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Posts Tagged ‘#createyoursummer’

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 64 was quite a whirlwind, evidenced by the fact that I skipped reporting on Week 63 last week (I actually didn’t have a loss during Week 63), and missed my usual weigh-in report this Wednesday.  Nevertheless, this week was an amazing one for so many reasons.  I started a new job, was getting used to an entirely new schedule, enjoyed a great Trombone Shorty concert on Wednesday, and spent time with friends at the Italian Festa yesterday.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 175.2, which is a loss of 2.2 pounds this week, and a loss of 101.8 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 139.8 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 25.2 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really excited with my weight loss progress this week, because my schedule was such a drastic change from what I’ve been used to.  Not only are my lazy days of summer gone, but this new position has me running around to 5 different campuses, scheduling multiple meetings a day, and working longer hours in the office than I would as a teacher.  I tried my best to wake up at 5am to get workouts in before work, but wasn’t able to any of the days.  Still, I packed my gym bag and went after work a few times, even though I was dog-tired.  I also took the time on Monday night to prep meals for the week, making sure I stayed on track.  I’m really proud of my commitment to my health in the face of all these extra responsibilities.

To set myself up for success this week, I’m going to meal prep tonight.  Breakfasts are easy – my protein shakes are simple to make and help me keep my protein intake high.  Lunches that I’ve been loving are salads made of spinach paired with all sorts of protein – tuna, chicken, and shrimp.  Dinners this week will be a nice combo of protein,  veggies, and complex carbs: lentils with turkey meatballs and spinach, mahi mahi burgers and zoodles, and chicken with summer squash.

I’m still going to give it my best to get up and workout before I head into work, but I am also ok with my backup plan of hitting the gym after work.  The gym is on my way home, so it makes it convenient to stop in before I get too relaxed.  Plus, working out after work is a great way to switch gears from work mode to relaxation mode.  I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself to workout in the mornings these first few weeks, until I get used to my new schedule.  As long as I get my workouts in, that’s all that really matters.

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

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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 62 was another great one. I got in good, solid workouts all week…that is until I went to a SJ Giants game on Saturday night and got hit in the ankle with a stray ball.  Ouch!  It immediately bruised and swelled up, prompting two unplanned rest days on Sunday and Monday.  Thankfully, yesterday I was able to get in a good sweat session on the stationary bike, and I even took Sofi for a quick walk around the neighborhood last night, so I’m on the mend.  The highlight of the week – the highlight of the summer – was riding roller coasters at Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The week was also filled with fun with friends & family – lunches, a shopping splurge, a picnic at a free summer concert, and a movie with my dad.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 177.4, which is a loss of 1 pound this week, and a loss of 99.6 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 137.6 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 27.4 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m actually really happy with my loss this week because my ankle is still pretty swollen, which may mean I’m retaining a bit of water.  Either way, it’s a loss during a week where I enjoyed lots of great food and didn’t get to work out as hard as I would’ve hoped the past few days. Still, I’m really glad that I’m seeing numbers on the scale that I haven’t seen since my early 20’s.  My body is looking fit, lean, and strong.  Even my thighs, which are my major problem zone, are showing improvement. I’m at such a great place in this journey, and even though the progress is slow, I’m proud that I am still making progress.

One week from today I’ll be at a professional development day for the new school year, followed by another on Thursday, and then the first required teacher workday at my school.  Which means I have one week left of summer vacation!  This summer has really flown by.  I’ve had a great, relaxing, rejuvenating summer.  There wasn’t a “wow” trip, but it was filled lots of other little moments that I’ll relish.  Almost-daily morning workouts with Tinkerbell to begin the day in a fantastic way, dates that gave me butterflies, tending to my beautiful flowers in my garden, loud laughter over drinks with the girls, fun bike rides all around the neighborhood, quiet talks with best friends, picnics at our weekly music concerts in the neighborhood, fun with my nieces (including a Zia and me day), shopping trips splurging on new items, tons of time with Sofi, and lots of time spent driving the Beetle with the top down, and lots of meals shared with the people I care about most.  I did every single thing on my #createyoursummer list (except that Hawaiian-themed party), which makes me immensely happy. I really lived life, got out and got social, and made each moment count. So many fun memories that will carry me through those crazy days of the coming school year.  One of the things I’m planning to do over the next week is to print out a bunch of the hundreds of pictures I snapped this summer to put them up in my classroom.  The kids love seeing the photos, and I do, too.  It’s a way to carry the magic of the summer throughout the rest of the year.

My goal for this week is to make the most of it.  To enjoy every minute and create more memories to add to my summer collection.  2014-06-21 07.44.31

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

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Saturday, August 2nd – a day I’d been anticipating for more than 20 years.

You see, that was the last time I had actually ridden a roller coaster, and then just barely.  My memory is a bit fuzzy with the details from that fateful day 20 years ago, the last day I was able to ride a roller coaster.  The day my weight changed from “she’s so pretty if she’d just lose a bit of weight” to “too fat to ride a roller coaster.”  I think I was at Great America, squishing myself into a ride, saying a silent prayer that the safety bar would click into place.  Only this time the prayer went unanswered because the bar wasn’t going to click easily.  The attendant came over, about to tell me I had to get off the ride, and he must’ve seen the tears flooding my eyes and the pleading look on my face, because he took pity on me and let me ride the ride anyway.  Totally unsafe, but if given the choice between getting hurt on a ride that I wasn’t completely secured in or the mortification of being asked to get off the ride because I was too fat, I’d gladly take the chance of getting hurt.  After that ride, I never risked it again on a roller coaster.  And I got bigger, gained more weight, and knew that riding roller coasters was a thing of the past for me.

But in all these years, I never gave up the hope that someday I’d ride them again.  I put it on my #createyoursummer wishlist for ToneItUp.  I have it on my bucket list.  I even mentioned it to TR on one of our first dates when he asked me what my plans for my summer vacation were.  The problem had been none of my friends, or even my nieces, wanted to ride roller coasters with me.  It seems very few shared my love of speed, daring, and adventure.  TR was one of the only people who seemed even remotely interested in joining me, and he was actually really enthusiastic about it.  He even mentioned it again on the night of our goodbye phone call.  So about a week ago when I realized that the days of summer were  quickly disappearing, I texted TR and asked if he’d still be up for riding roller coasters with me, which he was.  We figured out a date, and now I just had to wait.  And you guys know how great I am with waiting.

That entire week I had a lot of trouble sleeping.  I’d wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about how the day would go.  About whether TR and I would have fun or if it would be awkward now that our relationship was relegated to something between dating and the dreaded “friend zone.”  About whether or not I’d be able to ride any of the rides.  About what I was going to wear.  About what the weather would be like.  About every single detail.  Friday night was the worst, I was giddy with anticipation and trying to sweep any doubts or dread out of my mind, until I finally just got up at 5:30am, as excited and anxious as a kid waiting for Santa Claus.

I picked TR up at 9am and we drove in the Beetle with the top down, even though it was an overcast morning.  As it turned out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of our rapport.  The conversation flowed as easily as ever, and I felt as comfortable with him as I always had.  We made excellent time and got to the Boardwalk in 30 minutes.

My heart was pounding out of my chest from the moment we drove by and I saw this sign.

My heart was pounding out of my chest from the moment we drove by and I saw this sign.

After finding the ticket booth and buying bracelets  that would let us go on unlimited rides (TR bought both our bracelets, which was incredibly generous of him, especially given the fact that I invited him and had been planning on paying for both of us.  In some ways it made the day even more special, because it was like a gift), TR asked me which ride I wanted to start with.  “The Giant Dipper!!!” I immediately responded.  “Starting off with the big one, I like it!” he said.  And I told him, that that’s how I like to live my life – do it big or don’t do it at all.

Because we’d gotten there so early and were among the first people at the Boardwalk, we had a miniscule line to wait in.  But it didn’t stop me from being ridiculously squirmy.  I was so excited, nervous, & anxious, and I couldn’t keep my thoughts from zipping around my head. Would I fit? Would the bar close?  Would my heart ever stop beating so hard?  Would we have fun?  The list went on and on.  I think I verbalized a bit of it, and TR just tried to reassure me that YES I would fit without any problems, that YES the bar would close with plenty of room.  If he could read my mind the poor guy might’ve run in the other direction from this crazy girl he was standing next to.  I must’ve been giving off some kind of vibe because right before it was our turn to get on the ride, the man in front of us turned around and said, “she’s more excited than my son to ride this ride!”

Finally, the moment of truth arrived.  It was my turn to get on the ride and sit down.  Even as I was doing it, I kept thinking, “please, God, let me fit.”  Of course I fit, with plenty of room!  The bar came down with no issues, and before I could even say anything, we were off, swept into the darkness of the ride, making our ascent to the top of the coaster before that first and best plummet.  The ride was SO much fun, but it was all a blur because all I was thinking the entire time was, “I’m doing it! I fit in the ride.  I’m small enough to fit in a roller coaster.  I can ride The Giant Dipper!!!”  

As we got off the ride, I was completely overwhelmed.  A wave of emotion washed over me.  I was so dizzy that I grabbed TR’s arm to steady myself, but then worrying that he’d think I was being too forward or trying to be romantic, I dropped it.  Tears were in my eyes, and I was trying to explain what I was feeling.  I apologized for acting so strangely, to which he replied, “you have nothing to apologize for.”  He really is an amazing person.  So I asked if we could walk down to the beach, to be near the waves, because the ocean always calms me.  He said of course, and as soon as we sat down, I felt better.  As I was sitting in the sand next to TR, I was talking a mile a minute, beginning the “ugly cry,” looking out at the ocean for strenth, and trying to capture all that I was experiencing. It was something along the lines of:

I am so excited that we just did that! I can’t believe we just rode The Giant Dipper!!!  I am sorry that I’m crying, I didn’t expect to react this way. Actually,  I don’t know how I expected to react.  After not being able to do something that you love for over 20 years and then finally being able to do it, it’s just crazy.  More than any number on a scale, more than any size I’m wearing, doing this today is amazing to me.  It’s something that I thought about, wished for, and wanted for so long.  And I can finally do it!  I’m finally a NORMAL person.  I know it’s crazy to you that I thought I wouldn’t fit. But even now, after losing all of this weight, I still don’t always see myself as I really am.  I’m surprised by how small I am now.  I’m surprised when I see pictures of myself in the same way that I used to surprise myself by how big I looked in pictures when I was heavy.  My head is still catching up to all of these changes.  And I guess that’s why with you I showed so many insecurities.  I’m such a confident person in every other aspect of my life, but I’ve always been insecure about my weight.  And even now that I have lost all this weight and I’m so proud of myself, I’m still getting used to this new body.  To this new person I’ve become.  From the outside, no one might know that I’ve lost all this weight, but underneath my clothes, there are still issues.  Things that I wish looked better, were tighter, or whatever.  I’ve worked so hard, and I wish all that hard work really showed and that I didn’t have any loose skin to feel weird about.  And this whole dating thing is so new to me.  I didn’t date for so long, and then I find someone like you that I like so much, and it’s so great.  And I totally understand where you’re coming from with the whole kids thing, so don’t worry. I heard you.  I just wish it could be different, but I get that it can’t.  And that’s ok.  I’m so glad that you’re here to share this with me today. This was awesome.”

And TR was really great about my little meltdown.  He said it wasn’t a meltdown, and that now he understood that I wasn’t afraid to actually ride the roller coaster, but that was nervous about fitting in the seat.  I told him it was never about being scared of going too fast on the roller coaster – that it could never be too fast or too high or too wild for me – that I loved all that.  And he got it.  He also said that we all have insecurities and that I never came across to him as insecure, which was really sweet of him to say, although I’m not sure how true it is.  While we were sitting on the beach something pretty incredible happened – two dolphins were right near the shore, swimming around.  They probably shouldn’t have been there, it was probably dangerous for them to be that close to the shore, but I took it as a sign.  That the day was going to be amazing.  That TR was exactly the person I was supposed to be sharing this experience with.  And that I could just calm down and enjoy it.  Which is what I did.

2014-08-02 10.48.44 Although at the next ride, the UnderTow, I did have a few moments of worry creep back in.  There was a sign saying that guests should check to make sure they could fit in the seats, because they were bucket seats, and smaller than on the other rides.  I asked TR if I should check if I could fit, and he said, “you can if you want to, but you’re going to fit.  With room to spare. You don’t have to worry.”  So I didn’t check ahead of time and just took it on faith that I’d fit without a problem.  And you know what, I did.  Plenty of room.  No worries at all.  It was at that point that I really just let all the insecurities and doubts go and just enjoyed the day.

As you can see, there was plenty of room in the seat.  I love the action shot of the two of us.  LOL.

As you can see, there was plenty of room in the seat. I love the action shot of the two of us. LOL.

We rode the Giant Dipper four times, the Under Tow twice, and the Log Ride once. I relished the fact that I could ride ANY ride on the Boardwalk, I could fit into ANY seat. That nothing could keep me from these roller coasters ever again! It was such empowerment, such freedom. As if I could fly. It was a remarkable feeling.

TR commented that I look "so tan and ripped" in this photo.  :D

TR commented that I look “so tan and ripped” in this photo. (I’ve never been complimented on my arms before, so that was very cool, even if it wasn’t quite accurate).

TR said that he was inspired by my accomplishment and wanted to conquer a bit of his own fear – a fear of heights, so he agreed to go on the gondola ride with me. Which was so impressive and endearing.  I give him so much credit for doing it, but the ride crept along at a snail’s pace and he was pretty shaky and white-knuckling it the whole way across.  “We won’t be taking that one again,” he said, and I completely understood.  That’s the thing about our dynamic that I think is so rare and so incredible – we can be completely open and honest with each other, revealing our vulnerabilities, and appreciating each other all the more because (rather than in spite) of them.

2014-08-02 15.14.15

Spending the day riding roller coasters was every bit as wonderful as I had hoped, and probably moreso than I could have ever imagined.  It was thrilling, exciting, and incredibly fun. The day was fantastic in a way that I can’t find the words for.  It was day that I will never, ever forget. It was living my dreams and fulfilling long-held desires.  It was the highlight of the summer of 2014. It was perfect.

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bilbl_superThis is the last week of the Tone It Up #CreateYourSummer #BikiniSeries, and I’m determined to finish it with a bang!  I’m well on my way to completing exceeding my goal of logging 150 miles of cardio (#150bysummer) during the 8 weeks of the Bikini Series.  Here’s the plan:

Sunday:  walking! First thing this morning with my mom & later in the afternoon with Sofi
Monday: meeting a co-worker at the gym.  C25K, W5, D1 (which is running 8 straight minutes!) + TIU: Bikini Series Arms, Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD), & Sunkissed Abs + swimming in the early afternoon
Tuesday: meeting Tink at the gym at 7am. Elliptical + TIU: BikiniThighs  + Bikini Abs + Daisy Dukes Leg & Booty Routine (coming out on Tuesday morning)
Wednesday: Meeting Tink at the gym at 7am. C25K, W5, D2 + TIU: Sunrise Routine (Beach Babe DVD) + Bikini Yoga + Itty Bitty Abs (1-3 rounds)
Thursday: Making Waves Cardio (elliptical) + TIU: Bikini Body + Bikini Body 2
Friday: TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) + Bikini Abs (2 rounds)
Saturday: 1st day of summer! C25K, W5, D3  + TIU: Pink Flamingo (2 rounds) + swimming!

Even though the Bikini Series will be over by Saturday, the great thing about Tone It Up is that the weekly workout schedules don’t stop.  I’ll be following their toning plan throughout the summer, and beyond.  I post my daily workouts on Instagram, so follow me (or look at the sidebar of this blog) to see what I’m doing!

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bilbl_superThis week is bananas for me at school – busy days, and a few events in the evening, too.  Which means several more days waking up at 4:00am to make sure I can fit these workouts in.  It hasn’t been easy waking up that early, but I’ve been doing a decent job of it these past two weeks.

Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday:  20-mile bike ride with a friend
Monday: stair workout (6 rounds up & down of 225 stairs) + 2.41-mile walk in 37:19 w/ mom + swimming/playing in the pool with nieces & sis.
Tuesday: Rest Day
**Wednesday: TIU: Making Waves Routine (elliptical) + TIU: Sunrise Routine (Beach Babe DVD) / PM workout: Sunset Routine
**Thursday: C25K: Week 4, Day 2 + TIU: Ab Workout Playlist + Bikini Booty
Friday: TIU: Biker Babes + TIU: Take Me to the Sea
Saturday: TIU: Pura Vida + long walk with Sofi

**4:15am workouts

I’m going to try to walk Sofi on Wednesday – Friday in addition to these workouts, but it will just depend how the days go.

I’m excited about this workout plan because it’s challenging, yet also doable. I like the variety in my cardio because I think it’s really important, and the TIU toning is really showing up.  In fact, my friend Di said that I look really toned when she saw me on Sunday.  Which means that even though my weight has remained the same, I think I’m losing inches and firming up. Plus, I have a lot of fun creating the photo collages and checking in on Instagram with the TIU community.

This week’s C25K comes with 5 minutes of straight jogging, which is daunting, but I’m going to remember to s-l-o-w it down and just push through.  My legs are never the issue; it’s my breathing that become difficult, so I know that slowing down will really help.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my goal in beginning C25K again is to be able to wog/jog/run the MOOnlight 5K on July 12. Not run/walk, but to run it (however slowly) all the way through.

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As you guys know, I’ve been loving the ToneItUp‘s workouts since mid-January.  I’ve done them 5 days a week, every week since I began, only missing while I was on vacation in Hawaii.  (If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend you do.  It’s completely free, and they have a fun community, full of supportive, motivating people who cheer on every workout you post about).

They’re about to launch their new #bikiniseries this coming Monday, which will run for 8 weeks, until the official start of summer.  Karena and Katrina put so much into the daily workouts they design, and the best part is, the whole thing is free.  All you need to do is sign up for the #bikiniseries and you’ll get reminder emails, weekly workouts, fun giveaways, yummy recipes, contests, etc.

I like the approach that Tone It Up takes toward living a healthy lifestyle.  Not only do they include workouts and nutrition, but they also concentrate on mindset.  Take yesterday’s challenge, for example:

The challenge asked participants to create their own summer must-do list.  Beyond workouts and eating right, what were things that we wanted to make sure to fit in this summer? I loved this! Any time I can make a list and get creative with my summer plans, I’m all for it!  As a teacher, lots of people ask me, what do you do all summer long?  My answer is always the same – anything I want to!  🙂  This summer, I really want to concentrate on enjoying each and every day.  I didn’t include all of my plans on my list, but I did include most of the things I’m hoping to do:

 

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The photo I used is one that was taken for me by a Danish tourist while I was riding my bike at Kailua Beach on Oahu.  She worried that I would be upset that so much of it was in the shadows, but I assured her that I actually liked the way it turned out.  It was the perfect photo to use for this assignment because it has an artsy feel right off the bat.  I like the way I’m in silhouette with the bike, but the ocean and the beach are in the bright sun in the background.

I thought I’d elaborate a bit on each of these summer plans…

Mid-morning swims: One of my favorite parts of summer is being able to swim at the pool at my parents’ townhouse complex.  More often than not, if I get there by 10:30 or 11, I have the entire place to myself, and I’m free to swim laps to my heart’s content.  Sometimes my dad and I meet there and swim together, and it’s a nice way for us to connect with each other as we update each other on the latest family happenings while we’re drying off in the sun.  It’s also a great time for me to be alone with my thoughts and just let go of all worries and stress.  Swimming really soothes me, and I can’t wait to start my almost-daily swims.

Daily doses of laughter: Whether it’s retelling a funny story, joking with my nieces, or watching Sofi do something goofy, I want to appreciate all the little moments of laughter that are part of my daily life this summer.  Laughter is good for the soul and the spirit, and I want to make sure I’m enjoying it all the time.

Hawaii-themed party: Since I had such a fun time in Hawaii, I figured it would be fun to have a party with a Hawaiian theme.  I’m still deciding if I’ll combine it with a Silpada party that I’m planning to have, or if it will be more of a traditional party.  Either way, I have plenty of fun outfits to choose from.

Coffee chats: I live really close to Starbucks (doesn’t everyone?!), so close in fact, that I can walk there with ease.  It’s become a habit with three or four of my friends that we meet up there and catch up about all that’s going on in our lives.  It’s the perfect place to get together because I can get a calorie-free passion iced tea, or a caffeine kick with an iced cinnamon dolce misto.  As far as I’m concerned, coffee is the perfect drink any time of day, so it fits well with a more carefree summer schedule.

SF (and SJ) Giants games: I love supporting my Giants, and plan to go to as many games as I can afford to this summer.  One that I know I’ll go to is the Italian Night at the Giants, where a really large group of family and friends all get together.  It’s so much fun!  The tickets at AT&T Park are expensive, so lately my friends and I have been opting to go to the SJ Giants games.  Not only are they ridiculously inexpensive (less than $10 per game), but they’re a lot of fun.  Very family-friendly, with lots of activities for the kids to participate in between innings.  My friend Di and I are even signing up to do the Giant 5K, which gets us into the game the evening of the race.  I’m actually going to an SJ Giants game this Friday with my sister and nieces, which will be tons of fun.  Bring on the baseball!!

Going on dates!: I’m actually really looking forward to this one.  Assuming of  course there are men to go on dates with.  I was only on Match.com for about 2 months back in November/December, and I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed.  I got lots of winks, emails, and nudges, but when it came time for the guys to just make the move and ask for my number so we could move it to the next level of texting/talking on the phone and then hopefully soon afterward meeting up, they never pulled the trigger.  Even when I directly said, “here’s my number, I’d love to figure out a time for us to meet up for coffee or something.”  They disappeared quick.  I’m not one to go into a long and drawn out relationship online via email, or text, for that matter.  If you’re interested, you think I’m cute, you want to get to know me better, then let’s do that – let’s meet up and see if we hit it off.  Because we can have all the chemistry in the world online, we won’t know if we’re really going to be attracted to each other until we meet up.  I’m hoping that this time of year will be easier to connect than it was around the holidays.  One of the major takeaways I had from my trip to Hawaii was that I’m really ready to be in a relationship, even a more casual one.  Hopefully I have a bit of romance in store this summer.

Leash-free beach trips: Last summer I had a blast taking Sofi to a lesser-known beach where she could run off leash.  We have the best time when we go – she loves running along the shore, but is afraid to get too close to the water, so I don’t have to worry much about the waves taking her.  We both get in a great walk, we get some sunshine, and I get to read and relax.  What could be better?  Besides just that particular dog-friendly beach, I also hope to hit the other local beaches often this summer.

Long walks w/ Sofi: I take Sofi on walks almost every single day, but in the summer it’s so nice to be able to wake up and take a nice, long walk before the temperature heats up too much.  I love exploring all the different streets around my neighborhood with Sofi.  She loves when I find new places for our walks, so that’s definitely on my to-do summer list.

Reading: I’m not off to the best start so far this year in terms of my reading goal on Goodreads, but I did get quite a bit of reading time in when I was on vacation in Hawaii.  My goal for the summer is to fit in at least an hour a day of reading time.  I enjoy reading so much, and I want to make it a priority during the time of year when I have so few responsibilities pulling my focus from the things I enjoy.

Riding roller coasters: This is a huge one for me! It will definitely be its own blog post when it happens because it will be a major NSV.  I love going on roller coasters – the wilder and faster the better.  I haven’t been on one in I can’t even remember how long because of the time that I got on one and almost had to get off because the safety bar wasn’t going to close.  I pleaded with the kid running the ride to let me stay on it, and he did.  After that I only got bigger and knew that roller coaster were way out of reach.  I didn’t ever want to risk the embarrassment of being asked to get off before I was able to ride the ride.  So, this summer I plan on going to Great America and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to ride as many roller coasters as I can.  Can’t wait!!

Family BBQs: I love grilling any day of the week, but getting together with my family and friends and sharing a meal as easy as BBQing is something really look forward to.  Sometimes it’s as simple as bringing my meat over to their house for an impromptu BBQ; other times it’s a more planned affair, like for Father’s Day or 4th of July.  Either way, I can’t wait to fire up the grill and get cooking!

Cocktails: Summertime is a great time to relax and let go a bit.  While I usually only drink on special occasions because the alcohol has empty calories, there is something to be said for enjoying a nice glass of white wine or a Swirl (local peeps will know what time talking about) with friends. Any afternoon or evening becomes more of a celebration when you add a cocktail.

Bike rides: I love riding my cruiser around, and now that more of my friends have bikes, too, I hope to get out and go on rides all summer long.  Half Moon Bay, Morgan Hill, and everywhere in between.  I love the freedom I feel when I’m riding my bike, the sun shining on my face, the wind in my hair.  There’s nothing in the world like it.

Backyard lounging: I have this great Adirondack chair that I bought a few years ago that’s nicely weathered now.  I adore sitting in it and enjoying the peace and serenity of my backyard.  Looking at the garden and seeing the flowers and trees.  Watching Sofi cavorting in the grass.  Reading, listening to music, or just trying to keep cool on a warm night.  Sounds perfect to me.

There are a lot more things I could add to my list, but I’ll save those up until I have enough to create an entirely new one.  This was such a fun exercise, and I’m really glad the Tone It Up girls gave this assignment.  It put me in a great mood and gave me some inspiration to get through these last weeks of my school year.

Now that you’ve read my list of how I’m going to create my summer, I’d like to challenge you to write your own list.  Either in the comments or by joining the TIU challenge.  Post a pic on Instagram with your list.  Tweet about it.  Write your own blog post.  It was a fun activity that really put me in the mindset to enjoy myself this summer, and I can’t wait to read about your plans.

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