Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another Saturday night...

Another Saturday night in Novato…my husband and I often go out to dinner with friends on Saturday evenings, and if we haven’t set something up, we go out as a couple.  Tonight is one of those Saturdays when we didn’t do either. 

By the time my husband got home from work, it was after 8, and we didn’t have anything official lined up.  We got lazier as the minutes ticked by and decided to eat leftovers that I began re-heating at 9:30.  It was definitely the late night dining menu.

I bought three beef kabobs from the Safeway butcher yesterday, and we grilled them last evening.  But we didn’t eat one of them and it was resurrected and split between the two of us tonight.  I also made some green beans, sliced tomatoes and reheated leftover baked beans from our Sunday BBQ to complete the deal.

Clean-up was a breeze since most of it was sitting on aluminum foil in the oven.  Considering that it was close to 10 when we finished eating, I wasn’t in the mood to face a pile of pots and pans. 

My refrigerator is looking cleaner and I’m ready to tackle a Giant Fudge Bar.  What more could a girl ask.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Countdown to the big 5-0

In five weeks, I will have been a member of Weight Watchers for 50 weeks.  Yes, that’s right, August 31 is the big day when I can look back at my accomplishments and pat myself on the back. I’ll be doing my own back-patting because I don’t want to get too full of myself.

What will my weight loss turn out to be on that day?  Anyone’s guess, but I’m thinking in the neighborhood of 33 pounds.  How many blog postings will I have on that day?  I’m at 287 today, so I’m thinking in the neighborhood of 320.  Not bad for a time period that will have had 350 days. 

What’s going to happen on September 1st?  I’m going to do exactly what I have been doing, but I’m going to tag line my blog.  My new addition will read…60 pounds by my 60th birthday.  When’s that, you ask?  I have until December 18, 2011 to reach that goal. 

I’m exhausted from answering all these questions.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A visit to Dr. Insomnia

I got to take advantage of an hour with some of my buddies from Weight Watchers today.  I knew that there was a “gathering” taking place on Thursdays at 1 p.m.  at Dr. Insomnia’s on Grant.  This was the first Thursday that I was around the area at that time, so I popped in.

When you spend just about every Tuesday morning with a core group of folks trying to lose weight, you focus on trying to lose weight.  But, everyone in the meeting has there own story, and I really didn’t know too many of them.  That’s what made today’s coffee break a nifty way to get better acquainted.

The first big ah-ha moment came when I got to see my coffee friends dressed in clothing other than their weigh-in “uniforms.”  Most of us wear the same outfits that we were originally weighed in, probably because we think that anything else would add more weight.  Our group “cleans up real nice.”

I also learned who had children, grandchildren and pets…two dogs joined our group and chose to dine on bones rather than coffee.  We talked about our families and very little about losing weight.  That was a good thing.

The time flew by and when I realized that I was due at the dentist in Larkspur, I was the first to bid a hasty retreat.  Trust me, I would have preferred to stay right where I was and get to know the group better, but when there is a hygienist with sharp tools waiting, you don’t want to be late.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lunch date yields more dates

I had lunch with a business associate/friend and she introduced me to a new restaurant in the Pacheco Shopping Center in Ignacio.  Boca Pizzeria is now on my list of places to go for a good meal. 

We ate outside and although it overlooks the parking lot, I enjoyed a summer afternoon in the fresh air.  The inside is very inviting and looks nothing like you would think based upon the word “pizzeria” in the name.

In addition to a lot of pizzas and pastas on the menu, there were some salads that caught my eye.  I had a salad with heirloom tomatoes and added grilled chicken.  It was “wearing” a lemon oil  dressing that made it light and fitting for my outdoor experience.

When I got home, I had dessert.  A nectarine from my Farmers’ Market visit finished off my lunch and took care of my 3 p.m. snack craving.  I made it to dinner with no visits to my kitchen in search of more snacks. 

It’s always a treat to discover a new dining location and I look forward to dropping by again.  I think I’ll invite my husband on a date, which will happen as soon as he reads this post.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If it's Tuesday, it must be...

It’s just like a yo-yo…up and down, up and down.  I’m referring to my weight loss journey.  This was the up week and I gained .8 pounds.  I don’t get concerned about it, but I do get a bit annoyed, as I want to keep chipping away to get to my goal.  It’s coming, but it’s coming at its own pace.

Yesterday, I watched my weekly episode of the Joy Fit Club on the Today Show.  That’s the ongoing series starring folks who have lost a lot of weight.  The featured man had lost 218 pounds over 4.5 years and did it on Weight Watchers.  I was pleased to see that he took his time getting healthy again.  It wasn’t an overnight, quick fix method, and he seems like he is never going to weigh 418 pounds, his starting weight, again.

At our Weight Watchers meeting today, we shared stories about snacks.  We paired up and compared our three favorite snacks and that gave all of us ideas for new ones.  There are so many one and two point choices that are filling and fun to eat that there is really no excuse to eat the stuff that all of us know got us into Weight Watchers in the first place.

I’m heading into the kitchen now to choose a snack from the Novato Farmers’ Market selection.  If it’s Tuesday, it’s not only Weight Watchers but also the weekly Farmers’ Market, and we got some great looking nectarines, organic strawberries, raspberries and corn.  I don’t think I’m going to snack on the corn, although it’s only one point.  I see a nectarine in my future.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summertime fun

Lots of people, lots of food, lots of fun…that’s how I spent my Sunday.  We had our backyard BBQ and swim that started at 1 p.m.  The last guests left about 6 p.m.  It’s amazing how much I needed a nap, and took one, after a day in the sunny, fresh air.

My husband cooked up a “mess ‘o” hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken apple sausages, hot links, and red peppers on the grill.  We had fruit salad, baked beans, assorted chips and for dessert, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and a gigantic Costco apple pie.

From that assortment, I made a plate of fresh fruit, a hamburger without a bun, and a scoop of baked beans.  We sent one of our guests home with the half of the apple pie that was left, so we didn’t have it in the house.

Now the only evidence that we had a party is living in my kitchen sink.  It’s time to do the dishes.  I should have sent them home with the guests, too.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Party planning points

We’re having another summer party in the backyard on Sunday and have been hitting the usual food spots to load up…Costco and Safeway.  Last evening, we did our first run and then on Saturday, I will go back to pick up the perishables, like the meat and the pies.

If you go to Costco at 8 p.m., there are no lines.  There are also no free samples.  This is the week that I am monitoring the BLTs…bites, licks and tastes, so it worked out really well to not have anything to consider as I drove through the aisles.  By the time we finished, it was almost 9 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet.

Sometimes, you just get to the point of not caring about a meal, not often, but sometimes.  I didn’t care if we ate or we didn’t eat but knew that it wasn’t the best thing for me to skip the meal entirely.  We stopped by El Encanto in Novato on the way home, and I had one chicken taco, no sour cream, and a couple of spoons of black beans. 

We went home, unpacked the groceries from the car, and I was done for the evening.  I tried to watch a little TV and discovered how little when I woke up and the entire program was over. 

If there were activity points given for party planning, I’d be earning them.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When a BLT isn't a BLT

When we met on Tuesday, our Weight Watchers group focused on plateau busters.  I was very interested in that topic as I have been experiencing weeks that would be defined as plateaus.  It is frustrating, but there is always something to try to break through the “flats.”

One area we did cover was “BLT,” an expression that only conjures up bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for me.  That is not what it means in Weight Watchers and stands for bites, licks and tastes.  I decided that I was going to see how much of that I do in a week.

I don’t taste food when I am preparing it.  I do, however, have a sample or two at Costco and a pretzel or two when my husband has a bowl of them.  The way I account for them is to leave all or most of my extra 35 points as the pool from which to draw these little indulgences. 

Now, I am going to count them in my daily points, and let the cards fall where they may.  I am reasonably sure that it will not be a problem, as Costco happens once a week and pretzels aren’t happening every day.

The scale will tell….

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who has lost 31.2

Week 44, and the report is a good one .  I lost .6 pounds, so the total is 31.2 pounds.  I can’t believe that I am six weeks from the part of the title of this blog …50 weeks.  Clearly, I will not have lost another 18 pounds in 50 weeks to get me to the 50 pounds part, but I don’t really care.

Earlier today, my son Alex dropped in.  We don’t see much of him because his new job takes precedence.  But, we got to go to Costco together, and he is currently whipping up dinner for the two of us, as my husband is out for the evening.  We are having salmon, grilled eggplant and brown rice.  My husband doesn’t eat fish, so it’s really nice to have someone to enjoy it with and even nicer that I don’t have to prepare it.

I hear the dinner whistle blowing, so I’ll be moving on to my feast.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday in paradise

Yesterday, we were invited to a BBQ at a beach house in Stinson Beach.  I have driven to Stinson many times in the 21 years that I have lived in Marin, but I have never been to an actual home there.

The home was on a lagoon on Seadrift Lane, which is a gated community that I didn’t know existed.  Most of the times I have been to Stinson, the weather has been cold and foggy.  I wondered how anyone could live there.  Yesterday, I learned how.  It was a gorgeous day, and we sat on the deck overlooking the lagoon and the mountains. I marveled at what a fabulous location that I was fortunate enough to enjoy.

Then, the food appeared.  The grill was spewing out ribs, chicken, baby lamb chops, and assorted vegetables.  There was fresh fruit everywhere.  Of course, there were things that didn’t need to find its way to my plate like cakes, cookies, and ice cream.  I didn’t care.  The healthy stuff was abundant and delicious.

Beautiful weather, great views, gracious hosts, lovely guests and fresh food equal a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Daydreams set in stone

Today, when I was driving to meet my husband for a “date night” at Frantoio in Mill Valley, I started to think about marble.  I have no idea what started me down that path, but I was imagining my body when I started Weight Watchers as a big hunk of sculptor’s marble.

Now that it’s 43 weeks later, I am starting to see the three- dimensional image of a woman, as if the sculptor has been chipping away at the hard surface and forming a new me.

What I really found intriguing, as I daydreamed my way down 101, was the thought of how I was going to turn out when I finally reach my goal.  Will I be a finely chiseled form that resembles the younger version of me, or will I look entirely different than I have ever looked before?

Only time will tell.

Talk to you soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Spic and span

I would like to figure out how many activity points I get on Fridays, which is house cleaning day.  It seems like I don’t sit down for hours, but that may be an illusion.

The women of Molly Maids actually do the cleaning, but it’s my job to clean up before they clean up.  I learned it from my mother and could never let the place look “messy” for visitors…even when they are visiting with cleaning products.

I start the day with bed stripping, three loads of laundry and putting away anything that isn’t nailed down.  It drives my husband crazy, and he prefers to be anywhere but here when I’m doing it.  One second he knows where his keys are and the next, only I know where his keys are. 

It only takes the three ladies one hour to make my house sparkle, and if they got activity points, it would be at least a million.  They never stop working while in my house.

When they leave, I spend several hours loving my clean house.  I admire the glistening kitchen and bathrooms and the freshly made bed.  And, for just a little while, there is no dog hair blowing by.  I don’t know how they can lose so much fur and still have so much left.  I wish it worked that way on my head.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Going to the big city

It was a busy day.  For me, driving into San Francisco is an ”event” that requires a lot of plotting and planning in order to avoid getting lost.  I have no sense of direction.

I have my hair highlighted and cut at a salon across the street from Nordstom’s as a result of following my colorist around town for over 15 years.  This is the fifth location that he has landed in, and he does such a great job that I have to land there, too.

The issue for me is getting used to finding a new place and, more importantly, finding parking.  I left Novato at 12:45 for my 2 p.m. appointment.  I arrived one block from the salon at 1:30 and then sat in non-moving traffic for 20 minutes.  I started to get anxious about being late, missed my turn and had to go another block to get back to the garage.

I managed to arrive at my appointment three minutes late, but I don’t like to be late.  So, I was a sweaty, out of breath mess when greeting the very people who were there to make me look better.

After a diet Coke, a fashion magazine and a great shampoo, I was enjoying myself.  I got daring, for me, and went almost blond for the summer.  Now that I am 30 pounds thinner, I decided to “kick it up a notch.”

I popped my blond head into my husband’s workplace on the way home, said a quick hello and continued on my merry way.  At least, by time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge on my way back to Marin, I know the way home.  And, I know there is parking.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Slowing down is still down

Week 43 arrived today with a loss of .4 pounds bringing my total weight loss to 30.6 pounds.  No complaints from me.  I have lost weight every month and as long as I don’t focus on the weekly ups and downs, I know that I will keep moving forward.

The important lesson for me at today’s meeting is remembering that a plateau is more than a few weeks of ups and downs.  That’s why I look at each month of loss as an accomplishment, even if it’s a small loss. 

I would be lying to you if I said that I don’t think, on occasion, that it would be nice if I had now lost 43 pounds.  Remember, I named this blog based upon losing one pound per week for 50 weeks.  But imagine if I hadn’t ever begun this journey or had given up.  The 30.6 pounds that I have lost could have been a weight gain.  Yikes.

For those of you who have followed me since beginning this blog, thank you.  This is the 275th post and it looks like there will be a lot more of them in my future. 

Talk to you soon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Conversation with a trainer

Last evening, at Movie Club, one of the couples brought their son, Gary, to our home.  He is in his mid-twenties and we have known him “forever.”  He’s a great young man and my husband and I always enjoy seeing him.

Gary is a professional trainer, and he and I had an interesting discussion about losing weight.  He noticed that both my husband and I had lost weight and was interested in how we were doing it.  He, of course, is in enviable shape and works hard to maintain it.

I told him about my experience with Weight Watchers and shared my short and long-term weight goals.  We both agreed that it comes down to simple math.  Eat less calories and get more exercise, and over time, you lose weight. 

Portion control, eating when you are hungry as opposed to bored, and making room for occasional special treats all factor into a successful weight-loss journey.  We both are pleased that we live in a place where fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant, and we take advantage of incorporating them into our eating plans.

I was pleased that I could have a meaningful conversation with somebody who makes a living being fit.  I wouldn’t have done it 30 pounds ago.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dinner for 14

It’s been a busy few days, and this evening was the wrap-up of a fun-filled weekend.  It was movie club time again, and it was held at our house.  There are seven couples in movie club and we meet every other month.  So, our house pops up once a year, and we chose July so that we could entertain outdoors.

The host couple picks the movie and announces it to the group about a month before the group meets.  Then, each couple goes to see the movie, whenever they want to, and on the night of the meeting, we review it.  The host provides the main course…and the alcohol, and the attendees bring the potluck side dishes, salads and dessert. 

We decided to grill tri-tip, and we were pleased to receive baked beans, a fruit salad, a pasta salad, a mango salad, and of course, dessert.  One of the members celebrated his birthday yesterday, so dessert was a birthday cake.

I chose to clean up some of the dishes during the eating of the cake.  It was Boston cream pie, the birthday boy’s favorite.  It’s actually one of the very few pies that I don’t go crazy for, so it was easy to bypass it.

Now, all that remains of our dinner for fourteen is the clean up.  Yuk…I’ll do it tomorrow.

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Splish, splash

My day started off with a splash…literally.  Last evening, we installed a new pool cover that floats on the surface to keep the heat in.  When we built our last house, we built a pool with a heater.  I love warm water and even when it was a chilly Tiburon summer evening, which was most of the time, I could go in the pool.

Our Novato house came with a pool, but no heater.  There is a solar heater which works pretty well if it’s really hot outside, but the evenings pull a lot of the heat right back out, hence the pool cover.

Our dogs, both Labs, will not go in the pool.  We have tried to coax them in with no success.  We did, however, place them in when we first bought the house to make sure they could swim and get back out.  They hated it.

Today, my female Lab, Tess, decided to walk on water.  She must have thought that the new pool cover was solid and stepped off the patio and into the shallow end.  What came next took most of the day. I heard the splash and by the time I opened the door, she had frantically pulled herself out and pulled one of her claws out with her.

Two hours of trying to stop it from bleeding, and I was off the vet in Corte Madera for professional help.  The place where the nail used to be was cauterized and she is now sporting a red bandage.  My other dog doesn’t know what to do with the whole situation, as he isn’t used to bandages or a limping companion.

Somewhere in all of that, it became 5 p.m. and I realized I hadn’t eaten since 9 a.m.  Let me tell you that worrying about Tess took my appetite away.  It’s going to be a low points Thursday.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An inch at a time

It’s been a while since I whipped out the tape measure to see how things are progressing.  I am losing weight at a slow and steady pace, and sometimes it’s important to know if the inches are following along.

When I started Weight Watchers, I took the traditional three measurements…bust, waist and hips.  I now wish that I had measured my thighs, calves, and upper arms, so I could track even more “stuff.” 

But, the three areas that I focused on are now 19 inches smaller than they were last September.  I’m quite pleased with those results. I like the feeling of pulling on my jeans, which are four sizes smaller than when I started, and having extra room in the legs.  And, I have donated some tops that had become “tent-like” and replaced them with more flattering styles.

So, even though there are weeks where the weight comes off in tiny increments or not at all, progress is being made.  Patience is paying off.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Californian's perspective on fruits and vegetables

Time to report on my weigh-in, as it’s Tuesday again.  The good news is that I lost the .6 pounds that I gained last week, so the total loss is back to 30.2 pounds.  I made sure that yesterday’s meals were salt-free, and I ate my dinner on the early side in order to stack the deck in my favor.

Today’s meeting topic was fruits and vegetables and how eating them can add so much to successfully navigating the Weight Watchers journey.  I was telling my husband that I believe that this topic has less impact in California because we get such wonderful choices of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Most of us incorporate them into our diets, because they are so easy to obtain.

Now, if I were a Weight Watchers leader in other parts of the country, I think that there would be a lot more discussion on how to get at least five servings of them into your diet.  I have traveled, for business, to some pretty remote locations and when I ordered vegetables or a salad for dinner in a restaurant, the pickings were might slim and the preparation was even worse.

I think I have gotten spoiled living out here for over 20 years.  I love how much fresh “everything” is available and how you don’t have to be a chef in order to prepare it in an enjoyable fashion.  

But, I will admit that before Weight Watchers, my husband would bring home fresh fruit, and I would let it go to waste because I was eating the ice cream in my freezer.  His words, “are you going to eat this because I won’t buy it any more if you aren’t” were followed by my words of, “ I’ll get around to it.”  I rarely got around to it.

Nobody in my house has had to ask or answer that question any more.  We run through fresh fruits and vegetables very quickly, and my freezer no longer contains ice cream.

Talk to you soon.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Healthy eating...the proof is in the picture

If my first posted picture was a cupcake, then the next picture has to be a meal that I actually eat.  I liked the colors on my plate so much that I decided to take a its picture.  Salmon, corn on the cob, roasted red peppers and asparagus equals lunch.  Who says that losing weight isn't fun.

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Check out my "handiwork"

Cupcakes for everyone...except the baker

My television says that each rider in the Tour de France will burn 130,000 calories or 37 pounds riding in this race. Now I know the shortcut to losing a lot of weight in a short period of time. Of course, there must be some part of this formula that includes eating back the lost calories in order to actually complete the race.

That being said, I will be continuing my weight loss program in the more traditional fashion. Today, being part of a three-day holiday weekend, includes fireworks and a BBQ at our friends’ house in San Francisco.

In preparation for this visit, I baked cupcakes yesterday…not just any cupcakes, GORGEOUS cupcakes. I’m not taking any credit for their beauty, the cupcake kit made it easy.

Let me tell you more. When I was getting ready for launching our company’s pet product, supercollar®, on HSN (Home Shopping Network), I was required to complete a two-day orientation program at their headquarters in Tampa. In my class of about 40 people, there were only a handful of “mom and pop” startup companies, and I got to be friends with a woman who started the cupcake company, Very Different Cakes.

She developed a kit for HSN that includes all the “fixins” with the exception of perishables like eggs, butter, and oil. When her product launched two weeks ago on the HSN website (she didn’t do the TV thing), I was there to order.

My kit arrived and with her ingredients and instructions, I made beautiful cupcakes with yellow frosting and covered them in “pearls” and daisies…all edible. The kit is designed to make 24 cupcakes or two batches of 12. I made 12 and then had my husband try one of them before bringing the other 11 to the party. Even though they are beautiful to look at, I wanted to make sure they tasted as good as they look.

SUCCESS on all counts…beautiful and delicious. They will be going to the party. Or, I could send them to the Tour de France to help those skinny guys gain back a few of those lost calories.

Happy 4th!

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The secret handshake

Tonight we met a group of my husband’s friends at Marin Brewing Company for dinner. After the introductions were made, we started chatting about weight…kind of odd to discuss that topic with people I didn’t really know, but we did.

I discovered that two of the women and one man were Weight Watchers, as my husband and I began eating the burger with avocado that we split. I removed the roll and it was just enough to be satisfied. I glanced at the other plates around me and all of the Weight Watchers were making good choices. I felt like I was in a “cool club” and the secret handshake was healthy eating.

With the July 4th weekend upon us, I am ready for my next three days of events, including barbecues and restaurant dinners with friends. I had my practice run this evening and passed with flying colors.

Talk to you soon.