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Archive for the ‘moderation’ Category

Did you think I’d fallen off the face of the earth?  I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post, or all that has happened in between.  There is so much to update!

First and foremost – I got a new job!!  It was completely unexpected, but when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to take it.  Let me step back.  For years, since I was in my masters program in 2006-2008, I knew that eventually I would like to become a New Teacher Advisor, which is someone who mentors first and second year teachers and supports them as they begin their careers.  Our local program is run out of the Silicon Valley/Santa Cruz New Teacher Project, which works in conjunction with all of the local school districts in the area.

I was first involved in the program as an inductee during my 3rd year of teaching.  (As longtime readers may recall, I first began teaching for two years, wasn’t happy with my placement, and took an opportunity to work for an internet company during the dotcom boom.  But I missed teaching, so after the thrill of the internet had died down, I decided to get back to it.  Since I’d been out of the classroom for 5 years at that point, the school district where I was working at the time asked me to do the new teacher program, which I agreed to).  At that point, back in 2002, the New Teacher Program was just beginning.  It offered support, assessment, and training, but I still had to take separate classes, which I paid for out of pocket, to clear my credential.  Still, my experience with the program, and especially my mentor teacher, was so phenomenal, that I knew at some point I would like become a mentor teacher.  Plus, my experience at the internet company, where I was training and supervising a group of 20 people, set me up well for the position.

Skip to two weeks ago, when a job posting for the New Teacher Advisor went out from my district office.  It was August 8th, a week before our first teacher workday and less than two weeks before school was starting.  Could I really apply for this job at this point in the summer, leaving my principal in a really bad position to try and fill my spot?  Not that I think I’m irreplaceable, by any means, but my schedule was one that no one else would be crazy enough to want.  I taught four different classes – English 3 honors, yearbook, journalism, and AVID. No one in their right minds would want that schedule (although I loved the variety it brought), especially that late in the year.  I talked to my parents, a couple of colleagues, and did a lot of soul searching.  Ultimately I decided to go for it because these positions don’t come up very often.  The deciding factor was the other teacher I’d be working with if I got the position – she and I had worked closely together last year, and I loved her.  She and I have a very similar style of organization, communication, and planning and the areas in which we’re different compliment each other.  Since you work so closely with the other New Teacher Advisor, working well together is everything.  I knew I wouldn’t have the same opportunity to work with her again in this position.  So I went for it.

I put in my application, wrote my letter of intent, and scrambled to get the last-minute letters of recommendation I needed.  My colleagues and administrators wrote glowing reviews of me, and even if I didn’t get the job, they really boosted my spirits with what they’d said. I’d worked at my school for 10 years, and had forged relationships with my colleagues and students that had created a true community.  I would miss everything about my school, including teaching, but I also knew that the relationships I had with these people would last a lifetime, no matter where the future took me.

The week of August 11th was whirlwind!  On one hand I was preparing to start school as a teacher, but in the background, I was setting up the interviews for this new position.  If I got the position, would I start the year teaching and then move into the new position once they’d hired my replacement?  I couldn’t sleep at night, working through the scenarios of how the school would be able to replace me in the easiest way.  My head was swirling with the different teachers who might take on each of my assignments so we could cobble together a more reasonable position to hire for.  I was at a professional development for our district teachers on the morning of August 13th when I ran into the HR Director in the bathroom, who said she’d heard that I had applied, and she was really excited about it.  She said that if I were to get the position, she’d like me to start right away, and not have me in the classroom at all, because it would be easier for the students.  She said, “but you’re really difficult to replace.  Do you have any ideas?”  I told her a few of my thoughts, which she really liked, and it seemed like a great sign that I might actually get the job.  As luck would have it,  I gave a 15-minute presentation to the English teachers throughout the district about how I use Turnitin to make grading essays easier.  The Director of Curriculum saw me present, as did the Assistant Superintendent in charge of Curriculum.  My presentation was really well received, and it became a way for me to show my abilities in professional development, which would help me in my interview.  Everything was falling into place.

Friday morning I was at my school where I would be teaching if I didn’t get the job.  At the welcome breakfast I felt weird; I wanted to tell  my colleagues what was going on, but knew I couldn’t, since my interview was later that afternoon, and nothing was set yet.  I led my department meeting, since at that point I was still the department chair, but it felt so strange not to tell them about what was going on.  Still, no use in getting everyone riled up if I wasn’t certain about my status.  Later that morning I went into the vice principal’s office with him and our principal to share with them the ideas as to how to replace me, because both of them had the indication that I was going to get the job.  I was thrilled, but didn’t want to be overly confident, because until they offered me the position, it wasn’t mine.  After talking to the four teachers who would take the different sections I was to teach, we had a really viable position to offer someone new.  I can’t explain how appreciate I am that my colleagues stepped up at literally the last minute to take on a brand new assignment so that I could accept the job, if it was offered to me.  One more reason I absolutely love the school I’d been teaching at for 10 years.

I rushed home to change for the interview, because I had decided that I would go into it as if I didn’t work in the district.  In other words, I was taking it very seriously and wanted to present myself in the best possible light.  I would talk about myself as if they didn’t know who I was and what my accomplishments were.  I would go in there and prove that I was THE person for the job.  I had the interview at 3:30, and it went well.  It was a quick 30 minute back and forth where I answered a set of 12 questions.  I had thought that because of the timing I might have the second interview right away, but they told me they’d be in touch and sent me on my way.  I left the district office confused about when I would find out.  School started on Monday.  As I was pulling up to a colleague’s house to attend his TGIF, I got a call from the HR Director who said she’d like to do the 2nd interview on the phone.  All I kept thinking was that I hope my cell reception would last because I was in the hills, and it could be spotty.  She asked me a few hard-hitting questions, which I answered easily, and then, after about 20 minutes of the interview, she paused and said, “well, we’d like to offer you the job!”  Yay!!!!  I was elated, because even though all indications had looked like I would get the position, that my background and experience made me the ideal candidate, I still didn’t want to take anything for granted.  I was elated that I had the position!  I thanked her so much for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity, and went into the TGIF party, where my principal was in attendance, to tell everyone the good news.  It was bittersweet, because I will really miss working at my high school, but it was also amazing, because I was about to start this new adventure.

I spent all of Sunday cleaning out my classroom.  I worked hard, shed tears at all the memories, and also looked ahead to all that I was about to take on. As a New Teacher Advisor, would mentor new teachers, observe them, offer guidance, and gather resources that they needed.  I would be their lifeline into this new world of teaching, which can be daunting and overwhelming, but ultimately so satisfying. With the new position I also have the opportunity to create and present professional development for the new teachers, as well as any other teachers who want to come to them.  Presenting to adults is something that many educators find difficult, but something at which I thrive.  I’ve never felt nervous presenting in front of anyone, whether it’s a 16-year-old honors student or the CEO of a company.  My confidence allows me to command a room, and I was excited that I would get the chance to display my strengths in this area.

This Monday was my first day, and it was hectic.  I had a new office, a new position, new responsibilities, and a new schedule.  Because I work around when the 1st and 2nd year teachers have time to meet, my schedule isn’t set.  Eventually I’ll get into a regular schedule of meeting with them, but for now, my day-to-day routine was very scattered.  As much as I like change and variety, I also crave structure.  I like knowing my schedule, getting into a routine, and working within those boundaries.  It keeps me organized and sane.  Not to mention fitting in workouts.  I was a bit uncomfortable and overwhelmed at the beginning of the week with the amorphous nature of the days, but after I was able to take a bit of time to organize my appointments, I felt so much better.  Never once did I think I’d made a mistake, and I can already tell that I made the right decision.

This week has been chaotic, but it’s been wonderful.  I didn’t workout as regularly as I would have hoped, but I did fit in several cardio workouts.  I lost weight (more on that in a later post), and I was able to set a bit of organization in place.  I attended two trainings, drove to 4 schools, went to Santa Cruz for a forum, met individually with 4 new teachers, sent countless emails, and even prepared and presented an orientation for our 1st year teachers.  What a week!

I’m so excited with this new direction my career and my life has taken.  My main focus, besides doing an awesome job that supports these new teachers, is to retain a work/life balance.  I have struggled with that in the past, because my natural instincts as an overachieving perfectionist make me a workaholic.  I am bound and determined not to go down that rabbit hole as I have in the past.  I know that this new position will make my schedule challenging, but once I get into the rhythm of meeting weekly with the 18 teachers on my caseload, I know I’ll be able to build a manageable schedule.

It’s not lost on me that I have achieved another goal that I set for myself years ago.  I am so proud of myself and my accomplishments, and happy that my hard work over the years has led me to this point in my career.  I wanted this job for so long, and now I’m going to be able to do it! I’m thrilled at the possibilities that are laid out before me, and I want to appreciate all that I will experiencing.

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celebration

We’ve hit the time in the summer that is both a blessing and a curse for me.  A blessing because celebrating special events with friends and family is always fun.  A curse because these memory-making events always come with indulgent foods and drinks. Still, I feel lucky to have so much to celebrate over the course of these two weeks:

  • Italian Heritage Night at the SF Giants (Tuesday night)
  • My dad’s birthday (Wednesday night)
  • A Silpada party (last night)
  • Impromptu BBQ w/ my parents (tonight)
  • SJ Giants baseball game (tomorrow night)
  • Dinner out with a friend for my birthday (Tuesday)
  • My birthday (next Wednesday)
  • 4th of July
  • My friend’s annual 5th of July party

At each of these events, I’m going to make the best choices possible.  For example, Wednesday night at my dad’s birthday dinner, which we had at a local bocce court and restaurant, I ordered steamed clams and mussels in a white wine/tomato/garlic broth.  Healthy and very delicious, but we also had red wine. Which is fine, and wouldn’t affect my weight loss, except that I had a beer at the Giants game the night before, and I had cucumber sangria at my party last night.  See what I mean?  None of these choices alone are bad; but together they make it hard to lose weight.

Which is honestly why I didn’t weigh in on Wednesday.  I’d had an Italian sausage (no bun), beer, and a bit of kettle corn the night before at the game, and I knew it would put me up on the scale, even if it is just water weight.

Now I’m not saying that during this next week and a half I’m going to throw everything out the window and eat with wild abandon while lazing around at home inactive. That’s just not me anymore.  I’m still making good choices, I’m still eating small portions, and I’m still working out as much as ever.  But at this point in my weight loss journey, indulging a bit and working out equals maintaining my weight, not losing. 

Which I’m fine with – until July 6th.  I’ve decided that I’m perfectly happy to maintain my weight loss for the next week or so.  I’m actually really happy with the way I look and feel right now.  I’m proud of all that I’ve accomplished and enjoy seeing the person who looks back at me in the mirror.  But I still weigh more than I’d like to, so I’m not quite ready to call this my goal weight.  Not just yet.

So beginning on July 6th I’m going to get back to my weight loss mode.  I want to drop another 30 pounds, and while I know it’s going to be a lot harder to do it now that I’m at this weight, I know I can do anything I put my mind to.  Those 30 pounds aren’t going to come off in just one summer, but I can lose 1/3 – 1/2 of them if I get back to being a bit stricter with my food choices.

Which is not to say that I can’t have fun this summer, but I want to keep my ultimate goal in mind. My journey isn’t over just yet, and I’m excited to continue on with it after this brief rest stop.

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bilbl_mainToday I had my 1-year post op appointment, and it went fabulously!  I was looking forward to it for the past couple of weeks, because I knew I was going to hear good comments.

(You guys might have noticed that I skipped my weigh-in post yesterday.  That was because for the 4th week in a row, my weight stayed the same, at 180.  That was confirmed again today at the doctor’s office.  More on that in a bit).

As soon as I got to the office, they took my vitals, including my blood pressure.  This was actually the only area of concern.  My blood pressure was elevated  (150/81) on Thursday when I went to the doctor to have the stitches on my hand removed, and at the time we wrote it off to the fact that I’d taken two flights of stairs up to the office. But when it was elevated (145/77) again today, I did get a bit concerned.  The bariatric doctor wasn’t overly worried about it because she said the diastolic number was good, and my previous records showed excellent blood pressure.  I need to get my blood drawn soon, so I think I’ll get my blood pressure checked again then, too.  Better safe than sorry.

When I saw the bariatric doctor, she was incredibly pleased with all of my numbers.  She was thrilled with my weight loss, which was 3 pounds away from losing 100 pounds in the 1 year since surgery!  I’ve lost over 80% of my excess weight, which is above average. When I asked about my goal weight of 150 lbs (30 more pounds to go), she said that it would be a perfect weight for me and there’s no reason I shouldn’t reach it.  She actually thinks that anywhere around 160 would be great for me, because it would put me in a solid BMI range. She was extremely pleased when I told her about my workout schedule (5-6 workouts a week, including cardio and toning), and said that I’ve completely transformed my lifestyle from top to bottom.  The doctor gushed about my progress, and said, “if only I could clone you!”

Then I met with the nutritionist who was also really pleased with everything I’ve been doing, especially the logging.  I told her how much I enjoyed it, especially all the connections I’ve made on MyFitnessPal. She said she really likes what I’ve been eating for lunch and dinner, but once again recommended that I eat more than a protein shake for breakfast.  Her feeling is that a protein shake doesn’t hold people long enough because it’s liquid, which runs right through you.  For me, I enjoy the shake because it does keep me satisfied, and it’s really easy.  She did like the green smoothies I’ve been having sometimes, and her only tip was to cut out the mangoes I’ve been putting in, because of the carbs.  She said she’d cut out the fruit altogether, or use berries if I really wanted fruit in them.  She also liked that lately I’ve been mixing it up by having a Quest bar and yogurt for breakfast.  So, I may try to have that more often.  The only thing she wants me to tweak is my afternoon snack – she suggested that I skip the popcorn (too many carbs, no protein) and the nuts (too much fat & calories for the little protein payoff).  She’d rather see me have string cheese and lunchmeat, cottage cheese with veggies, or Greek yogurt with Kashi Go Lean, and a 1/4 cup or less of berries. Basically, snacks = protein and fiber.  But overall, she was really happy with my food diaries. She said she likes that I enjoy cooking, and that I prepare most of my meals.  I definitely think not eating out too much has been a huge part of my success.  It’s so much easier to control what you eat when you cook for yourself, instead of not knowing exactly what they’re putting in the meals they make for you at restaurants.

When I mentioned my weight loss plateau, both the doctor and the nutritionist said that this was just my body catching up with all the weight loss.  They said that most people experienced plateaus throughout their weight loss journey, and that I was lucky that this was my first true plateau, one year out.  Neither one was at all concerned, and both seemed to think that I should just keep up with what I’ve been doing, for the most part.  I think the nutritionist’s ideas about my snacks will definitely help me reign things in and get myself back on the losing path.  If that doesn’t shake things up enough, I may do 3 days of shakes and Greek yogurt to jumpstart the scale a bit.

Today’s appointment was wonderful, and reminded me of just how far I’ve come.  To think that one year ago I was going in for surgery and today I’m only 30 pounds from my goal weight.  Amazing.  More celebratory thoughts tomorrow on my actual surgiversary.

 

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For the month of September, I’ve been attempting the 30-Day Plank Challenge, and for the past 11 days, I’ve really been pushing myself each day to complete it.

Until today.

Today the challenge has us moving to 90-second planks, which I just attempted, and I couldn’t hold it past 65 seconds, and that was torturous enough.  In looking at the calendar and seeing how the time ramps up, I’ve come to the decision that this challenge is not for me right now.

Some might say I’m giving up.  I say I’m realizing my own limitations and making a conscious choice to let myself out of a challenge that is, well, too challenging right now.  I hate feeling inadequate, and this plank challenge has made me feel that way from the beginning.  It’s just too tough.

So instead, I’m going to do a Kettlebell Challenge. (To join me, click the link).

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7789e94bca6366dd3748ea99f7caa512 It’s been three days since surgery, and I today I hit a turning point. Thank you to everyone who has left such nice comments, tweets, FB posts, and emails. I’ve read and appreciate every single one.  They mean more than you know.

Since Monday, the day of surgery, I’ve been in terrible pain.  Pain from the incisions and the surgery itself.  Pain from the extra gas they flooded my stomach with so they could work.  Pain from the staples and the fact that they cut away 80% of my stomach for the VSG (vertical sleeve gastrectomy) surgery.

I expected there would be discomfort, even some pain, but what I’ve experienced the past several days wasn’t anything I was prepared for.  I think it’s sort of like childbirth – everyone who has had WLS is so pleased with their results that they forget about the pain of the process immediately after surgery.  Of all the people I’ve spoken to about the surgery, no one mentioned this kind of pain.  And the thing is, I have a really high pain tolerance.

But today I turned a corner.  I went on the Sassy Sleever group on FB looking for tips and was reminded about taking GasX to help with the bloating.  That worked like a miracle!  Then one of my friends pushed me by saying I needed to get up, get out, and walk – no excuses.  I’m so glad he gave me that kick in the butt, because it was what I needed.  I’d been walking around the house, up the stairs, etc., but I hadn’t ventured outside yet.

Today I decided that I had been in this slump long enough.  I cleaned myself up, put on a bit of BB cream and a touch of blush, got dressed, and went outside to take a slow, short walk in the sun.  My mom accompanied me, because I don’t feel strong enough to go outside on my own for a walk just yet.

Between the walk, the GasX, and a more positive attitude, I feel like myself again.  I am so glad that I made the decision to have the VSG, and I’m so proud of myself for the steps that I took to get here.  I’m looking forward to heading home tomorrow and really starting to live my new life.  My journey is just beginning, but I’m confident about where I’m heading.

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222857881530160080_Kp2dmjFr_cLooking at my bank account and the weight I still have to lose to get to WLS, I’ve spent the morning thinking things through with my mom and sister.

I have enough money left for 3 1/2  more weeks of Jenny Craig, and realistically, I’m not going to be able to lose 17 lbs in that time period.  My mom told me that she and my dad can’t help me with any more funds, so when this money is spent, that’s it.  Jenny Craig food alone costs $500/month, not counting the produce and dairy supplemental food, so we’re really talking about almost $700/month.  I simply cannot afford that much.  So I had to think of what comes next.

When I was talking to my mom, I asked her whether I should even buy Jenny Craig during the week of Christmas, since I wasn’t going to have a loss that week.  Should I really pay $175 just to maintain my weight or even gain?  My mom asked why I couldn’t put the principles and eating plan that I’ve learned through Jenny Craig to use with food from the grocery store.  And then it hit me – I can!

The week of Christmas I can make my breakfast cookie or green smoothies, I can have Light Progresso soup and a salad for lunch, and I can have Hungry Girl Crock Pot chili and veggies for dinner.  I can keep my meals to 200-250 calories plus veggies.  I can eat two snacks of fruit + yogurt/string cheese.  And I can have a Fiber One bar or 100-calorie dessert.  I can indulge in family meals on the 24th and 25th and workout to mitigate those extra calories.

And as I was telling all of this to my sister, she said, “why can’t you do that starting now?  Why can’t you weave in other options with the Jenny Craig food? That way, the Jenny Craig food lasts longer.”  She’s absolutely right!  This way, I can make the Jenny Craig plan last 7 weeks, which is more than enough time for me to hit my goal weight.

I’m going to have to be very careful about my portions, because overeating has been my main downfall in the past.  One of the great things about Jenny Craig for me is that I know that I only have a limited amount of each treat.  I don’t eat more than I should, because there isn’t more to eat.  With this new idea, the key is going to be keeping the extra food out of reach, in my garage, locked with a key that my sister keeps.  That might seem a bit extreme, and I may not even need it, but I’m not taking any chances at this point.

I’m so glad that I entered my daily Jenny Craig plans into MyFitnessPal so that I can go back and see what each day looked like and find the right substitutions.  I’ll follow MFP to drop down calories as my weight loss continues.

And of course, I have to make sure to get my workouts and water in.

I can’t explain the relief I feel, because watching my money dwindle down and not knowing what to do to continue the weight loss was incredibly stressful.  It made me lay awake at night.  This new plan combines the best of Jenny Craig, with a realistic way to make it all the way to my goal.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family. This year my nieces were with their father, so it was “the original four” – my parents, LC, and me. Though there were few of us, we filled up the house with smiles, laughter, and our passionate personalities. I love my family, and enjoy spending as much time as I can with them.

I’m also really thankful for the bounty we had at dinner, and that this year I was able to indulge, but not go overboard. I enjoyed all of my favorites, but I also tracked everything. Moderation was the key. I loved how I felt – in control.

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This was the appetizer I made – from Martha Stewart Living (found on Pinterest) – blue cheese and walnut spread. Adding the pears was my idea. It was delicious!

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My sister made these cheese straws from puff pastry, and they were so light and flaky.

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My mom’s tables are always the best because of her attention to detail. Gorgeous!!

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We took some fantastic photos of the family, too, which I’m looking forward to printing and putting in frames this weekend.

It was a beautiful day.  A day spent with family.  A day to be grateful.

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

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This photo of baseline jumpers in Yosemite reminds me of a leap of faith.

I feel like I’m on the precipice of reaching one of my major goals – qualifying for WLS. I’ve been imagining the day I hit my mini goal and what feelings will run through me. I’m on the edge of the unknown, poised to take the leap. It’s thrilling and exhilarating, and incredibly surreal.

I cannot wait to see what lies ahead on the other side. I’m thankful that I’m so close.

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Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan.  I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal.  Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Sunday.  Sundays are the day that I use to get ready for the week ahead by grocery shopping, prepping my food, planing my meals, and organizing my workouts.  Sunday mornings are relaxed, so it’s the perfect day to weigh in.  Plus, Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend.  Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Sunday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

I can’t believe I’m one day late on this update.  The weekend was a blur of bike riding, meeting with friends, and catching up on household to-do’s.  I meant to write this post all day, but only now found the time.

The past week was decent on food and not so great with exercise, which is why I was pleasantly surprised on the scale on Sunday morning.

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 301.2, which means I lost 2.8 lbs this week. So, I have about 20 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal. To be honest with you, I really have no idea how this loss came about.  Not only is it TOM right now, which usually makes me gain weight, but as I mentioned, my workouts were mediocre at best.  My food was fair, even good most days.  There were just a few evenings that plagued me with sweet cravings.

I’m taking this past week as a gift, but I’m not going to take it for granted.  I know that: 1) weeks like this where I get results without much effort are practically nonexistent and 2) if I was really on my game, I could lose even more than this in a week.  Which means that I’m going to make sure I do much better on both food and workouts this week.

Here’s the plan (because you know I have one):

Food – The normal meals are fine.  I’m good with the nutrition and the portions.  It’s just night time cravings that are killing me.  So I’m going to give myself a nighttime snack of either cinnamon sugar kettle corn (130 cals for 2 cups) or Greek yogurt with honey (as much as I love Chobani for their fruit flavors, I like Oikos better for the honey flavor).  I know the Greek yogurt is the better choice because of the protein, but sometimes you just need something crunchy, right?  Eating this extra snack puts me at about 1350 calories instead of 1200, but as long as I’m getting in a workout each day, I can still lose plenty of weight.  Plus, having the healthier sweet snack will be better in the long run because it will help me avoid binges/overeating.

Workouts – As much as I love walking Sofi (almost) daily, I know that that alone isn’t going to help me drop the pounds.  So it’s time to amp up the intensity.  Bike riding (outdoor or stationary), elliptical machine, Zumba, aqua aerobics, hula, swimming – those are the choices for true calorie burning.  I’m even committing to a “double day” on Wednesday (elliptical 5K right after school and then Zumba in the evening).  Today I had a faculty meeting and didn’t get home until 5:30, after I wrapped up what I needed to at school.  I was tired and a bit worn down, but I took Sofi for a good 30-minute walk and I did the Jill Coleman kickboxing OnDemand, which is a heart-pumping, intense 20 minutes.  I’m proud of myself for putting in a workout  on a day that could’ve easily become “a rest day.”  Tomorrow I’m planning on going to a 45-minute yoga class, but I’m still going to get in either the kickboxing or a BL DVD to make sure I make the calorie burn I want.

Accountability – I’ve set up accountability with two friends and a FB  group.  Scale Warfare and I are sending daily emails/texts, I’m texting/emailing another local friend my workouts after I complete them, and I joined a WLS FB group where I’m posting my workouts there, as well.  Having the check-ins (and people ready to give me a kick in the patoot if I don’t post) is going to be a key.

I’m feeling really confident about my results for next week!!

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

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Autumn has arrived! Which means that life is back to normal – school’s in, my schedule is busy, and obligations abound. But I won’t use those as excuses to slack on my goals. The great thing about fall is that the weather is cooler and there are no holidays or other social commitments to derail me from strictly adhering to my food and workout plan.  I’m determined that fall 2012 will be when I achieve my pre-surgery weight loss goal.  Since weekday mornings are hectic, I’m moving my weigh-in day to Sunday.  Sundays are the day that I use to get ready for the week ahead by grocery shopping, prepping my food, planing my meals, and organizing my workouts.  Sunday mornings are relaxed, so it’s the perfect day to weigh in.  Plus, Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend.  Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Sunday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

This week wasn’t one that I’d like to repeat in terms of weight loss.  There were some good things (I have been cooking up a storm), and some bad things (I didn’t workout at all during the week).  And then there was the status quo (I logged all my food each day).  Overall a very “meh” week.  Which, in the grand scheme of things is bound to happen, but when I have a surgery goal that I’m trying to meet, “meh” isn’t going to cut it.

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 304.0, which means I stayed the same this week. So, I have 23 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal. It could have been a lot worse, especially considering that someone took over my brain on Friday night, but I’ll get to that in a second. The main reason for this stall is that I put no effort into working out M-Th.  I had a lot going on at work, and stayed hours after each day, but that can’t be an excuse.  Staying hours after school puts me at about the same time people with office jobs get home on a regular basis.  And they make time for workouts.  I let being exhausted become an excuse this week, which won’t fly.

I think exhaustion is part of what happened on Friday night, too.  I headed to the drive-thru window at Wendy’s.  What?!  All summer I never once had a slip like this, and then it happens on Friday night, after a really long walk with Sofi, mind you.  I was tired from the week, but proud that we’d gone on a long walk. I knew that I didn’t have anything quick at home to eat for dinner, and I didn’t feel like cooking a meal that would take 30+ minutes.  Instead of heading to Subway or to Safeway to get a Lean Cuisine or something (not great choices, but better than a drive-thru), I drove to Wendy’s, almost on autopilot.  Which is strange, since I wasn’t craving it or anything.  I logged it all, and was sickened by the calories.  It’s a good thing that I did get in a long walk with Sofi, otherwise there would have surely been a gain this morning.

I didn’t let this slip up turn me inside out, though.  Immediately on Saturday I got busy and headed to the 10am Zumba class I love.  It felt good to sweat and move and have an amazing workout done by 11am.  While we were waiting in line for the prior class to get out, a couple of the ladies recommended that I try the Thursday night UJam class.  I’d gone to a UJam class once before at a different club, and found it to be too much “street” dancing for my abilities, but they both said that this Thursday class was very accessible.  As much as Zumba, if not a bit easier to follow.  So, I’m giving that a try sometime soon (I’d go this week, but we have Back to School Night on Thursday).

The other cool thing on the workout front is that one of my colleagues sent an email early in the week to let us know that a yoga studio not 10 minutes from our campus was offering K-12 teachers free yoga throughout September.  They offer classes at 4pm and 4:30, which would be ideal for my later days at school.  I wouldn’t count yoga as a workout on it’s own (as I found out this summer), but it’s a good way to transition from work to home.  I’d like to go to classes at least twice a week.

I said last week that I didn’t want to put pressure on myself by making a strict schedule of workouts, but I think I’m the type of person that needs a bit of pressure.  Plus, I love making plans and sticking to a schedule.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

Sunday: walk w/ Sofi; housecleaning; OnDemand kickboxing
Monday: walk w/ Sofi; bike ride
Tuesday: walk w/ Sofi; UJam Fitness (this wasn’t the instructor they recommended, but I’ll give it a whirl)
Wednesday: walk w/ Sofi; Zumba
Thursday: Elliptical 5K; walk w/ Sofi
Friday: Heated Vinyasa; walk w/ Sofi
Saturday: Zumba; walk w/Sofi

If any of these workouts don’t happen, I will do an OnDemand workout in their place.  With my body, exercise is the key to weight loss.  No matter how tired I am, I have to remind myself of the surgery goal.

I’ve been doing really well with the food, and having fun trying lots of healthy new recipes.  My creative dinners were definitely one of the things I did this week that I’m really proud of.  More of the same this week.  I’m trying:

I’m using ZipList to organize and plan my menus, and I absolutely love it.  I think I may write a whole post about ZipList, because it’s amazing.

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

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