Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I accept the challenge

I forgot to mention that at yesterday’s Weight Watchers meeting, our meeting leader, Claudette, gave us a “challenge.” There are 11 weeks until Labor Day and anyone who wanted to jump into the challenge could raise their hand and decide on the amount of weight they would lose in those 11 weeks.

A lot of the participants picked 10 pounds. I have the historical record of 41 weeks behind me to know that I will probably not lose 10 pounds in 11 weeks, so I picked five pounds. I really think it will be closer to seven, but I would rather exceed my goal than to pick one that I will not achieve and be mildly disappointed.

It’s not like I won’t be losing 10 pounds eventually, considering that I have about 20 pounds left to reach my goal of 50 pounds. But, it might be Columbus Day before I get to 10 and Christmas before I get to 20. Who cares as long as I get there.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lights, camera and a lot of action

It was a very busy morning. I knew that I had to be in front of my computer at 10:30 to do a live, one-hour talk show and that meant that I actually had to have my hair, makeup and clothing done by that time. I also knew that my Weight Watchers meeting began at 9:30.

So, first I thought about not attending. Then, I tossed that idea out for a variety of reasons including today is weigh-in day, I find value in staying for the meetings and I hadn’t told my buddy Nora that I was not going to be there.

What’s a girl to do? Well, there is always a solution. The doors open for weigh-in at our meetings at 8 a.m. I drove, rather than walked, to the location, got weighed-in, jumped back in the car and was home by 8:20. I then proceeded to the shower, did my hair and makeup, got dressed and drove back to the location at 9:30.

Back in the car at 10:10 and home at 10:15, I was calm and collected at my computer fifteen minutes later. Oh yeah, I gained .6 pounds, which isn’t a surprise because I live in the world of up a bit one week but down a bit more the next. It’s a roller coaster ride that I am totally used to and as long as the month shows an overall loss, I’m happy.

Now, I am getting ready to grill some chicken. I will be wearing makeup and done-up hair for the occasion…hope the chickens notice.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Taco Bell Three Pointer

Taco Bell dinner…it got too late for creativity. Now that I know that the new Fresco Crunchy Taco has three points, I can go to the drive-thru with no fear. It took ten minutes to drive there, five minutes to go through the line and 10 minutes to get back home. In less than a half-hour, dinner was served.

The one thing I don’t know is how much the salt, 350 each one, is going to be the “bad guy.” I could have shot myself in the foot on the night before a weigh-in. I can’t undo it now, as I am done eating.

Let’s see how my meeting works out tomorrow. Fresco Crunchy Tacos will either continue as a menu choice any day of the week or Monday evening will be off limits for drive-thru. Time will tell…about 12 hours from now.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Feeling much more "chipper"

Yesterday was one of those days that started out wrong and ended the same way. There were enough irritations to make me decide not to write a post because I was fixated on being annoyed with myself.

The morning kicked-off with me heading out to sit on my lounge chair. That seems like it should have been fun and it was…until I dozed off with my eyeglasses in my hand. One of my dogs came by and gave me a kiss, startled me, and I let go of the glasses.

I have been wearing glasses for over 50 years. I have extremely poor vision, and I am very cognizant of taking good care of them. When I picked them up and put them back on, I realized that both lenses were chipped and chipped right in the center.

I keep a back-up pair, but these glasses were less than six months old, so I was angry with myself for bringing them outside. I could see the dollar signs mounting for replacing not one but two lens.

Fast-forwarding to later, I made a sweet potato for dinner. I reached into the oven, wearing an oven mitt, and somehow the potato burned two of my fingers right through the mitt…time for new mitts. The rest of the evening was spent with an ice pack on the burns.

Today is going much better. I bought my glasses at Costco and went back with the chipped ones this afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they would replace the lenses for free. I’ve never bought glasses there before, but I sure would do it again.

And, the burned fingers seem to be in good shape, so I’m back to typing again. Yay!

Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tower of happiness

We haven’t been to Wild Fox in Novato in quite a while, but this evening my husband and I had plans to meet some friends there for dinner. All day, I thought about the meal I was going to order. I have had their “vegetable tower” many times and enjoyed the medley of vegetables held together by rice.

When we arrived, I perused the menu and lo and behold, there was no vegetable tower. I had left my reading glasses at home, so I thought I better re-read the menu in case I missed it through my blurred distance glasses. But, it wasn’t there.

When the waiter got to the table, he asked us if we had any questions about the menu. I sure had one. What happened to my vegetable tower? It pays to ask questions. The waiter said that although it wasn’t listed, the kitchen would be glad to make it.

I am one happy camper now. I had the meal I daydreamed about and had enough leftover to have the rest for lunch tomorrow. I can’t wait for breakfast to wear off , so I can eat it.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My whacky day with iPhone

Today was the iPhone 4 launch . What does that have to do with weight loss you might ask? Well, my husband works for Apple, and he got up early because he needed to be at the store to help the hundreds of people who waited on lines to get their phones. And I got up early with him.

I discovered that I was hungry at 9 a.m., which is about two hours before I normally eat breakfast, because I had been out of bed for hours. I held out until 9:30 but that made the whole day “screwy.” I was eating lunch at 12:30 instead of 2 and then I needed a snack at 3:30. And so the day went.

If my routine is disrupted, everything seems out of whack. Today, I was out of whack. I hope that iPhone 5 doesn’t show up in the near future.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The 80/20 rule

I’m a bit of a numbers geek. I like playing around with them, and it carries over to my Weight Watchers journey. I was thinking about where I am in the process, and it dawned on me that I am 80% done with the weeks I set aside to lose 50 pounds and 60% done with losing the pounds.

If I were trying to be a perfectionist with this effort, the percentages would match. Obviously, when I began writing the blog and came up with its name, I thought the 50 pounds would take 50 weeks.

Now, it doesn’t matter if they do. I think that it’s pretty nifty that I am 80% into the weeks…40 weeks is longer than I have ever stayed at Weight Watchers by about 28 weeks. You know what they say…you have a much better chance of success if you stay at least 16 weeks. I should be at least twice as successful.

I believe that sticking with it will change the 60% to 100%. It’s just a matter of time.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week 40...crossed the 30 pounds milestone

Thanks to all of you who crossed your fingers with me. At the 40 weeks milestone, I have lost 30.2 pounds. Next goal…35 pounds.

After walking home from my meeting, it was time for a Costco run. My husband is home today, so we dropped in for our weekly allotment of fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, diet Snapple and meat for our grill. On the way out, I shared a yogurt swirl with my husband and enjoyed every last bite.

With all the excitement of reaching the 30 pounds, I find myself ready to doze off. It’s only 9 p.m. but nobody says that I can’t call it a night.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fingers crossed

It has been two weeks since my last Weight Watchers weigh-in. I missed last Tuesday’s meeting when I was enjoying a visit with my sister in LA. Tomorrow, I will see if those two weeks have pushed me to the 30 pounds mark. It will be my 40th week on the program, so my fingers are crossed.

In preparation for my weigh-in, I have observed the “no salt” rule while cooking my dinner. That accompanies my “no rice” rule and my “no soy sauce” rule. I believe, whether it’s right or wrong, that all of those substances cause me to retain water. I don’t want anything extra to be attached to me tomorrow morning.

For the record…my record, my dinner consisted of four ounces of chicken breast, a small sweet potato, two small ears of corn and a dollop of cranberries. I consider the dollop to be worth one point. My total points for the day, once I eat my Giant Fudge Bar, will be exactly what I am allotted.

Now, let’s see how tomorrow turns out…cross your fingers, too.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

Happy Father’s Day! Ours was spent relaxing at home. Last evening, Alex dropped in after work for an early Father’s Day celebration dinner of prime rib and stayed through the evening. We miss seeing him now that he is working and living in San Francisco, so his visit was even more special.

Today, the only time we left the house was to visit La Boulange in Novato. My husband enjoys their croissant with ham and cheese, so that was our breakfast expedition. I enjoyed watching him eating one of his favorite breakfast treats, and then we headed home to watch the World Cup and the U.S. Open. Our TV was on overdrive.

After a day of doing nothing, we are both ready for bed. I think we are tired from watching all of the soccer guys running around followed by all the golf guys walking 18 holes. Or maybe, it’s just that we’ve run out of programs to watch.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Pinkberry please

Home again. I left my sister’s house in LA on Thursday evening after a fun-filled four days of “hanging out.” I can’t wait until she sells her house and moves to Novato, which is the plan that is taking a lot longer than we had hoped because the real estate market is moving at a snail’s pace in her neighborhood.

On our last day together, we did go shopping for four hours without getting tired. We only went into small stores, so we decided that our theory on becoming overwhelmed in department stores was correct.

Our lunch was spent with Pinkberry. If you haven’t had Pinkberry yogurt, you are missing out on a real treat. It is not easy to find a shop in our part of the world, as I think the closest one may be in Berkeley. But in southern California, there are several of them near my sister’s house.

She guided me through the ordering process, and we each had a medium mango and original swirl. You can add toppings that range from a variety of fresh fruit to a variety of chocolate, nuts and praline choices that would do serious point damage to the Weight Watchers program. I stuck with the fresh raspberries and blueberries, and my whole treat was five points.

When I arrived at the airport to depart LA, it was the last few minutes of the Lakers and Celtics playoffs. I am not a basketball fan, but it was clear from the crowds gathered in front of any available television, that everyone else at the airport was immersed in the game. It was then that I noticed another Pinkberry.

I decided to have a small version of my lunch, using three points. Because everyone was standing in front of the TV, I got a seat and enjoyed every last bite before boarding the plane.

Oh, the Lakers won, which isn’t telling you something you don’t already know. But being in Lakers territory when they won, I was a fan for the few minutes I was still on the ground and cheered with everyone else. Go Lakers!

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our shopping expedition

Today, my sister and I went shopping. Our idea was to head out in the early afternoon and spend about four hours walking around the stores. We headed out in the early afternoon and spent about two hours in the stores and then admitted to each other that we were tired and went home.

We tried to analyze what finished us off so quickly and decided that there are just too many things to look at in a department store. After a while, it all begins to look the same. And, much to our dismay, a lot of it belongs to another type of shopper…about 30 years younger with a whole lot of disposable cash.

After a brief relaxation period in my sister’s living room, we set off again for dinner at a restaurant that she enjoys, and I wanted to try. We had a lot of fun sitting outside conducting some serious people-watching. I had a great piece of fresh halibut with a side of vegetables and when we got back home, some fresh fruit…very few points, not too expensive and free entertainment.

Tomorrow, we are going to head out early and visit some new, smaller stores. Let’s see if we can make it last longer than two hours.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Take a Memo

I’m in LA visiting my sister and arrived last evening. It’s been a fun-filled day of doing very little. We got up this morning and headed out for a one- hour drive to the stable where she keeps her horse, Memo.

I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Memo before, as he is a new addition to her family. My sister, Jill, has been riding horses for over 40 years and her previous horse passed away earlier this year at the age of 24.

I was impressed with Memo’s memory…for food. He was just like me before Weight Watchers. When we arrived, he knew that my sister would give him a peppermint. He was begging, striking his foot on the ground, repeatedly, until he got his treat. I checked to see if it was because he had a breath issue, but my sister assured me that he just liked the taste.

When he was done exercising, he knew he was going to the paddock to graze on the grass. He tried to make a break for it but Jill knew he was going to do it and had him under control.

His last food move was his best. When Jill was finished with her chores, which included brushing him, she leaves the barn and loads her car. Then, she walks back to his stall and he can hear her feet hitting the gravel. He begins grunting and whinnying because he knows that he will get carrots. And, six carrots later, we were on our way.

Mr. Memo has his food triggers, and they have become habits. Although he weighs about 1000 pounds, his habits aren’t making him overweight. I couldn’t say the same about me, so I joined Weight Watchers.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy 80th festivities

Today, we went to a close friend’s 80th birthday party in Tiburon. When we left our house, it was 94 degrees. When we arrived at our destination, 25 minutes later, it was 78 degrees and breezy. Perfect weather for an outdoor party and since it was a surprise, it was even more perfect.

The menu featured grilled chicken and fresh fruit, among other things, so I was all set. Then, the homemade chocolate frosted yellow birthday cake appeared. I decided, based upon all the “oohs and aahs” that I would have a small slice. It didn’t disappoint. It was well worth the allocated points.

As I am heading out of town tomorrow, I finished off the last piece of flank steak from several nights ago and my husband had some of the leftover Chinese food from last evening. The combination of a warm summer evening and a big afternoon of celebrating left us more tired than hungry. We need a lot more days like today.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The case of the Chinese restaurant...solved

It was too hot to cook. I shouldn’t be complaining, since I have been complaining about the rain and the cold in other postings. I’m happy about the weather except when it comes to heating up my kitchen with the oven and/or stove usage.

Since moving to Novato, my husband and I haven’t found a place to go for Chinese food. We needed a “resident expert” so at our last Weight Watchers meeting, I checked in with my buddy, Nora, for her advice in this matter. She recommended China Garden, and that’s where we went.

My meal began with air-conditioning. The restaurant was the perfect temperature, and I enjoyed the first cool moments of the day. Although our house is air-conditioned, I “cheaped out” and didn’t turn it on.

I ordered the beef with green beans and a side of white rice. There was enough food for three people in my order, so I brought the leftovers home. While I’m visiting my sister next week, my husband will have plenty of food, including his own leftovers, for a couple of meals.

Now that I’m back home, my house has cooled down to a very pleasant temperature, so I won’t have to think about the air conditioner. What I saved by sweating through today, I put towards my great meal at China Garden.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is my 250th case you are counting

Next week I’m going to LA to visit my sister for a few days. I will be missing my Tuesday weigh-in, but some things can’t be helped. I am confident that when I return, I will be lighter than my weigh-in this week.

We have been planning our adventures…light duty stuff like movies and going out to lunch. She knows that I enjoy certain foods every day, like Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and Nature Valley Honey and Oats granola bars and although she is skinny, she likes them, too. So, my breakfast and snacking is taken care of without missing a beat.

I will miss my Tuesday walk to Weight Watchers with my husband. He is staying home with our dogs, so that I can sneak off and play. I look forward to our Tuesday mornings on the “trail” which is really the road but sounds more exciting as a trail. We’ll have to walk twice as much when I return.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Veggie rainbow

Late work evening for my husband equals eating alone for me. Sometimes, I just get too hungry to wait. My plan for dinner included finding as many colors as I could in the form of vegetables and loading them on my plate. I didn’t feel like cooking protein, so I was building the meal around Safeway deli turkey.

You had to see the results…positively rainbow-like. I made a sweet potato, asparagus, roasted red pepper, onion, and avocado. In the middle of it was the turkey, which almost was anti-climatic because it was beige.

Low points, high aesthetics, and great taste made Jane a happy diner.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

30, 40, 50...they are just numbers

This is week 38 of Weight Watchers and weigh-in day. It seems like the weeks fly by and I’m always writing about weigh-in day. I lost one pound today, for a total of 29.2 pounds.

But, wait, there’s more. When the Weight Watchers eTool told me that I had lost 29.4 pounds, I went back through the manual calculations done in the meetings and discovered the .2 pound error…in my favor. I have been pretty excited about the .2 ever since this morning. I’m not even sure why.

I am now .6 pounds away from the elusive 30- pound milestone and that’s looking pretty easy to achieve. Once I hit it, then I’ve decided that the next milestone will be 35 pounds. It’s easier for me to manage the five- pound increments than to think about my long-term goal of 50 pounds.

It’s clear that the name of this blog is 50 pounds in 50 weeks. And, it is clear that it will not happen in 50 weeks. I’m planning on 30 pounds in 40 weeks, so I will be looking at sometime in 2011 to achieve my original goal.

As always, time is going to pass regardless, so I’ll be shrinking along with it.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bravo Mr. Roker

I watch the Today Show just about every day. It takes me most of the day to do it since it is a four hour show. Just to be clear, I TIVO it, eliminate the commercials and just stop on the stories that look interesting. I probably end up watching about an hour of the program.

I did stop on the segment that profiled Al Roker, the weatherman. Al has fought a battle with his weight since he was a child. I have watched him balloon up and then drop some pounds repeatedly. At his heaviest, he says he weighed 340 pounds and that is when he went in for gastric bypass surgery.

He had made a promise to his dying father that he would lose weight and keep it off. This was the method he chose to do it. It worked…he lost 140 pounds. And then, it didn’t work anymore. He regained 40 pounds when he figured out that he needed to take the right path to losing weight. He ate less, exercised more and didn’t try any quick fix methods.

He made some really good points in the discussion he had on-air. He is back down to 204 pounds. He pointed out that nobody can convince you to lose weight until you are ready to do it. He actually yelled into the camera that people should leave overweight people alone and stop trying to get them to drop pounds. It doesn’t work until there is a reason inside of you to get you to believe that the time has come.

He also treats his overeating as an addiction and likened it to alcoholism. The difference that he pointed out is the obvious one. You can live without alcohol but you can’t live without food, so you need to be on top of the situation all day, every day, or you will fall back into bad habits.

Al has donated his “fat clothes” to charity. He wore a size 60 suit at his highest weight and now wears a size 40 suit. Just like the rest of us, it was hard to let go of the old clothes, but he knew he had to do it to move forward.

So, what did I take away from all of this TV viewing, you might wonder? I got the reinforcement of knowing that even when you have enough money at your disposal to afford the best food and the best trainers, you won’t lose weight until you are ready to lose weight.

Thanks, Al Roker. You’re one of my heroes.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pool is open for business

The pool is officially open at my house. I went in, up to my knees, and declared that summer has begun. Our pool is solar heated and the lack of sun warmth, until recently, hasn’t done much for the water temperature. But, a few more days of weather like today should fix it right up.

We finished unstacking the outdoor furniture, and I enjoyed sitting on each piece throughout the day. Some of you know that we had a backyard makeover last summer and that it was done by HGTV’s Color Splash team. Now, we get to see our backyard on television just about every month when the reruns are played and, more recently, we noticed that it is part of the commercial for the new season.

What’s great about all of this is the fact that we can reconstruct the backyard just by looking at the television segment that we TIVO’d last year when the episode originally ran. I am sitting inside now listening to the water babbling in the fountain and looking at the Italian cypress trees with the twinkling lights. I love my backyard, and I love this time of year.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Heading out

Tomorrow morning, we will be setting up the backyard for our summer enjoyment. I have been looking at our stack of outdoor furniture for the last six months and wishing the rain would go away so we could unstack it. Now that we actually believe the rain is finally gone, we are going to make our move.

There is something about spending a lot of time outdoors that keeps me smiling. I could not live in a place that was dark and dreary for very long without resorting to drastic measures…like comfort food. I know that I eat less in the summer than in the winter from over 50 years of experience.

So, let’s lift our glasses and toast the end of the rainy season. It’s long overdue.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dinner split...savings for all

I was watching a few minutes of Dr. Oz this evening while waiting for my husband to come home from work. The doctor profiled a church congregation of 1500 members in New York City who, on average, are 80 pounds overweight EACH. If I remember right, they needed to lose 60 tons. Now that’s a number that is hard to get your arms around.

The church frequently had a buffet dinner that included fried chicken and waffles. I never really got a hankering for that combination, but I could see how one could easily end up 80 pounds overweight by repeatedly eating it.

Armed with that knowledge, my husband and I went out to dinner. We went to Finnegan’s in Novato and split a salad and a burger. We ditched the bun and the fries, thus saving points and money. I’m so glad I don’t have to lose 60 tons.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Changing it up

All of us get in a rut at one time or another. The need to “change it up” a bit is good for our well-being. Today, I did a minor adjustment for just that reason.

Every four weeks or so, I get a manicure and pedicure. My manicure is always the same, a “French” with the white tips. I use my hands a lot when I speak (not a great habit), and I try to have my nails portray an understated elegance…or, at least look like I paid attention to them.

Today was different. I abandoned the French for a solid color. Light pink is not going to shock the world, but I have enjoyed looking at them ever since I returned home.

The same philosophy works for my food choices on Weight Watchers. It’s easy to eat the same stuff over and over again and when you do, I think you are more apt to get into the boredom rut and make mistakes because of it.

Tonight I changed it up a bit with my entrée. Should I have steak or chicken, I asked myself. Why not have a little of each, I answered. And so I did, and just like my nails, I enjoyed looking at my plate when I sat down to eat.

My husband just called and asked what he was getting for dinner since he got off work late and knew I would have eaten already. I said he had a choice of steak or chicken. He asked if he could have a little of each. I’m now wondering if he was at the nail salon earlier today.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Shedding a toddler

I wonder what I will look like in about four months. If you are wondering why I picked an odd opener to this posting, it’s because I was looking at my itinerary for an upcoming trip to Hawaii with my husband.

Last September, just before joining Weight Watchers, we went to Mexico for a week. We spent every day at the beach and pool and did very little else except wear bathing suits and relax. It was marvelous.

I do remember thinking that between the heat, humidity and my excess weight, I was moving pretty slowly. I don’t think it had anything to do with being ultra relaxed. It had everything to do with carrying the equivalent of a toddler on my back around the hotel.

I also remember that I was thinking that it would be nice to feel good in my bathing suit. I was just a bit embarrassed to take off my cover-up and silently vowed to look and feel better in one year. That’s about four months from now.

As I approach the 30 pounds lost milestone, I feel great. Heat and humidity won’t hold me back. And my bathing suits, all new and ready for summer, feel great, too.

Like I said earlier, I wonder what I will look like in about four months. Right now, I look so much better that I won’t be hiding behind that cover-up.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hats off to Nora and 30 pounds less of her

You know you are committed to Weight Watchers when it’s weigh-in day and your friend loses weight and you don’t…but you are thrilled for her. That’s what happened today at my meeting.

I knew coming in that I has gained weight. Now that I own that scale, I get a sneak preview before I go to my meeting. But, I also knew that if history repeats itself, my friend, Nora, lost weight. We are like a seesaw and seem to alternate our losses and gains.

Imagine my excitement when I entered the room to discover that she had lost 2.4 pounds and, more importantly, has now lost 30.4 pounds. She has crested our next milestone with room to spare.

So, bravo to you, Nora!

Oh yeah… I gained .2 pounds, so I’m 1.6 pounds from the milestone. I went home and checked to see that my daily point allowance was correct, as advised by Nora, and lo and behold, it wasn’t. In the past, it automatically adjusted on my eTool, but it didn’t, and I lost one point. I’m glad to make the adjustment now and hope it helps me break through to the next step in my journey.

Meanwhile, I’m going to celebrate Nora’s accomplishment by having a Giant Fudge Bar in her honor.

Talk to you soon.