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Archive for the ‘working out’ Category

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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bilbl_superI had so much fun challenging myself to the Tone It Up #150bysummer goal (I exceeded it by 5 miles and logged 155 miles) that I didn’t want to see it end right when summer is just starting.

For me, summer is the time that I get in lots of daily workouts, because:

  • it’s something I can do by myself or with friends
  • it gets me outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather
  • it’s very inexpensive
  • it fills my time off in a very productive way
  • I love the way I feel while/after I’m working out

This morning on FB, Kandis TIU, who is a huge supporter of the entire TIU Community, made an adorable chart for tracking our cardio miles. She purposely made it blank at the top so that we could edit it and use it for our own purposes.  So, I thought I’d put out a summer challenge that we can all do together.

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Bella’s Summer Challenge: #150byBacktoSchool

The way the TIU miles work is simple.  If you can count miles, like when you’re walking or running, do that. If you’re biking, you’re supposed to divide your mileage by 3 (so if you biked for 12 miles, you’d only count 4 miles into your totals). If you’re doing a class or some other form of cardio, 1 mile = 10 minutes of intense cardio.

Since I was able to do 155 miles in the 8 weeks of the Bikini Series (and that was with me taking about a week and a half off), I figured we should all be able to log 150 miles in the 8 weeks between now and the time I go back to school, August 15th (my first teacher workday). I’ll be using Instagram/Twitter to keep myself accountable, using the hashtags: #150byBacktoSchool and #BellasSummerChallenge. Be sure to tag me @bellablogger on Instagram or Twitter so that I can see how well you’re doing.  And because I love incentives, I’ll be doing a small giveaway for the people who log the most miles/check in often.

Use the chart above and mark off your miles each day, along with a pic of you doing the activity, and a cool quote, if you’d like.  My favorite apps to jazz up photos are Rhonna Designs, A Beautiful Mess, and InstaPic Frames. I’ll post my favorites each week on this blog, along with my totals so far so that we can encourage each other.

Are you in?

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bilbl_superThis is the first full week of summer!  Even though the #TIU #bikiniseries is over, I’m planning to kick my workouts into high gear this week.  The great thing about Tone It Up is that the weekly workout schedules don’t stop.  I’ll be following their toning plan throughout the summer, and beyond.  Here’s this week’s plan:
Monday: C25K, W5D3 (which includes running for 20 straight minutes!) + Vinyasa Yoga in the late afternoon.***
Tuesday: stair workout with a teacher friend + TIU new toning (coming out early Tuesday afternoon)
Wednesday: C25K, W6D1 + Warm Yoga Flow + TIU: Bridal Babe Workout + Honeymoon Ready Routine
Thursday: Hot Tapas Yoga (similar to Bikram)+ TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Friday: Hot Tapas Yoga + C25K, W6D2 + TIU: Daisy Duke Workout (3 rounds) + TIU: Hula Booty (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Saturday: Giant 5K w/ Di  (walking) + TIU: Cowabunga

***Today, TIU had the suggestion of going to a yoga class this afternoon, or doing one of their yoga routines. I’m so thankful that they suggested this, because I remembered that I had 19 yoga classes that I’d purchased last summer and were about to expire July 31st.  So, you’re going to see yoga on my schedule several times a week from now until then.

Now that the Bikini Series is over, I thought I’d start a little challenge of my own – getting in 150 miles by the time I have to go back to school for my first teacher workday on August 15. I’d love for you to join me.

I post my daily workouts on Instagram, so follow me (or look at the sidebar of this blog) to see what I’m doing!

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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 55  has been wonderful! Even though it’s summer vacation, and I haven’t had to go into work, I have been really busy each day.  I’m hoping that things will slow down a little bit, so that I have more time to spend relaxing.  Still, staying busy and active is a great way to stay on track, so I’m not complaining.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 179.6, which is a loss of 0.4 pounds this week***,and a loss of 97.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 29.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m in the 170s!!!  Just barely, but hey, I’ll take it! Especially after having a stall in my weight loss that lasted 6 weeks.  ***I have the stars by this week’s weight loss because I actually lost 6.2 pounds from June 8 to June 15 because I’d gained 5 pounds of water weight during the last two weeks of school when things got crazy and I stopped working out for a week and wasn’t making the best food choices.  I knew the weight would come off quickly, and it did.  And it got me down to the 170s.  But since my last reported weight on this blog was 180, I’m going to keep it simple and say that I’ve lost 0.4 this week.  (I have it all documented on MFP for accuracy).  Another reason I have the stars by my weight this morning is that I’ve been fairly constipated this week even though I’ve been drinking plenty of water.  I know it’s because I got out of my habit of taking the fiber supplement, and I need to get back to it, ASAP, because I don’t like this feeling.  So I’m guessing that I’ve actually lost more weight than the scale showed this morning, but I want to go with what the actual numbers were, so that’s what I’m reporting.

I’m really happy with the way I’ve been eating.  It’s nice to have so many more choices of fruits and veggies during the summer, and of course, I love being able to grill my proteins every night.  Eating in the summer is just so much easier – I just naturally make lighter, healthier choices, even when going out.  For example, I joined Tinkerbell and her hubby for happy hour at The Fish Market on Monday evening, and enjoyed some delicious oysters on the half shell.  I know raw oysters aren’t everyone’s thing, but to me they are the essence of summertime – fresh, light, and salty.  Yum!  I also enjoyed a couple of pieces of sushi along with most of a small fish taco along with some wine.  Light bites that were highly enjoyable yet totally within my food budget.  I love being able to go out socially, but not overindulge. The same thing happened with our Father’s Day BBQ – we planned a menu that worked well for the way I like to eat, and it was really delicious.  What are your favorite, healthy summer meals?

Exercising has been fantastic.  Most mornings I’ve been meeting Tinkerbell to workout at 7 or 7:30, which is a great way to start the day.  It’s early enough to give me the rest of the day to do whatever I need to, but not crack-of-dawn early like I was doing during the school year. I also met up with a co-worker, and she and I have plans to do a stair workout on Friday. While I enjoy working out alone, it’s definitely fun to meet up with friends and catch up while getting the workout in. I’ve been keeping the variety in my workouts by doing spinning, elliptical, C25K, walks with Sofi, and of course, the ToneItUp toning workouts. This coming week I want to take a few more fitness classes, like Body Combat, and work in some yoga sessions, too.

I have two NSVs to share, both of which are really exciting!  A while ago I was talking with Scale Warfare, who had VSG surgery about two years before I did.  I was telling her about how the jiggliness of my thighs was making it really difficult to buy comfy yoga pants.  Sure, I could fit into smaller sizes, but a lot of the thinner, summer-friendly yoga pants weren’t working with all the extra wiggle I had going on now that I’d lost so much weight and had the excess skin in my thighs.  She suggested that I try Victoria’s Secret yoga pants, because while they were thin and light, they were also fairly good at ‘sucking it all in.’ So a couple of weeks ago I when they were having a sale, I went on the site and ordered VS Most-Loved Yoga Crops in a size Large! I wasn’t sure A.) if they would fit and B.) how they would look if I could get them on.  They came in the mail yesterday, and I couldn’t have been more pleased! They fit great, really hold things in, and are still really light and comfy.  If loose skin/jiggly thighs are at all an issue for you, I’d highly recommend them.

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The 2nd NSV is something I’m super proud of.  This morning I tackled C25K, Week 5, Day 2, which includes a 5 min. walking warmup, 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of brisk walking, 8 minutes of running, and a 5 minute cool down.  And I did it!! I’ve started C25K two other times – once when I was way too heavy to run and then more recently after my surgery.  The first time, I was repeating the weeks two times, and I couldn’t make it to running more than 90 seconds at a time, because my poor body just couldn’t do it.  The second time, I stopped at Week 5; I just couldn’t run for 5 minutes in a row.  I could do 3 or even 4, but not 5.  So today when I was running for 8 whole minutes without stopping, and feeling really strong in my run, I amazed myself!  The key, besides being at my lightest weight in the past 20-something years, is that I’m taking the runs very slowly.  I’m at a 4.3mph run, which is just fine by me if it means that I can run for that duration and feel good.  I did move it up to 4.5mph with two minutes to go and felt good, and then “sprinted” up to 5.omph the last 30 seconds, just to see if I could.  And I did!  5.0mph isn’t a pace I can sustain right now, but it is kind cool that I can keep up with it for a very short duration.  This is all so exciting! I will say I’m a bit nervous about Friday’s run: 20 minutes of straight jogging!! But I know I can do it if I just keep my mind positive and my breathing steady. Plus, it’s right on track with my goal of running the entire MOOnlight 5K on July 12th.

Today’s quote is perfect.  It speaks to this person I’ve become – the woman who is unafraid of challenges in every aspect of her life, which finally also includes weight loss and fitness.  I have created a wonderful, vibrant life for myself, and it’s so exciting to be living it to the fullest.

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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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bilbl_superThis is the last week of the Tone It Up #CreateYourSummer #BikiniSeries, and I’m determined to finish it with a bang!  I’m well on my way to completing exceeding my goal of logging 150 miles of cardio (#150bysummer) during the 8 weeks of the Bikini Series.  Here’s the plan:

Sunday:  walking! First thing this morning with my mom & later in the afternoon with Sofi
Monday: meeting a co-worker at the gym.  C25K, W5, D1 (which is running 8 straight minutes!) + TIU: Bikini Series Arms, Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD), & Sunkissed Abs + swimming in the early afternoon
Tuesday: meeting Tink at the gym at 7am. Elliptical + TIU: BikiniThighs  + Bikini Abs + Daisy Dukes Leg & Booty Routine (coming out on Tuesday morning)
Wednesday: Meeting Tink at the gym at 7am. C25K, W5, D2 + TIU: Sunrise Routine (Beach Babe DVD) + Bikini Yoga + Itty Bitty Abs (1-3 rounds)
Thursday: Making Waves Cardio (elliptical) + TIU: Bikini Body + Bikini Body 2
Friday: TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) + Bikini Abs (2 rounds)
Saturday: 1st day of summer! C25K, W5, D3  + TIU: Pink Flamingo (2 rounds) + swimming!

Even though the Bikini Series will be over by Saturday, the great thing about Tone It Up is that the weekly workout schedules don’t stop.  I’ll be following their toning plan throughout the summer, and beyond.  I post my daily workouts on Instagram, so follow me (or look at the sidebar of this blog) to see what I’m doing!

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bilbl_superThis week is bananas for me at school – busy days, and a few events in the evening, too.  Which means several more days waking up at 4:00am to make sure I can fit these workouts in.  It hasn’t been easy waking up that early, but I’ve been doing a decent job of it these past two weeks.

Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday:  20-mile bike ride with a friend
Monday: stair workout (6 rounds up & down of 225 stairs) + 2.41-mile walk in 37:19 w/ mom + swimming/playing in the pool with nieces & sis.
Tuesday: Rest Day
**Wednesday: TIU: Making Waves Routine (elliptical) + TIU: Sunrise Routine (Beach Babe DVD) / PM workout: Sunset Routine
**Thursday: C25K: Week 4, Day 2 + TIU: Ab Workout Playlist + Bikini Booty
Friday: TIU: Biker Babes + TIU: Take Me to the Sea
Saturday: TIU: Pura Vida + long walk with Sofi

**4:15am workouts

I’m going to try to walk Sofi on Wednesday – Friday in addition to these workouts, but it will just depend how the days go.

I’m excited about this workout plan because it’s challenging, yet also doable. I like the variety in my cardio because I think it’s really important, and the TIU toning is really showing up.  In fact, my friend Di said that I look really toned when she saw me on Sunday.  Which means that even though my weight has remained the same, I think I’m losing inches and firming up. Plus, I have a lot of fun creating the photo collages and checking in on Instagram with the TIU community.

This week’s C25K comes with 5 minutes of straight jogging, which is daunting, but I’m going to remember to s-l-o-w it down and just push through.  My legs are never the issue; it’s my breathing that become difficult, so I know that slowing down will really help.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my goal in beginning C25K again is to be able to wog/jog/run the MOOnlight 5K on July 12. Not run/walk, but to run it (however slowly) all the way through.

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Spring has 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 52  (somewhere along the way, I got off on my count of post-op weeks, but since this week was my 1-year surgiversary, this week is obviously Week 52). This week was busy again (notice a trend?) and because of that, I made sure to fit in early morning workouts so that I’d be able to fit it all in.  I made some adjustments to my food plan, and I saw a bit of movement on the scale (sort of).

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

Once again, for the 5th week in a row, my weight is exactly where it’s been – 180 lbs.  But, I’ve lost 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  I did see movement on the scale this week – it dipped down to 178ish, but it bounced back up after a day of fun yesterday.  While I’m frustrated that my weight is still the same, I’m glad I went out with friends yesterday to a baseball game and enjoyed myself.  I indulged quite a bit with my food/adult beverage choices, but the great thing about my sleeve is that it helps me keep things in control in terms of portions.  Plus, I got in a great calorie burn yesterday, which is exactly what living in maintenance would be – keeping a balance.  The thing is, I don’t want to be in maintenance yet – I still have pounds to lose before I’m done.

First of all, let me just say that this is the last week where I won’t see a loss on the scale.  It’s time to kick things into high gear and make some changes. Here’s what I’m thinking…

Weigh-In Day Change – For the past year I’ve weighed in on Sundays.  I did this for a lot of reasons, the two main ones being that Sunday is the start to a new week and to keep myself accountable through the weekends.  Because I was so focused on my weight loss journey, I wanted to make sure that my Sunday morning weigh-ins were as good as they could possibly be, and this meant that I passed up on a lot of social activities because I didn’t want to have to weigh in the next morning after going out.  Which worked for me while I was really in my major weight loss phase, but isn’t going to work that well for me as I enter into this next phase of my life.  Summer vacation is about to hit, which means a lot more social engagements, not to mention that I joined Match.com again, and I’m hoping this means a lot more dates, too.  My point being, I don’t want to skip out on the fun this summer because I’m worried about my Sunday morning weigh-ins.  So, I’m changing my weigh-in days to Wednesday.  I weigh in everyday anyway, so changing the day I report my weight on this blog doesn’t seem like that big a deal, and will make a huge difference in my social life.

Food – I did well this past week with eliminating some of the snacks that the nutritionist recommended I avoid: nuts and popcorn.  Occasionally those snacks are fine, but I was eating them every day, and neither one has enough protein.  Nuts have a bit of protein, but are so high in calories and fat that they’re just not a good payoff.  Popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber, but has virtually no protein. I’m not going to completely forgo either of these snacks, but they need to be more of a once-in-a-while thing rather than my daily go-to.  Instead, I’ve been eating turkey wrapped around string cheese, cottage cheese and veggies, etc.  I also changed up my breakfasts a few times, going from protein shakes to Quest bars and Greek yogurt; the variety has been nice. My dinners were always on point, so I kept those the same.

Exercise – I did really well this week with waking up at 4:15am to fit in my workouts, which makes me really proud of myself.  I have to say, I love getting my workouts done first thing in the morning, but 4:15 is really early.  Which is why I’m so glad that next year I’ll have a first-period prep so that I can go in a bit later some days, and not have to wake up  quite so early.  But for these last two weeks of school, I’m going to keep up with the early, early morning workouts. Since I like writing my workout plan for the week on Sundays, I’m going to start separating the workout plan posts from my weigh-in posts, beginning today, so look for a separate workout plan post, later today.

Today’s quotes go well together, and I think they’re indicative of my philosophy of weight loss (and life in general).  Whatever I set my mind to, I accomplish, and this last phase of my weight loss journey is no different.  I have every confidence that I will accomplish all of my goals, including getting to the 170s this week!!

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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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Spring has 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 50 was even busier than the previous two have been, which is really saying something, reminding me that at this time of year my work/life balance definitely shifts and it’s easy for my best-laid plans to fall to the wayside.

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

I didn’t weigh in this morning, for two reasons.  1). The pain medication I’ve been taking because of cutting my hand gives me major constipation and 2). I was up early to help my nieces get breakfast in bed ready for my sister. And really, the scale has been stagnant again this week, so I knew that I wouldn’t show much of a loss or a gain today anyway. But, I’ve lost 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  This week because I was so busy at work and with some family obligations, I missed way too many workouts.  My food was decent, but I did catch myself adding a few more snacks than I should have if I want to see a loss on the scale.  And let’s face it, now that I’m down to 180 pounds, the weight isn’t going to come off as quickly as it did when I was 315 pounds.  Which I’m ok with, but it does mean that I don’t have as much leeway with missing workouts and adding snacks.

My plan of waking up early a few days to work out in the morning failed miserably.  I didn’t even hear the alarm go off, or to be more accurate, I immediately snoozed it and went back to sleep.  I didn’t set myself up for success because I was going to bed way too late.  But that’s not going to happen this week.  I refuse to let it.

This time of year is super busy for me at school because it’s almost the end of the year; there’s a lot of grading, meetings, and planning before we get out for summer.  All the more reason for me to make sure I get up and do my workouts first thing in the morning.  That way, no matter how busy the day gets or how tired I am at the end of it, I know I’ve already worked out.  My 1-year surgiversary is coming up soon, and I really want to be in the 170s by then. I’m on the cusp of that weight, so it’s time to get serious and stop sliding by.

  • I’m going to get to bed by 10pm each night, lights out by 10:30.
  • The alarm is set for 4:15am and a second one for 4:30am so that I can fit in both cardio and toning before I need to get ready and leave in the morning by 7am.
  • Because my cardio is limited to elliptical or HIIT workouts at home (the stationary bike at home really doesn’t give me much of a calorie burn), I am going to try to get in a second cardio workout a couple of days, if I can.

Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday:  walk Sofi (I’m still taking it easy because of my hand)
Monday: AM: elliptical / TIU: Bikini Body Routine  + PM: run/walk intervals & walk with Sofi
Tuesday: AM: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) / TIU: NEW BIKINI ARMS workout, Best Ab Routine + PM: walk Sofi
Wednesday: AM: TIU: Making Waves Cardio (elliptical) / TIU Bikini Booty Routine , Hula Booty (Beach Babe 2 DVD)+ PM: run/walk intervals & walk with Sofi
Thursday:  AM: run/walk intervals outside / Under the Sea 1 , Under the Sea 2 , Flat, Fit, Sexy Abs
Friday: AM:  TIU Biker Babes cardio (gym)/ PM: TIU: Love Your Body w/ Yoga
Saturday: AM: Run/walk Training with SJ Fit + walk w/ Sofi

This is a really ambitious plan because it requires me to wake up super early each morning, but I am bound and determined to make it happen! My afternoons are just too busy most days this week – I have to stick with this plan if I’m going to get my workouts in. No excuses!

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday: Develop a mantra for the week and use it when you wake up, during your workouts and anytime you need a boost. We love, “I am strong,” “I will not give up,”  & “I’m a gorgeous bombshell who can accomplish anything!!”
  • Tuesday: Quickies all day! Working or at school all day!? Complete 20 squats every time you go to the ladies room. You’ll be feeling it tomorrow ;)
  • Wednesday: Tap into your creative side and get artistic. Painting, drawing, sculpting, gardening, dancing, writing all  nourish your soul & provide amazing stress relief!
  • Thursday: Be a light in someone’s life today! Do something to inspire and encourage those around you, whether you post something motivational on social media, offer a compliment to another woman or tell someone how much they mean to you!
  • Friday: Reward yourself tonight with something that will make you smile like scheduling a massage, a manicure or a blow out!

I’m going to follow up with a Sunset Challenge post on Friday evening to let you know what I did for each day’s challenge.

Today’s quote comes directly from ToneItUp.com.  I love it so much that I’ve had it as my iPad wallpaper for the past few months.  If I’m going to see the results that I want to on the scale, I need to break the boundaries in my mind that tell me 4am is too early to wake up. There is no such thing as “too early” if I really want to reach my next mini goal of hitting the 170s by the time May 20th (my 1-year surgiversary) rolls around.

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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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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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Spring has 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 48 was another busy one at work, but I also fit in lots of time for celebrations.  I had a fun field trip on Monday, Tuesday my parents took me out to dinner to celebrate my Teacher of the Year win,  I went out for TGIF with some colleagues on Friday, and yesterday I met up with a teacher friend for lunch and lesson planning.  I worked out hard, but eating out four different times and imbibing two of those times made my calorie counts a bit higher than normal.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is no loss and no gain this week; I stayed exactly the same. This is  a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  I’m not thrilled that my stall has continued for a second week, but it doesn’t surprise me.  I wasn’t as strict with my food as I should’ve been, which really counteracted all the major working out I was doing all week.  Which, in hindsight, is really disappointing.  I pushed myself to workout hard on several afternoons even though I was dog-tired, but because I ate out several times, and drank a couple of those times, I basically maintained.  For all my effort in my sweat sessions, I should’ve seen a good loss this week.  But this is a lesson – celebrations are great, but I need to space them out a bit more while I’m still in the weight loss phase.  On the positive side, if this past week is an example of my life in maintenance, I’ll really enjoy it.  Work hard, play hard, and all of that.

So, this week I’m going back to my stricter food routine. (Although I am meeting a friend for apps & drinks later today, but it is Sunday Funday, afterall). I very rarely eat out, and I plan to continue making all my meals at home for the rest of this week.  I’ve seen a few new recipes that I’m interested in trying out:

In terms of my workouts, I’ll be getting in lots of cardio, as usual, but I’m super excited that Tone It Up‘s #bikiniseries is starting tomorrow! If you’re at all curious, sign up and give it a try.  I think you’ll be amazed with how much Karena and Katrina put into their workout plans, recipes, workout playlists, and fun challenges – all free. Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday: Lateral X+ Elliptical+Treadmill + walk Sofi
Monday: TIU: Excited for Spring (elliptical) / TIU: The Best Ab Routine (x3)***
Tuesday:  walk with Sofi + TIU HIIT the Beach 2 (on Beach Babe 2 DVD) / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series toning workout (comes out Tuesday morning) + TIU: Sunset Stretch
Wednesday: TIU: Bikini Cardio (elliptical) + walk with Sofi / TIU: Surfer’s Paradise ***
Thursday:  Body Combat (5:30pm) / TIU: new BIKINI SERIES toning workout coming out Thursday morning
Friday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Ab Workout Playlist
Saturday: WG 5K + walk Sofi / TIU: Beach Yoga w/ Karena

***This week is another crazy one, with lots of meetings after school.  When I get home so much later than usual, it’s difficult for me to fit my workouts in and get everything else I need to done. I do it, but I end up eating really late (another thing that happened quite a bit this past week, which didn’t help the weight loss, I’m sure). So, I’m going to try working out at 4:30am twice this week and see how it goes.  It’s SO early, but I’ve read a lot about how much better it is to start the day with a workout.  It’s definitely worth trying out.

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday:Spend time with people who make you smile!
  • Tuesday: Yoga Inspired Stretching (see Sunset Stretching, above).
  • Wednesday: Take out the list of goals or your vision board that you created on Monday. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and spend 5 minutes visualizing yourself achieving each one of them. Breathe deeply and remember to keep your mind positive throughout the entire process!! Picture how amazing you’re going to feel when you accomplish your goals.
  • Thursday: Take a few minutes to write a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Think about your beautiful body and all it does for you, your friends, family, pets… write it all down! Save the list by your bedside and read it over before you go to sleep for sweet, happy dreams!
  • Friday: Tonight, sign up for something completely outside your comfort zone. Anything like a new fitness class, race or personal challenge is fair game. If you’ve always wanted to try SUP Paddleboading, surfing or a hip hop dance class… now’s the time to sign up!

This week I feel as if a fire has been lit beneath me.  I’m excited about my planned meals and workouts, and I can’t wait to melt a couple more pounds off this body.  From the start of my journey PERSEVERANCE has been my middle name, and that’s what I’ll tap into to get to that next number on the scale.

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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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