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Posts Tagged ‘confidence’

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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 43 was a bit overwhelming, if I’m honest.  Things are really busy at work, and I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day.  I still managed to eat well and to get my cardio workouts in, but I did let a few toning workouts slip by.  This next week is going to be just as busy, so I’m going to do my best to set things up today so that I don’t feel like I have no time for everything I have to do. Feeling organized is huge for me – it make all the difference in the world.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 184.6, which is a loss of 1.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 92.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 130.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 34.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m pleased with this week’s loss, especially considering I didn’t do many of the toning exercises that I’ve been doing 5 times a week for the past couple of months.  My eating has been great, though, and I did pretty well with my water intake, too.

More of the clothes I ordered for my Hawaiian vacation came in this week, and every single item looks as good or better than I’d hoped.  I don’t mean to sound conceited when I write that, but this is a whole new thing for me.  In the past when I ordered clothes online, it was always hit and miss as far as how the clothes would look.  Now it’s a whole different story because I have a whole different body.  It really is an amazing feeling.

Yesterday the high school I attended had an Alumnae Day of Service at a local charity, which fit in well with my volunteering for Lent.  One of my good friends attended, and I had a blast meeting a bunch of new friends.  There’s something about being an alumna from my school – we have an instant bond because of the shared experience of going to an all-girls Catholic school.  And not just because of wearing that plaid skirt; because of the values we were taught, the education we received, and the spirit of friendship that we formed.  It truly was an amazing experience, and I’m so grateful to my parents for sacrificing so much so that my sister and I could attend the school.

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A shot of a new friend and me sorting apples.

A great group shot of all of the alums who volunteered.

A great group shot of all of the alums who volunteered. The lady in the sun hat is in charge of food sorting at the center, and was our supervisor for the day.

This week the enormous changes I’ve undergone have become more evident to me.  In looking at photos I’ve been in with groups of friends lately (last weekend, this Friday night, and again yesterday) I can see that I’m a completely different person.  I’m not worried about how my body is going to look in pictures, because I know how hard I’ve worked.  It’s so freeing to just smile and capture the moment, rather than worry so much about what angle the camera is being held at. I see myself and I am proud of the lady being reflected back at me. A new confidence is emerging, and I am loving it!

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

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c3959dd8e615028a696c196daabc7017I wish that I didn’t have this story to share, but it so affected me this week that I think I have to tell it.

I think I mentioned a while ago that ever since surgery, my naturally curly hair had turned really wild and frizzy (frizzier than usual), and I really couldn’t do anything with it. So, I decided to treat myself to a keratin hair treatment with my mom’s stylist, J. It was pricey – $300, but the smoothing lasts 4 months the first time, and then 6 months at at time with subsequent treatments. J only uses formaldehyde-free keratin, which is actually good for the hair because it adds luster and protein, takes out the frizz, and completely smooths the hair out. It would leave my hair much less curly, but I liked that it wouldn’t make it stick straight. I had the treatment done on December 13th, and absolutely love the results:

Don't mind the no-makeup look - I blew out my hair at night before bed.

Don’t mind the no-makeup look – I blew out my hair at night before bed.

The only thing about the hair was that by the next day, it looked a lot flatter/less full than I would’ve liked:

2013-12-26 15.53.30 It also needed to get a bit cleaned up in the back (see the photo above), as well as a bit darker on the color. It had a bit more red in it than I would’ve liked. So I headed to my usual stylist, D, whom I’ve been going to for a few years. I told D that I wanted it to be a bit fuller somehow, and she suggested some layers, to which I said, “sure.” I did tell her that I want to let it grow so that it’s at least to my shoulders, or maybe a bit past. She started cutting A LOT off the top of my hair, and while I was a bit concerned, I didn’t worry too much, because I’m not a stylist, and I assumed D knew what she was doing. Then she started using a curling iron to add some volume to the top, and then added some curls to the sides, which was strange. I didn’t love the result of the styling she did, but I didn’t think too much of it, paid her, and left.

I had plans to meet up with a friend I haven’t seen since high school, so as soon as I got home, I jumped in the shower, re-washed my hair and started blowing it out again. I was horrified with what I saw next (and I actually can’t believe I’m posting these online):

Can you say, Long Island Medium? I think the look on my face says it all.

Can you say, Long Island Medium? I think the look on my face says it all. These pictures don’t look as bad as it was in real life.

I don’t know what the hell D was thinking, but this was horrible. I was completely crushed. I felt terrible. Seeing my hair like this brought me back to those feelings of ugliness I had when I was 315 pounds. Those feelings of not having anything to wear, of hating the way I looked. I haven’t felt that way in so long. I’ve actually be so happy with the way my hair was looking, because unlike with curly hair where I never know from day to day what it’s going to look like, with the straight style, I knew it always looked nice. Until now. This completely destroyed my self esteem and I was really depressed Thursday evening and most of Friday. I cancelled on my friend (who was so understanding), and changed plans with another friend so that we could stay in instead of heading out on Friday night.

I made the decision Thursday night that I wasn’t going to D ever again. My family was trying to convince me to tell her how upset I was, but I told them that I didn’t see the point. I didn’t want her anywhere near my hair, and without letting her have the chance to fix it, there was really no point in getting into it with her. I’m not one to shy away from confrontation, not that there would’ve been anything like that going on, but it was just so awkward to bring this up to her. So we’re done.

I spent most of Saturday praying that my hair would grow fast, because I seriously didn’t know what I was going to do for the next month or two.  All of that money wasted on a keratin treatment that wouldn’t show because of this f***ed up haircut.

Curly it was a bit better, but not much.

Curly it was a bit better, but not much. It was flatter on one side than the other, making the curls on one side really flat.

Then Saturday morning I got a call from J’s salon, telling me my mom had scheduled and paid for an appointment with J for Saturday afternoon.  How sweet of her!  I wasn’t sure what J was going to be able to do, but I loved her professionalism with the keratin treatment, and had always heard nothing but great things about her from my mom.  I knew J was a perfectionist, and wouldn’t stop until she got the cut/color/treatment just right. She was my hair 911.

As we were going over the haircut, J pointed out how uneven it was.  It was shorter on one side, had been cut into on the other, and had even been texturized, which is something that should never be done to my hair.  Not only that, but J said that there was no weight line, which my hair needs, so that it holds its shape at the bottom.  She wanted to make a few snips here and there, and I told her, “I have complete trust in you, J, and besides, it really can only get better from here.”  She spent so long making sure each strand was just right, and then explained what she was doing as she went.  Completely the opposite of the chop job D did on me.  I left the salon feeling hopeful, and looking forward to my next appointment with J in 6 weeks.  (That quote at the beginning of this post is SO true – and J is definitely that hard-to-find hairdresser).

I am thrilled with what J was able to do with the mess I brought to her salon.

I am thrilled with what J was able to do with the mess I brought to her salon. The smile is back!

You might read this post and think that I’m so vapid and superficial for letting something like hair affect me so much. I’d respond that hair is one of the first things people see – it’s something I wear every single day.  My hair has gone through a lot lately, what with it getting thinner, and losing so much of it for 3 months after WLS.  Now that it’s finally growing back, getting thicker, and looking good smoothed out after the keratin treatment, I feel better about myself.  It goes along with the new person I’ve become through my weight loss.  My confidence is one of my best traits, and I’m so thankful to have it back.

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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 Saturday. Saturday mornings I go to Zumba, so I’m already focused on health and fitness; it’s the perfect day to weigh in. Plus, Saturday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Saturday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

Week 2 on Jenny was busy! I was swamped at work – Dean for the Day on Monday, at work 12 hours Tuesday and Thursday, and hectic Wednesday and Friday. It’s a week like this past one that would have sent me reeling, but luckily having the Jenny Craig food came in really handy. I loved not having to think about what I was going to make and eat. The organization is built in, which is huge for me; it helped me feel in control and allowed me to make good choices. I absolutely feel that I’ve turned a corner in this battle of the bulge, and I’m finally feeling like I have the upper hand. I stayed 100% on program through a wild week, and I’m extremely proud of myself for that.

That’s great, Bella, but what were the results on the scale?!!

This morning I weighed in at 303.2, which is a loss of 1 lb this week. Which means I have 22 pounds to go to reach the pre-surgery requirement. Each day this past week I was watching the scale, seeing the same weight each day (down to the ounce), which was slightly frustrating because I was following the meal plan perfectly. Then on Thursday I had a tiny breakthrough, which was thrilling. I’ve lost small increments each day since then. I didn’t expect a huge loss this week, especially considering I lost 9.6 lbs last week and I didn’t get many workouts in. I’m really proud of my two-week total of 10.6 pounds lost. That’s a great number!

{I’m really glad that I’m weighing in at home and going by that number. Last week my JC consultant obviously didn’t record my weight correctly, because she said that I’d lost 3.6 lbs this week, yet their scale had me at around the same number I saw on my own scale this morning. (I always weigh 1-2 lbs more at JC because I’m wearing clothes). Overall the weight loss is more or less the same over these past two weeks, but I like a bit more accuracy in each week’s numbers}.

Last week I gave myself the goal of drinking 100 oz of water each day. With my hectic schedule, it just wasn’t possible. I did it both days of the weekend, but then just consumed 64 oz the rest of the day. I’m glad I got the 8 glasses in each day, which was no small feat in a week this nuts. The other problem area this week was the fact that I didn’t really workout. Monday I walked for hours as Dean, so that counted as my workout, but it wasn’t until today that I got another workout in. I need to change that this week, beginning today.

I also have a TON of grading to get done by 8am on Monday, so that’s going to be the main focus for my weekend. It’s supposed to be really hot tomorrow and Monday, so my plan is to take a break from the essays and go for a nice swim. Plus, grading poolside makes it much more palatable.

As for the rest of this week, I should have no obstacles in my path to working out at least 45 minutes each day. I foresee elliptical 5Ks, Zumba DVD/classes, OnDemand kickboxing, and maybe another swim or two in the workout mix this week. Hold me to it!

Until next Saturday, 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 Saturday. Saturday mornings I go to Zumba, so I’m already focused on health and fitness; it’s the perfect day to weigh in. Plus, Saturday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. Throughout the fall, I’ll be giving Saturday progress updates called Fabulous Fall Weigh-Ins.

If you guys have been following along this week, you know that it was my first week on Jenny Craig.  It’s my third time on the program, the last time being 9 years ago.  In that time, they’ve vastly improved the food, encouraged the idea of “volumizing” meals by adding in veggies, and kept all the convenience and organization that I loved.  They also have me eating 1750-1850 calories each day, which was a huge leap from what I had been doing on Kaiser’s pre-surgery plan.  At first I was concerned that the jump in calories would negatively affect my weight loss, but I should’ve known better.  Jenny Craig isn’t the top weight loss program in the country for nothing.

That’s great, Bella, but what were the results on the scale?!!

This morning I weighed in at 304.2, which is a loss of 9.6 lbs this week!  Which means I have 23 pounds to go to reach the pre-surgery requirement.  I am thrilled with this result!!  I feel wonderful, and as I mentioned in a reply to one of the comments I received yesterday, I really and truly know in my heart that I will get to the pre-surgery goal.

For the longest time, I’ve been hoping, wishing, and praying that I would make it, but in my heart of hearts I don’t think I truly believed it.  The doubt came from all the starts and stops.  The rollercoaster ride I’ve taken on the scale really destroyed my confidence in my ability to do this for myself.  Subconsciously I didn’t believe in myself, and maybe that’s where some of the self-sabotage came from – a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

Now that I’m seeing how easy this is on Jenny Craig, every single one of those doubts has been banished from my mind.  I don’t even question IF, I know it will be WHEN.  I haven’t felt this type of conviction in recent memory. Not when I did the medically supervised fasting; not when I did Medifast, twice; and not when I did any pre-surgery plan over the past two years. Part of this is the knowledge that if I don’t make the goal weight soon, the surgeon will kick me out of the Kaiser program for not being a good WLS candidate.  That weighs heavily on my mind now that time is also a factor.  But the bigger part is the fact that Jenny Craig works, plain and simple.

This week I’m going to focus on drinking 100 oz of water every day.  I know that water really helps me drop weight, and it keeps me feeling and looking better.  Hydration, people!  Anyone want to join me?

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

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

As I stepped on the scale this morning for the weight check in that I do every few days, I was confident that  I would see a drop in the number.  I’ve been doing everything right.  My intentions and my actions are one and the same: if I say I’m going to do it, it gets done.

I think part of this comes from the new way that I’m handling my weigh-ins.  Rather than waiting for once a week “weigh-in days,” I’m weighing in every few days.  This is beneficial for a few reasons:

  • No main “weigh in day” means no “cheat day.”  I could potentially weigh myself any day, so I’m always consistent in following my high-protein, low-carb diet.
  • By checking in every few days I’m really able to see how my body is affected by things like lack of water, too much sodium, overexertion, and lack of sleep. Conversely, I can see the dramatic results of eating right, working out, and getting enough sleep.
  • I don’t feel the same pressure I did on weigh-in days in terms of reporting out on this blog.  That was internal pressure that I was placing on myself, by the way, not anything I ever felt from any of you.  Reporting my weight loss on a monthly basis helps me see the bigger picture.

Now that it’s been one month (I started on Aug. 28th), I can say that I am so proud of the fact that I have lost 10.8 pounds within the 1st month and 20.8 lbs overall.  If I keep up this progress, and I’m confident that I can, I will be at my pre-op goal by the middle of December.  Then I’ll just maintain my weight loss through the holidays (no easy task!) and I should be on track to have the VSG surgery at the beginning of 2012.  Perfect!

But the scale isn’t the only measure of my confidence; I’m also feeling so much better about the way I look.  I have been spending time and putting in effort to look my very best.  From my outfits to my accessories.  From my hair to my makeup.  I’m looking good, and that gives me the boost of self-esteem that I really need to keep my motivation strong. And I’m not the only one noticing, I’m hearing compliments from co-workers, students, family members, and old friends who I haven’t seen in a while. Even better, clothes that haven’t looked good on me in more than a year are finally fitting well/getting loose.  New sizes needed soon is a huge confidence booster!

I’m also noticing that my portions are naturally getting smaller.  This is truly the first time that I can say that I don’t want to eat as much as I used to.  Case in point – last night I was making beef kabobs and I would have normally had two.  But then I looked at them, and entered the calories into MyFitnessPal,  and realized that one was more than enough.  That’s progress!

Preparing my meals is a lot easier with these ready-t0-drink shakes and bars.  I feel so organized and easy-going in the morning knowing that all I have to do is throw things into my lunch bag, rather than preparing a bunch of food, and the cost of the Premier Nutrition shakes/bars can’t be beat.  Concentrating on my one main meal still allows me to be creative in the kitchen and feel like I’m taking good care of myself.  Plus, the money I save on breakfast and lunch lets me splurge on fancier proteins for dinner. Win-win.

Even my workouts are getting better.  I have so much more stamina than I used to, and I’m challenging myself to try new and different machines, routines, and classes.  Going to the gym is becoming a time that I think of as “me time” rather than a chore.  I might walk in stressed out with my long to-do list or something that happened that day, but I walk out feeling accomplished, happy, and stress-free.

The bottom line is, I am feeling confident and happy.  Life is good, and I love knowing that a huge part of that is thanks to DOING LIFE.

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