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2014-07-21 13.01.20Today marks fourteen months since my VSG surgery, and it’s also Monday, so I figured this was the perfect Motivation Monday post.

Measurements

6/20/14

 7/21/14

Change

Neck

12.75

12.75

same

Arms

11

11

same

Wrist

6.25

6.25

same

Bust

33

 32.5

-0.5 inch

Waist

32

31.5

-0.5 inch

Hips

43

42

-1 inch

Thighs

25

24.5 -0.5 inch

Calf

15.5

 15.5

same

Ankle

8.5

8.25

-0.25 inch

It’s good to see that I’m still making progress in the “parts” that count – bust, waist, hips, & thighs.  My older clothes are fitting looser, and I’ve gone down in sizes, so it makes sense.

Photos

I have on the exact same clothes in both photos.  My sports bra and VS yoga crops. The left photos were taken 6/20/14 and the right photos were taken today, 7/21/14.

I know my body looks higher in the photo on the right, and my legs are more widely spread, but I think you can see a difference in my waistline.  (And in my tan - I was DARK last month!)

I know my body looks higher in the photo on the right, and my legs are more widely spread, but I think you can see a difference in my waistline. (And in my tan – I was DARK last month!)

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Last month my body was turned slightly, but even still, I think the photo on the right shows that my waist is more defined and that my butt has gone down a bit.

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I don’t really notice much difference between these two photos. I think I have a bit less “back flub” in today’s photo, but because of the angle, it’s hard to tell.

I’m happy that I can still see the changes in these photos.  They may be slight, but they’re still there, which is motivating to me.  I’ve continued to kill it at the gym and in outdoor exercise over the past month, so it’s nice to see those changes show up in photos.

I have just under a month until school starts again, and I am really excited to see what I can achieve in that time. Thanks for sharing my 14-month surgiversary with me!

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summer

It’s summertime! Which means that school is out, my schedule is my own, and I’m footloose and fancy free.  Summer means the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and I can kick my workouts (and my weight loss!) into high gear.  I have less than 30 pounds to go to reach my ultimate weight loss goal, and I plan to lose quite a bit of that this summer. But this summer is about so much more than losing weight; it’s about living my new life.  I worked so hard for this new, healthy body, and I want to spend this summer doing a lot of the things I only dreamed of doing when I was at my heaviest.  That means riding rollercoasters, running in 5Ks, trying new water sports, wearing styles (and sizes!) of clothes that I could never wear before.  I want to LIVE every moment of this summer to the fullest. I’ve moved my weigh-ins to Wednesdays as a way to check in midweek. My Wednesday progress updates will be called Sensational Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 59 was great!  I spent 1 1/2 of the days at the beginning of the week in Sacramento at a teaching conference.  The weekend was full of activity, and the past few days were just fun.  It was a busy week, with lots of eating out, yet I’m proud of how well I stuck to my plan and fit in all the exercise.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 178.8, which is a loss of 1 pound this week, and a loss of 98.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 136.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 28.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. This is a solid loss for a week that was completely outside my normal routine.  Not only that, but this week’s weigh-in takes me to my lowest weight as an adult, which is exciting!  I’m also really happy to see a loss after a few weeks of maintenance spurred on by indulgences.  Not to mention the fact that weight loss is so much more difficult at this stage of the journey.

Now that I have less than 30 pounds to go to get to my ultimate goal weight, weight loss has really slowed down.  I know it doesn’t help that I’ve been going out a lot, drinking more alcohol than normal, and enjoying the summer to the fullest.  Not that a healthy eating plan can’t include meals out or cocktails, but let’s be honest, there are a lot more calories when you eat that way.  So, it’s a balancing act – I want to continue my active social life, but I have to keep my focus strong so that I can continue to see losses on the scale.

My workouts are the things that haven’t suffered one iota in all of this merriment, and for that I’m eternally grateful.  I absolutely love working out – the way I can move my body, the ways I can push myself to new levels, and of  course the proud feeling I get after a kickass workout. I’ve really discovered how much better morning workouts make me feel, and I am looking forward to continuing those during the school year.  This week I’ve got a couple new workouts planned, which should be fun to try.  Working out has really become my major hobby; it’s not just something that I get through, but something that I enjoy.

At this stage in my journey, I am content.  I still have pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, but I’m very pleased with the way that I look and feel right now.  I’m not ready to call this my goal weight or to say that I’m in maintenance, but I am also very happy with the person I am right now in this very moment.  That’s something I’ve never experienced before.  I like the woman who is reflected back at me in the mirror.  I enjoy shopping for clothes at this size, and the admiring looks I get from men as I walk down the street/in the mall/at the grocery store. Not to mention the fact that I can run up a flight or two of stairs without getting the least bit winded.  I’m still striving towards my goal, but I’m loving the NOW, too.

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

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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.

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

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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).

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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!

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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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summer

It’s summertime! Which means that school is out, my schedule is my own, and I’m footloose and fancy free.  Summer means the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and I can kick my workouts (and my weight loss!) into high gear.  I have less than 30 pounds to go to reach my ultimate weight loss goal, and I plan to lose quite a bit of that this summer. But this summer is about so much more than losing weight; it’s about living my new life.  I worked so hard for this new, healthy body, and I want to spend this summer doing a lot of the things I only dreamed of doing when I was at my heaviest.  That means riding rollercoasters, running in 5Ks, trying new water sports, wearing styles (and sizes!) of clothes that I could never wear before.  I want to LIVE every moment of this summer to the fullest. I’ve moved my weigh-ins to Wednesdays as a way to check in midweek. My Wednesday progress updates will be called Sensational Summer Weigh-Ins.

Week 55  has been wonderful! Even though it’s summer vacation, and I haven’t had to go into work, I have been really busy each day.  I’m hoping that things will slow down a little bit, so that I have more time to spend relaxing.  Still, staying busy and active is a great way to stay on track, so I’m not complaining.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 179.6, which is a loss of 0.4 pounds this week***,and a loss of 97.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 29.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m in the 170s!!!  Just barely, but hey, I’ll take it! Especially after having a stall in my weight loss that lasted 6 weeks.  ***I have the stars by this week’s weight loss because I actually lost 6.2 pounds from June 8 to June 15 because I’d gained 5 pounds of water weight during the last two weeks of school when things got crazy and I stopped working out for a week and wasn’t making the best food choices.  I knew the weight would come off quickly, and it did.  And it got me down to the 170s.  But since my last reported weight on this blog was 180, I’m going to keep it simple and say that I’ve lost 0.4 this week.  (I have it all documented on MFP for accuracy).  Another reason I have the stars by my weight this morning is that I’ve been fairly constipated this week even though I’ve been drinking plenty of water.  I know it’s because I got out of my habit of taking the fiber supplement, and I need to get back to it, ASAP, because I don’t like this feeling.  So I’m guessing that I’ve actually lost more weight than the scale showed this morning, but I want to go with what the actual numbers were, so that’s what I’m reporting.

I’m really happy with the way I’ve been eating.  It’s nice to have so many more choices of fruits and veggies during the summer, and of course, I love being able to grill my proteins every night.  Eating in the summer is just so much easier – I just naturally make lighter, healthier choices, even when going out.  For example, I joined Tinkerbell and her hubby for happy hour at The Fish Market on Monday evening, and enjoyed some delicious oysters on the half shell.  I know raw oysters aren’t everyone’s thing, but to me they are the essence of summertime – fresh, light, and salty.  Yum!  I also enjoyed a couple of pieces of sushi along with most of a small fish taco along with some wine.  Light bites that were highly enjoyable yet totally within my food budget.  I love being able to go out socially, but not overindulge. The same thing happened with our Father’s Day BBQ – we planned a menu that worked well for the way I like to eat, and it was really delicious.  What are your favorite, healthy summer meals?

Exercising has been fantastic.  Most mornings I’ve been meeting Tinkerbell to workout at 7 or 7:30, which is a great way to start the day.  It’s early enough to give me the rest of the day to do whatever I need to, but not crack-of-dawn early like I was doing during the school year. I also met up with a co-worker, and she and I have plans to do a stair workout on Friday. While I enjoy working out alone, it’s definitely fun to meet up with friends and catch up while getting the workout in. I’ve been keeping the variety in my workouts by doing spinning, elliptical, C25K, walks with Sofi, and of course, the ToneItUp toning workouts. This coming week I want to take a few more fitness classes, like Body Combat, and work in some yoga sessions, too.

I have two NSVs to share, both of which are really exciting!  A while ago I was talking with Scale Warfare, who had VSG surgery about two years before I did.  I was telling her about how the jiggliness of my thighs was making it really difficult to buy comfy yoga pants.  Sure, I could fit into smaller sizes, but a lot of the thinner, summer-friendly yoga pants weren’t working with all the extra wiggle I had going on now that I’d lost so much weight and had the excess skin in my thighs.  She suggested that I try Victoria’s Secret yoga pants, because while they were thin and light, they were also fairly good at ‘sucking it all in.’ So a couple of weeks ago I when they were having a sale, I went on the site and ordered VS Most-Loved Yoga Crops in a size Large! I wasn’t sure A.) if they would fit and B.) how they would look if I could get them on.  They came in the mail yesterday, and I couldn’t have been more pleased! They fit great, really hold things in, and are still really light and comfy.  If loose skin/jiggly thighs are at all an issue for you, I’d highly recommend them.

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The 2nd NSV is something I’m super proud of.  This morning I tackled C25K, Week 5, Day 2, which includes a 5 min. walking warmup, 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of brisk walking, 8 minutes of running, and a 5 minute cool down.  And I did it!! I’ve started C25K two other times – once when I was way too heavy to run and then more recently after my surgery.  The first time, I was repeating the weeks two times, and I couldn’t make it to running more than 90 seconds at a time, because my poor body just couldn’t do it.  The second time, I stopped at Week 5; I just couldn’t run for 5 minutes in a row.  I could do 3 or even 4, but not 5.  So today when I was running for 8 whole minutes without stopping, and feeling really strong in my run, I amazed myself!  The key, besides being at my lightest weight in the past 20-something years, is that I’m taking the runs very slowly.  I’m at a 4.3mph run, which is just fine by me if it means that I can run for that duration and feel good.  I did move it up to 4.5mph with two minutes to go and felt good, and then “sprinted” up to 5.omph the last 30 seconds, just to see if I could.  And I did!  5.0mph isn’t a pace I can sustain right now, but it is kind cool that I can keep up with it for a very short duration.  This is all so exciting! I will say I’m a bit nervous about Friday’s run: 20 minutes of straight jogging!! But I know I can do it if I just keep my mind positive and my breathing steady. Plus, it’s right on track with my goal of running the entire MOOnlight 5K on July 12th.

Today’s quote is perfect.  It speaks to this person I’ve become – the woman who is unafraid of challenges in every aspect of her life, which finally also includes weight loss and fitness.  I have created a wonderful, vibrant life for myself, and it’s so exciting to be living it to the fullest.

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

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Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 52  (somewhere along the way, I got off on my count of post-op weeks, but since this week was my 1-year surgiversary, this week is obviously Week 52). This week was busy again (notice a trend?) and because of that, I made sure to fit in early morning workouts so that I’d be able to fit it all in.  I made some adjustments to my food plan, and I saw a bit of movement on the scale (sort of).

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

Once again, for the 5th week in a row, my weight is exactly where it’s been – 180 lbs.  But, I’ve lost 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  I did see movement on the scale this week – it dipped down to 178ish, but it bounced back up after a day of fun yesterday.  While I’m frustrated that my weight is still the same, I’m glad I went out with friends yesterday to a baseball game and enjoyed myself.  I indulged quite a bit with my food/adult beverage choices, but the great thing about my sleeve is that it helps me keep things in control in terms of portions.  Plus, I got in a great calorie burn yesterday, which is exactly what living in maintenance would be – keeping a balance.  The thing is, I don’t want to be in maintenance yet – I still have pounds to lose before I’m done.

First of all, let me just say that this is the last week where I won’t see a loss on the scale.  It’s time to kick things into high gear and make some changes. Here’s what I’m thinking…

Weigh-In Day Change – For the past year I’ve weighed in on Sundays.  I did this for a lot of reasons, the two main ones being that Sunday is the start to a new week and to keep myself accountable through the weekends.  Because I was so focused on my weight loss journey, I wanted to make sure that my Sunday morning weigh-ins were as good as they could possibly be, and this meant that I passed up on a lot of social activities because I didn’t want to have to weigh in the next morning after going out.  Which worked for me while I was really in my major weight loss phase, but isn’t going to work that well for me as I enter into this next phase of my life.  Summer vacation is about to hit, which means a lot more social engagements, not to mention that I joined Match.com again, and I’m hoping this means a lot more dates, too.  My point being, I don’t want to skip out on the fun this summer because I’m worried about my Sunday morning weigh-ins.  So, I’m changing my weigh-in days to Wednesday.  I weigh in everyday anyway, so changing the day I report my weight on this blog doesn’t seem like that big a deal, and will make a huge difference in my social life.

Food – I did well this past week with eliminating some of the snacks that the nutritionist recommended I avoid: nuts and popcorn.  Occasionally those snacks are fine, but I was eating them every day, and neither one has enough protein.  Nuts have a bit of protein, but are so high in calories and fat that they’re just not a good payoff.  Popcorn is low in calories and high in fiber, but has virtually no protein. I’m not going to completely forgo either of these snacks, but they need to be more of a once-in-a-while thing rather than my daily go-to.  Instead, I’ve been eating turkey wrapped around string cheese, cottage cheese and veggies, etc.  I also changed up my breakfasts a few times, going from protein shakes to Quest bars and Greek yogurt; the variety has been nice. My dinners were always on point, so I kept those the same.

Exercise – I did really well this week with waking up at 4:15am to fit in my workouts, which makes me really proud of myself.  I have to say, I love getting my workouts done first thing in the morning, but 4:15 is really early.  Which is why I’m so glad that next year I’ll have a first-period prep so that I can go in a bit later some days, and not have to wake up  quite so early.  But for these last two weeks of school, I’m going to keep up with the early, early morning workouts. Since I like writing my workout plan for the week on Sundays, I’m going to start separating the workout plan posts from my weigh-in posts, beginning today, so look for a separate workout plan post, later today.

Today’s quotes go well together, and I think they’re indicative of my philosophy of weight loss (and life in general).  Whatever I set my mind to, I accomplish, and this last phase of my weight loss journey is no different.  I have every confidence that I will accomplish all of my goals, including getting to the 170s this week!!

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

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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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bilbl_mainToday I had my 1-year post op appointment, and it went fabulously!  I was looking forward to it for the past couple of weeks, because I knew I was going to hear good comments.

(You guys might have noticed that I skipped my weigh-in post yesterday.  That was because for the 4th week in a row, my weight stayed the same, at 180.  That was confirmed again today at the doctor’s office.  More on that in a bit).

As soon as I got to the office, they took my vitals, including my blood pressure.  This was actually the only area of concern.  My blood pressure was elevated  (150/81) on Thursday when I went to the doctor to have the stitches on my hand removed, and at the time we wrote it off to the fact that I’d taken two flights of stairs up to the office. But when it was elevated (145/77) again today, I did get a bit concerned.  The bariatric doctor wasn’t overly worried about it because she said the diastolic number was good, and my previous records showed excellent blood pressure.  I need to get my blood drawn soon, so I think I’ll get my blood pressure checked again then, too.  Better safe than sorry.

When I saw the bariatric doctor, she was incredibly pleased with all of my numbers.  She was thrilled with my weight loss, which was 3 pounds away from losing 100 pounds in the 1 year since surgery!  I’ve lost over 80% of my excess weight, which is above average. When I asked about my goal weight of 150 lbs (30 more pounds to go), she said that it would be a perfect weight for me and there’s no reason I shouldn’t reach it.  She actually thinks that anywhere around 160 would be great for me, because it would put me in a solid BMI range. She was extremely pleased when I told her about my workout schedule (5-6 workouts a week, including cardio and toning), and said that I’ve completely transformed my lifestyle from top to bottom.  The doctor gushed about my progress, and said, “if only I could clone you!”

Then I met with the nutritionist who was also really pleased with everything I’ve been doing, especially the logging.  I told her how much I enjoyed it, especially all the connections I’ve made on MyFitnessPal. She said she really likes what I’ve been eating for lunch and dinner, but once again recommended that I eat more than a protein shake for breakfast.  Her feeling is that a protein shake doesn’t hold people long enough because it’s liquid, which runs right through you.  For me, I enjoy the shake because it does keep me satisfied, and it’s really easy.  She did like the green smoothies I’ve been having sometimes, and her only tip was to cut out the mangoes I’ve been putting in, because of the carbs.  She said she’d cut out the fruit altogether, or use berries if I really wanted fruit in them.  She also liked that lately I’ve been mixing it up by having a Quest bar and yogurt for breakfast.  So, I may try to have that more often.  The only thing she wants me to tweak is my afternoon snack – she suggested that I skip the popcorn (too many carbs, no protein) and the nuts (too much fat & calories for the little protein payoff).  She’d rather see me have string cheese and lunchmeat, cottage cheese with veggies, or Greek yogurt with Kashi Go Lean, and a 1/4 cup or less of berries. Basically, snacks = protein and fiber.  But overall, she was really happy with my food diaries. She said she likes that I enjoy cooking, and that I prepare most of my meals.  I definitely think not eating out too much has been a huge part of my success.  It’s so much easier to control what you eat when you cook for yourself, instead of not knowing exactly what they’re putting in the meals they make for you at restaurants.

When I mentioned my weight loss plateau, both the doctor and the nutritionist said that this was just my body catching up with all the weight loss.  They said that most people experienced plateaus throughout their weight loss journey, and that I was lucky that this was my first true plateau, one year out.  Neither one was at all concerned, and both seemed to think that I should just keep up with what I’ve been doing, for the most part.  I think the nutritionist’s ideas about my snacks will definitely help me reign things in and get myself back on the losing path.  If that doesn’t shake things up enough, I may do 3 days of shakes and Greek yogurt to jumpstart the scale a bit.

Today’s appointment was wonderful, and reminded me of just how far I’ve come.  To think that one year ago I was going in for surgery and today I’m only 30 pounds from my goal weight.  Amazing.  More celebratory thoughts tomorrow on my actual surgiversary.

 

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Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 50 was even busier than the previous two have been, which is really saying something, reminding me that at this time of year my work/life balance definitely shifts and it’s easy for my best-laid plans to fall to the wayside.

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

I didn’t weigh in this morning, for two reasons.  1). The pain medication I’ve been taking because of cutting my hand gives me major constipation and 2). I was up early to help my nieces get breakfast in bed ready for my sister. And really, the scale has been stagnant again this week, so I knew that I wouldn’t show much of a loss or a gain today anyway. But, I’ve lost 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  This week because I was so busy at work and with some family obligations, I missed way too many workouts.  My food was decent, but I did catch myself adding a few more snacks than I should have if I want to see a loss on the scale.  And let’s face it, now that I’m down to 180 pounds, the weight isn’t going to come off as quickly as it did when I was 315 pounds.  Which I’m ok with, but it does mean that I don’t have as much leeway with missing workouts and adding snacks.

My plan of waking up early a few days to work out in the morning failed miserably.  I didn’t even hear the alarm go off, or to be more accurate, I immediately snoozed it and went back to sleep.  I didn’t set myself up for success because I was going to bed way too late.  But that’s not going to happen this week.  I refuse to let it.

This time of year is super busy for me at school because it’s almost the end of the year; there’s a lot of grading, meetings, and planning before we get out for summer.  All the more reason for me to make sure I get up and do my workouts first thing in the morning.  That way, no matter how busy the day gets or how tired I am at the end of it, I know I’ve already worked out.  My 1-year surgiversary is coming up soon, and I really want to be in the 170s by then. I’m on the cusp of that weight, so it’s time to get serious and stop sliding by.

  • I’m going to get to bed by 10pm each night, lights out by 10:30.
  • The alarm is set for 4:15am and a second one for 4:30am so that I can fit in both cardio and toning before I need to get ready and leave in the morning by 7am.
  • Because my cardio is limited to elliptical or HIIT workouts at home (the stationary bike at home really doesn’t give me much of a calorie burn), I am going to try to get in a second cardio workout a couple of days, if I can.

Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday:  walk Sofi (I’m still taking it easy because of my hand)
Monday: AM: elliptical / TIU: Bikini Body Routine  + PM: run/walk intervals & walk with Sofi
Tuesday: AM: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) / TIU: NEW BIKINI ARMS workout, Best Ab Routine + PM: walk Sofi
Wednesday: AM: TIU: Making Waves Cardio (elliptical) / TIU Bikini Booty Routine , Hula Booty (Beach Babe 2 DVD)+ PM: run/walk intervals & walk with Sofi
Thursday:  AM: run/walk intervals outside / Under the Sea 1 , Under the Sea 2 , Flat, Fit, Sexy Abs
Friday: AM:  TIU Biker Babes cardio (gym)/ PM: TIU: Love Your Body w/ Yoga
Saturday: AM: Run/walk Training with SJ Fit + walk w/ Sofi

This is a really ambitious plan because it requires me to wake up super early each morning, but I am bound and determined to make it happen! My afternoons are just too busy most days this week – I have to stick with this plan if I’m going to get my workouts in. No excuses!

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday: Develop a mantra for the week and use it when you wake up, during your workouts and anytime you need a boost. We love, “I am strong,” “I will not give up,”  & “I’m a gorgeous bombshell who can accomplish anything!!”
  • Tuesday: Quickies all day! Working or at school all day!? Complete 20 squats every time you go to the ladies room. You’ll be feeling it tomorrow 😉
  • Wednesday: Tap into your creative side and get artistic. Painting, drawing, sculpting, gardening, dancing, writing all  nourish your soul & provide amazing stress relief!
  • Thursday: Be a light in someone’s life today! Do something to inspire and encourage those around you, whether you post something motivational on social media, offer a compliment to another woman or tell someone how much they mean to you!
  • Friday: Reward yourself tonight with something that will make you smile like scheduling a massage, a manicure or a blow out!

I’m going to follow up with a Sunset Challenge post on Friday evening to let you know what I did for each day’s challenge.

Today’s quote comes directly from ToneItUp.com.  I love it so much that I’ve had it as my iPad wallpaper for the past few months.  If I’m going to see the results that I want to on the scale, I need to break the boundaries in my mind that tell me 4am is too early to wake up. There is no such thing as “too early” if I really want to reach my next mini goal of hitting the 170s by the time May 20th (my 1-year surgiversary) rolls around.

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

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Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 48 was another busy one at work, but I also fit in lots of time for celebrations.  I had a fun field trip on Monday, Tuesday my parents took me out to dinner to celebrate my Teacher of the Year win,  I went out for TGIF with some colleagues on Friday, and yesterday I met up with a teacher friend for lunch and lesson planning.  I worked out hard, but eating out four different times and imbibing two of those times made my calorie counts a bit higher than normal.

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is no loss and no gain this week; I stayed exactly the same. This is  a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  I’m not thrilled that my stall has continued for a second week, but it doesn’t surprise me.  I wasn’t as strict with my food as I should’ve been, which really counteracted all the major working out I was doing all week.  Which, in hindsight, is really disappointing.  I pushed myself to workout hard on several afternoons even though I was dog-tired, but because I ate out several times, and drank a couple of those times, I basically maintained.  For all my effort in my sweat sessions, I should’ve seen a good loss this week.  But this is a lesson – celebrations are great, but I need to space them out a bit more while I’m still in the weight loss phase.  On the positive side, if this past week is an example of my life in maintenance, I’ll really enjoy it.  Work hard, play hard, and all of that.

So, this week I’m going back to my stricter food routine. (Although I am meeting a friend for apps & drinks later today, but it is Sunday Funday, afterall). I very rarely eat out, and I plan to continue making all my meals at home for the rest of this week.  I’ve seen a few new recipes that I’m interested in trying out:

In terms of my workouts, I’ll be getting in lots of cardio, as usual, but I’m super excited that Tone It Up‘s #bikiniseries is starting tomorrow! If you’re at all curious, sign up and give it a try.  I think you’ll be amazed with how much Karena and Katrina put into their workout plans, recipes, workout playlists, and fun challenges – all free. Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday: Lateral X+ Elliptical+Treadmill + walk Sofi
Monday: TIU: Excited for Spring (elliptical) / TIU: The Best Ab Routine (x3)***
Tuesday:  walk with Sofi + TIU HIIT the Beach 2 (on Beach Babe 2 DVD) / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series toning workout (comes out Tuesday morning) + TIU: Sunset Stretch
Wednesday: TIU: Bikini Cardio (elliptical) + walk with Sofi / TIU: Surfer’s Paradise ***
Thursday:  Body Combat (5:30pm) / TIU: new BIKINI SERIES toning workout coming out Thursday morning
Friday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Ab Workout Playlist
Saturday: WG 5K + walk Sofi / TIU: Beach Yoga w/ Karena

***This week is another crazy one, with lots of meetings after school.  When I get home so much later than usual, it’s difficult for me to fit my workouts in and get everything else I need to done. I do it, but I end up eating really late (another thing that happened quite a bit this past week, which didn’t help the weight loss, I’m sure). So, I’m going to try working out at 4:30am twice this week and see how it goes.  It’s SO early, but I’ve read a lot about how much better it is to start the day with a workout.  It’s definitely worth trying out.

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday:Spend time with people who make you smile!
  • Tuesday: Yoga Inspired Stretching (see Sunset Stretching, above).
  • Wednesday: Take out the list of goals or your vision board that you created on Monday. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and spend 5 minutes visualizing yourself achieving each one of them. Breathe deeply and remember to keep your mind positive throughout the entire process!! Picture how amazing you’re going to feel when you accomplish your goals.
  • Thursday: Take a few minutes to write a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Think about your beautiful body and all it does for you, your friends, family, pets… write it all down! Save the list by your bedside and read it over before you go to sleep for sweet, happy dreams!
  • Friday: Tonight, sign up for something completely outside your comfort zone. Anything like a new fitness class, race or personal challenge is fair game. If you’ve always wanted to try SUP Paddleboading, surfing or a hip hop dance class… now’s the time to sign up!

This week I feel as if a fire has been lit beneath me.  I’m excited about my planned meals and workouts, and I can’t wait to melt a couple more pounds off this body.  From the start of my journey PERSEVERANCE has been my middle name, and that’s what I’ll tap into to get to that next number on the scale.

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

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Spring has sprung! Which means that the weather is turning warmer, the days are getting longer, and fitting in outdoor activities is a whole lot easier. Spring is a time of renewal, and in the spring of 2014  I’m living my life in full bloom! Now that I’m in the home stretch of my weight loss journey, all the pounds I lose this spring are just like extra petals on a flower, making my life just a bit more beautiful. I want to enjoy each day of this season, soaking in the sunshine, blue skies, and happiness. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend, and will give me a positive goal to begin each new week. My Sunday progress updates will be called Super Spring Weigh-Ins.

Week 48 was busy.  Lots of long days at work meant that I didn’t get in quite as many workouts as I would’ve liked.  Don’t get me wrong, I got in some great workouts, but took a couple of rest days I hadn’t planned on.  One of the reasons I’m so thankful that I’ve gotten into the habit of planning my meals is that it assures me that my food will be on point, no matter how hectic my week gets.  It definitely came in handy this week!

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

When I weighed in this morning, I was 180.0, which is no loss and no gain this week; I stayed exactly the same. This is  a loss of 97 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 135 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 30 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds.  After last week’s epic weight loss, I didn’t expect much of a loss this week.  If I’m honest, I was hoping I could break into the 170s, and I actually saw that number for a split second on the scale at one point this week.  But I’m in no way disappointed with today’s result.  My body just needs to take a quick break for a second.  Plus, I’m PMSing, so I know I’ll  see a loss very soon.

I continued to enjoy the  green smoothies and lots of kale at dinner this week.  I love greens, and I’m really happy to be incorporating them much more into my meals.  Last week was a lot of leftover Easter ham, and I do wonder if the sodium in that contributed to the scale.  The ham itself is very lean and low in calories, but it does have some sodium.  Either way, I’ve eaten it all, and this week I’m back to using rotisserie chicken in my salads at lunch and more variety in my proteins at dinner.

In terms of my workouts, I’ll be getting in lots of cardio, as usual, but I’m super excited that Tone It Up‘s #bikiniseries is starting tomorrow! If you’re at all curious, sign up and give it a try.  I think you’ll be amazed with how much Karena and Katrina put into their workout plans, recipes, workout playlists, and fun challenges – all free. Here’s my workout plan for this week:
Sunday: Turbo Kick + walk Sofi
Monday: elliptical / TIU: 3 Moves for a Sexy Upper Back + Bikini Arms (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Tuesday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: New 2014 Bikini Series workout (comes out Tuesday) + Sunset Stretch (Beach Babe 2 DVD)
Wednesday: walk with Sofi + Body Combat (5:30pm) +/ TIU: Malibooty
Thursday: run/walk intervals + walk with Sofi / TIU: Cowabunga Routine
Friday: walk with Sofi / TIU: HIIT the Beach 2 (Beach Babe 2 DVD) + SunKissed Abs
Saturday: walk with Sofi

I really love that each weekday the TIU girls have set up a Sunset Challenge: (taken directly from ToneItup.com)

  • Monday: Make a vision board writing out your goals and getting super focused on the top 3 things you want to accomplish by the end of this challenge.
  • Tuesday: Take your official BEFORE photo for the challenge. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but trust us, you’ll be so happy you took it! What you achieve in the next 8 weeks will amaze you and it’s important to be able to see how far you’ve come once summer is here. It’s also important to have a before photo when you submit your story at the end of the challenge for a chance to win the Grand Prize trip with Contiki Vacations! Oh yes!
  • Wednesday: Take out the list of goals or your vision board that you created on Monday. Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and spend 5 minutes visualizing yourself achieving each one of them. Breathe deeply and remember to keep your mind positive throughout the entire process!! Picture how amazing you’re going to feel when you accomplish your goals.
  • Thursday: Send your friends some love! Write a note, text or email to a friend and surprise them with 3 things you love most about them.
  • Friday: Paint the town with smiles! Walk around your neighborhood  with friends and write notes of positivity on the sidewalk with chalk. Spread messages that will make people smile like, “You’re wonderful,” or “Never give up,” or “Today is YOUR day!” Be creative and share your photos with us on Instagram with hashtag #CreateYourSummer

I have great meals planned this week, too:

  • breakfasts: protein shakes or green smoothies
  • lunches: salads w/ rotisserie chicken and veggies
  • snacks: Greek yogurt, Boom Chicka Pop, hard boiled eggs, mini brie and rosemary raisin crackers, cashews
  • dinners: sauteed spinach/kale mixed with protein –  grilled salmon, chicken marinated with white wine & lemon, mahi mahi burgers, filet mignon.

I’ve been doing pretty well in terms of hobbies lately, especially reading and blogging. I haven’t started the photo book yet, but maybe later this week.  If not, very soon.

I absolutely love this quote today.  It’s something that I’ve kept in the front of my mind this entire time.  Yes, I had weight loss surgery which is an amazing tool, but the reason I’ve been so successful with my weight loss is because of my drive and determination. My daily decisions to workout, my daily decisions to eat well, my daily decisions to create consistency.  My dreams are coming true, and I am so excited by all that I’ve achieved thus far.  And along the way, I’ve done my best to make sure I enjoy each moment, each new NSV, each new size, each new ability.  Because those are what add up to an amazing new life.

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

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