Friday, February 26, 2010

Roundup, week of February 28th

What Happened Last Week

Forget restaurants, sometimes the biggest minefield is our own kitchen. Remember to help yourself succeed by make the environment around you healthy and supportive.

This week we celebrated 5 pound losses for Marisol and Lila, and gave Tauni her 10% keychain. Nice job, ladies.

So What's Coming Up?

Are you eating the same foods all the time? Have you been doing the same kind of activity for years? Does it make you feel like this:

I am ALL about routine, but sometimes even the best routines get kind of boring. We'll talk about how to keep things fresh and interesting - that way we'll keep at it.

Thought for the Week

The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. - Anonymous

Weekly Recipe: Chicken Soup Links

I've been sick for a couple of days, so that puts me in the frame of mind to think of chicken soup. But just because I'm sick doesn't mean I don't want flavor, so I tried to find a few unique versions. Not all of these have Points or nutrition information, but they all seem pretty tasty and healthy.

Lemon Grass Chicken Soup - from eTools

Chicken Soup with Collard Greens, Carrots and Brown Rice

Chicken and Avocado Soup - this one has Points listed, but I haven't verified them myself

Here's to your health. Hopefully it's better than mine right now!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Take my advice. Or don't.

I spend a lot of time thinking about Weight Watchers and leading meetings. I guess that makes sense, since it's my job, but the ratio of time spent thinking and time spent working is probably pretty high. Given that, it's not surprising that I was mulling over a recent discussion that we had in a meeting.

We were discussing going on vacation. A member asked the group for a little assistance, because she was headed to New Orleans. What should she do? A few people gave specific strategies, and then the conversation turned to whether or not to stress out over a trip like this. A lot of us were of the opinion that you only live once and hey, in New Orleans you've got to let the good times roll.

I made a point of asking the member whether she'd be okay coming back from the trip with a weight gain. And what I thought about today in reflecting on this discussion was that this question was probably the most important part of that conversation.

My job as a leader is to be a discussion facilitator. I'm supposed to be asking open-ended questions that stimulate you into thinking (and talking) about whatever our topic is for the week. It's important that I keep my own values out of the discussion and let all of you reach your own conclusions.

That's MY job, but it isn't the job of the other members in the meeting room. So let me just say this to you: if you ask for advice in the meeting room, you're not obligated to take the advice you get. You ARE, however, obligated to listen to it and give it fair consideration.

If most of the room is telling you that to get your activity in regularly you should work out in the morning, and you don't want to, you don't have to set that alarm clock extra early. There's probably some quiet soul sitting there who works out at lunch, and she might share that with you. And you might like that idea instead.

One of the best things about asking for advice in a meeting is that you get not just one opinion, but many. If you get many, chances are one of them will jive with you. And by the way, this is precisely why if you ever ask ME directly for advice, I get wishy-washy. I know what works for me, but I know it won't work for everyone.

So take my advice. Or don't. Just take someone's!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Give 'em what they like.

Okay, so within less than 24 hours of posting it, my celery log entry is now the 3rd most popular page on my blog. Are you guys saying you want more of this stuff?

Because I don't know if you noticed at that recipe card website, there are SEVERAL recipes using hot dogs, and I am pretty sure that at some point in time I'm going to have to try making one. Even though I hate hot dogs.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Return of I Cook So You Don't Have To

aka Epic Celery Fail

I am a fan, and have linked before, the 1974 Weight Watchers Recipe Cards. There is something so compelling to me about how dieters used to eat and what they thought was acceptable.

It's been a long time since I first made an old recipe that couldn't possibly be edible, so naturally it was time to finally make one of these crazy 1974 recipes. Enter the Chilled Celery Log.

First you start with a 10 ounce package of frozen cauliflower. Cook it up and mash it. To that you're going to add a finely chopped green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped pimento, 1 tablespoon of chopped celery leaves, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, and a little salt and pepper.

Incidentally, one of the things I love about these old recipes are some of the more antiquated ingredients. I rarely use pimento these days, and about the only time I eat it is when it's shoved in a green olive (though I'd much rather have one stuffed with blue cheese or a clove of garlic, and I'd like it even more resting in a martini glass). But I digress.

You're going to heat up 4 cups of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes. Take a bunch of celery and trim off both ends of the stalks. Simmer the celery stalks in the broth for 10 minutes. Yes, that's right, we're cooking celery.

Take that limp gummy celery and fill the ribs with the cauliflower stuff. Here's what mine looked like:

You're supposed to arrange the celery stalks back into the shape of the original bunch and tie it with string. Good luck with that unless you have many hands. I opted to roll my stalks up tightly in saran wrap instead, and in so doing could already tell this wasn't going to resemble the original recipe. It just wasn't...solid enough. I made quite a mess getting it to the log stage.

Refrigerate this bad boy for 45 minutes. What you're then supposed to do is cut the log into 1-inch slices and serve on lettuce leaves. What happens in reality is that you remove the saran wrap, and everything falls out into a mess.

But you're a trooper, so you don't let that stop you. You'll slice that celery up into smaller pieces and eat it, figuring how bad can it be?

The answer to this became the name of this image. Stupid, tasteless mess. It's not bad, it's not offensive. It just...tastes like celery. Chewy, boiled celery. I like cauliflower. I like green pepper. Hell, I even like celery. Whatever flavor any of those ingredients had somehow has disappeared. This is exactly what you'd think of when you think of diet food.

So now, I'm wondering how to make this stuff palatable. Dice it up real fine, add some soy sauce and mix it into rice? Cover it with a load of hot sauce? Right now it's shoved into the back of my refrigerator, waiting.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Roundup, week of February 21st

What Happened Last Week

Man, it seems like forever since I've done one of these! Back to reality, I guess. And reality includes restaurants. You all shared some great strategies, and you know that there are tons of resources for you out there. So there's no excuse to not pay attention, unless you simply don't want to. And sometimes, that's the perfect answer, too! I won't blame you if you don't count Points on your birthday, for sure.

Hats off this week to Maggie who lost 10 pounds, and Sarah who reached 15 pounds lost. We also had a host of folks survive their first week with us: Sheila, Marivel and Marisol.

So What's Coming Up?

We move from the restaurant into the kitchen. We all seem to think dining out can be a challenge, but sometimes we have enemies at home, too. We'll help you set up your home to be a helpful place, not a hindrance.

Two More Open Houses Left!

As a reminder, each Saturday in February we are hosting Open House events at our centers from 1-4pm. Members and non-members are welcome - though we will try and convince you to join! There will be giveaways, as well as a few employees on hand to help. These events so far have been a good way to bend the ear of one of our employees if you need a little extra help.

Thought for the Week

This one seems timely, given that I blew off my workout this morning:

Put off for one day, and ten days will pass. - Korean Proverb

Weekly Recipe: Thai Style Scallops

If you're observing Lent, you might be looking for some seafood or meatless options. Or, if you're like me, you might be trying to expand your seafood repertoire in general. Scallops are my current victim, since the recipes I find seem to be fresh and flavorful.

Check out this one from the Weight Watchers website: Thai Style! - doesn't the picture look tasty?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You've seen my headbands, right?

I just got out of an all employee meeting at my "real job" (in other words the one that can actually pay the mortgage). Our CEO at one point donned a terrycloth headband with this year's internal slogan, much to the group's amusement.

That's a man after my own heart, I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Roundup Lite

Kids, I'd love to tell you all about last week and next week, but I need to get packed to go to LAAAAAAAS VEGAAAAAAAAAAAS tomorrow.

Please be sure and be at the meetings this next week. Monday may be Presidents' day for some, but not for Weight Watchers. Our meetings will be open as usual, and I do hope to see you guys there.

Besides. I'm going to need to have you all there to get my butt back in gear after the weekend. I'm not planning on totally eating and drinking my face off, but it could get ugly real quick.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Plateau Busting

Okay, so this past week we focused on how to stay motivated. Funny thing, motivation. When you're consistently losing weight, it seems to be no big deal to keep motivated. Maybe it's a case of the chicken and egg. Motivation equals weight loss? Weight loss equals motivation? Maybe a little of column A, a little of column B.

Regardless, plateaus seem to be inevitable to the process of losing weight, so dealing with them becomes pretty much a necessary skill if you'd like to get to a healthy weight and stay there. So how to do that? How can you break through a plateau? Here is a super duper list of things for you to consider:

Are you exercising more? Are you eating your Activity Points or Weekly Points Allowance? If you are "letting your weight loss be your guide" you should look at those. If you aren't eating them, and are not satisfied with your weight loss, you need to try adding some in. On the flip side, if you are eating them you might need to cut back.

Stay for a GSS and pretend it's your first week again too, sometimes that jump starts the fun again!

Be sure you’re measuring everything.

Re-take the points quiz...maybe you’re eating more points than you should.

Maybe the fact that you haven't changed your food choices is the problem...your body has become too efficient and you need to shake it up a bit. A couple things to recommend are:

Eat ONLY filling foods 3-4 days out of the next week. Still track. It might be enough of a shake-up to make a difference.

Switch up the time you eat your meals. Eat your usual lunch for dinner, and vice versa.

Do Kickstart, it works. It is in your book #1 on page 41. It is very simple with lots of great recipe ideas. For the entire week you don't have to count, just follow the Kickstart plan.

Try to maintain for several weeks and then try losing weight again. The "break" seems to help members.

Do you eat the same thing every day and exercise in the same manner every day? Variety is the spice of life and it’s no different in exercise and losing weight. If you haven’t already you should "shake it up" a little. Switch to a new exercise regime.

Choose one to try for a few weeks and then come back to talk with me. If it’s not working we move on.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Roundup, week of February 7th

What Happened Last Week

Our latest weight loss skill was the ability to maintain motivation. Stay positive! Picture yourself at your goal! Use an anchor! Use exclamation points!

Congratulations go this week to Carolyn and Rita on their first five pound weight loss, and to Mary who reached 35 pounds of weight loss.

So What's Coming Up?

Since it's the week leading up to Valentine's Day, we'll focus on taking care of ourselves and making weight loss a priority. That's the best way to show ourselves love, and to make us fit to show love to others. Aw, shmoopie!

Weight Watchers Hosts Open Houses in February

All of our centers in San Diego will be hosting Open House Events every Saturday in February. You can win stuff, hang out with your fellow Weight Watchers and prospective members, and get some free shwag. This is primarily an event to draw new members into our meetings, so if you're reading this and not currently attending meetings...THAT'S YOU. If you're reading this and you're one of our regulars, this might be a good time to *ahem* encourage that friend of yours you've been trying to get to come to meetings.

Thought for the Week

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Weekly Recipe: Superbowl Time!

Oh snap!* I totally forgot to post a recipe last week. I even made a couple of new recipes from our new Slow Cook It cookbook, too. But considering we're approaching Superbowl Sunday, and unlike me you're probably actually going to watch the game, and maybe even party, well, you might need some ideas.

The folks over at Weight Watchers as usual come through with ideas.

Hungry Girl also has a bunch of ideas for your Superbowl shindig.

Whatever you eat, enjoy the game!

* It occurs to me that I'm probably using a phrase that's totally out of date at this point. But since I read today that only old people blog anymore, I figure you'll indulge me. If that is in fact true, maybe everyone reading this is old, too! I kid, I kid. I think.