Thursday, December 31, 2009

My 50 weight loss revelations for 2009

Another month coming to a close and 2009 clicking to an end means it’s time to look at what I learned in December. In addition to those items, I decided that I would ring out 2009 by re-stating the entire list of my “knowledge nuggets” since beginning Weight Watchers on September 15. So, here we go:

1. If I want to predict the future, I should invent it myself.
2. Rewarding myself with something from the shoe department guarantees that it won’t become useless as I shrink in weight.
3. Eating mashed potatoes, by themselves, was kind of a stupid way to solve a problem.
4. Making the decision to lose weight is personal and has to happen when one is really ready to commit to it.
5. I am giving myself better health by losing almost 15 pounds since my last birthday.
6. I wake up every day knowing that my tracker is waiting for me with a full compliment of points to start another successful day.
7. I look forward to starting 2010 weighing less than I did when I started 2009.
8. Taking care of yourself pays off in later life.
9. You do have fewer chins when you lose weight.
10. Substituting low point treats for high point splurges actually does work.
11. Treating myself to a small gift at my first milestone is a great investment…in me.
12. You save money at Costco if you don’t graze on the free samples because you don’t end up buying the actual product that you didn’t need anyway.
13. Holidays are about the people you spend your time with much more than the food you eat.
14. Visit a Weight Watchers meeting while on vacation. It’s an hour well spent.
15. A yellow rain suit in a fancy hotel lobby can provoke unwanted comments.
16. Airplane seats feel better when the arms aren’t leaving dents in your hips.
17. Make the decision to lose weight so you feel better…looking better is the added benefit.
18. Remember that studies show that women ate 71 percent more out of transparent containers than they did out of dishes they couldn't see through.
19. A blog posting a day keeps my pounds away.
20. Believe that you will lose the weight and that you will keep it off. It’s that time of year where giving is the name of the game, so donate those clothes that don’t fit.
21. Walking, for me, works better with a destination.
22. 50 weeks is a long time. It’s easier to think in 90 –day chunks.
23. About 3.5 hours between meals, and I’m hungry.
24. Planning for an occasion and eating before hand helps.
25. Going to Weight Watchers meetings is more fun with family and friends.
26. Gold stars are good incentives for me to perform.
27. Free lunch isn’t free if you eat when you are not hungry.
28. Clean plate club doesn’t apply my plate AND to other peoples’ plate, too.
29. Buy only what you are going to eat, if you think having extra will sabotage you.
30. Lose weight for your health not for an occasion.
31. Plateaus and gains happen, so get back in the saddle.
32. Plus size women do enjoy fashion.
33. Leftovers can be turned into fun and satisfying meals.
34. Little things you can control make life more enjoyable.
35. Excitement keeps my mind off eating.
36. Bring your own snacks on the plane.
37. Half a great pancake is better than missing out.
38. Order the kid’s meal.
39. Buy Halloween candy on Halloween, and give it all away.
40. Time passes anyway, so why not use it to lose weight.
41. My refrigerator isn’t my enemy.
42. Portion control is and will continue to be my toughest challenge.
43. Walking isn’t as bad as I thought.
44. Staying for the whole meeting is helpful.
45. Giant fudge bars are great and have only one point.
46. Weighing- in once a week is good for me.
47. Free food isn’t really free.
48. Eating breakfast keeps me together until lunch.
49. Milestones should be celebrated.
50. Having someone say they are proud of me makes me smile.

Happy New Year!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A feast of pears

Home sweet home. I’m back in Marin and settling back into the routine. It was an early morning of goodbyes to my dad, who flew back to Florida, and my sister, but a bit easier than usual because we will be seeing each other again in February.

While I was away, I did my on-line grocery ordering from Safeway, so tomorrow morning, the almost empty refrigerator will be filled again. The constant restaurant dining has come to a close, and I have to admit that I’m ready to go back to cooking. As much as I enjoy a great meal out, it still is more difficult to really figure out the portion size, and the amount of salt that is used in cooking is significantly more than I ever use.

That being said, it’s time to do the last scavenger hunt of the year. The refrigerator is still suffering from its pre-vacation purge, so I will be creating a meal out of bits and pieces of whatever is around. I know that a core element of dinner will be the Harry and David pears that arrived before we left and are now perfectly ripe and ready to eat. The rest is still a mystery.

Good thing my friends at Safeway are loading the truck and heading to my house. I don’t think two dinners of pears will work out.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Tuesday, but there was no weigh-in

The holiday visit is coming to a close and by all accounts, the family gives it a five-star review. We did have quite a number of meals in restaurants, nine to be exact, but everything was under control in the points department.

The only thing that was missing this week was a Tuesday visit to my Weight Watchers meeting. I knew that I would not be able to go to my regular meeting but wanted to attend the Los Angeles meeting today, if possible. Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way you want them to work out. With other people to consider, our plans for today did not coincide with the LA meeting times.

Not to worry…I’ll be back at next Tuesday’s local meeting. My husband bought me a new pair of walking shoes for Christmas, so I will get to break them in on my walk to the meeting. I look forward to seeing “the regulars” at the first meeting of 2010 and to counting the number of new members who will become part of our group.

Time to pack and get enough sleep to battle the airport crowds in the morning.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Let's all go to the Beef Bowl

Every year, the Rose Bowl is played on January 1, and a tradition that goes along with this event is the annual Beef Bowl at Lawry’s Prime Rib restaurant in Beverly Hills. The teams and their families pack in as much prime rib as they can consume at a meal and the amount of meat is then reported to the world by the press that covers the event.

This is the fourth year that my family and I have eaten at Lawry’s on an evening that coincides with one of the teams’ big dinners. Last evening, Ohio State’s football team and my family had a face off with beef. Tonight, Oregon’s team was sharing a cow without us.

In the past, I have held my own with a Lawry’s 10 ounce cut of prime rib (which includes the bone), that comes with mashed potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire pudding and their famous spinning salad. Other members of my family have gone bigger, ordering the actual Beef Bowl cut, weighing in at 24 ounces.

This year, I split the Lawry’s cut with my sister, and had four ounces of prime rib. I had the mashed potatoes without gravy, did not have the Yorkshire pudding and ate half of my spinning salad. As I watched many diners dragging themselves to the door, I left the restaurant feeling “just right.”

And just so you know how much one football team and its family members can eat, it’s over 800 pounds of prime rib in one sitting. That’s one heck of a lot of meat.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brunch with a hero

Today, I took a drive with my dad and sister to visit my dad’s cousin. My dad is 84 and his cousin is 88, and both of them look like they are 20 years younger. We met up with his cousin at a community of retired military personnel, as cousin Harold is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel with over 10,000 hours of flight time under his belt.

We had the most interesting afternoon sharing a table for Sunday brunch with three other World War II veterans who shared their experiences with us. It was an all you can eat buffet brunch with both breakfast and lunch items available. There were several hundred men and women enjoying brunch and camaraderie, and one thing that struck me about the diners was how very few of them were overweight.

My theory on why this group of people managed to avoid the American obesity problem goes back to their life in the military…staying in shape went with the career. Even decades after retiring, these men and women continued to embrace the good habits that they had while serving our country.

After brunch, Harold took us on a tour of the community, and it centered on the work-out facility and indoor swimming pool. What I neglected to mention was that the last time we visited with Harold was last year, in the hospital, when he was not expected to survive a stroke. He couldn’t walk or talk and didn’t recognize anyone.

Now, just 12 months later, he was proudly showing off the place that he works out and swims daily. He also walks faster than anyone in my family. Harold is my proof that taking care of yourself pays off in later life. He is an inspiration to keep me motivated to lose weight and keep it off. He is a superstar.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

My New Year's promise

Well, we have made it through Thanksgiving, and through the events leading up to and including Hanukkah/Christmas, so we are in the home stretch. In five days, we will be celebrating New Year’s Eve and welcoming in 2010. And so begins the promise, that most call a New Year’s resolution, to lose weight. For the majority of people, this resolution starts out with a bang and fizzles out before the end of the first month of the year.

This evening, my father, who is visiting from Florida, asked me what I was doing for New Year’s Eve, as he will be back on the East Coast that evening. That got me thinking about how many New Year’s Eves past that I have made the promise to myself that on January 1, the diet was REALLY going to get started. I was one of those people, in the majority, whose fizz quickly went flat.

This year, I believe that for me and for my fellow Weight Watchers who jumped in before the “trendy” New Year's resolution group, nothing dramatic has to happen. We move forward just like we have been doing since joining. We are the fortunate ones that already have proof that we can lose weight and will continue to do so in 2010, or longer, if the need to lose still exists.

So, get ready to lift that glass and toast our success. It’s just around the corner…I promise.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from under the tree

Merry Christmas! My holiday posting will be short and sweet, as the family is waiting to open gifts, and I am the one holding up the works. When there are no children around, you get to stretch the gift opening until the evening, and it makes the day last longer.

We had a fabulous dinner, restaurant style…turkey and all the trimmings. I had 15 of my daily points and all 35 weekly points ready to go when we arrived at the restaurant, and I used them wisely. No bread, no butter, no alcohol (no big deal since I don’t drink), no gravy, and no stuffing for me.

But really yummy turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, and cranberry sauce made there way onto my plate. And, I did have a wonderful cranberry tart for dessert, my first dessert since joining Weight Watchers 14 weeks ago. Christmas with my family comes once a year, and that dessert was truly a special treat.

That’s my report from my location next to the Christmas tree.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho ho ho...and finish the year with a bang

‘Tis the day before Christmas and all through my house…there is no food lying around. We did an admirable job cleaning out the refrigerator and the pantry and now will be relying on the kindness of friends for a bunch of our meals. It was all part of the master holiday plan, and it is working well as far as my Weight Watchers points are concerned.

Last evening, it was dinner at Il Fornaio with friends and a great piece of salmon. Unfortunately, the half that I had boxed for my lunch today is still sitting somewhere in Il Fornaio. With the reverie of holiday cheer, I proceeded out the door of the restaurant and got all the way home before realizing that the box was still on the table. How many times have you pulled that move? I have to admit that it wasn’t my first.

I ate a late breakfast, knowing that the salmon was on hiatus, and will find food again later this afternoon with another group of friends. I have lots of points stored up today, so I can go into the unknown territory of “wonder what they are serving” knowing full well that I can manage whatever it is without fear.

And with that, I wish you all an early Merry Christmas or a late Happy Hanukkah. Remember, that when we see each other at the first Weight Watchers meeting of 2010, we’ll be the ones that are thankful that we started working on our health in 2009.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The tape measure doesn't lie

Today, I decided to do another pass over the body with a tape measure to see how many inches less of me there are than when I started Weight Watchers. Good news is that eight inches is gone. Skin certainly is an amazing tissue. Can you imagine if every inch you lost just hung around like a deflated balloon? Then, you would wish you were fat.

Now, I know that it is difficult for some people who lose massive amounts of weight to deal with the issue of excess skin. But, for most of us in Weight Watchers, this is not going to be the case. Even at age 58, there still is a lot of elasticity in this body and things seem to be going back to where they should have been all along.

I have also dropped two sizes in clothing, but still am too cheap to go shopping, especially this time of year. I’ll wait for the sales…and until I drop another size. At that point, there will be no other choice.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The big 100

If it’s Tuesday, it must be weigh-in day. It was and with another .6 pound gone, I am 16.6 pounds lighter at the end of week 14. And my son, Alex, dropped 2.5 pounds and received a gold star for passing the 15- pound milestone. Yay, Alex! Yay, me!

Today is also a milestone in the blogging department. This is the 100th posting I have made to this blog. Time sure flies when you are having fun and losing weight. I keep hearing the words of Claudette, our meeting leader, reminding us that the time passes regardless of how we choose to use it.

I’m glad I chose to spend my time at Weight Watchers. I look forward to starting 2010 weighing less than I did when I started 2009. I have met some very nice people in my meetings and look forward to celebrating their successes, as well as my own. And, I have enjoyed spending time with my son every Tuesday as we walk to and from the meeting. Losing weight is one heck of a good time!

Talk to you soon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not moving to Pandora

Today, I had a movie date with my husband and son. We don’t often go to a matinee on a Monday afternoon, but we figured that we had a shot of getting a good seat if we went off-hours. We were right. The theater was empty, and we had our choice of the good center seats.

This is a movie that I thought was worth the $7.00 matinee price. Heck, it was worth the $10.50 evening price…this coming from the woman who doesn’t like science fiction, cartoon characters, or the supernatural. I went to the movie not expecting to like it, but interested in what you get when you invest $300 million to make a movie.

Because I write this blog about weight- related things, I bet you are trying to figure out where this is going. Well, one thing I observed while watching all two hours and 40 minutes of this film was that all of the aliens on the planet Pandora were really skinny. An entire civilization without a weight problem…what a novel concept. The aliens lived off the land and fast food joints were not part of their community.

Just think, if I had grown up on Pandora, I never would have had to join Weight Watchers and wouldn’t have a blog to write. I like writing, so I’m not volunteering to leave the galaxy in the interest of a thinner body. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. It works for me.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eggs and pizza...time for Sunday dinner

Breakfast for dinner…that’s Sunday in my refrigerator clean-out project. Down to my last six eggs, I decided to use three of them to make scrambled eggs. I always forget how much I enjoy sitting in front of my fireplace on a wet winter evening, wrapped up in a snuggly throw blanket and eating breakfast food.

My husband doesn’t eat eggs, so we were at a crossroads of going out to a restaurant, going to the grocery store and buying something to cook at home or calling for a pizza delivery. He was in the mood for pizza, so that left my world open to those eggs. I paired them up with a Thomas’ multigrain muffin and a dish of fresh strawberries. The meal was low in points and high on the satisfaction index.

Tomorrow will require a visit to Safeway to pick up a few essential items to get through this upcoming week. I can only do the breakfast for dinner meal about once a month, and only in the winter, or it loses its appeal. My husband, however, will be eating leftover pizza for a while since his pre-Weight Watchers pizza partner has retired from active duty.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My super duper birthday present

It’s Saturday, and I am glad that I am not traveling to the East Coast for the holidays, specifically Washington DC where my son, daughter-in-law and grandson are trapped indoors watching the snow. As much as I wish I could be with them for Christmas, I learned years ago that traveling during the holidays into or over areas that are snow-prone sets you up for a potentially frustrating experience. And we all know that being stuck in an airport can lead to too much exposure to the smell of Cinnabon, which can wear down even the most stoic of us.

So, back home in dry Marin County, I’m working my way through the contents of my refrigerator. With all the holiday social activities on our “dance card,” I am reluctant to buy too much at Safeway. I don’t want to end up throwing it out.

Today, for example, I prepared my lunch using leftovers from my birthday dinner. Last evening, I celebrated with prime rib, which was delicious. I ordered an end cut and immediately cut it in half and sent one side to the kitchen for a box. When I resurrected the other side for lunch, I got to weigh it on the new home scale that my husband bought me for my birthday present. Before you think that was a strange present, let me tell you it is exactly what I wanted.

My super duper OXO Good Grips Food Scale with the Pull Out Display told me that my leftovers weighed four ounces. The before Weight Watchers version of me would have eaten all eight ounces at the dinner and not thought twice about it.

It’s kind of fun to see what you can concoct from leftovers and even more fun to see if you can whittle down the stuff that ends up as orphan bits and pieces in your refrigerator. I’m going to check-in there now and see what I can come up with for tonight’s adventure meal. And, of course, weigh it on my new super duper scale.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy me

There is only one blog item I needed to take care of today. I am now a 58 year -old writer and grandmother and needed to update my bio with another year. I’m celebrating my birthday and my 16 pounds of weight loss with my husband, one of my sons and four of our closest friends.

And now that you have that piece of information, I’m going to get on with the celebration. I’ll be back with you tomorrow to report on my day.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Helping my Florida friends reach their weight goal

I decided to count the number of “eating out events” I have until January 1st because I know that I’m coming into prime holiday partying season. I have 14 days to work with and nine of them include at least one meal that I am not responsible for cooking. Those nine meals would have attached at least five additional pounds to me if this were last year. Good thing it’s not.

Back in November, specifically November 10, I attended a Weight Watchers meeting in Florida while visiting my father. At that meeting, the group picked a number of pounds that they felt they could each lose between that date and January 1. They picked four pounds. I was counted as part of the group. I just checked my eTool Weight Tracker and discovered that I have lost 5.6 pounds as of my last weigh-in.

So, my nine upcoming eating out adventures are just that…adventures with proper planning and follow through on the program. I’m not going to let down those people in Florida. If I keep up the good work, I can offset somebody who “falls off the wagon.”

Now I have to figure out how to tell them on January 1st…another research project in the making.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Counting sheep...not grapefruits

Whenever I have tried to lose weight in the past, I would do this weird mental tally when I was drifting off to sleep in the evening to see if I “cheated” or stayed on the program that day. It didn’t matter what program I was following. I would count calories, points or grapefruits and then would fall asleep either proud that I got through another day or annoyed that I didn’t quite do it.

Then, if it was the latter, I would wake up in the morning, remember that I had “screwed up” the day before and continue to be annoyed which would sometimes lead to the beginning of the end of losing weight for that cycle.

This time is different than all the times before. By tracking everything I eat on the Weight Watchers eTool tracker, I know long before I go to bed what’s up with my points. I find it fun to use automated tracking because I failed in previous attempts with a pen and paper tracker. If the pen wasn’t around, I would try to remember to write things down later, and later would come too late to remember what I ate.

The computer is part of my work and personal life and between it and my Weight Watchers iPhone app, I always have my tracker on me and I am ready to update.

Not thinking about points at bedtime makes sleeping so much more restful. And because I follow the program, I wake up every day knowing that my tracker is waiting for me with a full compliment of points to start another successful day.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another gold star weigh-in

This just in…I earned another gold star at weigh-in today for passing through another five pounds of weight loss. As of today, 13 weeks and the actual three-month anniversary of joining Weight Watchers, I have lost a total of 16 pounds.

I told you my birthday is Friday and that my best present to myself was becoming healthier. I knew that I would be in the neighborhood of 15 pounds lost and was very pleased to crest it and head into the “almost 20 pounds” neighborhood.

The interesting thing I realized today is how much I don’t think about making headway into the 50 pounds I want to lose. I think about how glad I am that I still have 37 weeks ahead of me to try. And, that if I’m not quite there, I will keep going until I am.

Congratulations to my Weight Watchers buddy, Nora, who picked up a gold star with me today. We have lost exactly the same amount of weight and enjoy comparing notes. And, to our friend, Scott, way to go on achieving your 10% key chain. We think you should have gotten a car, but maybe that’s what you get when you reach goal!

Talk to you soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's all about the cookies

I was a little disappointed today. It was the weekly airing of the Joy Fit Club weight loss success person on the Today Show and the build-up was enticing. A young woman had lost 110 pounds, so I had to see the before and after and learn how she did it.

It started out okay. Before she actually came out, Joy, Hoda and Kathie Lee looked at a plate with a half-eaten chicken tender and a few French fries which symbolized the daily “pickings” off the soon to be introduced thin woman’s young daughter’s plate. It was a habit that took place if the daughter didn’t finish the whole meal. I certainly had experience in that department and on more than one family member’s plate in a meal.

“Just picking” off that extra plate equaled an additional 110 calories every day. Then, they showed the end of the month stack of all the chicken tenders and French fries that would have amassed if you put them on one plate…pretty impressive and 3300 extra calories a month.

I was hooked. Out came the young woman and she looked fantastic. Too bad she opened her mouth. When asked how long it took to lose 110 pounds and how she did it, the answers were “in six months and using Dr. Siegal’s Cookie Diet.”

I have to admit that the notion that Dr. Siegal may have made it financially worth her while to appear did cross my mind, considering she mentioned his name enough times that I can remember it, but I want to believe that my friends in the Joy Fit Club would have checked that out.

I was disappointed because this 30 year- old woman lost a lot of weight in a very short time using a method that most likely cannot be maintained. There was no discussion of learning to eat healthier. It was all about the cookies.

I don’t know one thing about Dr. Siegal or his cookies. He looks quite pleasant in his website picture, and if he offered me a cookie, before Weight Watchers, I probably would have eaten it. But, if the Keebler Elves had offered me cookies, I would have eaten those, too. Sometimes, I used to dream about living on Pepperidge Farm.

It’s all about the cookies.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just eight more days 'til...more daylight

In another eight days, the first day of winter will arrive. As one who enjoys the sun, this is a big day because every day after December 21st gives me back about a minute more daylight than the one before it.

I am glad that I started Weight Watchers three months ago, after summer was pretty much over. I have given myself lots of time to take off the weight and can start envisioning next summer, with its long, hot days and my new and improved, healthier body.

For many people, the winter is the time when the extra pounds “arrive.” I think it has a lot to do with the combination of those long dark days and all the holidays that show up at the same time. This will be the first winter in a long time that packing on the pounds won’t happen to me.

So, as I sit inside on this dark, rainy Sunday evening, I have begun my countdown to the arrival of winter and the beginning of brighter days ahead.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My love/hate affair with a pie

Today, I had four people joining me for an afternoon business meeting at my home. With my never-ending cold still fighting a winning battle against me, I decided to order my Safeway weekly delivery yesterday and include a pound cake in the order, so that I had something to serve with coffee today.

The order was delivered in the pouring rain, and I was glad that all I had to do was unpack it…until I discovered that the only item missing was the pound cake. It was time to move to plan B and that involved baking the apple pie in my freezer. My original plan called for no aroma of baking pies in my home. Even with my cold, I could smell the apple pie for the hour that it baked and for the additional hours that the smell lingered in the air because it was too rainy and miserable to let the smell out.

The guests happily indulged in the warm, loaded with apples, lattice crusted pie. I, on the other hand, glared at it. If I hadn’t had to smell it for hours, it probably wouldn’t have had as much “pull.” It almost took on a life of its own, sitting proudly on its baking tray for all the guests to see. I hate the pie.

Just to put your mind at ease, I didn’t touch a morsel. There is still half a pie in the kitchen, but I decided to cover its annoying face with aluminum foil, so I didn’t have to look at it anymore. And, the smell is finally gone.

Next time, I’ll get in the car and pick up a pound cake.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Birthday gift and weight loss

Next Friday is my birthday. Being born one week before Christmas has always been kind of weird because my birthday got folded into “the holidays.” Years ago, I decided that it was basically a non-event. The running joke at my house occurs on June 18, when I announce my half-birthday and take myself out to lunch.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic with this revelation, because, truthfully, the older I get, the less commotion about my birthday the better. But this year, I am actually excited about its arrival because I believe I am giving myself one of the best gifts I could ever get. Nobody else can duplicate it, and it is priceless.

I am giving myself better health by losing almost 15 pounds since my last birthday. I won’t know my exact weight loss until next Tuesday’s weigh-in, but I’m confident that I’m in the neighborhood of another gold star.

My birthday is elevated to “an event” this year, and I’m proud to declare I will be 58.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheap but tasty...and low points

I have a cold and didn’t feel like cooking. But, I was in the mood for take-out from Chipotle, so I asked my husband to do a drive-by pick-up on his way home from work. And, having just finished eating my Chicken Fajita Bowl, I have to admit that it was $5.85 well spent.

Now let’s examine the point structure of my meal. There is a website, that lets you check off what you ate, and it builds this chart for you:

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 460
Cal from Fat 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 115mg
Sodium 940mg
Dietary Fiber 12g
Sugars 5g
Protein 42g
INGREDIENTS: Rice,Black Beans,Fajita Veggies,Chicken (4oz)

I then ran the important numbers through my Weight Watchers eTool Calculator, and it told me that I consumed 9 points. But I only ate half the bowl and saving the other half for tomorrow’s lunch, so I really ate 4.5 points.

It was a low-point, low cost, no clean-up night around my house, and it was yummy!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The biggest a slower pace

Last evening was the finale of The Biggest Loser. I didn’t watch the program during the season, but the hype on the commercials and some of the talk shows pushed me in the direction of the two-hour finale.

I have to say that I was amazed at the huge amounts of weight taken off in a relatively short period of time. I also have to say that the amount of courage and motivation needed to endure the workouts wasn’t anything that I could imagine doing, even for $250,000. That, in part, is why I have allowed myself as much time as it takes to lose the weight.

In real life, having a personal trainer standing over you for hours at a time isn’t in my future…especially a screaming one. I want to learn to eat correctly, exercise in a way that I can continue doing for the long haul, and most of all, enjoy the rest of what life has to offer. It seems like The Biggest Loser method is another one of those “quick fix” but ultimately really difficult ways to lose weight and keep it off.

I did, however, go to the website after the show and join the Pledge for Pounds. I pledged to lose 25 pounds by June, which translates into a $.14 per pound lost contribution by General Mills to the San Francisco Food Bank. Seems like an easy way to contribute to a worthwhile cause and every little bit helps. You might want to take a look.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gained some happens

The end of week 12 and it’s weigh-in day again. As I walked to the meeting with my son, in addition to commenting about the ice on the ground, I mentioned that I felt like I had not lost weight this week. And, as it turns out, I was right. I gained .4 pounds.

This is the second time since joining that I have gained a bit of weight. I ate according to plan, tracked everything, and still knew that I felt “off.” I blame it on catching a cold that began surfacing over the past couple of days, and today it seems to have taken hold.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself and whining about gaining part of a pound, I’m going to reflect on the fact that I have lost 14.2 pounds and that it was 24 degrees this morning, and I walked three miles round-trip to the meeting.

I’m also going to celebrate my son’s .6 pound loss for a total of 13.2 pounds in nine weeks. Great job, Alex!

And now, my cold and I are going to take a nap. We deserve it.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hip-huggers no more

Here’s a question for you. How many times have you washed your jeans in cold water and air- dried them because you were worried that they would shrink? My answer to that question was every time I washed them…until today.

Now, because I have lost almost 15 pounds, I discovered that I could pull my jeans off without unbuttoning them, and that I spend a lot of time tugging them up. So, I decided to try a new approach to better fitting jeans that did not involve spending money. I washed them in hot water and dried them in a hot dryer in order to try to shrink them. It worked, and I am pleased to report that for the time being, they are sitting on my body in the correct location as opposed to the “low-rider” look that wasn’t too flattering.

Pretty nifty to be faced with that “problem.” I look forward to saving money in the future by buying a belt long before investing in a new pair of jeans.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reflections on the first 90 days

A while back I told you that I am a firm believer that life moves along in 90 day “chunks.” Whether I am working on business things or personal things, I like plans that look forward in that time frame. So, today I am pleased to report that I have been a member of Weight Watchers for 90 days.

In the first 90 days, I have lost 14.6 pounds, as of my last weigh-in. I also learned a variety of things about myself when it comes to eating that I either didn’t know before or knew but ignored. At the end of every completed month, I share those with you.

I have to tell you that the day I decided to give myself permission to take 50 weeks to lose the 50 pounds, or longer if I need it, was the day that I finally figured out how to free myself from worrying about accomplishing the goal. And, because I only think 90 days ahead, I don’t look at the time period as “forever.”

During the next 90 days, I have trips to Los Angeles and Aspen, plus a Caribbean cruise to look forward to and know that because I started Weight Watchers 90 days ago, I will be in healthier shape to enjoy them.

So, stop worrying that losing weight could take a long time and start thinking that you only have to be concerned with your next 90 days. You’ll feel better…I promise.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Running on empty...twice

I am down to the wire on writing this post. Only 27 minutes more, and it will be tomorrow, and I would have missed a day of writing to you. But, I’m here and ready to tell you that I had to get really creative with my approach to eating thanks to two events that were scheduled three hours apart. I will elaborate.

At 5 p.m., the annual Christmas tree lighting took place in Novato and my husband and I attended. It was the first time for us, as we are newcomers to this town. I planned a late lunch, which took place at 3, and had an easy time staying away from the hot chocolate and holiday cookies that surrounded me at the tree lighting.

But then, I was hungry. And we had to get home and dressed to attend a wedding reception. We dashed into Finnegan’s, our local pub, and grabbed a burger. Well, half a burger, as my husband and I split one.

Onwards to the wedding reception in Sausalito that was billed as what I call a “bubbles and sweets” affair. It started at 8 and featured desserts and champagne. Once again, I got through that part without too much trouble, although I really love dessert.

But then, I was hungry. Now it was 10:30 and the only place we could go was Sushi Ran, for a quick dinner of teriyaki chicken, rice and asparagus. Once again, I split it with my husband and then noticed it was approaching 11, and I needed to be back in Novato writing to you and posting before midnight.

Four meals today, two events and skillful driving, by my husband, and I’m home…with 10 minutes to spare.

Holiday season is wearing me out.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Guess who is coming to town...besides Santa

It’s an exciting time at my house. I have waited 20 years for this event to take place and it’s finally coming soon. My sister has decided to move to Novato from southern California, and I couldn’t be happier.

I was the one who originally left the “neighborhood” when I moved out of New York City in 1989 and headed to California with the intention that I wouldn’t be gone longer than five years. I met my husband, established a life in Marin County and just couldn’t go back. Meanwhile, my sister moved to Florida and then to the Los Angeles area three years ago. We were finally relatively close to each other, even though it is still a one hour flight to see her.

Having her make the decision to move north was a surprise to all of us. It’s not like I haven’t asked her before, because I have…many times. But just like making the decision to lose weight is personal and has to happen when one is really ready to commit to it, moving to Marin County had to happen when she was ready to let it happen.

So, a new walking partner is heading in my direction. I can’t wait!

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Powerful decision making...over comfort food

The social calendar is filling up. A wedding reception, holiday dinner with “the girls,” various lunches with various friends…you know how the month of December goes. Between the events and trying to get my work done before people disappear for their year-end festivities, I feel like I’m going in circles.

Yesterday, for the first time since joining Weight Watchers, I had that “what can I eat because I’m frustrated,” urge. I identified and tackled the “what can I eat because I’m bored” problem weeks ago, but this other one hadn’t reared it’s ugly heard lately. I was sitting on my couch thinking about the mashed potatoes leftover from our third Thanksgiving. Although I had the points to put towards eating them, I chose not to do it.

It was interesting to me that I could now stop long enough to think about the comfort food, analyze the points and make a decision based upon rationale thinking rather than emotional response. Eating mashed potatoes, by themselves, was kind of a stupid way to solve a problem. I made popcorn and fifteen minutes and one point later, the frustration had passed.

Taking an extra minute or two to decide whether I really want a particular food is a new thing. I like the feeling of power it gives me.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Not my grandma's rainwear

It took me a while to figure out how to reward myself for my first 10 pounds of weight loss. In the past, I have to admit that a reward for just about anything that I was celebrating included some sort of high calorie, but really yummy, dessert. Not this time…that’s why it has taken me weeks to decide.

But, when I walked into Nordstom, I knew I had found IT. I don’t own any shoe wear suitable for rain. I march out of the house in my little leather flats that become water logged and sometimes wrecked because I “keep meaning to do something about it” but never get around to finding a solution.

Now that I walk to Weight Watchers and winter is coming, there will be rain. My “sneakers” aren’t going to do the trick for three miles of wet walking. I had to have…rainboots. They are rubber and black and white plaid and a far cry from my last pair of rainboots in grade school. My grandmother and I owned matching sets of clear plastic short boots that went over our shoes and stayed together with a jaunty elastic fastener. Quite the look. I’m surprised that I didn’t get beat up on the playground.

Rewarding myself with something from the shoe department guarantees that it won’t become useless as I shrink in weight. My feet will continue on as the size 10 that they have been since owning those plastic rainboots like Grandma’s.

Looking forward to a big rainstorm!

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Approaching the 15 pounds lost mark

Statistics day is here again. Good news on the weigh-in front…two pounds more gone for a total of 14.6 pounds in 11 weeks. Remember, Thanksgiving was earlier this week, and I got through it with points to spare.

The other piece of news is a blog statistic. Thanks to all of you, we hit the 2000 hits mark yesterday. I love to know you are out there keeping an eye on me. Actually, it’s 4000 eyes helping me along.

As I walked home from my Weight Watchers meeting today with my husband, he gave me a quote that he read that captures the essence of what I am trying to accomplish with this weight loss “project.” He said if I want to predict the future, I should invent it myself.

So, I have to go back to inventing now, as I get ready to clean up my third, yes you read that correctly, Thanksgiving dinner. Alex is back from his East Coast adventure, and we had turkey with all the trimmings this evening. I’m happy to have him back as my healthy eating buddy.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November monthly wrap-up...12 more tips to stay on track

Another month under my belt and another dozen things I learned.

1. You do have less chins when you lose weight.
2. Substituting low point treats for high point splurges actually does work.
3. Treating myself to a small gift at my first milestone is a great investment…in me.
4. You save money at Costco if you don’t graze on the free samples because you don’t end up buying the actual product that you didn’t need anyway.
5. Holidays are about the people you spend your time with much more than the food you eat.
6. Visit a Weight Watchers meeting while on vacation. It’s an hour well spent.
7. A yellow rainsuit in a fancy hotel lobby can provoke unwanted comments.
8. Airplane seats feel better when the arms aren’t leaving dents in your hips.
9. Make the decision to lose weight so you feel better…looking better is the added benefit.
10. Remember that studies show that women ate 71 percent more out of transparent containers than they did out of dishes they couldn't see through.
11. A blog posting a day keeps my pounds away.
12. Believe that you will lose the weight and that you will keep it off. It’s that time of year where giving is the name of the game, so donate those clothes that don’t fit.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Letting my fingers do the walking

Black Friday 2009 is a thing of the past, and I have to report that I locked myself in my house that day to avoid the crowds. Even though it probably would have been a way to rack up some activity points, it wasn’t worth the aggravation. Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, which is much more my style. I like to peruse multiple retailers at my own speed, while sipping a few cups of coffee, and the only part of my body that may get some activity will be my fingers.

Most of the retailers that “know me” from past purchases have already lured me to their sites with pre-season discounts and free shipping. So, I kind of know what’s coming tomorrow. What I noticed about my browsing this year is that I have not spent time on any of the sites that produce food “goodies.” Poor old Mrs. See’s, Mrs. Field’s and Harry and David are going to have to live without me.

In the past, sites like these have offered me a gift if I bought one for someone else. I was lured in by that idea and my house runneth over with food I didn’t really need.

This year, I’m just not looking. My fingers are doing the walking right past those cyber sites and I have no regrets. Let someone else’s house explode with unnecessary points.

See you at the cyber mall.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Better use for bigger clothes

For the past two years, I have lived in Novato and one of the things I find in my mailbox, almost weekly, is a card from a charitable organization that is willing to stop by and pick up items left in front of my house.

I decided that I would use this opportunity to purge my clothing as I lose weight. The old version of me saved the clothing in case I grew back into it. There are some doozies of last century’s clothing still waiting to be rescued in the back of my closet. My guess is that you have a few “beauties” in your closet, too.

This time I don’t need a safety net. I can do double duty by giving some nice, gently worn items to worthy causes and giving myself permission to believe that I will never need them again.

So, I encourage you to part with your “bigger” items. Whether you have pick-up service or you drive to your local favorite charity, it’s a good thing, especially during the holiday season.

I’m heading to my closet right now…get a few activity points and head to yours.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A blog posting a day keeps the pounds away

It’s over. Thanksgiving, the day, is done, and it’s on to the next five or so weeks of holiday cheer. C’mon gang, we can do it!

I did enjoy a wonderful afternoon with close friends, two turkeys, a honey baked ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, three types of gravy, cranberry-orange relish, stuffing, rolls, apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, homemade whipped cream and ice cream. And, I ended the day with three points left in my daily allowance and none of my 35 points touched.

It really wasn’t hard to do it, so I’ll tell you what I did. I didn’t arrive hungry. I ate breakfast at 11 because I knew it would carry me until about 2. We arrived at 1, and I grabbed a diet Coke and began socializing in rooms other than the kitchen. I ate three grapes that I found along the way.

When dinner was ready, at 3:30, it was a buffet, and I was one of the last ones to cross the finish line. I knew that if I let the others start eating first, then they would be back for seconds by the time I sat down for firsts. And then I would stick out like a sore thumb if everyone was finished, and I got up to get seconds.

I had enough time to study the buffet offerings, and I picked out my favorites. I used the “rule of two”…two slices of white meat turkey, two teaspoons of mashed potatoes, two teaspoons of sweet potatoes and two teaspoons of cranberry relish. The end.

I ate slowly, participated in the conversation and looked people in the eye instead of my previous buffet behavior of shoveling it in while staring at my plate and running back for more when the plate was bare.

And then, the most impressive part of my day came during dessert. I volunteered to be the one, and only one, to cut and serve everyone the pies, whipped cream and ice cream to prove to myself that I could do it without sampling a crumb. You see, the old me would have had slices of everything and then gone back to eating the crumbs off the table. The new me congratulated myself for having none of it. I went home to my faithful Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bar who continues to be my best dessert friend.

Finally, I refused repeated offers to take home leftovers...and there were lots of leftovers, including some of those pies.

Using these tricks is keeping me from being the one who has to watch the diet commercials on TV on January 1. I’m glad I started in September.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving wishes

It’s the morning of. I’m heavily invested in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and having a bit of nostalgia as I used to live on Central Park West, which is the parade route. My older son, Erik, my daughter-in-law, Amanda and my grandson, Matt are in Manhattan visiting Amanda’s mom, and I believe that they may be somewhere in the crowd for Matt’s first Thanksgiving.

I have spoken to my dad in Florida, my son, Alex, who is in Boston with his friends, and my sister, Jill, in Los Angeles. Everyone is in prep mode for the big eating event. Football, for my husband, and the Dog Show, for me, is queued up with Mr. TIVO.

And now, it’s time to get ready for our Thanksgiving dinner with friends. I have planned my own “eating route” and will be in good shape as I move through the day. Hidden in my purse are my point appropriate “rations” to bridge any gaps in food accessibility that exceed four hours. I also plan to take a walk after the meal and hope that I'll find a few folks interested in joining me. If not, I'm happy to be a solo act.

I send all of you the very best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and appreciate all of your support and kindness.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's a miracle...suit

What do you do the day before Thanksgiving. Order bathing suits, of course. How’s that for a gutsy move!

The background to this story goes something like this. On October 12, 2006, I bought my latest bathing suit. How would anyone know exactly when he or she purchased anything, you might ask? This one is easy to remember because I was on Maui, renewing my wedding vows with 25 of our family members and friends. I owned one bathing suit when I arrived, and it was so old and “pilled” that it was an embarrassment. But, it fit, and I thought it would all work out with a jaunty cover-up.

That was until it began to come apart, literally, at the seams. So, I went into the hotel bathing suit store, which was really to amuse myself since nobody my size can buy clothing in one of those places, to look around and I saw it. A black bathing suit that was in my size stuck in among the sale items.

Clearly, this bathing suit had fallen out of an airplane en route to Samoa, where the plus- size woman is celebrated. I have often thought of moving there just to fit in better. But back to my story.

I bought the suit and have been wearing it ever since. When I went to Florida a couple of weeks ago, I put on the suit. It never exactly fit because the suit’s cups and my bust didn’t see eye to eye…the suit was bigger. Now, in addition to the original problem, because I have lost weight, you could fit me and a couple of melons into that suit. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the “pilling’ is back. But what should I expect from a suit that I wore for three years and almost full –time during the summer months.

So, this morning, the kind folks at Nordstom sent me an email informing me that items were 50% off, shipping was free and there they were…two Miraclesuits with my name on them. Yes, it was a bold move to place the order because I bought suits that are two sizes smaller than my “melon suit,” but that shows you how confident I am that when my next occasion to wear the suits comes up, I’ll be ready. And, that is in February when my family is heading out on the largest cruise ship in the world, the new Oasis of the Seas. Imagine that trifecta of the smaller sized suits, a week of cruising and Weight Watchers!

You know me well enough now to know that I’ll make it work.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mind tricks and portion control

Every so often I watch something on TV and because of TIVO, I can go back and re-watch it over and over until I’m sure I really “got it.” Yesterday, I took it one step further. I replayed a segment of the Today Show and took notes so I could share them with you. Then, it dawned on me that I would probably be able to find an article on the show’s website which I could reprint for so you’d know the whole story. I did, and it’s coming up below.

At our Weight Watchers meetings, we have been preparing for the holiday season by looking for ways to exercise more control over ourselves when confronted with…food. Yesterday’s Today Show featured eight portion control “tricks” and some of them were fascinating because they are based on research studies with eaters. My favorite is the serving dish one, and you can’t tell me that you won’t be buying ceramic bowls after reading it.

Today was weigh-in day. Another .4 pounds gone, for a total of 12.6 pounds in 10 weeks. Alex couldn’t join me today as he has gone on vacation to New York and Boston for the holiday. I did, however, have a great volunteer step up and walk the three miles with me to and from the meeting. Thanks to my supportive husband for making the journey.

Check out the article!

Talk to you soon.

Resist the temptation! 8 portion control tricks
Fool yourself into eating lots less by simply downsizing your table setting
By Blake Miller

Kids are told to clean their plates at every meal, so it's no wonder they grow into adults who feel compelled to finish whatever's in front of them. Breaking that habit can be next to impossible — but you don't necessarily have to in order to lose a few pounds. Switching up your plates, silverware, and even centerpieces (we're serious) can let you polish off every last morsel without having to let out your entire wardrobe.

Keep them saucer-size (about six inches in diameter). Yes, it might feel a little "Alice in Wonderland," but in a Cornell University study, people who ate hamburgers off of saucers believed they were eating an average of 18 percent more calories than they really were. People who ate off of 12-inch-diameter dishes, on the other hand, had no such delusion.

Research shows that the bigger the bowl, the more you'll stuff into it. So stick with small ones, or use a teacup or a mug for foods you tend to gulp down, like cereal and ice cream. Save the giant bowls for salad and broth-based soups so you can fill up on fewer calories.

According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, adults pour about 19 percent more liquid into short, wide glasses than they do into tall tumblers. This may be because our brains tend to focus more on an object's height than its width, so short glasses don't appear quite as full.

Stick with teaspoons, even to load up your plate. Another Cornell study found that people who used three-ounce serving spoons shoveled out nearly 15 percent more food than those who scooped using smaller two-ounce spoons.

Serving dishes
In studies, people ate as much as 56 percent more when they served themselves from a one-gallon bowl than they did from a half-gallon one. You can also hedge your bets by choosing ceramic over glass: One study in the International Journal of Obesity found that women ate 71 percent more out of transparent containers than they did out of dishes they couldn't see through.

Skip them, or blow them out right after the salad course. When the lighting is dim, people linger over their food more, which can lead to overeating, says Brian Wansink, Ph. D., director of Cornell's Food and Brand Lab.

Monday, November 23, 2009

On a serious note

This is my 71st blog posting since September 21, six days into of joining Weight Watchers, so that’s one way to keep track of how many days I have been on the program. If you have been following along with me, you know that my daily postings are generally ones that poke fun at…me.

Today, this posting is going to be a serious one. Don’t be scared…I will revert back to the other type tomorrow.

People who know me now, with a few exceptions, have not known me through my ups and downs on the scale. I revealed to you that I am a repeat visitor to Weight Watchers and average once every decade. I did not tell you that in between those visits, I have tried many other “diets” including ones that were delivered in boxes and tasted like boxes, ones that were loaded with butter and meat, ones that were loaded with grapefruits, ones that came with over the counter capsules that made me talk faster than I already do, and the list goes on.

The point is that every time I tried to lose weight, I was looking for a quick way to look better in my clothes.

The reason I have gone serious on you, now, is that a family member, who does know me in all of my various sizes, asked me why this time was going to be different. I’ve had almost 10 weeks to think about the answer, and I have come up with two of them.

When I was in my 20s, 30s, and even my 40s, I never thought much about my health. I have never have smoked and don’t drink, so my philosophy on being overweight was the proverbial, “I can always go on a diet.” Something changed for me in my 50s.

While I like to think that I feel exactly the same as I did through those other decades, I don’t. I get stiff if I have been sitting too long, getting out of bed sometimes includes a groan, and occasionally, my fingers don’t bend the way I want them to bend, which is a drag when you type as much as I do. If I get rid of the extra weight, I will help my 1951 body perform better. Considering its put up with all my dieting shenanigans, it’s the least that I can do for it.

The other reason to lose this weight centers on my husband. He is still a “young guy”, at 47 and after almost 19 years together; I want to be able to continue to have a body that can keep up. I know that may sound weird, but I know what it’s going to be like for him as he enters a decade that I have already left, but he doesn’t know exactly how it feels these days to be me. I’ve got to help myself be a better functioning me.

So there you have it. Tomorrow is weigh-in day, and I’ll keep you posted.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Saturday night feast

Two people live in my house, and one of them isn’t a member of Weight Watchers. So when I fix dinner, I try to make the “main event” something that works for me and embellish it with items that my husband will find appealing, like the baguette basket and butter.

Last evening, I tried a new recipe for pork loin that I found on the Weight Watchers online site. I like cooking with the minimum of kitchen clean-up, so anything that can go in the oven beats items on the stove for me.

After inserting 24 pieces of fresh garlic into the roast and rubbing it with an herb concoction, it did its own thing at 400 degrees for one hour while I watched TV until my husband got home.

I’ve got to say that it turned out pretty darn good. After we were finished, I shared that the meal was compliments of a Weight Watchers recipe. I’ve been living with my husband long enough to know that if I had shared that news before he ate the meal, he would be worried that it would taste “dietetic.”

Saturday night dinner at my house got four stars, and we even have leftovers.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Sunday

Let the festivities begin! Today, my Safeway delivery included a frozen turkey for my “not on Thanksgiving” turkey dinner. We are lucky enough to be invited to somebody else’s house for the holiday, but the only negative part of that invitation is the fact that I won’t have that smell of holiday turkey in my house.

While some are worried about getting through the holiday without blowing it out on points, I’m not worried at all. Remember, I had my first Thanksgiving meal in a Florida sports bar and made it through the meal with points to spare.

The upcoming festivities at my friend’s house will be filled with visiting folks we haven’t seen since last year’s Thanksgiving celebration, so I know that the food part will take second place to the socialization.

By the time I am ready to make the turkey at my house, which by my preliminary guesstimation will be next Sunday, I believe that I will have had enough practice runs to build my point structure for appropriate enjoyment. And, I will know that my next weigh-in is two days later.

Time to collect recipes for the rest of my home-cooked meal.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You'll find me on your television

A while back, I shared with you how my weight generally comes off. I mentioned that my face shows it first. So, as I pass mirrors, I am seeing a smaller head looking back at me. I also told you that I would post pictures of my chins as they, hopefully, turned into one.

Well, I’m going to do one better for you. Tomorrow, at 9:30 p.m. on HGTV, which is Comcast channels 67 and 746 on my TV, you can watch 30 minutes of my chins on the program Color Splash. My husband and I had a backyard makeover in May, which was four months before joining Weight Watchers.

I think you will enjoy the great job that David Bromstad and his team did in turning a beige rectangle into an outdoor oasis reminiscent of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Tune in and check it out. And if you are one of my buddies from Tuesday’s Weight Watchers meeting, let me know when I see you if you see less chins.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Not pulled in the wrong direction

This evening, I went to a cocktail party to launch a new company. As a member of the Board of Directors of the new company, one of my jobs was to stop by a restaurant that was supplying pulled pork sandwiches, which were an integral part of the passed hors’ d’ouevre collection, and bring them to the launch.

Okay, who in their right mind lets a Weight Watchers member alone with two platters of pulled pork sandwiches? It could have been like the wolf guarding the chicken coop…but it wasn’t. I started to think about how the old me would have had to sample a few of the goodies as I made my way through the parking lot or would have inhaled them in my car before even getting to the parking lot.

The greatest compliment of the evening came when one of my fellow Board members, who knows that I am on the program and that I write this blog, said she should have followed me around all evening. It would have kept her from eating so many goodies.

Three hours of staring at crab cakes, wonton shrimp, chicken satay, little brownies, tiny cakes, and of course, pulled pork sandwiches, I made it through unscathed. It was a great practice run for Thanksgiving.

By the way, if you or anyone you know is a caregiver and needs the help and support of eldercare experts, visit and see what this new company is all about. It’s a winner!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My birthday suit

My birthday is coming. As a matter of fact, it is one month from today that I will turn 58. This annual event doesn’t particularly excite me, but as the saying goes, it’s better than the alternative.

This year, I have to admit that I am just a little bit more excited than usual. By the time that day rolls around, I should be about 15 pounds lighter than I was on last year’s birthday. The combination of getting older and getting lighter is so much better than the path I was following of getting older and getting larger.

Somewhere in the back of my closet are a few items of clothing that fit 15 pounds ago, and I’m getting the urge to pull them out and see how they look. Of course, they could be vintage by now, and I will look like I stepped out of a 1980’s catalog, but who cares. I will wear them around the house and pretend that I am fashionable.

Thanks to my supportive husband who left a bottle of cold water, a bottle of Advil and a box of Band-Aids for me yesterday when I arrived home from my Weight Watchers walk. He always knows just what I need.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Guess who got another star today? Oh come on, you know it’s got to be me or I wouldn’t have started my blog like this. Yes, another weigh-in day and 12.2 pounds less of me in week nine. Alex has lost 12.6 pounds in six weeks, so together we have lost the equivalent of a typical Thanksgiving turkey.

In today’s meeting, we prepared for Thanksgiving by learning ways to avoid sabotaging ourselves. I will be a guest at a friend’s home, and I know they are serving turkey and ham plus all the fixings. The host makes pies every year, and I have been known to eat a slice before eating the “main event.” But, it won’t be happening this year.

I am now at the point where I can stare down any food and win because I refuse to begin unraveling all my success by screwing around with a pie. It’s much more exciting to me to be able to talk myself out of a bad decision before making it than to live with the guilt that I know will haunt me if I disregard my nine weeks of healthier eating. Why go backwards when I can continue to see progress by doing it right?

When you are out lifting up that Butterball, remember that Alex and I used to weigh that much more.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beware of the grumpy driver

Sometimes it’s difficult to eat right. No surprise to most of us who are in Weight Watchers, but when I’m working on keeping myself on the program, I am especially sensitive to a blip in the path.

Today, I had a meeting at 1 p.m. and had to leave my house at noon to make it on time. I ate breakfast at 10 a.m. and lunch should have been about 2. But, I certainly wasn’t going to pull out a meal in the middle of the meeting, so I brought a banana, a protein bar and a can of diet soda, sat in my car just before the meeting began and ate it.

That plan would have been pretty good if the meeting hadn’t ended at 4, and I still had the one- hour drive ahead of me. I didn’t want to stop at a restaurant because I was tired, cheap and wanted to get home. My stomach was growling the whole drive, and I found myself getting quite grumpy as I approached my destination.

I ran in the house, kissed the dogs, and threw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. It was too close to dinner to eat a real lunch. What a mixed up mess of a day in the food department.

But now, the feeling of hunger has subsided, and I am about to make a real dinner for my husband and I. Things are getting back on track and my grumpiness has subsided. I have another meeting at the same time next month and I guarantee you that I won’t repeat the mistakes I made today. I will pack a sandwich and eat it before I drive home.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

IHOPped Home

Yesterday morning, I said goodbye to my son, daughter-in-law and grandson in Washington DC at our farewell breakfast before heading to the airport. We had planned to eat at the IHOP, about 10 minutes from the airport, but it turned out to be a plan that could not be executed.

I have no real experience with IHOP. I thought about the pancakes and my points, made a preliminary sketch of what I was going to eat and had a fall back position of not eating pancakes but choosing something from the lunch menu, as the flight was leaving at 2 p.m. What I didn’t figure on was the 25- minute wait to get seated that was going to cut it too close to departure time.

Our only other choice, next door, was Dunkin’ Donuts. Oh brother, was that torture. There is no good plan for a donut establishment, and I was starving. My husband and I had not eaten breakfast, fully prepared to eat a “big” IHOP meal, which would carry us until we got home. Now, there I was sitting amongst the donuts and, to make matters worse, the attached Baskin Robbins. Could it be more complicated?

I have to admit that the problem was not being tempted by either the donuts or the ice cream. I love both of them and would choose them in that game of picking food that you would take to a desert island. The problem was simply that I was really hungry and refused to eat junk food, even in this dire situation. So, I ordered a gigantic cup of coffee and focused on the family and on the food I would find at the airport.

It was sad to wave goodbye to the kids, but you never saw somebody move so quickly through an airport. I found yogurt and protein bars and inhaled them. I even bought one extra protein bar for the plane, in case of emergency. The “emergency” occurred within the first two hours of the flight, so I was glad I planned ahead.

Losing weight is really important to me. It was driven home yesterday when I was able to sit in the middle of a donut/ice cream factory and touch none of the goodies. Thanks Weight Watchers!

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New way to measure weight loss

There are a few ways to figure out if you have lost weight. The obvious way to do it is with a scale. Or, you can take your measurements and see if a few inches have fallen off. Or, you can try on your clothes and when they feel better, you have lost weight.

There is a fourth way. If you carry your weight from the waist down, like me, you can measure your weight loss by how well you fit in the airplane seat. Yes, I’m on my way home from Washington DC on my six hour flight. I have read two newspapers, taken one nap, and somehow there are still four hours remaining. Yikes!

So, I decided to tell you about my newest way to evaluate my shrinking butt. Flying economy offers very little excitement these days. My plane has no movies, no free pretzels and a $7 box of food, if I want to invest in it. I don’t.

My seat comes with two armrests, which are both mine because I’m on the aisle and nobody is in the middle. During the “heyday” of my travels before joining Weight Watchers, the arms on my airplane seat gripped me like a vice. Depending on the airline, I sometimes would leave with small dents in my hips.

The good news is that I have been on four flights during this trip and have left all of them dent-free. I have even factored in the that the aircraft have been different models, so I wasn’t falsely led to believe that I was smaller when, in fact, the seats were larger.

This exciting new measurement tool is the only thing I’ve got from 35,000 feet, but for me, it’s darn good news.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gone fishin'

In order for me to transmit my blogs, I need WiFi access. And staying in a hotel, I have two choices; I can pay $14.95 a day and use my computer in my room or go to the lobby and use the hook-up for free. By now, you have probably guessed that these blog postings are coming from the lobby.

Last evening, I went directly from my son’s house, where the WiFi was broken, to the lobby to post the blog. As I told you, there is a storm here in Washington DC, and I have been wearing my son’s yellow slicker all week.

Let me set the stage of this lobby for you. We are staying in the Fairmont Hotel and the lobby is full of very well dressed men and women who probably have something to do with our government. In the evenings, there is a pianist and cocktails are served.

I sat down in an available chair to begin my posting and that’s when it happened. A man in a suit who was sitting close enough to talk to me asked me if I had just gotten off a lobster fishing boat. Okay, I know I didn’t look like a government official, but I really didn’t think that I looked like that guy on the fish sticks’ box.

Good thing I couldn’t care less. I needed to get that blog posted because you are that important to me. Oh yeah, he was so appalled he left. The next time you pass the frozen fish sticks, think of me.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Take-out times two

My husband and I have moved on to the next rainy city in our itinerary, Washington DC. We arrived yesterday morning, and it was pouring and it will continue until we leave on Saturday. I can officially declare our 10 -day vacation as the consistently worst weather we have ever had while traveling.

We are visiting our son, daughter-in-law and soon to be six-month old grandson. Now that the baby is hitting this milestone, he also goes to bed at 6:00 p.m., so we will not be dining out. Dining is coming to us in the form of take-out.

Last evening, we borrowed the car to go back and forth between our hotel and my son’s house, and agreed to bring food with us for dinner. We don’t really know Georgetown dining establishments at all, so when we passed a Mexican restaurant that looked like we could get it to go, we dropped in.

It was a bit of a challenge for me to find a meal that worked. When you are away from your usual “haunts” and making relatively fast decisions on a take-out line, you do your best to concoct a point appropriate outcome.

I had a burrito, with chicken, white rice, guacamole and green peppers. When I arrived back at my son’s house, I ate the contents out of the tortilla and disposed of the outer “shell.” It all turned out fine.

Tonight is pizza night. I’m sure I’ll be pulling stuff off my slice, but that’s okay. I get to play with my grandson.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Tuesday

I know that I told you that Thanksgiving was coming early this year. Celebrating with my family in Florida was scheduled for Sunday, the 8th, but it moved to last evening. It was all about the turkey special at Duffy’s.

I need to bring you up to speed. Every Tuesday is turkey day at the local sports bar/restaurant, Duffy’s, in North Palm Beach. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned that we were having any dinner, let alone Thanksgiving, in a sports bar, but I have been hearing about Duffy’s turkey dinners from my Dad for years.

So, off we went at 7:10 p.m. last evening to see what all the “turkey talk” was about. It is important to note that it was 7:10, because we missed the two for one drinks special that ended at 7:00. As the only non-drinker in the bunch, I didn’t care, but there was a sigh of sadness coming from the rest of them.

We all ordered the turkey. It’s easy to follow Weight Watchers when you have no access to the kitchen that prepared the Thanksgiving dinner. It came with mashed potatoes, stuffing, which I skipped, cranberries, gravy, which I skipped, and one side vegetable. I waited breathlessly for the main event.

And then it appeared in all its glory...four succulent slices of white meat turkey, surrounded by all of the Thanksgiving trimmings. It was delicious. And, the best part of all was the price. Each loaded plate was…wait for it…$9.95.

I may have to move to Florida and celebrate Thanksgiving every Tuesday. I’d be thinner and richer for it.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Weigh-in day from Florida

Today, I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting in North Palm Beach, Florida. I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as the weighing-in part. I actually knew I could stay for the educational component but didn’t know if my weigh-in could only occur back at home base where my permanent record is kept.

Good news! I could and did get weighed and I lost .4 pounds bringing my eight- week total to 10.4 pounds. And, as I sat in my meeting, simultaneous transmission was coming in from my son, Alex, in California. He lost 3.4 pounds bringing his total to 11.4 pounds in five weeks. We are both making progress!

Now back to the meeting. As I pulled up to the spot, I noticed that this “branch” of Weight Watchers is held in its own building with the name proudly displayed on the front. There were 25 attendees and the meeting leader was a New Jersey transplant who has lost 118 pounds. I felt right at home since I am also a New Jersey transplant who took a different plane and ended up in California.

We discussed holiday traditions and how to modify our usual behavior, which in most cases included overeating, and each member of the group committed to losing four pounds over the next nine weeks. I raised my hand in the commitment ceremony, even though my four pounds will have to be credited back to my California buddies. And, using my 50 pounds in 50 weeks model, I hope to lose twice the commitment in that period of time.

So that’s my report from windy Florida. Off to Washington DC in the morning to visit my son, daughter-in-law and grandson. I’ll be back in time for my next meeting in California.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weight Watchers from 3000 miles away

Tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m., it is my weigh-in day back in California. Tomorrow, in Florida, I found a Weight Watchers meeting near my Dad’s place at 12:30 p.m. As I sit with a new group of meeting attendees at exactly the same time (taking into consideration the three-hour time difference) I would have been sitting with my regular group, I will be able to report back to my buddies about the lessons learned 3000 miles from home.

I will miss my walk to and from the meeting with my son, Alex. And sitting in the second row with my friend Tammi and new friend, Scott, will have to wait a week. I wonder if anyone will notice that I am not a “regular.” Should I sit in the back row because there will be Florida regulars occupying the second row at this location?

I think that it will be an interesting hour, and I will be sure to share it with all of you.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sausage fingers

I’m staying on an island, Singer Island, and one side of the building faces the Atlantic Ocean and the other side faces the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s a lot of water and with winds at 30 mph, a lot of waves. Needless to say, it’s another non-beach day.

But, it was a day that included a three -mile walk. Last evening, on my way back from dinner, I decided to clock the distance from a point that felt like about a mile from my Dad’s building. It turned out that it was 1.5 miles away, so I figured that it would be the perfect walk.

When my husband and I started out, the wind was in our faces, but I had a lot of energy, so it didn’t matter. Having the wind at my back on the return should have been a good thing because it would help push me along when I started to get tired. What I forgot was the difference in temperature and humidity in Florida compared to my walks in California.

The last half-mile was a bit rough. I could see the high -rise building, which helped, but I was really hot and noticed that my fingers were swelling up…not a good look. My husband and I had pretty much stopped talking during those last few minutes. I don’t think he really cared.

When I crossed the finish line, which happened to be the front door, I forgot those last few minutes of discomfort. I was happy that I got out there and did it.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Peeling is so passe

It’s windy and overcast in my part of Florida and has been since I arrived. That’s a bit out of the ordinary for this time of year. I’ve been coming here for over 30 years and have tried every season, most of the time hitting sunny weather.

When I was in my 20’s, I used to travel here from my home in Manhattan, especially during the winter months. There was a frantic dash to the beach when the sun came up that usually culminated in a painful sunburn. But, at least when I went back to freezing cold New York, it looked like I had been somewhere.

Now that I am older and live in California, I don’t really care about the weather or getting a tan when I visit Florida. Today, for example, the family sat around the living room for most of the day, except during the napping part, and had a great time reminiscing. Then, we all headed out for dinner at Seasons 52, a restaurant that has constructed a menu that has no item that exceeds 475 calories.

The counting of calories thing is “so yesterday” for me, but I knew that the menu offered me many fish choices and lots of fresh vegetables, so it was a winner in my book. And we continued to reminisce.

It’s supposed to be windy and overcast for the rest of my visit. There will be no sunburn in my future here. But there will be a lot of reminiscing, which is much more rewarding than thinking about my next meal and a lot less painful.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Too tired to eat

Have you ever been so tired that you can barely string two words together? Well, that’s me, right now. Let me tell you what happened.

In addition to visiting my Dad in Florida, I had a business meeting today. Yesterday, my husband and I hopped in the car, drove four hours to Tampa and spent the night in a hotel so that I could go to the meeting at 10 a.m.

The problem with all of this was the hotel. Without going into a lot of detail, I had about an hour of sleep all night, went to the meeting, and got back in the rental car for the four -hour trip back to my Dad’s house. Somewhere in there, the front tire went soft, and we ended up in an airport en route exchanging the car for a “fresh one.”

What does any of this have to do with Weight Watchers? Plenty. The “old me” would have stopped at every mini-mart I could find on the trip home looking for junk food, filled with sugar, to keep me awake. With over seven weeks under my belt, I now know myself well enough to avoid that mistake. I stopped at a grocery store and picked up fresh sliced pineapple, and it kept me together as we worked our way south.

And with that revelation, I’m heading to bed.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Report from seat 20D

Yesterday morning, Alex was waving good-bye to us again as he began his dog/house sitting gig and my husband and I headed out to the airport for a trip to Florida to see my Dad and Washington DC to visit our son, daughter-in-law and our almost six months old grandson.

It’s Thanksgiving time for our family with its “traditional celebration” occurring in early November. As I have gotten older and cheaper, I have taken a stand on getting on an airplane during peak holiday periods because of the crowds, the unpredictable weather with predictable delays, and, most importantly, the spike in airfares that show up at a time when you are already strapped for cash with gift-buying in full swing. So, Thanksgiving is this Sunday, the 8th.

Last time I told you about a flight, it was a “quickie” to LA which required one Nature Valley Oats n’ Honey Granola packet to ward off the fear of hunger en route. Well, the trip to Florida is a whole other story. There is no direct flight to where we are going, so the trek is an all day affair and our arrival in the Charlotte, North Carolina for our plane change occurred at 4 p.m. PST.

The solution to this lunch predicament, other than spending money to buy plane food (more annoying to me than the inflated price of holiday airfare), was to pick up a fresh meal in the airport and bring it on-board. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, one homemade turkey sandwich sat proudly in my carry-on bag.

I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t she make a sandwich at home and bring it with her. The answer is…next time I will. I cleaned out the refrigerator in preparation for the trip and neglected to save anything interesting to make that sandwich.

I laughed heartily when the food cart drove down the aisle offering $7.00 salads and heard disgruntled passengers complaining that all the salads seemed to be missing the salad dressing. My sandwich, however, was perfect and my half; since I split it with my husband, cost $4.00.

So, all is good. The skies were clear across country, the plane was empty, my airfare and lunch were relatively cheap, and I had mustard dressing on my sandwich. Thanksgiving weekend is starting out with a bang.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Evading Grazing

After yesterday’s meeting, it was time to replenish supplies at Costco. Alex and I made the trek at about lunchtime, which I had forgotten was also the time that there are a lot of very friendly ladies and gentlemen handing out free food. I passed the “clam chowder guy,” the “Bisquick and maple syrup lady” and an outpost with cranberry juice before realizing that the old me used to stop at most of them for a snack.

I know it’s only one bite, unless you keep your head down and go in for seconds, which I have been known to do when faced with the “cake lady.” But, the one bite used to lead to buying the product, even when I didn’t go to Costco for anything remotely like the thing that I ended up purchasing.

I remember a day, not too long ago, when the “gelato lady” was there and I went home with three pints in different flavors…not my finest moment. Everyone knows that you can’t go to Costco and get out with just one or two items. But, when you leave with gelato instead of paper towels, it’s time to get a grip.

So, Alex and I cruised past the free snacks and left them for other grazing customers. We actually got out with almost only what we came for…if I don’t count the four rainbow trout that are staring at me when I open the refrigerator. Not as exciting as that gelato, but way less points.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


How’s that for a title that means nothing to anyone but me. But, now I’m going to break the code for you.

Today is weigh-in day, and I’m proud to report that I have lost 10 pounds in 50 days, which represents 20% of my 50- pound goal. And, if you have been following my blogging, you know that at every 20%, I plan on rewarding myself with a small gift.

I’m not sure what that gift is going to be, and I might just savor the moment for a few days before running out to find it. For now, I’m staring at my second gold star from Claudette, our meeting leader, and giving myself a high five.

Thanks for sharing my adventures with your friends, and I greatly appreciate the support that my fellow meeting attendees provide to me.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to lose 33 pounds on popcorn

Today on the Today Show is Joy Fit Club Day. If you don’t have a clue as to what I am writing about, let me explain. Every Monday, a person who has lost a lot of weight is featured, and the viewers get to learn a bit about how the featured weight-loss star has accomplished their goal.

The woman I watched this morning has lost 168 pounds, dropping from 296 pounds to 128 pounds and from size 32 to size 6. She is a 46 year-old grandmother and looks amazing. We didn’t learn exactly how long it took her, but by my calculations, it was about two years. The really cool part is that she did it on Weight Watchers and has kept it off for over three years.

There is also an attention-getting twist to these segments focused on the person’s former eating habits. What caught my eye was this woman’s “before “Weight Watchers consumption of popcorn loaded with butter and Parmesan cheese. Now, she still eats popcorn, but is hooked on the same stuff I’m eating which has 1 point per serving. Just making that switch saved her something like 116,000 calories per year, or about 33 pounds. I yelled a big “WOW” at my television during this part.

I have been finding that substituting lower point “treats” for my former out of control habits has been a tremendous help in feeling like I’m not being deprived of the “fun stuff.” Try it…you will be pleasantly surprised.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My little sister

My family members do out of the ordinary things. We aren’t afraid to put ourselves out there just to see if whatever we’re trying to do will work. Earlier this year, my husband and I got a backyard makeover on HGTV’s Colorsplash, and now, we get to see ourselves almost monthly on our big screen TV, where we look even bigger than we are.

Which brings me to today’s project. My sister has made it through some rounds to appear on a new TV show and is up to the part where she has to make an audition video. She made the video at her house and sent it to my husband for editing because neither she nor I have any talent in that department.

So, today, I have been looking at this video, over and over, as my husband edits it down from 15 minutes to 10. In the beginning, I was paying attention to her words. After a while, I started paying attention to her face. My sister is five years younger than me and at 5’6” and 115 pounds, much thinner. I remember when she went to college and gained 10 pounds her freshman year. I tormented her, because it was fun back then, about her weight gain that seemed to have settled primarily in her face. Sorry, Jill.

As I looked at her face today, I began to imagine what my face would look like after 50 weeks. It would be great if it starts to resemble hers. At 52 years old, she is really an attractive woman and only owns one chin. One can only hope….

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of the month roundup…my 20 tips on weight loss

It’s time for my monthly wrap-up. I went back through my postings and picked out the “nuggets” that worked best for me during the month of October. They are in no particular order, but I believe that number 20 is really the key to the whole weight-loss thing.

1. Walking, for me, works better with a destination.
2. 50 weeks is a long time. It’s easier to think in 90 –day chunks.
3. About 3.5 hours between meals, and I’m hungry.
4. Planning for an occasion and eating before hand helps.
5. Going to Weight Watchers meetings is more fun with family and friends.
6. Gold stars are good incentives for me to perform.
7. Free lunch isn’t free if you eat when you are not hungry.
8. Clean plate club doesn’t apply my plate AND to other peoples’ plate, too.
9. Buy only what you are going to eat, if you think having extra will sabotage you .
10. Lose weight for your health not for an occasion.
11. Plateaus and gains happen, so get back in the saddle.
12. Plus size women do enjoy fashion.
13. Leftovers can be turned into fun and satisfying meals.
14. Little things you can control make life more enjoyable.
15. Excitement keeps my mind off eating.
16. Bring your own snacks on the plane.
17. Half a great pancake is better than missing out.
18. Order the kid’s meal.
19. Buy Halloween candy on Halloween, and give it all away.
20. Time passes anyway, so why not use it to lose weight.

“Stats” recap:

I have lost 8.6 pounds in my first 6 weeks on Weight Watchers.

“Nerd” recap:

I have lost 17.2% of my 50 pounds goal in 12% of my 50 weeks goal.


I’m on track to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks.

Happy Halloween…get out there and look for trick or treaters so you can get rid of the candy.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's good to be us

My husband was born and raised in Marin County. Because he is a very outgoing, social kind of guy, he has maintained many of his friendships since his school days. I entered the picture about 18 years ago, and his friends have become my friends over the years. I’m always amazed by how many people he knows, and we can rarely go anywhere in this area without him running into a familiar face.

Which brings me to this evening. Even though he knows so many people, there is a small group of three couples that tries to meet every month for dinner. We have been doing it for a long time and even though we might miss a month or two, it doesn’t stop us from picking up where we left off. We call these dinners the IGTBU Club get -togethers, which stands for “it’s good to be us.” Through good times and bad, we are just happy to have each other’s company over dinner.

Tonight’s event took place in Santa Rosa at Syrah, a restaurant with a very interesting menu. We started by sharing a cheese course that included a selection of cheeses from our region and ended with several decadent desserts that also made the rounds. Two bottles of red wine, a variety of entrees, and three hours later, we were on our way home.

What did I learn this evening? I learned to pass the cheese platter and the desserts, and have no regrets about not sampling them. I don’t drink, so the wine thing wasn’t an issue. My entrée was delicious, and I substituted a dollop of mashed potatoes for the original cheesy grits that came with it. I didn’t have any qualms about speaking up and ordering the dinner the way I wanted it, even in a very upscale situation.

Most of all I learned that I didn’t care what we ate for dinner. I was glad to be with our very good friends spending an evening catching up on stories and laughs. IGTBU.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm becoming a caricature

The house is very quiet today…just the dogs and me enjoying a sunny, Fall afternoon. Because I’m alone, I decided to pull out the tape measure and see what my measurements look like six weeks after starting Weight Watchers. The scale is not one of my favorite tools, so you can imagine that the tape measure isn’t enjoying much love either.

I entered my “stats” on the online e-tool when I joined. I actually forgot I did that and think that I forgot, on purpose, my original measurements. I like all the bells and whistles on the Weight Watchers site, so in was only a matter of time before I found the place where I had entered the original data.

I’m not one for caring much about the actual measurements. I like seeing pounds come off, but the rest is too much to care about for me. I know that when my clothes feel more comfortable, inches must be coming off, and comfort is the name of the game these days.

But, my curiosity got the best of me, and I measured everything. The good news is that there is 5 inches less of me on my hips, waist and bust than there was when I started six weeks ago. Just think, if things continued to work that way, at the end of the 50 weeks, I could be 50 inches smaller. You wouldn’t even see me anymore. I don’t think it works that way.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boycott on dinner

I was tired last evening. Too tired to want to eat. I made dinner for my husband, looked at it, and decided that it just wasn’t what I wanted. Has that ever happened to you?

I put his meal in front of him and sat down with nothing. He thought I was sick. I wasn’t…just tired and “turned off” by an entire meal. The “pre-WW” me would have sat down and eaten it anyway, because I made it. Or, I would have fixed myself a bowl of ice cream with a few cookies and sat at the table to keep him company.

The new, “at WW” me sat at the table and kept him company. I was happy to have the time to talk without worrying about having a plate of food in front of me that I really didn’t want. For about a minute, he thought it was weird, but he was too hungry to want to analyze the whole thing.

Two hours later, I was hungry. A bowl of Greek yogurt with some fresh raspberries did the trick. Sometimes, you just have to do things a little differently and the results can be surprisingly good.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time is flying...weight is dropping

Today is weigh-in day. I think I’ve said this before, but the weeks seem to fly by a lot faster at age 57 than they used to when I was a kid. Christmas used to feel like it took years before it came around again, and now, it is holiday season starting in August, and I’m thinking about gifts and preparation by Labor Day.

I think there is one advantage to the feeling that time is flying, and that is how fast the first six weeks of Weight Watchers has flown. Like Claudette says, the time is going to pass anyway, so why not do something that makes you feel better. I have now lost 8.6 pounds, which is another two pounds this week. I feel better. And, my buddy and son, Alex, is down 8.2 pounds in three weeks. He feels better, too.

As we walked home from our meeting today, Alex pointed out that I no longer make us stop along the way so that I can breathe. I think that my body is actually getting in shape, one stride at a time. This is a first for me; so, once again, I feel better.

Thanks for sharing my blog with your friends.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1000 hits...a toast to us!

Today is dedicated to us. Together, we have passed the 1000 hits mark on the blog in just over one month. Pretty nifty milestone and one that continues to keep me excited about losing weight and sharing the day-to- day news with you.

Speaking of news, I’m getting ready to head out for a walk with Alex. The two of us originally had a “big plan” to get flu shots and to walk to CVS. I was on the phone at 9 this morning checking on the pharmacy supply, only to learn that there was none. The nearest supply is at my doctor’s office, which is about 10 miles away.

I don’t think I’m ready for that walk quite yet. My walking tour of Disneyland may have been about 10 miles, but rides and fireworks broke it up. The walk to the doctor’s office offers none of these distractions.

Tomorrow is my meeting day, so I know where I’ll be walking. Today, it will be a surprise.

Happy birthday to my daughter-in-law, Amanda!

Talk to you soon.