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Archive for the ‘moderation’ Category

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:

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    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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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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Every year I find a mantra that I try to live by for the year. I’d seen this quote a few times, and it just spoke to me.

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Now that I’m on the last leg of my weight loss journey, I’ve found that it’s all about doing the small things every day that make a big difference in the long run. It’s not about major lifestyle changes because I’ve already set a healthy life in place.

This year it’s about reminding myself that every single day…

  • each step I take is a choice
  • each step I take shows my true intentions
  • each step I take becomes incorporated into the person I am
  • each step I take moves me through the world in a positive direction
  • each step I take matters
  • each step I take brings me closer to my goals

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December

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  I spent mine meeting with friends, proctoring the SAT,  beginning to decorate for Christmas (I’m going to put up a tree this year), and enjoying Sunday Funday (although the 49ers dismal loss to the Raiders yesterday dashed their playoff hopes, so it wasn’t THAT fun, obviously).

After spending a week following the Fit Girl’s Guide 28-Day Challenge, I realized on Friday afternoon that it just wasn’t realistic for me at this time of year.  You guys probably figured that out when you read my post about it, but it took me a little longer.  I enjoyed the food on the meal plan, but as I mentioned in my meal prep post, I like a little more variety than it offered, especially at dinner.  The plan was very well-balanced and included clean, healthy foods, and I have already decided that the sweet potato street tacos are going into my regular repertoire because there were delicious.  I also loved the supportive community I found on Instagram, whose daily posts offered motivation and inspiration.  And I did lose weight – 1.6 pounds after just 4 days on the plan, which was great.

But when I looked at the reality of this season, and of my life in general right now, I realized that the challenge wasn’t something I wanted to continue.  In general, my life is very social, meeting with friends and going out to eat at least once or twice during the week.  The holidays bring even more social occasions, and after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I didn’t want to give up those opportunities. So I’ve decided I’m taking myself out of the challenge.

Which doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my goal of losing weight this season.  Far from it.  I know how to plan and cook great meals, and make healthy choices even when eating out.  I also know how important it is to me to workout – the calorie burn is a key to losing weight, but beyond that, I love the way my body feels when I’m active daily.  Even those crazy sore muscles two days after a hard workout. Which means that I can lose weight and enjoy the social fun of the season. If you think about it, that’s the ultimate challenge, isn’t it?  I know I can do it.

So here’s the plan for the remainder of December:

  • Go back to my high-protein food plan.  For me that means my daily protein grams should be 10% of my overall caloric intake.  (If I eat 900 calories, I should have 90g of protein). Some of you may balk at “only” eating 900-1000 calories in a day, but remember, I’m a WLS patient, and even when I eat out I can’t consume the same amount of food that someone with a normal stomach can.  So for the rest of my life, I’ll never really eat more than 1200 calories in a day, if I’m eating healthy. (Obviously those calories can go much higher if I’m eating crap). Back to my food plan – Besides the protein, I like to include veggies at each meal.  Carbs like rice or wraps aren’t completely out of the question, but I’m going to limit them to one meal per day.  So if I have a wrap for lunch, I’ll eat a “lean and green” meal at dinner.  If I have rice with dinner, lunch will be a salad or other protein/veggie combo. I bought the ToneItUp Nutrition Program during their Cyber Monday deals, and I’m looking forward to trying some new, healthy recipes from that guide.
  • Cardio + TIU toning 5-6 days a week.  This one will be a bit of a challenge because I tend to be great at it for 3-4 days, but then the week continues, I get more tired, and my workouts fall to the wayside.  At this point in my weight loss journey, I know that my body responds quickly to workouts.  When I’m consistent I lose weight; when I let them slide, I maintain.  This fact is going to spur me on during those afternoons/evenings when I start getting lazy and want to “negotiate” reasons why it’s ok to skip the day’s workout. No skipping workouts this season!
  • Limit my alcohol intake.  In general, I only have alcohol 1-2 times a week, when I’m out with friends.  I plan to continue this during the holidays.  Someday when I’m in maintenance, I foresee having a daily glass of wine (if I’m so inclined), but while I’m still trying to lose weight, I only want to imbibe when I’m with friends and family in a social setting.  I’ll use baths and working out as a way to unwind from a long day when I’m by myself.
  • Continue being active on social media.  That means logging everything in MyFitnessPal daily.  Checking in on Instagram with my workout pics. And writing/reading blogs.  I love the support and inspiration I get on MFP and Instagram, which is why it’s a daily part of my life.  If you’d like to add me as a friend and/or follow me on IG, please do.  And leave your IG name in the comments, because I’d love to start following you, too. In terms of blogging, I know I’ve gotten less consistent with writing these past 6 months.  I guess because I only like to write when there’s something interesting to say.  And because I am so active on IG, that seems to have replaced the quick daily posts I used to write.  Maybe I’m evolving as a blogger?  I will still blog on here regularly, and read your blogs as often as I can.
  • Enjoy the season. Even though this isn’t necessarily going to help me with my weight loss goals, it will make me happy, which is all part of leading a healthy life.  This year I want to: go ice skating, enjoy the decorations at Christmas in the Park, send Christmas cards, sit by cozy fires, listen to holiday music, light glowing candles, watch my favorite holiday movies, and wrap presents.

Those are my goals for December – completely doable and realistic.  Wish me luck!

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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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