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Today marks thirteen months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also Friday, so it’s really a cause for celebration.  I was really interested to see my measurements today, since I skipped measuring last month and because I know I’ve gone down a size in my clothes.

Measurements

4/20/14

 6/20/14

Change

Neck

12.75

12.75

same

Arms

11.75

11

-0.75 inch

Wrist

6.25

6.25

same

Bust

33

 33

same

Waist

32.5

32

-0.5 inch

Hips

44

43

-1 inch

Thighs

25.5

25 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.5

8.5

same

I’m happy with this progress, although I did think I might see bigger changes between the two months.  Still, I’m so happy knowing that I’ve gone down a size in both pants and tops.

Photos

I have on different pants in the photo from today, but the top is the same. The photos on the left were actually taken for the Tone It Up #bikiniseries on April 29, 2014 and the ones on the right were taken today, June 20, 2014.

2014-06-20 20.50.01

Even though the two photos are slightly off in angle, I can see a difference in my abs and in my hips/thighs.

2014-06-20 20.51.20

My body is turned slightly in the photo on the right, but I do think I can see more of definition in my midsection. (Part of the problem is that the pants I’m wearing on the right fit me a lot more snugly than the ones on the left, so it’s a bit deceiving).

2014-06-20 20.52.29

Again, the angle is off between the two photos, but I think my butt looks smaller in the photo on the right.

And just for good measure, I thought I’d include a great comparison picture, my driver’s license.  The “before” was taken 4 years ago, and the one on the right was taken yesterday, right after I got out of the DMV.  Quite a difference, right?  And that wasn’t even me at my heaviest on the right.  Wow!

2014-06-19 10.31.28

I look forward to seeing what I can achieve over the next month. Thanks for sharing my 13-month surgiversary with me!

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Today marks one year since my VSG surgery!  To think that exactly 1 year ago today I was getting ready for surgery is really surreal to me.  In some ways it feels like the time has gone by in a flash, and then in other ways it feels like my post-op life is one I’ve been living for years now.

Once I actually got approved for and had the surgery, everything just fell into place for me.  My success has been constant and consistent because I knew exactly what I needed to do.  I followed Kaiser’s post-op plan to the letter, following all of the weight loss surgery “rules.”  I made the commitment to myself and my new lifestyle before I ever walked into the operating room, and have been unwavering in that commitment ever since.  I wanted this weight loss, this new life, so I did everything and anything I needed to do to achieve it.  I’ve re-created myself these past 365 days.

{I haven’t had a chance to take my measurements yet, so I’m going to skip those for this month}.

Photos

Since this is a special progress report, I figured I’d show a few photos that show what a difference a year makes.

left: the morning of surgery; right: today

left: the morning of surgery; right: today

side view left: the morning of surgery; right: today

side view
left: the morning of surgery; right: today

right: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight - Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

left: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight – Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

left: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight - Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

left: just a few pounds down from my heaviest weight – Jan 2013; right: after my workout this morning

I don’t think I have the words to express how proud of myself I am for what I’ve accomplished in this past year or so.  The surgery is a tool that helped me reset my metabolism and finally start seeing success on and off the scale.  It’s given me portion control.  But it isn’t a quick fix or the easy way out.  Each of these past 365 days I’ve made decisions about what to eat, how often to workout, how to change my life.

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Today marks eleven months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also Easter Sunday, so the eggs seemed fitting.  Today was all about celebrating with my family, and it was a really fantastic day from start to finish.  I woke up and saw a 5-pound loss on the scale, 2-pounds of which was getting rid of water weight from my vacation. I had a lovely brunch with my family at my parents’ house.  Then my niece and I finally watched Frozen together (she’s already watched it several times, mind you). And then it was time to sweat with the Tone It Up Easter Bunny Workout and an evening walk with Sofi. All in all, a really awesome day!

Measurements

3/20/14

 4/20/14

Change

Neck

13

12.75

-0.25 inch

Arms

11.5

 11.75

+0.25 inch

Wrist

6.5

 6.25

-0.25 inch

Bust

33.5

 33

-0.5 inch

Waist

33

 32.5

-0.5 inch

Hips

43.5

 44

+0.5 inch

Thighs

26

 25.5 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.75

 8.5

-0.25 inch

This month I didn’t see as many changes in terms of measurements, and in fact, I was surprised that I was actually up a half-inch or so in some categories.  One thing I should point out is that I took today’s measurements tonight at 9pm, after a whole day of eating and drinking.  I last month’s measurements were taken in the early part of the day.  So, I do need to be mindful of the time of day I’m taking these measurements from here on out.  In the last month I’ve lost 6 pounds, which is the same rate as last month.

Photos

I’m wearing the exact same clothes in the photos I took last month and then again today.

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left: 3/20/14; right: 4/20/14

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left: 3/20/14; right: 4/20/14

left: 3/20/14; right: 4/20/14

I notice slight changes in my body, especially in my waist and in my back.  I’m wearing basically the same sizes I was last month, but things are getting much looser.

I’m proud of my progress in this past month, and I can’t wait to see what I can do in the month ahead.

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Today marks ten months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also the first day of spring.  It’s been sunshine and smiles all day today, especially when a colleague of mine, whom I don’t see too often on campus, stopped me in the teachers’ lounge and said, “you’re almost unrecognizable! You’re looking fantastic!”  He’s the track coach, and he knows I’ve been working on my run/walks and doing 5Ks, and I thought it was so nice of him to tell me that he’s noticing the changes. I’ve had several other people tell me how “skinny” I’m looking lately, and it never gets old.  I think part of it is that I was more bundled up in the winter, wearing heavier sweaters and jeans.  Now I’ve been wearing thinner tops and skirts, which show my shape more.  But I’m also proud to say that I’ve been really putting in the work to make these changes evident – eating great and getting in my workouts 5 or 6 days a week.

Measurements

2/16/14

3/20/14

Change

Neck

13

13

0/same

Arms

12.5

11.5

-1 inch

Wrist

6.5

6.5

0/same

Bust

34

33.5

-0.5 inch

Waist

34

33

-1 inch

Hips

48

43.5

-4.5 inches

Thighs

28.25

26

-2.25 inches

Calf

15.75

15.5

-0.25 inch

Ankle

8.5

8.75

+0.25 inch

I’m floored that I lost 4 1/2 inches in my hips and 2 1/4 inches from my thighs in one month!  I triple checked the measurements, and sure enough, I’ve made big strides.  Just this morning as I was getting out of the shower, I did notice that my thighs are looking much smaller lately, which is so encouraging.  I think it’s funny that I gained 1/4 inch in my ankles; I wonder if I’m retaining water?  Either way, I’m really pleased with this progress.  I’ve been working hard at toning up, and it’s paying off.

Photos

I’ve lost 6 pounds in the month between these photos. I’ve also been working on my base tan for Hawaii, as you’ll see from the difference in my skin tone.  In the photos on the right (taken today) I’m wearing different pants that are slightly looser than the running pants I wore last month.

Left: 2/16/14  Right 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right 3/20/14

I notice a few things between these two photos – I can see more definition in my stomach, my waist looks more “whittled,” and the skin on my stomach is getting looser.

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Left: 2/16/14; Right: 3/20/14

Sizes

  • Tops = size M or L, depending on the manufacturer
  • Jeans = size 14, and they’re getting a bit loose
  • Workout capris (worn in these photos) = size L
  • Boy short bikini bottoms from Victoria’s Secret = size L
  • Bras = 34D (on the tightest setting)
  • Workout Bras = 32/34 D/DD (on the middle setting) The workout bras I bought have a range, which I love because they fit well and have lasted a long time.

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Today marks nine months since my VSG surgery, and oh how my life has changed in this time.  Nine months ago I was so hopeful, looking forward to this moment right here – when I’d lost enough to really notice a dramatic transformation.

  • On the day of surgery I weighed in at 277; today I weighed in at 191. That’s a loss of 86 pounds in 9 months, and 124 pounds from my highest weight.
  • 9 months ago I was wearing size 24 pants; today I wear size 14 from the “regular” side of the store, not plus.
  • 9 months ago I was wearing tight-fitting 2x tops; today I’m wearing women’s size large.
  • Since surgery I’ve lost 48.5 inches around my body.
  • I can cross my legs.
  • I can go up several flights of stairs without getting winded.
  • I’ve run/walked a 5K.
  • I’ve taken and LOVED a spin class.
  • I can keep up with a Zumba class at full intensity – bouncing and jumping with the best of them, without being out of breath.
  • I’ve started a toning program, and love the results I’m getting.
  • I’ve purchased boyfriend sweats from Victoria’s Secret and now they’re two sizes too large for me.
  • I no longer spill over the seat in the chairs at Starbucks, my car, etc.
  • I’ve reached Onederland, and I’m almost in the 180’s!
  • When I take my first plane ride in over 6 years to Hawaii in April, I’ll have no worries about infringing on my neighbor’s seat and I won’t need a seatbelt extender.

The way I move through the world is so different now.  I’ve always been a confident person, but I have an extra bit of pep in my step. I feel happy, content, and very, very proud.

Marking Progress

I’ve decided that to celebrate my surgiversary on a monthly basis, I’m going to start posting progress pics and measurements on the 20th of the month. I’m excited to start marking my progress more frequently.

Here’s a repost of my measurements:

3/4/12

2/16/14

Change

Neck

14.5

13

-1.5 inches

Arms

16.25

12.5

-3.75 inches

Wrist

6.75

6.5

-0.25 inches

Bust

43

34

-9 inches

Waist

44.5

34

-10.5 inches

Hips

61

48

-13 inches

Thighs

35

28.25

-6.75 inches

Calf

18.5

15.75

-2.75 inches

Ankle

9.5

8.5

-1 inch

In total, I’ve lost 48 1/2 inches from around my body!! That’s four feet!!! I’m really excited with all of these changes, but especially the changes in my bust, waist, hips, and thighs.

And now some pictures.

This first comparison is from the day of surgery and today. 9 months and 86 pounds.

2014-02-20 14.52.10

2014-02-20 14.53.35

On a side note, today’s dress is one that I bought maybe seven or eight years ago at a Cabi party.  At the time the XL size was way out of reach, but today, the dress is too big on me.  That’s my sports bra showing underneath it.  The dress is reversible (colorful floral on one side, black and white on the other).  I really like it, so I may pay to get it altered; it needs to be taken in at the top and at the waist.

I’ve decided to start posing with just my sports bra and running pants on to really show the changes the toning and exercise are making to my body.  I’ve been really remiss about taking progress photos up to this point, so I decided to show photos from one year ago.  I weighed 293 in the “before” photos, and today I’m 191 – so -102 pounds between the photos.

2014-02-20 15.02.16

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)
Can you see that slight indention in my stomach? Is that the start of some sort of ab definition? Exciting!

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today) Sorry for the crazy angle, but my sis wasn't around to help me take the photos.  Hopefully next month.

Left: Feb 2013, Right: Feb 2014 (today)
Sorry for the crazy angle, but my sis wasn’t around to help me take the photos. Hopefully next month.

Thanks for letting me indulge in a bit of celebration today.  You can believe I’m all smiles. 🙂

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{I’m going to save my weigh-in update for later in the week. As you guys know, I was one pound away from the goal that will get my file on the surgeon’s desk. I’ve been working hard all week to get that pound (plus more) off, and I’m going in to my local Kaiser to get my weight officially documented. So, I’ll write my weigh-in post after I have those results}.

bilbl_mainI know I’ve been pretty absent on this blog, and on commenting on everyone else’s blogs. I’m so sorry for that. It’s been really busy for me at work, and when I’m off, I’ve been concentrating on getting these pounds off. Ever since the time change, I’ve been feeling so tired and drained and have been heading to bed earlier than normal. Still, I need to be better about writing and commenting, because blogging is one of my great loves, and I don’t want to slack on it right as I’m achieving everything that I’ve been working so hard for.

For today’s post, I figured I’d share some of the things that have been making me smile.

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I took this one on a walk with Sofi last week. So many of my neighbors have beautiful flowers in bloom in their front yards, which really makes me love this time of year.

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Sofi loves her indoor/outdoor doggie bed, but after a long, hot walk, she loves the cool grass even more. If given the choice, Sofi will choose to be outside every single time.

These next two photos were taken during last week’s Spring Fling dress up days.  I was one of the few teachers who actually dressed up, which I don’t understand, since the students love to see us looking goofy.  I had fun with it, as you can tell.

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Monday was Crazy Day, and I think I aced that assignment. I definitely brought hte crazy!

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Tuesday was Western Day. This was the first time I’ve ever worn a cowboy hat! It’s also the first time in years that I’ve braided my hair. I can’t believe how long it’s gotten!

20130324-102144.jpg

This is Sofi’s favorite position on any given morning – tummy up, soaking up the sun. What a life!

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Sofi’s 2nd birthday is on Tuesday, and my mom being the great Nonni that she is, had to celebrate it early by giving Sofi this fun toy. She wasn’t so sure at first, but she hasn’t been without it since yesterday afternoon when she got it.

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My sister and I have tons of gorgeous lilies in our front yard, and I just had to make a quick spring arrangement for my dining table. I love bringing the spring inside!

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Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, and I couldn’t help but snap this quick pic while Sofi and I took our early afternoon walk today.

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I’ve been participating in #fmsphotoaday on Instagram, and today’s assignment was “Up.” Can you believe that bright blue sky, without a cloud to be seen? I’m so lucky to live here.

There you have it.  A bunch of reasons to smile today.  I hope your Sunday was just as happy.  Look for my weigh-in update tomorrow, and please cross your fingers & toes that the official weigh-in puts me well under the goal.

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This morning I got on the scale, as I’ve been doing every morning, and it was up, AGAIN. Not way up, but up enough that I got frustrated, upset, angry, and disappointed. In life. With my weight. In myself. Because I know better. And I deserve more.

Here’s the deal. The other day I went to a cooking class with a group of friends and had a great time. But I also had wine and food that wasn’t part of the Lean & Green plan. And I gave myself a pass because it “doesn’t happen very often” and “I don’t want to be a hermit” and “I’m going to do Zumba the next day and burn over 1000 calories, so I’ll make up for it.” I even blogged something along those lines.

But obviously my body went into “shock” and it didn’t matter how much I worked out this week. I’m up on the scale, so that one night of fun and frivolity set me back a week. Ugh. And then I know what’s going to happen, I’m going to get so frustrated and upset that I’m going to go WAY off the plan, and then it will send me into some sort of tailspin.

Not this time. Not to me. Not when I’m this close.

So this morning when I was upset, LC reminded me that I really needed to make the choice to stick with Medifast completely, without deviation, for this short amount of time. And she’s right. I mean, c’mon, I’m not going to be on this plan forever: it’s a means to an end. So as such, I should treat it that way and stick to it totally. No exceptions. No tastes. No excuses. I can do it. This is the perfect time of year, since I’m not that big into St. Patty’s Day or Easter. (And there’s always next year). My friends will understand that I need to meet them for a walk or for coffee rather than for wine and a meal. They support my weight loss. They know my immediate goal is to qualify for the lap band surgery. End of story.

So after the pep talk, I realized that instead of wallowing in it, I needed to DO something. Bella Does Life, after all. LC and I hit the farmers market and then Trader Joe’s. And then I did what any good Italian girl who likes to eat does – I cooked! And I cooked. And I COOKED. I made my Lean & Green meals for the entire week, plus some. Since I’m going to be taking them for lunch to work, I wanted to get them all ready ahead of time so I could just grab and go. Plus, I really didn’t want to have to deal with food on an empty stomach later in the week.

Here’s my menu for the week:

Monday: Italian Salmon Salad
Tuesday: Chicken “Club” Salad
Wednesday: Italian Tuna Salad
Thursday: Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Friday: Asian-Inspired Chicken Salad

I feel so organized now that I made all those meals and they’re all ready to go for the week. I know it’s going to help keep me on track. You guys know how much I love a stocked fridge, right, well just imagine how happy it makes me to see all this good-for-me food just waiting for me. I’d definitely say this is a NSV:

And for dinner tonight I made Langostino tails (frozen, from Trader Joe’s) with Zucchini “pasta.” The langostino were expensive, but it’s Oscar night, and they’re so low cal, I couldn’t resist.

Today reminded me that no matter how upsetting something is, there’s always a way around it or out of it. I showed myself that I really want this badly enough not to allow myself to fail. So I won’t.

I love this rinoculous that I picked up at the farmers market today. It’s a great reminder of my goals and how much I believe that I can accomplish them.

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