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bilbl_superThis week is exciting because it’s the start of the ToneItUp Bikini Series!  As you guys know, I love being a member of the TIU community, and use their workout plan as my weekly inspiration.  I recently purchased their Beach Babe 4 Workouts, and I’m really looking forward to trying out some new moves.  Besides the support I get online from the other TIU girls, I also have a standing workout date with my friend Amy on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  We don’t always make it to all the workouts, but it’s nice to have a set plan in place that we try to reach.  And when RDC3 and I see each other on the weekends, we always  try to workout together.  This week my main goal is to use my time as wisely as I can so that I can fit in the workouts and all my other responsibilities.  That seems to be the hardest part for me at this time of the year – fitting in after school grading, keeping up with the house (cleaning, laundry, etc), and making time for working out.  But where I just have to stay organized and MAKE the time.  Here’s this week’s plan:

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Monday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Total Body (x3) + TIU Rock Your Body (Beach Babe 4 workouts)+ walk Sofi
Tuesday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Booty +TIU Bikini Bod + 30 min gym cardio (treadmill + stair stepper)👯.
Wednesday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Arms +HIITY Bitty Bikini + K&K Slay and Toned Arms (Beach Babe 4 workouts) + walk Sofi  👯
Thursday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: + 40 min gym cardio (treadmill + elliptical) + Cardio Yoga (Beach Babe 4 workouts – I’m going to see how I feel after doing the other workouts and then decide on the yoga)
Friday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Total Body + Total Body Tone Up (Beach Babe 4 workouts) + 30 min walk with Sofi
Saturday: AM:  TIU 5 Daily Moves:      + 30 min gym cardio (stair stepper + bike) + Cardio Abs (Beach Babe 4 workouts)+ walk Sofi 👸🏻🤓
Sunday: AM: TIU 5 Daily Moves:  + 30 min gym cardio (elliptical + row) + TIU Bikini Buns &  Thighs + Legs for Days (Beach Babe 4 workouts) + walk Sofi👸🏻🤓

AM = early morning workout before work
PM = afternoon/evening workout after work
👯 = friend workout
👸🏻🤓 = couple workout with RDC3

Keep me accountable!! I post my daily workouts on Instagram, so follow me (or look at the sidebar of this blog) to see what I’m doing!

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bilbl_superI’m really excited about the workout week ahead just to show myself that I’m not just talking the talk, but that I can *literally* walk the walk, too.  Way back when I was really on my game, I was waking up at 5am to workout before school.  This school year that hasn’t happened, so instead of setting myself up for major disappointment when I fail to stop hitting snooze, I’ve decided to be more realistic in this week’s plan.  Most days of this week, I’m going to workout after work.  Friday will be my only pre-work workout, because I have fun plans with RDC3 on Friday night, and I know I won’t be able to workout after school is over.  I haven’t done my ToneItUp workouts in a really long time, so I’m very excited to get back to those.  Here’s this week’s plan:

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Monday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Booty + TIU Thailand Tush + walk Sofi + 30 min gym cardio (treadmill + rowing)
Tuesday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Abs + TIU Bikini Abs (x2) + TIU 5 Min Ab Workout + walk Sofi + 30 min gym cardio (treadmill + stair stepper)👯. Update: I ended up taking a rest day because I had too much grading I needed to get through. 
Wednesday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Balance Ball + TIU Band Workout + 45 min gym cardio (rowing + elliptical) 👯
Thursday: PM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Foam Roller + 30 min gym cardio (treadmill + elliptical) Update: I ended up taking a rest day. 
Friday: AM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Booty + Tone HIIT Up video (x2)
Saturday: AM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Arms + TIU Beach Arms DVD + 30 min gym cardio (spin bike) + walk Sofi 👸🏻🤓
Sunday: AM: TIU 5 Daily Moves: Total Body Toning + 30 min gym cardio (stair stepper + treadmill) + walk Sofi👸🏻🤓

AM = early morning workout before work
PM = afternoon/evening workout after work
👯 = friend workout
👸🏻🤓 = couple workout with RDC3

Keep me accountable!! I post my daily workouts on Instagram, so follow me (or look at the sidebar of this blog) to see what I’m doing!

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-5

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 2016  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m losing the weight that I’ve re-gained, the pounds I lose this spring are like 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 1 of losing my regain found me slowly getting back on track after that painful reality check of last week’s weigh in when I saw 201.0 on the scale; a number I thought I’d never see again.  But sometimes a shock to the system is exactly what it takes to get me moving in the right direction. I was on spring break this week, so I had the time to make some slight, yet significant changes: I went on a hike and worked out at the gym with RDC3, I got in over 10,000 steps on trips to Half Moon Bay (with RDC3 and my parents) and Carmel (with RDC3 and Sofi).  I made a grocery run, prepared healthier meals, and had a general sense of things getting back into place.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 199.2, which is a loss of 1.8 pounds this week! I’ve lost a total of 77.8 lbs since surgery and 115.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 49.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this week’s loss.  The first pound came off right away when I did my daily weigh-in on Monday; the other 0.8 came off a little at a time as the week continued.  Not only did I lose almost 2 pounds without any huge changes to my diet and exercise, but I’m gratefully back in ONEDERLAND.  I will never get out of it again!

Today I had an NSV when I texted RDC3 for our Sunday weight loss accountability update.  We’ve both gained weight since we’ve been together, so we’ve decided that enough is enough and it’s time to get serious about getting these pounds off.  He’s as committed to living a healthy lifestyle as I am, which is so nice. This is a whole new experience for me, because while I’ve had lots of great female friends who are weight loss buddies, I’ve never shared the weight loss journey with a boyfriend before.  That’s where the milestone comes in.  I’ve never, ever shared my actual weight with someone I was dating before.  EVER.  Even last week when I had that fateful weigh-in, I told RDC3 how much I’d gained, but not the actual number on the scale.  Today when I texted him my update, I told him the number.  Gulp!  He knew what it meant to me to be able to feel safe in sharing that with him, and he was so supportive.  He cheered on the fact that I’d lost 1.8 lbs, and didn’t make it a big deal about the 201.  Which means absolutely everything to me.  As he said, “we should be able to share everything with each other.”  And I couldn’t agree more.  That’s one of the many reasons I know that this is IT!

Phew! This week has been quite productive, when I look back at everything.  I faced the scale, made some easy changes, saw weight loss results, shared my weight with my boyfriend, and made lots of updates on my blog.  Progress!!

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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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8_Reasons_You're_Regaining_Weight_11.15.15Or, to be more accurate, REgain!!

Now, let’s not overreact.  I haven’t completely blown everything that I worked so hard for.  I’ve still lost over 100 pounds; 115 to be exact.  Which is a tremendous accomplishment in and of itself.  One that I’m very proud of.  Anyone who sees me walking down the street wouldn’t think, “oh, she’s got such a pretty face, but….”  They might think I’ve got an overly big booty, but they wouldn’t categorize me as fat in any way.  I’m still wearing size 12 pants and large tops, which puts me below the national average.

A pic of RDC3 and me in Half Moon Bay, taken on Monday, April 4, 2016

A pic of RDC3 and me in Half Moon Bay, taken on Monday, April 4, 2016

But let’s also be honest.

  • I could tell I was gaining weight when some of my smaller workout tops started to be a bit too tight to comfortably  wear to the gym.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when the size 10 jeans I was so proud of fitting into no longer zipped up and I had to go buy some size 12s.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when I would see those “last year on this day” posts on FB and notice that my face was so much thinner in the then than in the now.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when I saw selfies that I took and noticed my collar bones weren’t quite sticking out as much as they once did.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when my hair stylist stopped asking me how much more weight I’d lost, as she had done at every appointment since my VSG surgery.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when I looked in the mirror and saw my face getting rounder.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when my mom mentioned something at Christmas.
  • I could tell I was gaining weight when my #TBT pics started showing my face looking bigger now instead of then:

    IMG_8785

    June 2015 vs March 2016

So while I “could tell I was gaining weight” for quite some time, I didn’t want to actually face the music, get on the scale, and see exactly how much I’d gained.  Because that would be a scary reality.

But scary or not, I told myself that I am someone who faces her fears head-on.  In fact, I am someone who is afraid of very few things in this life.  But let me confirm that re-gaining weight is definitely one of my major fears.  So last Saturday I asked RDC3 to change the battery in my scale.  (You see, the scale had needed a replacement battery for several months.  I went out and bought the batteries, but couldn’t seem to drum up the courage to actually put them in the scale, because that would mean I had no excuse not to just step on it and see what it said).  It took me until Sunday morning to summon the courage to actually get on the scale, though.

And when I did, I saw a number that I was so sure I’d never see on my scale again.  I saw a “2” as the first number.  The last time I’d gotten on the scale was months and months ago.  Maybe back in October or so. It said 190 lbs, and that number was scary enough, let me tell you. But last Sunday I saw 201 lbs looking back at me, and I felt my heart sink.  Not only that, but tears welled up in my eyes, and I actually started to cry.  So much of my personality is about being as close to “perfect” as I can be.  And while I know in my head that nothing and no one is ever perfect, it is an idea so deeply ingrained in me that it is always painful to accept when I’m feeling very “unperfect.”  And seeing 201 on that scale was about as “unperfect” as I have felt in a very long time.

A huge part is feeling that I’ve disappointed so many people. Everyone who has shown me so much support and encouragement in my weight loss journey. I’ve been feeling like a fraud, which, for someone who lives her life “out loud” like I do, is one of the worst feelings imaginable. I want to be someone other people admire, not another statistic who regains weight.

It brought up so many worries for me.  Would I just keep on going up and up and up and hit my highest weight again?  Would RDC3 still love me if he knew how much I weighed?  Would I be able to lose the weight AGAIN?

After he consoled me, and RDC3 and I started to talk, I realized: that by stepping on the scale I was ensuring that no, I would never again get to my highest weight; that he loves me for who I am on the inside, and although he wants me to be healthy so that we can have a long life together, he’s not worried about a number on a scale, and he is completely attracted to the way I look, extra lbs and all***; and yes, I WILL be able to lose the weight again because I am a fighter.

***While I did come clean with RDC3 and told him that I’d gained 31 pounds, I didn’t tell him the exact number on the scale.  He knows about my blog, though, so he will see it on here, which will make me feel like I’ve completely come clean with him.  I know that he won’t judge me about seeing 201 on the scale, because that’s not how he is.

How did I regain 30 pounds?  The sweet answer is that it is “love weight” now that I have RDC3 in my life.  We are always out and about and a lot of the time that also means eating out.  But let’s be honest, he or our relationship is not the reason I regained weight.  In fact, I was already regaining a bit by the time I met him last May.  My lowest recorded weight ever was 167 at some point in late 2014/early 2015.  Last May 13, 2015 (3 days before my first date with RDC3) I weighed in on MFP at 177, which is a 10-lb gain.  And I know it slowly crept up from there.  Sure, going out to eat more often was a part of that regain.  But an even bigger part was that I stopped:

  • planning and prepping healthy meals where I weighed and measured everything, opting instead to buy pre-made salads from TJs, many of which had a protein-to-calorie ratio that was way off from what I know helps me lose weight.
  • logging my meals into MyFitnessPal
  • working out consistently, or even working out at all.  There were many weeks in the past 11 months where I didn’t work out even one day of the week, let alone the 5-6 times that I was doing when I was really on my game
  • drinking enough water

Basically, I stopped doing all the things I know that I should be doing in order to lose weight.

RDC3 was very concerned that he’d “been a bad influence on me” because I’ve regained this weight in the time that we’ve been together.  But I told him that actually, that isn’t true. I’d been out of my routine and gaining weight even before we met each other, it just hadn’t really shown up yet on the scale or in the way my clothes fit.  And none of that had anything to do with him.  Because we live 40 miles away from each other and have opposite work schedules, he and I are only able to see each other on the weekends, so I have no excuse for why I wasn’t doing what I should have been during the week.  And RDC3 is someone who doesn’t feel settled and at peace with himself if he doesn’t work out, so he works out really consistently, at least 3-4 times a week.  We even belong to the same gym, and he’s always asking me to go with him when we’re together on the weekends.  He has also gained about 25 lbs since we’ve started dating, and he’s not happy with where he is on the scale, so he’s so supportive of any efforts towards a healthier lifestyle.  No, this weight gain is all my fault.

But the good news is, it’s also all in my control to start losing weight again.  And that’s the kind of power that I thrive off of.

This past week I’ve been off for spring break, and while I haven’t gone full force into weight loss mode, I have made some small, yet significant, changes.  I’ve been starting my mornings with protein shakes 4 out of the past 7 days.  I’ve been a lot more active, getting in hikes, walks, and a trip to the gym.  Until I got a pretty bad cold, that is.  But still, I was on a good roll.  I’ve also been cooking low carb, high protein dinners which I’ve been really enjoying (have you seen them on IG?).  I’ve also been drinking lots more water.   Those are the ways that I lost weight before, and those are the ways that I’m going to lose weight again.

My plan is simple:

  1. plan, prep, and eat high protein, low carb, low calorie meals
  2. because life is meant to be enjoyed, make those meals taste good and avoid food ruts
  3. indulge on the weekends, but only in moderation – one meal, a few cocktails, not 2 days of craziness
  4. log everything into MFP
  5. workout 5 days a week, at a minimum.  Not only is RDC3 a member of my gym, but so is Tinkerbell and another great friend of mine, plus I don’t mind working out alone.  I love my ToneItUp community on social media, which inspires the heck out of me.  And now that the weather is going to be getting better and the days are lighter longer, I can get activity in doing things I love, like riding my bike.
  6. drink more water.  I’ve been so negligent about this prior to this past week that I am going to be happy with 6-8 glasses a day, even though I know I should drink 8-10.  A little at a time.
  7. weigh in weekly. To keep myself accountable, RDC3 and I are going to weigh in and tell each other the results every Sunday.  I’ll also write a blog post about it. (I’ve really missed writing my weekly weigh-in posts).

I’m not kidding myself into thinking that these 7 steps are going to be easy-peasy, because they’re not.  They are simple, but they take enormous effort and energy.  This time weight loss isn’t going to be the main focus of my life as it has been in the past, because I have an amazing man in my life and all of the experiences that come with being in love. It will be a priority, because I also know in my heart that weight loss is still important to me, so I will do whatever it takes to make it fit into my new life so that it can happen.

I know how good I feel when I eat right, workout regularly, and start to see results.  I love all of the positive reinforcement I get from living a healthy lifestyle.  I want that back, and I know that I can do it again.

By writing all of this out, I’ve already taken a huge leap.

Remember Oprah’s cover photo a few years ago?

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As she might say, “Honeychild, I know where you were, where you want to be, and what you’re going through.”

And just like Oprah finally “came clean” on the cover of her nationwide magazine, I’m finally “coming clean” here on my blog.

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Every year I find a mantra that I try to live by for the year.

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I was in the last stage of my weight loss journey, with only about 20 pounds to go to reach my ultimate goal weight.  Then life happened (fabulous, wonderful, incredible things happened, don’t get me wrong), and I regained 30 pounds. Not in my plan, but it happened.

So true to Bella form, I’m ready to dust myself off and get back to what I KNOW I can do.  To prove to myself that my incredible weight loss wasn’t just a fluke.  That it really is a lifestyle.

  • I have proven to myself  before that I am stronger than any obstacle in my path.
  • I have proven to myself before that I can accomplish amazing things when I set my mind to them.
  • I have proven to myself before that I am worth the tremendous effort it takes. Every single bit of it:
    • every minute spent planning healthy meals
    • every trip to the grocery store for healthy food
    • every meal logged into MyFitnessPal
    • every ounce of sweat in my workouts
    • every  time I hold my breath right before I step on the scale
  • I have proven to myself before that I can make weight loss a priority in my life.  This time it won’t be my main priority, because my life is so much fuller now than it ever was before (which I’m incredibly grateful for), so this will be a very new aspect of this journey.
  • I have proven to myself before that I can reach my dreams.

And since I’ve proven all of this before, I CAN do it again.  I WILL do it again, and then some!

So it’s ok that I now have 50 pounds to get to my ultimate goal weight.  I am confident that I will get there.  And who knows?  Maybe the reality check of gaining weight when I got too lackadaisical will be the kick in the booty that I need to get all the way there. No, strike that.  Not “maybe,” it is the inspiration I need to get myself all the way there.

I’m ready.

 

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Everyday Bellina{Tap, tap…is this thing on?}

It seems that my last several posts, of which there have been far too few, have all started the same way: “It’s been so long since my last post. I’ve been….”  And while that’s still true, I don’t want to make a bunch of excuses for why my posting has been so sparse.  Instead, I think I’ll just give an update.

Life has been amazing.  I’m blessed in so many ways.

Let’s begin with the love life, shall we? As I posted earlier, I met a truly fantastic person, RDC3.  The update is that I am madly and deeply in love with him, and happily, the feelings are mutual.  Yes, the “L” word has been spoken out loud. Without planning it that way, we said it to each other for the first time very late at night/early in the morning on our 6-month anniversary. We were having a very deep conversation, as we often do late at night on Sundays, and we both expressed how we were feeling.  I’ll never forget it.  (Truth be told, I’d told RDC3 that I loved him a couple of months earlier, but this was the first time he’d actually said it out loud to me.  I knew how he felt because of his actions and the way he looked at me, but it’s a whole other thing to hear those words spoken for the first time, you know?).  I definitely think saying it to each other with such honest emotion took our relationship to another level.  There are so many details that I could share, but I’ve made the decision that I want to keep our relationship private.  Which is odd for someone like me who likes to detail so much of my life.  But our relationship is so special to me that I don’t want to put it all out there for the world to read about.  Of course I’ll highlight our most important milestones, or fabulous things we do together, but the intimate details are going to stay just that, intimate.

Work has been going really well.  I’m loving being back in the classroom! I’m teaching the same American Lit honors and yearbook classes I used to, and this year I have a new sophomore English class that I’m really enjoying.  I was actually really worried about the 10th-graders, because I’d heard that they were “freshmen without fear.”  But my particular students are sweet and very friendly, and I’m so glad that I’m teaching those two classes.  They’re actually a ton of fun because they’re more mature than freshmen, but not as stressed out as the juniors.  I’m really enjoying teaching the new curriculum, but it is a lot of work to create brand new lessons and pacing for this class.  So I am looking forward to next year, when I don’t have to do quite so much work for that class.  I’m very proud of myself for the way that I’ve been able to keep up with the grading this year.  Especially considering that I now balance a social life with my working life.

The one thing that has really slipped is my fitness.  In terms of my weight, I’ve gained about 7-10 pounds (it varies) of “love” weight.  Mostly due to the fact that I’ve hardly been working out.  Thankfully, my sleeve (VSG) keeps me in control in terms of the portions I eat.  No matter how decadent the dinner we eat might be, I’m still able to keep things in moderation because I don’t eat that much of any one thing.  My workouts have suffered, not because of RDC3, but because of my teaching schedule.  I haven’t been very motivated to wake up by 4:45am so that I can workout, get ready, and make it to school by 7:30am.  But that has to change because I don’t like the lack of muscle tone that I’m noticing in my body.  I was doing so well, and I want to get back to that.  In fact, I want to surpass where I was.

In terms of my future with this blog, I want to be a lot more active than I have been in the past 7 months.  (Geez writing 2 posts in that time would be an improvement).  I won’t make any certain commitment to how often I’ll be writing, because I don’t want to disappoint myself (or anyone else) by not meeting that commitment.  And I won’t be writing much (if at all) about my relationship.  But I do want to continue to motivate myself and others by writing about returning to my workout routine, my weight loss, and my determination to reach my goals.

{In the mean time, if it’s been a while since I’ve posted something on this blog, check out my Instagram account – I post on there almost daily}.

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Now that I’m finally coming up for air after a week of celebrating, I wanted to make sure to capture just how special my birthday was this year.  I’ve written before about how my parents always made my birthday like my own private holiday, and this year was no exception.

The birthday festivities started on Monday, with a dinner at my friend Tinkerbell’s house.  She made really delicious food and gave me a “fun in the sun” gift bag filled with lots of goodies that I’m going to enjoy using all summer long.

Next up was a birthday dinner with my parents and sister on Wednesday night.  We went to an Italian restaurant that we enjoy, and had great food.  Afterward we went back to my parents’ house where I opened presents.  They were all really generous, and bought me everything I’d wanted from my Amazon wishlist, including a new  blender, a beautiful ring, a pretty turquoise and silver necklace, and car wash certificates, to name a few. I know just how lucky I am to have this family.

Thursday, my actual birthday, was one of the best days of recent memory.  I woke up, enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee, perused social media and saw all of the fun birthday wishes, and took Sofi on a long walk.  All leading up to spending the day with RDC3.  That’s what I was most looking forward to because I knew we were going to have an amazing time, as we always do when he and I are together.  No matter what we do, I always have the best time with him because he makes everything so special.  And is there really anything better than spending time with someone you’re crazy about?

For so long, I wanted to share my life with someone, and now that I have this amazing man in my life, it makes all the years that I was alone worth it.  He is definitely worth the wait, and I’m so grateful that fate stepped in and put him in my life.  As independent as I am, I have to admit that I’m a person who enjoys being part of a couple.  But not just with anyone – it takes a very special someone to spark this in me and RDC3 definitely has.  I don’t want to gush, but the relationship we’re forging is really more than I could have ever dreamed of.

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Our day started with him surprising me with a bag from Chanel.  I wasn’t expecting any sort of present from him because he’d just taken me to the opera (that post will be coming soon) the week before, and I’d told him that that was more than enough of a birthday present.  So when he presented me with a beautifully decorated gift bag from Chanel, which he’d gone up to SF to buy at their boutique so that they would wrap it with all the trimmings, I was floored.  He bought me a beautiful bottle of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle, which has a light, fresh fragrance that is sure to become my new signature scent.  Every time I wear it, I’ll definitely think of him and how thoughtful he is to go out of his way to buy this for me.  Not just the expense of the present, which is significant, but the fact that he went all the way to SF to buy it at the boutique so that they’d wrap it up in such pretty packaging.  He definitely knows how to make me feel special.  The card that he wrote which accompanied the gift is something I’ll also treasure.  RDC3 always claims that he’s not great with words, but the things he wrote in that card definitely made my heart smile.

After the gift, we were on our way to Half Moon Bay, at my request.  There’s a beach right near El Grenada called Pillar Point that has to be my very favorite place on earth.  It has huge boulders that reach all the way out to the middle of the ocean, and lots of fishermen and surfers go there.  Not too many tourists, although it’s right by an RV park.  I discovered it by accident about 20 years ago, and ever since, it’s held a really special place in my heart.  Whenever I was having a bad day and just needed to clear my head, I’d drive there with my notebook and write about whatever was going on. I loved hearing the crash of the waves and seeing the inevitable fog roll in and realize how small my problems were in comparison to the immensity of the ocean.  The ocean is such a source of comfort and power for me, and I love spending time at this place, just thinking about life.  I hadn’t been since losing my weight, and I’d never taken someone special there before, so it meant a lot that we were going there together.

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Climbing the rocks is always a bit daunting for me, but I found that it was quite a bit easier for me this time around than ever before.  Just another example of how much my weight loss has positively impacted my life.  RDC3 and I found  the perfect spot, and we each took to our own rocks to take in the scene.  I really liked that we were able to be there together, but each enjoy it in our own separate ways.

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After a time, I asked RDC3 to join me on my rock so that we could sit there quietly and take everything in together.  Sitting on the rock with him, sharing with him how special it was for me to have him there with me in that moment and in my life in general meant so much. He told me something incredibly touching (which I’m going to keep between the two of us), and again my heart swelled with happiness.  I got a bit teary eyed thinking about how lucky I am to have this amazing person in my life.

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View through the sun roof as we were driving on Hwy 1

View through the sun roof as we were driving on Hwy 1

Next up we were driving up Highway 1, on our way to SF to the Cliff House for dinner.  I’d never been, although I’d passed by it many times while I lived in San Fran.  RDC3’s father used to take him there to celebrate special occasions, so the restaurant had a lot of sentimental value for him, making it all the more meaningful that he wanted to bring me there for my birthday.  RDC3 had requested a window table, which is the only way to go at this restaurant.  The views are breathtaking!

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We decided on a great bottle of red, which I completely loved, as you can tell.

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This is a really expensive restaurant; definitely something for special occasions.  The menu is limited, but the food is truly delicious.  I ordered the lamb chops and RDC3 got the duck. We thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, the food, and the entire experience.

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After dinner, I wanted to walk along Ocean Beach.  It was so hauntingly beautiful that I just couldn’t resist going in.  Whenever I’m by the ocean, I always have to at least dip my feet into the water, but this night I was feeling so happy, that I waded out a bit further, even though I had my jeans on and it was freezing outside.  Oddly enough, the water was fairly warm (for an SF ocean), so I started getting a bit more daring. 

 

Even I didn’t expect a huge wave to crash up and hit my jeans all the way up to my thighs!  RDC3 looked like he wasn’t quite sure what to do with this crazy girl who was completely soaked, yet laughing at it all.  In that moment I was just so grateful and happy.

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I can honestly say that this has been the best birthday I’ve had in the past 20 years, maybe ever.  It has everything to do with the people in my life making me feel so loved and cherished.  I am so blessed to have all of these people in my life, and I will never forget July 2, 2015.  It was a day to remember forever.

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