Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘hawaii’

2014-07-25 10.02.15

(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my trip to Oahu in April.  This is Waikiki Beach, and I loved the color of those umbrellas).

1.  As soon as I finish writing this post, Sofi and I are hitting the road and going to the beach for the first time this summer.  I can’t believe I haven’t been to the beach at all yet this summer. I’m excited to beat the heat (it’s supposed to hit the mid-high 90s here today), walk along the beach with Sofi, and just enjoy the crashing waves. Look for pictures on my Instagram later.

2.curly-curling-creme_0For those of you with curly hair, you know how important it is to find the right products.  It’s only recently that my hair has returned to it’s normal curls. After getting my hair smoothed with the formaldehyde-free keratin treatment last December, my curl pattern was completely changed; it wasn’t curly anymore, it was barely wavy.  I’m glad that I got the keratin treatment, because my massive weight loss affected my hair terribly, making it thin, frizzy, and really difficult to manage.  But I’ve realized that I’m just not great at blow drying my own hair on a regular basis (I just don’t have the technique), so I’ve decided not to get the keratin treatment again (which costs $300), and instead treat myself to Dry Bar appointments now and then. But let’s get back to the products.  Now that my hair is back to it’s normal curls, I wanted to find a product that would keep them defined, control the frizz, but and not build up. After trying lots of different things, I found Curly Sexy Hair. I’ve been using the shampoo, conditioner, Full-On Curls, and the Curling Creme.  I like that these products are really affordable, and that they work. I’ve been enjoying lots of compliments on my hair lately, which I haven’t had in about a year.

3. I’ve had a few clothing NSVs this week.  On Sunday, I found the cutest top, but it as in the petite section.  I liked it so much that I decided to try on the petite Medium anyway, and it FIT! Then on Monday, I was shopping around Target and found a cute 49er tee that was a juniors Large (see Instagram photo). The week before last, I went online to Venus and found a bunch of cute tops, all of which were size Mediums; they came on Tuesday, and every single one fits great (see the turquoise, floral peplum top in my Instagram). Yesterday I was thrilled to finally fit into the Chase Infinite tank that I’d bought a couple of months ago (again, see yesterday’s Instagram workout post). Every time I buy clothes in these small sizes, I am amazed at the fact that they fit. Not only fit, but that they look good.  Shopping is such a pleasure now.  I’ve always loved getting new clothes, but now that I can walk into any store and find something adorable, I am loving it!

4. I usually love watching movies in the summer, but I have to say that I’ve been very underwhelmed at the offerings.  The last movie I went to was The Fault in Our Stars, which was very good.  In the many weeks since, there really hasn’t been much I’d be willing to see.  But suddenly there are a few that I’m looking forward to:

  • j3231_mostwantedman_1sht_67f_web
  • boyhood_posterart
  • wiwh_poster_finalsm

5. 2014-07-13 00.05.37 I found this photo on Instagram awhile ago, and I love it.  Not only is “choose happy” the way that I try to live my life on a daily basis, but I also love the beach and the image of the sun.  Seeing this just makes me smile, and I’m going to put it up on my white board at school as a daily reminder.  Because no matter how stressful the situation, how disappointing the news, or how unfortunate the event – I choose my reaction and I choose HAPPY.

2014-04-25 05.54.55

Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

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 »

One of my main goals for my Hawaiian vacation was to fill my time alone with as many fitness adventures as I could.  Since Oahu offers so many different options,  decided to do a bit of research and discovered that a 30-minute drive would bring me to the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail.

There’s something very intriguing to me about lighthouses.  They’re literally guides for sailors at night, and maybe because of all the novels I’ve studied, there’s something so romantic to me about them.  I never realized how drawn to lighthouses I am until this trip, but I am going to make it a point to go to the local lighthouses we have in the San Francisco area when I get back home.

When I looked up info about the trail itself on my Trail Advisor app, it said that it was a paved trail that offered a steady incline to the top, easy to navigate for people of all fitness levels.  I knew I could make the trek, and the promise of the views along the way were all I needed to decide that this was my Tuesday morning outing.

Getting to the trail by car was an easy, beautiful drive, and because I got there early, around 8:30am, parking was a breeze.  (I’ve been on California time throughout my trip, meaning I’m waking up at 3am local time).

10006917_10151952043440426_6763370043924131053_n The hills surrounding the trail were lush and green, and the path itself was very easy to navigate.  I put on some music, and started my assent.  I was a steady incline, enough to keep my heart rate going the entire way.

1534472_10151952042795426_132579950536500944_n Before too long, I saw the ocean peeking out among the brush, and if these were the views at the start of my journey, I was anxious to see what awaited me at the top. Between my music and these views, I think I was smiling from ear to ear the whole way up.

1601506_10151952043315426_8525203781774062793_n10259743_10151952043615426_6302813055275166739_n11893_10151952043700426_7882390771869107988_n10258807_10151952043655426_5132203295441575976_n1794676_10151952044000426_1692567953378443486_n It was right around this point when the breezy morning turned super windy, and the hat I’d been wearing to protect my face from the sun flew off my head!  Luckily, I was able to snatch it from the ground before it flew away.

10155698_10151952044075426_1976784471711365498_n

I walked for a while holding the hat with one hand and my iPhone in the other. Every time I stopped to take a photo, the hat flew off – about 4 times total. Until I remembered that I could tighten it in the back.

The water below me was so blue, the sky so clear – as I walked the trail I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to be living this life.  I’d decided that this vacation was my reward for all my hard work over the past year in accomplishing so many of my weight loss goals.  This hike wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable 132 pounds ago.  I would’ve been severely out of breath, concerned about whether or not I would make it all the way to the top, and not living in the moment and enjoying all of this natural beauty all around me.  Instead, I soaked it all in and truly felt blessed to be at this point in my life.

10173587_10151952043760426_3344981372718136972_n

10003496_10151952044560426_3716486547555464348_n

Before too much longer, I was at the top of the trail, looking down at these stunning views of the surrounding area.

10150735_10151952044825426_3008501084958087069_n

1619634_10151952044690426_8386745821362021664_n1375206_10151952044980426_8966135993690192406_n

1979710_10151952044775426_6015974579846380225_n

10150652_10151952045015426_6540676470749329357_n It was so windy at the top that I nearly lost my iPhone capturing this shot, but it was worth it, even if it is a bit blurry, I think it helps capture the wind whipping all around.

And finally, the view I’d been waiting for all day – the lighthouse!

10014674_10151952044945426_7140674628645177733_n

It was smaller than I thought, but a true jewel on that hilltop.  I love this picture so much that I’ve made it my wallpaper on the phone.

1466037_10151952045100426_452066782254352158_n I hiked to the top of this hill, which is amazing to me!

10259989_10151952043940426_6899920887576885604_n

To offer some perspective, the parking lot is in the middle of the photo. I took this about halfway back down the trail.

There’s really no other word for this hike than glorious.  It offered everything I love – views of the ocean, a great workout, and the chance to remind myself how far I’ve come and how lucky I am.

After the hike, I noticed a spot around the corner from the parking lot that was a bit of a hidden beach, filled with black volcanic rocks where I could perch and watch the white-tipped waves crashing. It reminded me a of a place near Half Moon Bay that’s really special to me. Somehow being here all alone with no other souls in sight made it all the more special, like it was a secret spot just for me.

10170875_10151952045835426_1593482616357469822_n

I shot this quick video soon after I’d sat down on the rocks. I don’t know what I was doing with the camera angles, but I’m glad I got a bit of  video:

 I don’t know for sure that these rocks are the remnants of a volcano, but given that I’m in Hawaii, that’s the story I’m going with. I sat on the rocks for about 30 minutes, just taking in the majesty and power of the ocean. I’ve always been drawn to the ocean, there’s something very spiritual about it for me.

10014674_10151952045970426_477435164503999550_n

10250123_10151952046015426_8496765775110568672_n

If you look carefully about halfway up the hill in the distance, you can spy the little lighthouse.

If you look carefully about halfway up the hill in the distance, you can spy the little lighthouse.

1546144_10151952046655426_3891003743253631992_nEven though the lighting is bad and you can hardly see my face, I wanted to make sure that I captured the fact that I was there on what was a magical morning.

 

 

Read Full Post »

bilbl_scale.jpgI usually weigh myself every single morning.  I get up, use the restroom, take off my pjs, and jump on the scale.  I use it as a check-in for how I did the day before and what I may need to do that day.  I don’t let the number define my day either way, although when I see a drop I do get a smile on my face.  I only record my weight once a week, on Sundays, because I know how much the scale can fluctuate.

This daily weighing may seem obsessive to some.  And for some people, it can be unhealthy.  But for me, I have used daily weigh-ins as a tool throughout my weight loss journey.  Longtime readers will recall that I used to avoid the scale (and recording the numbers on this blog) at all costs.  I’d go weeks without weighing in, mostly because I wanted to live in denial.  I knew how badly I’d been eating, or how much I’d overindulged, or that I’d stopped at the drive-thru one too many times, and I didn’t want to face those effects in the digital number that would show up on the scale.  At one point I moved to monthly weigh-ins, but that didn’t help my progress at all, in fact, it had the opposite effect.  When I moved to daily weigh-ins, I started to notice the trends in my body and the weight loss.  That I always gain weight right before my period, and then drop a ton the day I get it.  That eating sweets doesn’t affect my body as much as eating salty foods does; too bad I crave salty a lot more than sweet. That getting in a good workout helps me shed pounds, but overdoing it can actually make me “gain” water weight.  All of this info has helped me understand my body and the way things affect it.  Daily weigh-ins have been priceless for me.

The scale offers me motivation on the days when the numbers move slightly up and inspiration on the days when I see the numbers drop down into new weight loss territory.  The digital display offers me an accountability partner like no other. The numbers, whether positive or negative, offer me a bit of daily encouragement.

So you can imagine how out of sorts I’m feeling after being on vacation for 3 days and not weighing myself.  It’s part of my morning ritual like taking a shower or having a cup of coffee.  Without it I can survive, but things just aren’t as in sync.  I missed my usual Sunday weigh-in because I was here.  Which is totally fine. I know I’ve been eating well, have been getting in exercise, and have been staying on track.  I can feel that my clothes are fitting fine, and in some cases, a few garments feel a bit looser.  So there’s no reason to worry, and even if I come back from Hawaii up a couple of pounds, I know I  can get those off quickly.

But this morning I awoke and just had to get on the scale in the second bathroom here at the house I’m staying on vacation.  I’d just gotten my period and I knew I would see a loss.  But how accurate was this non-digital scale?  Scales can vary wildly, and who knew how this one was calibrated.  Still, it lured me.

So I got on and saw a 3-lb loss!  I did a little Hawaiian happy dance right there in the bathroom, and I’m sure Harvey the cat thought I’d lost my mind.  I didn’t record the weightloss on MFP because as I said, I have no idea how accurate this scale is, but it did give me a little pick me up and a sense of normalcy. I’m such a creature of habit, and I really like my routines. While I’m having an amazing time here in Hawaii, one thing I’m really looking forward to about going home is resuming my daily weigh-ins.

What’s the lesson here?  The scale is still a really important tool for me since I’m still in weight loss mode.  More than anything, I like the reassurance I get from it.  It’s like a trusted friend that I like checking in with everyday.

Read Full Post »

I was really looking forward to my plans on Monday – snorkeling in Hanauma Bay.  I’d heard that Hanauma Bay had the best snorkeling in Oahu, and arguably the best in Hawaii.  I’d snorkeled before when I came here 25 years ago, and again in Jamaica, but it had been years.  Still, I hoped it came back to me the way riding a bike does.

I’d signed up for the snorkeling online through a Go Select Pass.  Since I wasn’t staying at a hotel in Honolulu, I had to drive to the Queen Kapiolani Hotel and wait there for the shuttle to pick me up.  Which meant a 45-minute commute from Kaneohe in heavy morning traffic.  I was told to park across the street, at the Honolulu Zoo parking lot, which was inexpensive at $1/hour.  I’d decided that morning to leave my debit card at home, because I didn’t want to leave it unattended while I was snorkeling.  This turned out to be a major mistake.

I got to the parking lot and discovered that the parking kiosks only took debit/credit cards.  Great, how was I going to avoid a parking ticket?  As if the stress of the drive and the parking situation wasn’t enough, I realized, after 45 minutes of waiting for the shuttle to arrive, that the company had lost my reservation.  I just got off the phone with the manager, who arranged for another shuttle to get me when the meter maid pulled up.  I told her about my situation, only have cash, and she said the kiosks also took quarters.  So I headed into the Queen Kapiolani to get a roll and avoid the $96 ticket. Even though the snorkeling adventure started out on a bad note, it all worked out ok in the end.

Once on the shuttle, I let all the stress wash away.  I was excited to be heading to the snorkeling adventure.  Because of the trouble I’d gone through, the company gave me a free underwater camera and a special breathing tube for the snorkel. Plus, seeing the beauty of Hanauma Bay made me even more anxious to discover what I could find in the ocean.

10177400_10151950279195426_308014797354070662_n

I’ll post the photos I took with the underwater camera if any of them turn out well when I develop them, and I really hope they do.  I saw tons of fish and beautiful coral.  Floating around under the water was so serene.  It’s amazing that all of these creatures live just beneath the surface of the water. And just as I’d hoped, snorkeling came really easy to me.  I was only slightly concerned that I didn’t have a safety buddy, but I made sure that I was smart about where I was in relation to the shoreline, and just enjoyed myself.

The day was so much fun, and even the pouring rain as I came out of the water didn’t dampen my spirits. 1536554_10151950278295426_4683110617201285249_n

Throughout the day, I was reminded of all the things I can do now that I’ve lost all this weight.

  • First of all, I found swimwear that is comfortable and looks good so that I was not self-conscious, which is huge.
  • I had plenty of stamina to spend over an hour snorkeling all around Hanauma Bay.
  • I could walk all the way up the fairly steep hill back to the entrance with only a little bit of effort:

1979599_10151950278955426_6738517871536875659_n1503975_10151950278845426_5199525757688351824_n

The day was wonderful, and renewed my love of snorkeling.  I think part of the appeal, besides being able to see all the exotic fish in the ocean, is that fact that you can only do it in a few tropical locales.  The rarity of it makes it all the more special.

Read Full Post »

This morning I was up early – at 5am – despite going to bed at midnight Hawaii time (3am SJ time!). Since I was up, I wanted to be sure to enjoy the amazing sunrise from the back porch.

1535650_10151947496505426_283778580_n

664347_10151947496495426_486933729_o

1398314_10151947496515426_1789870696_o

10010287_10151947496520426_1388391717_o

1973932_10151947496500426_99320799_o

1962338_10151947496795426_1397086545_o

I took these shots while sipping coffee.  Does it really get any better?
Happy Sunday!

Read Full Post »

After more than two months of planning, anticipating, and preparing, yesterday was finally the day I left for Hawaii.  All week I had the same feeling I had when I was 6 years old and my family was about to go to Disneyland for the first time. I had a lot of last minute errands, meeting, and grading to do to keep me occupied, but if I’m honest, my mind was really concentrating on the beaches of Oahu, and rightly so, I haven’t been on a true vacation since 2008, and I haven’t been anywhere tropical since my trip to Jamaica in 2001.

Back to Saturday morning. My flight was leaving at 8:55am, so my dad was set to pick me up at 7am to get there with time to spare. I woke up around 5am to make sure I had everything ready and I’m glad that it gave me time for a snuggle session with Sofi. Leaving her behind is the only downside to this trip. But she’s going to have a ton of fun with my sister, my nieces, and their dog, Minnie.

1897777_10151946587040426_917823001_n

Getting through the airport security was a breeze, even though that imaging machine is so strange. I even met a guy who was flirting relentlessly with me. Granted, he was 7 years old, but still. Lol. He was the cutest thing ever! He noticed that I had on an SF Giants tee and asked me to high five because he had on a 49ers sweatshirt. He said, “I’m going to Hawaii, where are you going?” And when I told him I was going there too, his face lit up. He asked me my name, and said, “bye, Bella” as I headed to get my Starbucks fix. We were seated a row apart on the plane, and every now and then he’s smile and wave. When the flight landed, he was right next to me at baggage claim, asking which bag was mine and then whether or not I was married. The scamp! His parents just smiled at me when I looked over at them. Finally, while I was waiting to be picked up outside the airport, he and his family passed me, and he said, “bye, Bella!!! I hope we see you in Hawaii!” Too cute! Now if only he was about 30 years older.

I had a major NSV as I took my window seat on the plane. Not only was I not spilling over into my neighbor’s seat, but I had lots of room with the seatbelt! On my last flight in 2008, when I was nowhere near my heaviest weight (in fact I’d just lost about 50 pounds because of that medically supervised fasting diet), I needed an extender. And when I went to put the tray table down, I was so scrunched that it wouldn’t sit flat. Not this time!!! This time, I had tons of room, and was like any other normal person. I could even move up & down the aisle of the plane, passing other people, with ease. Only someone who has been obese can understand the silent triumph I felt as each of these realizations hit me.

10151931_10151946586915426_170161801_n

The flight itself was amazing! I’d never flown Alaskan Airlines before, but definitely will again. The staff was friendly, the service was quick, and we we’re ahead of schedule the entire time. Not to mention the complimentary Mai Tai! I was seated next to a really friendly woman who was just chatty enough, but also respected my desire to read. At baggage claim my bag was among the first ten off the conveyer. And from there, I walked outside and within 15 minutes, my friend was picking me up to take me back to the house.

The house itself is awesome! It’s a little, hidden bungalow with this amazing view backyard view. First, let’s take a look at the inside: the living room, the kitchen, and the wall of windows…

10154982_10151946585990426_397420148_n 1977270_10151946586100426_880847677_n 1011581_10151946585880426_1358662287_n 10003478_10151946585930426_546819239_n

As nice and comfortable as the house is, the backyard and dock is by far the best feature of this place. Every time I see that dock, I’m reminded of the dock that Gatsby looks at in the distance, towards the green light at Daisy’s house.

14559_10151946585810426_1284048941_n

988433_10151946585720426_1013651610_n 1975252_10151946585340426_1671210398_n

 

The view of the house from the private dock

The view of the house from the private dock

It rained a bit in the afternoon, but even that was so refreshing.  Hawaii is so humid, and the rain brings relief from that.  Plus, I love hearing the way it sounds against the dock.  I sat on the back porch and read as it rained, and it was so soothing, especially after a long flight.

One other “feature” of this place is ALL the stairs that lead to the street level.  There are three full sets of stairs that are fairly steep.  Yesterday I used them to get a workout in. No matter how much I may indulge on this vacation, I think I’m going to leave with my booty in better shape than it was when I got here.

1504083_10151946586300426_850305199_n

1982173_10151946786005426_1391970437_n

10178091_10151946785710426_42098980_n

I went to Safeway to get some food for the week, and I can definitely see what they mean about how expensive things are.  I bought yogurt, salads, Flat Out wraps, salami, deli turkey, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, cottage cheese, strawberries, granola, coffee creamer, and some Boom Chicka Pop popcorn and the bill totaled $101! Needless to say, I’m going to eat as many meals at home/pack my lunch as often as I can.  I do plan to go out for sushi and maybe one other meal.

Once I got back from grocery shopping, I spent the afternoon lazing around – napping, reading, and feeling amazingly lucky that I’m able to spend this week here in what is truly paradise.  I stayed home last night, took a shower that let me wash off the day and made me feel like a new person, and just enjoyed a quiet night.

10154938_10151946586235426_644419868_n If yesterday is any indication, this is going to be an amazing vacation!

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 44 started off great because I spent hours on Sunday going through both closets in my house and going through every single item of clothing, deciding whether to donate or keep it.  My wardrobe is is organized and streamlined, which makes me feel so much better.  At work, I was able to complete all the grading that had piled up, which feels like a huge relief.  I ate well and logged everything. The one area that slipped a bit was in my workouts: I got some in, but didn’t do the Tone It Up strength sessions as often as I would’ve liked.  Now that everything is in order in the various areas of my life, the main thing I want to do is maintain it all.  Which means grading a bit at a time, keeping up with the housework/laundry, and setting aside the 1-1.5 hours a day to get my workouts in.  I know I can do it, I just need to set my mind to it.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 183.0, which is a loss of 1.6 pounds this week,and a loss of 94 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 132 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 33 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really happy with this week’s loss, especially because of the fact that I completed fewer workouts than I would’ve liked.  It really does go to show that weight loss is 70-80% food.  One thing that went really well for me this week was my water intake – I’ve found that making sure I have a water bottle or tumbler with me at all times makes all the difference.

One week from today I’ll have been in Hawaii for a day already!  I’m so excited about this trip, and I’m really looking at it as a reward for my hard work and determination.  It’s been over six years since I went on any sort of vacation.  Six years since I’ve been on a plane.  The last time I had to use a seatbelt extender, and that was when I was nowhere near my heaviest weight, in fact, I’d lost 50 pounds on that medically supervised fasting diet.  If I’m honest, I avoided any sort of vacation where I might need to fly because I didn’t want to have to deal with that scrunched-in feeling of spilling over into my neighbor’s seat. No to mention the look of dread on the seatmates’ faces when they saw me coming down the aisle.  I can’t wait to see how different it all is this time.

This week it’s all about making sure I have everything ready for Hawaii.  Yesterday I had a major shopping trip at Target, picking up travel sizes and a few more swim essentials.  Remember those Victoria Secrets bikini tops I’d bought?  They fit, and looked pretty good, but they were cut fairly small and showed more cleavage than I was comfortable with.  Especially for water sports like snorkeling or taking surf lessons.  I didn’t want to accidentally “pop out.”

2014-03-30 09.55.37See what I mean? I’ll definitely still wear it at the beach or walking around, but not when I’m doing something more physical.

So yesterday while I was at Target, I saw that they had swimwear on sale, and I found two other swim tops:

2014-03-30 10.31.512014-03-30 10.32.53

This black bikini top has a lot more coverage, even though you may not be able to tell it in the photo, and that makes me feel more comfortable.  The tankini also offers good coverage, although I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to tuck it in.  What do you guys think?

The plan for this week is to make sure I fit in 5 Tone It Up workouts, along with cardio:
Sunday: Arc Trainer + run/walk intervals
Monday: run/walk intervals
Tuesday: hybrid elliptical
Wednesday: Arc Trainer
Thursday: hybrid recumbent bike
Friday: run/walk intervals

{I’ll update the toning routines as soon as the new weekly workout is posted on Toneitup.com}

As I mentioned, next week I’ll be in Hawaii, so I won’t be posting a weigh-in update.  It’s going to be really weird not having a scale there and not weighing myself everyday.  But I know I’m going to make great choices (more on that in another post), and get in plenty of activity, so I’m not worried about my weight.  Plus, taking a break from the scale while I’m on vacay seems right.  I will write a Sunday Smiles post, though, because I’m sure I’ll already have lots to share.

2014-03-30 11.07.19

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

Read Full Post »

bilbl_shoppingFriday Five

1.  I took today off to get myself organized around the house.  I’ve had busy weekends for the past month, and I feel like my house is in need of a deep cleaning.  For example, the other day I had to use a beach towel because I was in desperate need of doing laundry. Plus, as part of my Lenten Sacrifice, I need to spend some more time going through my closet and compiling clothes to donate.

2.  Speaking of clothes, I’ve been having a great time buying some clothes for Hawaii.  I wanted to buy a few sundresses, and found some great ones:

caprihalter hilowdress roseleopard They’re all really light and will be perfect for Hawaii’s temps.  The maxi dress will definitely be too long for me, but I found a great tailor who hems dresses for really cheap, and since the dress itself was on clearance at $17, paying for the tailoring is worth it.  I’m a bit worried that the hi-low dress might be a bit too short in front, but hopefully it will hit me lower because I’m short.

Remember those bikini tops I bought from VS?  Well they arrived the other day, and they were a bit too small. (I am very happy to say that the bottoms I bought fit well). They fit, but they were cut really sexily, and I just didn’t think I’d feel very comfortable wearing them, and would be worried that I’d “pop out.” So I returned those and got these “perfect coverage” tops instead:

black polkadots stripes&aqua I think I’ll feel a lot more secure in these.  That third one was on sale at Kohl’s and I like that it has a tiny bit of aqua detail.  Plenty of tops for the beach for a week. I also finally bought the board shorts that I’d planned on:

boardshorts  I haven’t received these yet,but I’m really hopeful that they’ll be long enough and fit well. A few comments on the site that I bought them from said that they wore them out and about on vacation, as well as on the beach, which I think is a great idea.  I don’t have any pants suitable for Hawaii (I think jeans will be too heavy), so I also bought a few pairs of capris:

vsfleececrop tekgearcapris skimmerpants The first ones are fleece crops from Victoria’s Secret, and because I really liked the fit of the boyfriend pants I bought from VS before, I thought I’d  give these a try.  The second are from Kohl’s and were only $15; they seem like good lounge pants.  And the last ones are also from Kohl’s – I really hope they fit well because I think they’re really cute.  The only things left to buy for the trip (and for my spring/summer wardrobe) are some tanks and a few tops.

3. I started this morning off with a great spin class!  I’d bought some new padded bicycle capri pants that worked really well; I didn’t feel any of that pelvic bone pain that I’d had the first time.  I definitely need to fit more spin classes into my normal routine, because I love how powerful I feel when I’m in the class, and I really like the huge calorie burn that comes with the 60 minute session.

4. 20140314-145221.jpg I thought I’d share a lunch that I’ve been loving.  I first saw it on Pinterest, and I’ve seen it a lot on Instagram, too.  It’s a twist on egg salad – instead of using mayonnaise I substitute guacamole.  It might look a little strange and green, but it’s really delicious and adds a nice kick. Today because I’d burned so many calories with spin class, my TIU workouts, and taking Sofi for a walk in the neighborhood, I put the egg salad on two slices of Dave’s Good Seed Thin-Sliced Bread.  But this egg salad is also great on spinach to keep it more low carb.  I know it seems odd, but just give it a try.

5. This weekend I have some fun plans! Tomorrow afternoon I’m heading to SF to meet up with VSGTanya, whose videos on YouTube and posts on FB have really helped me learn so much about this journey.  Plus, she’s just a cool lady! She lives near New Orleans, but will be here in my area for work, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet her while she’s here. I can’t wait to meet her after following her story on YT and FB for over a year and a half.  There will be quite a few other WLS -ers there, so it will be fun to meet new people.  Then on Sunday my friend Di and I are volunteering for 3 hours doing a cleanup day at a local lake county park.

2013-09-27 12.14.29Happy Friday! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of fun and exciting adventures.

Read Full Post »

Happy Monday! The weekend flew by.  I proctored the SAT on Saturday, got a much-needed pedi with my sister, and went to dinner with my parents.  Sunday I had the March Madness 5K, where I got a new PR!!!  Not to mention, we lost an hour of sleep while we gained another hour of daylight.  A good tradeoff, I’d say.

For the month of March, FMM is moving locations.  Sarah over at Losing Weight and Having Fun is hosting FMM for the time being, and I’m excited to discover her blog and meet a bunch of new bloggers.

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: Losing Weight and Having Fun so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Let’s Talk Vacations

1. Where was the last place you went on vacation to?

Gosh, it’s been forever since I’ve been on a vacation.  The last one was in 2008 when I went to Boston and Connecticut for my friend’s wedding.  It was my first time in that area, and I absolutely loved it.

An example of the amazing architecture found all over Boston.

An example of the amazing architecture found all over Boston.

2. Do you have any plans for a vacation this year?

Yes!  I’m going to Hawaii – Oahu, specifically, and I cannot wait!!  The last time I went to Hawaii was 25 years ago, for my high school graduation trip. This trip is going to be special because it’s my first time going on vacation by myself.  I’m really excited to explore Oahu – I am definitely going snorkeling, hiking Diamond Head, and swimming in the ocean, but if any of you have tips for any other must-do activities, please let me know in the comments.

3. If money was no option, where would you dream vacation be?

Hawaii is definitely the type of vacation I love – beach, sun, and ocean.  I guess a dream vacation would be to Australia, Fiji, or another exotic beach destination.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot that you have visited?

I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every vacation I’ve ever taken  – Jamaica, the East Coast, Chicago, Miami, but my all-time favorite vacation was when my sister and I went to Italy for one month.  It was the summer after my credential program and after she’d received her undergrad degree.  We started in Milan and went all the way down to Sicily, exploring the cities and towns by taking in their art, shopping districts, restaurants, and museums.  We got lost, discovered unknown places, and even had a few evenings of fun flirtations with Italian guys our age.  We stayed in hotels that were barely above the level of a youth hostel, and made our way through the country thanks to my sister’s Italian major (she can speak fluently).  It was amazing seeing the country where our family was from!  I really hope to return someday.

5. Have you ever had a staycation?

Yes.  Almost every break I get from school turns in to a staycation.  Lots of times I use the time off to try new fitness classes, but since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are lots of local places that I love visiting too – San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Carmel, Monterey, Muir Woods, etc.

6. Are you a lie on the beach person or a go out and explore person?

I like doing both.  If I want to really learn more about a city the go and explore is the best.  But if I’m in need of a relaxing vacation, I’m all about the beach.  If there’s a way to do a bit of both in one vacation, all the better.

7. When you fly do you have a favorite airline?

I don’t really fly enough to have a favorite airline.  I’ve heard great things about Alaskan, which I’m taking to Hawaii.  The thing I’m looking forward to about my upcoming flight is that I won’t need a seatbelt extender and I will fit in the seat without spilling over into my neighbor’s personal space.

8. Have you ever had a ‘vacation from hell’ ?

Nope, and I hope I never do.

9. Have you ever had an airline lose your luggage?

Again, not to jinx anything, but no, I haven’t.

10. Do you send postcards to friends and family when you go on vacation?

I sent postcards when I went to Italy, but I won’t from Hawaii.  Do people still send postcards in this age of FB and Instagram?

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions!   And also be sure to go back to Sarah’s blog and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments!  I really encourage you to comment on as many people’s posts as you can – I’ve met some fantastic people through FMM.  You never know who you’ll meet today.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: