Archive for the ‘moderation’ Category


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.


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!


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



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


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.

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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