Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back where I belong

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Oktoberfest

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chin check

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What's for dinner tomorrow...I know

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Next week for sure

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beef treat

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

No lunch for me

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Redefining comfort food

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Refrigerator cleanse

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stop the pork madness

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 51 report

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Head loops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What happens in shared

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Round two...the cold

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lost in space

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weight Watchers mini meeting

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon.