Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Great friends equal great times

It’s really nice to go on vacation with another couple when everybody likes to do the same things. That’s how it is with our friends Elaine and Craig who are with us in Aspen this week.

Today, they got up early and went to the health club to workout while my husband and I sat around nursing our cups of coffee and reading the newspaper. Then, we all got cleaned up and headed into town for a day of walking around and window- shopping.

We enjoyed lunch in a little “hole in the wall” that we have dined in for over 10 years. We topped it off with hot chocolate at the base of Aspen Mountain while watching the skiers fly by.

This evening, we tried a new restaurant that opened three months ago located about 10 minutes from our place. It was fabulous. I had saved 12 points for my dinner and enjoyed a medley of vegetables including a huge pile of grilled asparagus. Yum!

It’s expected to snow 12 inches tonight, which is great because we are going out to lunch tomorrow in a horse and carriage. We can’t wait.

In the meantime, it’s beauty rest time.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bye, Bye Florida

I’m done, done, done. My HSN segments ended yesterday, and I hopped a plane for Colorado to meet up with my husband last evening. By the time I got to where I was going, I had been awake for 36 hours and that’s why you didn’t hear from me yesterday. But, I was thinking about you.

Today’s another day, and it was spent relaxing. We are vacationing with another couple and the men went skiing while the women wore pajamas and chatted until 4 o’clock. It was heavenly.

This evening, we headed out to dinner at a favorite place that serves a three course fixed price meal as long as you eat it a 6 o’clock. Although it is extremely early for us, the savings on the meal made up for it.

I was really hungry when we arrived at that meal, in part because my eating pattern over the last couple of days has been weird. I stayed within my points but the times I was eating were a bit crazy. By this evening, I was somewhere between east coast time, mountain time and pacific coast time, so there was general confusion in my body.

After dinner, it was only 8 o’clock, and we had to decide whether to go to a club and listen to music of go home and “crash.” You should have figured out by now that we didn’t go the club, and my eyes are already heavy from my day of doing nothing.

HSN was a success, I’m worn out and bedtime is imminent.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's time to debut on HSN

When you are doing live TV, you want to be in tip-top shape. Well, tonight’s the night for my HSN product launch of the supercollar® and I am sitting in my hotel room watching the pouring rain and counting down the hours until I need to head over to the studio for hair and makeup.

What I haven’t shared is the dicey days leading up to and including today. It began on Wednesday morning, as I left home for this trip. I woke up with a cold. I had the sore throat and the dry eyes as I flew out of San Francisco. Then, twenty minutes before landing in Tampa, my left ear felt like it was going to explode.

When I get a cold, the natural progression is sore throat, clogged head and ears, a non-stop cough and laryngitis…usually in that order. Well, I could deal with first three problems with Sudafed, but incessant coughing, or worse, no voice, for a live program was not going to happen.

I have spent the last four days mostly in bed, with the exception of meeting I had to attend, eating healthy (which I do anyhow because of Weight Watchers) and getting a lot of sleep. It seems to have held the cough and laryngitis off, which is great. My left ear is still crackling, but I can work with that.

As the saga continues, I bring you to last evening when I kept waking up because my right knee hurt. I have no idea why, but when I got out of bed this morning, it was so painful that I couldn’t put weight on it. Oh great, I thought, I’m not coughing but I am now limping.

Panicked, I began with Advil and a call to my husband for suggestions. We both thought I should try to walk if off. And this is where Weight Watchers saved me yet again.

Because I have been walking a few miles every week, I hobbled out the front door of the hotel and just kept going until I worked whatever was going on in my knee out of my knee. It took one hour, but it’s gone. Not only don’t I limp anymore, but I got three activity points out of the deal.

So, now you know what is going on behind the scenes of my TV performance. Tune in HSN at 11 p.m. PST (2 a.m. EST) and watch me in action!

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Skype...the best part of my day

It’s 28 hours until airtime on HSN. I’m trying to get as much rest as possible because I am not used to doing live television at 2 a.m., which it will be in Florida when I launch the supercollar®.

I am also eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and, like California; Florida has plenty of choices all year long. It’s so great to be on Weight Watchers and know that I can eat those things without worrying about using too many points. I’m a happy camper.

I look forward to seeing my husband each evening when he gets home from work. Yes, I can see him thanks to the wonder of Skype, which allows me to talk and see him on my computer from 3000 miles away. I even get to talk to the dogs, who don’t really get how my voice and face are in a room but they can’t play with me.

And now it’s time for Skype...the best part of my day.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Room service...healthy eating

Tonight, after a busy day of putting the finishing touches on my HSN presentation, I came back to my hotel room and decided that room service was the way to go for dinner. I don’t have a rental car, so the choices of where to eat are limited to getting in the elevator and going to the hotel restaurant or dialing the phone and having it come to me.

As I studied the room service menu, I started thinking back to the many trips I have taken over almost 40 years of business travel. I rarely ordered room service, as I looked forward to trying new restaurants in new places. But, when I did, I ordered more food than I would have ordered at a table.

It is really easy to fall into that trap. With all the time you want to study the menu, nobody asking you if your are ready to order, and nobody watching you eat, ordering multiple courses and multiple desserts is not a foreign concept to me.

Ah, how Weight Watchers has changed my old habits. I ordered the fresh fish, salmon, with rice and asparagus. I made sure to request that the breadbasket not appear with the meal. And, I ordered no dessert. The meal showed up in 30 minutes and was actually pretty tasty.

Time to go back to TV, the only other thing I have on tonight's agenda.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ask and you will receive...eventually

We have discussed asking for what you want when dining out rather than just accepting whatever is on the menu as the only way to successfully tackle our eating choices. I am a firm believer in that approach. I am careful to be respectful when substituting one menu item for another and don’t go overboard in my requests.

Taking care of yourself needs to be a priority, and last evening, when I checked into my hotel, I got to experience that first hand with my room. I approached the hotel desk person with a big smile and greeting. It was close to midnight, the lobby was empty and I was tired. I mentioned how nice it would be to have a room that looked at something “pretty” as I was staying at the hotel for six days.

I then proceeded to the room on the second floor of a nine- story building. I opened the shades to see my “pretty” view and found a gigantic flat roof that was even with my windows. Never mind how ugly that was, because it was, I didn’t feel safe. It was the equivalent of staying in a first floor motel room, which I don’t do either if I am alone.

So, I left my luggage in the room, went back to the desk, and explained that the safety issue was a deal breaker for me, and I needed to change rooms. I also told her that the view from the window was far from “pretty.” She told me that there was only one room in the hotel left and it was a smoking room.

I now was faced with the lesser of two evils…my safety versus my health. I chose the smoking room with the caveat that I would move, yet again, in the morning to a non-smoking room once people started checking out.

I never unpacked my clothes because the room smelled that bad. I couldn’t open the windows because they are permanently shut, so I went to bed and waited for this morning to get out of there.

And, as of two visits to the front desk to get it to happen, I am now in a non-smoking room…one floor above the room I started with over the roof. But at least it’s higher up, so I’m done moving around.

Based upon this saga, it should be easy to ask for a vegetable instead of pasta substitution the next time I’m in a restaurant.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Can a day have more than 24 hours?

After spending the day crossing the country, I am now in Tampa, Florida. I can’t figure out if this post counts as a posting for March 23, which it still is back home, or the 24th, which it now is in my hotel room. Either way, I’m just glad to be off of the plane.

On this trip, I figured out that when you travel and get up relatively early to go to the airport, the day has too many hours in it. I ate breakfast early, for me, at 8:00 a.m., so by the time I got to the airport and checked in, it was 11:30 and I was hungry. I bought a turkey sandwich and ate in on the plane at about noon.

Then, I changed planes in Houston, three hours later and I was back to hungry. Over the last three months, I have been in the Houston airport three times. The first time I found the best Nestlé’s Tollhouse cookie counter with a wonderful chocolate chip cookie. I bought one on that trip, and on the next trip, and again, today. It was all factored into the “master plan” of points.

When I arrived at the hotel in Tampa, it was three hours later than when I ate the cookie, and I was starving. But, it was midnight and the restaurant was closed. So I ended up ordering from room service, which only had three choices. The best one for my remaining points was a chicken Caesar salad. I got rid of the dressing.

And there you have it. It’s 1 a.m., and after a quick call to my husband back at home with the dogs, I will call it a day…or a night.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

On a roll...two more pounds gone

Weigh-in day. But, you should know that by now. If it’s Tuesday and I’m in town, I’m at my Weight Watchers meeting. I’m going to cut to the chase this evening because I have to finish packing for my trip to Florida.

I lost two pounds this week for a total of 26.2 pounds in 27 weeks. And, my son, Alex, has lost 20.6 pounds since joining 24 weeks ago. Yay us!!!

I sat in the front row with my son and my WW friends, Nora and Scott. After I left the meeting, I figured out that our little row of four people has lost 100 pounds. Scott has been there the longest and lost the most… today he celebrated 30 pounds lost in 30 weeks. I’m excited for all of us.

That’s it for this evening. Don’t forget to tune in HSN on Sunday evening, March 28th, at 11:00 p.m. to check out the launch of my company’s product, supercollar®, the only dog collar with a built-in retractable leash.

And, for comparison, you can check out Color Splash on HGTV on Saturday, the 27th at 5:30 p.m. where you will see me before I lost 26.2 pounds. It’ll be just like a before and after moment!

Talk to you soon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Follow me to HSN

I’m getting ready to leave town on Wednesday for Florida. It’s time to head to HSN (Home Shopping Network) to launch my company’s product, supercollar®. List making has begun, as my husband will be at home with the dogs, and thoughts of what to pack are running through my head.

This trip involves a tricky wardrobe selection. My customary uniform of black clothing is unacceptable for television. White clothes are also unacceptable, clearly proving that there is not an understanding that a woman of a certain size doesn’t even own too many white outfits.

That left me with a visit to Macy’s to find the preferred colors…blue, pink, yellow, etc. I now have a rainbow of choices and have to bring them with me in order to let the professionals decide what works best. The one thing I wouldn’t do is to buy pants in any other color but black. I may have lost 24 pounds, but I sure as heck know where I carry my weight.

As I told you in a previous posting, I am pleased to be shopping in the “regular” rather than plus size department. I did have many more choices for my TV appearance by visiting multiple women’s designers. Not everything fit because designers all cut their clothes differently, but enough stuff worked that I was able to feel good about my choices.

Now I’ll leave it to you to decide. How did I do? You’ll have to tune in, or TIVO, my HSN appearance on Sunday evening, March 28, at 11:00 p.m. PST (2:00 a.m. EST for my East Coast readers). I will show up somewhere in the hour called Pet Solutions. I’m a Comcast customer, and it’s channel 11 on my TV in Novato.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The buddy system

It’s Sunday and we got our walk in….barely. After a busy day of going to open houses looking for potential homes for my sister, we got home about 5:00 p.m. and decided to sit down for a few minutes. Don’t do that if you think you are going to actually get back off the couch and go for a walk.

I dozed off and when I awoke, it was 6:00 and the walk was getting ready to be a figment of my imagination. But, luckily, my husband gave me the necessary kick in the “you know what” to get me up and out. And, with the help of longer days, it wasn’t dark out.

We weren’t gone for very long, 45 minutes, but we did walk just under two miles. Not bad considering I almost didn’t go at all. It’s great for me to have the buddy system when it comes to exercise. As easy as it is for me to follow the Weight Watchers program when it comes to eating, I have never been one to exercise and at 58 years old know that I am not going to become an overnight athlete.

Time for my post -exercise Advil.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gone fishin' at Joe's

If you live in Marin, you know Marin Joe’s. Any restaurant that has been in business, in the same place, for over 50 years is doing something right. My husband has been going there since he was born, and I found it before I found him when I moved to Marin from New York City.

So, tonight we went to dinner there. When we lived in Tiburon, we averaged three or four visits a month. The drive was short and Joe’s serves dinner late into the evening…our preferred dining time. Now that we live in Novato, we have gotten lazy and don’t make the trip to Corte Madera for dinner too often and don’t eat out as much, either.

I forgot what I was missing until I sat at the counter, because, as always, the restaurant was jammed and we got to watch the chefs prepare endless combinations of meals. It is the free entertainment that comes with every counter dinner.

I chose the fresh halibut, something I have never had at Joe’s. In the old days, before Weight Watchers, I would order ravioli, a giant hamburger, or if I was felt like splurging, a steak and fries. I have never ordered fish in the 21 years I have been eating there.

The halibut was fantastic. It was grilled on the mesquite grill and came with sides of mixed vegetables and roasted potatoes. I was totally smitten with the whole experience.

No more excuses about the drive from Novato to Corte Madera…we’re going back and I’m going fishing.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

One, two, three...spring

I want this warm weather to last. I think that it makes such a difference in my attitude when I wake up to a sunny day and know it’s going to get even better as the hours progress. I also think that it’s easier to be on Weight Watchers when you can spend more time outdoors enjoying the spring weather.

Here are a few things that happen to me, as the days get longer:

1. There is less temptation to look in the refrigerator just to see if anything has changed in there since the last time I looked. That is something I do when it’s cold and gloomy because I eventually get bored if I’m stuck in the house. We all know what could happen next in that scenario.

2. I start trying on my lighter weight clothing and look thinner just because it’s less bulky. Of course, I’m now 24 pounds thinner since last year’s try on, so I am pretty jazzed about it.

3. I rev up the outdoor barbecue again and let the grilling commence. Okay, that’s a lie. I’m afraid of the outside barbecue, and my husband revs it up. But, the results are yummy and the cleanup is even better.

I’m not getting carried away with this list yet because there is always the chance that Mother Nature will pull the “old switcheroo” and send us back a winter surprise. But, for the time being, I’m heading to bed with a smile on my face because I saw tomorrow’s weather forecast.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Color my plate healthy

Tonight, my dinner plate was so full of food that my meal actually hung over the sides. And, it was a 12” plate. Amazing, that with all of that food, the point value was a mere 7.5 points and the colors were magnificent.

Let me explain. I was doing a refrigerator/pantry clean out and cooked up fresh carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus and mushrooms. I also added whole cranberry sauce, sliced tomatoes, and for my protein, a three- ounce boneless pork chop.

When it all got piled on the plate, there was actually a “double decker” layer of vegetables…the mushrooms ended up underneath the carrots. It was like finding the prize in the Cracker Jack’s box.

It’s not even spring yet, and I’m enjoying a medley of fresh vegetables. Can you imagine how big my plate will have to be when corn is in season!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The votes are in and pork loses

Did you ever plan a meal, and nobody wanted it? Tonight, I planned on making pork chops until the overwhelming look of boredom came over the family’s faces. If my husband and son weren’t into it, then I wasn’t making it…for them.

The plan was that they would order a Red Boy pizza, and I would still cook the original meal for myself. That was a good plan until the pizza delivery man appeared, the pizza smelled wonderful, and I got lazy.

That’s the great thing about Weight Watchers. I didn’t have to re-energize and make pork chops for me. I had enough points left in my day to have two small slices with the group. Clean-up was a breeze.

Tomorrow, no matter how boring those pork chops appear to be, we are eating them.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Extracting a Butterball

Today was weigh-in day and week 26. And today, with a loss of .6 pounds, I have lost 24 pounds. All I could think about was the Butterball turkeys my mother used to buy at holiday time. They were usually 24 pounds. I tried to imagine the turkey stuck to some part of my body and then realized how heavy that thing was when we used to haul it from the oven to the table. Glad I’m not carrying that turkey around on me anymore.

I also hit the stores today and bought a new pair of pants. Imagine my delight when I could re-enter the world of regular sizes. I have spent the last several years visiting the plus size area, especially for pants. No more of that and so much more to choose from…it could get expensive!

I’m getting ready for my television appearance, with my new pants, next week. You can watch me launch the supercollar® on HSN (Home Shopping Network) on Sunday evening, March 28th at 11:00 p.m. here in California and think of me in Florida where it will be 2:00 a.m. Just another reason I am pleased that I started Weight Watchers 26 weeks ago.

Time to model my new pants for my family.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie club members noticed

Last evening was Movie Club, the sixth one after throwing my hat in the ring and declaring that I was going to lose fifty pounds in fifty weeks…and write about it. Just like Julie in Julie and Julia, our Movie Club pick in September, my blog was going to make me accountable to myself.

Anyone who cared to follow was an added benefit for me. Since beginning my journey, over 4000 viewers have taken a look, and for that, I say, thank you.

When I arrived at the home of the Movie Club host, I was greeted with a “hi, skinny.” Now, let me tell you that I’m far from skinny, but I wondered in a past posting when people would actually notice that I had lost weight. The bigger you are to start with, the more you need to lose to be noticed. I guess the magic number was over 20 pounds.

I can’t pretend that I wasn’t a bit jazzed to hear it. But, keeping it in perspective, it doesn’t really matter if others notice. When I had lost the first few pounds and nobody could tell…I could. I was proud of the fact that I was doing it. I could feel the difference when I got out of bed in the morning. I knew I was healthier from one day to the next.

Tomorrow is another weigh-in day. I still think about the weeks ahead, 24 of them, as a good thing…lots of time to reach my goal. I don’t think about the pounds. It’s nice to know they are coming off, but I’m not fixated on the actual weight loss. It happens if I spend the time enjoying the journey.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A sunny six point activity

It was a gorgeous day in Novato today… the perfect day to take a long walk with my husband, and that’s exactly what we did. We started out with a destination, Starbucks, which is about 15 minutes more walking than my usual walk to Weight Watchers.

My husband now accompanies me on my walk to all my Tuesday morning meetings and drops me off. He then continues on to Starbucks for a cup of coffee and returns 45 minutes later to meet up with me again.

I wanted to see where he spends those 45 minutes, and today was my day to do it. When we arrived at our destination, I really had no desire for coffee. It was 72 degrees outside, and I was in the mood for a cool drink. So I found an orange smoothie that was 180 calories, no fat and no fiber. I knew that it was roughly three points, and I was sold.

We are now back home after two hours “out and about.” Subtracting the Starbucks stop and visiting one open house en route, I logged six activity points for my effort. More importantly, I had my husband all to myself for a sunny Sunday in Marin. Yay!

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Baggy jeans be gone

Today, I put on a pair of jeans that were the newest ones that I own…but purchased about a month before I joined Weight Watchers. I thought they were pretty cute when I bought them, and they are the only pair of jeans that I own.

Although I wore them all day in my house, I can’t wear them in public. You see, I can now pull them off without opening the button. What that means is that they are so baggy that I feel like I have forgotten to zip them up, and I spent the day grabbing at them to make sure they were still there.

By now you can hear the excitement in my voice as I write this posting. All of this pants stuff is great news. I love the thought of buying new jeans in a smaller size. I’m not sure when I will head to the store to look around, but I think the time is coming soon.

As I approach the 25 pounds lost mark, I look forward to more interesting fashion choices as new sizes become available to me. This could be the start of something…smaller.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Make a Wish walk

By the time I had been on the cruise ship for four days, I was ready to participate in the Make a Wish one -mile walk. At 11:00 a.m., about one hundred walkers, including me, made their contributions to this worthwhile cause, claimed their official T-shirts, and set off on the jogging track. My husband and sister joined me on the walk.

As we rounded the Deck 5 track, we enjoyed the ocean breeze and some good conversation and before we knew it, the one-mile was over. People were peeling off the track and heading for the doors to resume their vacations. The three of us weren’t with them. We decided to go another mile because we were having a good time.

Our big walk was on Thursday and when we finished breakfast on Friday, we decided to repeat the walk. This time, we added two more laps to our outing and followed it up with a lot of “high fives.”

I’m not sure I would have done the second day if my husband and sister hadn’t joined me. They made it an effortless activity and reinforced the idea that exercising with a buddy is the way to go.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tracking minus my tracker

When I learned that the cost of Wi-fi on the ocean was $.55 per minute, my computer and, therefore, my Weight Watchers eTool tracker was rendered useless on our cruise. So, what happens when that happens? I had to rely on over five months of training before the trip to carry me through the week.

I was confident that I knew what to eat, but the major issue is knowing how big the portions really are when you are eating three meals each day that come off a menu. I had to make it easy on myself in order to succeed. For example, at the first evening’s dinner, I arranged with the server to bring me fresh pineapple and strawberries for dessert...every night.

I never looked at the dessert menu so I never was tempted. For the main course, I did have to look at the menu, but each evening there were the “vitality choices” which included a calorie count for a healthy appetizer, entrée and dessert. Knowing that a point is equal to approximately 50 calories, it was easier to choose the vitality option because I didn’t have to guess my portion size.

Breakfast was pretty easy. I would order plain yogurt, which came in the small container with the nutritional information posted on the container. I supplemented it with fresh fruit and one of my stockpile of granola bars.

You see, where there is will there is always a way, and I was not going to let a week of vacation be an excuse for throwing away 24 weeks of healthy eating.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lunch for 6019

When we set off to the dock to meet the Oasis of the Seas, I was prepared for any food emergency. I had traveled from California to Florida carrying 12 Nature Valley Oats N’ Honey granola bars, each containing my four points of security. My sister, who needed to gain weight, was traveling with another six granola bars to add calories to her daily diet. We made quite a team.

We boarded the ship at 2 p.m. and did what every one of the 6019 passengers did when beginning a cruise…looked for lunch. There were plenty of options available, and we chose to visit the Café Promenade for gourmet sandwiches and pastries. This is where the granola bars first came into play.

While my family members enjoyed all the sandwiches, brownies, cookies and cake that they felt like consuming, I pulled out my granola bar and teamed it with a diet Coke. I was perfectly happy with my choice, knowing that in about three hours we would be eating our first dinner in the Opus Dining Room.

So, my first tip to anyone out there who is planning a cruise is to plan ahead and to know when you are really hungry. It’s easy to be lured into eating every hour of the day because free food is around every corner.

Knowing your body’s hunger schedule and not giving in to the temptation to eat “just because it’s there” goes a long way into staying on the program. And carrying a familiar snack with a known point value, like granola bars, can help weather a food emergency.

More cruise stories tomorrow, meanwhile…

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Off the ship...back together again

I’m back! There’s so much to tell you about that I don’t know where to begin. My last posting was on February 25th, the evening before I left for Florida for my cruise on the Oasis of the Seas. With no reasonably priced way to communicate while onboard, I had 11 days of not sharing stories, and I have to admit that I missed all of you.

Let’s begin with today’s weigh-in. Remember, I just got off of a CRUISE SHIP…everyone’s worst fears about maintaining a weight loss program is synonymous with an ocean voyage. After all, you paid for all the food you can eat, so why not eat it?

My answer to that lies in my WEIGHT LOSS on vacation. I came back to 1.8 pounds off my pre-vacation weight for a total of 23.4 pounds lost in 25 weeks. Yes, I am at the halfway point of my number of weeks and tracking close to that one pound per week that the title of this blog implies.

Over the next week of postings, I will share some of the highlights of my trip and how I cruised and ended up thinner. I will let you in on a secret…it wasn’t difficult and I never felt deprived.

More to come….

Talk to you soon.