I’ve cut down on my daily coffee consumption.  Before surgery I would drink a 12-cup pot of coffee daily.  I know! Crazy, right?  Now I’m down to 1 cup a day, two at the most on the weekends, which is why I switched to a Keurig.
  4. I need some new pjs.  The ones I bought for myself a few months ago are practically falling off, but I hate to get rid of them because they’re so comfy.  Still, it’s always fun to shop for new, smaller clothes.  Here’s a pair that have caught my eye:
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They’re Nick & Nora from Target. I love the beachy scene!

5.  Hawaii is on my mind.  I leave for my trip in 41 days, and I can’t begin to describe how excited I am.  There are three things on my Fitness Bucket List that I may be able to cross off during my trip:

    • Swim in the ocean in a tropical locale (Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, etc).
    • Learn (or at least attempt) to surf.
    • Go ziplining.

We’ll see what I end up doing, but for now, it’s so fun to imagine the vacation possibilities.

2013-09-27 12.14.29Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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Today marks nine months since my VSG surgery, and oh how my life has changed in this time.  Nine months ago I was so hopeful, looking forward to this moment right here – when I’d lost enough to really notice a dramatic transformation.

  • On the day of surgery I weighed in at 277; today I weighed in at 191. That’s a loss of 86 pounds in 9 months, and 124 pounds from my highest weight.
  • 9 months ago I was wearing size 24 pants; today I wear size 14 from the “regular” side of the store, not plus.
  • 9 months ago I was wearing tight-fitting 2x tops; today I’m wearing women’s size large.
  • Since surgery I’ve lost 48.5 inches around my body.
  • I can cross my legs.
  • I can go up several flights of stairs without getting winded.
  • I’ve run/walked a 5K.
  • I’ve taken and LOVED a spin class.
  • I can keep up with a Zumba class at full intensity – bouncing and jumping with the best of them, without being out of breath.
  • I’ve started a toning program, and love the results I’m getting.
  • I’ve purchased boyfriend sweats from Victoria’s Secret and now they’re two sizes too large for me.
  • I no longer spill over the seat in the chairs at Starbucks, my car, etc.
  • I’ve reached Onederland, and I’m almost in the 180′s!
  • When I take my first plane ride in over 6 years to Hawaii in April, I’ll have no worries about infringing on my neighbor’s seat and I won’t need a seatbelt extender.

The way I move through the world is so different now.  I’ve always been a confident person, but I have an extra bit of pep in my step. I feel happy, content, and very, very proud.

Marking Progress

I’ve decided that to celebrate my surgiversary on a monthly basis, I’m going to start posting progress pics and measurements on the 20th of the month. I’m excited to start marking my progress more frequently.

Here’s a repost of my measurements:

3/4/12

2/16/14

Change

Neck

14.5

13

-1.5 inches

Arms

16.25

12.5

-3.75 inches

Wrist

6.75

6.5

-0.25 inches

Bust

43

34

-9 inches

Waist

44.5

34

-10.5 inches

Hips

61

48

-13 inches

Thighs

35

28.25

-6.75 inches

Calf

18.5

15.75

-2.75 inches

Ankle

9.5

8.5

-1 inch

In total, I’ve lost 48 1/2 inches from around my body!! That’s four feet!!! I’m really excited with all of these changes, but especially the changes in my bust, waist, hips, and thighs.

And now some pictures.

This first comparison is from the day of surgery and today. 9 months and 86 pounds.

2014-02-20 14.52.10

2014-02-20 14.53.35

On a side note, today’s dress is one that I bought maybe seven or eight years ago at a Cabi party.  At the time the XL size was way out of reach, but today, the dress is too big on me.  That’s my sports bra showing underneath it.  The dress is reversible (colorful floral on one side, black and white on the other).  I really like it, so I may pay to get it altered; it needs to be taken in at the top and at the waist.

I’ve decided to start posing with just my sports bra and running pants on to really show the changes the toning and exercise are making to my body.  I’ve been really remiss about taking progress photos up to this point, so I decided to show photos from one year ago.  I weighed 293 in the “before” photos, and today I’m 191 – so -102 pounds between the photos.

2014-02-20 15.02.16

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)
Can you see that slight indention in my stomach? Is that the start of some sort of ab definition? Exciting!

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today) Sorry for the crazy angle, but my sis wasn't around to help me take the photos.  Hopefully next month.

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)
Sorry for the crazy angle, but my sis wasn’t around to help me take the photos. Hopefully next month.

Thanks for letting me indulge in a bit of celebration today.  You can believe I’m all smiles. :)

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bilbl_superThis morning I woke up in just enough time to head to the spin class I’d been planning to attend for more than a week.  Actually, today’s spin class has been years in the making.  I’ve wanted to try spinning forever, but was extremely intimidated by the proximity of the bikes to each other.  When I was over 300 pounds, I was worried that I’d spill over into my neighbor’s personal space.  Not a great feeling.

There was the time, back in August 2011, when I went into the empty spin room and spent 5 minutes on the bike.  I know I didn’t even get “out of the saddle”/stand up on the bike, because I had no idea what I was doing.   I also didn’t change the tension at all.  I do remember that I felt the pain in the pubic bone that comes with spinning.

So I prepared for that pain by buying some padded spin pants that had a skirt overlay.  I’d first seen them on Emmie’s blog, and because I was convinced I was eventually going to try spinning, I decided the investment was worth it.  I remember in August 2011 that I was embarrassed to wear them in public because of how tight they were.  The skirt was almost indecent because my big booty was causing it to ride way up in the back, barely covering. Here’s the post from December 2011 where the pants showed up again.  This time, I actually missed the spin class because I was fooling around with the fit of the pants, trying to camouflage how tight they were on me.

I haven’t tried spinning in all this time, but today was the day.  My gym offers lots of spin classes Monday-Thursday: at 5:45am, 9am, and 6pm.  I figured the 5:45am class would be packed, as would the 6pm, and since I was off, 9am seemed like the ticket.  Because I’d heard all the horror stories about how much the spin seat hurts the pubic bone, I decided to wear the padded, skirted pants even though they were way too big.  Like at least 3 sizes too large! Let’s compare the fit, shall we?

Left - 12/2011 Right - today, 2/2014

Left – 12/2011  Right – today, 2/2014
The difference in these two photos is really striking, especially because I’m sucking in my stomach in both shots. Dramatic difference!!

I don't know if you can tell, but the skirt was way, way longer today.  Less of a booty keeping it up!

I don’t know if you can tell, but the skirt was way, way longer today. Less of a booty keeping it up!

And here’s a front view picture, just for good measure.

2014-02-18 11.09.10

So many of my workout clothes are just way, way too big. This top is supposed to be one of those snug, dry-weave tanks, but you can see that it’s super loose on me. I’ve gotta hit an activewear sale soon.

Anyway, back to the class.  I got there about 10 minutes early, just to make sure that I had time to chat with the teacher and make sure I had the bike all set up.  I found out that the seat should be set so that it’s in the middle of my hip when I’m standing up next to it.  I also made sure that when I sat on the bike my legs were still slightly bent, not completely straight.  The teacher showed me how to change the tension, and told me that I could stay a “half step behind” if I wanted to; meaning I could take it a bit easier than the rest of the class since it was my first time.  You guys know that there was no way I was going to take it easy, right?!

The class itself was so great!  The teacher started off the class with Pharrell’s “Happy,” which couldn’t have been more perfect! In fact, take 4 minutes right now and listen to it.  It’s guaranteed to make you feel fantastic!

The teacher immediately turned off the lights in the room.  I’m not really sure why – maybe so that we wouldn’t focus on how we looked in that room which was surrounded by mirrors?  At one point during the class, I caught a glimpse of a girl in the mirror across the room and my first thought was how good she looked on the bike, how confident she seemed as she pedaled.  Only, she didn’t look like any of the women in the class.  I went one by one trying to figure out which one she was, until I realized – SHE WAS ME!  I can’t tell you how amazing that felt.  That I thought that I looked great during an exercise class is a new first.  That and the fact that I wasn’t the biggest girl in the room.  And I wasn’t worried at all about being too big for the bike – there was plenty of room on either side of me today.  NSVs abounded!

I felt empowered by how strong my legs were, and how well I kept up, even when we were “climbing.”  Climbing is when you slowly increase the tension in the bike higher and higher to mimic climbing a hill or mountain.  Sometimes these climbs were done “in saddle” (sitting down) and other times the climbs were done while standing the entire time. She also had us go on “mixed climbs” where we alternated between sitting and standing as we increased the tension.  I really enjoyed how the teacher used the music to help us get through the tough parts of the workout, and I can see that a really great playlist can make all the difference.

To be honest, the worst part of the entire class was when we were “in saddle” because my pubic bone just killed me.  I kept squirming and moving around as I sat there, trying to get in any position that would relieve a little of the pain.  I can’t imagine what it would’ve felt like without the padding in my pants!  I’m still slightly sore right now, 8 hours later, as I write this.  Everyone says the pain goes away and you get used to it the more you do it.  Still, I’m going to have to dig out that bike seat cover that I’d bought a few years ago, because I will take any extra padding I can get.  Even with the pain, I absolutely loved the spin class!

This is the photo I posted on Instagram this morning.  See how big that smile is in both of those photos?  That’s because I felt so accomplished, so proud.  I finally did something that I’d been wanting to do forever.  And not only did I do it, but I loved it.  I was good at it.  My strong legs took me through the entire class, and while I was “glowing” within 10 minutes, I felt beautiful.

2014-02-18 10.04.51Today’s Adventure in Fitness was amazing! So much so that I’m going to start going to spin classes at least once a week. And I’m going to treat myself to a session at Soul Cycle sometime soon, to check another thing off my Fitness Bucket List.

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measurements

It’s Monday, and because I love alliteration, I figured Major Measurements were perfect for a Monday. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been really remiss in taking measurements.  In fact, the last records I have of any measurements at all are from two years ago, in March 2012.  Back at that time, I was still on my quest to lose the pre-op weight loss requirement, and I was struggling with it.  So much so that after looking back at the posts on this blog from March 2012, I can see that I wasn’t really weighing in at all.  There is one weigh-in post from the beginning of the month, and it said that I weighed 297.  So, while these numbers aren’t from my very highest weight of 315, which I bounced up to in late 2012, they’re probably pretty close.

Admittedly, after losing over 120 pounds (-122.4 as of this morning!) since the first set of measurements were taken, I was going to see big changes in the numbers, but it is really astounding when I see it in black and white.

3/4/12

2/16/14

Change

Neck

14.5

13

-1.5 inches

Arms

16.25

12.5

-3.75 inches

Wrist

6.75

6.5

-0.25 inches

Bust

43

34

-9 inches

Waist

44.5

34

-10.5 inches

Hips

61

48

-13 inches

Thighs

35

28.25

-6.75 inches

Calf

18.5

15.75

-2.75 inches

Ankle

9.5

8.5

-1 inch

In total, I’ve lost 48 1/2 inches from around my body!!  That’s four feet!!! I’m really excited with all of these changes, but especially the changes in my bust, waist, hips, and thighs.

From here on out I’m going to take measurements once a month, on the 20th. I had my VSG surgery on May 20th, so celebrating progress like this on the 20th of each month seems like a perfect thing to do. I’ve also decided to start taking progress photos in my sports bra and running pants, because that will really help to show the changes in my body. This is a major step for me, taking pictures in so little clothing.  But I guess that’s all part of this journey, right?

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