bilbl_superSince I don’t have many more days of summer vacation left (less than 2 weeks before I begin my teacher meetings), I was reflecting on how I’ve spent this summer.  I’ve had the best time working out and moving my body.  I have completely loved the routine of getting my workouts in first thing in the morning (most of the time) and working out with Tinkerbell several mornings a week.  Not only that, but I’ve made fitness a way for me to connect with other friends, as well.  Fun and fitness just go together for me.  The Tone It Up girls said to make this week count, and I definitely plan to with my workouts and the way I spend the rest of my days, as well. Here’s this week’s plan:

Monday: Excited for Spring cardio (home elliptical) + TIU: Bikini Body Routine
Tuesday: kickboxing & afternoon bike ride + TIU : Best Ab Routine (x2)
Wednesday: spinning + TIU: Thailand Tush & Daisy Duke workout 
Thursday: run/walk intervals or elliptical  + TIU: Sunset Stretch (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Friday: Stairs at Communications Hill & swimming + TIU: Beach Ball Workout
Saturday: run/walk intervals or elliptical

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!  This week I was back to working out 6 days, with an active rest day on Saturday, and my weekly miles reflect that.

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I logged 33 miles this week, and that’s not including today’s workout yet. I’m really pleased with these numbers, especially the fact that I have already exceeded my goal of 150 miles by August 15th!  With over 2 1/1 weeks left, I’m going to aim for 200 miles! This week my miles included biking, swimming, walking along the beach, a stair workout, spinning, and of course, walking Sofi.

For this week’s plan, I’m thinking kickboxing, spinning, incline treadmill, biking, swimming, and walking Sofi.  Plus my TIU toning workouts.

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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Friday Five: Beach Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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  • boyhood_posterart
  • wiwh_poster_finalsm

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A yummy green smoothie

Morning Snack

Morning Snack

A really great salad

A really great salad

Afternoon snack

Afternoon snack

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Evening snack/dessert

Evening snack/dessert

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch out, guys!

Watch out, guys!

bilbl_superThis week I’m really looking forward to getting in solid workouts that combine cardio and TIU toning.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Monday: Stairs at Communications Hill
Tuesday: incline treadmill + bike
Wednesday: spinning + TIU:  Best Inner & Outer Thigh Routine
Thursday: Making Waves Cardio (home elliptical)
Friday: long walk on the beach with Sofi + TIU: TLC (Tone, Lift, Cinch) Workout
Saturday: home elliptical + TIU: Beach Yoga

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.  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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