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bilbl_superHow many miles have you logged towards Bella’s Summer Challenge this week?

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope the past week was a good one for you, and you were able to get in lots of fun & fitness.  This past week started out strong and then kind of “petered out” by Friday because of some disappointing personal news (more on that in a different post).  Still, I’m happy with this week’s totals!

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That’s a total of 17 miles I logged this week, which is a lot less than I’ve been doing in previous weeks, but still a decent number. I got strong workouts in Monday-Thursday, which I’m really proud of.  I also got back to the TIU toning workouts.  Thursday night I got some bad news, and it really affected me.  I withdrew a bit and spent a good part of the day on Friday and Saturday on the couch watching tv.  I know I would’ve felt so much better about myself if I’d have just gone out and gone on a walk with Sofi, at the very least.  There’s nothing like working out to help me change my perspective and feel better and less stressed.  The next time I’m feeling really down I’m going to do my best to get my butt off the couch and get out and move.

This week I did the stairs at Communication Hill with a friend this morning.  I’m looking forward to continuing to workout in the mornings with Tinkerbell Tuesday-Thursday. I’ll be continuing my TIU tonight workouts, too. I also plan to get in some good swimming sessions, as well as my daily walks with Sofi.  And hopefully another fitness class or two.

What’s your goal this week? What workouts do you have planned to get those miles in?  Feel free to check in below, or message me on Twitter or Instagram.  And don’t forget to use the hashtags: #150bybacktoschool and #BellasSummerChallenge

Be sure to grab this chart if you’d like a visual way to track your miles.

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

Measurements

6/20/14

 7/21/14

Change

Neck

12.75

12.75

same

Arms

11

11

same

Wrist

6.25

6.25

same

Bust

33

 32.5

-0.5 inch

Waist

32

31.5

-0.5 inch

Hips

43

42

-1 inch

Thighs

25

24.5 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.5

8.25

-0.25 inch

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

Photos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Longtime readers of this blog may remember that at the end of every school year, my teacher friends and I all make music mixes for our MixClub.  On the last teacher workday of the year we exchange CDs filled with our mixes.  The mixes vary greatly, but each one shows some theme, some personal journey of the mix-maker.  While it takes some effort, a bit of money, and a lot of time the idea of getting 10 or so new mixes to listen to all summer makes it worth it.  The only rules are that each mix should be filled with 20 or so songs, that no artist can be repeated in a mix, and that there should be some overlying theme that is evident.

I knew my mix had to encapsulate this phenomenal year that I’ve had. I’m really proud of what I came up with, and I hope you enjoy it.  I’ve been listening to the CD nonstop this summer, and everyone who’s in my car always comments on how much they like it.  I created a playlist of my mix on 8tracks so that you could listen to it, too.

Liner Notes:

For so many reasons, this year has been amazing for me, and this mix reflects that feeling.

Personally, I’m finally living the life I always dreamed for myself. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it. Losing the weight was the one thing I had never been able to do, and it was one of my deepest desires. Achieving this great goal has transformed me, inside and out.

Professionally, it was a thrill to get the Teacher of the Year honor during my tenth year at Prospect. In fact, that’s what gives this mix its title. I started seeing emails sent to me with T.O.Y. in the subject line, and I thought, “T.O.Y.land is the perfect way to name this awesome year that I’ve been experiencing.”

This mix is filled with upbeat, happy songs that reflect how I feel. It has songs that are deeply personal. It has songs that I use to inspire me when I’m pushing myself in my workouts. And it has a few songs that I’ve discovered more recently at the Bottle Rock Festival in Napa last weekend. In any case, this mix has been in the making throughout this wonderful year, and I hope you enjoy it.

 Cover Art: (click on the photo to go to the playlist on 8Tracks) Toyland

 

What songs are you loving this summer? Let me know in the comments!

bilbl_superSo far this summer, I’ve been doing great with my cardio workouts.  Even last week while traveling for a teaching conference, I got up at 5:25am to make sure I got in at least 30 minutes.  The thing I’ve been lagging on is my toning workouts.  Even though my TIU workouts have been in my plan each week, I haven’t been doing them for the past two weeks.  So, that’s what I’m going to focus on this week.  Here’s this week’s plan:

~
MondayMaking Waves Cardio (home elliptical) + TIU: Summer Abs Playlist
Tuesday: swimming + TIU:Spankin’ Booty Routine (3x)
Wednesday: Biker Babes routine + TIU: Bikini Yoga
Thursday: Insanity class at 24 Hour Fitness + TIU: Bikini Arms + Sunkissed Abs (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Friday: TIU/Fitness RX Summer Meltdown Bikini Body Routine + swimming/elliptical
Saturday: BodyCombat at 24 Hour Fitness + TIU: Bikini Abs + Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)

And don’t forget that I’ve started 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!

bilbl_superHow many miles have you logged towards Bella’s Summer Challenge this week?

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope the past week was a good one for you, and you were able to get in lots of fun & fitness.  I left for a teaching conference last Monday – Thursday, but I’m really proud to say that I logged in lots of miles even though I was traveling.  In fact, because we walked around Sacramento so much, I think I got in more miles than I might’ve if I stayed home.  Either way, it was a great week. Here are my totals as of this morning, including this morning’s workout:

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That’s a total of 46 miles in this week!  It was a lot of walking, but also included elliptical, swimming, and a lot of biking this weekend.  As a reminder, the TIU girls say that biking miles should be divided in 3.  So if you biked 12 miles, you’ll count that as 4 miles.  I myself just count the time spent doing the activity to keep the math simple.  So, since I biked for 70 minutes on Saturday, I counted it as 7 miles.

This week I’m going to fit in some fitness classes, something I love but haven’t been doing yet this summer.  In addition, I want to make sure to get in some swimming and biking, along with lots of walking.

What’s your goal this week? What workouts do you have planned to get those miles in?  Feel free to check in below, or message me on Twitter or Instagram.  And don’t forget to use the hashtags: #150bybacktoschool and #BellasSummerChallenge

So far it looks like I’m the only one using any of these hashtags, at least from my search on Instagram this morning:

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Be sure to grab this chart if you’d like a visual way to track your miles.

2014-06-23 12.15.30

bilbl_superThis week I’ll be traveling to Sacramento for a teaching conference until Thursday, but that’s not an excuse not to workout.  The hotel we’re staying in has a fitness center and a pool, and we always walk to/from the convention center and all of the restaurants for our meals, so staying active will be relatively easy.  Since I’m not sure which cardio machines the fitness center will have, I’m just going to put “cardio” on here for now, and will fill in the specifics when I get to the hotel later today. Here’s this week’s plan:
Monday: evening swim
Tuesday: cardio/swimming + TIU: Take Me to the Sea (shoulders/arms/abs)
Wednesday: cardio/swimming + TIU:Daisy Duke Workout (3 rounds)
Thursday: cardio/swimming + TIU:Beach Yoga w/ Karena
Friday: elliptical + long walk w/ Sofi + TIU: Santorini Bikini + TIU:  Sleek & Slender Abs
Saturday: walk w/ Sofi  + TIU: LYB w/ Kettlebells

And don’t forget that I’ve started 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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