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Posts Tagged ‘loving life’

Talk about spoiled! Driving with the top down on a sunny, 70-degree day in January!

Talk about spoiled! Driving with the top down on a sunny, 70-degree day in January!

Happy Sunday!  I seem to begin every new blog post this way lately…it’s been far too long since my last post.  To be honest, I really don’t know why.  My new position as a new teacher advisor does make my work day a bit longer than when I was teaching, but I also don’t have any grading, so that’s not really it.  I think I’ve just gotten out of the habit.  When something exciting or fun happens, my first thought is “I’ll put it on Instagram” rather than, “I’ll write a blog post.”  Maybe it’s just that my interaction with social media has changed?  In any case, I do still love writing and getting my thoughts out, and I would like to blog more often in 2015.  Anything would be better than what I’ve been doing in the last 6 months, right?

Romance Update – Currently there’s nothing on the horizon in terms of dating.  Since my last update, I’ve gone on a few dates.  A few of them were promising, but then things just sort of fell apart.  It seems to be the norm with online dating that people just kind of disappear.  Things are going well, we’re texting or talking daily, we may go on a date or two, text and talk less frequently, and then it’s just radio silence.  It gets really disappointing.  As much as I really want to meet someone and get into a relationship, this whole process is very frustrating.  Right now I’m on a bit of a break because I just wasn’t seeing many people who interest me.  When I’m out and about, watching football or enjoying a meal with friends, I don’t get approached by guys.  Maybe it’s too intimidating to come up to a group, or maybe I’m just not giving off the approachable vibe.  Friends in person or on social media tell me how pretty I am (without trying to sound conceited), and I’ve lost all this weight and I look so much healthier, so why is it that I can’t seem to meet someone?  I’m not giving up, but it’s hard not to lose hope.

Fitness Update – Just like blogging, I haven’t been in the gym much in these last 4-5 months, but that doesn’t mean my fitness routine has gone totally out the window.  4-5 times a week I workout at home. Cardio is either jumping on my home elliptical or doing a HIIT routine.  For toning, I’ve been following the plan that ToneItUp.com puts out every Sunday.  I really enjoy their workouts because they’re easy to do and I notice a difference in the way my body looks and feels when I do them regularly.  But I do miss going to the gym because there is a better variety of equipment there. Plus, seeing other people pushing themselves really motivates me.  So I want to start going to the gym to workout or take classes at least twice a week moving forward.

Weight Update – I’m pleased to say that I’m at my lowest weight to date – 170.0.  I’m soooooo close to getting into the 160s!!  I know that if I just stick to eating protein and veggies, limiting starches like rice, potatoes, and bread to midday meals most days, I will reach the next weight category soon.  Moving forward, my plan is to continue doing what I know how to do – prepare flavorful, healthy meals and keep indulgences to once or twice a week.

Remembering Why I Love Blogging Update – Two weeks ago I participated in the SF Hot Chocolate 5K, and as my cousin, her friends, and I were waiting for the race to start, a woman came up to me and said, “Do you have a blog?”  When I said yes, she introduced herself as a longtime blog reader.  I was stunned that someone who reads my blog recognized me on that dark, early morning and took the time to say hello.  She said some other really heartwarming things, and it put me in such a great mood.  It also made me feel very guilty about the infrequency of my blog posts lately.

Body Consciousness Update – As I’ve written about so much in the past, even though I’m so proud of how my body has transformed with my weight loss, I’m also very self-conscious of the way my body looks.  Lots of loose skin that will never tighten up or show muscle tone not matter how many squats and lunges I perform.  I was talking with a male friend recently, and he really gave me a pep talk that helped me change the way I think about my body.  He and I got into a long, deep conversation, and he told me that the way I feel about myself is really all in my head.  When I explained my fears about someone seeing me naked and getting an unpleasant surprise because the way I look in clothes is so much better than without, he said I was crazy.  He told me that anyone who sees me has a very good idea of how I look, and that the loose skin that bothers me so much isn’t something that would put most guys off; at least not someone who is worth getting that intimate with.  He told me that I have a beautiful body, and his sincerity with the entire discussion assured me that he wasn’t just staying things to make me feel better.  He also said that I really need to get over this insecurity, because he’s sure that it spills over into the way I interact with the men I’m dating, and that it’s been holding me back in a major way. I can’t disagree with him.  Ever since our conversation last Sunday, I’ve been doing my best to reframe the way I think about my body.  You guys know how determined I can be, and I’ve decided to channel that determination into this new appreciation of how I look right now.

So that’s what’s been going on.  I hope you’ve all been doing well, and if you’ve read this far, I want to thank you for continuing to support me, despite my long absences.

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bilbl_shoppingWhat a spectacular day it’s been, and it’s only about half over! I think every weekend I’m going to start writing a post called either #SaturdayScenes or #SundayScenes, depending on which day is filled with more fun. Who knows, some weekends it might be both. As I was posting photos on Instagram today, I made up the hashtag, and I think it will be fun to keep it as a regular feature on the blog.

So, for those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram (bellablogger), you’ve seen these photos, but I thought it would be nice to be able to write a bit more about each of them, as well.

422367_10151164129475426_268559075_nI started out this morning with my first Zumba class in months, and it felt so great to get back to it. I was so eager to give my Blochs a whirl, and so thankful that my heel is feeling better and the PF is giving me a lot less pain. I adore the energy of the class: the music, the movement, the smiles! I brought my friend Ani with me to the class, and it wiped her out! She said she really enjoyed it, but that she wasn’t sure how much more she would be able to do the rest of the day. I’m feeling sore already, but that great kind of sore where you know you used muscles that you haven’t used in forever. Zumba @ 10am on Saturdays is permanently in my iCal (except when I’m proctoring the SAT).

Today when I met Ani at the gym, she told me that she could definitely tell that I’d lost weight since she’d last seen me (NYE), and that made me feel so good!  This week has been fantastic with food & exercise, so I have a good feeling about tomorrow’s scale check-in.

580689_10151164411020426_1570796410_n Just look at that blue sky! Yes, it was 50 degrees and really chilly out, but the sun was shining and it was so clear that I just couldn’t resist putting the top down on the Beetle. (It’s funny that here in the Bay Area we’re bracing ourselves for the extreme cold (it’s been dipping below freezing at night), and my friend in Pennsylvania was saying that it was 50 there and she was out enjoying her garden. It’s all about perspective!). I felt so invigorated (and so hot) after the Zumba class, that I wanted to feel the breeze as I made my way to Sprouts to pick up my produce for the week for the week.

20130112-162159.jpg My haul from Sprouts. I got veggies, snacks (more on that in a minute), pb, tea, and almond milk for the week for $52. Not bad, at all. My Lean Cuisines/soups/Healthy Choice dinners add another $14, so my total grocery bill is $66 for the week – a far cry from $165/week that I was paying when I was on JC, right? I’m happy to say that my own version of it is working just a well, too. (More on that tomorrow for my weigh-in).

20130112-163344.jpg This is the snack find that made me smile today.  Wasabi Ginger Kettle Corn?  C’mon!  The stats are great, too.  I love the way it tastes, although I wish it was a bit “zingy-er” aka had a bit more heat from the wasabi.  Then again, I love things spicy!  I looked it up for you guys, and it looks like this is sold at Whole Foods and Cost Plus World market, too.  If you try it, let me know what you think of it.

20130112-162210.jpg So that was the first half of my Saturday.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but this is an action shot (no doubt illegal) driving home with the top down.

1091185-football_49ers_extended_large And now, I’m going to watch my 49ers kick some Packer ass!

How did you spend your Saturday?

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Debuting the new Bellina About Town with Sofi!

Another fun-filled, action-packed weekend, which I really enjoyed.

I am so glad that I started doing the household cleaning and chores a little each day so that I could have the entire weekend to have fun and enjoy myself. I’m going to do my best to continue this practice in the fall, although once school starts and I’m back to working full time, it’s going to be a challenge.

Friday I finally broke out of a funky mood that I’d been in for a couple of days. The morning started with a trip to the vet that changed everything – now Sofi is able to go on walks, to the dog park, and to get groomed. She can go anywhere – training classes (which I need to sign us up for soon), doggie boutiques, Pet Food Express, friends’ houses, etc. It’s been a long time in coming and I’m so happy that we’ll be able to do more things out and about. She’s still learning how to go for a walk because I’m determined that she learns loose-leash walking, which is more difficult to train at first, but so worth the extra effort. After all the puppy fun during the day, I spent the an hour going to Friday night Zumba, which was a blast! I’m definitely going back, weekly. .

Saturday we celebrated my niece’s 4th birthday with a family lunch and it was nice to see how grown up my nieces are getting. It’s always nice to spend some time with my family, and as a few of you point out, I’m so lucky to have them all so close. No matter how great your friends are, and I have some fantastic friends, there’s nothing like the love and support you can get from family. At least in my experience.

Saturday evening I took Sofi on another walk, but this time I decided that it was a good idea for the whole gang to come along. And by “whole gang” I mean: Minnie, LC’s 2-year old dog whom Sofi idolizes and adores; my nieces, who are eight and four; and my sister. They say that sometimes you have to learn from experience, and this was no different:

I think Sofi’s love of Minnie gets her way too excited and distracted from the task at hand, namely, walking with a leash. So, until she masters that, I think we’ll be going solo. Which is actually just fine, because walking the dog is such a great way to bond, and I relish my Sofi time.

The rest of the time on Saturday was a combination of a bit of freelance work, light cooking and meal planning, and a much-needed at home facial courtesy of Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Mud Masque.

Sunday my mom and I made a trip to the farmers market, which was long overdue. I haven’t been in months because of my wacky eating plans, and I can’t tell you how great it was to peruse the aisles of summer fruits and veggies and be able to buy anything I wanted. I ended up buying some peaches, dino kale, beautiful variegated summer squash, and some delicious blackberries.

After the farmers market, Mom and I headed to the international market near our house to pick up some Baharat seasoning blend that we needed for this delicious recipe Eating Well Magazine tweeted about this morning. Turkish lamb and eggplant kabobs? Delicious. The recipe actually calls for you to make your own Baharat spice mix, but since we have the luxury of having quite a few Middle Eastern markets just minutes from our house, we figured we’d save ourselves some time and money and get the pre-made spice blend. My mom plans to make it for dinner on Tuesday for her and my dad and I’m going to make it this coming weekend for LC. I’ll definitely report back and let you know how good it was. On a side note, have you guys seen Eating Well magazine? It is phenomenal, and I knew noting about it until Scale Warfare gave me a subscription for Christmas last year. I love it!!

After all the food shopping, it was time to eat lunch, play with Sofi, and get some more freelance work done. Then LC and I went to Restorative Yoga, which was a brand-new and very relaxing experience. After the class, I was calm but hungry, so I put together a fairly quick meal that featured my farmers market summer squash, which were divine:


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Summer squash, TJ’s turkey meatballs, and TJ’s harvest grains medley.  Just hearty enough to fill me up while keeping things light.

All in all a really wonderful weekend that I hope to replay at least 4 more times before the summer ends.  🙂

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