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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 27: Laugh
Pee your pants funny | What was the funniest thing that happened this year?  Was it funny when it happened?  Or was it one of those things you laughed about later?

When I think of this prompt, no specific event comes to mind, but when I look back at 2013, there were lots of small moments filled with smile and laughter.

  • Sofi does things on a daily basis that make me chuckle to myself
  • My nieces are full of life and they constantly make me giggle
  • My family and I get along so well with each other, and we’ve been through so much.  We can die laughing recalling an old story.
  • My students are hilarious and I love how often they make me laugh out loud.
  • My friends and I are constantly cracking each other up.

I’m so lucky to have laughter in my life all the time.

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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 20: Counting My Blessings
Gratitude | How did you show gratitude this year?  Did you keep a gratitude journal?  How do you want gratitude to play a role in your life in 2014?

I believe in counting my blessings on a daily basis.  I don’t keep a gratitude journal, per se, but I do make sure to appreciate all of the little things that make me so lucky.  On a simple daily walk with Sofi I breathe in, look around, and marvel at all that I have to be thankful for.   I live in a great place that’s safe and comfortable.  I have amazing friends and family who love me unconditionally and support my every endeavor.  I have a job that I look forward to going to and where I’m appreciated.  I’m well on my way to my goal weight, thanks in big part to the fact that I had weight loss surgery. I reach new fitness milestones almost daily, and the magnitude of how far I’ve come doesn’t escape me.

I am so happy with where I am in my life, and I hope to continue this attitude of gratitude into 2014.

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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 6: Blowing Out the Candles
You’re another year older!  How did you celebrate the passage of another year?  Did it turn out the way you had hoped?

I love birthdays! My own and everyone else’s.  From the time I was a young girl my parents always made birthdays my own private holiday. (For both my sister and me). There’s nothing more special than feeling like the entire day is dedicated just to you.

This year, I had a nice, quiet birthday.  Since it was a year without an 0 or a 5 in it, I spent the day doing all the things I love.  I woke up to my parents on the other end of the phone, singing me “Happy Birthday.”  Then I got on the scale, and saw a nice weight loss (great gift!).  Then Sofi and I went on a long walk, followed by some pool time.  Later in the afternoon my sister and I had some sister time getting a pedi.  And then the evening was spent opening presents and going to dinner at a great seafood dinner with my family.  My friends took me out for dinners and drinks and coffee dates the days before and after.

It was wonderful to spend the time surrounding my special day with everyone I love.  Sure, I would have loved to have a huge surprise party with tons of friends and family, or go on a trip to Vegas with all my girlfriends, but spending a quieter day doing all the little things that make me smile was fitting for the year I’ve lived.  This year I’ve spent so much time making my life better through health and fitness, and while the overall changes have been dramatic, they came about in small, subtle ways.

They say the way that you spend New Year’s Eve is the way that you’ll spend the year ahead.  Since I consider my birthday my own little “new year’s day,” I guess the same can apply.  I spent the day doing all the little things that make me happy, and this year has been my happiest yet.

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Saturday+SmilesWhat a day it’s been!  I’ve gotten so much accomplished, and it isn’t even 3pm yet. Although my To Do list does have a few more items on it…but those can wait till tomorrow.

1374797_10151835540301234_1766305497_n I definitely did this, bright and early this morning.  I hit the neighborhood high school track again for Week 1, Day 2 of C25K. This time I brought my mom and my sister with me.  They’d been inspired by what I did yesterday, and figured they’d give it a whirl.  Both of them tried jogging for a bit, but decided they preferred walking, which is just fine.  The only downside to today’s jaunt was that we got there at 7:30am, and it was FREEZING.  I found it so much harder to jog when it’s really cold out – I was much more out of breath than I was yesterday.  But I still completed all the run/walk intervals, which makes me really proud – proud enough to smile.

Most of the day today was dedicated to a “photo shoot” for my Christmas card.  I knew what I wanted it to look like, but I needed to ply my sister with a P.F. Chang’s gift card in order for her to put up with my diva behavior.  We even had a “costume change” halfway through. Since I won’t be able to send most of you a card, here’s the result:

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On the back I was able to write a bit about what this year has meant to me, and I also included a cute photo of Sofi & me:

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A bit of backstory to this photo – I had to stand on a chair so that I’d be tall enough for the holly tree berries to show up in the photo.  This meant that my sis also had to get up on a step ladder to take the photo.  See why she totally earned that gift card?!

Since I was in the photo-taking mood (really, when am I NOT in the photo-taking mood?!), I decided it was time for a Santa hat before/during photo.  The left one is from 2 years ago and the one on the right is today.

2011 to 2013

Seeing the changes in all of these photos puts a huge smile on my face.  It’s one thing to see the numbers on the scale, and it’s an entirely different thing to see photo proof.  BTW, the lipstick I have on in all of these photos I took today is the Snow White from NYX that I bought a few weeks ago – I love it!

Yesterday I got all of my Christmas shopping done, except for a couple of stocking stuffer-type items that I have to pick up.  And I’m very proud to say I didn’t fight the crowds and risk life and limb to do it. (Did you read this story about the person who died at a Black Friday sale? Simply disgusting and ridiculous.  I’m all for capitalism, but people are acting like animals).  Anyway, without needing to change out of my pjs, I got presents for everyone on my list.  I found some excellent items that I think they’ll really love.  And if you know me, you know I also bought myself a few things in the process.

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I’ve been spending the past two days inside, taking down the Thanksgiving decorations and getting all the Christmas ones organized.  Plus the aforementioned online shopping and Christmas card creation.  And while I have been a busy little bee, I’ve had the Hallmark Channel on in the background.  They’re playing all of their Christmas made-for-TV movies right now, and I am loving every cheesy scene.  So far the Mrs. Miracle ones are my favorites, but they’ve all been really cute.  They’re the type of movies that make you believe not only in the spirit of Christmas, but in happy endings.

the-book-thief Speaking of movies, tonight my parents, sister, and I are heading to dinner at Outback, followed by going to see The Book Thief.  I haven’t read the book, although I have it, but I didn’t want to miss the movie, because I think it looks really good.

The rest of the weekend should be just as fun as the week has been – I’m meeting up with a friend for coffee tomorrow morning, decorating the rest of the house for Christmas throughout the day, and of course catching my 49ers beating the Rams.

I hope you’ve had just as many smiles today as I have.

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Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all of the blessings I have in my life.  This has been quite a year – so many of my greatest wishes have come true.

  • I’m thankful, above all, for all the people whom I love.  My family and friends have always been incredibly supportive of me, and all of them are cheering loudly with each new success I share. I am so lucky to know all of them.
  • Every single day I am so grateful that I get to have Sofi in my life. She adds so much joy, so much fun, so many smiles, and my life would not be as full without her.
  • I am so glad to have a job that I look forward to going to each weekday.  Teaching is a career that gives me so much happiness, and while it won’t make me rich, it does allow me to live a fairly comfortable life.  My students inspire me on a daily basis, and they teach me just as much (if not more) as I teach them. And let’s face it, I’m really grateful for the school vacations, too.
  • I am really thankful for every one of you who read this blog and offer words of encouragement, support, and friendship.  Thank you.
  • I am so grateful for all of my pals on MyFitnessPal who cheer every ounce I lose and every new fitness feat I accomplish.
  • I’m so glad that I live in this wonderful place called the Bay Area.  The weather is gorgeous, the scenery is beautiful, and there is so much to see and do.  I can drive 45 minutes to see the ocean, 1 hour to San Francisco, and less than 2 hours to Napa/wine country.  But more than that, I live in a lovely, safe neighborhood that’s only minutes away from lots of my friends and family.
  • This year, I am so thankful that I was finally able to have the VSG surgery.  It was a struggle to get to the pre-op weight requirement, but even those trials taught me something.  And life since surgery has been even more than I could have imagined.
  • Every NSV I celebrate is a way of me announcing how grateful I am that I have been able to change my life for the better mentally and physically.
  • I am grateful for this whole new world of clothing sizes that I’m able to explore. Each time I can purchase something in a store I would’ve only window shopped at before helps me realize how happy I am.
  • I am thankful for this body of mine that allows me to be amazed at all I can do.
  • I’m eternally grateful for this life I lead, where the possibilities are endless and the best of me is yet to come!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Monday! Today I’m especially happy because I have the day off.  This is the first year that my district has given us the entire week of Thanksgiving off, and this week-long break couldn’t have come at a better time.  I’m looking forward to spending extra time with friends and family, and I have a few other fun plans, too.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: The Holidays and More: Part 2

1.  What state/country do you live in?  I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, California (USA)

2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there?  I was born and raised in the same neighborhood I live in now.  I love it here, and have no plans to move.

3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?  I think it’s a terrible practice.  I don’t like Wal-Mart for so many reasons, but especially the way they treat their employees.  I definitely won’t be participating.  I don’t even shop on Black Friday.  I prefer to stay home (or away from the malls) and do my shopping online.cyber Monday.

4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot?  Will you do one this year?  Yes, I did one several ago, when I was having all those problems with the numbness in my feet/legs.  It wasn’t easy at all, but I did complete it – slowly.  I’m signed up for the Turkey Trot this year, and I know that it will be a whole different experience this year.  In fact, I plan on having a PR!  In anticipation of the event, I bought this great turkey headband (for $1.99 at Party City), and I’m really excited about the shirt – in a size L!

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5.  What was your favorite toy as a child?  I don’t know if I can name just one.  I absolutely loved reading my books. I also loved riding my bike and putting on my roller skates, but in terms of toys, I loved playing with Barbies. Even as I got older, I loved styling the hair of my Barbie head:

My  Barbie head didn't have the cool colors in her hair, but it was pretty close to this one.

My Barbie head didn’t have the cool colors in her hair, but it was pretty close to this one.

6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  Yes, I track my food on MyFitnessPal every single day, every single meal, and Thanksgiving Day will be no different.  This is a lifestyle for me.  Which is not to say that I won’t enjoy my food, but I’m going to use the built-in portion control of my sleeve to make sure I don’t go overboard.

7.  Will you watch football Thursday?  I love football, so I’m sure we’ll watch the games.  I’m more excited about tonight’s Monday Night Football game featuring my 49ers!

8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  Yes, I am really looking forward to Friday, when I’ll completely decorate my house (living room and dining room) and front porch.  I put on my Christmas music playlist and just enjoy prepping the house for Christmas.  It puts me in such a wonderful mood.  I don’t put a Christmas Tree up, but I do think my house is really festive and inviting anyway.

9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? No.

10.  Is it snowing where you live?  It never snows here. Although the snow is about 4 hours away, in Lake Tahoe.  I’m actually very interested in heading to the snow at some point this winter.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions!   And also be sure to go back to Kenlie’s blog and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments!  I really encourage you to comment on as many people’s posts as you can – I’ve met some fantastic people through FMM.  You never know who you’ll meet today.

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Saturday+Smiles

One huge thing making me smile today is the fact that I have the entire week off next week! This is the first time my school district has given us the whole week off – we usually get Wednesday – Friday, but having these two extra days is really wonderful. I don’t have anything “amazing” planned, but I do think I’m going to do a few things:

  • clean and organize the closets
  • cheer for my 49ers as they win on Monday Night Football
  • start my Match.com profile – I recently bought a Groupon for $17 for one month on Match.com, so there soon may be some interesting tales to tell of my online dating exploits
  • get my hair blown out at Dry Bar Tuesday night with Tinkerbell
  • watch Hunger Games on Netflix and then go see Catching Fire at the theatre
  • start C25K on Monday
  • begin reading The Theory of Opposites (and hopefully finish it before the week is over)
  • buy some “after school”/casual clothes in smaller sizes
  • do the Turkey Trot Thursday morning w/ Ani
  • take Sofi on plenty of long walks

Yesterday I went to Sports Basement to pick up my bib for the Turkey Trot. Originally I was going to get a women’s XXL, since the race shirts are the technical tees that are slim fit, but they didn’t have any that size.  So I knew it was time to get a men’s tee.  I went over to the XLs, and one of the guys doling out the shirts told me, “there’s no way that shirt is going to fit you – it’s way too big.”  Too big!!! An XL! I mean, just a couple of months ago, an XL in men’s wouldn’t have fit me at all and I would’ve been hoping I could stretch out an XXL.  So, I picked up a large, and… it fits.  It not only fits, it looks good!

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This morning I started bright and early on the hybrid and did the elliptical for 45 minutes! I haven’t done the elliptical for more than a month, favoring the recumbent bike, but this morning I wanted more of a burn. Plus, I wanted to push myself a bit more.  I told myself, “just do it for 30 minutes.” Then when it was getting closer to 30 minutes, I said, “go till 45 minutes, you can do it, no problem.” And I was right.  Pushing myself a bit more felt great, and I burned 646 calories! I’m going to do it again tomorrow morning, but I’m going to put in an hour.

Today I got to spend lots of time with my sister and my 6-year-niece (the older niece is on a Girl Scouts camping trip in Point Reyes, so she’s having fun, too).  This afternoon we went for a nice walk at the Rose Garden with the pups, and then after dinner we put on our dancin’ shoes and had a ton of fun playing Just Dance 4.  My little niece is quite the hip-hop dancer, and whenever a song with an upbeat tempo came on she’d say, “now THIS is my kinda song!”  Too cute.  It’s great having so much more energy to do all these fun activities with my family.

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