Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Update: Goals 2009

Once again, it's time to update you all on the progress of my goals for 2009.

1. Get back down to 130

February starting weight: 137.8
February ending weight: 137.0
Net Loss: 0.8 pounds

Well friends, there's progress. Not a lot, but it's something. I actually was down lower in the middle of the month, but bounced back up a bit. Today I feel good. I am not "feeling fat" (if you'll allow me to use that phrase, because I think you all know what I mean - some days are fat days, some days are not) but instead feel pretty athletic and lean, thanks to a great workout today.

Tracking my hunger signals for the months was pretty interesting, and it was something I managed to do 23 out of the 28 days of the month. I don't think in and of itself it helped me eat less, but knowing I was going to need to pull out my journal several times a day certainly kept me connected and thoughtful about my eating. In the past I have often not bothered to pull out my journal and log in dinner and any after-dinner snacks, knowing "it was all on plan," but vowing to track my hunger signals actually made it so that, while the journal was out, I tracked everything I ate in the evening. It's not a magic bullet, but it's still something I would recommend you try - even if only for the unintended associated consequences.

So what do I try for March? I think I'm going to focus on my portion sizes. And in particular, I'm going to revisit how much I'm eating to make sure there hasn't been any "portion creep" going on. I'd like to weigh and measure more, and be very honest about how heaping those spoonfuls are.

I will continue to track daily, and continue to pay attention to hunger signals as well.

2. Lay off the diet soda

I was out of town for a few days at the beginning of the month, and because I was eating away from home, had soda on 4 of those days. But I am happy to report that since February 8th, I have had no diet soda at all! It's getting easier to not drink soda as a general rule, and since my husband and I typically dine at restaurants only once a week (Saturday nights!) it seems like no big deal to allow myself a diet soda on those occasions. So if anyone sees me out tonight, I don't want to hear about the diet soda I'm likely to be drinking, okay?!?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Newsletter, week of March 1st

Last Week

Tracking is a critical tool for success, but it can take many forms. Whether you're writing in a food journal, using a Points Clicker, or following the Simply Filling technique, monitoring yourself will help you eat less and lose more!

This Week

Many of you are making lots of changes. But some of you might be stuck on some things - knowing you need to change but not quite ready for it. We'll talk about the process of change so you can reassure yourself you'll get there in good time.


Kristin and Elizabeth received their first 5 pound stars (and Elizabeth also got her 10 pound star!), Marie reached 10 pounds lost, and Trista hit 15 pounds. Alma reached her 5% Target and Dan is all the way up to 60 pounds lost now! Your progress inspires us.

WW Product of the Week

Basic & Deluxe Member Kits - once again, this is one of our best tools. It gives you everything you need all in one bag. Need to know Points values? It's in there with our Dining Out and Complete Food companions. Need to track? There's the journal! Need a lunchbag? That's what our Deluxe Kit is stored in.

Weekly Potpourri

No, surfing the internet doesn't count as activity...

toothpaste for dinner

What's Hot at

Got diabetes? Here's an article from our Science Center that shows how weight loss can be of benefit to you.

Quote of the Week

If you have a great ambition, take as big a step as possible in the direction of fulfilling it. The step may only be a tiny one, but trust that it may be the largest one possible for now. - Mildred Mcafee

Weekly Recipe: Grouper with Roasted Asparagus and Peppers

Grouper with Roasted Asparagus and Peppers
Serves 4
4 Points value
Works with Simply Filling

1/2 lb asparagus, about 24 spears
1 cup sweet red pepper, 1/4-inch strips, cut in half crosswise
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill weed, divided
1/2 tsp table salt, divided
1 1/2 lb grouper fillets, or other firm white fish (four 6-oz pieces)
1/8 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Toss asparagus and peppers with olive oil, and place on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with lemon juice, 3⁄4 teaspoon dill and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, tossing gently to coat. Set aside and keep warm.

Arrange fillets on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle fillets evenly with remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon dill, remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Bake at 425°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Top with asparagus mixture. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Newsletter, week of February 22nd

Last Week

The secrets of successful members are found in your week 4 booklet. Manage your thoughts so you stay positive, and you'll see great success.

This Week

Tracking is a critical piece of the Momentum plan because it builds awareness and control. Think you're not wired to track? We'll discuss the various methods of tracking so that you can find one that works best for you.


Chris reached her 5% target, and Candy celebrated her 16 week Stay and Succeed award. Trina reached 30 pounds of weight loss, Candy got her 35 pound star, and Ron has now lost over 50 pounds. Fantastic work!

WW Product of the Week

Products to help you track! Check out our 3 month journal for traditional tracking, and check out our NEW Points Clicker for a quicker and easier way to stay on top of your Points Target. The journal is just $6 and the clicker is $5. A cheap way to ensure you stay on plan, for sure.

Weekly Potpourri

I adore the internet, I really do. Today I stumbled across Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes. I have yet to try any of her recipes or verify her Points values, but wow, that's a great looking collection of healthy recipes, isn't it? Get cooking!

What's Hot at

I mentioned this past week that hanging out at the Weight Watchers messageboards can be a great way to surround yourself with people who care and say nice things (remember that from the flipchart?). You can find a list of all the different boards here, and I'm sure you'll find something relevant to your life and your interests.

Quote of the Week

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." - Dale Turner

Weekly Recipe: Slow-Cook Curry

Slow-Cook Curry
Serves 4
5 Points value

1 onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
3/4 lb all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 lb skinless, boneless turkey breast, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
2 tsp Thai red or green curry paste
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 (16oz) bag frozen vegetable blend
1/2 cup light coconut milk

Layer the onion, potatoes, and turkey in a slow cooker. Sprinkle with the salt. Mix the broth, lemongrass, curry paste, and turmeric in a small bowl; pour over the turkey and vegetables. Cover and cook until the turkey and potatoes are fork-tender, 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

About 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, stir the vegetable blend and coconut milk into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 30 minutes. Serve at once or let cool and transfer to a microwavable container, cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days. To reheat, microwave on high until hot, 3-5 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time.

Per serving: 260 cal, 5g fat, 2g sat fat, 5g fiber, 489mg sodium

Friday, February 13, 2009

Newsletter, week of February 15th

Last Week

Using advanced techniques like SetPOINTS values can help you keep your eating plan easy and livable. Did anyone try it this week?

This Week

You might have certain habits that hinder your ability to stick with a food or activity plan. Replacing those habits can be helpful. We'll help get you started on that this week.


Sharon got her first 5 pound star, Dianne reached 10 pounds lost, Christine hit her 5% target, and Amber got her 30 pound star. We also celebrated Steve's 45 pound weight loss, Dan's 55 pound weight loss, and the fact that Heidi has now lost over 80 pounds! What a fantastic week for everyone.

WW Product of the Week

One of your habits might be snacking when you don't intend to (or have Points left!). Our snack bars can help you with that. Whether it's a sweet tooth or a salty tooth you have, our 1 and 2 Points bars can be a nice snack that fits easily within our program. (My favorite is the Peanut Butter Bliss!)

Weekly Potpourri

Many of you recall that I spent last weekend doing some Weight Watcher training. I spent the weekend in Garden Grove attending Basic Leader Skills (BLS). This is the training that all new leaders go through, and it's changed A LOT since I was trained almost 12 years ago. My mission was to experience what a new leader does, so that I can be a more effective mentor. I also got the opportunity to refresh my memory on some things, and think about how I can facilitate a better meeting for everyone.

On the last day, after all the trainees presented a full meeting (complete with lots of anxiety!) we paused to snap a picture:

Some of you may recognize Helen, and she was in attendance as a mentor like I was. None of the other trainees are from San Diego, so it is unlikely you'll see any of them in a local meeting room, but various points in Orange County and Los Angeles County are about to discover some great new talent!

What's Hot at

Looking for some new food ideas? Check out this article that has some healthy food substitutions that might help you boost your weight loss. At the very least, it might help combat boredom and give you a few new ideas.

Quote of the Week

Believe while others ..
By William Arthur Ward

Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while others are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.

Weekly Recipe: Double-Mushroom Burgers

Double-Mushroom Burgers
Serves 4
5 Points value

1 oz dried mushrooms (porcini, chanterelle, or black trumpet)
5 large fresh cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb lean ground beef (10% fat or less)
1/2 lb lean ground pork
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp chili sauce
3/4 tsp ground allspice

Put the dried and fresh mushrooms in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the beef, pork, thyme, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Form into 4 burgers.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the burgers and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of a burger registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, mix the chili sauce and allspice in a small bowl until smooth. Serve with the burgers.

Per serving: 237 cal, 11g fat (4g sat fat), 753mg sodium, 2g fiber

Filling Extra: pair these juicy burgers with a side of instant polenta (1/2c cooked polenta will increase the per serving Points value by 2).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Newsletter, week of February 8th

Last Week

Are you drinking enough liquids? Remember that things other than water can count in your totals, but NO ALCOHOL.

This Week

Are you getting comfortable with the basics of our Momentum plan? This week we'll take it to the next level by discussing SetPOINTS values.


Trista and Rocio reached 10 pounds lost, and both also reached their 5% targets. Myra reached 15 pounds lost, and Bobbie hit 45 pounds lost!

WW Product of the Week

Basic and Deluxe Member Kits - have everything you need in one place. Our Companions will help you with Points values, and our 12-Week journal will help keep you tracking. Upgrade to our deluxe kit and get an extra DVD and some cooking technique pointers.

Weekly Potpourri

Continuing on the water theme for just a bit longer, in one of our meetings last week we talked about whether or not it was possible to drink TOO MUCH water. Here's an article from the folks at The Mayo Clinic. As we discussed, unless you're an endurance athlete, it's pretty rare that you can damage yourself by drinking too much. Read for yourself here.

What's Hot at

In this week's meeting I referred to an article from our Science Center about liquids. Here's the link: Water versus Fluid: What Counts, What Doesn’t

Quote of the Week

"He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand andwalk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Weekly Recipe: Chocolate-Raspberry Heart Cake

Chocolate-Raspberry Heart Cake
POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 10

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups unprepared devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate squares
6 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
6 Tbsp fat-free creamer, such as fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup raspberries

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8-inch-round disposable aluminum pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. Bend sides of pan to form a heart shape.

Mix together cake mix, water, egg substitute and 1/3 cup of jam with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds; change speed to high and mix for 2 minutes more. Pour into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate and remove from pan; place right side up on wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water; allow to cool, then stir in remaining jam and half-and-half. Frost cake with chocolate mixture and outline perimeter of cake with raspberries. (Note: If chocolate mixture stiffens while frosting cake, microwave for 30 seconds to soften.)

Recipe courtesy of eTools. This recipe is a little ambitious for me, but might be just the ticket for your Valentine's Day!