Posts Tagged ‘weekend update’

Summer_Sun1_000002It’s finally summer vacation!!!

I want to apologize for disappearing from the blog without any warning.  It wasn’t my intention, but life just got so hectic there at the end.  The end of this school year seemed especially busy for some reason.  But it all turned out fantastically well, and I’m so happy to be enjoying Day 2 of summer vacation. I have so much to update that I almost don’t know where to start.  I guess I’ll do a bit of a weekend update, and then take it from there.

Friday was my last teacher workday, which is always a nice, easy way to end the school year.  I was out of there by noon, and then spent the next several hours vegging out on the couch.  My sister and I went to go see The Fault in Our Stars, which I really enjoyed.  I loved the book, and the movie did a great job with staying true to it.  The actor playing Augustus Waters was phenomenal.  It was a great way to kick off the summer.

Saturday was all about sprucing up my yards.  My dad came over at 9am, and he and I worked until 3:30, stopping only briefly at 2pm to eat a quick lunch.

We started off transplanting groundcover from the backyard to the front.  This plant grows prodigiously, so I thought it would be a great way to thin out the backyard groundcover and fill in some spaces in my front yard.  It worked really well, and once it settles in and takes root, it will look great.  I’m not sure if it shows up, but this plant has tiny hot pink flowers that bloom during the summer. (That bush in the middle of the photo was already there – I’d purchased those back in April to replace two diseased bushes that I’d had the gardeners remove.  Even though I’m a renter, I don’t mind purchasing this kind of thing to make the house look good, because I get a lot of enjoyment out of a pretty yard. Plus, I can dig the bushes up if I ever move).

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Next, my dad and I headed to OSH to buy hoses, sprayers, planters, spliters, potting soil, etc.  You can see the soaker hose (black hose) in the photo above.  $153 later, we had plenty of essentials. Once the groundcover grows a bit more it will hide the hose, which will look better.  The soaker hose is cool because you can turn it on and leave it for 10 minutes and it slowly waters the groundcover.  After OSH, we headed to Summerwinds, the best nursery in our area.  I bought lots of full sun annuals and flowers for the hanging pots I’d bought on a whim at OSH ($77).  Before we headed home we realized we had nothing to hang the pots I’d bought, so we made a quick pit stop in Ace to buy chain, light bulbs (a few bulbs had blown out that I needed my dad’s help to reach), and some hooks to hang the pots ($35).  Whew! My summer garden was going to look beautiful, but it was expensive, at $265!  Much of that expense was the planters and hoses/sprayers, all of which I can keep, so it doesn’t make me feel quite as bad.  Plus, I consider this a gift to myself every summer, because I’ll spend my entire vacation (and beyond) enjoying the way my yards look.

When we got back, it was time to get to planting.  Sofi absolutely loved that my dad and I were in the backyard, playing in the dirt.  LOL. We started with the terra cotta planter, because that was going in the front yard, and I wanted it to look perfect.  The inspiration for all of this planting were these pots that my parents surprised me with when I got back from Hawaii:

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My mom had found the planters when she was out shopping, and from there it became a family affair.  My dad found the cement tiles to anchor them to, my niece picked out the Martha Washington geraniums, and my dad planted them.  When I got home and saw them, I was so happy!  I knew I needed to fill in the dirt (with the groundcover from the backyard), and move my huge terra cotta planter from the back to the front.

2014-06-08 06.59.22I love the way the terra cotta planter turned out! I found this great ficus ivy for the front, which will eventually hang down. I knew I wanted big blooms, and when my dad found those large zinnias, I knew they would be perfect.  I can’t wait for it to fill in.

I hated the hose I had in the front yard, because it was really inflexible and always kinked up.  The hose holder was also falling off the wall, so it was time to replace all of that, especially since we were buying the soaker hose and splitter anyway.

I had no idea you could even put a splitter on a hose.  My dad knows so many tricks!

I had no idea you could even put a splitter on a hose. My dad knows so many tricks!

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I love the black scroll work on this hose holder, and I really like that the hose blends into the background. They only had a 50-foot hose in this color, so I have way more hose than I need. My dad said we could cut the hose to make it the length I want, so that’ll be a mini project for another day.

Now the front looks really good:

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The only thing I want to add are some small solar lights, because I think they’ll look really nice and add the perfect bit of twinkle.

Now it was time to tackle all the pots for the backyard.  If money was no object, all of the my planters in the back would be terra cotta, too, but since I have other things I want to buy this summer, I’m using these plastic planters that mimic terra cotta.  They look sort of cheap, but they’re okay for now.  Eventually I’ll replace them. I think the backyard looks really happy now:

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These sun-loving annuals are bright and happy, and I love the mix of colors.  They go well with my roses and my hydrangeas, which are looking so pretty:

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I’d had this New Guinea impatien in one of the other pots, but moved it to this great watering can planter in a shady spot of the garden. We had a couple flowers left over, so I planted them in with my mint plant.

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The impulse purchase yesterday were these hanging pots. My sister has a couple of hanging pots in her back patio, and I really like the way they looked.  And then when we were at OSH yesterday, I saw these planters, and fell in love.  They were pricey, at $17.99 each, but I knew I was going to splurge on them, because they’d add so much to my patio.  I absolutely love the way they turned out, and can’t wait for them to grow and start falling over the edges of the pots.

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All in all, it was a long, tiring day, but very worth it for the end product.  I definitely want to have lots of people over this summer, so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of this garden.

Sunday my plan is to go on a 2- or 3-mile walk with my mom this morning at 8:30, and then spend the rest of the day cleaning the house.  It is in desperate need of a major cleaning.  I’m talking top to bottom and every room in between.  I let it go over the past month, and I want to start out the summer with a clean house.  One thing I love about summertime is that once the house is clean, I can tackle cleaning it a bit at a time – bathrooms one day, floors another, dusting a different day.  Once it’s spotless, keeping up with it isn’t a big deal, and insures that the house always looks immaculate.  My reward for all the hard work in store today is going to be a bit of a binge watch of Orange is the New Black.  I’ve watched the first episode of Season 2 already, but I love watching a bunch of them in a row, so that’s the plan for later this evening.

All in all, I’m starting summer in wonderful way – beautifying the house and gardens.


I have a bunch of blog posts swirling in my head, so get ready for an onslaught of writing from me over the next few days:

  • getting back on track with my food & exercise routine
  • PopSugar MustHave Box reveal/review
  • 20-mile bike ride adventure
  • Diamond Head hike adventure (yes, two months later!)
  • Graduation NSV
  • Bottle Rock music festival discoveries
  • Bella in T.O.Y.land music mix
  • weekly workout plan
  • weigh-in update




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I love that I’m writing my weekend wrap-up on a Tuesday! Don’t you just love short weeks like this one?

I had a fantastic weekend! It was a perfect mix of fun, obligations, and down time. If you follow me on Instagram (bellablogger), you’ve seen many of these photos already, but most of them are good enough to view more than once.

Saturday Scenes


Sofi & I started off with a late-morning walk around our neighborhood. I’m happy to report that I was able to walk at my pre-plantar fasciitis speed. Sofi was as relieved as I was that I’m back to normal.


Later in the afternoon, I met up with Tinkerbell, her hubby, and two of their friends for a “biker gang” bike ride. I’ve never ridden with 4 other people before. I’m sure we were a funny site, since we all have beach cruisers. It as a gorgeous day, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than riding my bike on a sunny Saturday.


This week marks the end of my amaryllis. A student had given me the bulbs as a thank you for a letter of recommendation that I wrote for her, and I’ve enjoyed watching it grow and bloom since November.

Sunday Scenes


Sunday morning I headed out bright and early to take yoga at my local Lululemon store. I love that local instructors from all sorts of studios take turns leading these classes. It’s always a form of vinyasa, and since that’s the type of yoga I’m least familiar with, I’m really enjoying trying it. Plus, I woke up the next day sore all over, which is always a great sign.


Ani had met me at yoga, and afterward we grabbed tea and basked in the sunshine. It was a great way to begin the day.


Sunday afternoon my 49ers came back from a 17-point deficit to secure their spot in the Superbowl!!! As a lifelong 9ers fan, I can’t tell you how excited I am that they’re returning to the glory days of the 80s and early 90s. It’s been a long time in coming, but it just feels like this year is our time.


After the game, my friend Di and I met up for iced tea (Passion tea for me)and “catch up” time. Yes, that does make two trips to Starbucks in one day, but at least both of my drinks were calorie-free and counted towards my water intake.

Scenes from Monday


After skipping the aqua aerobics class I’d planned on because it was way too chilly out, I was sure to make my date with the elliptical. Again, I’m seeing progress in my heel, because just a few weeks ago I wasn’t able to stand on the elliptical for 30 minutes. I also want to note that I actually burned 605 calories.


A post-wrokout, post-grocery store shot of me driving with the convertible top down. It was in the high 60s all weekend, and you know when it gets anywhere near a warm temp like that, my Beetle goes topless. (It also helped that I was so warm after my workout that the breeze didn’t bother me one bit).


Finally, a shot of the roasted broccoli I made last night. I’m not a huge fan of broccoli (one of the only veggies I don’t really like), but I do like it roasted. I added a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and quite a bit of cayenne pepper. I popped it in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. Delish! (I make cauliflower the same way, but at 425 for 25-30 minutes).

The rest of the day and evening on Monday was spent cleaning and getting ready for the week ahead.

All in all, I had a really fun, productive weekend.  I’m proud of myself for working out each day, seeing several friends, and getting everything else accomplished.  If only all weekends could last 3 days!

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Happy Monday, Everyone!  My weekend was really quiet, in a nice way.  I spent quite a bit of time organizing around the house (although I’m still not done with my closets, but more on that in another post), I saw Ice Age:Continental Drift with the entire family, and of course, I’ve been watching (and wearing) the Olympics.

I enjoy so many sports, but my favorites are swimming (go, Lochte, go!!!!) and gymnastics (my heart is broken for Jordyn Wieber). I am really loving watching all of these athletes pursue their dreams.  Their commitment and passion is incredible.  Seeing these people thrive in their areas of expertise really inspires me to do the best I can with my workouts.  I’m doing a double workout today – a beginners’ mat Pilates class followed directly by a Zumba class.

The Olympic athletes segue nicely into today’s topic for FMM.


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Goals and More

1. Brag about some of your daily, healthy habits.  I have dedicated this summer to myself and my weight loss.  Which has meant taking my vitamins, drinking my water, getting in my workouts, and eating healthy.  I’ve done amazingly well, with few exceptions.  I’m proud of my consistency, which is something I struggle with.

2. Do you track your daily food intake? If so, how? Yes, I track all my food, vitamins, water, and exercise in MyFitnessPal.  I have made lots of great “pals” on there who spur me on and are uber supportive. I highly recommend it.  I really like keeping track of everything, because it gives me some accountability, but it also gives me a great record to look back on.  I’ve learned so much about my body and my weight loss patterns.

3. What do you want to change most about your daily routine?  I would love to get to the point where food isn’t the focus of my day.  I seriously spend so much time planning my food that I feel like meal times are sometimes the highlight of my day.

4. How often do you exercise?  This summer I’ve been exercising about 6 days a week, often more than one workout in a day.  But when I’m working I usually aim for 5 times a week.

5. How do you stay on track when you’re on the go? I do my best to plan my day so that I can eat at home whenever possible.  If it’s not, I either bring food with me or I make sure there’s a really good option for me to eat out.

6. What’s one excuse you use that prevents you from reaching your goals?  I negotiate with myself too often.  Like, it’s ok if I skip that workout today, I’ll do double tomorrow.  Or, I can indulge in _____ because I worked out so hard today.  A bit of this is normal, but it can become out of hand very quickly.  I’ve done my best this summer to stop negotiating.

7. What scares your most about your journey? The idea that I’ve spent all this time striving to reach my ultimate goal, and I don’t ever reach it.  That I’ve written 1164 blog posts and won’t achieved what I set out to.  That would destroy me.  So I persevere, because failure is not an option.

8. What do you think will change most when you reach your goal? (If you have reached it, what’s different?)  I think so many things will change – from my wardrobe to my willingness to date.  I really like the person I am now, but I know I will fulfill my true destiny at my goal weight.

9. What motivates you to reach your goals?  The main motivation comes from within.  The fact that this is the one goal that I have yet to accomplish.  I’m always accomplish the goals I set my mind to, and this one shouldn’t be any different.  Beyond that,  there are so many little things – the clothes, the activities (like zip lining!).  And never again hearing, “you’ve got such a pretty face, if you’d only lose weight.”

10. Share a few of your goals.  Right now my main goal is to reach the pre-op goal weight that my surgeon set for me.  I have 19 lbs to go.  I’ll be undergoing VSG surgery, which you can read more about here.  I also have goals for 2012 listed here, which I need to update later today.

Now it’s your turn to share. Don’t forget to go back to Kenlie’s blog to link up in the comments!

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Happy Monday, Everyone! I had a great weekend!  I decided to join a second gym, went to Zumba, experienced some really unusual and cool musicgot back on my beach cruiser, and wished my youngest niece a happy 5th birthday.  I agree with Kenlie that weekends should be 3 days long – who needs to work on Monday, anyway?  (Although, considering I have the summer off, I’m not one to complain).


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Finish the Sentence

I like…being able to do anything I want for two months in the summer.

I don’t like…feeling overwhelmed.

I am…becoming the person I always knew I could be.

I love…my family and friends.

I dream of…finding The One – someone who accepts me for all my flaws and loves me anyway, and vice versa.

I wonder…what my life will be like a year from now.  (This was Kenlie’s response, but it fits me too).

I know…that I’m going to make it to my pre-op goal weight.

I went…to an all-girls, Catholic high school (plaid skirt and everything), and I loved every minute of it.  I’m getting together for an alumnae event on Tuesday evening, and I can’t wait!

I have…so many goals to accomplish! I thrive off of plans and dreams.

I think…everyone should spend at least 30 minutes a day reading a book.

I plan…everything! Which doesn’t mean that I’m not spontaneous, but I like to dream.

I regret…one of my tattoos, and can’t wait until I can afford to have it lasered off. Although I do want to get two more tattoos, on my inner wrists once I’m at my goal weight, expressing the sentiments of letting go and thriving (or something like that).

I do…my best.

I drink…coffee, water, and wine.

I wish…that someday soon money won’t be an issue for me.  I’m not greedy, I don’t need to be rich, but I’d like to stop worrying so much about budgets.  I wish that teachers were paid like lawyers, accountants, or doctors.  Educating the future seems to be worth as much as winning a case, balancing the books, or saving a life, doesn’t it?

I am…vibrant, fun, and happy.

I am not…someone who wallows in self-pity or excuses.

I need…to be more patient.

I hope…to go on a trip that requires a plane, hotel rooms, and multiple suitcases sometime in the next few years.

I want…to make my dreams a reality, to turn my plans into actions, and to be able to accomplish the biggest goal of my life. I want to become a healthy person who has reached her goal weight through determination, drive, hard work, and dedication.

I sometimes…speak too quickly, too harshly, too bluntly.

I always…believe that life is too short to deny yourself the simple pleasures.

I can…do anything, ANYTHING, I set my mind to.

I cannot…imagine a world without music.

I will…take each day as it comes and live in the moment.

Now it’s your turn to share. Don’t forget to go back to Kenlie’s blog to link up in the comments!

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

In what seems to be a recurring theme with this post, I don’t have a weigh in to share this week. I checked in on the scale throughout the week, and it was still holding steady.

But this week really wasn’t about that. I have lots of NSVs this week, all in the form of workouts. I worked out “every damn day,” only taking one day off. I felt good about myself with each sweatyface photo I posted on FB.

The highlight of the week was something I’d been looking forward to for a few weeks – BeautyJunkie824‘s Goal Weight Celebration. I thought her idea of hosting a hike in Muir Woods to celebrate getting to her goal weight was ingenious. But if I’m honest, I have to admit that I was completely nervous and anxious about whether or not I’d be able to keep up. From everything I’d read online, the paths in Muir Woods were challenging and steep. I hated the thought of making people wait for me. Or that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But I pushed through my nerves and rsvp’d “yes” because I love BeautyJunkie824, I’m so proud of her for reaching her goal, I’d never been to Muir Woods, and I wanted to challenge myself.

20120521-084921.jpg So I left the house at 7:45am yesterday and headed up through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Mill Valley, where Muir Woods is located. Even though I’ve seen the GG Bridge in person more times than I can count, I always get goosebumps when I see it.  There was absolutely no traffic on my way up through SF, and I got to Muir Woods in 1.5 hours.  The ride up to Muir Woods was really, really curvy, so I’m really glad that I decided to drive myself.  I can get carsick, and that windy road would have been enough to do it.  I arrived early, so I took a few minutes to take in the scenery and snap some photos.


This creek runs throughout different areas of Muir Woods, and this view was on the way from the overflow parking lot to the Visitor’s Center. It really made me excited for all that I was about to see.

Soon enough BeautyJunkie824 and her friends arrived and we were on our way on the hike.  The beginning was nice and slow as we stayed on the “boardwalk” path and took in all of the sites in the Cathedral Grove. This is the pathway that most of the tourists and families take – it’s fairly flat, wide, and easy to navigate.  There are several smaller “loops” that feed off of the boardwalk, and we were heading to the Ben Johnson Trail.


The redwoods are just so majestic. Awe-inspiring.


We walked this way for some time, and then we hit the area that I had been dreading – the part where it began an incline.  The guidebook said the incline was gradual, but for someone who is 150 lbs overweight, it was anything but. My heart starting really beating and my breath became really shallow.  But I pushed myself because I wanted to make it to the destination – Stinson Beach.


This was the log that we had to cross to make our way up the trail. It was about a story off the ground, which didn’t bother me, because I’m not afraid of heights.


You can’t tell it from the angle of this photo, but each of those are fairly steep steps that we had to walk up.

I kept climbing and climbing, even though my heart was pounding and I couldn’t get my breath.  The steps were really hard to climb because they were so steep.  BeautyJunkie824’s mom was so sweet and stayed behind with me because she said she needed to rest, too, but I knew it was because she didn’t want to leave me alone.  At one point I told her I didn’t think I could continue, but she told me that she knew that I could, and that I’d feel so good when we got to top and then had nothing but a downhill descent to look forward to. As much as I tried, I finally realized that I’d gone as far as I was going to.  I was gasping for air and my heart was beating so fast that I was feeling sick, and overwhelmed, and panicky.  And my foot was starting to go numb, which was really scary, considering that the ground wasn’t even, but really bumpy and unsure.

With tears in my eyes I told BeautyJunkie824’s mom that I didn’t think I could make it. She said that she had worried that I might not be able to, and that she was so sorry for pushing me.  I told her that I appreciated her push, because sometimes I needed it, but at this point I had to listen to my body, and that this was where I had to turn back.  She called BeautyJunkie824 over, and that’s when I really started to cry.  I stammered out that I was so sorry for holding them all back, that I was so disappointed in myself, and that I didn’t want to ruin what was supposed to be a celebration.  She was great and hugged me and comforted me and told me that she was so proud of what I HAD accomplished, and I should be to.  I heard what she was saying, but still felt a terrible sense of discouragement.  I’d wanted so badly to go with them and see everything, but once again my body wasn’t going to allow me. It’s hard to describe just how gut-wrenching this was to me; I felt like a complete failure.


#pinklaces. I took this to show how steep the steps were, but again, I don’t think this gives shows it. Even on the way back, going downhill, I had to be really careful to avoid falling.

Yet, as I walked back to my car by myself (they had offered to see me back to the Cathedral Grove, but I just wanted to be alone), I took some time to realize how much I really had done.  I’d hiked my way through a really steep section of Muir Woods, and even though I hadn’t gone as far as I’d hoped, it was something that I could build on.  It was now a baseline that I could push past, that I could overcome.


I walked/hiked for over two hours, burned 1260 calories, and had seen sites that I’d never experienced before.  I tried something far outside my comfort zone, even though I had major doubts and reservations.  I pushed myself and I tried, and that counts for something.  Plus, I found this hidden gem right in my own backyard that I plan to visit again and again this summer. And after I’ve lost some significant weight, let’s say 50 lbs or so, I plan to try this same path again to see how much farther I can go.  And I’ll keep trying, until I can make it all the way to Stinson Beach.

So this week was successful for me, no matter what the scale shows or how much of a path that I left untraveled. Because I am showing myself, through actions and not just words, that I am serious in my pursuit of my first major goal.  It’s only a matter of WHEN, not IF.


I came to the woods because I wished to live deliberately and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~~ Henry DavidThoreau, from Walden

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Once again I forgot to weigh myself this morning.  It seems that I’m either so groggy or so excited about the day’s plans on Sunday mornings that I can’t seem to remember to get on the scale.  So I just put a little reminder in my iCal, which should take care of my poor memory.

It’s just as well that I didn’t weigh in today – it’s TOM, and although the clothes are fitting the same as they did a couple of days ago, I’m sure there’s a slight water weight gain.

This week I was supposed to concentrate on working out, and while I did better than I did the week before, which is progress, I didn’t do enough.  Which leads me to a bit of an epiphany I had last week.

Thursday I was at my desk at school, eating my lunch and reading blogs (as I do most days), and I  came across this post, written by Tonya.  And as I read it, I realized that she could have been writing directly to me.  It’s strange that a post with such biblical tones in it spoke to me this much, but it did, especially the beginning portion, where she writes:

I don’t want to just scratch the surface anymore. I’m tired of not finishing. Half-way leaves you hung in the balance; it doesn’t take you down or move you forward. You’re just…STUCK.”

That’s what I’ve been doing for weeks months years now.  Concentrating on only part of the journey.  Doing well with food during the day and then overeating at night.   Or doing great with the food, but being lazy about workouts.  And really, I’m just so tired of being Miss Halfway.

I’m going to do my best today to dig deeper and give 100% of myself to my workout and to my food plan.  And tomorrow, I’ll do the same thing.  And while I take each day as it comes, I will continue to recommit to myself, because I do believe I’m made to shine.

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

This morning I woke up and was so excited about the weather forecast and some plans that I had, that I completely forgot to weigh myself on the scale.  I’m disappointed that I forgot, but at the same time, I have a feeling that the scale probably didn’t change too much in either direction.  Again.

I’ve been doing well with my food, but not great on the exercise front.  When I look at some of the people that have been my inspirations in this weight loss journey, for example Scale Warfare and BeautyJunkie824, the biggest difference between their routines and mine is the fact that they’ve been putting in WORK exercising.

I keep saying that I need to workout more regularly, but so far, I haven’t got back in the zone that I can get in during the summer.  But summer only lasts 2 months, and if this is going to be a lifelong journey,  I need to learn how to make working out a priority even when my schedule gets busy.  Because lots of people with much busier schedules than mine find the time, and I can, too, if I really want it.

Along those lines, today I went on a long walk with one of my friends, and it felt good to get out and get moving. The weather was beautiful, and we were able to get to the trail before it got too hot.  We were going at a really great pace, fast enough to really get my heart rate up and for me to sweat a bit.  The problem was that I also had that numbness in my feet that I was experiencing a few years ago (and every now and then since).  I’m not sure what brings it on, but the only difference between today and all the other days that I walk is the speed we were going.  It’s super frustrating not to be able to walk as fast as I know I can because my body (specifically, my feet) aren’t cooperating. I’m not going to let the frustration get to me, though.  I’m going to do what I can right now and know that as I lose weight, this will improve.

Not much else to report this weekend.  I had to proctor the SAT early on Saturday morning for 5 hours, after which I did the grocery shopping for the week.  And the rest of the day I did my own marathon of watching Game of Thrones.  It’s not the type of series that I would normally be interested in, but I’ve been hearing such great things from everyone about it, I thought I’d give it a try.  And before I knew it, I was sucked right in.  Today, besides the long walk, I prepped my food for the week  and spent some time reading outside.  A nice, quiet, relaxing weekend.

So this week’s workout plan is:
Monday: walk Sofi; aqua aerobics
Tuesday: Zumba DVD; walk Sofi
Wednesday: walk Sofi; aqua aerobics
Thursday: elliptical at the gym; walk Sofi
Friday: walk Sofi; OnDemand workout
Saturday: Zumba class; long walk with Sofi
Sunday: long walk with Sofi

Here’s to a week of getting it done.  A week of no excuses.  A week of endorphins brought on from a hard workout.  And a week of feeling proud for sticking to what I said I was going to do.

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Week 4 was a struggle for me, I’m not going to lie. I had a ton of responsibilities this past week for work, which really took my time away from exercising. I know that I probably could have found the time, but all I felt was (self-imposed) pressure, and when I feel like that, I can’t see past just getting the job at hand done. Not to mention a complication with my car which sent me to the dealership, but what’s a few more hours wasted, right? Poor Sofi was lucky that we went on any walks at all. 😦

My food was pretty decent all week – I stayed within my 1400 calorie range all week, but I wasn’t really inspired by what I was eating. Lots of leftovers, fewer fresh veggies. It was the week before I get paid (I only get paid once a month), which is usually the week that I open the freezer and pantry and have whatever I can find that looks healthy. I don’t have any junk food in the house, but this week wasn’t my best ever, to say the least.

Which all adds up to the fact that I only lost 1 lb this week. My total loss is 6 lbs overall from my starting point, which means:

And I know that a loss is a loss, and I didn’t do anything to warrant a higher number, but it’s still disappointing that I let an opportunity to lose more weight slip by. I did a good job of maintaining, which is an improvement from my recent pattern of overeating due to stress. So progress is happening. Part of the stress I felt this week could have been avoided if I had done the grading in small increments each day. But I let myself have too many off days, and then got stuck in a situation where I HAD to get the papers back to the students by the date I’d promised they’d have them.

The good news was that with all that work I did over the week, I had the weekend to myself.  So yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning the house top to bottom.  Everything from mopping every floor of the house to changing the sheets on the bed, dusting the entire house, and cleaning both bathrooms.  Plus laundry.  I was tired when I was through, but that great kind of tired that comes from a  job well done.  Plus, I had a sparkling clean house to wake up to this morning.

Today I did more laundry (I swear, for one person I sure do have a lot of loads!) and then got ready to meet a friend for a nice walk and chat along a great trail near my house.  I even brought Sofi along.

It was a beautiful day here today, but it was hotter out than I had anticipated, and after we’d been walking for about 45 minutes, poor Sofi just plopped down in any shady spot she could find, was breathing so hard, and looked so uncomfortable.  I decided to walk her down to the pond area so she could wet her feet, and well, here’s what happened next!


Forget my feet, I'm going to plunk my whole body down in this nice cold, algae-filled pond.


Awww, relief. Hey, maybe I can go a little deeper....


One of my friends who saw this on on FB said that Sofi looks like a merdog in this one. It was definitely the money shot.

Good thing it was bath night tonight!  I made sure to give her a fairly cool bath when we got home, and she didn’t seem to mind the bath as much.  Poor little thing.  But she (and I) had fun out there with my friend.  We’ll just have to make sure to go a bit earlier in the day next time.

And I’ve spent the rest of the evening cooking a great dinner, preparing my lunches, and basically getting ready for tomorrow.


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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Week 3 had a bit of everything – pre-planned meals, a ridiculously hectic schedule, a complete change of routine, great food choices, and the RETURN OF WILLPOWER.  That last bit is the most exciting.  Well, actually, if I’m honest, I’m most excited about my weight loss.  I lost 6.5 lbs this week!! My overall loss is 5 lbs because I was up last week.  But either way, I’m on my way:

The week itself was really busy at work for me, and because of that I really didn’t get to exercise the way I would’ve liked to.   Which actually makes the weight loss that much more astounding.  The one good thing about this crazy schedule was that I was able to change my afternoon routine, which helped me in my food choices. But I really like the way I feel better when I get some in some good workouts.  So, that’s something that I’m going to improve on this week – hitting the gym, going to classes, and doing some workout DVDs.

I ate really well all week, and I enjoyed everything to the fullest.  If you’d like to take a peek, you can become my friend on MyFitnessPal.  I also upped my calories from 1200 to 1400, and most days I stayed closer to 1300.  That small increase made a big difference in feeling more satisfied.  I’m happy to say that I didn’t have any episodes of overeating at all.  AT ALL. Which is especially wonderful because there were times of great stress, which is usually a trigger.

This past week was also my first week taking a prescription weight loss medication since Thursday. I don’t attribute all of my weight loss just to the diet pills, though.  I was losing at a great rate earlier in the week.  But I do think that the prescription is helping me with willpower. I’m also very happy to report that other than a bit of dry mouth (which just helps me drink more water), I have not had any side effects.  In fact, rather than making me feel anxious, I feel calmer.  And instead of giving me insomnia, I wake up feeling more rested than I have in a long time.  I’m not saying that it’s a miracle drug, by any means, but I am thankful that it’s working, and that I had a good week. Here’s to another one next week.

I was also really lax in blogging this past week (because of the hectic schedule), and I want to make sure to get more writing time.  It helps me feel centered and connected.

As far as a weekend update, I don’t have much to report.  It was HOT here, and I stayed inside in the AC and got lots of much-needed grading done.  I got some walks and gardening in, and I got all my grocery shopping done for the week.  Prepared and ready for the week.  I’m looking forward to being out and about more next weekend, because it’s overdue.

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

What a week! I had the week off for spring break, and had plans to rock big workouts each day, the same way I did when I had the February break. Unfortunately, I never got myself in gear, and I felt very listless and blah the entire week. But I also make some huge strides towards better health in the latter part of the week. So all in all, it was a good week, even if things didn’t go according to plans. Still, I have to believe that everything that is meant to be is what happened.

So I faced the scale this morning, and was up from last week. As you can see from this button, I have 41 lbs to go to make my Birthday Gift Goal. That means I have 79 days, or 12 weeks, to go. I can make it. At my weight, I can easily lose the 3-4 lbs per week that I need to. Because those recommendations that say that safe weight loss is 2 lbs or less per week aren’t talking about people that are 300 lbs. So, relatively speaking, it’s very realistic.

Now this is probably going to be a bit controversial, but after trying this for a year and 8 months, I can use all of the help I can get. So, I contacted my doctor to see if she would give me a prescription for a diet pill that could help with my weight loss. There are several that would help with short-term weight loss, so we’ll see what she says. If she approves it, I’m going to try it and see if it helps.

A fun step I took this week was starting a Facebook page related to this blog. I’ve already had several of you visit me there and “Like” me, but if you haven’t yet, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve been on FB for years with my personal account, but making a page tied to this blog is a great way to connect with more of you.

You guys know how happy I am to be a #SweatPink Ambassador, and I’m excited to let you know that my bio is now on Fit Approach. Even if you’ve been reading this blog for years, I think you’ll find out some new info about me, so if you have a minute, please head over and read it. And while you’re at it, read about my fellow #SweatPink Ambassadors, as well. They are a group of really interesting, accomplished women. By the way, I have a few pairs of pink shoelaces left, so if you’d like a pair of your very own, read this post, email me, and I’ll mail them out to you.


Speaking of which, Friday I sent all of the pink shoelaces out to those who emailed me, so most of you should be receiving them. Don't forget to email me photos of you doing something active while wearing them.

A major thing that happened this week was that I had a therapy appointment. I really liked my new therapist, and I think she and I are going to click well together. The first appointment was emotional, to say the least, and I left the office feeling worn out, as if I’d done a major workout. And in a way, I had. It felt good to talk about everything, and the therapist asked me some really insightful, thought-provoking questions. I really look forward to getting to the key issues surrounding the reasons why I’m blocking myself from achieving my goals.

When I went to my parents’ house to let them know that I’d entered therapy, and a bit more about my disordered eating, my dad had some excellent suggestions. He pointed out that when I quit smoking, I had to change my routine in order to get my mind off of cigarettes, and he suggested that the same thing would work with eating. He’s absolutely right! I told him that I can be great during the day, but when I get home, I get ravenous, and most of the time it’s really just the habit of wanting to scarf rather than from actual hunger. So we brainstormed a plan for the rest of the school year that I think is going to work well:

  1. Get home from work, have a quick snack (veggies and hummus/tzatziki), which I plan to eat standing up in the kitchen. Now before you quote that I should sit down and enjoy the snack, I can tell you from experience that once I sit down and rest, I’m done.
  2. I’ll head to the dog park with Sofi so that we can both get out for 20-30 minutes. This will be good for both of us. I’ll get out of the house and be able to soak up some rays and maybe make some new dog-owner friends. Sofi will get more and more comfortable with playing with other dogs the more we go. She does great at the doggie daycare or when I have puppy play dates with my friends, but when I take her to the dog park, she is much more interested in the people than the puppies.
  3. When we get home, I’ll start working on dinner and then eat. I’m planning on eating earlier than I normally do, like maybe 5:30 or 6pm, so that there’s plenty of time after dinner to do a few other things.
  4. After dinner I’ll take Sofi for a 20-30 minute walk in the neighborhood.
  5. Depending on how much grading I need to do, I’ll spend about an hour doing that.
  6. Otherwise, I’m going to head to the gym and go to a class, hit the elliptical, ride a bike, or maybe even swim. As luck would have it, my gym started holding classes at 8:30, which would be perfect. Enough time to digest dinner and get moving.
  7. I’ll spend the rest of the night relaxing with TV and blogging.
  8. If I get a snack attack while watching TV as I have been lately, I’m either going to have some popcorn or some flavored coffee, or something that won’t hurt my calorie budget.

I’m really excited to start this new routine tomorrow. I’ll absolutely have an update next week.

And lastly, since food is a huge part of my success with this Birthday Gift Goal, I planned my menu for the week and spent about an hour getting everything ready.

Sunday: pork butt roast, broccolini
Monday: lowfat curry chicken, couscous, zucchini
Tuesday: pork soft tacos with shredded cabbage, salsa, and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
Wednesday: Hungry Girl chili, salad
Thursday: salmon, brown rice, asparagus
Friday: lowfat curry chicken, couscous, broccolini

And now for some photos to show my food prep…


Bananas, to add to a few I have in the freezer, for my Green Smoothies that I make for breakfast every morning.


I put a pork butt roast in the crock pot, added some Trader Joe's BBQ sauce, and voila! lots of delicious meat. Only 53 calories/oz.


I de-boned a rotisserie chicken and separated it into 2 oz (or so) packets for this week's lunch: salads.


Two kinds of salads this week. Asian: chicken, beets, sugar snap peas, broccoli slaw, and shredded iceberg. Mexican: chicken, sliced olives, corn, lowfat shredded cheese, and shredded iceberg.


For the Mexican salad, I make a dressing by mixing Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and salsa.


This week's veggies for dinner: asparagus, broccolini, and zucchini. I'll also have some salads later in the week.


"Dippers" for my afternoon snack.


Zucchini two ways - sliced for the PM snack and rounds for dinner.


I sliced bell peppers for the PM snacks.


I couldn't resist this shot because Sofi was waiting at the ready while I chopped and prepped everything. (Oh, and those are the peppers and zucchini for my PM snacks).

As you can see, I had a very productive day.  Now if only I had spent a bit more time this week (or even today) grading all those essays.  (Sigh!)

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