Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bon me

It’s time to put the clothes in the suitcase, write the last of my lists and countdown the remaining hours until heading off for vacation. Yay!

It so much easier to leave town knowing that my son will be taking care of the dogs and the house. Things like stopping the mail, taking the garbage cans to the curb, not letting the voicemail system back up on itself are all non-events when Alex takes over.

I have one more roast to cook this evening, which will clean out the meat-keeper and leave Alex with leftover pork loin. When he gets around to reading my list, he’ll find that chicken in the freezer along with a couple of packages of ground beef. He should be Weight Watchers ready for healthy eating.

And, I will say good-bye to you for a while. If I can post, I will, but I’m not making any promises. Cruise ship Wi-fi may too expensive for hook-up, and you’ll have to wait for my report until I return. Or, if you really miss me, you can re-read the 164 postings before this one. Okay, you’re probably not missing me that much!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Countdown to fun

It’s countdown time. We’re heading to Ft. Lauderdale and meeting our cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas. We’re out of Novato on Friday and sailing on Saturday. I have begun my preparation for departure by creating “the lists.”

List number one is for my son, Alex, who is staying at our house with the dogs. It includes, as he says, everything he already knows. I feel much better repeating it. He doesn’t know, for example, that there is a whole chicken in the freezer for him. I think that’s important.

Then there is the list of what to pack. In order to pack it, I have to do laundry. So, I’m in the middle of a few loads of wash. And then there are the incidentals, like extra pairs of glasses and sunglasses, books I hope to read, and sunblock. Of course, there are the passports and tickets for everyone going on this trip…I have to remind my dad and sister to gather them together.

After re-reading this posting, I have decided that I am tired and need a vacation. Good thing I only have 36 hours to wait until I get one.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lost soaked

Yay, I got rid of the .8 pounds gain from last week plus .2 more…total of one pound down and overall 21.6 pounds in 23 weeks. Can’t say I’m not pleased with the progress.

I can say that walking the three miles to and from the Weight Watchers meeting was mighty wet. When we left, my husband, Alex and I, it was drizzling. I was wearing a water resistant jacket, and it kept me dry. The return was another story.

It was pouring and necessitated the use of the built-in rain hood that comes with the jacket. I forgot to mention that the jacket is actually my husband’s so it is a few sizes too large. As I made my way home, I was glad that we didn’t run into anyone we knew because the look was really not too flattering.

While I was trying to keep the hood out of my eyes, Alex was trying to keep his flip-flops on his feet. Yes, a man in his twenties doesn’t want to hear his mother tell him to dress for the rain, so he didn’t dress for the rain. He was a dripping mess when we reached the front door.

And speaking of the front door, we didn’t use it. We were all so wet that we had to go into the garage and drop our wet gear in the dryer and on hooks.

So, there you have it. My summary of the morning goes like this. Lost weight, got wet, was happy, the end.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Costco yogurt swirls are back

Another visit to Costco to pick up some odds and ends yielded an interesting piece of information on points. I really used to like the vanilla and chocolate yogurt swirl in the food court and hadn’t had one since last summer. Today, I decided I wanted one, but first I had to figure out the points.

So, I asked the server for the nutrition guide, which I know they keep behind the counter. I found my yogurt swirl and entered the calories, 390, the fat, zero, and the fiber, zero into my iPhone Weight Watchers app. The portion size is 12 ounces and the points are eight.

I turned in the nutrition guide and ordered my swirl but asked the server to fill it 75% because I only wanted six points. I got my yogurt exactly the way I wanted it and was thrilled.

Then, as I headed towards the main part of the store to do my shopping, carrying my yogurt, I ran into one of the members of my Weight Watchers Tuesday morning group. I was proud to share my new- found information with her.

But, I have to admit that for one fleeting moment, I imagined what would have happened if I had been eating the 900 –calorie chocolate covered ice cream bar. It would have been really hard to explain why I was eating the majority of my daily points on a stick.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

When onion dip is not a dip

It’s raining and I had lean ground beef in the refrigerator. There would be no outdoor grilling, so I started to look for a recipe that would let me cook the hamburgers in the oven. I am not a fan of frying them on the cooktop, because of the grease…both in the burgers and all over the cooktop.

I did find a simple recipe, but it was actually good. I had some dry Lipton onion dip mix in the pantry, combined it with the beef, formed the patties, dropped them in a baking dish with fresh carrots and potatoes and covered everything in foil. Thirty minutes at 350 degrees and dinner was ready.

Fast, low points, tasty and easy to clean up. My dream dinner is done.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weights and measures

Saturday night and not much is going on at my house. Olympics are in full swing, and we are watching the conclusion of the Women’s Super-G. I happened to notice that the information supplied on some of the skiers included their height and weight. One of the women is 6 feet and weighs 160 pounds.

I started having flashbacks to the Miss America pageant that I watched every year when I was growing up. I would focus in on the contestants’ heights and weights, sometimes forgetting to pay attention to anything else that was going on.

There is some connection between being overweight and studying women who are considered to be role models, whether it’s athletic role models or beauty queens. Instead of looking at height and weight charts in the doctor’s office, it’s much more interesting to actually see what a woman of my height but with an athlete or beauty queen’s body looks like on my television.

These TV women have to tell the truth about their weight in order to compete. Most of the women I know wouldn’t share their real weight with anyone, so it’s kind of fun to be “in the know" without really knowing these TV superstars.

Okay, I told you nothing was going on at my house.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The salmon dance

I dropped into Costco last evening on our way to dinner. Remember, last evening, Thursday, I was going out to celebrate finishing the supercollar® project and wondering if it would be really busy in the restaurants. I never did find out, because after Costco, my husband and I were too tired to go any further and went to KFC, got take-out and went home.

So this posting has two pieces of information. The first is that the KFC grilled chicken with a side of mashed potatoes (no gravy) has a total of six points and the chicken was pretty decent. I hated the mashed potatoes.

The second piece of information is back at Costco. My husband does not eat fish, any kind of fish. So, I never buy it because I don’t particularly want to cook two different meals, and I get concerned that the house will smell like fish.

But last evening, I passed by some salmon with a dollop of butter sitting on each of the pieces for $10 and it was something I could cook in its own tray in the oven in 20 minutes. That was enough of an incentive for me to try it out. I figured that I would cook it when he was working late and when I eat alone, which was tonight.

Not only was it delicious and easy to prepare, it was enough for two more meals. So, for about $3.50, I had a dinner that I would only have ordered in a restaurant and one which would have cost me at least six times more than I paid for it. I did remove the dollops of butter.

I’m doing a celebratory dance right now. Good thing nobody but the dogs can see me.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When brown is black and Thursday is Saturday

A few years ago, the color brown was considered the new black. I really didn’t embrace that concept and continued to wear my wardrobe staples that were and still are black. I like the color black. It goes with just about everything and as we all know, it’s slimming.

Now, I’ve discovered that Thursday is the new Saturday. That’s what they say…not too sure who they are. But, when my husband and I go out to dinner on Thursday evening, it seems to be busier than it used to be.

After a couple of weeks that can be called long and hard, the supercollars® are ready to ship out to HSN, and I’m ready to take a break from learning how to tag, bag, box, label, shrink wrap and palletize a lot of boxes. Between the paper cuts and the stiff fingers, I’m yelling “uncle.” Of course, it is totally worth it, but I am tired.

We are going out to celebrate the culmination of all this manual labor. We have no reservations and hope that the Thursday “rush” won’t shut us out of a quiet meal someplace near home. I can guarantee that if it does, there will be no cooking at my house, and we will go hungry.

Okay, a little melodramatic but it still could happen.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Olympic moment

I have been watching bits and pieces of the Olympics as I work on the supercollars®. Sometime this evening, I heard an announcer say that in order to maintain the stamina needed to compete at this level, the athletes need to eat 5000 calories a day.

And, this explains how I gained so much weight over the years. I think I was eating like an Olympic athlete but forgot to train like one. Just think, if I converted the calories to points, it would be about 100 points a day, or four times what I am allotted. That’s a lot of food!

Of course, if I was in training, I would get to use the activity point tracker and wipe out all those extra points. Who am I kidding…I am pleased when I get three activity points for walking to Weight Watchers. That’s three miles…so in order to get rid of the extra points, I would have to walk something like 75 miles.

I should stop watching the Olympics. There’s too much math involved.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In it for the long haul

Uh-oh…weigh-in day yielded an .8-pound gain. I walked to the meeting knowing that it was going to turn out that way because I own my new scale. I only use it one day a week, before and after my Weight Watchers meeting. The before is to get a sense of what will happen when I get weighed-in officially, and the after is to see if my scale is calibrated correctly.

Even before stepping on my own scales, I knew that it would probably register the gain. I ate my Valentine’s Day dinner at a lovely restaurant on Sunday evening and I used a recipe that called for a heavy dose of Kosher salt on Monday evening…and that’s on the heels of several evenings of take-out food while working on the supercollar® project. I think I am preserved in salt and need to go back to my salt-free existence.

I will be walking a bit more this week as the forecast calls for some beautiful spring weather. That will also help. My Weight Watchers buddy Nora lost two pounds this week and attributes some of it to her daily walks. I need to follow in her footsteps.

As usual, the tiny gain is not anything to worry about. It’s my third one in 22 weeks. I’m in for the long haul, so I look forward to next week’s weigh-in.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Time is passing...weight will be dropping

Today was a holiday, but it didn’t really feel like one. My husband was working, so I used the time to get work done…not very exciting but necessary.

I did take time out to read somebody else’s blog about losing weight. The woman who popped up somewhere in my reading has lost 96 pounds in 46 weeks. I thought that her progress was impressive. The thing that sounded familiar to me was her revelation that she really had another 50 pounds to lose but set up her first major goal at 100 pounds.

When I set up my plan to lose 50 pounds in 50 weeks, I knew that I had an additional 20 pounds to lose. But, I felt it was important to bite off a chunk I could handle when I committed to myself that I was going to lose weight. Now that I have lost over 21 pounds, I have 50 pounds more to go.

That’s okay, I’ll just add 20 weeks to my original game plan and before I know it, the time will pass…just like the first 22 weeks, as of weigh-in tomorrow, have passed.

Stay tuned for the weekly report.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A five-star Valentine's Day

A wonderful Valentine’s Day with my husband is coming to a close. We started the day at La Boulangerie in Novato where the coffee is served in gigantic cups. Just the thing I needed to get my engine running.

We made time for a walk and enjoyed the first hints of spring as we passed by the flowering trees in the neighborhood. I have to admit that 65 degrees and February still don’t sink into this New Yorker’s brain, but I’m not complaining. I don’t think that there would have been a walk in cold, snowy Manhattan if I still lived there.

And, the big finale came this evening with dinner at my favorite place, John Ash in Santa Rosa. The restaurant was adorned in red, white and pink balloons, roses, and twinkling white lights. A very romantic backdrop to a delicious meal of celery root and truffle oil bisque followed by filet mignon, mashed potatoes and baby carrots.

I saved a lot my points for this evening and indulged in a small scoop of homemade caramel gelato and a few bites of lemon angel food cake. Yum!

It’s time to call it a night…Valentine’s Day 2010 goes down as a winner.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lost weight...saved $80

I had to get out of the house today, as I have been pretty much a prisoner all week. With the exception of getting out to my Weight Watchers meeting on Tuesday, I have been indoors working on my supercollars® and watching the days turn into nights and back into days again.

My husband was working, so I really didn’t have a plan. I got in the car and drove to Vintage Oaks, home of Costco, Target and a bunch of other stores. I decided to pick through the racks at Marshall’s just in case something jumped out at me. I was amazed when it did.

Because of the weight I have lost, I was able to buy a bathing suit that I had seen at Nordstrom’s for $109…except it was $29.99 at Marshall’s. I can now fit into a lot more items than 21.4 pounds ago, and the bathing suit is one of them.

I’m not sure which part I was more excited about, the price or the fact that I could fit into it. Doesn’t matter…it’s in my closet now and waiting to debut on the upcoming cruise later this month.

Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow!

Talk to you soon.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Preventing bad dreams

I’m done eating take-out for quite a while. Today, everybody involved in production of the supercollar® left for the long weekend, and my house became a silent cave where I hid from the world.

When it came time to make dinner, I was so over pizza, Chinese food and Taco Bell that I had to eat Greek yogurt, fresh raspberries and a couple of granola bars. Even though I exercised portion control on all of that brought-in stuff, the combination of too much salt and too much grease has made me feel “cruddy.”

I loved my dinner. It tasted clean and light. I didn’t leave the table with instant bloat. And, I believe that I will sleep better because I had some wild dreams earlier this week that I attribute to the strange meal program that had entered my body.

Speaking of dreams, that’s on the agenda…right now.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pizza and Chinese food...heat and repeat

This week has been the most challenging eating experience since joining Weight Watchers. Because I’m in the throes of production of the supercollar® and running up against shipping deadlines, I have had no time to do anything but order deliveries of food from any restaurant that will deliver to my house. I have quite a few people at my house at all times of the day and night, so cooking for them isn’t an option.

Last evening, we had Chinese food. The evening before that, we had pizza. Today’s lunch was leftovers of pizza and Chinese food. It’s an endless cycle of removing Styrofoam containers and aluminum foil wrapped slices from my refrigerator and reheating things, followed by running the dishwasher so that we have clean plates. I’m not enjoying most of the food because I’m not paying much attention to it while I eat it. I miss fresh cooked by me meals which will resume tomorrow.

But, sometimes you just have to “roll with it.” This is one of those times. I have been very careful with portion control. I had two small slices of pizza for dinner two nights ago and ordered chicken and asparagus plus white rice for dinner last evening. I divided the Chinese food into three portions and ate the second third for lunch today.

No more time to chat…back to work for me.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

150 postings...150 days

Today I am writing the 150th posting to my blog and thinking back to the days leading up to deciding to publicly discuss my weight loss. If you have followed me from the beginning, you know that the Academy Award nominated movie Julie and Julia was my inspiration for blogging.

I had not tackled blogging before this “project” but I do write non-fiction, “how-to” books and articles. So, telling people how I am working through losing 50 pounds in a forum that is free and easily accessible seemed the right way to do it.

I am asked if I ever have a day when I am faced with nothing to write about…not often is my answer, but it does happen. It’s just like writer’s block when working on a book. It’s not really that you have nothing to say; it’s more about being in the state of mind to say it.

This week, for example, I am knee deep in preparing to launch the supercollar®, my company’s dog collar with a built-in retractable leash, on HSN in March. My mind is focused on the many steps involved in taking a new product to market, especially when the market is the 93 million households that get HSN.

All of these months of being on Weight Watchers help me to go on autopilot with my eating. But, it would be easier for me to write this blog about supercollars® rather than losing weight because that’s what I am thinking about most of the day…and night.

And now it’s back to work on supercollars®. No rest for the weary, but excited, entrepreneur.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

21.4 pounds lost in 21 weeks...loving it!

Weigh-in day, week 21, and 1.2 pounds lost. For those of you who keep track with me, the total is 21.4 pounds. I am pleased with my loss this week and believe it is due, in part, to a readjustment.

This week, I paid careful attention to weighing my food. I think that after five months of being on the program, it’s easy to think you know the amount of food you are eating just by eyeballing it. And I think that you may be wrong. I was.

By readjusting my eyes to the correct portion size, I know that my point tracker was more accurate. I wasn’t that far off, but I think that if I kept going without using my food scale, I would have eventually reached a multi-week plateau.

I will spot- check my portions every week to prevent “the slide” back to thinking that I can evaluate the correct weights of all foods. It only takes an extra few seconds but clearly is worth it.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bite size brownies

Let’s talk about Super Bowl Sunday. Now that I have recovered from not writing my posting yesterday, I can focus on one of the biggest eating days of the year. My husband and I were invited to a party that we have attended for many Super Bowls past. We are always happy to be invited back.

The day began with the decision to take a walk before we left for the party. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and we headed out for 45 minutes to get a little exercise. When we returned, it was time to put together the “thing” we were bringing to the party…bite size brownies iced with cream cheese frosting. Both the brownies and the frosting were created in the gourmet kitchen of Safeway.

It’s really easy to pop an entire brownie in your mouth while frosting it, so that’s why I didn’t do either. My husband was the designated dessert guy and I stayed clear. I have to admit, however, that I opened the refrigerator to make lunch and saw all of them sitting on a platter and for one second my hand began to head towards the little guys. But, I came to my senses and ignored them.

The party hosts barbecued a turkey, so I made it through the four hours of our visit unscathed. A helping of raw vegetables and my indulgence in half of one deviled egg did the trick for me.

I knew that I was going home to the Super Bowl commercials since we always TIVO the game and then fast forward to each commercial for a review and our commentary. Of course, we do that alone since most of party guests were way more interested in the game. Not me…after years of watching football I will admit that I really don’t understand how the game is played.

Talk to you soon.

Super Bowl Apology

Was it the drinking? Or, perhaps it was the extreme “pigging-out” on Super Bowl Sunday that caused it. Okay, since I don’t drink and there was no overeating at the big game, I have to fall on my sword at 7 a.m. Monday morning. I just plain forgot. It had to happen eventually and yesterday was the day. It was supposed to be the 147th posting of my blog…one for every day since I began writing it on September 21, 2009. If I add six days to that number, it equals the number of days I have been on Weight Watchers.

It didn’t happen. I woke up this morning remembering what I didn’t do yesterday. I didn’t write a posting. I now remember what it feels like to “cheat” on Weight Watchers. The guilt, a quick moment of rationalization …I was busy, I was having a good time at the party, I was tired…you know the drill.

But, really, I just plain went to bed without writing it. So, just as I would do if I messed up a day on the program, I’ll get back on my writing horse and post this blog. And, to make up for missing one, I’ll write another one later today. Then, I’ll be squared away.

Sorry folks, I made a mistake. We all do.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

When breakfast turns into brunch

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip breakfast. How many times have you heard statements about breakfast in your lifetime? I know that I have heard them more times than I have heeded them.

Now that I am a member of Weight Watchers, I do eat breakfast every day and actually look forward to it. But in the first month or so after joining, I was having difficulty with the whole concept. I would get out of bed around 7 a.m. and make my breakfast…but I wasn’t really hungry. I didn’t have fun eating it.

I figured out that my body clock is set a bit differently than others. I frequently eat dinner after 8 p.m. so everything is pushed forward a bit. My solution to this dilemma is to eat breakfast when I am hungry, which is between 10 and 11 in the morning...more like brunch for most people. My lunch shows up between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. And late night dinners are the norm.

Once I accepted that I worked better on my own schedule of eating when hungry, even if the rest of the world is eating breakfast at 7, I started having fun eating it.

And now it’s time to begin cooking a roast for dinner. We are eating at 9 this evening. Safe bet I won’t be hungry when I wake up tomorrow.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Self-restraint...with a pizza

Ever since I’ve known my husband, which is 19 years, we have enjoyed one pizzeria more than any other one in Marin, Lo Coco’s in Terra Linda. My husband started going there when he was 16, so he has another 12 years of history with the place.

Tonight, on his way home from work, he stopped at Lo Coco’s and picked up a pizza to go. As I warmed the oven for its arrival, I have to admit that I was a bit afraid of having it in the house. It is one of the foods that could be considered a trigger for me, but at least I was aware of it.

I had one slice. I walked over to the box, put that slice on a plate and ate it very slowly. It was delicious. I never ventured into the kitchen again this evening, and I made sure that my husband wrapped the leftovers. I just didn’t trust myself.

The trigger wasn’t released. I took every precaution to keep it in check, and it worked. I am the mistress of my destiny. Okay, a little melodramatic, but at least I didn’t have a second slice.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just what the doctor ordered

Today was my annual visit to the doctor. I don’t really mind the check-up and always schedule it early in the year to get it over with before forgetting to do it at all. And this was the first time that I can remember that I didn’t get asked to get on the scale. How weird is that?

In the past, I hated standing on that thing in the middle of the hall while other people wandered by. I was careful to move all the weights to zero when I was done. My doctor did notice I had lost weight and was pleased. My blood pressure, which has never been a problem, was even better than usual. I was proud.

I am seeing and feeling the benefits of weight loss. I left the doctor’s office with a clean bill of health. That was the original reason for joining Weight Watchers. I wanted to be healthier. It’s working.

Time to get those seven hours of sleep…just what the doctor ordered.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My new friend

How did I reward myself for another 10 pounds off? Yes, it was time to do that again, and my husband and I went to Costco for the big gift. After at least 20 years of not owning one of these, we bought…a scale.

It was an exciting moment in time when I stepped on the scale this morning to see if it matched my weigh-in from yesterday. It did, right down to the decimal point.

Scales look a lot “sexier” now than they did 20 years ago. Mine is clear and contemporary and the digital read out is just that, digital. Sure beats those weird little lines between the numbers that were on my scales of olden times. I never really could see where the pointer was pointing and mostly rounded down to make myself feel better.

So, I have joined most of the rest of the world with my new acquisition. I’m not going to go crazy and step on it every time I pass by. I am going to hop on once a week, after my Weight Watchers weigh-in to make sure it is a match. And then, after I have lost all the weight, I will have made friends with it and won’t be afraid to use it in conjunction with my monthly meeting weigh-ins.

It’s good to have a plan…and a new friend.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Weigh-in day...20 pounds gone

Do you remember when you were a child how much fun it was to look forward to a birthday or holiday gift? Ripping off the wrapping paper and the bows, removing the cover of the box, allowing the gift to emerge and the surprise to be revealed was so much fun.

I’ve started to look in the mirror and see myself like the holiday package. I am slowly taking off the wrapping and the bows and peaking under the cover of the box. I lost .4 pounds at weigh-in today and passed the 20-pound weight loss mark, coming in at 20.2 pounds in 20 weeks. I wonder what I will look like when I have lost the 50 pounds. I can’t remember myself that way, but I am sure looking forward to it.

Time to close the box cover and head to the bed covers.

Congrats to Nora for her 10% award!

Talk to you soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

January monthly wrap-up…15 more tips to stay on track

Another month under my belt and another collection of things I learned.

1. 45% of all resolutions are focused on losing weight and getting more fit but only 6% of all resolutions actually are accomplished.
2. Keep it simple.
3. Think about a goal that is meaningful.
4. Take personal inventory.
5. Join a group.
6. Do the best you can every moment.
7. Identify and own up to what needs to change. Focus on what your unconscious motivations might be for eating and address them.
8. Copy the characteristics of successful weight losers.
9. Eat a healthy breakfast every day.
10. Weigh yourself at least once a week.
11. Watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
12. Exercise, on average, about one hour a day (doesn’t have to be continuous).
13. Write down your goals in weekly parts to make them less overwhelming.
14. Increase your daily “fidget factor.” Pace around when you talk on the phone, park your car a little further from the office or grocery store, or march in place when watching TV commercials.
15. Don't try to lose weight for an occasion…even if the occasion is having other people notice you have lost weight. It should be done for you.