I Hate This Part Right Here.

Bonus points if that made you sing a Pussycat Dolls song when you read it.

If you have been following (or even just reading occasionally since I started this blog, you may remember it all started with 30 Day Updates.

Every 30 days (or so), I posted a photo of myself in my under-stuff so that I could track my weight loss journey.

The main reason I did this? Purely for accountability, and to give myself a reason to KEEP. ON. GOING.

Alas, shit happens.

Here I am, 5 1/2 years later and the amount of life changes I’ve faced in that time is kind of mind-boggling to me. On top of changing jobs approximately 5 times, moving 3 (or was it 4?) times, beginning a serious relationship, a really weird and blurry 18 month old period where I worked upwards of 90 hours per week without sleep….I don’t really have any concrete excuses for what happened.

All I know is life got crazy, life got hard, and here I am trying to get back to the lowest weight I ever hit: 198 pounds. Or at least somewhere close to it, kinda sorta. Really, I just want to feel as amazing as I did then. I want to be able to do everything my body could do then, again.

You may have seen my most recent post about Whole30 and how since I discovered and tried it last August, I’ve made a lot of changes for the better.

Although I feel those differences, I was really struggling to physically see any changes. So I thought to myself, “Why don’t you start back at the beginning?”

When I began my first round of Whole30 on August 13th, 2016 I had Sean take a photo of me to compare to throughout my process. I actually felt so great and was so happy that my scale moved 13 pounds….I forgot the photo.

So, I took a new photo today before leaving home for work, and begrudgingly pulled up the old one for comparison.

I wasn’t looking forward to making this collage…but I am glad I did. Not only was it important to me to see the difference, but I thought it might be helpful to those who are trying Whole30 or struggling through these types of situations to see that my story and experience are real.

And so, Sondra in her underwear photos have returned.

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August 13, 2016 and January 12, 2017

And so, thats where I’m at. It’s not perfection, and it probably never will be. But I’m ok with that.

How do you track your progress? Does the visual make you feel more accomplished, or do you prefer to track by weight and measurements? I wanna know!

Until next time!

See Sondra Sign-off-stacked

 

Tuesday Testimony (on Wednesday)!!!

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I took this “after” photo yesterday morning,  and it seemed like the perfect thing for a before and after shot. Still swollen post-op, but its looking better every day!!!!

More updates later! 🙂
‘Til next time!
Xoxo

30 Day Challenge Update…and SUPER EXCITING NEWS!!!

Whew! Made it to another Tuesday, and I am happy to report that I survived another birthday weekend! Lol.

Friday, 3/1 was my birthday, and I was blessed to bring in a whole quarter of a century with tons of birthday wishes, and an action-packed weekend! Alex won a two night stay at the Courtyard Marriott down by the harbor at one of the bridal bazaars we went to, and she was kind enough to redeem it for my birthday weekend extravaganza!

Prior to heading out there for the weekend to begin, we started the festivities Thursday night. When I got home, Alex was icing a rainbow chip cake with rainbow chip frosting! My FAVORITE! Then, she finally unveiled the surprise trip she has been planning and keeping a secret for the past month or so….

MONSTER JAM 2013, are you read for this?!?!

MONSTER JAM 2013, are you read for this?!?!

I LOVE monster trucks. It’s weird…I went to my first rally about three years ago, and we were supposed to go again in January when they were in San Diego, but we got delayed in Los Angeles traffic and missed it. I was so sad, and had briefly mentioned maybe going to the finals when they go to Vegas later this year. Wouldn’t you know? Alex looked it up, and has planned the whole weekend out! March 22nd-24th we will be in Vegas in our awesome room (at a hotel complete with an amazing beach club party), and attending the Monster Jam Finals….can’t wait to cheer on my favorite….GRAAAAAAVE DIGGGERRRRRRRRR(that was totally in my monster truck announcer voice, obviously)!

I walked into work Friday, and wouldn’t you know? My coworkers totally surprised me by decorating my office!

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If that wasn’t enough, they had compiled a list of things that brought me to tears, and it was on the door amongst the streamers:

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I had gifts on my desk, and plenty of people yelling birthday wishes as they passed by, and I felt like a million dollars! I decided to take a half day at work, and went off to my nail appointment. I splurged on the ultra deluxe pedicure with sea salt scrub, paraffin wax treatment, a 20 minute massage, and an almod butter rubdown. I was pretty pampered, and I wore my tiara the whole entire time!

Friday night we checked into the hotel, and when Sean arrived he told me he forgot to lock his car, and came back two seconds later with a giant sparkly Victoria’s Secret duffle bag full of awesome!

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That night, we went to Slater’s 50/50,  a burger place that specializes in strange and tasty concoctions. I was ready for a lettuce wrapped turkey burger with roasted red peppers, and garlic aioli….but they took FOREVER to bring our food, and when they finally did 45 mins to an hour later…I cut into my burger and…um, it wasn’t COOKED. It was squishy and pink ground turkey on the inside…and that just kinda killed it for us. Sean’s 1 lb hamburger with all the fixin’s? Yeah, that was cooked well-done as requested. So, needless to say, we sent them back and headed over to Oggi’s Pizza and Brewery and they had late-night happy hour. We got some yummy hummus and also some pizza stix…really good! And totally made up for us being hungry and cranky. 🙂

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Then there was Saturday! Alex and I started the day off with some Einstein Bros bagels and then headed to Fashion Valley mall to look for her outfit for Saturday night. We were successful, and then headed back to the hotel to sunbathe, and we also had the privelege of crashing a wedding at the hotel from our balcony. Good times! We headed to the hotel bar for their happy hour and indulged in a glass of wine before starting the primping for the evening. I got my dress about three weeks ago on a Macy’s run with Alex, and I am happy to report that I was super pleased with the end result:

My feeble attempt at being a Kardashian. Haha!

My feeble attempt at being a Kardashian. Haha!

Not gonna lie…I kept looking at the dress as I had it laid out on the bed, and wondering to myself “How can I possibly fit into something so small??” and it was almost nerve-wracking. But then, I put it on (after putting on Spanx), and I was looking at myself in awe! It was a great night, with great friends, and I shall cherish the memory…and the dress, forever! We headed to Dick’s Last Resort in the Gaslamp for dinner, where the waitress proceeded to sing “Happy Birthday” to me, and call me Yolanda (just to be kinda ignorant), and then she said she’d buy me a birthday drink, and brought me a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20. Strawberry Kiwi flavor, at that. EWW! But, we don’t waste liquor…so Sean, Alex, and I collectively drank it.

From there, we headed over to Wet Willie’s, a frozen daquiri bar. I highly recommend “Chocolate Thunder” flavor, and going with GREAT friends!

My workout buddy Ashley MADE IT! And she had on a super cute outfit!!

My workout buddy Ashley MADE IT! And she had on a super cute outfit!!

Some of the BEST coworkers and FRIENDS ever!

Some of the BEST coworkers and FRIENDS ever!

 

All in all, it was absolutely amazing! I had received a call from my plastic surgeon’s coordinator on my way to my nail appointment Friday, informing me that both surgery authorizations were still pending, so I was appeased.

Wouldn’t you know? As a belated birthday gift (if you ask me, anyways), Claudia called me yesterday and informed me that my excess skin removal surgery for my abdomen has been APPROVED!!! The thighs are still pending, but she says it’s a good sign, because typically they get shot down pretty fast under the pretense of being cosmetic, rather than medically necessary. I am officially scheduled for surgery on April, 26, 2013. And I cannot WAIT! My pre-op appointment is April 3rd, and in the meantime, I have to see my PCP to get some surgical clearance labs done. Not too shabby, if you ask me. Looks I may be bikini ready before October and my Hawaii trip after all!!!!

Speaking of bikinis…it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted any 30 Day Challenge shots…so without further adieu….I give you, me in my undies:

As you can see, my abs are trying to figure this whole six pack thing out. :)

As you can see, my abs are trying to figure this whole six pack thing out. 🙂

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Welp, I think that’s all for now…but that’s plenty, isn’t it?! Haha! I am really excited to keep you all posted on the status of things as surgery news develops, and I look forward to the 30 Day Challenge posts that are soon to come!

I hope everyone has had a great week so far…we only have THREE more days until another weekend! I am spending this one taking photos with Sean, having dinner with Sean’s family, and possibly venturing out to Idyllwild. 🙂 Should make for a good post!

Don’t forget, if you’re interested in attending the Obesity Action Coalition Conference this year, the dates have been released! It is happening August 15-18 in Phoenix, Arizona and rooms are $105 night! You will be able to book rooms, look at the itinerary, and much more starting March 11!! I am SO excited to attend, and so grateful to be a member of such a great organization.

Ok, I’m really done now.

Hope you all have a great night, and thanks for reading!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Crazy Diet Trends (or, Memories)!

Happy Wednesday, Everyone!

Recently, Sean was reading a really interesting post on CNN News about the history of diets and I was both mortified, and slightly embarassed. It dawned on me that I am totally guilty of trying several of these throughout the years! Actually, when it comes down to it, if not for having documented all of the trials and failures, I may not have been such a prime candidate for Weight Loss Surgery (WLS). It’s no secret that most of us (as in, all of us, including the some of us who don’t like to be honest and say we practically sweated bacon fat during Atkins, for example) have tried a nice hearty helping of “fad” diets, and most of us weren’t very sucessful. At least, not long term!

I personally, was just REALLY hungry after, and that thirty pounds came right back once I ate a biscuit! And not even the kind from Red Lobster!

I thought it’d be fun to share this crazy list, and turn it into a pledge to myself to never do one of these crazy diets again (I’m not hating on the more sensible things like Jazzercise, I’m just saying; If Dexatrim has been around since the 80’s and is actually soooo effective…why would we be doing weight loss surgeries in the first place?):

1820: Lord Byron popularizes the Vinegar and Water Diet, which entails drinking water mixed with apple cider vinegar.

1903: President William Howard Taft pledges to slim down after getting stuck in the White House bathtub.

1925: The Lucky Strike cigarette brand launches the “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet” campaign, capitalizing on nicotine’s appetite-suppressing superpowers.

1930s: The Grapefruit Diet — a.k.a. the Hollywood Diet — is born. The popular low-cal plan calls for eating grapefruit with every meal.

1950s: The Cabbage Soup Diet promises you can lose 10 to 15 pounds in a week by eating a limited diet including cabbage soup every day.

Mid-1950s: Urban legend has it that opera singer Maria Callas dropped 65 pounds on the Tapeworm Diet, allegedly by swallowing a parasite-packed pill.

1963: Weight Watchers is founded by Jean Nidetch, a self-described “overweight housewife obsessed with cookies.”

1970:The Sleeping Beauty Diet, which involves sedation, is rumored to have been tried by Elvis.

1975: A Florida doctor creates the Cookie Diet, a plan where you eat cookies made with a blend of amino acids. Hollywood eats it up.

1977: Slim-Fast — a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, then a sensible dinner — becomes a diet staple.

1978: Dr. Herman Tarnower publishes “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet.” Two years later he is shot by his girlfriend.

1979: Dexatrim, a diet drug containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA), appears on drugstore shelves. Its formula changes after PPA is linked to an increased risk of stroke in 2000.

1980s: A popular appetite-suppressing candy called Ayds is taken off the market after the AIDS crisis hits.

1982: The aerobics craze steps into high gear when Jane Fonda launches her first exercise video, “Workout: Starring Jane Fonda.” Her catch phrase: “No pain, no gain.”

1983: Jazzercise, founded in 1969 by professional dancer Judi Sheppard Missett, hits all 50 states.

1985: Harvey and Marilyn Diamond publish “Fit for Life,” which prohibits complex carbs and protein from being eaten during the same meal.

1987: In her memoir-slash-self-help book, “Elizabeth Takes Off,” actress Elizabeth Taylor advises dieters to eat veggies and dip each day at 3 p.m.

1988: Wearing a pair of size 10 Calvin Klein jeans, Oprah walks onto the set of her show, pulling a wagon full of fat to represent the 67 pounds she lost on a liquid diet.

1991: Americans go low-fat, eating foods like McDonald’s McLean Deluxe burger.

1992: Dr. Robert C. Atkins publishes “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution,” a high-protein, low-carb plan.

1994: The Guide to Nutrition Labeling and Education Act requires food companies to include nutritional info on nearly all packaging.

1995: The Zone Diet, which calls for a specific ratio of carbs, fat, and protein at each meal, begins to attract celeb fans.

1999: Victoria Beckham starts the blink-and-it’s-gone baby weight trend following the birth of her first son, Brooklyn.

2000: Gwyneth Paltrow lends cred to the Macrobiotic Diet, a restrictive Japanese plan based on whole grains and veggies.

2001: Renée Zellweger packs on nearly 30 pounds to play Bridget Jones. She quickly (and controversially) sheds the weight only to gain it back for the 2004 sequel.

2003: Miami’s Dr. Arthur Agatston adds fuel to the low-carb craze by publishing “The South Beach Diet,” seen as a more moderate version of Atkins.

2004: The FDA bans the sale of diet drugs and supplements containing ephedra after it’s linked to heart attacks.

2004: “The Biggest Loser” makes its TV debut, turning weight loss into a reality show.

2006: Beyonce admits to using the Master Cleanse, a concoction of hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, to shed 20 pounds for “Dreamgirls.”

2007: Alli hits the market. The nonprescription drug is taken with meals to keep your body from absorbing some of the food you eat.

2010: Jennifer Hudson loses a jaw-dropping 80 pounds on Weight Watchers.

2011: The HCG Diet, which combines a fertility drug with a strict 500- to 800-calorie-a-day regimen, invites interest — and criticism.

2012: Jessica Simpson loses 60 pounds of baby weight on Weight Watchers.

WOO! You’re welcome. I’m the crazy one giving history lessons on the internet. 🙂

In other news….I wanted to share that I did in fact have my post-weight loss “excess skin removal” consult with the plastic surgeon, and she thinks I am an excellent candidate! It’s typical for health insurance companies to turn patients down when it comes to covering thigh lifts, based on them being too cosmetic. I’d be MORE than happy to have them accompany me to the gym, put a pair of Soffe shorts on, and assure them that this is serious stuff! But alas, all we are waiting for now is the insurance ok, and the nice lady at Scripps told me I should have an answer by the 21st of this month. The anxiety is somewhat excruciating! I just want to schedule it already! But time will tell!

In the meantime, I bought a bag of frozen pilsbury biscuits. You bake them as needed. I’ve only had one so far…no weight gain to report! 😉

This month, Alex introduced me to a new yoga studio in my dream neighborhood, San Elijo, and we just did a hot Yoga class this morning. And it was AMAZING! I plan to get a membership so that I can continue to partake. Sweating like that a few times a week will definitely have me bikini ready! But until then, what you see, my friends….is what you get! I haven’t walked properly since Sunday morning…

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That’s all for now, but I hope you’re all having a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by! I’ll leave you with a laugh:

my LIFE!

my LIFE!

‘Til Next Time!
XOXO

Sunsets, and Skylines, and Sequins….Oh My!

All that glitters may not be gold, but it sure can be silver!

I am super excited to share the photos from my company Christmas Party last night! I feel like it was one of those defining post-weight loss occasions. Shimmery sheath dress(anyone with some curves knows what a challenge a sheath dress can be, holy cannoli!), heels, an amazing date, and I wasn’t self conscious the entire night. Blissful! We boarded the Hornblower Adventurer dinner cruise ship, and between the mai tais, buffet, and spanish guitar, it was quite a night! The best part? We boarded right as the sun was setting, and the colors were PHENOMENAL!!!! I’m telling you…there is just nothing like California Sunsets in the winter! NOTHING! Plus, as you’re boarding, they are handing out glasses of champagne! It felt simply divine, dahhhhhhhling!

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City Skylines and Sequins. Best night EVER!

City Skylines and Sequins. Best night EVER!

Doesn't show as much leg...but that skyline again! My goodness!

Doesn’t show as much leg…but that skyline again! My goodness!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overall, it was an amazing evening with some amazing friends/coworkers! So excited that we all got the opportunity to ditch the scrubs, dress up, and have a ball! I think I was totally designed with yacht parties in mind. Lol.

Moving on, I believe this next installment of the Thirty Day (which should now be called the Sixty Day) Challenge are long overdue!

Here we are….almost 18 months post-VSG!

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I am going to see my doctor tomorrow because my knees are really suffering from the running and working out. Part of it has to do with the extra skin on my thighs, and the force it’s exerting during intense exercise, and in order to get excess skin removal surgery and a thigh lift, I need to be 18 months post-op. I am going to see if he will submit my consult referral to plastics now, so that I can get the ball rolling and plan  that adventure for next year! I am so happy with how far I come, but I know that I will see more results and suffer a little less in the pain department if I can get rid of some of this extra stuff weighing me down!

It’s hard to believe that 18 months ago, I was 315 lbs. I couldn’t run a mile if you paid me, and I was afraid of taking a Yoga class because I didn’t want to be embarassed. Now? I have ran a 5K, have plans to do another in February. I will be doing the San Diego Half Marathon in March, and I want to be able to do the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco next fall (hello? Hot men and Tiffany’s necklace at the finish line? SIGN ME UP)!

I have always been my worst enemy. Step by step, I am learning to be my biggest fan…and it makes all the difference in each and every day that I wake up and decide that I am worth the hard work. I decide to be worth the sore muscles, the sweaty face, and the aching knees. I am worth the organic groceries, and the chia seeds! Lol.

I guess I just want everyone to feel that way: Feel like you are worth the hard work, and dedication and extra time that it takes to reach your goals! Whether they are fitness related or now…take the time to pursue what you are passionate about, and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

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I’m done ranting (for today), but I shall leave you with my favorite thing of this very moment:

July 2010 to now...NEVER GOING BACK!

July 2010 to now…NEVER GOING BACK!

I will never forget where I came from…it keeps me on the road to where I’m going!

I hope you all have an AMAZING week, and I can’t wait to post again soon!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO