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Posts Tagged ‘weight loss surgery’

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 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:

breakfast

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!

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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!

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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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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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bilbl_mainToday I had my 1-year post op appointment, and it went fabulously!  I was looking forward to it for the past couple of weeks, because I knew I was going to hear good comments.

(You guys might have noticed that I skipped my weigh-in post yesterday.  That was because for the 4th week in a row, my weight stayed the same, at 180.  That was confirmed again today at the doctor’s office.  More on that in a bit).

As soon as I got to the office, they took my vitals, including my blood pressure.  This was actually the only area of concern.  My blood pressure was elevated  (150/81) on Thursday when I went to the doctor to have the stitches on my hand removed, and at the time we wrote it off to the fact that I’d taken two flights of stairs up to the office. But when it was elevated (145/77) again today, I did get a bit concerned.  The bariatric doctor wasn’t overly worried about it because she said the diastolic number was good, and my previous records showed excellent blood pressure.  I need to get my blood drawn soon, so I think I’ll get my blood pressure checked again then, too.  Better safe than sorry.

When I saw the bariatric doctor, she was incredibly pleased with all of my numbers.  She was thrilled with my weight loss, which was 3 pounds away from losing 100 pounds in the 1 year since surgery!  I’ve lost over 80% of my excess weight, which is above average. When I asked about my goal weight of 150 lbs (30 more pounds to go), she said that it would be a perfect weight for me and there’s no reason I shouldn’t reach it.  She actually thinks that anywhere around 160 would be great for me, because it would put me in a solid BMI range. She was extremely pleased when I told her about my workout schedule (5-6 workouts a week, including cardio and toning), and said that I’ve completely transformed my lifestyle from top to bottom.  The doctor gushed about my progress, and said, “if only I could clone you!”

Then I met with the nutritionist who was also really pleased with everything I’ve been doing, especially the logging.  I told her how much I enjoyed it, especially all the connections I’ve made on MyFitnessPal. She said she really likes what I’ve been eating for lunch and dinner, but once again recommended that I eat more than a protein shake for breakfast.  Her feeling is that a protein shake doesn’t hold people long enough because it’s liquid, which runs right through you.  For me, I enjoy the shake because it does keep me satisfied, and it’s really easy.  She did like the green smoothies I’ve been having sometimes, and her only tip was to cut out the mangoes I’ve been putting in, because of the carbs.  She said she’d cut out the fruit altogether, or use berries if I really wanted fruit in them.  She also liked that lately I’ve been mixing it up by having a Quest bar and yogurt for breakfast.  So, I may try to have that more often.  The only thing she wants me to tweak is my afternoon snack – she suggested that I skip the popcorn (too many carbs, no protein) and the nuts (too much fat & calories for the little protein payoff).  She’d rather see me have string cheese and lunchmeat, cottage cheese with veggies, or Greek yogurt with Kashi Go Lean, and a 1/4 cup or less of berries. Basically, snacks = protein and fiber.  But overall, she was really happy with my food diaries. She said she likes that I enjoy cooking, and that I prepare most of my meals.  I definitely think not eating out too much has been a huge part of my success.  It’s so much easier to control what you eat when you cook for yourself, instead of not knowing exactly what they’re putting in the meals they make for you at restaurants.

When I mentioned my weight loss plateau, both the doctor and the nutritionist said that this was just my body catching up with all the weight loss.  They said that most people experienced plateaus throughout their weight loss journey, and that I was lucky that this was my first true plateau, one year out.  Neither one was at all concerned, and both seemed to think that I should just keep up with what I’ve been doing, for the most part.  I think the nutritionist’s ideas about my snacks will definitely help me reign things in and get myself back on the losing path.  If that doesn’t shake things up enough, I may do 3 days of shakes and Greek yogurt to jumpstart the scale a bit.

Today’s appointment was wonderful, and reminded me of just how far I’ve come.  To think that one year ago I was going in for surgery and today I’m only 30 pounds from my goal weight.  Amazing.  More celebratory thoughts tomorrow on my actual surgiversary.

 

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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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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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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 busy.  Lots of long days at work meant that I didn’t get in quite as many workouts as I would’ve liked.  Don’t get me wrong, I got in some great workouts, but took a couple of rest days I hadn’t planned on.  One of the reasons I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten into the habit of planning my meals is that it assures me that my food will be on point, no matter how hectic my week gets.  It definitely came in handy this week!

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.  After last week’s epic weight loss, I didn’t expect much of a loss this week.  If I’m honest, I was hoping I could break into the 170s, and I actually saw that number for a split second on the scale at one point this week.  But I’m in no way disappointed with today’s result.  My body just needs to take a quick break for a second.  Plus, I’m PMSing, so I know I’ll  see a loss very soon.

I continued to enjoy the  green smoothies and lots of kale at dinner this week.  I love greens, and I’m really happy to be incorporating them much more into my meals.  Last week was a lot of leftover Easter ham, and I do wonder if the sodium in that contributed to the scale.  The ham itself is very lean and low in calories, but it does have some sodium.  Either way, I’ve eaten it all, and this week I’m back to using rotisserie chicken in my salads at lunch and more variety in my proteins at dinner.

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: Turbo Kick + walk Sofi
Monday: elliptical / TIU: 3 Moves for a Sexy Upper Back + Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Tuesday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series workout (comes out Tuesday) + Sunset Stretch (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Wednesday: walk with Sofi + Body Combat (5:30pm) +/ TIU: Malibooty
Thursday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Cowabunga Routine
Friday: walk with Sofi / TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) + SunKissed Abs
Saturday: walk with Sofi

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

  • Monday: Make a vision board writing out your goals and getting super focused on the top 3 things you want to accomplish by the end of this challenge.
  • Tuesday: Take your official BEFORE photo for the challenge. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but trust us, you’ll be so happy you took it! What you achieve in the next 8 weeks will amaze you and it’s important to be able to see how far you’ve come once summer is here. It’s also important to have a before photo when you submit your story at the end of the challenge for a chance to win the Grand Prize trip with Contiki Vacations! Oh yes!
  • 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: Send your friends some love! Write a note, text or email to a friend and surprise them with 3 things you love most about them.
  • Friday: Paint the town with smiles! Walk around your neighborhood  with friends and write notes of positivity on the sidewalk with chalk. Spread messages that will make people smile like, “You’re wonderful,” or “Never give up,” or “Today is YOUR day!” Be creative and share your photos with us on Instagram with hashtag #CreateYourSummer

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts: protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashews
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mixed with protein -  grilled salmon, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon, mahi mahi burgers, filet mignon.

I’ve been doing pretty well in terms of hobbies lately, especially reading and blogging. I haven’t started the photo book yet, but maybe later this week.  If not, very soon.

I absolutely love this quote today.  It’s something that I’ve kept in the front of my mind this entire time.  Yes, I had weight loss surgery which is an amazing tool, but the reason I’ve been so successful with my weight loss is because of my drive and determination. My daily decisions to workout, my daily decisions to eat well, my daily decisions to create consistency.  My dreams are coming true, and I am so excited by all that I’ve achieved thus far.  And along the way, I’ve done my best to make sure I enjoy each moment, each new NSV, each new size, each new ability.  Because those are what add up to an amazing new life.

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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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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 47 was back to reality – back to work after spring break.  I’m proud of how well this week went.  I planned and prepared all my meals, got in cardio workouts every day, and fit in two Tone It Up toning workouts (although I was hoping to get in a few more). Overall, it was a great week!

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is a loss of 5 pounds this week (!!!), and 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.  Those two pounds I gained over my vacation flew off in the first two days of the week, and then the rest of the pounds came off a little at a time the rest of the week.  I haven’t had a loss this big in months!  Forgetting about the water weight of those two pounds, a 3-pound loss is a really strong loss for me, especially in a week where I didn’t get my period (I drop a lot of weight whenever that happens).

So what was different this week?  A couple of things:

  • Greens! I had green smoothies for breakfast several times this week.  I think adding the greens and the chia seeds to my morning meal helped start my day with lots of fiber (not to mention all those vitamins).  I also made sure to have a salad for lunch and/or sauteed greens for dinner.  I’m at the point in my post-op life where my system can handle more greens, which thrills me.  I love having plenty of greens in my diet, and it obviously works well with weight loss.
  • Water! I made sure to get in at least 8-10 glasses of water each day.  Even on days like Wednesday when my water intake was low by the afternoon, I made sure to make up for it in the evening with lots of herb tea. The rest of the week, the water went down fast. Yesterday I had 14 glasses!  Not only does water help with the metabolism, but it definitely fills the gap in between meals. Plus, I’m noticing that my skin always looks a lot better when I get plenty of water in throughout the day.

This week, I’m obviously going to continue more of the same on both these counts because they make me feel better and I love the results I’m getting.

In terms of my workouts, the plan for this week is to make sure I fit in Tone It Up workouts, along with cardio:
Sunday: walk with Sofi + bike ride / TIU: Easter Bunny Workout
Monday: Lateral X elliptical + walk with Sofi / TIU: Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Tuesday: bike ride + walk with Sofi / TIU: Honeymoon Ready Routine
Wednesday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Sunset Yoga
Thursday: Body Combat (5:30pm) / TIU: Summer Sizzle + Short & Sweet Shoulders
Friday: Lateral X elliptical + walk with Sofi / TIU: Love Your Body w/ HIIT
Saturday: spinning + walk with Sofi

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts: protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashew/pistachio nut mix
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mixed with protein – mahi mahi burgers, ginger-marinated cod, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon

I’m going to try to include more hobbies (besides working out and watching TV) into my weekly routine.  This week, I want to:

  • read at least 30 minutes a day
  • blog at least three times
  • put together a photo book of my Hawaii pictures on Shutterfly (didn’t get to this last week)

One last note for today, because it is Easter Sunday.  I wrote this on MFP this morning, and I wanted to make sure to share it here, too:

On this day, where we celebrate belief and faith, I’m reminded to continue to believe in myself and have faith that I will achieve every goal I dream of. Enjoy the day!! “

Believing in myself and having faith that I can accomplish everything thing I dream has gotten me so far in this weight loss journey, and in life.  I hope that everyone reading this is able to find that same faith in themselves, because it is powerful.  If you celebrate Easter,  hope  you have a wonderful day filled with family and friends.  For those who don’t, I hope you have a terrific, relaxing Sunday doing something that makes you smile!

 

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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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-1

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 46 was amazing – I was in Hawaii enjoying the sun, sand, and sights.  I’ve been writing separate posts about all of my adventures, from snorkeling in Hanauama Bay, hiking the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail, and hiking Diamond Head. The house in Kaneohe had gorgeous views, and I loved watching the sunrise every morning. I have a few more blog posts to write about my trip, which I plan on doing today.  The trip was everything I’d hoped it would be, and was definitely a reward for all my hard work this past year with my weight loss.  I loved my time in Hawaii, and the only thing I’d change next time would be having more people to hang out with…maybe even a romantic travel partner.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 185.0, which is a gain of 2 pounds this week, but a loss of 92 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 130 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 35 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. (So much for thinking I’d lost 3 pounds when I weighed myself on the scale in Hawaii the other day. It just goes to show how varied scales can be). While I never like seeing a gain, I’m not upset by this one.  Not only did I get my period this week, but I was traveling, and the plane ride alone is enough to add some water weight gain.  I know these pounds will drop off quickly this week once I settle back into my normal routines.

So, my plan for the week is to do just that, get back to what I’ve been doing because it works.  A huge part of feeling on track for me is being organized, so I spent the day yesterday unpacking, grocery shopping, and sprucing up the house.

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I bought these placemats last year, and I love that they bring a bit of Hawaii into my dining area. Plus, they’re bright and springy. The mums add a pop of white that is crisp and happy.

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These roses are from my garden in the backyard, and I absolutely love the color. They’re a bright pink/coral color, and I think they’re stunning.

Part of the groceries I bought yesterday were the makings for green smoothies.  I haven’t had a green smoothie since my surgery.  At first the greens would have been too harsh for my newly-sleeved stomach.  Then I just got into the routine of having my protein shake in the morning, and you know how it goes when you get into a routine.  But after seeing Bobbi‘s food diaries on MFP, I remembered how much I love green smoothies. I added 1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, 1 1/2 scoops of Isopure zero carb vanilla protein powder, about 2 cups of this great organic baby kale & chou frise mix I got on sale at Safeway, and 1/2 a cup of mango chunks, along with a packet of Truvia.  The result? An amazing green smoothie, the color of which just reminds me of spring.  It was fresh, delicious, and really filling.  Plus, I love that I can get an additional serving or two of greens at the beginning of my day. Because I have to pull out the blender and making the green smoothie involves a bit more time, I don’t think I’ll make a green smoothie every day this week, but I do plan to have them at least a few times, and I think it’s going to be a regular weekend selection.

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Nutrition for this smoothie: 278 calories, 42g protein, 18g carbs, 4g fiber, 5g fat.

In terms of my workouts, the plan for this week is to make sure I fit in 5 Tone It Up workouts, along with cardio:
Sunday: long walk with Sofi at the LG Creek Trail
Monday: Lateral X elliptical + walk with Sofi / TIU: Santorini Bikini
Tuesday: flow yoga + walk with Sofi / TIU: Sunkissed Abs
Wednesday: early morning (4:45am!) hybrid elliptical / TIU: Bikini Booty Workout
Thursday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Set the Bar Routine (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Friday: bike ride + walk with Sofi / TIU: Pura Vida Arms
Saturday: spinning + walk with Sofi

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts:protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashew/almond/mango trail mix
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mix with protein – mahi mahi burgers, ginger-marinated cod, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon

Plus, this week is going to be a fairly light one at work, which is nice after a week off.

I’m going to try to include more hobbies (besides working out and watching TV) into my weekly routine.  This week, I want to:

  • read at least 30 minutes a day
  • blog at least three times
  • put together a photo book of my Hawwaii pictures on Shutterfly

I had an amazing time on my vacation, but I’m really glad to be back home with so much to look forward to in the week ahead. It’s going to be a great one!

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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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