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.