Posts Tagged ‘plans’


One huge thing making me smile today is the fact that I have the entire week off next week! This is the first time my school district has given us the whole week off – we usually get Wednesday – Friday, but having these two extra days is really wonderful. I don’t have anything “amazing” planned, but I do think I’m going to do a few things:

  • clean and organize the closets
  • cheer for my 49ers as they win on Monday Night Football
  • start my Match.com profile – I recently bought a Groupon for $17 for one month on Match.com, so there soon may be some interesting tales to tell of my online dating exploits
  • get my hair blown out at Dry Bar Tuesday night with Tinkerbell
  • watch Hunger Games on Netflix and then go see Catching Fire at the theatre
  • start C25K on Monday
  • begin reading The Theory of Opposites (and hopefully finish it before the week is over)
  • buy some “after school”/casual clothes in smaller sizes
  • do the Turkey Trot Thursday morning w/ Ani
  • take Sofi on plenty of long walks

Yesterday I went to Sports Basement to pick up my bib for the Turkey Trot. Originally I was going to get a women’s XXL, since the race shirts are the technical tees that are slim fit, but they didn’t have any that size.  So I knew it was time to get a men’s tee.  I went over to the XLs, and one of the guys doling out the shirts told me, “there’s no way that shirt is going to fit you – it’s way too big.”  Too big!!! An XL! I mean, just a couple of months ago, an XL in men’s wouldn’t have fit me at all and I would’ve been hoping I could stretch out an XXL.  So, I picked up a large, and… it fits.  It not only fits, it looks good!


This morning I started bright and early on the hybrid and did the elliptical for 45 minutes! I haven’t done the elliptical for more than a month, favoring the recumbent bike, but this morning I wanted more of a burn. Plus, I wanted to push myself a bit more.  I told myself, “just do it for 30 minutes.” Then when it was getting closer to 30 minutes, I said, “go till 45 minutes, you can do it, no problem.” And I was right.  Pushing myself a bit more felt great, and I burned 646 calories! I’m going to do it again tomorrow morning, but I’m going to put in an hour.

Today I got to spend lots of time with my sister and my 6-year-niece (the older niece is on a Girl Scouts camping trip in Point Reyes, so she’s having fun, too).  This afternoon we went for a nice walk at the Rose Garden with the pups, and then after dinner we put on our dancin’ shoes and had a ton of fun playing Just Dance 4.  My little niece is quite the hip-hop dancer, and whenever a song with an upbeat tempo came on she’d say, “now THIS is my kinda song!”  Too cute.  It’s great having so much more energy to do all these fun activities with my family.

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Tonight as I was writing an email to ScaleWarfare, I mentioned the fact that there are about 9 weeks left before I am on Winter Break.

9 weeks. 23 pounds to go to my mini goal.  2.5555 lbs per week.

Totally doable. Very realistic.  Completely achievable.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve been on this journey for years.  This is one of the greatest accomplishments I will ever achieve in my life, and now is the time to do it.

I am committing to put in the work – 100% Jenny Craig, 10 glasses of water/day, 5 workouts a week, totally at least 45 minutes each.

I am worth it.  I can do it.  I WILL do it. I believe it.  I will make my dreams come true.


Mark my words.

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I’m sorry for my lack of posting this past week; it’s been so busy with getting ready for the start of school tomorrow.  But I promise to be back to my regular blogging from here on out.  I missed writing and I had so many ideas to share that I was practically bursting at the seams.

Since tomorrow (Monday) is the first day of school for me, I have been thinking a lot about how I’m going to fit everything into my more complicated, busier schedule.  I don’t want to fall into the common habit of letting my food and exercise go to the wayside as I get into the daily grind of work.  That’s not healthy, nor will it get me to my goals.

Speaking of which, my main goal at the moment is to reach 266 lbs by the beginning of November.  It will be a challenge, but if I stick to my plan, it is definitely achievable.  That way, I will get on the WLS waiting list (which takes about 6 weeks), and I *should* have the surgery sometime between the middle of December to the beginning of January.  What better way to start the new year than with a new body?

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” ~Pablo Picasso

I love a good plan, and in the days leading up to back to school, I’ve come up with a strong, two-pronged approach  to achieve my goal.

1.  Bella’s Back-to-School Workout Plan

  • On my early-end days (when I have my prep period during the last period of the day), I will leave school 15 minutes before the final bell rings (to avoid the parking lot nightmare) and head straight to the gym.  On these days I’ll do cardio (elliptical, treadmill, or bike) and some core work or strength training.  While the weather is still warm (through October), I may head to the outdoor pool to get in some laps.  Then I’ll get home, take Sofi for a walk, cook and eat dinner, and get on with the rest of my evening.
  • On my full days (or when I have meetings and can’t leave a bit early), I will come home right after school, take Sofi for a walk, and (hopefully) attend a group exercise class (kickboxing, Afro-Belly Boogie, aqua aerobics, spin, or Zumba) at 5:30, 6:30, or 7:30.  Then I’ll come home and eat a light dinner.***

***These are the days that are much more “iffy” for me.  I’m like many of you, I’m sure –  once I get home and start to relax, it becomes increasingly difficult for me to get back out and go workout – unless I’m meeting someone else or I’m extremely motivated.  I know that sometimes I won’t make it to the gym, and that’s ok. Even if I only workout on the early days, I’ll still workout 2-3 weekdays.  Add with the fact that I’ll be walking Sofi for about 30 minutes a day every day, plus my weekend workouts, and I’ll still be moving my body every single day.  And I’ll be getting in more intense workouts 4-5 times a week, which is excellent.  While I’ll strive for intense workouts each day, I also want to be realistic.

2.  Bella’s Back-to-School Eating Plan

From now through the end of August, I’m going to stick to eating 1200-1300 calories per day, focusing on getting in lots of protein.  I’m going to make sure that I cook enjoyable meals and give myself something to look forward to each day (as the therapist recommended).  On the weekends, I’m going to allow myself to eat 1400-1600 calories and factor in at least one scheduled treat (again, as the therapist recommended).  I want to savor the last fruits of summer while keeping my daily food log and making sure everything fits within my calorie budget.  I’m going to write everything down, even if I go a bit overboard, because I want to be accountable and not have any “secret food.”

Beginning September 1st, Monday – Friday: I’m going to do my own version of Medifast.  Instead of spending all the money on Medifast, I am going to use the Premier Nutrition RTD shakes and protein bars from Costco.  I’ve priced them, purchased them, sampled them, and I really like the way they taste.  Plus, they each have 30g of protein, and are very low carb.  Then I’ll have a Lean and Green meal for dinner.  The day will look like this:

Breakfast: protein bar (280 calories)
Break: (only if needed) protein shake (160 calories)
Lunch: protein shake (160 calories)
After school/pre-workout snack: protein shake (160 calories)
Dinner: Lean and Green meal (around 350 calories)
Daily Total: 1000-1100 very low carb calories

On the weekends:I’m going to eat real food for all three meals.  One day will be around 1200 calories, and the other day (with the scheduled treat) will be up to 1500 calories if I feel I need that many.

I know what you’re thinking, “Bella, you just did Medifast, and yes, you lost 30 lbs, but as soon as you started eating real food, you gained 15 lbs of it back.”  While that is true, I didn’t do it this same way before.  The Medifast food didn’t taste as good as these Premier Nutrition products due.  Plus, I was eating Medifast 7 days a week, not giving myself any breaks or anything to “look forward to,” which meant that once I stopped doing it, I went off the wagon.  By including more variety to my meal choices on the weekends and taking away the concept of “off program foods,” I think I’ll be much more successful.

Everyone in the WLS support group that I spoke to was adamant about me “doing whatever I needed to do” to get the weight off and reach the surgeon’s goal requirement.  Following this plan I’ve outlined above, I should be able to get there with no problem by the beginning of November. Plus, I had sort of an Ah-Ha moment when I realized that once the goal weight gets officially recorded by Kaiser, all I have to do is maintain that weight loss for the 6 weeks leading up to surgery. It’s not as daunting to think about it that way.  Even if I gain 3-5 lbs in those 6 weeks that I’m waiting, I can easily take that off right before surgery if I need to.

I’ve thought about each part of this plan carefully and I know that I can do this.  I’m motivated by so many factors, the biggest of which is that I don’t want to enter 2012 in the same spot I am right now.  I want to have turned a corner, met a major goal, and accomplished the beginning of my dreams.

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No, I’m not being sarcastic with my title, and yes you did read that correctly.  I’m actually looking forward to school starting this year. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my summer’s off as much as anyone would.  And if I was somehow able to stop working and simply live my life the way that I have throughout the summer forever, you know that I would – in a heartbeat.  But this isn’t fairytaleland, it’s real life, and so I have to say that if I have to work, I’m actually really lucky with the schedule and classes that I have this coming year.

First of all, I’m teaching all higher-level classes.  Honors students come with their own set of issues, but I can guarantee myself that behavior and respectfulness won’t be among them.  Yes, there will be parents who overstep their bounds and yes, there will be point-mongers, but I can deal with that because my policies are solid and my standards are high and fair for everyone.  It will mean much more paperwork, in terms of grading, but it also means more fulfilling discussions that will challenge me and help me look at the literature in new and exciting ways.

And I also get to teach the classes I love – yearbook and journalism. Those classes are just plain fun.  Yes, they have deadlines and budgets that need to be met, but they’re also much more laid back and creative.  I get to know the students on a whole other level, and I love that. (I have two amazing examples, that I’ll get to in a moment).

I’ve also mentioned that having the last period as a prep every other day means that I will be able to leave school earlier than normal on those days.  Just leaving 15 minutes before the bell rings means that I can get on with the rest of my day 45 minutes earlier than I normally would.  That’s almost a whole exercise class!  I have a whole workout plan in place that I’ll mention later this week.

The main thing that’s going to make this year a great one is me.  My attitude.  Last year I didn’t really want school to start, ended up with some really awful, challenging students in two of my classes (about 30 really tough, hard to deal with, disrespectful kids), and my year went downhill.  Yes, I made the best of it, but I couldn’t wait for every weekend, school break, and summer vacation.  This year I am going into it with some very positive energy, because of the schedule and because of my classes, but also because of something that happened today.

Today I got two beautiful thank you cards and accompanying presents from parents thanking me for making a tremendous impact in their children’s lives.  Two separate sets of parents thanking me for making a huge difference.  Both complimenting me on my high expectations, passion for teaching, and inspiring spirit.  I mean, c’mon, how can you now feel completely uplifted with that?  I feel like those two cards will carry me through Winter Break!  🙂

So I’ve decided that this year is going to be a great year.  Beyond all the other things I’ve mentioned, it’s also the year that my students are going to watch their teacher completely transform before their eyes as she undergoes WLS.  (Not that I’m going to share that bit with my students).  By June 2012, I will be closer to being the me I’m mean to be.  I just know it.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Put it out there and it will happen.

It’s going to be an amazing year. 

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Not much to report in terms of a weekend update. After last weekend’s merriment, this weekend was quiet – housecleaning, a bit of shopping, organizing, meal planning, and some grocery shopping. Today’s post is going to be more for me than for you – I want to write down plans I will be accomplishing for the week. You guys can help to keep me accountable.

One thing I did this weekend was that I picked up a freelance writing gig. Money is a bit tight right now, and will be for the foreseeable future, so I got creative, found Guru.com, and away we go. Every little bit helps, and if I can get paid for doing things I like and that I’m good at – all the better. The trickiest part is the bidding for the project – you go into it blindly and don’t know how much other people are offering to do the work. My theory is that I won’t work for less than a certain amount on any given project, so if I get it, great, and if I don’t, it wasn’t worth it. I don’t want to spend my precious free time working on something unless it’s really worth my while. And while I’m not sure this is the best strategy, it worked, because I got a project that I’m hoping leads to more projects.

My mom and I went shopping at Macy’s for some new capris for her, and one thing that really struck me (and motivated me!) was the fact that normal-sized clothes are so much less expensive. Especially when things are on sale at Macy’s, and you have a Macy’s card that gives you endless coupons (20% off of this, $20 off of that). I told my mom that one of my future goals – one of the ways that I’ll know I’m at my goal weight – is when I can shop the regular racks of clothes at Macy’s and pay using my Macy’s card. (I currently don’t have a Macy’s card because I’m not that enamored with their plus size section. Even though they have the same brands that I love in “normal” sizes, like Style & Co and INC. At goal weight, I can see myself filling my wardrobe with items from those lines because they’re on trend but not too trendy. Shopping is going to be so much fun at goal weight (or even under 200 lbs), but I’m going to have to figure out a way to pay for all the clothes! A problem I’ll gladly deal with. 🙂

Ok, now on to the plans…

Meal Plans
The best way for me to stay on track is to make sure I have lots of healthy food available. And not just healthy food, but plans for how I’m going to prepare it. I’m also trying really had to use what I already have and not waste food, so when I scoped out some extra lean ground turkey in the freezer, I had to figure out what I was going to do with it. I will never again by extra lean turkey (99/1), because it is so dry and tasteless. I tried making turkey burgers with it, and not even the green onions or Worcester sauce helped; they were flavorful, but oh so dry. I was trying to figure out what to do with this meat when my mom suggested I make the HG 10-Alarm Crockpot Chili. It’s perfect because it calls for lots of tomato sauce and undrained beans, and all that liquid will help make the turkey moist.

Monday Dinner: HG 10-Alarm Crockpot Chili (Since it makes A LOT, I will freeze some for next week, but also use it for lunches, too).
Tuesday Dinner: Grilled salmon, spinach and TJ’s Rice Medley*
Wednesday Dinner: Curry Chicken, spinach, TJ’s Hearty Grains**
Thursday Dinner: HG 10-Alarm Crockpot Chili, side salad
Friday Dinner: Spinach Salad with Curry Chicken


New Find at TJ's!

*Yesterday I found this at Trader Joe’s in the freezer section.  I like having quick rice options that only take a few minutes to heat up in the microwave.  This medley is great because it combines brown rice, red rice, and black barley.  It’s chewy and tasty and very filling.  It’s going to become a staple in my freezer.


An oldie, but a goodie

**This Harvest Grains blend isn’t new to me, but it is still one of my favorites.  It combines Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa.  I’ve missed having it in my pantry and I’m glad it’s back.

Various Lunch Options:

  • Wraps: – La Tortilla Factory Wraps filled with deli turkey, lettuce (spinach or romaine), smeared with Laughing Cow cheese
  • Lentil salad
  • Grilled salmon on a bed of spinach
  • ItalianTuna wrap (tuna and lettuce/spinach on a La Tortilla wrap)

Lots of good food that will keep me on plan and feeling satisfied.

Do you have some go-to recipes that you use when you need to make sure you’re on track for the week? I’d love for you to share them (plus any links) in the comments.

Housework Plans

Usually I tackle all the housecleaning, laundry, and organizing on the weekends in one big whirlwind. And when I’m done I’m happy that I got so much accomplished, but I’m exhausted from all the effort. But when I’m working, there doesn’t really seem to be another way. I’m better in long sessions rather than short bursts, most of the time.

Now that summer is here I’m going to try something different. It’s hard for me to break my usual pattern, but beginning today, I’m going to tackle one or two items each day, so that I can save my weekends for fun things. Since I have the time and my schedule is my own, I can easily do a bit of housework, workout, do some freelance work, and still enjoy my day. Here’s the plan:


  1. Electric broom the floors. You can’t imagine how much dirt, grass, and other oddities two cute dogs can track in the house. I am so glad I have the Electrolux Ergorapido because it makes cleaning up so much easier. I couldn’t live without it.
  2. Wipe off the kitchen counters.
  • Monday: Organize the kitchen desk drawers – they’ve gotten out of control and need some TLC ASAP.
  • Tuesday: Dust the living room and dining room.
  • Wednesday: Laundry and clean the bathrooms.
  • Thursday: Mop the floors.
  • Friday: Change the sheets.

I’m interested to try this “a bit each day” approach to see how I like it. It will be easy enough to keep up with this summer, and I think I may be able to do it when school starts, too. Especially since I’m getting off earlier every other day. We’ll see how long it can last. I like the idea in theory because it goes with the whole “moderation” approach that I’m using with food. Maybe if I can extend it to other parts of my life – like cleaning and grading – it will really become a habit.

How do you deal with housework? Do you save it up for one big round of cleaning or do you do a little bit each day?

Workout Plans

Monday: Turbo Kick (kickboxing) @ 6:30pm
Tuesday: Walking with a friend; swimming
Wednesday: Aqua aerobics @ 4:30pm
Thursday: BodyPump (Les Mills) @ 10am
Friday: Swimming
Weekend: Zumba, bike ride, taking Sofi on her first-ever walk around the block!!!

Since some of these classes will be new to me, look for new posts about how I liked each one.

Have you tried a new workout or class recently?  How did it go?

Fun Plans:


Last night my sister’s best friend dropped by to bring me this great Curly Girl wine glass as a 40th bday gift.  It was so sweet of her to think of me, and the best part was, she picked it without knowing how much I love Curly Girl stuff.  When she saw that my living room was decked out in old Curly Girl framed calendars, she got a huge smile on her face.  The saying on the wine glass reminds us that, “Life’s too short not to have a little umbrella in your drink.”  In that spirit, I’m planning to have a glass of wine at some point this week.  Just to unwind and enjoy.

This post has been filled with lots and lots of plans.  But they mean nothing unless they get turned into actions.  So to stay accountable, I’m going to tweet them as I do them.  That way I’m not filling the blog with lots of short posts about cleaning the house (boring!), but you guys can check to see that I’ve done what I’m planning to.  Make sure to follow me so that you can keep track of my progress.

All of these tasks aren’t quite so bad when I can do them and still get to spend time playing with the doggies.  🙂


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Since it’s Friday, I thought today’s post would be something of a dream/hope/future goal.  Recently, I asked my students to describe what their life would be like if they were able to achieve their American Dream.  If they were able to reach their ultimate goal, what would it mean? And then I started thinking about my own life goals…

I always wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve gone far within my profession.  Besides my BA in English and my single-subject teaching credential for secondary education, I have a masters degree in educational leadership, which opens up opportunities for me to become an administrator should I ever want to go down that path.  I still love teaching, but the state of education in this country is making me question how much longer I’ll be able to teach in a way that is meaningful and enjoyable for me and my students.

There seems to be a backlash in this country against teachers.  It is the only profession that I can think of that EVERYONE thinks they know how to “fix,” or do a better job at than those who have gone to school and received training for it.  It’s almost as if people think that because they’ve been a student and have been exposed to lots of teachers, they know exactly what it’s like to be a teacher.  And how wrong they are.  Teaching is about so much more than what it seems to be on the surface.  And if you’re a good teacher, then you make it look seamless and easy.  When in reality it’s anything but.  And the time commitment goes well beyond the 6-7 hour school day.  I can’t begin to calculate the number of hours I spend outside of that time planning, preparing, and grading for my classes.  Not to mention that during my workday there is no down time.  I’m always “on” and I’ve got 35+ people to contend with at all times. Until someone has been a teacher, they have no idea all that goes into it.  Forget about the stress of budget cuts, layoffs, and pink slips.  And don’t even get me started on Wisconsin…

But I digress.  This isn’t supposed to be a rant about teaching.

My point is, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be teaching.  If things in education change as dramatically as I think they might in the coming years, I will no longer be fulfilled as a teacher.  Plus, I think I may be ready for a change with 5-7 years.

So when I ask myself what I’d like to do if I could do anything, the first job that pops out at me is someone who works in Nutrition.  Not a traditional nutritionist, but someone who not only educates people about what proper nutrition means, but also someone who plans meals and even offers cooking demonstrations for students.  That way  I could combine my love of teaching people something new with my strengths of organization and planning, and add in my love of cooking and food.

I’d love to be one of those people you see on Heavy who takes the clients to the grocery store and shows them how to read food labels.  But I think I’d take it a step further and visit them at home and help them plan their meals for the week, make a shopping list, get the groceries, and then maybe even help them prepare some of it.  And then they could drop by my office/storefront and learn how to cook some new meals every so often.  Maybe we could even do field trips to local farms or farmers markets and then cook with those ingredients.  The options are limitless.

To achieve this goal, I would need to go back to school and get my degree or certification in nutrition.  I would also need to figure out what it would mean to have my own business, so some financial planning would be in order.  There are a million little details that would need to be ironed out, but it is definitely something that could be possible. And I think I’d have a bit of an edge over the competition, because I’ll have successfully lost 150 pounds by then, so I’ll be a living success story who knows just how difficult it is to lose weight.

What do you think?  How much would you pay someone to help you with this sort of thing?  Is it realistic?

No matter what happens in the future, it sure is fun to be a bit whimsical and just dream.

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Not  following the plan seems to be the theme of this weekend.  In some cases it worked out great, but in others, not so much.


I started off the weekend well.  I made it to my training appointment as planned, and had a good workout with Robbie.  I used kettlebells for the first time, and I really liked them.  They definitely take cardio endurance as well as strength!  I have decided that I really, really like Friday afternoon workouts, because it puts me in such a positive mood for the rest of the weekend.  It’s the ideal way to put and end to the workweek (and let go of any stress) and begin the weekend.

Friday night I didn’t have anything planned, and I was looking forward to a quiet night at home with Lulu, doing laundry,  and catching up with my DVR. It’s all a blur to me, really.  I know I did a tiny bit of laundry, and I had “snacks” instead of a true dinner, but that’s all.  I think I was so tired from the week and the workout that I just fell asleep on the couch.


I got sooooo much done on Saturday.  I cleaned the entire house from top to bottom: swept and mopped all the floors, cleaned the kitchen, dusted, vacuumed my bedroom, changed the sheets, cleaned both bathrooms, did 3 loads of laundry (and put it away!  That’s always the part I struggle with).  I felt so good about all that I’d done, and it really didn’t take me too long.  It was the first morning/afternoon that I’ve spent really deep cleaning the new house, and it needed it.  I’ve dusted or swept or done laundry here and there, but this was the first major cleaning, which is probably on target, since I’ve been there a little over a month now.

Saturday afternoon/evening I had plans to go to Howling Halloween with my sister, my nieces, Minnie (their dog), and Lulu.  We had it all planned, costumes purchased (for the pups), and were really looking forward to it.  My sister lives 45 minutes away, so making the trek down to where I live is always a bit of an ordeal for her.  Because it doesn’t happen all the time, I really value the times that we are able to spend together.  The problem was, I somehow read the times wrong on the event, so we got there an hour and a half early.  And it was raining.  And my nieces weren’t in the mood to look around at all the cool shops.  And we all got cranky.  So, we ended up leaving before the trick or treating (or the parade) ever began. 😦  Still, we did get some cute pictures :

Yes, I am THAT puppy owner.  I bought the matching t-shirt so that we were both Ladybugs.  😛  I love how our eyes look creepy in this shot.

Lulu is less than thrilled with taking this photo.  Maybe because she knows she needs to get groomed?

Lulu, the ladybug and Minnie, the French maid.  These two puppy cousins had the best time playing, wrestling, and hanging out with each other.

After the miscue with the Halloween celebration, it was time to eat.  My sis and I wanted Indian food, but we knew the girls wouldn’t, so we got them a rare treat – corndogs!  Everyone was happy once they ate.  Isn’t it interesting how being hungry puts us in a bad mood, but eating together solves lots of problems.  Hmm….

It was nice to see my sister and nieces, although their behavior wasn’t great, and it was one of the first times that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them.  We all have off days, though. I got a peek into what my sister has to deal with on a daily basis, and it can’t be easy for her.  She’s amazing.

After they left I saw that the SF Giants game was still on, and I was incredibly thrilled to watch the 9th inning.  The Giants won the Pennant and are going to the World Series!!!!!!!!!!!


I had plans to get up, read the paper, go to belly dancing class, and then spend the day doing whatever tickled my fancy.  But remember the title of this blog.

I soon realized that I had left my wallet in my sister’s car the night before.  And she lives 45 minutes away.  Argh!  So, instead of a leisurely morning, I spent mine driving back and forth to get my wallet.  And I missed belly dancing.

As I was driving home, I had the craving/idea that I wanted In & Out Burger.  I have no idea why I wanted it; I think maybe I had seen the sign along the freeway on my way to my sister’s house.  I haven’t had In & Out in years, so it was weird for me to crave it.  I was *this close* to stopping for it, but Walmart saved me.

Walmart?  Saved me?  Yes.  You see, instead of eating the burger, I stopped at Walmart to see what I could buy that might satisfy the craving without too many calories.  I never shop at Walmart for a variety of reasons (they’re non-union, have differing political views than I do, and they aren’t conveniently located to my house), but since Walmart was in the same huge shopping center that In & Out was in, I figured I’d go there instead.  I picked up some items that didn’t have a ton of nutrition (chicken hotdogs, white bread), but that were healthier alternatives to the burger.  Plus, my wallet is pretty empty until I get paid on Friday, so Walmart’s prices were really attractive.  (I hate, hate, hate it that junky food is so much cheaper than good food!).

Once I got home I decided to make the most of the day, so I took Lulu for a longish walk, did a ton of laundry, made a good dinner, and organized my lunch for today and tomorrow.  I also figured out my dinners for the rest of the week.  I have to eat out of the cupboards/fridge/freezer, which should be no problem, because I always have so much.

Wrap it Up

So, although the weekend didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned, I did get a lot done.  I made good choices (for the most part), spent some quality time with family, cleaned and organized the house, and got ready for the week ahead.  Really, I can’t ask more from a weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday was a teacher workday at my school, and the nice thing was, several people came up to me and told me how great I looked. It’s so nice when people notice my weight loss, especially those who didn’t know I was doing anything. It really validates all the hard work and effort I’ve put into this.

For the first time in years, I’m looking forward to taking my school picture. I’m excited to see the difference between last year’s picture, which was so horrid that I made my yearbook students take a different picture of me for the yearbook, and this year’s. I feel this way about pictures in general. While not every picture I take shows me at my best angles, most of them are bearable, which is so different from the past, when I had to manipulate the way I posed so that my fat wouldn’t show up as much. As if.

One thing I’m slightly worried about is the hectic nature of my school day mornings. Even though I was working over the summer, my schedule was flexible enough that if I happened to oversleep, I could still make sure I had time to whip up my shakes and other meal replacements. Now that school is about to begin, and I HAVE to be at school by a certain time, I have to make sure I have enough time to do all of my morning tasks before I leave for school at 7:30.

The bedtime/morning plan:

  • Go to bed earlier than normal. Usually I stay up until at least 11pm and then start my “getting ready for bed routine” of brushing teeth, washing face, moisturizing, etc. And of course I can’t go straight to bed – I usually read for at least half an hour. (All of this is in a “perfect world” scenario. 9 times out of 10 I fall asleep on the couch and wake up at 2am, hit the bed, and oversleep). To avoid this, I’m going to start my “getting ready for bed” routine at 10pm, which means that I will miss those great shows that are on at that time, but hey, that’s what TiVo is for, right?
  • Set up the coffee maker at night. For someone as addicted to coffee as me, this should be a no-brainer, but I never do this. I try to wake up and grind the beans and make the coffee, but on the mornings that I oversleep (which is most mornings), I barely have time to hit Starbucks on my way into school. By setting this up in my “getting ready for bed” routine, I’ll ensure that I don’t spend so much money on Starbucks, and save it for Fridays, when I like to treat myself. (The Friday Starbucks run is my way of celebrating the upcoming weekend).
  • Plan what I’m going to wear the night before. I know I’m not alone in this, but when I wake up and put on an outfit, I usually go through 3 or 4 “changes” before I settle on something that I like. Lots of time is wasted in this process. Now that I’ve lost weight and all of my clothes fit (or are roomy), this shouldn’t be as much of an issue. I’m going to start laying out what I want to wear the night before, saving myself time in the morning.
  • Setting an extra alarm. My clock radio is right near my bed, and I swear that half the time it doesn’t even go off. Of course it does, but I’m in such a stupor in the morning that I hit snooze or turn it off, and don’t wake up until the last possible minute, causing me to fly around the house to get ready. Not a good feeling. Now that I have my iPhone, I’ve gotten into the habit of setting an alarm on that, and because I leave it in the other room, I have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. This gets me up and moving, which is great.
  • Taking a shower the night before. I’ve never been great at this, but since I don’t wash my hair every day, it makes sense that some nights I should take my shower before bed so that this is one less thing to do in the morning. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to this one, but I want to try it out and see how it goes.

Another part of this new school year plan is adjusting my working out routine. Last year I tried to go in the mornings on my “A” days, since I had a 1st period prep, and didn’t have to be at school until 10am. This year my prep was moved to 6th period, which is in the middle of the day. It’s good because I’ll actually use my prep to grade papers (in theory), but it means I can’t workout in the mornings anymore.

The new workout plan:

  • On days when I don’t have my prep, I’ll leave school at 4pm, come home to change into workout clothes, and ride my bike. At least until the time change, and then I’ll head to the gym.
  • On days when I do have the prep, I’ll leave school at 3pm, go home to change into workout clothes, and go to the gym around 4pm. I want to try to incorporate more weight training on these afternoons.
  • At least once a week, I want to go to Bikram yoga with BFF, so on those nights, I won’t workout. She and I haven’t settled on a certain day of the week, so this will change, which is actually good, I think. That way my body won’t get into too much of a routine.
  • On the weekends, I want to ride my bike, swim, play tennis, and/or go to the gym. This will obviously depend on my mood, the weather, etc.

Since I’m only going to be cooking dinner (my “lean and green meal” for Medifast), this makes food preparation a lot easier. I love to cook, but the main obstacle I have is not having the ingredients for the meal already in the house.

The cooking/grocery shopping plan:

  • To combat this, I’m going to go to the grocery store on the weekends, most likely on Sunday, and get enough food for the week. I usually have a protein of some sort in the freezer, but the veggies will need to be purchased frequently. I can also make mid-week stops at the grocery store on my way home from work if I need to supplement what I purchased on the weekend.
  • I definitely don’t want to waste food because it goes bad before I can cook it, so I’ll see how often I need to go to the store for the veggies and adjust the schedule accordingly.

Just writing these lists out helps me feel a lot more prepared for the school year ahead. The hard part will be building the routine, but I hope that once I start on it and see how well it’s working, I’ll want to continue it. All of this planning and organizing my life is going to help me continue down this path of a more healthy me. I’ll check in after this week to let you know how I’ve been doing.

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