Posts Tagged ‘My Fitness Pal’


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 60 was quite a mix.  I started off the week pretty strong – eating well and working out.  Then on Thursday, I got some really disappointing news and took a bit of a downward turn on Friday and Saturday. By Sunday I’d sort of pulled it together, and I’ve been going really strong since Monday.  Whew! Did you follow all that?

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.8. Technically, this is a gain from last week (2 lbs), but I went up over the weekend (<4 lbs), so this is a 2.8 lb loss since I weighed in on Monday.  I’ve lost 96.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 134.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.

I’m not thrilled with myself that I let my emotions get the better of me on Friday and Saturday and spent much of the time sitting on the couch snacking.  I did get out with friends on Friday night, but that led to quite a few cocktails, which also had an adverse affect on my weight.  Could I have handled things differently?  Of course.  Was it a human response that I got under control after two days of wallowing?  Yes.  So I’m actually pretty proud of my ability to bounce back and move on from heartbreak.

The thing I’m actually excited to talk about today is the way I’ve tweaked my eating plan since Monday.  One of my pals on MyFitnessPal messaged me on Monday, asking about the idea of upping calories.  She’s about 6 months out from VSG surgery, and had an appointment with her doctor and nutritionist where they told her they wanted her to start eating more calories. Specifically, that they wanted her to get 1000 net calories per day.  She’s been following my food diaries from the beginning, and has modeled the way she eats after me – trying to eat a balanced diet of protein, veggies, and carbs.  Mostly whole foods, with the occasional treat thrown in.  She said she was hesitant to raise her calories, but tried it for one week, and after stalling on the scale two weeks in a row, she lost 5 pounds the week she upped her calories!

As you guys know, I’ve been basically the same weight for the past several months.  Even though I’ve been eating well, working out, getting lots of water, etc., my weight loss has basically become very stagnant.  I know it’s because I have so few pounds to lose to get to goal (compared to how many I had to lose to begin with)When I went to my 1-year follow up appointment, the nutritionist recommended that I increase my calories to 1200 per day, but I really didn’t think much of that advice, and just continued my normal eating.  Which meant eating between 850-950 calories a day, about 500-650 net calories.  Which is very low, when I think about it in those terms.  Now that I’m post-VSG I will never consume the amount of calories that someone with a normal stomach can, but I have been wanting to change something with my eating to see if I could shake up my body and amp up my weight loss. It makes sense that at this point post-op my body is getting too used to so few calories, and might even be in a bit of “starvation mode.” Although it’s much different for me with only 20% of a normal stomach, I do think upping my calories and eating more frequently will jumpstart my metabolism and lead to weight loss.

Actually, I don’t “think,” I know. I lost 2.8 pounds since Monday following the 1000 net calorie plan.  What I’ve come up with is adding in more snacks throughout the day, as well as incorporating some higher calorie, but very good for me, foods. For example, yesterday:


A yummy green smoothie

Morning Snack

Morning Snack

A really great salad

A really great salad

Afternoon snack

Afternoon snack

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Caprese salad and a tiny bit of pasta

Evening snack/dessert

Evening snack/dessert

Daily Total: 1437 calories, 102g protein, 138g carbs, 35g fiber, 68g fat! Net calories: 979.

The thing I like about increasing my calories this way is that I am eating foods that I’ve shied away from because they had more calories, but that I love. I’ve noticed that I haven’t had any cravings, either, because I know that I’ll be enjoying something I like soon enough.  I’m going to give it until next Wednesday and see if the results continue.  If not, I can always go back to what I was doing before. But I have a strong feeling this is going to work well.

Workouts are going great, and I love being able to workout first thing in the morning.  The realization hit me today that I only have 2 1/2 weeks before I start my teacher meetings and school starts, and I’m very grateful that I will have a morning prep so I can continue the beginning of the day workouts without having to get up at 4am!

My goal for these next 2 1/2 weeks is to enjoy every bit of summer vacation that I can.  Which means going to the beach, riding roller coasters at the Boardwalk, hitting the road for a girls’ trip to Long Beach, and simply enjoying the quiet moments in my backyard with Sofi.

This week is all about being open to changes. I’m grateful that I’m someone who embraces change – it’s needed and necessary.

2014-04-06 19.15.38

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


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I’m so excited to let you know that when I got on the scale this morning, it showed that I’ve lost 50.2 lbs so far!  Here are some fast facts about this weight loss:

  • My highest weight of 315 was recorded in September 2012 at Jenny Craig.
  • I accomplished this weight loss while staying smoke free since August 2010.  This was my biggest hurdle, because I used to smoke when I was stressed, upset, angry, etc, and once I quit smoking, I replaced food with smoking, and turned to emotional eating.  It took a LONG time to work past this. This was the main reason it took me 2 years and 9 months to meet the weight loss requirement.
  • I developed plantar fasciitis in the fall of 2012, which hurt my progress because it really limited my workouts.
  • I lost 15 lbs while on Jenny Craig (from September – December 2012).  This was a very expensive 15 lbs, and while it set me on a losing path, I wish I hadn’t spent that much money.
  • It wasn’t until January 2013, when Tinkerbell and I really started supporting each other, that my weight loss really took off.
  • I’ve lost 35 lbs since January 2013, 12 lbs since surgery 2.5 weeks ago.
  • The eating plan that worked?  Following Kaiser’s pre-op plan.

After trying everything under the sun for two years and 4 months, I finally went back to where I began, following Kaiser’s pre-op weight loss plan.  I’m not into regrets, and I really do believe that everything happens for a reason.  So I was meant to follow a long and very challenging path to this weight loss.  Those many, many months of trying this and that, having so many weight loss stalls, losses, and gains led to incredible frustration, but they also showed me how strong I am. How determined I was.  How much I persevere in times of trial.  It taught me how STRONG I am.

But really, if I was advising someone else, I’d say to just follow the plan that Kaiser outlined.  1200 calories a day, high protein, good carbs.  Well balanced meals – protein, fruit, veggies, complex carbs.  3 meals a day, no snacks so that pre-op patients can get used to the lifestyle they’ll be living post-op, when grazing leads to weight gain.  I veered from the strict “3 meals a day” plan with the nutritionist’s blessing because of how early my day begins. I rearranged the 1200 calories so that I could include two snacks – one between breakfast and lunch and the second between lunch and dinner. Exercise 30 minutes, 6 days a week.  My own exercise averaged more like 4-5 days a week, 45-60 minute sessions.  But Kaiser’s overall point is to make exercise a daily part of life.

You guys know that I crave variety in my life, and especially in my workouts.  So I made a point throughout this journey to keep my exercise creative and fun.  I’ve done all sorts of activities to get my calorie burn in:

  • walking (most of the time with Sofi!)
  • elliptical machine (I adore this machine, because it’s easy on the joints, and makes me feel like I’m running on clouds)
  • recumbent bike (this was a godsend when I developed plantar fasciitis)
  • Zumba
  • On-Demand workouts – I love Jill Coleman’s kick boxing workouts
  • Yoga (Bikram is a fave, but I really enjoy the free classes at my local Lululemon, too)
  • Aqua aerobics
  • Swimming (all summer long!)
  • Hot Hula

I am excited to get back to the gym and to all of these activities.  Of course, some of them have to wait until I’ve recuperated a bit more.  I’m even more excited to get to the point where I can start working on some of the things on my Fitness Bucket List. Long after I’ve made my weight loss goals, fitness is going to be the thing that keeps me engaged.  It’s what will drive my strong competitive side.  I love seeing what I can do, and I know that fitness will bring me tons of NSVs for the rest of my life.   I may never become a marathoner (no desire), but I will become as fit and active as I can possibly be.

Another huge factor in my weight loss was logging what I was eating on MyFitnessPal. I have tried so many different online tools for tracking calories, and none of them can compare to MFP.  I love the sense of community and support that I find on there.  Many of my friends on MFP are also WLS patients, so they understand exactly where I’m coming from. I like the ability to see my friends’ food logs so that I can get good ideas for my own meals.  When I see friends logging exercise it spurs me on to get my steps in before the end of the day, too.  I can’t recommend the tool highly enough!  You can click here to friend me on MFP, just make sure to write a note and let me know how you found me.

When the scale doesn’t register a loss no matter how hard I’m working, the thing that keeps me sane is support.  My family and friends are tireless supporters, who put up with every calorie I count, every miniscule weight loss brag, every crying jag when I had a down turn. The support I get from writing this blog amazes me on a daily basis; I’ve made true friendships with people I’ve never even met in real life. Watching YouTube videos of other WLS people, as well as those who are losing weight without surgery, have inspired me immensely.  I even started making videos myself.   When I started to go to the WLS support group at Kaiser in January, it lit a spark in me that continues today. There’s nothing like the freedom of discussing all the changes we’re going through in a forum that feels comfortable and safe.  Even FB has given me support in the form of the Sassy Sleevers group I’m a member of.  I’ve learned lots of tips (like the GasX that saved me post-op), and I’ve been incredibly motivated by the successes shared in that group.

These first 50 pounds lost were incredibly challenging, but they led me to the steps that will take me all the way to my ultimate goal. And looking at them from the other side, I can say that each hard-earned pound was worth the effort.



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It’s been about 2 1/2 weeks since I started to get back on track with my weight loss efforts, and I thought it was time for a bit of a weigh-in post.

As you guys know, I’ve stopped doing weekly weigh-in posts toward the end of last year, for several reasons.  My weight was fluctuating back and forth so much that it was getting me really depressed.  Seeing the scale move back and forth was just no good for my motivation.  Also, I started looking at Wednesdays after my weigh-in as “cheat” days where I went way out of bounds with my eating plan.  That habit started back with WW when some of the people in my meeting would talk about how they were all going out to dinner afterward and eating whatever they wanted because “they had a whole week to work it off until the next weigh-in.”  I adopted that mentality, and it did nothing for my results on the scale.  In fact, it kind of gave in to the overeating/binging behaviors that I’d developed.  And also because Wednesday mornings would notoriously be the mornings that I was running late and didn’t have time to weigh myself, take a scale shot, and write up the post.

From that point on,  I started to weigh myself on an almost daily basis and entering those numbers into MyFitnessPal.  That meant that every day became the day before a weigh in, which mean I stayed on track with my eating.  I didn’t have any more “cheat days,” because the next day meant facing the scale.  I broke out of the habit of being “on” or “off” of a plan, and finally really started incorporating my food plan into my lifestyle.  And ok, I’m not going to be eating Bariatric Choice food for the rest of my life, but for now it has worked well for me.  Having the food that’s pre-portioned, high in fiber, and somewhat lower in carbs helps me stay on track.  I get the crunch of the chips as part of my lunch; I get the sweetness of the caramel chocolate bar as a snack.  I’m less tempted to go off plan because the foods really do satisfy my cravings.  And then I still have my Lean & Green meal to look forward to at dinner.

Once I had my food and behaviors around food sorted out, there was the last thing I needed to incorporate – exercise.  Without it, I don’t see big numbers on the scale, my motivation wanes, and I’m more likely to start slipping in my other efforts.  Plus, it’s a lot more difficult for me to get in the daily intake of water that I need to.  Working out fuels me – it makes me feel so good about myself, so proud of what I’ve just accomplished.  Strong.  Disciplined.  Happy.  And nothing beats the calorie burn for really seeing results on the scale.

So how have I done since I started back on December 26th?  I’ve lost 9.2 lbs, which is darn good!  It means I have 25.8 pounds to go to reach my pre-op goal.  Technically, if I keep this rate up, I could be at that goal in 6 weeks, which would be February 22nd, so that’s what I’m going to strive towards.

Now I know that I’m going to have some weeks when I don’t lose 4 pounds, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t push myself to try.  And if it means that I reach the goal in 8 weeks, or even 12, that’s fine, too.  Because I know that if I keep up what I’m doing, I WILL get there in the first quarter of this year.

Which seems completely surreal yet overdue, all at the same time.

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Wow, it’s been FOREVER since I did a weigh-in update, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve really liked this new method of mine – weighing in every couple of days and tracking that progress on MyFitnessPal (more on that in a moment) and then limiting my actual “official” weigh-in posts to once a month or so. It’s a saner, more realistic way for me to see my progress.

This morning I felt so light when I woke up.  I knew I would see good things on the scale, but I felt so good that it didn’t even matter – I’m doing everything right, so I know I’m making strides toward my goal.

20110924-072946.jpg Which means I’ve lost 9.2 lbs since I started my own high-protein/low-carb diet on August 29th (3.5 weeks ago) and 19.2 lbs total. I’m especially pleased with my progress since I started this new “get serious” pre-op plan, and I think that now that I’m going full steam ahead with the diet every single day of the week it’s going to be even more steady. (Note: I recorded 291.8 into MyFitnessPal because the scale was fluctuating between 291.6 and 292.0, so I went in the middle.  The weight loss stats I mentioned above reflects the mid-range number).

And when I refer to this plan as a diet, it really is.  It is a short term, get-the-damn-pre-op-weight-off diet that will get me to my goal.  Period.  Which works out well, because once I have the VSG surgery, I’ll be hitting the “reset” button on the way that I eat, the way that I look at food, completely.  I’m actually perfectly happy in following this diet, too.  For me at this stage, keeping it simple and straightforward works wonders for me.  As some of you pointed out, I can be social with my Lean & Green meal or just with a cup of coffee/tea. Or even better by meeting friends and doing something fitness-related like taking a walk or riding bikes or something.  For example, tonight I have plans to go to dinner with a friend, but I told her I’m staying low carb and she actually said that she is, too.  Perfect!  Tomorrow I have other plans with a different friend to go  to another yoga class.  So it can be done – I can stick to my goals and still come out of the house.

Because in the end, I want to get to this pre-op goal way more than I want to eat carbs. And since I don’t do well in the blurred gray areas, it’s much better for me in the short term to just stick to this strict diet, reach my goal of 266, get the surgery scheduled, and maintain that weight loss until surgery.

I hate predicting goal dates, but I’m feeling like I need to “put it out there” in order for me to manifest it. So I’m going to follow what’s been predicted by MyFitnessPal and say that I’d like to get to 266 by the beginning of November, which is 7-8 weeks. Which is a little more than 3 lbs a week. For someone my weight, this is absolutely do-able, especially following the type of diet I am.

A big thank you to all that commented on that choices post. Your feedback and honesty really helped me know what I needed to do.

My next weigh-in post will be at the beginning of October because I want to keep these posts consistent with when I call into Kaiser’s Bariatric dept. with my progress.  Even thought it won’t be too far from today, I’m hoping to show another drop on the scale and be solidly in the 280s by then.  No need to wish me luck because I have my mind set that it WILL happen.

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