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Posts Tagged ‘NSVs’

I always love going shopping, but I especially love it when I find great deals and hit new NSVs in the process.

Today I was shopping at Target, and some maxi skirts caught my eye.  The $15 price tag was too good to pass up. Normally maxi anything doesn’t fit me because they’re always really long on my 5″3′ frame.  But because there’s nothing as easy-breezy as throwing on a maxi skirt and a tank on a warm summer day, I figured I’d give them a go.  Here’s where the NSV comes in – I picked out a couple of Larges in patterns I liked, held the hanger up to my waist, saw that it wasn’t dragging on the ground, and bought them – without trying them on!  I was that confident that they’d fit.

When I got home, I immediately tried the skirts on, and was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t the least bit snug.  They hugged my curves well, but were very flowy and not even a little bit tight.  In the pictures I took, I don’t even have a shaper on, which is a bit of an NSV in itself.  (Although I might wear a shaper under the skirt when I really wear it out, just to avoid any jiggling when I walk).

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(Forgive the hair in these pics – it’s raining here today, and I’d been running around).

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Even though these both have horizontal stripes, I think they’re pretty flattering on.  And I love that they’re short enough for me to wear flip flops if I want to.  Although I could see dressing the outfit up with some strappy wedges that I have, too.  The tank is also new and has a really pretty weave to it (which I know you can’t see in these pics).

The best NSV was when RC3 and I were walking around Union Square in SF on Saturday and decided to go inside Banana Republic’s flagship store.  I love the classic, sophisticated style of the clothes at Banana Republic, but for years only window shopped because I could never fit into them.  And I guess I sort of forgot about the store in this past year, even though I’m down to a size that they actually carry.  So when RC3 suggested that we go inside and look around a bit, I was excited to see what they had.

We happened upon the sale section, and one dress immediately caught my eye – it was a black and white abstract floral pattern and cut in my favorite 50s style.  I loved the shape of it, and the fact that when I held the hanger up to myself, it wasn’t too short.  (I’m still really self-conscious about the flub on my knees and thighs). The dress hits just a “tidge” below my knees, which is my favorite length.  It was originally $119, but on sale half off, so I got it for $65, tax and all.  Don’t you just love a great deal wrapped in a Banana Republic bag?  I know I do!

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I went to the dressing room to try on the 12, and I was thrilled when I zipped it up and it fit.  Not only did it fit, but it looked really good.  It flatters my small waist, and allows enough room for my ample hips.  It looks so cute on, and I cannot wait to wear it.

Speaking of which, RC3 said that he’d seen that The Marriage of Figaro is coming to SF Opera, and asked if I’d want to go.  Would I?!  Of course!!  Neither of us has ever been to the opera before, and the SF Opera house is truly spectacular.  Plus, this opera has such a light, fun storyline. My sister took a music appreciate class in college, and studied many of Mozart’s operas, and she said it is by far, her favorite.  How romantic will it be to go to the opera for the first time with RC3, getting all dolled up?  I’m definitely wearing this dress!

Now I just have to find some awesome heels to go with it… which will be another NSV.  😉

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bilbl_mainGeez, it feels like forever since I’ve written a blog entry, right?  I’m so sorry.  I think about this blog all the time, but lately I just don’t have enough hours in the day to get in the right mind space to write a good post.  I’ve missed it so much, though, and really want to make the blog a priority again. Since this is a “catch-up” post, it’s going to be long, so sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy…

Please don’t take my lack of writing as a sign that I’ve “fallen off the wagon,” because that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I’ve been maintaining my weight since my last weigh in post, probably because I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I should be to working out.  Most days I’ll fit some cardio in, but lately I’ve been really hit and miss with the toning workouts.  My food has been great, though, which is why the scale is holding steady at 171.

I really, REALLY want to see the 160s soon, but to do that, I know that I need to kick my workouts into high gear, drink plenty of water, and make sure my protein intake is high.  I’m 21 pounds from my ultimate goal weight, and I would really like to make more progress towards that goal before the end of the year. So for the rest of this month, and actually, for the rest of the year, I’m going to make sure I’m on point with my food and my workouts.  Except of course on the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, & Christmas Day – I’m going to allow for indulgences, although I’ll probably get a workout in on all of those days to help compensate.  Which is not to say I’m not going to enjoy a glass or two of wine with my friends or family or have a few beers on SundayFunday while watching the 49ers – I want to enjoy life, but I also want to make sure I’m getting in a good calorie burn on those days to keep it all in balance.

Speaking of balance, in order to make sure I’m not totally abandoning this blog or all of my blogging buddies, I’m going to get back in the habit of setting aside an hour a day towards “blogging.”  If I have something to write, I’ll make sure to post, but if not, I want to visit all of the blogs I love to read but have been neglecting lately.  Blogging is still a passion of mine, and what I attribute much of my weight loss success to.  It’s been an amazing vehicle for my emotions, struggles, ideas, and inspirations.  And reading blogs is just as important as writing my own.  So it’s time to get back into it, full force, no matter how busy I am.

I’ve really been enjoying my new job, even though I am getting used to the longer hours.  The thing is, on a daily basis, I’m working later than I did when I was teaching, but the fantastic part is, once I’m home, I leave work at work. No hours spent grading essays on the weekends. Or more accurately, no hours guiltily agonizing over the essays that I should be grading, but aren’t.  I do miss the interaction with my students and the colleagues at the high school where I’d been working for the past 10 years, but this new phase of my career is really nice.  It’s a welcome break from all the stress that comes with being a teacher, especially an English teacher.  Plus, I adore the new teachers that I’m working with, and I think I’m really making a difference in their professional lives, which in turn has an effect on the hundreds of students that they’re teaching.  All in all, I’m really glad that I made the move.

In terms of life, things are good.  I’ve been seeing friends and family here and there, enjoying football and baseball season, and I checked two major items off my #FriskyFall Bucket List:

Going Apple Picking: I was able to tag along with my niece’s Girl Scout Troop (my sister is their troop leader).  We headed to fun little apple orchard in Watsonville, which coincidentally is owned by a family who’s grandkids attend my niece’s elementary school.  I love that we supported a local family!  It was a really fun day, and the apples we got were delicious.

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Heading to a Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Patch: My sister and I headed up to Half Moon Bay a few weekends ago to get our pumpkins for all of our Halloween decorations.  Sure, the local grocery stores have pumpkins for sale, but nothing like the variety available at  the pumpkin patches in HMB.  Plus, it’s a nice drive, and we took advantage of the sunny day and drove the Beetle with the top down.  Wheelbarrow in hand, we explored the entire pumpkin patch for just the right pumpkins, and boy did we!

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There have been a couple of milestones that I’ve enjoyed while I’ve taken some time off this blog.

The first was going to my 25th high school reunion.  What a difference 5 years made!  I remember how I felt before my 20th reunion: very embarrassed about the way I was looking, how much weight I’d gained, the fact that I was single, and just sort of nervous about seeing all these girls I went to school with after so long.  I ended up having a good time, but when I saw the photos we took that night, I wasn’t happy with the person I saw.  Fast forward to this year – I couldn’t wait for the reunion because I felt so confident in everything I’d been doing. Not just my weight loss, but my overall outlook in life.  I was still single, but it wasn’t as much of an issue because I knew that there are lots of possibilities in that area.

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Next up, on the NSV list is the purchase of new, size 10 jeans!! I’d been wearing my size 12s all spring and summer, and while I knew they were a bit loose, I didn’t realize how much until one of my colleagues saw me at the SAT and told me how baggy they were on me.  The next Monday I was at the mall, and was so proud that I found several pair that not only fit, but looked good.

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tryon size 10

As you can see, the boot legs are still too long on me, even though they’re “shorts;”  I have to take them to the tailor to have them hemmed. This is a new first for me.  I never remember owning and wearing size 10s –  ever!  I’m really proud of myself, and this is a great NSV because even though my weight loss has stayed the same, I’m still loosing inches, which is so nice.

One last NSV is all about Halloween. My Halloween costume, specifically.  It’s been so long since I’ve been able to wear any costume I want, right off the shelf of a costume shop.  In the past, I’ve had to select from the slim pickings of the plus size section or the super-expensive plus size costumes available online.  Not this year!  I knew I’d have my choice of whatever costume I wanted.  Such an amazing feeling.  So when I went to a local vintage clothing store to see what they had to offer, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted.  I knew it would either be a 50’s-esque retro dress or something dark and gothic.

spikedI went with the latter because I’d purchased this cool “buried bauble” from Bauble Bar, and knew it would be great for Halloween.

So when I found this costume, and then realized it was on sale for 50% off, I knew I was going to transform into Vampira for Halloween (more on this in another post).

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So that’s what’s been going on in my life.  I’m really going to make more of an effort to write more posts, because I really still enjoy it.  In fact, I have some fun to share with you in my next post, so I’d better end this one so I can start that one.

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(I used the Rhonna Designs app on my iPhone to make this pic. I used this picture I took from my recent visit to Santa Cruz Boardwalk).

1.  This is my last Friday of summer vacation. 😦  This time next Friday I’ll be at a “Welcome Back” meeting for the start of the new school year for our first teacher workday.  My plan for the day is to spend it the way I’ve spent the entire summer – a combo of fitness and fun.  Fitness: a session on my home elliptical, walking the dogs with my dad, and swimming some laps. Fun: a bit of shopping (just took advantage of Victoria Secret’s most recent email offer), reading poolside, and a possible date later tonight.

2. This week has been a very social one, getting together with lots of friends that I’ve known since high school, which I’ve loved.  That’s one of the huge distinctions between my life now and my life before I lost all the weight.  I was always a social, extroverted person, but I often felt a bit depressed about the way I looked. Not to mention the clothing issue – I always tried to look my best, but nothing ever fit the way it should’ve.  I can’t count the number of times I turned down an invitation or made some excuse just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with all of that.  Now, I have tons of clothes in the closet that look great and make me feel fantastic.  Now, I am happy and excited when someone suggests going out.  I’m actually getting teary-eyed thinking about what a huge switch this is.  Just one more thing to be so grateful for about this new life.

3. I’ve been getting into Instagram a lot this summer, as you can tell by my feed on the right.  I post daily check-ins for my workouts and lots of pics of other things that just strike my fancy.  While I’ve been off, it’s been easy and really fun. This month I’m participating in three different photo-a-day contests, and I’m hoping I can keep up with them once school starts. If you haven’t joined a photo-a-day contest, I righly recommend them…maybe not just three in one month.  Still, the contests are a great way for me to stay focused on fitness, get motivated, and inspire myself and others with all the photos.

2014-08-02 08.50.30One is for the TIU community,

2014-08-01 12.17.59 one is hosted by @MoxieFitchick,

photoand the third is the Active Living Challenge with Fit Approach and Lorna Jane Active.

4. In anticipation of the school year starting in about a week, I spent a good portion of the day yesterday mapping out my school year workout plans in my iCal.  Since I have a morning prep period on my B days (which means I can get to school a bit later than normal) I’m going to fit in early morning fitness classes at the gym several times a week.  The live Insanity class that I tried a few weeks ago is now offered Tuesday mornings at 5:45am, and I’ll be there whenever Tuesday is a B day.  I’m also going to spinning at least once a week at 5:45am.  I’m still undecided about what I’ll do on my A days, when I need to leave my house by 7am.  Towards the end of last year I was waking up at 4:30am to do a morning workout, but that is just SO early.  Although it’s not ideal, I think I may go back to afternoon workouts on A days, because I really did enjoy them and they’re a great way to relieve the stress of the day.

5. 2014-08-07 12.40.49 Kandis, one of the TIUgirls, mentioned a week or two ago that she had started reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles.  Who doesn’t want “subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness” right? The reviews and general internet buzz about the book was so positive that I thought I’d give it a try.  Have you read it?  What are your thoughts?  What book are you reading right now? Let me know in the comments.

That’s my Friday Five – I’m off to enjoy some pool time.

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

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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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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 61 was awesome!  Not only did I enjoy my increased calorie intake, but I got in 6 days of solid workouts (which helped me exceed my goal of #150bysummer!), and I finally made it to the beach for the first time this summer.  With only two weeks left before I start my teacher meetings, I’m determined to make each day count.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 178.4, which is a loss of 2.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 98.6 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 136.6 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 28.4 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really excited to see a significant loss like this on the scale, because it’s been awhile!  Increasing my daily calories to around 1000 net calories per day is working well; it keeps me really satisfied throughout the day and it also curbs any cravings I may have. This morning’s weigh in marks my lowest weight on the scale in the last 20+ years, and I can’t wait to keep hitting new “lows” as these weeks continue.

One NSV that I’d like to share happened yesterday, on #TransformationTuesday, appropriately enough.  When I was originally asked to be a SweatPink Ambasador, one of the cool things the Fit Approach crew does is send out pink shoelaces and a SweatPink tank.  The shoelaces were no problem. The tank, though, didn’t fit, not by a LONG shot.  I ordered the largest size available, and there was no way on earth that it was going to fit me.  So I put it away for all this time.  Over two years it sat on a shelf, just waiting for the day when I could put it on.  For some reason, I decided to give it a try yesterday.  And you know what, it not only fit, but I was really happy with how I looked in it.

Here’s my post to the FB group:

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I’m floored that 145 people “liked” my post!

Better than that was that when I posted about it on the SweatPink Ambassadors’ Facebook page, the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming!

Just a few of the comments I got from my SPAs

Just a few of the comments I got from my SPAs

Lately I’ve been seeing myself as a fit person, which is amazing to me.  For so many years I  was the “pretty plus-sized girl,” but now I’m proud of the body that I have.  I’m not hiding it behind loose clothes and layers, I’m wearing form-fitting outfits that show off my strong legs, shapely waist, curvy booty, and arms that are beginning to show some definition.  I love the way I’ve transformed, and I’m really enjoying dressing this new physique.  I like showing it off a bit, which is such a switch from the years of camouflaging my flaws.   Yes, I still have things I want to work on, but I’m happy to let the real me SHINE.

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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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(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:

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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.

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

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Let’s start with my post on Facebook last night when I got home:

Tonight I went to SF to meet a fabulous NOLA girl turned YouTubelebrity (VsgTanya) whose journey I’ve followed for about 2 years now. Although I’d only known her from videos on YouTube and posts on FB, I just knew we’d hit it off, and we did. As a wonderful bonus, I met a bunch of other fabulous ladies who all live within an hour of me. Thank you, Tanya for coming to San Fran and bringing all the Bay Area peeps together. So fun!!”

Before I ever had the VSG surgery, I looked up other people’s WLS journeys on YouTube so that I could be really prepared for what I was about to experience.  VSGTanya was one of the first channels that popped up, and I felt an immediate kinship with this beautiful girl from New Orleans.  Maybe it was the eyebrows!  LOL.  She has this positive attitude and open demeanor that really helped me get ready for my own surgery. And in the time since, I’ve turned to her videos again and again for tips, advice, and information.  Tanya shares so much of herself in her videos that I felt like I knew her.  I told myself that when I make it to New Orleans, one of my bucket list destinations, I’ll definitely let Tanya know so we can meet up.

And then about a month ago, she posted that she was coming to San Fran for a work conference, and the next thing I know, there was a Bay Area WLS Peeps Meet Up set up and I was invited!  The cool thing was, not only would I get the chance to meet Tanya, but I’d also get a chance to meet several WLS people I’m FB friends with, but whom I’d never met, even though we live so close to each other.

I was looking forward to today all week, and I was absolutely thrilled to see what a gorgeous day it was.  As I made my way into SF, I was even happier that the weather held up!  Usually at this time of year, San Francisco is chilly and foggy, even when the weather in the south bay is warm and sunny.  But not today, today it was 79 degrees and sunny in SF!  The weather really couldn’t have been better for Tanya’s visit.

Since it was so nice, I thought I’d wear one of the sundresses I’d recently purchased:

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A few things to note about this outfit: The dress is from Target, and I love the way it fits! Since it was a nice day, I wanted to wear flip flops, but because the dress is a bit short, hitting me just above the knee, I wanted to wear tights.  Not having any footless tights, and having even less time to go buy some, I cut up a pair of regular tights, and as long as no one looked too closely, I think it worked great.  That purse that I’m wearing is a huge NSV for me.  It’s an Issac Mizrahi purse that I’d bought a couple of years ago from QVC.  It came as a 3-piece set: a wristlet, this crossbody, and a huge shopper.  Whenever I’d worn the crossbody in the past, it hit me right under my chest, and looked miniscule compared to my girth, so I put it on the shelf until today.  I’m so proud of how it looks now, and plan to make it a staple in my spring and summer wardrobe.  Oh, and how can we forget Miss Sofi there?  She’s freshly groomed and looking beautiful, sporting her strawberry dog collar.

We were meeting up near Tanya’s hotel in Union Square, which is the shopping district of SF.  I was waiting to cross the street as I saw Tanya, and the whole thing felt really surreal – I was about to meet this person that I’d looked up to for so long on YouTube!  We immediately hugged, and things were as easy between us as I’d hoped they would be.  I confessed right away that I felt like I was meeting a celebrity, and she laughed, but it’s true.  Tanya’s helped so many WLS people, and put herself out there to help others, and I was so glad to get the chance to meet her. Plus, she’s just a cool girl who like to have a good time.

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The girls had spent the day playing tourists around SF, and this was their time before dinner to fit in some shopping.  I told Tanya that I was glad she’d seen some of the prettier areas of the city, since Union Square is not very picturesque.  But it does have good shopping! While a few of the ladies were getting their makeup done at MAC, some of us hit Macy’s up to find some shoes.  For those who haven’t been, the Macy’s in Union Square is a thing to behold – the women’s store is 7 floors, and the shoe department is HUGE! (The men’s store is 5 floors, for those who are interested). We had a great time finding some shoes for Tanya.

On a quick side note, I have to tell about another NSV.  Walking in SF was always a challenge for me, even when I lived there for two years.  It’s a hilly city where you have to walk everywhere, which left my feet hurting and feeling breathless whenever I was out with friends walking around.  Not things time!  I was walking all around with no problem, and didn’t get breathless once.  In fact, most of the time I was leading the pack, walking quickly.  What a change from the past!

After shopping, we made our way to First Crush for some wine and dinner.  I’d never been before, but I would definitely go again.  San Francisco is an amazing food city, filled with terrific restaurants.  So many that you could go out to eat every night for a year and not have to repeat places.  We had the best time trading stories and getting to know each other.  Jodi organized the entire meetup, and her husband Chuck, was a great ego booster as he told everyone within earshot what a lucky guy he was to be with all these gorgeous ladies. Without seeming immodest, I have to agree:

Chuck told us to give him our best Charlie's Angels

Chuck told us to give him our best Charlie’s Angels

At the table before dinner

At the table before dinner

This is one fun group of women!  The conversation went from WLS to shopping to working out to relationships to sex to everything in between.  There’s just an unspoken bond among people who have had weight loss surgery, we “get” each other, because even though we may be from different backgrounds, we’ve shared an experience that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived it.  And not just the surgery and the weight loss, but also living as an obese person for so many years and then having this amazing transformation.

Another side note NSV: in the past whenever friends and I took group photos, I would always worry about the angle and how heavy I would end up looking in the photos.  Tonight I didn’t give it one thought.  I had the confidence in knowing that I am a whole different person now, and that the photos would reflect that change.

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This group just looks like fun, right?  Or as one of the ladies posted on FB – trouble! This was our last photo as a whole group before Chandra (in that great maxi dress next to me in the photo) and I left.  The rest of the girls were off to paint the town red, and judging from their posts on FB throughout the night, they did!

I feel so lucky to have met all these ladies, especially Tanya, and I am confident that we’ll all get together again very soon.

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