Monday, December 20, 2010

Approaching the New Year with a smile

I’ve lost count of the number of days that it has been raining, but I know that I’ve been hanging out at home for what seems like a long time.  On Saturday evening, I made a break for it and celebrated my birthday at John Ash in Santa Rosa with my husband, son and some of our friends.  It was a grand evening despite the lousy weather.

One of the specials of the day was a pink snapper served over a mix of healthy grains and vegetables.  I jumped at that option and was not disappointed.  When the server came up behind me with a plate containing a flaming candle and birthday treat, I was points -ready for whatever she had to offer. 

The plate had crème brulee in a ramekin the size of a silver dollar and a small plain biscotti.  Although impossible to really know how many points were on the plate, I counted it as six, and borrowed only two points from my weekly 49 to add to my daily total.  I left the restaurant without feeling like I overdid any part of the evening with the exception of the fun part.

As I get ready to enter 2011, I have been reflecting upon how much better I feel than I did one short year ago.  And, I look at my husband, proudly, as he has also shed “serious poundage.” Together, we are crossing into the New Year weighing 95 pounds less than we did before we embarked on our weight loss journey.   When we hit the 100- pound mark, I’ll be sure to brag!

Talk to you soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Birthday greetings...from me!

So much to catch up on, I don’t know where to begin.  It’s been two weigh-ins since I last wrote and week 64, I lost .4 pounds and week 65, I lost .2 pounds, so the total is 31.8 pounds as I approach my 59th birthday…tomorrow.

I’m finding the new program more fun than the old one, and I like having free fruit whenever I feel like a snack.  Bravo Weight Watchers for re-thinking and re-creating the program.

Let’s see, what else do I have to report???  Well, I think the most exciting news is that I won a business contest sponsored by British Airways that involved our company’s pet product, supercollar®.  The prize is a trip to New York and London and then from London, I get to pick anywhere in the world I want to visit.  My husband and I picked Abu Dhabi as the place we want to see.

I am already planning my PointsPlus program around Middle Eastern food.  I think the lamb, rice, and yogurt will be an integral part of what goes on with me for the time we will be “in residence.”  I am counting the days until we leave!

Another high point of my last two weeks came yesterday, when my husband and I went to Left Bank in Larkspur for dinner.  We had the pleasure of meeting the daughter of my Weight Watchers buddy, Nora, after enjoying a wonderful meal.  I had salmon, which was served on a plank, over fresh vegetables.  Delicious and points friendly!

As I approach my birthday celebration, I am marching in with 49 points of my weekly allowance ready for use.  I won’t be going wild, but I may have a bite or two of something special.  It’s not about the food, it’s about the family and friends who will be sharing the evening with me. 

Last year at this time, I had lost about 10 pounds and wondered how I would look this year.  Well, let me tell you that almost 32 pounds off looks “MAHVELOUS” by comparison.  The time was going to pass either way, so I’m sure glad I stuck with it and can enjoy a healthier, more comfortable, me.

Talk to you soon.

P.S.  You can catch the national appearance of supercollar® on Tuesday, December 21st on the CBS Early Show.  It is being featured as a Holiday Pet Pick! 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reborn in week 63

Tuesday was weigh-in day and the first day of the new program.  It was like joining all over again, even though it was week 63.  I lost .4, so my total is 31.2 pounds at the starting gate, or one-half pound per week since September 22, 2009.

I now have five more points than I had a week ago and 49 weekly points on top of them.  I immediately checked my Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bars to see how they fared in the new and improved point structure.  Unfortunately for me, they went from one point to three points.  It’s not a big deal, especially with the extra points. 

I am in love with the “pointless” fruit.  I always shared my bananas with my Labrador Retrievers so that I didn’t use the full point value of them in the former program.  I still share, but less goes to the dogs.

Now, it’s time for lunch.  I see a peanut butter, multi-grain English muffin topped with a banana in my future.  Who knows, I might even throw in a Giant Fudge Bar for dessert if I’m in the mood.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Catch up

What’s been going on with me?  I disappeared for a while and need to get you back up-to-date on my comings and goings.

On Tuesday, I sat on a conference call that ran so long that I ended up missing my meeting.  I was dressed, wearing my running shoes, which in my case are used for walking, and watched the clock ticking away.  Needless to say, I was disappointed and don't really know if I gained or lost weight.  I'm going to assume I did neither.

That same evening, I did get some activity points in as my husband and I walked Moscone Center and visited the Car Show.  It is an annual ritual for my husband and one of his friends and I was the “tag along.”  I always forget how big that convention center is and was glad I was still wearing my running/walking shoes.

Yesterday, I made it through Thanksgiving with no issues.  We visited out friends and enjoyed a lovely turkey dinner that involved no cooking on my part and very little clean-up.  It was a day to catch up on stories and to see people that we don’t see very often.  I knew going into it that I would be fine and emerged victorious and with points to spare.

And now, it’s already Friday and I don’t have to worry about what to do with leftovers.  We have none.  So, it’s business as usual in the kitchen, and that makes life just a little easier.

I’m counting down the days until next Tuesday’s meeting.  The new program is so close I can taste it.   I’m expecting great results and looking forward to mastering the new system. 
Until then, it’s tracking as usual…which is on auto-pilot for me.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pro Points...can't come too soon!

It’s time for the new program…I’m getting antsy to see what it’s all about and more importantly, how it will help me.  I’m up one pound this week, and it feels like I’m stuck in a rut.

I am not whining or getting crazy over this stuff.  I know that going to the meetings, being part of a support group and following the plan is still an enjoyable part of my life.  I just want to get back to the part of dropping pounds.  I know it’s just around the corner and in 14 days, I’ll get the details.

Meanwhile, it was a Costco day for me…lots of fruit and a turkey.  I decided to test drive Thanksgiving this week with a small turkey and will be whipping it up tomorrow evening.  It’s great that the traditional holiday meal is a turkey and not a cake.  It works much better with the point system…both the current one and what I envision the new Pro Points one will look like on November 30th.  Let’s see if I’m right.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Around the world...while losing weight

I think I’m going to make this blog a combination of losing weight and travel.  It seems like all I do lately is eat in restaurants, because I am on the road.  And, it’s not going to change in the foreseeable future.  I figured out that I’m gone one week each month between now and next April, so I better start planning for it.

I’m home now, however, and I don’t get nervous about holiday eating, even though it’s just around the corner.  None of us got overweight from eating Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s what happens after that dinner that sets the tone for weight gain or loss, and I believe I have conquered the potential problem after over a year in the program.  For me, Thanksgiving is another day of eating on program and rewarding myself by enjoying my family and friends who will share it with me.

I also look forward to learning about the new Weight Watchers program that will unveil itself for me on Tuesday, November 30th…just two short weeks away.  I like the concepts that I have been reading online and think that “shaking it up” a bit will be a pleasant change.

Now, back to talking about travel.  I visited my sister in Los Angeles for a few days and part of the visit includes visiting restaurants that we like and introducing one new restaurant to the mix.  This time, we tried Mastros, a place in Beverly Hills that is known for its steaks. 

I had the petite filet mignon, which was about four ounces after it was cooked, and sides, for which they are known, of garlic mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  Three of us shared each of those sides and most of them went home as leftovers, so it was the equivalent of a spoonful of each for me.

I think that the only part of restaurant dining that bugs me is the amount of salt that is added to the food when it is prepared.  I can control most of what goes on in the grilling and butter department, but the salt just seems to be there.  And, after eating, I generally feel like I have expanded proportionate to the chef’s “heavy” hand.  Don’t get me wrong, it tastes great, and I know it doesn’t add points.  I just don’t like the feeling. And, I definitely try to avoid the restaurants the night before a weigh-in.

So, time to make dinner…at my house.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rumors from the land of the Royals

There were two of us at Weight Watchers today…I was one of them and our meeting leader, Claudette, was the other one.  I had another appointment that prevented me from attending the actual meeting, but because we can get weighed-in starting at 8 a.m., I was there early.  It was a bit weird to be the only member in the room, but I got the job done.

I lost another .4 pounds.  Now, let’s review the math.  I went away for three weeks on business and vacation and gained 2.6 pounds.  I have been back for two weeks and have lost one pound.  So, it will probably take me about six weeks to get back to where I was before I went away.  I am not fond of that ratio.

I noticed a message on my Weight Watchers e-Tool about something new that is coming soon.  Once I’m teased that way, I have to do a little Google research to see what I can find.  I have found out that a new plan is coming to us on November 29th and that it was introduced in the United Kingdom this week.

I am looking forward to learning all about it.  The rumor mill is churning, and it seems like fruit will become a no point option.  But, you know rumors…especially the ones coming out of the United Kingdom.  I’ve been waiting for that royal wedding of Prince William and his girlfriend for years.  Rumor has it that it’s coming next year…I’m not holding my breath.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Magical pants

Last evening, my husband and I got to put on our “fancy clothes” and attended the Hospice of Marin Gala.  As I was getting ready, it dawned on me that I hadn’t gotten dressed up since starting Weight Watchers.

I didn’t run out and invest in a new outfit.  I planned to put together something from my existing wardrobe, but didn’t really know what it was going to look like.  Living in Marin and not being part of the social scene, it’s not often that I need to figure out what’s in the “dressy” part of my closet.

About 15 years ago, I bought black “chiffony” evening pants that look like a cross between pants and a skirt.  I pull them out when I need to put together a special look.  I have a laugh every time I wear them because they have elastic in the back and a hook on the side and stretch or shrink to fit my weight.

During my heaviest times, they feel like I am wearing a tourniquet.  Last evening, they almost fell off.  I pulled them up, discreetly, every time I walked a few steps.  Needless to say, I was thrilled.

As I continue my weight loss journey, there are items of clothing that have to be sacrificed along the route.  I think my evening pants will be heading out soon.  I will miss them, so I’ll be on the lookout for a new smaller version.  Any clothing item that lasts over a decade is a hit in my book.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When up is down

It didn’t start out the way I thought it would.  I walked to Weight Watchers for the first time since I sprained my ankle 10 weeks ago and looked forward to seeing a loss on the scale.  If you remember, last week I gained 2.6 pounds after three weeks of travel and restaurant dining.

I got on the scale to be disappointed at a .2-pound gain.  How could that have happened…I walked back to my seat and found myself distracted and thinking about this surprise.  And then it dawned on me that I had forgotten to take off my shoes and my jacket when I got on the scale.  I had been chatting with the woman who weighed me in and totally missed my usual clothing removal exercise.

I got back out of my seat, went back to the scale and did my weigh-in properly.  I lost .6 pounds this week and was back to feeling in control.  All records were corrected, and I left the meeting knowing that I had another two pounds to get rid of to be back to where I was a month ago.

I did walk 3.75 miles today, including a stop off to vote on the way home from my meeting.  I also am pleased to report that I have candy to send to the troops and want to thank my fellow Weight Watchers friends for bringing it to the meeting.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Need more candy...please!

We started Halloween with 70 mini- candy bars, and I figured that I would end it with at least half of them.  Last year, we had about a dozen Trick or Treaters appear at our door.  Boy, was I wrong.  We blew through that candy in about 30 minutes when groups of 10-15 children showed up at once.

It got to the point where I switched to Nature Valley Granola Bars just to finish up with part of a group that was going to get nothing.  I’m sure that the reaction to my healthy Halloween snack was the same as the one I had about 50 years ago when somebody gave me two pennies instead of candy.

Once the end had come, of the candy that is, my husband made our house “go black.”  All lights, both inside and out, were turned off and we sat in silence watching the end of the Giants game.  We cheered quietly.

Tomorrow is Weight Watchers, and I expected to be the lead-off batter with the leftover candy that I will be sending overseas to the troops.  Now, I have no candy, so please collect up all of yours and bring it to the meeting.  I promise to buy some more to add to it, so that the box is chock full of goodies.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween...I'm looking forward to your candy

It’s Halloween, the Niners played the Broncos in London, and, of course, it’s World Series baseball.  What a combination of at home, mostly on my couch events, for one day. I have a bowl of candy ready for the “Trick or Treaters,” but figure they aren’t showing up as long as their parents are watching the Giants and Rangers playing Game 4.

Speaking of the candy…I haven’t touched it except to put it in the bowl.  As a matter of fact, I am looking forward to Tuesday’s Weight Watchers meeting to pick up some more of it.  When confronted with what to do with the leftover Halloween candy that a lot of us will have tomorrow, the temptation for most of us is to eat it. 

Some of my fellow WW members buy the stuff they don’t like to avoid that temptation, and others have family members hide the leftovers so they don’t eat them.  I decided to fix the potential problem for all of us by offering to collect up all the uneaten candy and bring it home after Tuesday’s meeting.

Now don’t think that I’m getting ready to pull a candy scam and eat it.  I volunteered to box it up and send it to the troops.  I have done my research and know how to make it happen, so that’s why I am looking forward to seeing how much I get to send.

I have 70 mini Milky Ways and Snickers, enough for 35 Trick or Treaters.  I hope they all come, but if they don’t, I’ll be sending the leftovers overseas to the guys and gals who deserve it.  If you are in my Tuesday morning meeting, don't forget to help me out!

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bigger is not always better

Who gained 2.6 pounds in week 58 of Weight Watchers…me.  This is the most weight I have gained in the time I have been a member.  Why did this happen?  It’s not like I don’t know.  I have been away for three weeks, part of which was work but most of it was vacation. 

I worked hard at staying on the program, but I knew that it was very difficult to really know how things were prepared in the 50+ restaurant meals that I consumed.  I couldn’t see the butter going into some of the dishes that I ordered, but I was pretty sure it was in there somewhere.

Going back to a meeting today was a very calming experience.  I missed my fellow Weight Watchers, missed the ritual of Tuesday mornings at 9:30 and missed the routine of writing my blog and posting my results.

I’m happy now.  Of course, I’m not thrilled about the weight gain, but it will be gone in two weeks.  That’s going to happen.  I am a creature of habit and now that my old bad habits have been replaced with good Weight Watchers habits, I feel much better.  And, can you imagine what would happen if I tossed in the towel now???  I figure it would take roughly six months to be back to my old weight.  Yuk!

Talk to you soon. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home sweet home

It feels like I have been on a desert island for about two weeks.  I haven’t gone this long without writing a post since I embarked on my Weight Watchers journey in September 2009.  But, there is a good reason for it.

I left on a business trip to Chicago on October 6th and returned home on the 10th.  The next day, my husband and I left for our vacation in Hawaii.  When we are away and nobody is minding the house, I don’t like to bring attention to the fact that we are away and nobody is minding the house.

And now we are home…back from a wonderfully relaxing time on the Big Island.  The dogs have come home from the “babysitter”, the clothes have been unpacked, washed and put away, the grocery shopping, via Safeway delivery, is over, Costco has been visited, and it seems like my routine is back in full swing.

I have to admit that although I miss the beach, I am glad to get back to the routine.  It’s very easy to see how two weeks away from the control in my kitchen and missing two Weight Watchers meetings can set one up to go down the “dark path.” 

You do your best to control your restaurant choices, hope that the ingredients haven’t been doctored up with secret additives like butter, and guesstimate portion size from experience.  Until I show up on Tuesday and get on the Weight Watchers meeting scale, I am not getting on my scale.  It’s going to take that long to get two weeks worth of salt out of my system.

So folks, I’m back.  I always miss you when I’m gone, and it’s good to be home.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 55 report all about it!

Here we go again…it’s Tuesday.  How did that happen so fast?  But, it was a good Tuesday at Weight Watchers, and I lost .8 pounds for a total of 33.4 pounds in 55 weeks.  Moving forward, a little bit each week, is the name of the game.

Tomorrow, I head out to Chicago to work another trade show and spend a few days standing in my booth.  Now that I have the Las Vegas show behind me, I’m ready for the long days, my packed snacks and soaking my sore feet at the end of each day.

The “un-fun” part of this trip is that my husband is staying home.  When we were in Las Vegas, I looked forward to going out to very nice dinners each evening.  When I travel alone, the incentive to go anywhere diminishes with each passing hour, and I usually end up eating in the hotel dining room. 

So, it’s time to pack the suitcases and squeeze a little television into the rest of this evening.  I’ll be sure to report in from “the field” also known as the Chicago Convention Center.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My kitchen...not for resale only

Life is much easier since joining Weight Watchers.  Why, you ask?  It’s easier to have food in the refrigerator for actual meals than it was to sit around most evenings trying to figure out where we were getting take-out, food delivery, or sit-down restaurant food.  And, it’s so much cheaper now.

I never thought I would be the one who would enjoy planning and preparing meals.  It took about 40 years to get here.  I used to be the one that took pride in explaining that my kitchen was part of my house for resale purposes only. 

This evening, my husband called to say he was meeting a buddy after work.  I didn’t have to face the concept of hopping in the car to scavenge around for a table for one.  I went to the kitchen and made myself a delicious dinner that included a pork chop, sweet potato and fresh asparagus.  And when he arrived home, there were leftovers.

One of these days, I’m going to compare expenditures in restaurants for the year preceding Weight Watchers with this year.  I figure I have saved several thousand dollars.  Since I plan to continue this behavior going forward, I look at it as another way to fund my retirement…or our next vacation.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back where I belong

I returned…to my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday.  Missing two in a row, for the first time in 54 weeks of being a member, was not sitting well with me.  I have to admit that walking back into the meeting room felt really good.

When I joined, I vowed that I would attend the meetings and actually stay for them.  I wasn’t going to get weighed in and leave.  And, I have kept that promise.  Every week that I am in town, I am sitting in the front row actively participating in the group discussion.

I think the combination of missing the familiar faces from Tuesday morning combined with feeling “out of sorts” because I wasn’t where I usually am at 9:30 a.m. made yesterday’s “homecoming” even better.

The scale wasn’t completely friendly.  I gained .2 pounds, but I never really care about that part.  I know I am doing what I set out to do, following the program and tracking my daily intake. 

Next Tuesday, I’ll be back.  The scale might not be friendly, but the people sure are a worth making the trip.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Oktoberfest

Two years ago about this time, my husband, son, sister and I hopped a plane and headed for Oktoberfest in Munich.  We had a fantastic time, and it made us want to go back for more.

This year, more came in the form of Oktoberfest in San Francisco, which we went to last evening on Pier 48.  It wasn’t quite the same as the original version, but fun all the same.
Plenty of good music, lederhosen, dirndls, German beer, sausages, pretzels and Bavarian desserts constituted a simulated Munich experience…except, I wasn’t wearing a dirndl or lederhosen, I don’t drink, and I ate nothing.  The music was the part I liked.

I didn’t care about the food and drink part of it.  I looked back at some pictures of the “real Oktoberfest” and was struck by the difference in my appearance from BWW, before Weight Watchers, and now.  I like the MOWW, member of Weight Watchers, body much better.

The perfect picture will take place next Oktoberfest, when my husband and I plan to go back to Munich, and I will be three months away from my 60 pounds off goal.  I might even invest in a dirndl.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chin check

I took a nap on the couch the other day and both of my Labrador retrievers were asleep in my lap.  Hard to imagine that 130 pounds of two dogs could fit on there, but they have a routine where one of them climbs on and the other one puts his head on her back.  It’s very cute when I am awake to see it.

That’s the point of this posting.  I wasn’t awake but my husband was, and he took a picture of the three of us.  When I awoke, I got to see the evidence…the dogs were still as cute as ever but I had a bit of an “issue.”

Despite the weight I lost, I was still sporting two chins.  Now, had that picture been taken one year ago, it probably would have been four chins, so I’m grateful.  But, I know that there is still work to be done. 

It’s good to have a visual reminder now and then.  It shows how far I’ve come and that the journey must continue.  I’m in it for the duration…and I will replace that picture when I’m down to one chin.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What's for dinner tomorrow...I know

There was a big meat back-up in my refrigerator today and something had to be done about it.  I’m not sure how it got to be as bad as it did, but I know when it started.  We went to Costco on Sunday and bought organic chicken breasts and organic ground beef.  Organic protein isn’t part of our regular menu, but we wanted to check it out.

And then things happened, the stuff I can't remember, where the days were ticking by and the meat was just sitting there.  Oh, I forgot about the hot dogs that had been in there even longer and were screaming to get out.

The only solution to the dilemma was to cook almost all of the meat. The chicken and the hot dogs went on the grill.  The ground beef came in three separate vacuum- packed packages, and we cooked one of them.  I was amazed to see that the burger trio had an expiration date of October 5, so we will be having the other two packages sometime in the not too distant future.

When all was said and done, we had a good meal and now have enough leftovers for days.  Maybe it’s not so bad to get behind in your grilling because when you finally catch up, you can rest easy knowing that there is no decision making on what’s for dinner.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Next week for sure

I had a plan in place to go to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning.  I missed last week’s meeting while I was in Las Vegas and was looking forward to getting back to my buddies and my meeting leader, Claudette.  The plan derailed, and I didn’t make it.

My husband had a scheduled outpatient procedure that involved anesthesia, and he wasn’t allowed to drive home.  So, I got dressed in my official Weight Watchers weigh-in outfit that I have been wearing faithfully for 53 weeks and headed out at 6:45 a.m. for his appointment. 

He was supposed to be ready to come home by 9, so I figured that I’d be back at our house by 9:30, drop him off, and drive the five minutes back to the meeting.  As 9 a.m. came and went, I started to worry about my husband and why he wasn’t in the car driving north with me.

Finally, at about 9:30, he was ready to roll, and we worked our way home…and arrived in time to plan next week’s meeting attendance.

The good news is that my husband’s anesthesia has worn off, and he’s feeling fine.  After our big day, I feel like I shared some of that knock-out stuff and am ready to call it a night.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beef treat

When you stand around in a trade show booth talking to people for 10 hours a day and don’t have time for lunch, you would think you would be starving at the end of it.  But, I wasn’t.  I was really tired and think that wiped out the desire to eat. 

After my daily naps, we did head out to dinner.  If I had been alone, I probably would have stayed in the nap mode until daylight.  But, my husband was with me and there are wonderful restaurants all over Las Vegas, so we rallied and went out later in the evening.

We dined the first night and the last night at the same place, StripSteak in the Mandalay Bay Hotel mega-complex.  The restaurant is one of Michael Mina’s creations and obviously our original meal was so good that we went back despite a million other choices that we could have made.

We asked our waiter for a recommendation, and he suggested that we split a porterhouse steak.  We went with that choice, and it was served sliced to make it easier to divide into two portions.  With sides of a baked potato and creamed corn with jalapeno, which we also split, my husband enjoyed a point appropriate delicious fare.

We finished dinner about 11 p.m. that first evening and made a beeline back to bed knowing that we needed all the sleep we could get to be ready for day two of booth work.  I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

No lunch for me

I’m home from Las Vegas as of 1:00 a.m. and glad to be back in my quiet living room.  Don’t get me wrong…my husband and I actually love going there because of the restaurants, the people watching, and the over-the-top everything.  But, after working in our trade show booth for three days, I’m happy for the peace and quiet of Novato.

I had planned ahead for my eight- hour stretches in the booth, but even the best of plans don’t always work.  We would eat breakfast at 8 a.m. each day and then head over to the booth at 9.  I ordered the same breakfast each day, fresh berries and yogurt and then took a granola bar out of my pocket and sprinkled it into the mixture.

The trade show opened at 10 and with 10,000 attendees, there was never a time to eat my healthy snacks.  I was always talking to somebody.  And, each day we had a rescue dog in our booth wearing a supercollar®, so bringing out food wasn’t the best move, if we wanted to keep the booth from turning into a disaster.

Time would fly by and suddenly it would be 5 p.m. and lunch never had happened.  But, I never noticed.  We would go back to the room, take a nap, and head out to dinner at 9. 

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to read about our very yummy dinners.  Although Las Vegas is in our time zone, I feel like I just got back from Europe…exhausted and ready for bed.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Redefining comfort food

Every once in a while, I am out later than midnight and when that happens and I haven’t written a post, I lose that day.  Last evening, my husband and I went into San Francisco for dinner and arrived home at 12:05, so that was one of those times.

We met some friends at Town Hall, the restaurant not a government building, and spent a few hours catching up on old times.  This couple lived in Marin when they were first married, but now, 14 years and three children later, they live on the Peninsula.  The combination of distance and life gets in the way of seeing them as often as we would like to see them.

But back to Town Hall…we have been there several times, before but it was the first time for the other couple.  They actually picked the restaurant and didn’t think we knew about it.  We know very little about City restaurants so it was a fluke that we not only knew about this one, but had eaten there a few times.

This restaurant offers a lot of “comfort food.”  In other words, all the stuff I inhaled in massive quantities before joining Weight Watchers.  But, last evening, I exercised control and still had a great meal.  I had two appetizers and no main course.

Appetizer number one was my favorite, heirloom tomatoes with feta cheese.  I followed that with a thinly sliced Parma ham served with three tiny buttermilk biscuits.  If you glued the biscuits together they still didn’t equal one regular sized one, so I didn’t over indulge.

I had a few spoons of the community butterscotch pudding for dessert and that was it for me.  Once again, the best part of the evening was spending it with friends.  It was more comforting than comfort food.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Refrigerator cleanse

Time to clean out the refrigerator by eating its contents.  Yes, before heading out of town, I get creative in trying to get rid of the items on the shelves, so they don’t go bad.

Tonight, my husband was working late, so I started cooking up a medley of spinach, green onions, tomatoes, green beans, and leftover rice and pork (yes, last night’s pork fried rice).  My goal was to see how many things I could pile into one skillet and keep my point level where it needed to be…at seven points.

I had lots of vegetables and very little rice and pork left, so it was pretty easy to fill a plate and still hit my point target.  When I sat down to eat it, it took forever because I discovered that eating a pile of green beans is a slow process.  But they say the slower you eat, the less likely you are to overeat.  Fast eating tricks your brain into thinking you haven’t even started.

My freezer is the next stop…a giant fudge bar is calling my name.  This treat will be consumed just because I like it and not because I'm on a quest to clean out an appliance.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stop the pork madness

When you buy a pork shoulder at Costco you really get your money’s worth, especially if it weighs about a ton and there are only two of you.  It began on Sunday, when it was slow cooked on the charcoal grill.  It’s still going on.

On Sunday, I had it on a plate for dinner and have eaten it for lunch and dinner every day except Tuesday, when we went to Il Fornaio.  My husband turns it into fajitas and is working the dinner circuit only. 

Tonight, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I had to find a recipe that used leftover pork shoulder some other way.  And, I found it.  It became pork-fried rice…modified to fit my Weight Watchers points.

A bit of oil, some green onions, garlic, a bunch of cut up pork, fresh green beans, a few cups of white rice, a beaten egg and some soy sauce yielded enough pork fried rice for my husband and I and…more leftovers. 

I’m not sure what’s worse, looking at the hunk of pork shoulder that still lives in foil in the refrigerator or the pile of fried rice dotted with pork shoulder that lives in the Tupperware.  It doesn’t much matter, as it lives on in tomorrow’s food plan.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 51 report

Good day in the weight department.  Weight Watchers meeting day yielded 1.4 pounds lost for a total of 32.8 pounds.  If you remember, last week’s weigh-in, which was my 50th week in the program, yielded a gain of .8 pounds.

At that weigh in, I was carrying around a really swollen ankle and foot, and my research showed that I was retaining a bunch of unwanted, weighty fluid.  Now, my ankle is getting better and is much smaller.  So, I believe that part of the loss is a result of getting my two feet working again.

After that good part of my day, my dad called and told me that HGTV was re-running the episode of Color Splash that I filmed last year just before joining Weight Watchers.  It was one of the last “pushes” I needed to get going. 

I turned on my TV and there I was, filling up the screen, literally.  I am so thankful that it is one year later, and I am a lot thinner.  It’s more than just the visual.  It’s recognizing that I set a goal, and I’m sticking to it. 

Talk to you soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Head loops

Labor Day 2010 is winding down.  My husband went to work, and I worked from home.  We celebrated Labor Day by being the labor.  No complaints from me…I got a lot done with minimal phone interruptions because those people were off having fun.

I did take time to watch the Today Show, as I do almost every day.  Even though I TIVO out the commercials and stuff that looks boring and shrink a four hour show to about three, it still takes all day to finish it.  It’s during my “break time” that I hop in and out of the program.

During one of my breaks, I got to see the segment where somebody loses a lot of weight.  That’s usually a Monday feature, and the woman today had lost 150 pounds, dropping from 310 to 160.  I try to pick up an important tidbit from these episodes.

We learned that this woman, who is 46, has seven children.  After a warning from her doctor that she was slowly killing herself with the extra weight, she figured out that her children were more important to her than the extra food.

She planted that thought in her brain and it became the endless loop that played in her head every time she was tempted with the wrong food choices.  She lost the first 100 pounds in the first year and the remaining 50 pounds in the second year.  She was proud of her healthy body and so was the rest of her family. 

Each of us has to find our own endless loop and let it play when confronted with challenges.  I, too, am in it for the health.  I don’t want to be the wife and mother who didn’t care enough about herself to do everything possible to be able to enjoy my family.

How about you…what’s playing in your head?

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What happens in shared

I’m getting ready to head to a trade show in Las Vegas where I will be working in my supercollar® booth for three days.  The last time I worked a booth at a trade show was about 20 years ago, but I do remember the food part of it. 

When it’s your booth, you don’t want to miss any opportunities, so from 9 in the morning until about 6 in the evening, you plant yourself in that one 10x10 space and call it home.  Except for an occasional bathroom break, when you promise your booth mates that you’ll only be gone for five minutes, you stay put.

In the old days, staying put meant showing up with all kinds of candy bars and soda to bridge the gap between the early morning breakfast and dinner.  This time, it has to be different.  I’m already putting aside my granola bars that will travel with me, so I’m not paying a huge up charge for a similar item.

I will find a market and buy some fresh fruit and bottled water when I arrive. I’ll keep it cold in the ice bucket that comes with the room…ice is still free.  I learned from past experience that if you attempt to move anything out of the mini-refrigerator in the room to make space for your items, you get charged and have to spend too much time at the front desk undoing that move.

Weight Watchers taught me a valuable planning lesson.  It works when I’m home and it works when I’m away…and I get to lose weight in the process.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Round two...the cold

This morning, I turned the corner on my ankle issue.  I got at of bed, put my feet on the floor and didn’t wince.  The swelling seems to be going down, and my spirits are going up.  After eight days of hobbling around, I was getting really bored with myself.

But, it’s not all upside.  I’ve replaced the hobbling with a cold.  When it rains, it pours.  Now, I’m waiting for a few more days to pass so the cold heads out.  One positive thing about the cold is the fact that I’m not hungry.  I make myself eat and think that my training in eating healthy with fresh fruit and vegetables will serve me well. 

When I write these posts, I re-read the sentences as I go along.  Upon re-reading this post, I am officially stating that I recognize that I am whining, however there is a Weight Watchers lesson in all of this feeling sorry for myself.

Had I not joined and had over 50 weeks behind me, these two annoyances would have had me sitting on my couch eating ice cream and other assorted junk foods with the excuse that it makes me feel better.  Now, I know what makes me feel better…knowing that time passes, that I eat “the good stuff” and that I know I’m continuing to go in the right direction.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lost in space

I haven’t been going too far from home these days, and today wasn’t any different.  My husband had the day off and we headed to Stars Diner for lunch. That diner has such a huge menu that it’s always overwhelming.  So, I didn’t bother to open it.

There was a one- page list of daily specials, and today’s meal was an open face roast turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy.  I ditched the bread and the gravy, asked for all white meat turkey, and I was set.

After lunch, we came back home, and I decided to float in my 95 degree pool in the hopes that it would help my foot.  I have to admit that under water, I can walk quite well.  I’m thinking of signing up for the next NASA mission because I believe that space walking will also be easier than ground walking.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weight Watchers mini meeting

At yesterday’s meeting, one of the members brought up the fact that she was going out of town and was concerned about missing our meeting.  She has been at Weight Watchers for over nine months, has lost over 45 pounds and looks terrific.

That got me thinking about how important the support of the meeting leader and the members are to the success of each of us.  I have missed a few meetings over my 50 weeks due to travel.  I did attend one in Florida but other travel did not work well for finding a meeting…like on a cruise ship.

I wasn’t really worried about missing those meetings, knowing that I would keep up the tracking and play catch up the week I returned.  But, I get why some members do worry.
So, I came up with a solution.

As I was leaving yesterday’s session, I asked the concerned member when she was going to be gone and it turned out that I, too, will miss the same meeting.  I will be in Las Vegas and she will be on the East Coast.  I gave her my email address and suggested that we both “weigh-in” on the hotel scale and send emails to each other about our week.  It would be our own mini-meeting.  She’s “in” on the plan.

So, it goes to show that when there’s a will, there’s a way…and, that you do make some wonderful connections at a Weight Watchers meeting.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today's the day

It’s official.  The 50th week weigh-in is over and the report is…I gained .8 pounds for a total loss of 31.4 pounds during these first 50 weeks.  I absolutely don’t believe I really gained weight.  As a matter of fact, I probably lost some.  This isn’t about denial, it’s about my swollen ankle and foot.

I came home from the meeting and looked up swollen stuff to see if it equated to weight gain.  I figured that the fluid that has built up and caused my ankle to look like a sausage must weigh something, and it turns out it does.  The question remains of how much it’s worth.

This dilemma wouldn’t really be important if this wasn’t the 50th week.  I wanted an accurate reading on this milestone day and have decided that I didn’t get one.  It will all work out fine when the swelling goes away, but I will never get to know the exact weight loss on August 31st.

Okay, I am officially dwelling on this too much, and I’m done.  Stay tuned for the next 28.6 pounds of loss.  I’m not planning any sprained ankles during this next phase.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Almost # 50

This is the 315th post and the night before my 50th week at Weight Watchers.  I can’t believe how fast the time has flown.  It supports the fact that time passes anyway, so why not lose weight.

I have been trying to get on the Weight Watchers website all evening to use the points tracker, and, for the first time since joining, the site is down.  So, I will use the old-fashioned pen and paper approach until it’s up again, and then go back and enter it.  I haven’t missed tracking a meal and don’t intend on missing tonight’s dinner.

In about 10 hours, I’ll be on the scale celebrating whatever it says.  I look forward to continuing my weight loss journey and hope that you will continue to be my traveling partners. 

Thanks for the support.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Going for a walk...later

It was my first weigh-in last September.  One week down, 49 to go.  If you have followed this blog, you know that I got into my car to attend that meeting and discovered that the car wouldn’t start.

I had a choice…not to go and show up one week later or walk.  I chose the walk.  I had no idea how far I had to walk to get to the meeting, and I was wearing the wrong shoes.  I left my house at 9:15 for the 9:30 meeting, which would have worked if I were driving.  I arrived on foot at 10, and both of my feet were bleeding.  But, I made it.

Now, as I approach my 50th meeting on Tuesday, I have the opposite problem.  I can’t walk across my living room with a sprained ankle, so I won’t be walking to Weight Watchers.  This is a disappointment to me, as I have walked this route almost every week since I have been a member.  I was out there in the winter, even when it rained, and I was looking forward to celebrating my 50th week anniversary walking with my husband.

I have come a long way on this journey.  I was the one who would find every excuse in the book if it involved walking.  The car was my preferred mode of movement.  The good news is that I have many more weeks ahead of me to reach my new goal of 60 pounds by my 60th birthday. 

My ankle will heal, and I’ll be back on the trail.  Keep an eye out for me.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scooting to safety

Let’s just say that I’m glad that if it had to happen, it happened after I lost over 30 pounds or the results could have been much worse. 

Last evening, in my attempt to take out the garbage, I missed the one step outside my back door and landed in a heap on my concrete patio.  My husband was supposed to get home from work a few hours after I hit the ground, so I was alone with the two dogs and garbage strewn everywhere.

I now know that my male dog is loyal and tried to kiss me off the ground.  The female was loyal to the garbage and attempted to leave with the leftover fish container in her mouth.

I knew I had really hurt my right ankle and a glance at my left leg yielded the equivalent of the look of a kid who had fallen of a bike…skinned and bleeding knee and foot.  The dilemma was how to get inside and up off the ground.

I scooted along on my rear end until I was back in my bedroom.  Then, I was able to reach my iPhone on my bed and texted my husband, complete with pictures of both of my legs.  He is an EMT, so I wanted to know what he thought I should do next.  While waiting for his call, I called my sister in southern California and she read me the Mayo Clinic website advice for my situation.

The end of the story is this.  I scooted along the floor to drawer that houses our kitchen hand towels and then scooted to the freezer and got ice.  I scooted to the couch and after several attempts, pulled myself up, elevated my ankle and covered it with the ice pack.  Then, I was able to reach down, get my purse that always carries Tylenol, and take them using the leftover diet Coke that had been sitting next to me on the couch.

My husband called back, came home, brought frozen peas and re-iced my ankle, wrapped it in an ace bandage, and I went to bed.

So, like I said in the beginning of this post, it’s a good thing I lost weight.  I can almost guarantee that I would have broken my ankle with 30 pounds extra landing on it, and I certainly would have scooted a lot slower.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bon voyage wardrobe

How could this already be the last weekend of August?  I ask that question every year around this time, because it always seems that the time between June 1st and the end of August passes by faster than any other 12 weeks of the year. 

When it was sweltering hot earlier this week, I commented that those three days were the first real summer days of the year.  Now, I’m wearing a sweater and wondering if that was it for 2010.  The cooler weather thing still bugs me in the evenings because I enjoy sitting outside after dark. That’s a throw back from my life on the East Coast, where every evening was an outdoor one.

Soon, I’ll start looking at my Fall wardrobe…and donating it.  I know that all of it is too big now, so I have been glancing at the online retailers to see what’s “in” these days.  I’ve been “not in” for a long time because I didn’t enjoy buying new clothes in plus sizes. 

That ship has sailed. 

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

When is Oprah calling?

Imagine my surprise when my husband told me that he had stalled our Tivo on a Today Show story with the teaser “ Self proclaimed fatty undertakes a bulge battle…one author’s endeavor to lose 50 pounds in 50 miserable weeks.”

This happened yesterday, and I made a beeline to the TV to take a look at the guy, yes it’s a man, who wrote the new book, I’m with Fatty, Losing Fifty Pounds in Fifty Miserable Weeks.

As with many of us who are overweight, we turn to humor to cope.  The author, Edward Ugel, is no exception.  His interview with Matt Lauer was actually quite funny but his message was loud and clear.  He needed to lose weight because his health was in jeopardy. 

I read a short excerpt from his book after watching the interview and pulled the following two quotes that struck a chord with me.

I didn’t end up there because of my genes.  I didn’t end up there because I fell ill.  This wasn’t some bad hand of cards that I’d been dealt.  I was there because I wouldn’t stop eating.  I did it to myself.  It didn’t have to happen.

I wasn’t looking for a life-changing transformation. I didn’t want to go on Oprah in a bikini. I didn’t want to impress everyone at my twentieth high school reunion the following year.

Mr. Ugel nailed it as far as reasons go for my weight loss journey.  I haven’t read the book yet, so I don’t know how he lost the weight.  He seems to have had a miserable time while my almost 50 weeks has been far from it.  I enjoy Weight Watchers…the food, the planning and the people I have met along the way.

Maybe he’s just too young to appreciate the importance of his 50 weeks.  After all, he talks about his 20th high school reunion while my 40th high school reunion was last year.  By the way, if Oprah called to wear a bikini…he’d do it and so would I.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Girls' night out

It was Girls’ Night Out this evening, and we tried a new spot.  It used to be Izzy’s in Corte Madera and now is Brick & Bottle. 

I had no trouble picking my main course…petrale sole with mashed potatoes and snap peas…low in points and very tasty.  The only negative our foursome experienced was the sound level in the restaurant.  When it was Izzy’s, it was pretty loud, but now, it was so noisy that the people next to us changed tables in search of a quieter spot.  I don’t think they found one.

Now that food has taken a back seat to the social part of dining for me, it’s important to be able to hear the people with whom I am socializing.  That was not always the case this evening. 

Brick & Bottle gets one more chance.  I’ll try it with my husband and if I can hear him, then it will become a keeper.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lunch with a new friend

Week 49 has been logged into my online eTool and .4 pounds has been subtracted.  Total loss is 32.2 pounds and counting…down.

After my Weight Watchers meeting, my husband and I drove into Daly City to meet the daughter of one of our former employees who moved here from the Philippines two months ago.

Her mom worked for us for over 10 years, and we love her.  Three years ago, mom retired and went back to the Philippines and now her daughter has come here to recognize the American dream.

We have a favorite hamburger joint located very close to where we were going, so we picked up our new friend and introduced her to Joe’s Cable Car.  Back “in the day,” I would polish off a burger, onion rings and the best vanilla milk shake that money could buy. 

Today is no longer “the day” and I had a great 4- ounce burger, one onion ring, and a diet Coke.  It was still an excellent meal, and we got to show our friend a real American treat. 
I’m still full from my late lunch, so I will be staying slightly under my allotted points for the day.

Maybe, one giant fudge bar to top me off….

Talk to you soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

'Twas the night...

'Twas the night before weigh-in and all through the house…there is no more eating.  The kitchen closed at 8 p.m. and will not re-open until coffee time tomorrow morning. 

I have a big piece of leftover prime rib in my refrigerator from yesterday’s meal, but I wouldn’t touch it today because it was coated in sea salt.  I know better than to mess around with salt on the eve of my appointment with the scale.

So, I baked some chicken breasts, coated in thyme and black pepper, and had half a sweet potato and a dollop of cranberry sauce and called it a night.  It was actually quite good, but tomorrow night, that prime rib is coming back for an encore performance.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Prime rib time

After last evening at the Rutherford Grill, the birthday weekend was supposed to end today with a homemade prime rib dinner…one of my husband’s favorites.

I got into a bit of a quandary because I planned the meal to be served this evening, as a wrap up to a day of hanging out by and in the pool.  This morning, we got a call from some friends to go out to dinner for pizza and a movie and said yes to the invitation. 

So, what was I going to do with the prime rib?  Well, I decided to serve it for lunch.  I popped it into the oven about 11:30 a.m. and then floated around the pool until it was ready to come out.  The house smelled great while it was cooking and my periodic trips to the kitchen to check on it made me pretty excited to get “eatin.”

It was as good as it smelled, and I enjoyed every bite.  But, I was aware of our upcoming dinner date and made sure to hang onto enough points to enjoy that, too. 

We went to Mulberry Street Pizza before the movie, and because I know they make great homemade soup, instead of a slice, I had a bowl of carrot soup. It was the perfect way to end my eating day.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A birthday wish

Big day at our house…it’s my husband’s birthday.  The festivities began at 3:30 p.m. with the arrival of our son, Alex, who drove out from the city.  After the exchange of birthday greetings, we hopped into the car for our trip to Napa and dinner at one of my husband’s favorite restaurants, Rutherford Grill.

We didn’t tell him where we were going until we got into the car, but since he was driving, we knew that we needed to “spill the beans.”  He was pleased with the destination.

We had reservations at 6 p.m., and when we arrived, the place was hopping.  We were seated outdoors and enjoyed the warm Napa evening.  Although the restaurant is known for its ribs, which both Alex and my husband ordered, I had the special. Grilled sea bass and heirloom tomatoes were right up my alley and were outstanding.

I always love taking a road trip to Napa and vow, just like we did earlier this week in San Francisco, that we would do it more often.  I look forward to planning our next adventure.
Happy Birthday, Mark!

Talk to you soon.