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Archive for the ‘meal planning’ Category

Getting Real

Before I get into my joining in on the ToneItUp Bikini Series again this year, I thought I should take a moment to get real.  It’s been quite some time since I updated my weight on this blog (or even on MFP, for that matter).  I’ve mentioned in a previous post that throughout the fall and winter, my workouts and eating had been a bit sporadic.  I did workouts some days, but nothing extremely consistent, as I had been.  I ate pretty well, but did let more carbs and “snacks” creep into my diet, especially as the holidays approached.  And I gained about 13 pounds from my lowest weight of 170, meaning that on Sunday, April 12th I weighed in at 183.0.  I wasn’t overly surprised by this gain; my clothes had started to fit a bit snugger and my face didn’t look as thin as it had in late summer.  At the same time, I know that in my pre-WLS days not eating great and not working out for 6 months would have netted a gain of much more than 13 pounds.  Which is why I’m so grateful for this VSG tool.  It helps to keep me in line with my portion sizes and helps me make sure that things don’t ever get totally out of control.  13 pounds I can deal with.

TIU Bikini Series

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Thanks to @toningupcoco for creating this awesome image!

ToneItUp is at it again – helping people get “bikini ready” in the 8 weeks before summer.  Since this is their 5th year of the Bikini Series, they decided to kick things off a bit earlier, so this year’s Bikini Series will end on June 6th.  Just like last year, I decided to join in on the fun, and immediately signed up for the Bikini Series.  Unlike last year, I’ve become a full-fledged member of the TIUTeam this year.  I bought the TIU Nutrition Program, which includes 1000s of recipes and meal ideas.  Once you buy the Nutrition Program, you’re a member for life; you’re never charged more and you get seasonal additions to the plan. This year for the 5th Bikini Series, they came out with an 8-week meal plan, making it that much easier to follow the TIU suggested meals.  They even included a grocery list and meal prep guide.  With all this built in organization and healthy eating, I just couldn’t wait to start on April 12th.

To prepare, I hit Sprouts and Trader Joe’s on Saturday, and spent some time meal prepping so that I’d be ready to start my day on Sunday with all the foods I needed for the early part of the day.

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Then I spent a few hours on Sunday prepping food for the rest of the week.  I’m really enjoying the recipes they suggested, and have been liking trying some new ingredients like shredded coconut and almond flour, trying new meals like chia pudding, and eating a bit more calories than I’m used to.  Since their meals are all based around clean, whole foods, upping the calories hasn’t been departmental to my weight loss.  I have had to cut the portion sizes to fit my post-WLS tummy, but that’s been pretty simple.  At this point, almost 2 years post-op, I know how much I can eat in one sitting.  (So, instead of eating 6oz of mahi mahi, I eat 4oz). I love how colorful and full of flavor the meals are, and I’m eating a ton of fruits and veggies.  The recipes themselves are all pretty easy to make, which is a plus.

Here’s an example of a typical day of food on the Bikini Series 8-Week Meal Plan:

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Breakfast: Blueberry Zest muffins, strawberries, and 1/2 protein shake (I added this in lieu of almond milk because it has more protein)
Snack: apple and hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Spinach, tuna w/ wasabi mayo (this is another one of my own meals, not strictly on the plan, but within most of their guidelines)
Snack: Berry Bright Chia Pudding
Dinner: Chili in a Bowl w/1/4 avocado

Bikini Series Goals

Another thing I really like about the Tone It Up approach is that it’s not just about food and working out (although those are super-important!), it’s also about the mindset you have.  They suggested setting goals to accomplish throughout the Bikini Series:

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I’m really proud of the fact that this week, I woke up and did my “bootycalls” (morning workouts) all 5 days before work!  It wasn’t always easy, but I made it happen, and I really do think my day went better because I got the workout in early and felt so energized.  I also love creating the photo collages I put up on IG every morning, like this one I did today:

IMG_3687 As you can see, I’m already well on my goal of hitting 100 miles  by summer! I’m doing so well on this goal that I may increase it to 150 miles by summer – I want to wait another week and see how many I log after two weeks before I make the switch.

TIU Team

Another huge part of the Tone It Up philosophy is women supporting and encouraging each other.  Last year I started following tons of other TIU girls on IG, liking and commenting on their photos.  This year I decided to amp it up a bit by joining two new groups on FB dedicated to TIU.  One is a general TIU Bikini Series group that has people from all over the world in it.  It’s been a fun place to share ideas, ask questions, and get encouragement.  I also joined a more local TIU group on FB for other TIU girls who live in the South SF Bay Area.  This is the group I’m most excited about because it’s full of other women who live in my area.  We’ve already scheduled a few meetups, one of which is happening next Thursday at a spinning studio that I’ve never been to.  I can’t wait to meet some new friends who share my interest in maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

Progress Photos – “Before”

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Lots of the TIU ladies were nervous about posting their “before” photos online, but I wasn’t.  These aren’t my before photos – you guys know that I started this weight loss journey at my all-time heaviest weight of 315.  I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished since then, so these photos are a badge of honor to me.  And I just can’t wait to see how much slimmer I look in my “after” photos at the end of the 8 weeks.

Oh, and another point of inspiration – this morning when I weighed myself I was already down 1.4 lbs since Sunday, weighing in at 181.6.  Not bad for 5 days.  Especially considering that I increased my calories from an average of 900/day to about 1200/day.

Wrapping It Up

I’m thrilled with the choice I made to join the Bikini Series again this year, and I’m really looking forward to all of the positive things that will come of it.

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December

 

I meant to post this last night, when I was doing my food prep for Week 1 of the Fit Girl’s Guide Winterwonderland Challenge, but I had a lot going on and the time escaped me.

One of the main things I really appreciate about the Fit Girls Guide is that they provide a super organized grocery list for each week, organized by area of the store. That’s how I make my own lists, so this really appeals to my OCD side.  The other thing I like is that the meal plans are developed to get the most out of each item on the list, for virtually no food waste.  As someone who throws away more food than I’d like to admit, I’m happy that I’ll be able to cut down on this.

Even though the list was really organized and clear, I still spent over an hour at Trader Joe’s.  Partially because everyone and their brother seemed to be stocking up for the work week and partially because there were a lot of items on the list.  Here’s my haul, which I tried to divide into food groups:

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I had some items in stock already, so not every single thing I’ll be eating this week is here, but it gives you an idea.

Now that I had the groceries, it was time to meal prep.

photo 5 (1) Week 1 breakfasts actually call for Cherry Pie fridge oats, but since I’m not a fan of frozen cherries, I decided to go with a mixed berry medley.  These are the overnight oats that I love.  Oatmeal, chia seeds, almond milk, almond butter, honey, Greek yogurt, and the frozen berries.  I really enjoyed these this morning and liked the not-too-sweet taste that the 1 tsp of honey added.  I usually put protein powder in my overnight oats, but this version had a really clean, hearty flavor that I preferred.  And the stats aren’t too bad, either: 285 calories, 19g protein, 36g carbs, 7g fiber, 8g fat.

Next up were the lunches – chicken & veggie power bowls.  Because I’m someone who needs variety in all things (life, exercise, food) I made sure to make a few of the suggested variations on the traditional bowl.  I also cut down the quantities to make it more post-wls friendly. Also, instead of steaming the kale, I decided to sautee it with onions, garlic, and a tiny splash of olive oil.  I’m not eating as many snacks as they suggest on the plan (because I just can’t fit that much food into my post-vsg tummy), so I figured a bit more healthy fat in my day would be just fine. Plus I know it’s going to taste fantastic. I’ve never made anything like this for lunch, so I’m excited to try them and see how I like them.

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From left to right:

Pasta Primavera Bowl: less than a cup of sauteed kale w/ onions, 2.5 oz of lemon chicken, 1/3 cup of whole wheat pasta, 1/2 roasted zucchini, 1/2 cup roasted crimini mushrooms, 2T marinara sauce, 2T mozzarella cheese.

Faux-otle Bowl: less than a cup of sauteed kale w/ onions, 2.5 oz of lemon chicken, 1/4 cup black beans, 2T mozzarella, 1 oz roasted red peppers, 1/4 cup brown rice, 2T hot salsa (on the side).

Traditional Power Bowl: less than a cup of sauteed kale w/ onions, 2.5 oz of lemon chicken, 1/4 cup black beans,  1/4 cup brown rice, 1/2 roasted zucchini, 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash.

 

Last up, I hard boiled eggs that I’ll have for snacks this week, par-steamed the sweet potatoes for tonight’s “street tacos,” and chopped up a few other veggie for lunches and  the pita pizza dinners I’ll alternate throughout the week.  I’ve never done meal prep quite like this, but I actually really enjoyed it.  I’m  glad I decided to add the variety to the power bowls, because I know myself, and I can’t eat the same thing for 7 days straight at lunch.

Since the dinners aren’t make-ahead, I’ll post pictures of those on IG and make sure to write a post with a photos from both meals later this week.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous to start this plan, because it’s less protein and more carbs that I’m “supposed” to eat.   But I decided to take a chance and try it out because it’s super healthy, completely clean, very well balanced, and seems really satisfying.  Plus, I’m far enough along from my wls that I can eat a bit more normally (albeit much less).

Here’s to the start of a great week, and a fantastic month.

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I have quite a few updates to cover, so let’s dig right in, shall we?

Dating

I’m actually glad I waited to update this, because I was confused for about a week or so, and then as it usually happens, things clarified themselves pretty quickly.

Let’s start with TR.  Technically, we’re not dating, since we were getting together for dinner “as friends.”  Still, it had been a few months since we’d seen each other, and I was a bit nervous about how it would go. It was nice that TR had asked me to bring Sofi, because the dogs automatically eased whatever awkwardness there would have been.  Both dogs love playing together, something that TR commented on a few times that evening.  He’d prepared a really special dinner for me: grilled Italian sausage, risotto made from scratch, grilled onions & bell peppers, and a beautiful salad with artichoke hearts, chopped olives, tomatoes, and a yummy vinaigrette. We also had some really great red wine.  The fact that he put in so much effort to make such a lovely dinner really made me feel special.  We enjoyed the food, took a long walk after dinner with the dogs, and then came back and watched a bit of TV.  Things definitely stayed at the friend level, but being around him reminded me of how much I enjoyed hanging out with him.  We have so many things in common – our Italian heritage, our love of local sports teams, cooking/eating great food, and our dogs.  He’s classy, fun, and there’s just something there.  On my part.  And maybe on his too, because he mentioned that he never got my recipe for pesto when I cooked for him in the summer, to which I replied, “so are you saying you’d like a live demonstration?” He said he did.  So we have plans for him and his pup to come over soon so I can make pesto for him and he can copy down the recipe.  (Or maybe it’s just an excuse for us to hang out again?). One of my friends asked me why I’m still hanging out with him, because if I had my way, we’d still be dating, and he says that he doesn’t want to since I don’t want to have kids and he does.  She thinks I’m setting myself up for disappointment, and that it must be so difficult.  I told her that I really do like spending time with him, and that if I’m honest, I am hoping that somehow he changes his mind and decides that he’d like to start dating again at some point.  And besides, it’s not like I’m not dating other people and pinning all my romantic hopes on him. But I do see her point, and maybe I’ll eventually feel like the situation is too frustrating.

Moving on to the sheriff…he came over two weeks ago and we hung out watching Sunday Night Football and getting a little more physical (I’ll spare the details, nothing too serious happened). One good thing is that my worries about the way my body looks weren’t an issue that night at all.  I’ve come to realize that if I’m with the right person, someone who makes me feel like he adores me, the issues I have with my body won’t really come into play.  The evening left me very confused because I just wasn’t physically attracted to sheriff, and I’m not talking about anything that happened when we were making out, but more in just how he looks in general.  I know that sounds pretty shallow, but attraction is important.  So I began the week not knowing what I was going to do, if I wanted to continue seeing him, or if I should cut it off.  We were texting everyday, but I was moving more toward letting him go.  And then this past Tuesday, when the Ferguson verdict came out, he texted me some photos that were in very poor taste, bordering on racist.  We hadn’t even said hello or good morning, and he was sending me photos about the looting and rioting that were really disgusting.  Not that I condone looting and rioting, but I know he was doing it to see if he could get me going. I didn’t reply to the first photo, because he’d sent it in a group text, but after the second photo came through to just me, I had to respond:

Me: not funny

Sheriff: I think it’s hilarious

Me: that’s the crux of the problem

Sheriff: (I won’t repeat his response, but he went into this whole diatribe about how the liberal media was making it about race, when it clearly wasn’t about race)

WTF? Is he serious right now?  This was just too much for me.

Me: Listen, I don’t want to debate this with you. Those pictures you sent me were in poor taste and showed a side of yourself that I don’t want to get to know better.

And that was that.  Problem solved.  Confusion over.  No response, and we’re done.  And to be honest with you, I haven’t given him a second thought since.  I knew that dating someone who holds such different ideologies from me wouldn’t work.  At first I thought his views were more moderate, but those photos and his subsequent response showed that he and I hold much different views on race, justice, etc.  So it’s time to move on.  And before you think I’ve made these decisions because of TR, I didn’t.  The confusion with the sheriff started before I went over to TR’s for dinner, although after the dinner I did feel like the connection I feel with TR was lacking with the sheriff.

At the moment there are no other people on eHarmony that I’m interested in, but I get new matches daily, so who knows.  Plus, I’m actually hoping to just meet someone when I’m out and about.  There’s no rush, and I don’t feel any pressure to “get a boyfriend,” so I’m just going to stay open and see who comes my way.

Health

These past couple of months my weight has been at a standstill.  Mostly because I haven’t been putting as much effort into working out and eating as I should have been.  I haven’t been going wild with food, and I have been getting in workouts a few times a week, but I’ve basically been in maintenance mode. Which actually makes me happy to know that I can successfully maintain my weight…when the time comes.  But that time isn’t here yet.  I have 20 pounds or so to lose, and I’m determined to get back on the losing track.

I know lots of people would look at the calendar, see the holiday season coming, and say, just get back to it in January.  But that’s not me.  Why let a whole month go by without working towards my goals?  After all, I’m not that into sweets, so holiday treats don’t tempt me, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are just two days, two meals, really.  So there’s no reason not to start back tomorrow, December 1st.

As luck would have it, I was on Instagram the other day when I saw that Fit Girls Worldwide posted about a Winter Wonderland 28-Day Challenge that was beginning December 1st.  So I decided to buy their guide and join in on it.

The meal plan is fairly simple, full of well-balanced meals that are pretty easy to make.  The guide comes with a shopping list for the week, which makes it very convenient.  Because the meal plan is all about eating clean, healthy food, it does require meal prep.  Luckily I don’t mind cooking, and I love that the guide gives tips on how when to prep which meals, which makes it very organized.  I am going to have to modify the portions, but other than that, the meal plan looks good.  At first I was put off a bit that there are only two different dinner ideas for the week, because I am all about variety. Then I realized that the meal guide is perfectly planned so that it uses up all the food on the shopping list for the week, and I know that I normally throw out extra food that I can’t eat when I cook too many different dinners. So sacrificing a bit of  variety for less food waste is something I’m willing to try.  The plan doesn’t include as much protein at each meal as I’m used to having, but I’m willing to give it a shot for 28 days to see how it works.

Making December Spectacular

My goal for this week is to be active each day, include 5 TIU workouts, stick to this new food plan, and check in a lot on Instagram.  I’m looking forward to starting the last month of the year tomorrow with a renewed energy and a great plan.  I’m motivated and excited!

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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 64 was quite a whirlwind, evidenced by the fact that I skipped reporting on Week 63 last week (I actually didn’t have a loss during Week 63), and missed my usual weigh-in report this Wednesday.  Nevertheless, this week was an amazing one for so many reasons.  I started a new job, was getting used to an entirely new schedule, enjoyed a great Trombone Shorty concert on Wednesday, and spent time with friends at the Italian Festa yesterday.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 175.2, which is a loss of 2.2 pounds this week, and a loss of 101.8 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 139.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 25.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really excited with my weight loss progress this week, because my schedule was such a drastic change from what I’ve been used to.  Not only are my lazy days of summer gone, but this new position has me running around to 5 different campuses, scheduling multiple meetings a day, and working longer hours in the office than I would as a teacher.  I tried my best to wake up at 5am to get workouts in before work, but wasn’t able to any of the days.  Still, I packed my gym bag and went after work a few times, even though I was dog-tired.  I also took the time on Monday night to prep meals for the week, making sure I stayed on track.  I’m really proud of my commitment to my health in the face of all these extra responsibilities.

To set myself up for success this week, I’m going to meal prep tonight.  Breakfasts are easy – my protein shakes are simple to make and help me keep my protein intake high.  Lunches that I’ve been loving are salads made of spinach paired with all sorts of protein – tuna, chicken, and shrimp.  Dinners this week will be a nice combo of protein,  veggies, and complex carbs: lentils with turkey meatballs and spinach, mahi mahi burgers and zoodles, and chicken with summer squash.

I’m still going to give it my best to get up and workout before I head into work, but I am also ok with my backup plan of hitting the gym after work.  The gym is on my way home, so it makes it convenient to stop in before I get too relaxed.  Plus, working out after work is a great way to switch gears from work mode to relaxation mode.  I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to workout in the mornings these first few weeks, until I get used to my new schedule.  As long as I get my workouts in, that’s all that really matters.

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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 62 was another great one. I got in good, solid workouts all week…that is until I went to a SJ Giants game on Saturday night and got hit in the ankle with a stray ball.  Ouch!  It immediately bruised and swelled up, prompting two unplanned rest days on Sunday and Monday.  Thankfully, yesterday I was able to get in a good sweat session on the stationary bike, and I even took Sofi for a quick walk around the neighborhood last night, so I’m on the mend.  The highlight of the week – the highlight of the summer – was riding roller coasters at Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The week was also filled with fun with friends & family – lunches, a shopping splurge, a picnic at a free summer concert, and a movie with my dad.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 177.4, which is a loss of 1 pound this week, and a loss of 99.6 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 137.6 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 27.4 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m actually really happy with my loss this week because my ankle is still pretty swollen, which may mean I’m retaining a bit of water.  Either way, it’s a loss during a week where I enjoyed lots of great food and didn’t get to work out as hard as I would’ve hoped the past few days. Still, I’m really glad that I’m seeing numbers on the scale that I haven’t seen since my early 20’s.  My body is looking fit, lean, and strong.  Even my thighs, which are my major problem zone, are showing improvement. I’m at such a great place in this journey, and even though the progress is slow, I’m proud that I am still making progress.

One week from today I’ll be at a professional development day for the new school year, followed by another on Thursday, and then the first required teacher workday at my school.  Which means I have one week left of summer vacation!  This summer has really flown by.  I’ve had a great, relaxing, rejuvenating summer.  There wasn’t a “wow” trip, but it was filled lots of other little moments that I’ll relish.  Almost-daily morning workouts with Tinkerbell to begin the day in a fantastic way, dates that gave me butterflies, tending to my beautiful flowers in my garden, loud laughter over drinks with the girls, fun bike rides all around the neighborhood, quiet talks with best friends, picnics at our weekly music concerts in the neighborhood, fun with my nieces (including a Zia and me day), shopping trips splurging on new items, tons of time with Sofi, and lots of time spent driving the Beetle with the top down, and lots of meals shared with the people I care about most.  I did every single thing on my #createyoursummer list (except that Hawaiian-themed party), which makes me immensely happy. I really lived life, got out and got social, and made each moment count. So many fun memories that will carry me through those crazy days of the coming school year.  One of the things I’m planning to do over the next week is to print out a bunch of the hundreds of pictures I snapped this summer to put them up in my classroom.  The kids love seeing the photos, and I do, too.  It’s a way to carry the magic of the summer throughout the rest of the year.

My goal for this week is to make the most of it.  To enjoy every minute and create more memories to add to my summer collection.  2014-06-21 07.44.31

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 61 was awesome!  Not only did I enjoy my increased calorie intake, but I got in 6 days of solid workouts (which helped me exceed my goal of #150bysummer!), and I finally made it to the beach for the first time this summer.  With only two weeks left before I start my teacher meetings, I’m determined to make each day count.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 178.4, which is a loss of 2.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 98.6 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 136.6 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 28.4 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really excited to see a significant loss like this on the scale, because it’s been awhile!  Increasing my daily calories to around 1000 net calories per day is working well; it keeps me really satisfied throughout the day and it also curbs any cravings I may have. This morning’s weigh in marks my lowest weight on the scale in the last 20+ years, and I can’t wait to keep hitting new “lows” as these weeks continue.

One NSV that I’d like to share happened yesterday, on #TransformationTuesday, appropriately enough.  When I was originally asked to be a SweatPink Ambasador, one of the cool things the Fit Approach crew does is send out pink shoelaces and a SweatPink tank.  The shoelaces were no problem. The tank, though, didn’t fit, not by a LONG shot.  I ordered the largest size available, and there was no way on earth that it was going to fit me.  So I put it away for all this time.  Over two years it sat on a shelf, just waiting for the day when I could put it on.  For some reason, I decided to give it a try yesterday.  And you know what, it not only fit, but I was really happy with how I looked in it.

Here’s my post to the FB group:

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I’m floored that 145 people “liked” my post!

Better than that was that when I posted about it on the SweatPink Ambassadors’ Facebook page, the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming!

Just a few of the comments I got from my SPAs

Just a few of the comments I got from my SPAs

Lately I’ve been seeing myself as a fit person, which is amazing to me.  For so many years I  was the “pretty plus-sized girl,” but now I’m proud of the body that I have.  I’m not hiding it behind loose clothes and layers, I’m wearing form-fitting outfits that show off my strong legs, shapely waist, curvy booty, and arms that are beginning to show some definition.  I love the way I’ve transformed, and I’m really enjoying dressing this new physique.  I like showing it off a bit, which is such a switch from the years of camouflaging my flaws.   Yes, I still have things I want to work on, but I’m happy to let the real me SHINE.

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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 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.

2014-04-06 19.15.38

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

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