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Posts Tagged ‘commitment’

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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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.

As you guys know, this was my first week of school, and I have to admit that even though I was prepared, and made my breakfasts and lunches ahead for each day of the week, I was worried about what this week would be like for me.  I was tired, worn out, and did I say TIRED because I was waking up at 5ish and going to bed around 11:30 (not enough sleep).  Plus, the first week back to school leaves everyone really tired as they adjust to the new daily routine.  From tip to toe I was sore – aching feet from standing for 6+ hours straight, sore throat from 6+ hours talking, and sore mind from, well, everything.  But despite all of that, I am proud to say that overall this week was a huge success.  I only got in a formal workout twice, which leaves lots of room for improvement.  What I did well was staying up and active until dinner time.  I may not have been on the elliptical at the gym, but from the time I came home until it was time to eat, I didn’t sit down once.  I walked Sofi, cleaned up my breakfast/lunch containers,did laundry, straightened the house, watered the garden, set out clothes for the next day, made tomorrow’s breakfast, and got the evening meal going.  Doing that really kept me from snacking unnecessarily and from getting super lazy.  Success!

{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 lost 3 pounds this week. So, I have 23 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal.  I am thrilled that I lost 3 lbs this week, my first week without Phentermine in over 3 months.  Not only was it a huge transition week because of back to school , but I also had a bit of merriment in the form of: a Friday afternoonTGIF Happy Hour with colleagues (1 Blue Moon beer), a second TGIF with my sis Friday evening (2 glasses of Slo Down Wines SC, which is the best wine I’ve had in ages), and a dinner party (excellent cooking post to follow later tonight) with my parents and sister on Saturday (2 glasses of chardonnay, 1 flute of champagne). For someone who hasn’t imbibed in alcohol most of the summer (the last time was 4th of July), I had quite a few drinks this weekend).  This weight loss shows that I can keep it up with a busier schedule. 

One thing I attribute my success to besides staying on my toes (literally) most of the day, is that I have dramatically cut back on bread and butter.  Almost every day of the summer I’d have a slice of whole wheat toast with a bit of butter along with my green smoothie.  It was fine and moderate, but I do think all that butter (and wheat) added up.  Having the breakfast cookie everyday this week kept me full for hours, but also cut down on the animal fat in my diet.  Eating salads at lunch has been great for upping my veggie count and keeping my grains in check.  More of the same on the food front this week.

Looking at the week ahead in terms of exercise, I’m not going to allow myself to skip workouts just because I’m feeling tired.  This my life for the  next 10 months, and if I want to have the surgery before the year’s end, I need to keep on track.  I’d like to get a workout in daily, even if it’s a 20-minute OnDemand kickboxing routine (I did one last week that kicked my ass in a good way and that I need to repeat this week). I’m not going to pressure myself by saying I’m going to do these types of workouts on these exact days this week.  I would like to make it to the pool at least once or twice while it’s still open and the weather is still warm, but other than that, I’m going to allow myself to play the exact workout by ear.  Here are some possible choices:

  • swimming
  • bike riding
  • elliptical 5k
  • Aqua class
  • Zumba
  • extra long walk (3 miles) with Sofi
  • OnDemand kickboxing, general cardio, Bollywood, etc.
  • Biggest Loser DVDs
  • Wii Fit as a warmup (I haven’t used it in over a year).

The school year is already off to an amazing start, which has me excited about all that I can accomplish in my life outside of school.  I realize that my mood and attitude about what’s going on in my work life dramatically effects how I perform in the rest of my life, especially in terms of my weight loss.  So a successful and happy school year equals a successful time on the scale.

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

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I first wrote this post about birthdays back in 2007, and since today is my 41st birthday, I thought I’d share an excerpt with you.

Growing up, I loved having my birthday in the summer because it meant I didn’t have to go to school on my birthday. Sure, I missed out on cupcakes with the class, but I got fireworks. I think in that trade-off, I got the better deal, don’t you? A summer birthday meant that most people were more relaxed and ready to have fun.

My parents always made birthdays a big deal. Bigger than Christmas, because it was YOUR special day. My sister and I would get lots of presents, sure, but the best part about our birthdays was that the whole day felt like a huge celebration. The birthday girl got to decide what we had for dinner that night — whether it was a favorite recipe that Mom made or a restaurant you wanted to try out. Since my birthday fell in the summer, we usually took some kind of day trip for my birthday. We could go anywhere I wanted to — San Francisco, Santa Cruz, a movie at the mall, whatever. Birthdays are usually celebrations, but in my family, they were like our own special holiday.

When I got old enough to work, I always took my birthday off, because it was my special day. As a teenager, I’d usually do the family thing in the morning and earlier part of the day and then hang out with friends later. Or, we’d all go out to dinner, my parents’ treat.

Birthdays are always a time of reflection for me.  I take stock of the past year of life and celebrate my successes and see what I can learn from the disappointments.  And I usually celebrate it with food and drink alongside family and friends.

But not this year.

This year I told everyone that I didn’t want to go out for drinks or to a special dinner for my birthday.  A few of the people were surprised that I was saying this, but once I explained my thinking, they understood.  This summer my priority is weight loss.  I’ve been serious about it in my actions, and just because today is my birthday, I don’t want to blow all of my progress.  One day of indulging can throw me off for an entire week, as evidenced by the Father’s Day BBQ I had a few weeks ago.  This time of year is tough because my dad’s birthday is a week before mine, then mine, then 4th of July, then my niece’s birthday.  Whew!  Lots of celebrating.

So I asked everyone if we could do non-food-related things to celebrate and keep it all a little more low key.  Plus this year isn’t one that ends in a 0 or a 5, so there’s no real need to go nuts with the parties. I’m still going to celebrate:

  • I had iced tea and opened presents with my parents on Sunday.
  • I decided a great gift to myself would be to start today with a 9am bikram yoga class, with my friend Ani. (I’m also buying an unlimited 1-month pass for myself, and the plan is to start my day with Bikram at 9am as many days as possible for the month of July).
  • Afterward, I think I’ll head for a dip in the pool to cool off and refresh after all that sweaty bikram.
  • This afternoon my sister and one of my good friends are taking me to get pedicures. Lots of ways to be social without including food and drinks.
  • Tonight I want to keep things simple – take a leisurely walk with Sofi, read a great book in the backyard, and enjoy the evening quietly at home.

Because if I can stick to my goals this year I could almost be at my goal weight by my next birthday. How amazing will that be?!!

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As I mentioned last week, I’m going to give updates every Wednesday on my Lenten promise of giving up excuses.  Since today is Wednesday AND it’s also Leap Day, I figured that I’d do a bit of a combo post.

I knew that no matter what, I had to make today count.  It’s a bonus 24 hours, and I didn’t want to waste it just sitting around.  I wish I had today off so I really could have done something fun, but since it was a workday, I think I made the best of it. So, nothing too exciting with the extra day, but I can say that I’m ending it feeling proud of myself, which is always good.

In terms of my No Excuses Lenten Goal, I did a great job all week.  I worked out 6 days, and took Sunday off as a rest day to catch up on errands, do laundry, clean the house etc.  Monday I was right back at the gym working out, despite the fact that I was back to work after a week off.  Usually the first Monday back is so tiring, but I didn’t let that prevent me from getting in a killer workout where I burned 1394 calories at the gym! Tuesday I did a DVD workout at home, but I still burned over 700 calories.  Today I was back at the gym, and I burned another 900 calories (I did less cardio today than on Monday).  My muscles are sore, and I’m feeling stronger day by day.  As I wrote yesterday, I was a bit discouraged to see the scale up slightly, but again, I’m not going to use that as an excuse not to workout, or to veer off plan.  I know that eventually all this hard work is going to pay big dividends, even if I have to wait to see them.

Today at the gym I met up with one of the aides from school (J) who just so happens to be a certified personal trainer.  He works out with the wrestling coach all the time, and they’re great friends, so it was fun to have someone to help me make sure I was doing my workouts correctly.  Plus, this guy is really good looking, so that’s always a bonus. It’s too bad that he’s only 27, but as ScaleWarfare told me, “he may be too young to date, but he’s not too young to have fun with.”  Although that’s all in my head at this point, but you never know… 😉

But back to the training tips I got from J.  He mentioned that to see significant progress (i.e. –  to see weight loss results), I really should be working out each muscle group at least a couple of times a week.  I was thinking that I could do strength training Monday (arms/chest/back/shoulders), Wednesday (legs), and Friday (some combo of the two), but he said that that type of schedule would give me too many days in between Friday and Monday.  He suggested breaking it up a bit more, and told me to work on a schedule that I thought I could do and then send it to him to see if it looked good.  It’s so nice to have someone like that whom I  can ask questions of and not have to pay $50/hr.

Although I’m really tired right now, I’m also really glad that I went to the gym and got in a great workout again today.  I know that as I keep stringing days like this (where my food and exercise are on point) together, something great is bound to happen.

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Before I begin, I must admit that the idea for this post came from reading this one from Scale Warfare and this one from Merry.  I’m all about making goals, plans, and ways to help myself succeed, so this is the perfect post to begin 2010.

Each of these goals is another step towards success!

Bella’s 10 Goals for 2010

  1. Track what I eat every single day. Even if it’s not going to be pretty, I want to make sure that I’m being honest with myself.  Accountability is a huge part of eating on plan, and I want to make sure that I don’t shortchange myself by living in denial.  WW makes it easy with eTools and I also have the WW app on my iPhone, so there really is no excuse not to log it all in.
  2. Send Scale Warfare nightly food journal emails. This was a great way for me to stay accountable to someone other than myself.  Knowing that I had to send someone the journal made me think twice about whether I should eat something.  Plus, Scale Warfare isn’t judgmental, but I know that she’ll give me a good kick in the butt if I need it.
  3. Keep Sundays as my “get prepared” day. After waking up a bit late and reading the Sunday paper, I’m going to go to the grocery store to stock up on healthy food for the week and then prepare at least 2 big dinners that I can eat throughout the week.  I also want to make sure that I’ve portioned out all of my weekly lunchtime snacks, as well.
  4. Make dinner for myself at least 6 nights a week. This won’t be too difficult, especially if I continue on my Sunday ritual.  I do want to give myself at least one night a week (most likely Friday or Saturday) to go out or eat other food.  Still keeping it healthy, but allowing for some social interaction, as well.  Cuz a girl can’t stay home all the time, right?
  5. Move my body for at least 30 minutes every day. Some days this “movement” will be rigorous, such as when I’m in the gym at a training session with Jimmy.  Or when I’m doing the C25K training.  Other days it will be more laid back, like playing Wii Fit Plus, taking a walk, or riding my bike.  No matter what, I want to make sure that I’m active this year.
  6. Run a 5K by the end of June 2010. This is what Rubenesque Ladies Running is all about.  See the widget on the sidebar for more info, or click on “Bella’s RLR” tab above. This is going to be a huge challenge, but if I stick to my training program, I know I’ll be able to do it.
  7. Lose 82 pounds in 2010. This is an ambitious goal, but I think it’s one that I can reach.  It’s less than 2 pounds a week (1.57, to be exact), which is what everyone says is a healthy amount to lose.  Plus, it would be a little over halfway to my goal weight, which would be amazing.  Plus, it would mean that I  am finally in Onederland – under 200 pounds.
  8. Try 1 new recipe per week. I did this last year, and while I didn’t quite make my goal of 52 new recipes, I did make quite a few.  It was fun, and I had a good time discovering that not only do I love cooking, but that I’m a good cook (if I do say so myself!).  I have tons of cookbooks, magazines, and internet recipes.  The first step for me is going to be organizing all of it into a binder with page protectors so that my “new recipes” are accessible and ready when I want to try them out.
  9. Earn my rewards. On my “Bella’s Progress” page, I have a whole list of amazing rewards that I’ve planned for myself when I hit certain weight goals.  I haven’t earned any of them yet, but I want to make 2010 the year that I get to spend some money on myself because I’ve earned it through hard work and real results.
  10. No out of control eating. This is huge for me, because it is the #1 thing that derailed my progress last year.  I would do so well all day, but then it was like something took over my body (and mind) when I got home, and all I wanted to do was eat and eat and eat.  Most of the time the food I was eating wasn’t “bad,” but anything in such large quantities isn’t good.  This year I will repeat the following statements whenever I start to have that “out of control” feeling:

I am stronger than this; I can be in control of myself and what I eat.  I’m worth more than this.  I want to reach my goals more than I want this food.

So, there you have them.  These goals for myself are now “out there” in the universe, and I know that I will achieve them (or get pretty darn close, anyway).  I have a strong sense of determination, more than I ever have in the past.  Not only that, I am taking action so that I can achieve all that I am determined to do.  Of course, along with those 10, I am going to keep blogging at least 5 days a week, and if last year was any indication, probably more.

What are your goals for yourself this year?

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If you don’t dare to begin, you don’t stand a chance of getting there. ~ Unknown

They say that the hardest part of beginning any journey is the first step.  For me, I’ve had a lifetime of first steps, but the most difficult seem to be the 2nd and 200th and 2000th.  Starting is easy, the hard part is keeping it up.  So I read this quote and dare myself to begin a true weight loss journey.  One where I don’t give in to every small temptation, but one where I keep a renewed commitment to myself at the forefront of my mind.  If I can’t, then I’ll definitely never reach the finish line.

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