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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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Today FaveCousin and I walked in the SF Mermaid 5K.  A stark contrast from my first Mermaid 5K, which I participated in back in March 2009 with my sister.  If you have a few minutes, go and read that post.  If you don’t have a few, I’ll recap it:

It was March 2009. I weighed 275 pounds or so (over 60 pounds more than I do now, but 40 pounds less than my all-time highest weight).  I had signed up for Team in Training, planning to walk a half marathon, but had been having difficulty with numbness in my right foot which moved up my leg all the way to my hip.  It was awful, debilitating, and extremely frustrating.  But my friend Harj decided that she wanted all of her friends to celebrate her birthday by participating in the Mermaid Run.  So I asked my sister if she’d do it with me.  From the start of the race, everyone passed us – the runners, the power walkers, the walkers, the women with strollers – everyone.  I mean, we were dead last.  And it got to me because I wanted to push harder, go farther, move faster.  But I couldn’t.  I had shin splints, cramps in my calves, and the numbness in my feet/legs.  I broke down hysterically crying shortly after we’d begun, and my sister had to talk me down.  One of the things I realized that day was that I’d have to forgo the TNT training and the 1/2 marathon, because I physically just couldn’t do it.  It was one of my low points in this journey.

The photo on the left was taken in March 2009.  The one of the right was taken today.  I can see a HUGE change in my face.

The photo on the left was taken in March 2009. The one of the right was taken today. I can see a HUGE change in my face.

Cut to today – FaveCousin and I had to walk about a mile from the parking lot to the start of the race and we did so in less than 12 minutes!  We got to the starting line and enjoyed the “girl power” music – Beyonce, Katy Perry (Even though I really dislike her music, I have to admit that “Roar” is a rallying song), etc.  I was excited for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that today I was wearing that women’s cut shirt that I would’ve never fit in back in 2009.

2013-11-10 07.23.332013-11-10 07.33.30 At 7:35am, the race started, and while plenty of people passed us, we were far from the last ones walking.  In fact, we were solidly in the middle of the pack.  This fact alone made me incredibly happy and awestruck at just how far I’ve come.

It's hard to see because of the lighting, but I just had to take a photo of all the walkers behind us.  We weren't the last ones!!

It’s hard to see because of the lighting, but I just had to take a photo of all the walkers behind us. We weren’t the last ones!! There are more walkers for a good half mile behind this group, too.

While we walked, I felt good.  I wasn’t exerting myself, and I knew that eventually I should either push myself to start competing in 10Ks or I should start run/walking.  (More on the running in a future post – let’s just say that next year I’m going to do my best to run most of the 5K). But for today, I decided to just continue walking at my 3.8mph pace, and enjoy the lovely scenery and the great company. Today there were no tears.  Today I was all smiles as I realized that this 5K was going to be an entirely different experience from the last Mermaid 5K.

2013-11-10 07.49.29 2013-11-10 07.40.14 2013-11-10 08.05.44 2013-11-10 08.03.48San Francisco really is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and that Golden Gate Bridge is one of the jewels.  The weather was brisk and chilly, but sunny while we were racing.  Oddly enough, the fog rolled in later in the morning, but while we walked we were blessed with the sunshine. (Although you can see just what the foggy, ocean air does to my hair – can we say ‘fro?!).

All told, we finished the 5K in 56 minutes, which is a darn good pace for walking.  I hit over 10,000 steps by 9am.  I’m so proud of all that I have accomplished and the dramatic difference between this race and the one back in 2009.  I’m a completely different person now, with abilities that match my determination.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with my progress!! Today was definitely one of the high points in my journey!

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Summer’s here! Which means that fun in the sun is a daily way of life. Getting outside and getting active is easy, and it’s on my agenda for each and every day this summer. Being on summer vacation means I don’t have any of the workaday responsibilities that can get in the way of my plans. Now that I’ve had the VSG surgery, achieving my weight loss goals is only a matter of time, and this summer is going to be HOT. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. I’m not on a diet, I’m establishing a lifestyle – my new life. My Sunday progress updates will be called Sizzlin’ Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 11 marks the last week of summer (for me).  Starting tomorrow, I’ll be at school everyday getting my room/curriculum ready, attending teacher development meetings, and getting back to the swing of school.  I tried to make the most of this last week, and had a great time at the beach with Sofi on Friday (check out my Instagram to see the photos).  I also gave it my all with my workouts this week, but I’ll go into that in a bit.  First things first…

bilbl_scale.jpgSo, how’s the scale looking?

I weighed in this morning at 241.0, which is a loss of 0.2 pounds this week, and a loss of 36 lbs since surgery!!! I’ve lost a total of 74 pounds from my highest weight. I am disappointed that my weight has basically stalled this week.  It’s not for lack of effort in eating or in working out.  There are a few other factors at work here – I have my period for the 2nd time this month (my hormones are going crazy with this quick weight loss) and I’ve lost consistently for 11 straight weeks post op, plus the 38 lbs I lost pre-op.  I shouldn’t be surprised at this stall – everyone else I know who’s had WLS hits a stall at some point or other.  Most people hit theirs around the 3rd or 4th week, so I guess I’m lucky that I’m hitting mine at 11 weeks.  One thing I’m not going to do is freak out.  I know this is temporary, and that I will turn it around.  I’m just looking at it like my body is taking a well-deserved rest. 

What’s not taking a rest is my workout schedule.  This week I went to vinyasa yoga with my sister, tried C25K, continued with the 30-Day Squat Challenge daily, kept working out on with my hybrid trainer, went to my first Zumba class since surgery, and walked along the ocean with Sofi. I took two rest days, which I think are going to become more and more important as school begins.  The main thing is, I enjoyed my workouts, and making them fun is how I keep at them.  I’m even beginning to look forward to them and miss them on my off days.  I love this fitness person I’ve become. 

My food was on point this week, too.  I’ve been making sure to get in at least 60-75g of protein, as my program recommends.  I’m also trying to keep my carbs low – around 50-60g.  My calories are right around 800.  I see other WLS peeps on MFP who get in 80g+ of protein, which I find amazing.  Normally, my instinct would be to make some sort of change in my diet if I didn’t see numbers I liked on the scale, but I’m not going to do that this time.  I know I’m doing everything right, and I like the mix of protein, veggies, fruits, and carbs that I’ve been eating.  I think this is real progress for me. 

The challenge of the upcoming week is going to be keeping up with the routine I’ve built this summer now that my schedule will be much more impacted with school.  I know I can do it.  It’s going to be about not letting myself slack on workouts, even as the days get busy.  Working out is, at most, an hour or so out of my day, and I know I can make it a priority. 

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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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Summer’s here! Which means that fun in the sun is a daily way of life. Getting outside and getting active is easy, and it’s on my agenda for each and every day this summer. Being on summer vacation means I don’t have any of the workaday responsibilities that can get in the way of my plans. Now that I’ve had the VSG surgery, achieving my weight loss goals is only a matter of time, and this summer is going to be HOT. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. I’m not on a diet, I’m establishing a lifestyle – my new life. My Sunday progress updates will be called Sizzlin’ Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 10 was busy! I was out and about with friends, working out on my new hybrid elliptical/recumbent bike, spending time with family, participating in the 30-Day Squat Challenge, and just enjoying these last days of summer. I’m trying to pack as much fun into these remaining weeks as I can. Which is not to say that the fun ends once school begins, because I have lots of fun things planned for after school starts back up. Plus, I’ve learned how to balance work and life and enjoy myself as much as possible each day.

bilbl_scale.jpgSo, how’s the scale looking?

I weighed in this morning at 241.2, which is a loss of 2.2 pounds this week, and a loss of 35.8 lbs since surgery!!! I’ve lost a total of 73.8 pounds from my highest weight. My reaction to this week’s loss is mixed. I’m really thrilled that I’ve lost 35 pounds in the 10 weeks since surgery. I cannot remember the last time I lost 35 pounds in 10 weeks, so that’s really impressive, especially for a person who has struggled on the scale like me. But on the other side, I put in so much work this week in exercise, and ate so well (high protein, low carbs, plenty of water), that I expected to see a bigger loss on the scale. But I do have to say, I have never hit a stall since my surgery, which is not something most people can say. I’ve consistently lost weight for 10 weeks, and even though each week’s loss is a bit less than I’d like, I’m still really happy with my overall result.

I think the NSVs are even more exciting right now. I’ve gone through my entire closet twice this summer, the most recent time was on Friday. I’ve collected 5 huge, black garbage bags full of clothes to donate, all of which are too big. Friday I was trying on clothes for school, and I’m such a dork that I’ve already picked out my outfits for each day of the first week of school. 🙂 I’m really liking the way the clothes are looking on me now, and while it’s sad to say goodbye to some of my favorite outfits that are literally falling off my body, I’m looking forward to adding to the wardrobe eventually and filling it with new outfits in a much, much smaller size. (I’m really straining myself not to give into my inner shopaholic and buy some new clothes for school. I have plenty of outfits for now, and I really want to resist buying too many pieces that are just going to get too big very quickly).

These Bermuda shorts/pedal pushers have been tucked away in my closet for over 5 years, because I’ve been too big to fit them. Well, I tried them on yesterday, and they fit! And that top used to be too tight around my hips for me to wear, but it’s swimming on me now (I’m not sure if you can tell how billowy it is in the picture).
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I keep telling myself that it’s OK if I repeat outfits in order to conserve fashion funds for the time when they really count – when I get closer to goal.  In the past I’ve really overstuffed my closet full of clothes, so much so that I could go over a month and a half without repeating an outfit for school.  Which is cool and all, but not as much as a priority for me right now.  Plus, not buying new clothes until it’s absolutely necessary, like when they’re falling off of me, is going to make me get creative with the way I put outfits together, so I’m going to take it on as a challenge.

Summer’s coming to a screeching halt at an alarming pace! The week after this one I have to be back for registration, teacher development days, and the first teacher workday. And then on August 19th the kiddos return and we have the first day of school.  It’s all coming up so quickly.  But I’m excited to get back.  This year is sure to be the best yet, for so many reasons.

But before that school bell rings, I have this last true week.  Minus Monday, where I’ll be at school all day for various meetings.  I have lots of fun planned, including a midday walk with my sister at Shoreline Lake Park, an Italian-heritage SF Giants game with the extended family and some friends, and a tapas party at my parents’ house.  Among a few other fitness-related items that I’ll blog about as I complete them.  I’m bound and determined to make this week one to remember!

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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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Happy Monday! I have a lot of fun things in the works this week, and I’m excited to share them with you as they happen.  Look for some great posts this week. One thing I’ve been really lax on lately is reading and commenting on blog posts.  I feel like ever since Google Reader announced its departure, my reading habits have been thrown a curve ball.  So I plan to rectify that, beginning today.

But now let’s get on with this week’s topic.

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: 10 Things That Make Me Happy

1.  First and foremost, my family.  They are the people who forgive me at my worst and celebrate me at my best.  They have been absolutely amazing in cheering my weight loss, and never shy away from complimenting me.  I am the person I’ve become because of their guidance and unending support.

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2.  My friends.  So many of the women that I consider my best friends are people I’ve known since high school.  Friendships that last 24 years are solid friendships, to be sure.  But I also feel really close to people that I’ve met much more recently, because sometimes you meet someone and you just click.  You know the type of friendship I mean – the kind where you feel as if you’ve known the person your whole life.  I value my friends and remain loyal to them through thick and thin.  If you’ve heard the term “ride or die chick,” that’s who I am for my friends.

3.  Sofi!  You knew she was going to be in the top 3, didn’t you?  This pup has brought unending joy and happiness into my life. She helps me live in the moment and to appreciate life’s special, little moments that I might otherwise miss.  There’s nothing better than going on a long walk with Sofi.

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I love this little one even when she’s being a monkey and tearing up the roses in my yard! (She loves eating the petals!).

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Her favorite resting position. Does it get any cuter?!

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4.  Teaching.  As much as I complain sometime about the workload/grading, I really do love what I do.  I adore hearing from former students and knowing that I impacted their lives in a positive way.  I enjoy watching them mature into bright, mature people who are ready to be contributing citizens.  It sounds corny, but I am so lucky to be able to do what I love for a living.  (Remind me of this in the middle of the semester when I’m drowning in honors essays, ok?).

5.  A great pedicure.  There’s really nothing like feeling like you toes look their best, especially in sandal season.

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6.  Reading.  Not only does reading offer a much-needed escape from reality, but it often allows me to learn, grow, and expand my thoughts.  From the moment I was taught how to decipher words on a page, I’ve loved reading, and I know that love will last with me forever.

7.  Writing. This blog is my outlet, my creative space.  A place where I share my thoughts and emotions, my dreams and my frustrations.  Who knows if it will ever become something more, something greater.  I’m just glad I have an ability to express myself through the written word.

8.  The beach.  I go to the beach as often as I can, and still it’s never enough.  Someday I would love to retire to a small little cottage on the beach so that I could take morning walks along the ocean.  How amazing does that sound?  Believe it, be it, right?

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9. Cooking.  Over the years, I really have become someone who loves to cook for myself and for others.  I love every aspect of it, from finding the perfect recipe, to planning the menu, to shopping, to chopping, to cooking, and tasting the final product.  Cooking is another creative outlet for me, and it’s been so much fun adapting the foods and flavors I love into my new post-surgery lifestyle.  I love a challenge!  Food is a huge part of my Italian culture, so the fact that I’m able to carry on my family’s traditions through some of the meals I make brings me great joy.

10. Shopping! Whether it’s shopping for a gift for someone else, or adding to my own wardrobe, I adore shopping.  I get a rush when I’m looking for that special something and find it.  I’ve always loved the way that clothes make me feel about myself, but now that I’m seeing the results of my efforts on the scale, clothes are even better.  I haven’t had any major shopping trips yet…but I’m biding my time until that first major shopping trip.  I cannot wait.

11.  (I know Kenlie asked for 10, but I just have to add this last one).  Working out.  Who would’ve thought that I would have written those words.  But it’s so true.  I love the feeling I get when I tackle a new fitness milestone. And the sense of accomplishment that comes when a really good workout is over.  I even love the way my heart pounds out of my chest as I try to match the tempo of my workout tunes while I’m on the elliptical machine.  I love the way working out feeds my competitive nature.  I know fitness is going to be my hobby/obsession from here on out.  As things get easier to accomplish because my overall health is improving, I know I’ll try to overcome bigger challenges.

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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birthday-candlesToday has already been a fabulous birthday, and I it’s not even half over.

I woke up to the phone ringing, and when I answered it, my parents were both on the line, singing “Happy Birthday” for me.  So cute!  My parents have always made my birthday a special day.  They’re such special people, and I know just how lucky I am to have been raised by them, but even more importantly, that I have such an amazing relationship with both of them.

After I got out of bed, I hit the scale, as I do every morning, and today I was given a great gift: 60 lbs down!!  My official weigh in won’t be until Sunday, but I just couldn’t resist sharing the great news.  60 pounds off is such an accomplishment!  I’m really proud of all of my efforts, and I love seeing the results on the scale.

When I logged into FB, it was fantastic to see so many of my friends sending me birthday wishes.  That’s really when social media is at it’s best – it allows you to share the love on special days.  It feels so great to see how many people thought of me today.

Next, Sofi and I got out of the house and got in a long morning walk before the temps heat up too much; today’s going to be 102! Then I came home, ate breakfast, and headed back out to the pool.  Since I got my hair blown out at Dry Bar yesterday, I didn’t want to get it wet, but I did float along and kick my feet the entire 45 minutes.  Treading water burns a decent amount of calories!

Last night Tinkerbell and her hubby took me to a great dinner at our local grill restaurant, and I had 3/4 of the huge burger left, so I had 1/4 of it for lunch today.  (That’s another great thing about WLS – I can get so many meals out of a “standard” portion).

My sister and I are about to go get pedicures (I’m thinking red with white polka dots), and then we’re getting changed for dinner with my parents.  We’re going to Steamer’s, a seafood grill restaurant.  And then, of course, PRESENTS!  My Amazon Wishlist included quite a few health & fitness items, and I can’t wait to see what I got.  I’ll definitely give an update tomorrow.

I’m so grateful to have such great friends and family who go out of their way to make me feel special today.  I’m blessed.

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Happy Monday! I love it when the first day of a new month is on a Monday; it feels so organized.  This week is going to be a fun one because my birthday is tomorrow and then the 4th of July is on Thursday.  Lots of celebrations planned:

  • Monday: a blowout and dinner at a steakhouse with Tinkerbell
  • Tuesday: (my birthday!) pedicure with my sis, presents!, dinner with the fam at a fun seafood restaurant
  • Wednesday: Starbucks w/ HK, dinner w/ sis and Di at a healthy Cal/Mex restaurant
  • Thursday: 4th of July BBQ at my house
  • Friday: Movies with my dad

Sounds like a great week, right?  But now let’s get on with this week’s topic.

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 Internet

1.  Have you ever met anyone online before meeting them in person?  Oh, honey, have I?!  I could write an entire book about the crazy dates I went on from my online dating days from 1999-2002. My friends kept encouraging me to go on dates, not because they hoped I would meet The One (although of course I they wanted me to), but because they wanted to be entertained with the incredible stories.  Which is not to say that I wouldn’t do online dating again; in fact, it’s one of my 2013 goals.

I’ve also met tons of really supportive and encouraging people through this blog, Twitter, and MyFitnessPal, many of whom I’ve never met, but whom I still consider good friends.

2.  What is your opinion on social media’s impact on our society?  Does it make life better or worse?  I really enjoy social media, and as I’ve said I’ve met lots of great people.  I have lots of friends who live all over the country, so social media has made it so much easier to keep up with their lives.  I also like how accessible things are.  I agree with Kenlie that my attention span has suffered because of the Internet, but the tradeoff is worth it, I think.

3.  Do you believe that it’s possible to fall in love with someone that you’ve never met in person?  I’m sure you can, but it’s never happened to me.

4.  Do you prefer to shop in stores or online?  For the past several years, I’ve done most of my shopping online, but now that I’ve been losing significant weight and fitting into smaller sizes, I’m loving going into the stores and trying clothes on.  But for other items, I still prefer to buy things online. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to buy something on Amazon than running across town to pick it up.

5.  What blogging platform do you use?  (WordPress, Blogger, something else?)  I use WordPress, and I love it.

6.  Have you ever blogged for another site?  Would you?  I would love to blog for another site, but I haven’t done so yet.

7.  Do you use services like Netflix and Hulu? Do I?  I’m the queen of this kind of entertainment!  Netflix, Hulu, XFinity OnDemand, and Amazon Prime videos. Plus, my DVR is going every single night.  I know, I know, too much TV, but it’s part of how I keep up with pop culture, so don’t judge.  😛

8.  Would you prefer to get blog comments or to interact on twitter?  To me, my blog is more personal, so I prefer comments on here.  I’m not on Twitter as much as I could be, but it is nice when I get a mention on there.

9.  Do you prefer to read books or e-books?  I love e-books, which may be strange coming from an English teacher, but I love how easy and convenient they are.  There’s still nothing like the smell of a new book, but I haven’t bought one in a while.

10.  Share at least one experience that you would not have had without being a blog author. Being asked to review products or become a Sweat Pink Ambassador would never happen without this blog.

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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