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.