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bilbl_superI had so much fun challenging myself to the Tone It Up #150bysummer goal (I exceeded it by 5 miles and logged 155 miles) that I didn’t want to see it end right when summer is just starting.

For me, summer is the time that I get in lots of daily workouts, because:

  • it’s something I can do by myself or with friends
  • it gets me outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather
  • it’s very inexpensive
  • it fills my time off in a very productive way
  • I love the way I feel while/after I’m working out

This morning on FB, Kandis TIU, who is a huge supporter of the entire TIU Community, made an adorable chart for tracking our cardio miles. She purposely made it blank at the top so that we could edit it and use it for our own purposes.  So, I thought I’d put out a summer challenge that we can all do together.

2014-06-23 12.15.30

Bella’s Summer Challenge: #150byBacktoSchool

The way the TIU miles work is simple.  If you can count miles, like when you’re walking or running, do that. If you’re biking, you’re supposed to divide your mileage by 3 (so if you biked for 12 miles, you’d only count 4 miles into your totals). If you’re doing a class or some other form of cardio, 1 mile = 10 minutes of intense cardio.

Since I was able to do 155 miles in the 8 weeks of the Bikini Series (and that was with me taking about a week and a half off), I figured we should all be able to log 150 miles in the 8 weeks between now and the time I go back to school, August 15th (my first teacher workday). I’ll be using Instagram/Twitter to keep myself accountable, using the hashtags: #150byBacktoSchool and #BellasSummerChallenge. Be sure to tag me @bellablogger on Instagram or Twitter so that I can see how well you’re doing.  And because I love incentives, I’ll be doing a small giveaway for the people who log the most miles/check in often.

Use the chart above and mark off your miles each day, along with a pic of you doing the activity, and a cool quote, if you’d like.  My favorite apps to jazz up photos are Rhonna Designs, A Beautiful Mess, and InstaPic Frames. I’ll post my favorites each week on this blog, along with my totals so far so that we can encourage each other.

Are you in?

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

It’s getting to be the time of year for reflecting on this year and looking forward to next year, known as #reverb.  I’d taken part in #reverb10 and absolutely adored it.  Then, last year the people running #reverb decided not to manage it, and instead, I participated in #weverb11, to which I got to contribute several prompts.  So I went to Twitter to find out what was up for this year:

Today I’m thankful for Kat, @ I Saw You Dancing who is organizing one of the many #Reverb12 reflections going on throughout the blogosphere/Twitter/Instagram/FB.

So, this post is also a shout out for #Reverb12 – I hope you’ll join in on the fun.  The process is a rewarding one, which is why I do it year after year.  If you have FB, Twitter, and of course a blog, I highly encourage you to participate.  Who’s in?

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This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

Today I’m thankful for social media – FB, Twitter, YouTube – because of the ability they give me to keep up with my friends’ lives.

On FB, I’m able to share my life with my friends through photos and posts about everything from hitting the gym for a Bella Tri to a a great new movie I just saw to how important they are in my life.  I’m able to connect with friends from high school whom I haven’t seen since we graduated in ’89.  I’m able to keep up with former co-workers who’ve moved across the country.  I’m even able to follow along as my cousin and his wife go to China to adopt a baby girl and bring her home in time for Thanksgiving.  Yes, it’s a timesuck, but a welcome one, because what’s better than keeping in touch with friends and family?

Twitter is where I connect with a lot of my blogging and YouTube buddies.  While I’m not on there as often as FB, I do go a few times a week, and I’m always glad for the interactions.  There’s something about the succinctness of 140 characters that makes my time on Twitter so rich.  No wasted words, just full, heartfelt sentiments.  It’s like poetry, really.

YouTube is the place where I have learned so much about the VSG surgery that I’m going to have.  I started by simply following people and watching their videos, but after commenting and getting to know them, I have made real friends.  Friends like BeautyJunkie824, who lives so close, but whom I would have never met if it hadn’t been for her YT videos.  Or PinkFishLilly, who lives across the country, but who is a kindred spirit.  Not only because she shares my Italian heritage, but because she is so real.  She is one of the most generous people – in spirit and action – who I know.  The interaction of hearing about someone’s life through their own voice on video is amazing.

I’m grateful for social media.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

Today’s post is going to be a bit of a mind dump, but I hope you’ll find it interesting, nevertheless.

Last night on Twitter, Kenlie had the best quote that I promptly retweeted and then posted today on FB, too.  I absolutely love it and plan to adopt it as my personal mantra for the rest of 2011:

Feed a dream…starve a doubt.” ~~Ray Davis @AffirmationSpot

This quote is perfect for me in so many ways, but most obviously because I have an important goal (dream) of getting to 266 pounds by the end of November and I’m going to need to stay positive in order to make it happen.  I can’t give in to negative thinking (doubts) seep into the equation.

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I just found out about a new company that will be selling plus-sized activewear  called AdoraOm.  It’s so new that it seems they haven’t got their website up and running yet.  I did like them on FB.  The clothes look really cute, and I cannot wait to be able to buy them!  I’m always on the lookout for yoga/workout clothes that are flattering and functional.  I can’t wait to be able to wear Lululemon and Lucy, but until I can wear those sizes, AdoraOm will fit the bill (and my butt!) nicely.  See for yourself:

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Last night wasn’t a great night for me at all in terms of eating.  I didn’t eat any one thing that was so bad for me, but the bulk of the food was just too much.  2225  calories to be exact.  I was up less than 2 lbs on the scale this morning, which wasn’t bad, but I don’t want to have another night like that again.  As I emailed ScaleWarfare today, she encouraged me to log it all into MyFitnessPal so that I had a record of it, which  I did.  I also wrote this note:

A really lazy, bored day. I need to give myself a kick in the ass on days like this. One thing I realized is that I felt very overwhelmed with all that I have to do at the moment (lots of essays to grade, part of a WASC report to write, curriculum to calendar out/plan, and household chores to do) and I just sort of shut down, which isn’t like me. Good to keep track of. (Thanks SW!)

I’m glad that I not only logged all the food but that I wrote the note, because that’s how I can avoid the same behavior in the future.  Plus, I need to stay honest and accountable to myself (and anyone who views my food log). Progress!!

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It’s been HOT here (well over 90 degrees), but today, instead of letting the heat lull me into laziness like I did yesterday, I’m heading to the pool.  I’m not even going to stop home to change  – I brought my clothes with me.  I know that if I did stop at home, I’d need to play with Sofi for awhile, and then I’d get caught up in other things, and then it would be too late to go for a swim.  This way, I can swim some serious laps and burn some good calories and then get home to Sofi and still have lots of time to get everything else done (see above).

Taking the initiative and keeping my mood positive already makes me feel so much better than I did yesterday.  I’m ready to tackle all my to-do’s head one today!

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Beach custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more - ImageChef.comThat’s right! This is my 900th post.

I can’t believe I’ve written that many posts in a little under 3 years.  Then again, I am verbose, so it shouldn’t be too surprising.

Over the course of that time, I’ve written about my triumphs, my tribulations, my victories, and my letdowns.  Through it all, you guys have been there: offering support, calling me on my excuses, cheering me on, and giving me tons of inspiration.  If you’re new to the blog, or you just want to reminisce, you might want to check out a few of the most popular blog posts over these last few years:

Home page 67,140 views
Skechers Shape-Ups Review 33,814 views
Gotta share: Jillian Michaels’ Podcast 29,320 views
QVC & Biggest Loser – 2 obessions coming together 28,404 views
Stop the roller coaster 10,421 views
I’m becoming “one of them” 9,722 views
Pasta, and Sushi, and Appetizers – OH MY! 9,032 views
Bella Begins 4,843 views
Bella’s Stats 4,611 views
Zumba! 4,381 views
The wind in my hair, the sun on my face… 2,598 views
My 1-Year Smoke-Freedom!! 2,555 views
Bella Cooks! 2532 views

That’s a lot of views!!  Thank you!!!

To celebrate my 900th post and to reward my lovely readers, I thought I’d do a giveaway.  There are lots of ways to enter to win.  You can use each method once, and each one will count as a separate entry into the giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this post.
  2. Leave a comment on any post this week (Posts dated August 21 – August 26th only).
  3. Write a post mentioning this giveaway on your blog.
  4. Follow me on Twitter, and then say tweet me a little hello.
  5. Subscribe to this blog.

I want to make this a fairly quick giveaway, so the deadline to enter is Friday, August 26th at 11pm, Pacific Time.  I’ll use a randomizer to choose the winning entry and write a quick post on Saturday morning.

The prize?  A $20 gift certificate to Amazon.com or Apple iTunes.  Winner’s choice.

Good luck!!!

BTW – I’m making this post “sticky,” so be sure to check out my other blog posts, below.

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I knew this morning that as much as I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, it just wasn’t going to be pretty on the scale. I did my best with exercise during the week, but since the doctor told me to stick to low/no impact workouts, I had to cut the classes out completely. And as many calories as I burn swimming, it’s not the same as when I am sweating and pushing myself in Zumba or Turbo Kick, etc. (I will say that the rest has helped and my back isn’t hurt at all, so it does make me think that I need to make sure that for every “hardcore” class I take I spend the next day doing something lighter).  And then I made a poor choice on Monday night, and the rest, as they say, is history.

20110727-081535.jpg Which means I gained 2.8 pounds this week, for a total loss of 17 pounds.  The only good thing about that photo is that I got a pedicure on Friday, so my toes look nice.  🙂

I’m not going to focus on the negative here, because that really doesn’t do any good.  What I am going to say is that I gained weight because of choices I made, pure and simple.  And if I want to get the weight off and qualify for the VSG surgery, it’s going to happen based on choices I make, as well.  So instead of grabbing for something that satisfies a short term craving, I have to take a minute and remind myself what I’m doing all of this for.  Otherwise it’s going to be an endless up and down roller  coaster that I’ve been on countless times in the past.  And instead of riding the weight loss journey roller coaster, I want to lose enough weight that I can go on an actual roller coaster someday soon.

In general I make good food choices because I try not to keep tempting treats in the house (the No Pudge Brownies were an anomaly that will not return to my cupboards).  I have learned so much about myself in this past year and I know that I don’t want to completely deny myself those kinds of foods, but I also know that I can’t have them in bulk in the house.  So if I want a cupcake/brownie/cookie, I’m going to have it when I’m in a social setting, but not buy them in large quantities.  I’m going to try to be more European in that mindset – buy a delicious delicacy from the bakery and bring home a single size serving and enjoy it to the fullest, but know that when it’s gone, it’s gone.  That way, I’m truly indulging but I’m also not setting myself up for failure by going overboard.

As I mentioned yesterday, when I’m working out and giving it my all in that area, it definitely carries over into my food choices. So here’s my workout plan for the remainder of the week, through the weekend:

Wednesday: swimming
Thursday: Spinning (6pm) (attempting again to take my first-ever class)****
Friday: Swimming, Zumba (6pm)
Saturday: Long bike ride
Sunday: Walking (around San Fran, with my sister)

That’s my plan and I’m going to stick to it.  You can follow me on Twitter to catch my tweets about exercises (or just read them in the sidebar of this blog).

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Today on Twitter, a few of the people I’m following, including ChibiJeebs, were sending words of wisdom to their 16-year-old selves.  The advice ranged from funny, to sweet, to heart-breaking.  I wanted to get in on the action, because while I wouldn’t change much about my life, there are some things I wanted to reinforce with myself.

Here’s what I tweeted:

  • You aren’t fat! You aren’t fat! You aren’t fat! You’re curvy. Thick, maybe. But not fat.
  • You don’t always have to try to be so perfect. Mistakes are how you’ll learn.
  • After your heart breaks into a million pieces when you are 24, don’t eat to comfort/protect yourself.
  • Go to your Senior Prom, even if your frenemy is going with the guy you’ve been crushing on for 2 years. Bitch!
  • Get more active: ride your bike more, take long walks. You don’t need to be on a sports team to become an athlete.
  • When you get to college, join a sorority so you can continue that sense of sisterhood you loved in high school.
  • Keep everything in perspective an A- in English is not the end of the world. Neither is that C+ in Geometry.
  • By the way, you will NEVER use algebra, geometry, or algebra II in your life after high school.
  • Trust yourself in the future as much as you do right now. Your intuition won’t lead your astray.
  • When your own instincts fail, trust your mother; she really does know best!!
  • You’re going to have an amazing life, so relax. Everything is going to turn out alright, even with the hard times.

What would you Tweet to yourself at 16?

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Today as I was avoiding grading those last few essays (you know when you see two posts from me in one day that I’m probably procrastinating on something), I was on Twitter, and two thoughts struck me.

I looked in the mirror today, and really didn’t like the body being reflected back to me. I finally “see” myself.”

and

I have a new-found conviction, desire, drive – call it what you want – to do everything I need to to see a healthier, happier body next time.”

If I weren’t sick, I would’ve started exercising right then and there, that’s how motivated I’m feeling right now.  Because lately it’s really hit me – I’m the only thing standing in my way.  I have a goal, set forth by my surgeon, to lose 30 pounds so that I can have the lap band surgery.  And it’s totally within my control to meet that goal.

I’ve been getting signs from all angles that it’s well past time to get on with it and lose the weight.

  1. My feet have been swelling to a cartoonish degree, causing me real discomfort.  I have no idea why, but it all started when I moved and was on my feet for hours on end, moving heavy boxes for many days in a row.  It really hasn’t gone away since, except for the one day that I wore sneakers to school.  The point is, my poor feet can’t handle carrying around all this weight, day in and day out.
  2. Shopping has become a joke.  My little trip to Macy’s with my mom last weekend proved fruitless.  Even the 3x’s were snug on me, and not in a good way.  I never used to have back fat, or a stomach, and now I do.  We won’t even talk about my butt, hips, and thighs.  The reason nothing looks good on me anymore is that it’s time to get myself back to a more normal weight.
  3. I’m unhappy with the body reflected in the mirror.  I haven’t been happy with my reflection for many, many years, but could usually pick out one aspect of my body that looked alright.  Lately I can’t even find that. I’m uncomfortable in my own skin, and that’s the worst feeling.

Which is not to say that I’m depressed, because I’m not.  I’m going to use these moments of frustration to fuel my determination.  The next time I think about eating a portion that’s larger than it should be, I’m going to look down at my feet.  The next time I try to convince myself that it’s ok to skip a session at the gym, I’m going to try on those tops.  And the next time I entertain the thought of stopping for “something quick” rather than cooking for myself, I’m going to look in the mirror and take stock of what I see.

I’m finally fed up enough with the way I look and feel that I know I’m in the right mental place to do something about it.  I feel as strongly about this as I did about quitting smoking.  And I’m going to use that success to remind myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.

For today, that means finishing these essays and getting on with my Sunday.
For tomorrow, that means getting on the Wii, even if I don’t feel 100% better, because I have to start somewhere.
For Tuesday, it means getting back into the pool for a water aerobics class.
For Wednesday, it means water aerobics again.
For Thursday, it means taking Lulu on an extra-long walk.
For Friday, it means getting on the elliptical machine and doing a 5K, however long it takes.
For Saturday, it means cleaning the entire house, emptying every single remaining box, organizing the closets, the bookshelf, and the garage.
For Sunday, it means going to SharQui, the bellydancing class at 24 Hour Fitness.

For this blog, it I’m going to write a post each day this week with my progress  towards these daily goals, at the least.

For you, it means in order to hold me accountable, please feel free to  comment or msg me via twitter and check in on me.

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I feel like I haven’t posted in so long, and a couple of you have been wondering where I’ve been, so I thought I’d write a post and let you know what’s been going on.  It’s going to be a long one, so hopefully it will fill the void nicely.

First of all, I’ve been loving having Lulu around, and as Tina said, she has definitely stolen me from this blog.  😉  She and I have been having a lot of fun taking walks, visiting dog parks (although she’s still really shy and seems to like the people more than the dogs), and generally just having a great time together.  She’s such a love, a joy, and a great addition to my life.

Ways that Lulu has changed my life already:

  1. Since Lulu has been here I haven’t fallen asleep on the couch once.  Mostly because she lays on the couch next to me, and there isn’t a ton of room to lay down.  LOL.  I mean, I know I could move her and lay out if I wanted to, but I actually enjoy staying awake and then going to bed when I’m tired, rather than waking up half lit because I fell asleep on the couch.
  2. Due to #1, I’ve been keeping up with my skincare routine, and it’s showing in my skin.  Cuz if you fall asleep on the couch and then wake up at 2am, the last thing you really want to do is remove makeup, cleanse, and moisturize, ya know?  It’s been great to keep up with my nightly regime, and I love how good my skin is looking lately.
  3. The house is clean, clean, clean.  Part of this is that I have time clean a little bit each day, rather than saving it all up for the weekend, like I do when I’m in school.  Part of it is the fact that I don’t want to leave things lying around for her to get into.  And part of it is that I’m just more inspired lately to take care of things right then and there, rather than putting them off.  Like emptying the dishwasher – it really only takes 10 minutes, tops, but I seemed to always put it off until I HAD to empty it.  Nowadays, I empty it while keeping an eye on Lulu as we’re hanging out in the kitchen.  I like to keep my place clean anyway, but now things are looking fairly spotless all the time, which is great.  So, although Miss Lulu is absolutely terrified of the vacuum and avoids it at all costs, she’s inspired me to keep things clean and tidy all the time, and I love it.
  4. I’ve been eating most meals in the breakfast nook, while reading, rather than in front of the T.V.  I should’ve been doing this all along, and I do find that I clean things up right after dinner, unlike when I was eating in the living room.  T.V. definitely breeds laziness; no big surprise there.
  5. Speaking of food, I have not snacked at all since Lulu got here.  It’s a lot more fun to spend time playing with her than it is to eat.  Because I’ve had a lot of appointments since the summer started, I really don’t have a lot of time to snack, which is great.
  6. I feel like I have something/someone to focus on other than myself, and it feels great.  It’s nice to fall into the routine and rhythm of a day with her.

Doctor, Doctor

In other news, I’ve had a couple of doctors’ appointments that I’ve gone to this week.  As you guys know, I had an appointment with my primary doctor because I was getting bad headaches almost daily.  In the course of the appointment, I had a really high blood pressure reading, and the doctor suggested I look into the lap band procedure.  (More on this later).  A follow-up appointment had my blood pressure in more normal ranges, and it was there again today.  Although the doctor did say that it’s still slightly high, and she’d like it to be under 130 (it was 136 today).  Here’s where the possible TMI section of the post starts, so you may want to skip to the next paragraph. One of the other things that has been going on with me is that I haven’t had a period in over 2 months.  Which is very unusual for me.  Even though I have an IUD and they say that it can cause irregular periods, mine have come every month like clockwork.  Until recently.  I thought that maybe everything was connected, or maybe the IUD had moved, but an uncomfortable gyno appointment (internal ultrasound, ugh) confirmed that the IUD is still in the proper place.  The GYN said that it may just be causing irregular periods now, even though they’ve been normal for the past 3 years that I’ve had it.  When I mentioned this to my primary physician today, she said that the missed periods are most likely because of the IUD, but that they could explain why I was getting the headaches – increased hormones.  The thing is, I’ve been headache free since I got Lulu.  Correlation?  Coincidence?   I do think that life has become a lot less stressful since I’ve been off for the summer, and Lulu definitely brings me a lot of joy, so she probably helps to keep me relaxed.  The bottom line is that my health is ok, and I’m not having terrible headaches, so I’m thankful.

Taking a break from weight loss

What hasn’t been going well is the whole dieting/weigh loss thing.  I’ve gained a few pounds (+3-5 pounds, give or take) ever since I first got the news about the possible high blood pressure/lap band idea.  But the thing is, I’m ok with it.  I haven’t been going wild with eating everything in sight, and as I mentioned before, I don’t snack at all. I haven’t been working out, other than taking Lulu on walks, so there’s absolutely room for improvement there.  Otherwise, though, I’ve been enjoying this break from counting Points and worrying about the scale. Because of this break, I don’t feel like I have that much to say on this blog lately.  Which makes me sad.  Don’t get me wrong, taking a break from the dieting has been a good thing for me and my state of mind, but not blogging is weird to me.  Writing about my life is so natural to me, and when I’m not doing it, I feel out of sorts.  So the goal for the next few weeks is to do activities that are exciting enough for me to blog about them.

Lap Band

In terms of the lap band, I go to the informational meeting on July 15th and I can’t wait.  I’ve been doing my own research through watching YouTube videos of others who have had the Lap Band, reading blogs of “banders,” and looking things up on Google.  I feel like I have a very good idea of what happens after the procedure and what life (and eating) will be like while living with the Lap Band.  In true Bella fashion, I’m just very impatient to get the process started.  My doctor said that once I go to the meeting I should email her and she’ll give the referral/recommendation so that the process can begin.  I’ll find out more specifics after the meeting, but what I know so far is that they’ll require a series of classes, evaluations with a psychologist, meeting with the surgeon or other doctor, as well as the requirement to lose 20-30 pounds following a restricted diet.  Following a diet isn’t going to be difficult for me since I consider myself a professional dieter, but the thing that does concern me is that if I haven’t been able to lose weight following WW, will I be able to lose weight following their prescribed diet?  Although if I think about it, I’m sure that most of the people who get the Lap Band are in the same boat as I am, and when their doctors require them to lose the weight, they do it, so I should be able to, as well.  Knowing it is part of the process of getting the Lap Band will no doubt light a fire in me, and I’ll employ the same gusto that I approach any challenge that’s placed before me, and I know I’ll be successful at it.

Birthday & 4th of July Weekend

My birthday is tomorrow and I’ll rerun a blog I wrote a couple of years ago about why my birthday is always so special.  This year it’s going to be a lot more low key, which is fine with me.  My parents and I are going out to dinner at a seafood restaurant which they’ve raved about, so that will be nice.  I do miss the days when a group of friends and I would get together to celebrate, but because my bday is around 4th of July, it’s always difficult to work it out because of out of town plans.  Next year I turn 40 and I want to do something big – I’m thinking Vegas, baby.  I went there on my 30th bday, so maybe I should go again now that another decade has passed.  As far as the 4th, Lulu and I are going over to my parents’ house for a BBQ.  I got off easy with only having to bring some rice krispy treats.  Monday my sister is off of work, so I think she’s going to bring my nieces so that we can all go swimming at the pool.  Looking forward to it.

If you’re not blogging, what are you doing?

As I mentioned above, I haven’t been feeling like there’s a lot to blog about since I’m taking a break from the whole weight loss thing right now.  As things come up I will definitely write about them, but if you don’t see too many posts between now and July 15th, do not worry.  I’m fine.  I haven’t given up.  I’m just vacationing from weight loss for a bit.

I’ve  been spending more time reading on the Kindle than I usually do, and I’m loving it.  I think that reading the writing of authors I admire will help me become a better writer myself.  I was talking to my friend Alice the other day, and this summer she’s hoping to finish a book that she’s spent the past few years writing. Hearing her talk about that really inspired me to get off my ass (so to speak) and start working on the book that I want to write.  It’s item #18 on my Life List, so I think I’d better get to it.  The plan is to start writing a little bit each day, beginning tomorrow, July 2.  I’m not sure exactly what the book will be about, but I know it will be non-fiction about my life.  I don’t want to write another weight loss memoir, and no one needs to read another single girl’s guide to dating after 38.  So while I’m not sure what it will be about, I am excited to see where it goes.

I’ve also been meeting with lots of my friends, which is nice.  I feel like I haven’t seen some of them in so long, so it’s nice to have the time to be social.

Something new

Up to this point I’ve kept my blogs anonymous (except for a few photos here and there) because of my job.  I had a bad experience in the past (on a different blog) where a sneaky student found a blog I had written that had some details about my life as a single girl who was dating a lot.  Because of being burned by that (my principal found out and suggested that I remove the blog, which I did), I’ve been fairly cautious about being too public on this blog.  But the more I think about it, the more I wonder why I’m letting fear rule how I share my weight loss journey.  I mean, so what if students find this blog?  Ok, I might not want them to know some of the TMI details that I discussed in the paragraphs above, but seriously, so what if they did?  Does it undermine me as a professional?  Well, maybe.  So I might keep those types of details fewer and farther between.

Still, I’ve been wanting to make some weight loss videos and post them up here.  The YouTube weight loss community is strong, and while you guys are my first loves in terms of online weight loss support, I’m sure that as I begin this lap band journey, there are a lot of people out there who might offer some additional guidance who don’t read blogs.  Plus, I like the idea of approaching this journey in a multimedia way, as Mary does on her blog. I’m not going to reveal my real name, so I’ll be Bella on YT as well, but I think it might be nice to have a video record of myself before, during, and “after” the lap band.  So you can expect those types of posts from me now and then until I get the surgery, and then they’ll be at least weekly.

Wrap it up, this is over 2000 words!

I hope all of you have a fantastic 4th of July weekend, and please know that although I’m not posting as much as I usually do, I’m reading what you’re righting, and I’m here enjoying life.  I’m planning on using Twitter a lot more so you can “follow” me and what’s going on day to day by checking out my sidebar.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend!  After not feeling so great on Friday, I came back strong on Saturday and Sunday and made the most out of both days.

I got in fun and challenging workouts this weekend, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. (I’ll go into more detail on Friday with my fitness post).  The main thing that I loved about the exercise I did this weekend was that I was able to get out and enjoy the sun.  More rain is due to come in later tonight through Thursday, so I wanted to make the most of it while I could.  It felt great to push myself hard, especially on Saturday.

This weekend I bit the bullet, followed Scale Warfare‘s lead, and created a Twitter account.  For the longest time I really didn’t think my life was interesting enough to have a Twitter, but when SW mentioned that she wanted to use it as a way of posting her food journal quickly, I thought it was brilliant.  And wouldn’t you know that I actually have a lot more “nuggets” to share than I realized?  If you want to “follow” me, my name on Twitter is Bellablogger.  Or, if you prefer, you can just follow my most recent tweets on the sidebar of this blog. If you have a Twitter account, how do you find yourself using it?

The other fun thing I did this weekend was go shopping.  Who doesn’t love retail therapy, right?  I have been buying lots of little things online that are weight loss or fitness related (in some way, shape, or form) and I’ll write future posts about them as I use/experience them.  I also found my way to a HUMONGOUS Walmart Superstore, which is about 35 miles from my house.  I’d never been to this location before (I’ve only been to Walmart twice before in my life – once on Cape Cod and once in my city), but this store was supposed to be fabulous.  And it was – so clean, organized, and absolutely overwhelming in its size.  I spent quite a bit of money, but I got such great deals (ex: a cute dress for $18!!) that it was well worth it.  Even though Walmart isn’t top on my list of places to shop on a normal basis, it’s worth going and spending an afternoon (we were there for over 2 1/2 hours!) now and then.

Which leads me to a shopping decision  that I need your help with.  I bought my Skechers Shape-Ups a long time ago and I absolutely adore them.  The thing is, once summertime hits, I know that I’ll be less likely to wear my Shape-Ups if it’s really warm outside.  Then I got an email from Skechers letting me know that they make their own form of fitness sandals called Tone-Ups, and I knew I had to check them out.  I figure that if I was that happy with the Shape-Ups, I’d love the Tone-Ups too.  Here’s where you come in.  I’m wondering which pair to buy.  I’m going to buy them online, because the selection is much better than any I can find in the stores in my area (and I live in a great area for shopping).  Partially because I’m picky about my shoes because I want them to be stylish. I’ve narrowed it down to two choices, but I want to get your opinions on which ones you think are cuter:

Choice 1 – Ballerina Kicks.  Here are 3 views of them (click on any of the photos to make them larger):

Choice 2 – Funk Frenzy. Again, 3 views (click to make larger):

I’m leaning towards one style more than the other, but I want to get your opinions before I make a final decision.  Thanks in advance for helping me go shoe shopping.  😉

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!!

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