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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 43 was a bit overwhelming, if I’m honest.  Things are really busy at work, and I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day.  I still managed to eat well and to get my cardio workouts in, but I did let a few toning workouts slip by.  This next week is going to be just as busy, so I’m going to do my best to set things up today so that I don’t feel like I have no time for everything I have to do. Feeling organized is huge for me – it make all the difference in the world.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 184.6, which is a loss of 1.4 pounds this week, and a loss of 92.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 130.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 34.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m pleased with this week’s loss, especially considering I didn’t do many of the toning exercises that I’ve been doing 5 times a week for the past couple of months.  My eating has been great, though, and I did pretty well with my water intake, too.

More of the clothes I ordered for my Hawaiian vacation came in this week, and every single item looks as good or better than I’d hoped.  I don’t mean to sound conceited when I write that, but this is a whole new thing for me.  In the past when I ordered clothes online, it was always hit and miss as far as how the clothes would look.  Now it’s a whole different story because I have a whole different body.  It really is an amazing feeling.

Yesterday the high school I attended had an Alumnae Day of Service at a local charity, which fit in well with my volunteering for Lent.  One of my good friends attended, and I had a blast meeting a bunch of new friends.  There’s something about being an alumna from my school – we have an instant bond because of the shared experience of going to an all-girls Catholic school.  And not just because of wearing that plaid skirt; because of the values we were taught, the education we received, and the spirit of friendship that we formed.  It truly was an amazing experience, and I’m so grateful to my parents for sacrificing so much so that my sister and I could attend the school.

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A shot of a new friend and me sorting apples.

A great group shot of all of the alums who volunteered.

A great group shot of all of the alums who volunteered. The lady in the sun hat is in charge of food sorting at the center, and was our supervisor for the day.

This week the enormous changes I’ve undergone have become more evident to me.  In looking at photos I’ve been in with groups of friends lately (last weekend, this Friday night, and again yesterday) I can see that I’m a completely different person.  I’m not worried about how my body is going to look in pictures, because I know how hard I’ve worked.  It’s so freeing to just smile and capture the moment, rather than worry so much about what angle the camera is being held at. I see myself and I am proud of the lady being reflected back at me. A new confidence is emerging, and I am loving it!

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

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A day in the life. Or, all the things I did to avoid grading those darn essays that I need to get finished before Tuesday. (And I’d feel so much better if I went into the workweek with them finished).

Changed the sheets on the bed:

Drank lots of coffee!

(I hate that burn on the countertop, but it’s from a previous tenant).

Refereed overly passionate playing puppies.  And played with them a bit, too:

Went shopping at Trader Joe’s and Target and…

…filled the fruit bowl

…stocked the freezer (Lean Cuisine’s on sale at Target: $2 each, plus buy 4, get 1 free, so for 10 dinners, I paid $16: $1.60 each!!)

…made sure that all my favorite, healthy foods were ready for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner all week:

(Don’t worry about that overly-processed bologna-looking turkey, that’s what Lulu uses to take her daily dose of Benedryl when I run out of regular turkey).

Tweeted, blogged/commented on blogs, checked FB – basically went to all my favorite online haunts:

I even did a bunch of laundry and folded it and put it away.

But now I’ve come to the point in the day when it really is unavoidable.  I need to get to the grading:

Wish me luck.

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Before I started SBD, I realized that if I was going to be successful, I’d need to stay organized and prepare most of the food ahead of time. I was a bit worried about this, because my life is really hectic right now.

Tonight I proved to myself that I could do this.

I started cooking up some of the boneless pork chops and 94/6 hamburger patties I bought. I put some pepper and garlic powder on them and then just put them on the George Foreman grill. I also chopped some more onion and garlic and sauteed them with some olive oil and cooked up the rest of the greens in the bag. (Enough for two meals). I figured I’d have one protein tonight and then bring one tomorrow night to my grad school class, and the other two could be eaten when I had to stay at school late for journalism and yearbook work nights on Wednesday and Thursday. After cooking all of this meat up, I decided I’d rather wait to eat it, because I wasn’t in the mood for it tonight.

Then I realized that I had bought that rottiserie chicken and I needed to use that up before too long, as well. I had also purchased some stir fry veggies that needed to be cooked before too long. I also remembered I had bought some cooked, frozen shrimp, so I decided to throw all of it together — the stir fry veggies, the roasted chicken, and the shrimp — into the pot that I had already cooked up the greens in. I chopped up more onion and added some sliced mushrooms that I had purchased. I added a bit of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. The whole thing took probably 10 minutes and I had enough food for tonight’s dinner, tomorrow’s dinner, and another lunch sometime this week. I do wish I would’ve had some low sodium soy sauce on hand, but it actually tasted pretty good without it.

Cooking everything at once has its benefits — one night of making a mess in the kitchen and making pots to clean. The downside is that the food might get a bit overdone by reheating it in the microwave. I tried to cook the meat about a minute before being “done” so that when I microwave it later, it will still be fairly juicy. We’ll see.

It feels great to know that I cooked enough tonight for the rest of the week. I should have no problem sticking with SB this week now that I’ve gotten the food organized.

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December 1. Today’s the day. I started SBD. I woke up this morning and weighed myself so I could have an official “starting weight.” The number on the scale this morning is the highest number I’ve ever recorded for myself. Which is not to say that I haven’t weighed more than this, because I’m sure I have, I just never knew the number. It’s daunting and scary and gross and I will never see this number again as long as I live. I guarantee myself that.

I feel like I’m off to a good start. Well, it’s only 9:07am, but I do feel prepared and organized. I’m glad that we took a few weeks to get started with this, rather than jumping right in. It gave me time to prepare myself mentally and to get all the things I’m going to need ready.

Yesterday I got plenty of food at TJ’s although I still need to pick up a couple of things at Safeway. Name brand items that they don’t carry at TJs and that I like: V-8, Knudson Lowfat cottage cheese, etc.

I even made my breakfast and lunch yesterday, because I knew I was going to be up early today to proctor the SATs. I’m very proud of myself for doing that. I hope I can keep it up. In some ways, I think this SBD is going to help me stay more organized and orderly in my everyday life. It almost forces you to think ahead and prepare food. That might be a side benefit, besides losing weight.

I can’t wait for one week from today, when I get on the scale and see some amount of weight loss. I really don’t care how much it is, as long as it’s in the downward direction.

I’m glad that we’re all doing this diet/new food lifestyle together, although I think we each need to remember that we’re all at different levels and what works for one of us may not work for all of us. I think we need to make sure that we’re not judging each other. A bit of this came out last night in conversation, and it worried me. Ultimately, we’re each responsible only to ourselves, and the others are there for moral support and encouragement.

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I’m trying not to think in a deprivation mentality in relation to the South Beach Diet, but…

Knowing that most carbs (bread, rice, pasta, fruit) are going to be off limits for 2 weeks, I’m getting plenty of them in this week. I bought some amazing rosemary sourdough bread that I enjoyed two nights in a row with some Italian wedding soup. I LOVE that soup so much, but the little pastinas definitely aren’t SB-friendly.

I’m looking forward to embarking on this new weight loss program, and can’t wait to see the results — both physically and mentally. I can’t wait to see those initial water weight plans shed themselves, which will no doubt give me tons of encouragement. I also can’t wait to have more energy. I’ve been feeling so sluggish lately, and I really hate that.

The one trepidation I have is about being organized enough with the food. I’m going to have to make sure the pantry, fridge, and freezer are well stocked with SB-friendly food that is easy to prepare. I’m planning on trying to do plenty of cooking/prep work on the weekends so that during the week, all I have to do is cook the food. I’m also going to use the Dream Dinner mentality of making a few things at once (cooking 4 chicken breasts instead of just one) so I have dinner already cooked and ready to reheat.

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