Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘organization’ Category

summer

It’s summertime! Which means that school is out, my schedule is my own, and I’m footloose and fancy free.  Summer means the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and I can kick my workouts (and my weight loss!) into high gear.  I have less than 30 pounds to go to reach my ultimate weight loss goal, and I plan to lose quite a bit of that this summer. But this summer is about so much more than losing weight; it’s about living my new life.  I worked so hard for this new, healthy body, and I want to spend this summer doing a lot of the things I only dreamed of doing when I was at my heaviest.  That means riding rollercoasters, running in 5Ks, trying new water sports, wearing styles (and sizes!) of clothes that I could never wear before.  I want to LIVE every moment of this summer to the fullest. I’ve moved my weigh-ins to Wednesdays as a way to check in midweek. My Wednesday progress updates will be called Sensational Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 55  has been wonderful! Even though it’s summer vacation, and I haven’t had to go into work, I have been really busy each day.  I’m hoping that things will slow down a little bit, so that I have more time to spend relaxing.  Still, staying busy and active is a great way to stay on track, so I’m not complaining.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 179.6, which is a loss of 0.4 pounds this week***,and a loss of 97.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 29.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m in the 170s!!!  Just barely, but hey, I’ll take it! Especially after having a stall in my weight loss that lasted 6 weeks.  ***I have the stars by this week’s weight loss because I actually lost 6.2 pounds from June 8 to June 15 because I’d gained 5 pounds of water weight during the last two weeks of school when things got crazy and I stopped working out for a week and wasn’t making the best food choices.  I knew the weight would come off quickly, and it did.  And it got me down to the 170s.  But since my last reported weight on this blog was 180, I’m going to keep it simple and say that I’ve lost 0.4 this week.  (I have it all documented on MFP for accuracy).  Another reason I have the stars by my weight this morning is that I’ve been fairly constipated this week even though I’ve been drinking plenty of water.  I know it’s because I got out of my habit of taking the fiber supplement, and I need to get back to it, ASAP, because I don’t like this feeling.  So I’m guessing that I’ve actually lost more weight than the scale showed this morning, but I want to go with what the actual numbers were, so that’s what I’m reporting.

I’m really happy with the way I’ve been eating.  It’s nice to have so many more choices of fruits and veggies during the summer, and of course, I love being able to grill my proteins every night.  Eating in the summer is just so much easier – I just naturally make lighter, healthier choices, even when going out.  For example, I joined Tinkerbell and her hubby for happy hour at The Fish Market on Monday evening, and enjoyed some delicious oysters on the half shell.  I know raw oysters aren’t everyone’s thing, but to me they are the essence of summertime – fresh, light, and salty.  Yum!  I also enjoyed a couple of pieces of sushi along with most of a small fish taco along with some wine.  Light bites that were highly enjoyable yet totally within my food budget.  I love being able to go out socially, but not overindulge. The same thing happened with our Father’s Day BBQ – we planned a menu that worked well for the way I like to eat, and it was really delicious.  What are your favorite, healthy summer meals?

Exercising has been fantastic.  Most mornings I’ve been meeting Tinkerbell to workout at 7 or 7:30, which is a great way to start the day.  It’s early enough to give me the rest of the day to do whatever I need to, but not crack-of-dawn early like I was doing during the school year. I also met up with a co-worker, and she and I have plans to do a stair workout on Friday. While I enjoy working out alone, it’s definitely fun to meet up with friends and catch up while getting the workout in. I’ve been keeping the variety in my workouts by doing spinning, elliptical, C25K, walks with Sofi, and of course, the ToneItUp toning workouts. This coming week I want to take a few more fitness classes, like Body Combat, and work in some yoga sessions, too.

I have two NSVs to share, both of which are really exciting!  A while ago I was talking with Scale Warfare, who had VSG surgery about two years before I did.  I was telling her about how the jiggliness of my thighs was making it really difficult to buy comfy yoga pants.  Sure, I could fit into smaller sizes, but a lot of the thinner, summer-friendly yoga pants weren’t working with all the extra wiggle I had going on now that I’d lost so much weight and had the excess skin in my thighs.  She suggested that I try Victoria’s Secret yoga pants, because while they were thin and light, they were also fairly good at ‘sucking it all in.’ So a couple of weeks ago I when they were having a sale, I went on the site and ordered VS Most-Loved Yoga Crops in a size Large! I wasn’t sure A.) if they would fit and B.) how they would look if I could get them on.  They came in the mail yesterday, and I couldn’t have been more pleased! They fit great, really hold things in, and are still really light and comfy.  If loose skin/jiggly thighs are at all an issue for you, I’d highly recommend them.

20140618-120816-43696619.jpg

The 2nd NSV is something I’m super proud of.  This morning I tackled C25K, Week 5, Day 2, which includes a 5 min. walking warmup, 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of brisk walking, 8 minutes of running, and a 5 minute cool down.  And I did it!! I’ve started C25K two other times – once when I was way too heavy to run and then more recently after my surgery.  The first time, I was repeating the weeks two times, and I couldn’t make it to running more than 90 seconds at a time, because my poor body just couldn’t do it.  The second time, I stopped at Week 5; I just couldn’t run for 5 minutes in a row.  I could do 3 or even 4, but not 5.  So today when I was running for 8 whole minutes without stopping, and feeling really strong in my run, I amazed myself!  The key, besides being at my lightest weight in the past 20-something years, is that I’m taking the runs very slowly.  I’m at a 4.3mph run, which is just fine by me if it means that I can run for that duration and feel good.  I did move it up to 4.5mph with two minutes to go and felt good, and then “sprinted” up to 5.omph the last 30 seconds, just to see if I could.  And I did!  5.0mph isn’t a pace I can sustain right now, but it is kind cool that I can keep up with it for a very short duration.  This is all so exciting! I will say I’m a bit nervous about Friday’s run: 20 minutes of straight jogging!! But I know I can do it if I just keep my mind positive and my breathing steady. Plus, it’s right on track with my goal of running the entire MOOnlight 5K on July 12th.

Today’s quote is perfect.  It speaks to this person I’ve become – the woman who is unafraid of challenges in every aspect of her life, which finally also includes weight loss and fitness.  I have created a wonderful, vibrant life for myself, and it’s so exciting to be living it to the fullest.

2013-11-17 11.47.05

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

Read Full Post »

Summer_Sun1_000002It’s finally summer vacation!!!

I want to apologize for disappearing from the blog without any warning.  It wasn’t my intention, but life just got so hectic there at the end.  The end of this school year seemed especially busy for some reason.  But it all turned out fantastically well, and I’m so happy to be enjoying Day 2 of summer vacation. I have so much to update that I almost don’t know where to start.  I guess I’ll do a bit of a weekend update, and then take it from there.

Friday was my last teacher workday, which is always a nice, easy way to end the school year.  I was out of there by noon, and then spent the next several hours vegging out on the couch.  My sister and I went to go see The Fault in Our Stars, which I really enjoyed.  I loved the book, and the movie did a great job with staying true to it.  The actor playing Augustus Waters was phenomenal.  It was a great way to kick off the summer.

Saturday was all about sprucing up my yards.  My dad came over at 9am, and he and I worked until 3:30, stopping only briefly at 2pm to eat a quick lunch.

We started off transplanting groundcover from the backyard to the front.  This plant grows prodigiously, so I thought it would be a great way to thin out the backyard groundcover and fill in some spaces in my front yard.  It worked really well, and once it settles in and takes root, it will look great.  I’m not sure if it shows up, but this plant has tiny hot pink flowers that bloom during the summer. (That bush in the middle of the photo was already there – I’d purchased those back in April to replace two diseased bushes that I’d had the gardeners remove.  Even though I’m a renter, I don’t mind purchasing this kind of thing to make the house look good, because I get a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty yard. Plus, I can dig the bushes up if I ever move).

2014-06-08 06.59.06

Next, my dad and I headed to OSH to buy hoses, sprayers, planters, spliters, potting soil, etc.  You can see the soaker hose (black hose) in the photo above.  $153 later, we had plenty of essentials. Once the groundcover grows a bit more it will hide the hose, which will look better.  The soaker hose is cool because you can turn it on and leave it for 10 minutes and it slowly waters the groundcover.  After OSH, we headed to Summerwinds, the best nursery in our area.  I bought lots of full sun annuals and flowers for the hanging pots I’d bought on a whim at OSH ($77).  Before we headed home we realized we had nothing to hang the pots I’d bought, so we made a quick pit stop in Ace to buy chain, light bulbs (a few bulbs had blown out that I needed my dad’s help to reach), and some hooks to hang the pots ($35).  Whew! My summer garden was going to look beautiful, but it was expensive, at $265!  Much of that expense was the planters and hoses/sprayers, all of which I can keep, so it doesn’t make me feel quite as bad.  Plus, I consider this a gift to myself every summer, because I’ll spend my entire vacation (and beyond) enjoying the way my yards look.

When we got back, it was time to get to planting.  Sofi absolutely loved that my dad and I were in the backyard, playing in the dirt.  LOL. We started with the terra cotta planter, because that was going in the front yard, and I wanted it to look perfect.  The inspiration for all of this planting were these pots that my parents surprised me with when I got back from Hawaii:

2014-06-08 06.58.57

My mom had found the planters when she was out shopping, and from there it became a family affair.  My dad found the cement tiles to anchor them to, my niece picked out the Martha Washington geraniums, and my dad planted them.  When I got home and saw them, I was so happy!  I knew I needed to fill in the dirt (with the groundcover from the backyard), and move my huge terra cotta planter from the back to the front.

2014-06-08 06.59.22I love the way the terra cotta planter turned out! I found this great ficus ivy for the front, which will eventually hang down. I knew I wanted big blooms, and when my dad found those large zinnias, I knew they would be perfect.  I can’t wait for it to fill in.

I hated the hose I had in the front yard, because it was really inflexible and always kinked up.  The hose holder was also falling off the wall, so it was time to replace all of that, especially since we were buying the soaker hose and splitter anyway.

I had no idea you could even put a splitter on a hose.  My dad knows so many tricks!

I had no idea you could even put a splitter on a hose. My dad knows so many tricks!

2014-06-08 06.59.15

I love the black scroll work on this hose holder, and I really like that the hose blends into the background. They only had a 50-foot hose in this color, so I have way more hose than I need. My dad said we could cut the hose to make it the length I want, so that’ll be a mini project for another day.

Now the front looks really good:

2014-06-08 06.59.392014-06-08 06.58.48

The only thing I want to add are some small solar lights, because I think they’ll look really nice and add the perfect bit of twinkle.

Now it was time to tackle all the pots for the backyard.  If money was no object, all of the my planters in the back would be terra cotta, too, but since I have other things I want to buy this summer, I’m using these plastic planters that mimic terra cotta.  They look sort of cheap, but they’re okay for now.  Eventually I’ll replace them. I think the backyard looks really happy now:

2014-06-08 06.57.07 2014-06-08 06.57.16 2014-06-08 06.57.22 2014-06-08 06.57.30 2014-06-08 06.57.39 2014-06-08 06.57.41 2014-06-08 06.57.44

These sun-loving annuals are bright and happy, and I love the mix of colors.  They go well with my roses and my hydrangeas, which are looking so pretty:

2014-06-08 06.57.55

I’d had this New Guinea impatien in one of the other pots, but moved it to this great watering can planter in a shady spot of the garden. We had a couple flowers left over, so I planted them in with my mint plant.

2014-06-08 06.58.02 2014-06-08 06.58.12

The impulse purchase yesterday were these hanging pots. My sister has a couple of hanging pots in her back patio, and I really like the way they looked.  And then when we were at OSH yesterday, I saw these planters, and fell in love.  They were pricey, at $17.99 each, but I knew I was going to splurge on them, because they’d add so much to my patio.  I absolutely love the way they turned out, and can’t wait for them to grow and start falling over the edges of the pots.

2014-06-08 06.56.47 2014-06-08 06.56.56

All in all, it was a long, tiring day, but very worth it for the end product.  I definitely want to have lots of people over this summer, so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of this garden.

Sunday my plan is to go on a 2- or 3-mile walk with my mom this morning at 8:30, and then spend the rest of the day cleaning the house.  It is in desperate need of a major cleaning.  I’m talking top to bottom and every room in between.  I let it go over the past month, and I want to start out the summer with a clean house.  One thing I love about summertime is that once the house is clean, I can tackle cleaning it a bit at a time – bathrooms one day, floors another, dusting a different day.  Once it’s spotless, keeping up with it isn’t a big deal, and insures that the house always looks immaculate.  My reward for all the hard work in store today is going to be a bit of a binge watch of Orange is the New Black.  I’ve watched the first episode of Season 2 already, but I love watching a bunch of them in a row, so that’s the plan for later this evening.

All in all, I’m starting summer in wonderful way – beautifying the house and gardens.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have a bunch of blog posts swirling in my head, so get ready for an onslaught of writing from me over the next few days:

  • getting back on track with my food & exercise routine
  • PopSugar MustHave Box reveal/review
  • 20-mile bike ride adventure
  • Diamond Head hike adventure (yes, two months later!)
  • Graduation NSV
  • Bottle Rock music festival discoveries
  • Bella in T.O.Y.land music mix
  • weekly workout plan
  • weigh-in update

 

 

Read Full Post »

-1

Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 52  (somewhere along the way, I got off on my count of post-op weeks, but since this week was my 1-year surgiversary, this week is obviously Week 52). This week was busy again (notice a trend?) and because of that, I made sure to fit in early morning workouts so that I’d be able to fit it all in.  I made some adjustments to my food plan, and I saw a bit of movement on the scale (sort of).

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

Once again, for the 5th week in a row, my weight is exactly where it’s been – 180 lbs.  But, I’ve lost 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  I did see movement on the scale this week – it dipped down to 178ish, but it bounced back up after a day of fun yesterday.  While I’m frustrated that my weight is still the same, I’m glad I went out with friends yesterday to a baseball game and enjoyed myself.  I indulged quite a bit with my food/adult beverage choices, but the great thing about my sleeve is that it helps me keep things in control in terms of portions.  Plus, I got in a great calorie burn yesterday, which is exactly what living in maintenance would be – keeping a balance.  The thing is, I don’t want to be in maintenance yet – I still have pounds to lose before I’m done.

First of all, let me just say that this is the last week where I won’t see a loss on the scale.  It’s time to kick things into high gear and make some changes. Here’s what I’m thinking…

Weigh-In Day Change – For the past year I’ve weighed in on Sundays.  I did this for a lot of reasons, the two main ones being that Sunday is the start to a new week and to keep myself accountable through the weekends.  Because I was so focused on my weight loss journey, I wanted to make sure that my Sunday morning weigh-ins were as good as they could possibly be, and this meant that I passed up on a lot of social activities because I didn’t want to have to weigh in the next morning after going out.  Which worked for me while I was really in my major weight loss phase, but isn’t going to work that well for me as I enter into this next phase of my life.  Summer vacation is about to hit, which means a lot more social engagements, not to mention that I joined Match.com again, and I’m hoping this means a lot more dates, too.  My point being, I don’t want to skip out on the fun this summer because I’m worried about my Sunday morning weigh-ins.  So, I’m changing my weigh-in days to Wednesday.  I weigh in everyday anyway, so changing the day I report my weight on this blog doesn’t seem like that big a deal, and will make a huge difference in my social life.

Food – I did well this past week with eliminating some of the snacks that the nutritionist recommended I avoid: nuts and popcorn.  Occasionally those snacks are fine, but I was eating them every day, and neither one has enough protein.  Nuts have a bit of protein, but are so high in calories and fat that they’re just not a good payoff.  Popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber, but has virtually no protein. I’m not going to completely forgo either of these snacks, but they need to be more of a once-in-a-while thing rather than my daily go-to.  Instead, I’ve been eating turkey wrapped around string cheese, cottage cheese and veggies, etc.  I also changed up my breakfasts a few times, going from protein shakes to Quest bars and Greek yogurt; the variety has been nice. My dinners were always on point, so I kept those the same.

Exercise – I did really well this week with waking up at 4:15am to fit in my workouts, which makes me really proud of myself.  I have to say, I love getting my workouts done first thing in the morning, but 4:15 is really early.  Which is why I’m so glad that next year I’ll have a first-period prep so that I can go in a bit later some days, and not have to wake up  quite so early.  But for these last two weeks of school, I’m going to keep up with the early, early morning workouts. Since I like writing my workout plan for the week on Sundays, I’m going to start separating the workout plan posts from my weigh-in posts, beginning today, so look for a separate workout plan post, later today.

Today’s quotes go well together, and I think they’re indicative of my philosophy of weight loss (and life in general).  Whatever I set my mind to, I accomplish, and this last phase of my weight loss journey is no different.  I have every confidence that I will accomplish all of my goals, including getting to the 170s this week!!

-2

-1

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

Read Full Post »

-1

Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 50 was even busier than the previous two have been, which is really saying something, reminding me that at this time of year my work/life balance definitely shifts and it’s easy for my best-laid plans to fall to the wayside.

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

I didn’t weigh in this morning, for two reasons.  1). The pain medication I’ve been taking because of cutting my hand gives me major constipation and 2). I was up early to help my nieces get breakfast in bed ready for my sister. And really, the scale has been stagnant again this week, so I knew that I wouldn’t show much of a loss or a gain today anyway. But, I’ve lost 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  This week because I was so busy at work and with some family obligations, I missed way too many workouts.  My food was decent, but I did catch myself adding a few more snacks than I should have if I want to see a loss on the scale.  And let’s face it, now that I’m down to 180 pounds, the weight isn’t going to come off as quickly as it did when I was 315 pounds.  Which I’m ok with, but it does mean that I don’t have as much leeway with missing workouts and adding snacks.

My plan of waking up early a few days to work out in the morning failed miserably.  I didn’t even hear the alarm go off, or to be more accurate, I immediately snoozed it and went back to sleep.  I didn’t set myself up for success because I was going to bed way too late.  But that’s not going to happen this week.  I refuse to let it.

This time of year is super busy for me at school because it’s almost the end of the year; there’s a lot of grading, meetings, and planning before we get out for summer.  All the more reason for me to make sure I get up and do my workouts first thing in the morning.  That way, no matter how busy the day gets or how tired I am at the end of it, I know I’ve already worked out.  My 1-year surgiversary is coming up soon, and I really want to be in the 170s by then. I’m on the cusp of that weight, so it’s time to get serious and stop sliding by.

  • I’m going to get to bed by 10pm each night, lights out by 10:30.
  • The alarm is set for 4:15am and a second one for 4:30am so that I can fit in both cardio and toning before I need to get ready and leave in the morning by 7am.
  • Because my cardio is limited to elliptical or HIIT workouts at home (the stationary bike at home really doesn’t give me much of a calorie burn), I am going to try to get in a second cardio workout a couple of days, if I can.

Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday:  walk Sofi (I’m still taking it easy because of my hand)
Monday: AM: elliptical / TIU: Bikini Body Routine  + PM: run/walk intervals & walk with Sofi
Tuesday: AM: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) / TIU: NEW BIKINI ARMS workout, Best Ab Routine + PM: walk Sofi
Wednesday: AM: TIU: Making Waves Cardio (elliptical) / TIU Bikini Booty Routine , Hula Booty (Beach Babe 2 DVD)+ PM: run/walk intervals & walk with Sofi
Thursday:  AM: run/walk intervals outside / Under the Sea 1 , Under the Sea 2 , Flat, Fit, Sexy Abs
Friday: AM:  TIU Biker Babes cardio (gym)/ PM: TIU: Love Your Body w/ Yoga
Saturday: AM: Run/walk Training with SJ Fit + walk w/ Sofi

This is a really ambitious plan because it requires me to wake up super early each morning, but I am bound and determined to make it happen! My afternoons are just too busy most days this week – I have to stick with this plan if I’m going to get my workouts in. No excuses!

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday: Develop a mantra for the week and use it when you wake up, during your workouts and anytime you need a boost. We love, “I am strong,” “I will not give up,”  & “I’m a gorgeous bombshell who can accomplish anything!!”
  • Tuesday: Quickies all day! Working or at school all day!? Complete 20 squats every time you go to the ladies room. You’ll be feeling it tomorrow 😉
  • Wednesday: Tap into your creative side and get artistic. Painting, drawing, sculpting, gardening, dancing, writing all  nourish your soul & provide amazing stress relief!
  • Thursday: Be a light in someone’s life today! Do something to inspire and encourage those around you, whether you post something motivational on social media, offer a compliment to another woman or tell someone how much they mean to you!
  • Friday: Reward yourself tonight with something that will make you smile like scheduling a massage, a manicure or a blow out!

I’m going to follow up with a Sunset Challenge post on Friday evening to let you know what I did for each day’s challenge.

Today’s quote comes directly from ToneItUp.com.  I love it so much that I’ve had it as my iPad wallpaper for the past few months.  If I’m going to see the results that I want to on the scale, I need to break the boundaries in my mind that tell me 4am is too early to wake up. There is no such thing as “too early” if I really want to reach my next mini goal of hitting the 170s by the time May 20th (my 1-year surgiversary) rolls around.

2014-03-10 01.31.16

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

Read Full Post »

There have been a ton of things going on in my life this past week, and I’m way overdue to catch up on all of it on this blog.

2ed2d0252edacb00a145f73730352f96 First and foremost, for all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you spend the day doing the things you love with the people who make all your hard work worthwhile.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, my adorable niece set up a beautiful breakfast in bed for my sister this morning.  She and my mom got all the food, plates, napkins, cup, tea, etc.  I kept it hidden at my house for the week, and then this morning she came over to get it all.  She cooked everything, even using a melon baller to make the fruit salad (inside the Have a Royal Day plate).  It was her idea to add the fresh chives to the eggs.

20140511-093451.jpg

10252147_10152010991760426_2137854927835195283_n My younger niece made my sister an adorable mug – her teacher had the students draw a picture and then transferred the drawings onto the mug. I know this is going to be a keepsake for years to come!

My nieces are so sweet and thoughtful – all the hard work and sacrifices that my sister has put in as a single mom really have paid off. These girls are just the best!

~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday I was all set to do the Willow Glen 5K with Tinkerbell, which was a fun run in support of one of our local elementary schools.  I woke up early, got dressed, and was about to make a cup of coffee when I decided to open a package.  I tried using scissors, but couldn’t cut through the tough plastic.  So I grabbed a knife, thinking, “I better be careful, this could be dangerous,” and at that exact moment, I gauged my hand right by the thumb pad.  It was really deep cut, and the blood started spurting out immediately.  I’m not good (to put it mildly) when I see my own blood, and I started feeling really light-headed and faint.  I ran over to my sister’s house next door, screaming that I’d cut myself and I needed help. I was already feeling like I was going to faint, when my sister went into calm-in-a-crisis mode.  She washed the cut, laid me down on the bathroom floor, and didn’t panic even when I started convulsing on the floor.  My body was going into shock, and I almost fainted.  My sister just said, “Bella, stay with me! Keep your eyes open, open your eyes!” And  then she bandaged my hand.  She called my dad to come and take me to the minor injury unit at Kaiser.

We had to wait about 30-45 minutes because the minor injury section hadn’t opened yet. I was in a lot of pain and was feeling really faint.  When they finally took me to the back and took my blood pressure, it was really low. So low that the nurse took it twice, just to make sure. When all was said and done, I needed 3 stitches.  The wound was deep, and I’d punctured the muscle, which was  what was causing me all the pain.

20140511-093439.jpg

This morning I’m not in very much pain at all, but my hand is super swollen. I don’t know if it’s coming across in the photo, but my left hand is a lot bigger.

20140511-100104.jpgI can get the stitches out on Thursday, and I can’t wait.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On the work front, my principal asked me to be the English Department Chair next year.  I was really flattered by her vote of confidence in me and my leadership abilities, but I was very hesitant to accept.  I have four preps, meaning four different classes that I teach – English 3 honors, AVID, yearbook, and journalism.  All of them take a lot of time to prep and plan for, and the honors classes give me a ton of grading.  To top that off, I update our school’s website, which takes time each and everyday.  The department chair position adds lots of meetings, both at our school and at the district office. Plus all the time organizing everything for the department itself.  But leading people and organizing things are two of my strongest abilities, so it does seem like a great fit.  And my department could really use some positive leadership, so I accepted the position.  I had my choice to take a stipend or to get a second prep period, meaning I’d only teach four classes, instead of five.  Since the stipend isn’t anywhere near 20% of my salary (which would be the equivalent of giving up one class), I decided to go for the 2nd prep.  I asked if I could give up one of the honors classes I teach, since the grading takes me more time than prepping for the AVID class (which would have been the only other class I would have even considered giving up). My principal said that would be fine with her, so I’m all set. I’m actually really excited about this new opportunity.  Both for what it means to my department and for my professionally. I’m only obligated to serve as department chair for one year, but my principal did say she’d like to see me doing it for at least 3-5 years. which is very flattering.

And I am also really looking forward to the fact that I’ll have one 1st-period prep  and one last-period prep.  Meaning that on A Days I’ll be able to leave early and on B Days I’ll be able to come late.  Except when I have meetings or other department obligations, which will happen about 6-8 days of the month. Which makes me very excited about my workouts – I really want to start working out first thing in the morning, and on B Days I’ll be able to get up at the same time I do now and still get in a whole workout.  And on the A Days if I haven’t woken up early and worked out in the morning, I can get in an early afternoon workout, as I’ve been doing this year.

~~~~~~~

I’ve tried some new fitness classes at the gym, but I’ll write about those in a separate post.

Read Full Post »

-1

Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 48 was another busy one at work, but I also fit in lots of time for celebrations.  I had a fun field trip on Monday, Tuesday my parents took me out to dinner to celebrate my Teacher of the Year win,  I went out for TGIF with some colleagues on Friday, and yesterday I met up with a teacher friend for lunch and lesson planning.  I worked out hard, but eating out four different times and imbibing two of those times made my calorie counts a bit higher than normal.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is no loss and no gain this week; I stayed exactly the same. This is  a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  I’m not thrilled that my stall has continued for a second week, but it doesn’t surprise me.  I wasn’t as strict with my food as I should’ve been, which really counteracted all the major working out I was doing all week.  Which, in hindsight, is really disappointing.  I pushed myself to workout hard on several afternoons even though I was dog-tired, but because I ate out several times, and drank a couple of those times, I basically maintained.  For all my effort in my sweat sessions, I should’ve seen a good loss this week.  But this is a lesson – celebrations are great, but I need to space them out a bit more while I’m still in the weight loss phase.  On the positive side, if this past week is an example of my life in maintenance, I’ll really enjoy it.  Work hard, play hard, and all of that.

So, this week I’m going back to my stricter food routine. (Although I am meeting a friend for apps & drinks later today, but it is Sunday Funday, afterall). I very rarely eat out, and I plan to continue making all my meals at home for the rest of this week.  I’ve seen a few new recipes that I’m interested in trying out:

In terms of my workouts, I’ll be getting in lots of cardio, as usual, but I’m super excited that Tone It Up‘s #bikiniseries is starting tomorrow! If you’re at all curious, sign up and give it a try.  I think you’ll be amazed with how much Karena and Katrina put into their workout plans, recipes, workout playlists, and fun challenges – all free. Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday: Lateral X+ Elliptical+Treadmill + walk Sofi
Monday: TIU: Excited for Spring (elliptical) / TIU: The Best Ab Routine (x3)***
Tuesday:  walk with Sofi + TIU HIIT the Beach 2 (on Beach Babe 2 DVD) / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series toning workout (comes out Tuesday morning) + TIU: Sunset Stretch
Wednesday: TIU: Bikini Cardio (elliptical) + walk with Sofi / TIU: Surfer’s Paradise ***
Thursday:  Body Combat (5:30pm) / TIU: new BIKINI SERIES toning workout coming out Thursday morning
Friday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Ab Workout Playlist
Saturday: WG 5K + walk Sofi / TIU: Beach Yoga w/ Karena

***This week is another crazy one, with lots of meetings after school.  When I get home so much later than usual, it’s difficult for me to fit my workouts in and get everything else I need to done. I do it, but I end up eating really late (another thing that happened quite a bit this past week, which didn’t help the weight loss, I’m sure). So, I’m going to try working out at 4:30am twice this week and see how it goes.  It’s SO early, but I’ve read a lot about how much better it is to start the day with a workout.  It’s definitely worth trying out.

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday:Spend time with people who make you smile!
  • Tuesday: Yoga Inspired Stretching (see Sunset Stretching, above).
  • Wednesday: Take out the list of goals or your vision board that you created on Monday. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and spend 5 minutes visualizing yourself achieving each one of them. Breathe deeply and remember to keep your mind positive throughout the entire process!! Picture how amazing you’re going to feel when you accomplish your goals.
  • Thursday: Take a few minutes to write a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Think about your beautiful body and all it does for you, your friends, family, pets… write it all down! Save the list by your bedside and read it over before you go to sleep for sweet, happy dreams!
  • Friday: Tonight, sign up for something completely outside your comfort zone. Anything like a new fitness class, race or personal challenge is fair game. If you’ve always wanted to try SUP Paddleboading, surfing or a hip hop dance class… now’s the time to sign up!

This week I feel as if a fire has been lit beneath me.  I’m excited about my planned meals and workouts, and I can’t wait to melt a couple more pounds off this body.  From the start of my journey PERSEVERANCE has been my middle name, and that’s what I’ll tap into to get to that next number on the scale.

20140504-121815.jpg

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

Read Full Post »

-1

Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 48 was busy.  Lots of long days at work meant that I didn’t get in quite as many workouts as I would’ve liked.  Don’t get me wrong, I got in some great workouts, but took a couple of rest days I hadn’t planned on.  One of the reasons I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten into the habit of planning my meals is that it assures me that my food will be on point, no matter how hectic my week gets.  It definitely came in handy this week!

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is no loss and no gain this week; I stayed exactly the same. This is  a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  After last week’s epic weight loss, I didn’t expect much of a loss this week.  If I’m honest, I was hoping I could break into the 170s, and I actually saw that number for a split second on the scale at one point this week.  But I’m in no way disappointed with today’s result.  My body just needs to take a quick break for a second.  Plus, I’m PMSing, so I know I’ll  see a loss very soon.

I continued to enjoy the  green smoothies and lots of kale at dinner this week.  I love greens, and I’m really happy to be incorporating them much more into my meals.  Last week was a lot of leftover Easter ham, and I do wonder if the sodium in that contributed to the scale.  The ham itself is very lean and low in calories, but it does have some sodium.  Either way, I’ve eaten it all, and this week I’m back to using rotisserie chicken in my salads at lunch and more variety in my proteins at dinner.

In terms of my workouts, I’ll be getting in lots of cardio, as usual, but I’m super excited that Tone It Up‘s #bikiniseries is starting tomorrow! If you’re at all curious, sign up and give it a try.  I think you’ll be amazed with how much Karena and Katrina put into their workout plans, recipes, workout playlists, and fun challenges – all free. Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday: Turbo Kick + walk Sofi
Monday: elliptical / TIU: 3 Moves for a Sexy Upper Back + Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Tuesday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series workout (comes out Tuesday) + Sunset Stretch (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Wednesday: walk with Sofi + Body Combat (5:30pm) +/ TIU: Malibooty
Thursday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Cowabunga Routine
Friday: walk with Sofi / TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) + SunKissed Abs
Saturday: walk with Sofi

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday: Make a vision board writing out your goals and getting super focused on the top 3 things you want to accomplish by the end of this challenge.
  • Tuesday: Take your official BEFORE photo for the challenge. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but trust us, you’ll be so happy you took it! What you achieve in the next 8 weeks will amaze you and it’s important to be able to see how far you’ve come once summer is here. It’s also important to have a before photo when you submit your story at the end of the challenge for a chance to win the Grand Prize trip with Contiki Vacations! Oh yes!
  • Wednesday: Take out the list of goals or your vision board that you created on Monday. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and spend 5 minutes visualizing yourself achieving each one of them. Breathe deeply and remember to keep your mind positive throughout the entire process!! Picture how amazing you’re going to feel when you accomplish your goals.
  • Thursday: Send your friends some love! Write a note, text or email to a friend and surprise them with 3 things you love most about them.
  • Friday: Paint the town with smiles! Walk around your neighborhood  with friends and write notes of positivity on the sidewalk with chalk. Spread messages that will make people smile like, “You’re wonderful,” or “Never give up,” or “Today is YOUR day!” Be creative and share your photos with us on Instagram with hashtag #CreateYourSummer

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts: protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashews
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mixed with protein –  grilled salmon, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon, mahi mahi burgers, filet mignon.

I’ve been doing pretty well in terms of hobbies lately, especially reading and blogging. I haven’t started the photo book yet, but maybe later this week.  If not, very soon.

I absolutely love this quote today.  It’s something that I’ve kept in the front of my mind this entire time.  Yes, I had weight loss surgery which is an amazing tool, but the reason I’ve been so successful with my weight loss is because of my drive and determination. My daily decisions to workout, my daily decisions to eat well, my daily decisions to create consistency.  My dreams are coming true, and I am so excited by all that I’ve achieved thus far.  And along the way, I’ve done my best to make sure I enjoy each moment, each new NSV, each new size, each new ability.  Because those are what add up to an amazing new life.

20140427-082303.jpg

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

Read Full Post »

-1

Spring has (almost) sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 47 was back to reality – back to work after spring break.  I’m proud of how well this week went.  I planned and prepared all my meals, got in cardio workouts every day, and fit in two Tone It Up toning workouts (although I was hoping to get in a few more). Overall, it was a great week!

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is a loss of 5 pounds this week (!!!), and a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  Those two pounds I gained over my vacation flew off in the first two days of the week, and then the rest of the pounds came off a little at a time the rest of the week.  I haven’t had a loss this big in months!  Forgetting about the water weight of those two pounds, a 3-pound loss is a really strong loss for me, especially in a week where I didn’t get my period (I drop a lot of weight whenever that happens).

So what was different this week?  A couple of things:

  • Greens! I had green smoothies for breakfast several times this week.  I think adding the greens and the chia seeds to my morning meal helped start my day with lots of fiber (not to mention all those vitamins).  I also made sure to have a salad for lunch and/or sauteed greens for dinner.  I’m at the point in my post-op life where my system can handle more greens, which thrills me.  I love having plenty of greens in my diet, and it obviously works well with weight loss.
  • Water! I made sure to get in at least 8-10 glasses of water each day.  Even on days like Wednesday when my water intake was low by the afternoon, I made sure to make up for it in the evening with lots of herb tea. The rest of the week, the water went down fast. Yesterday I had 14 glasses!  Not only does water help with the metabolism, but it definitely fills the gap in between meals. Plus, I’m noticing that my skin always looks a lot better when I get plenty of water in throughout the day.

This week, I’m obviously going to continue more of the same on both these counts because they make me feel better and I love the results I’m getting.

In terms of my workouts, the plan for this week is to make sure I fit in Tone It Up workouts, along with cardio:
Sunday: walk with Sofi + bike ride / TIU: Easter Bunny Workout
Monday: Lateral X elliptical + walk with Sofi / TIU: Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Tuesday: bike ride + walk with Sofi / TIU: Honeymoon Ready Routine
Wednesday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Sunset Yoga
Thursday: Body Combat (5:30pm) / TIU: Summer Sizzle + Short & Sweet Shoulders
Friday: Lateral X elliptical + walk with Sofi / TIU: Love Your Body w/ HIIT
Saturday: spinning + walk with Sofi

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts: protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashew/pistachio nut mix
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mixed with protein – mahi mahi burgers, ginger-marinated cod, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon

I’m going to try to include more hobbies (besides working out and watching TV) into my weekly routine.  This week, I want to:

  • read at least 30 minutes a day
  • blog at least three times
  • put together a photo book of my Hawaii pictures on Shutterfly (didn’t get to this last week)

One last note for today, because it is Easter Sunday.  I wrote this on MFP this morning, and I wanted to make sure to share it here, too:

On this day, where we celebrate belief and faith, I’m reminded to continue to believe in myself and have faith that I will achieve every goal I dream of. Enjoy the day!! “

Believing in myself and having faith that I can accomplish everything thing I dream has gotten me so far in this weight loss journey, and in life.  I hope that everyone reading this is able to find that same faith in themselves, because it is powerful.  If you celebrate Easter,  hope  you have a wonderful day filled with family and friends.  For those who don’t, I hope you have a terrific, relaxing Sunday doing something that makes you smile!

 

cae73d070353f9229463f83b3d4bf043

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

Read Full Post »

-1

Spring has (almost) sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 46 was amazing – I was in Hawaii enjoying the sun, sand, and sights.  I’ve been writing separate posts about all of my adventures, from snorkeling in Hanauama Bay, hiking the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail, and hiking Diamond Head. The house in Kaneohe had gorgeous views, and I loved watching the sunrise every morning. I have a few more blog posts to write about my trip, which I plan on doing today.  The trip was everything I’d hoped it would be, and was definitely a reward for all my hard work this past year with my weight loss.  I loved my time in Hawaii, and the only thing I’d change next time would be having more people to hang out with…maybe even a romantic travel partner.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 185.0, which is a gain of 2 pounds this week, but a loss of 92 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 130 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 35 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. (So much for thinking I’d lost 3 pounds when I weighed myself on the scale in Hawaii the other day. It just goes to show how varied scales can be). While I never like seeing a gain, I’m not upset by this one.  Not only did I get my period this week, but I was traveling, and the plane ride alone is enough to add some water weight gain.  I know these pounds will drop off quickly this week once I settle back into my normal routines.

So, my plan for the week is to do just that, get back to what I’ve been doing because it works.  A huge part of feeling on track for me is being organized, so I spent the day yesterday unpacking, grocery shopping, and sprucing up the house.

20140413-093038.jpg

I bought these placemats last year, and I love that they bring a bit of Hawaii into my dining area. Plus, they’re bright and springy. The mums add a pop of white that is crisp and happy.

20140413-093102.jpg

These roses are from my garden in the backyard, and I absolutely love the color. They’re a bright pink/coral color, and I think they’re stunning.

Part of the groceries I bought yesterday were the makings for green smoothies.  I haven’t had a green smoothie since my surgery.  At first the greens would have been too harsh for my newly-sleeved stomach.  Then I just got into the routine of having my protein shake in the morning, and you know how it goes when you get into a routine.  But after seeing Bobbi‘s food diaries on MFP, I remembered how much I love green smoothies. I added 1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, 1 1/2 scoops of Isopure zero carb vanilla protein powder, about 2 cups of this great organic baby kale & chou frise mix I got on sale at Safeway, and 1/2 a cup of mango chunks, along with a packet of Truvia.  The result? An amazing green smoothie, the color of which just reminds me of spring.  It was fresh, delicious, and really filling.  Plus, I love that I can get an additional serving or two of greens at the beginning of my day. Because I have to pull out the blender and making the green smoothie involves a bit more time, I don’t think I’ll make a green smoothie every day this week, but I do plan to have them at least a few times, and I think it’s going to be a regular weekend selection.

20140413-093124.jpg

Nutrition for this smoothie: 278 calories, 42g protein, 18g carbs, 4g fiber, 5g fat.

In terms of my workouts, the plan for this week is to make sure I fit in 5 Tone It Up workouts, along with cardio:
Sunday: long walk with Sofi at the LG Creek Trail
Monday: Lateral X elliptical + walk with Sofi / TIU: Santorini Bikini
Tuesday: flow yoga + walk with Sofi / TIU: Sunkissed Abs
Wednesday: early morning (4:45am!) hybrid elliptical / TIU: Bikini Booty Workout
Thursday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Set the Bar Routine (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Friday: bike ride + walk with Sofi / TIU: Pura Vida Arms
Saturday: spinning + walk with Sofi

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts:protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashew/almond/mango trail mix
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mix with protein – mahi mahi burgers, ginger-marinated cod, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon

Plus, this week is going to be a fairly light one at work, which is nice after a week off.

I’m going to try to include more hobbies (besides working out and watching TV) into my weekly routine.  This week, I want to:

  • read at least 30 minutes a day
  • blog at least three times
  • put together a photo book of my Hawwaii pictures on Shutterfly

I had an amazing time on my vacation, but I’m really glad to be back home with so much to look forward to in the week ahead. It’s going to be a great one!

20140413-081926.jpg

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

Read Full Post »

As you guys know, I’ve gotten a TON of great recipes and meal ideas from Michelle over at The World According to Eggface. I love her segment, A Day in My Pouch, where she shows the fun foods she’s eating while staying WLS-friendly. The thing I love about the bento concept is that it provides instant portion control and organization. I was so impressed that I asked for a Bento of my own for my birthday.

My sister and I are heading to SeaScape for the day, along with our pooches, and our outing gave me the perfect opportunity to put together my very first on-the-go bento lunch. So today begins a periodic segment I’m going to call, What’s in My Bento?

20130713-084206.jpg

Orange: 2.5 oz of tuna mixed with mayo & mustard (I didn’t have any pickle relish)
Yellow: red bell pepper “scoops” (instead of using crackers – watching carbs)
Green: watermelon chunks
Blue: 1/2 a cookie dough Quest bar (for the ride home)

I’m going to be using my bento daily for my lunches once school is in session, and as I put together interesting combos, I’ll definitely share.  Maybe in a weekly post, showing a few bento lunches at once.

I hope you get out today and have a fantastic Saturday!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: