Sunday, August 30, 2009

August Update: Goals 2009

August sure got away from me quickly, so it's time for another update on my 2009 goals.

1. The weight thing

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I was actually doing pretty well in August, and lost 0.4 pounds 3 weeks in a row. So there I was at the scale yesterday, anxiously awaiting the results, thinking I'd have some progress to report.


In the past 7 days I gained 4.4 pounds.

Now you know me, I'm a numbers person. This means (in theory) that I took in 15,840 more calories than I burned. I guarantee you this did not happen - I'm pretty sure I'd remember that. Therefore, we're talking some sort of water weight thing. And this is the same thing I'll tell you guys at the scale. You don't just gain multiple pounds of fat (or muscle) that quickly.

So I just have to take this for what it is, stay focused, and boy oh boy should next week's weigh in be a doozy. I hope. I'll let you know.

2. The diet soda thing

I think when I started this goal in January, I honestly thought I'd be drinking virtually zero diet soda. So I think I probably drink more diet soda than I originally figured I would be. But compared to the 32 ounce fountain drink I had every day (and sometimes more) my intake is still well below what it once was. I don't subscribe to the "diet soda is pure evil" camp, so I still think I'm doing just fine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Newsletter, week of August 30th

The newsletter has been working hard all year, so for the next month or so you'll see an abbreviated version. Still the things you NEED to know, but fewer random links and features.

Last Week

Continuing the quest to get back on track after summer, we discussed how to learn from experience and manage our environments to see success.

Next Week

Lose for Good is back! If you don't remember it from last year, we'll introduce the program, but also discuss "losing for good" as a weight loss concept as well. Let this be the last time you join Weight Watchers.


Apologies to the Monday night group for missing this week's meeting. That means you'll have to catch me up on your successes next week! But on Wednesday Tracy received her first five pound star.

WW Product of the Week

You'll see some information about the Lose for Good campaign in our latest issue of Weight Watchers Magazine. You'll also find some meal plans, recipes, and success stories. Pick one up if you haven't already.

Quote of the Week

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan

Weekly Recipe: Two-Fruit Fool

Two-Fruit Fool
Serves 4
3 Points values

1 8-ounce container frozen fat-free nondairy whipped topping, thawed
3 Tbsp blueberry preserves
3 Tbsp apricot preserves

Divide the whipped topping between 2 bowls. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the blueberry preserves into one bowl, and the apricot preserves into the other.

Gently spoon the blueberry mixture evenly into the bottom of 4 glass sundae dishes (or wine glasses!). Spoon the apricot mixture evenly over that. Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Per serving: 147 cal, 1g fat, 1g fiber, 35mg sodium

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Newsletter, week of August 23rd

Last Week

Hitting plateaus is pretty common. Overcoming them sets you apart from the rest. Use the tips we shared and you'll be able to stay on track.

This Week

Building on last week's topic, we'll talk about some of the mental aspects of getting back on track.


Michele got her first 5 pound star, Doni reached 15 pounds lost, and Candy has now lost 70.0 pounds! (yes, that's an exact amount - =p )

WW Product of the Week

We've received our new fall products, and among them you'll find the cookbook I mentioned in this week's recipe post, red velvet 1 Point mini bars, pizza flavored pretzels, and our fall smoothie - white chocolate peppermint. I just had the smoothie for breakfast, and it's really good! I typically enjoy the fall seasonal flavors since they mimic fancy coffee drinks. Check them out!

Weekly Potpourri

Some of you know that Amber and Dan from our Wednesday group are training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. This is their second year participating, and they are co-captaining their team. If you're a fan of cancer research, please consider visiting their team page and making a donation. Or be even crazier, and sign up for it yourself! If the pocketbook won't allow, just contemplate...walking 60 miles in 3 days. Pretty good, huh?

What's Hot at

It's time for another success story. Many of us have said "I know what I need to do, I just can't get myself to do it." Well, that's what Teresa said, because hey, she's a registered dietitian! But sometimes it's more than just knowing the facts, right?

Quote of the Week

Everyone's life is under someone's control - it might as well be under your own so that you can direct your destiny. - Harry Tucker

Weekly Recipe: New Orleans Muffaletta Sandwich

This is from our newest cookbook Comfort Classics, and I can't stop looking at the picture - there's no way this won't taste good.

New Orleans Muffaletta Sandwich
Serves 4
6 Points value

1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 cup giardiniera, rinsed, drained and chopped
1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch dried oregano
1 8-ounce whole-wheat french bread loaf or round, halved horizontally
4 ounces (4 slices) reduced-fat deli provolone
6 ounces (8 slices) deli turkey ham

Stir the celery, giardiniera, olives, garlic, and oregano together in a small bowl.

Remove and discard some of the soft crumbs from the center of the bread. Spoon the celery mixture evenly on the bottom of the bread. Top evenly with the cheese and ham. Cover with the top of the bread. Cut the sandwich into fourths and serve at once. Or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 6 hours.

Per serving: 274 calories, 11g fat (5g sat fat), 2g fiber, 1,105mg sodium

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Newsletter, week of August 16th

Last Week

Cravings are unavoidable. Respond to them in a variety of ways, but don't ignore them! That's a recipe for disaster.

This Week

Are you having trouble getting or staying on track? Stalls in weight loss are common, but we have tools to help you refocus and get where you want to be.


This week we gave a 5 pound star to John, a 10 pound star to David, 15 pound stars to Doni, Tauni and Gretchen, and gave a 25 pound star to Alma. Doni also celebrated reaching her 5% target. And Karen is our newest Lifetime Member!

WW Product of the Week

Three Month Journals - if you're "not on track" you're likely not keeping track. If you pick one of these up, there's really no excuse - you have the ability to track 12 weeks of information, plus you'll find motivational quotes and recipes when you flip through. Check it out!

Weekly Potpourri

I do a lot of reading about food, food issues, that kind of thing. Many of you have probably heard of books like Fast Food Nation or The Omnivore's Dilemma (and if you haven't, check them out!). But I'm turning the tables today. I'd love to hear from YOU. Have you read any interesting food or weight related books lately? Let me know in comments. There's always room in my budget for another book purchase!

What's Hot at

When we discussed cravings this week, we said that one of the causes can be that we are overly restricted. So when I stumbled onto an article titled The Post-Weigh In Free For All it seemed rather relevant. There are some good tips at the end wouldn't hurt me to pay attention to as well!

Quote of the Week

Be careful the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them. - W. Clement Stone

Weekly Recipe: Stuffed Chile Peppers

This recipe is courtesy of WW coworker Debbie (some of you know who I mean!) and I think it sounds awesome.

Stuffed Chile Peppers
This will stuff 5-6 peppers depending on their variety and size.
Serving size: 2 stuffed peppers
2 stuffed peppers = 8 WW points
1 stuffed pepper = 3 WW Points

½ cup yellow summer squash, cut in small pieces
½ cup zucchini, cut in small pieces
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup carrots, diced
½ cup bell pepper, diced
½ cup broccoli, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp pepper
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp ground thyme
¼ tsp ground cumin
¾ tsp chili powder
14 oz can diced tomatoes
6 oz mozzarella cheese – or other cheese of choice
Poblano peppers – or other pepper of choice
½ cup canned (or homemade) enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare vegetable filling by tossing all the cut vegetables with all of the oil, garlic, herbs and spices until evenly coated and place onto baking pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Keep warm, set aside.

Cut the chiles lengthwise for stuffing. Remove the seeds. Poach the chiles in boiling water for 5 minutes, remove from water and drain on paper towel.

Toss the vegetable mixture with 3 ounces of the cheese and the tomatoes.

Line the bottom of a hotel pan with the enchilada sauce.

Fill each chili with about ½ cup of the vegetable stuffing and place in the pan of enchilada sauce. Top with remainder of cheese.

Bake 20 minutes.

Optional: when serving, spoon some of the enchilada sauce over the top and garnish with a green onion sprig or herb of choice – be creative with your presentation.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Newsletter, week of August 9th

Last Week

I hope you enjoyed sharing food ideas with each other. Remember, you're always welcome to bring in a food package for show and tell. We never get tired of talking about food, and we can always use new ideas.

This Week

Cravings - they strike fear in the heart of anyone trying to eat less. We'll tackle the topic and how to try and get them under control.


Stephanie and Kaitlyn received their first 5 pound stars, Erica reached 15 pounds lost, Dawna reached 43 pounds lost, and Heidi has now lost 105 pounds! We also gave out 16 Week Stay and Succeed charms to Jack and Connie, and awarded August Lifetime at Goal stars to Marianne and Lynn. Wednesday free Lifetimers - and I know there are plenty of you - I think we forgot about this! Make sure you get yours next week - remind me if I forget!

WW Product of the Week

Now through the end of August, all of our 2 Point bars and baked snacks are on sale. Essentially, anything we sell at $4.50 a box (pretzels, cheddar twists, apple cinnamon bar, etc.) is now $1.00 off, priced at $3.50. If there's something you love, now is the time to stock up, since it will save you money!

Weekly Potpourri

I linked to a Glasbergen comic in one of my newsletters a year or two ago, and it ends up being my most popular page according to my stats counter - this guy is pretty well known and sought out, I guess. You can check out a bunch of health and weight related comics, like this one at his website: Randy Glasbergen.

What's Hot at

The dairy GHG is usually a troublesome one for many members. We specifically talked about it Wednesday, and someone mentioned an article on the Weight Watchers website. Well, out of the kindness of my heart, here you go. It not only talks about why dairy is beneficial, it also has tons of ideas to make it happen.

Quote of the Week

You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered-down, occasional hope that you'll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless. - Caroline Myss

Weekly Recipe: Duck Tostadas

Here's something different. This isn't personally tested, but it caught my eye as something out of the ordinary. You could substitute boneless chicken thighs if you can't find duck.

Duck Tostadas
Serves 4
5 Points value

1 pound boneless duck breast (skin on)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 (6 inch) fat-free flour tortillas
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 apple, cored and sliced into thin wedges
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Make about 4 diagonal slashes 1/4 inch deep in skin of duck breast. Sprinkle the duck with the salt and pepper. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the duck and cook until cooked through, 4-5 minutes on each side. Place the duck on paper towels and let stand about 5 minutes. Remove the skin, then thinly slice the duck across the grain.

Meanwhile, cook the tortillas, one at a time, in a medium nonstick skillet, over high heat until crisped, about 40 seconds on each side. On each tortilla, spread 1 tsp mustard and sprinkle 2 Tbsp cheese. Evenly arrange the duck slices and apple wedges alternately in a circular pattern over the tortillas; sprinkle with the cilantro.

Per serving: 245 calories, 4g fat (2g sat fat), 2g fiber, 819mg sodium

Saturday, August 01, 2009

July Update: Goals 2009

Here we are, another month gone. So how am I doing at achieving the goals I set back in January?

1. Get back down to 130 (then later revised to try and break it down 2 pounds at a time)

I started the month at 138.6, and just 30 minutes ago I checked in at 138.0. So at least I'm lower than when I started. I think honestly, I'm just not "discontent" enough to really make it happen.

I don't really have any enlightened thoughts on all of that right now, but I do think this is a relevant place to mention that today's weigh in now marks my twelfth anniversary at goal. I'm not sure I ever believed back then that I'd be able to keep this up for so long. And I sure never envisioned that I'd be leading meetings and loving every second of it. But here we are.

So as much as I still struggle with my personal goal to get to a vanity weight, I think it's good to stop and reflect on everything I've accomplished. I'm certain that living 12 years at a healthy weight has been beneficial for my long-term health and wellness. It's enabled me to run 5 marathons. Which means...I'm an athlete. I get to spend some time helping other people make positive changes in their lives, and along the way I've met some pretty special people (some of whom are probably reading this right now!).

How's that for a little positive self-talk?

2. Lay off the diet soda

I'm still clicking along well on this one - I think in July I did a much better job at limiting my sodas to eating in restaurants, and not sneaking an extra one in here and there.

Since diet soda spawned my last entry on sodium, it might be good to reflect that since I don't drink a 32oz fountain soda every day now, I'm saving hundreds of milligrams of sodium each week. That's not too shabby, though I wish it was as easy to save a few hundred calories!