Thursday, September 30, 2010

Roundup, week of October 3rd

Special Note: Reminder to the Sunday group, our meeting at El Cajon will not be held this week so that San Diego WW staff can have their annual celebrations and staff meeting. We'll resume our regular schedule the next Sunday, okay?

What Happened Last Week?

The grocery store can be our best friend or our biggest pitfall. We discussed shopping strategies as well as what you're all buying. Maybe you got a great idea for something new to try - if so, let us know how it went!

Tons of celebrations this week: five pound stars for Pam, Amy and Marie, a 10 pound star for Patty (on her birthday week!) and Kathy, and two Marys got their 15 pound stars. Christina reached her 10% target and Scarlett received her 16 week Stay and Succeed charm. Last but not least, Sharon reached Lifetime this Sunday!

So What's Coming Up?

Get wise about size. Downsizing your portions can supersize your weight-loss success without your sacrificing satisfaction. I'll have some interesting observations on portion sizes over the years, and we'll discuss how you're making sure you're eating the right AMOUNT of food.

Thought for the Week

Real success comes in small portions day by day. ~ Denis Waitley

(Do you see what I did there with that quote?)

Weekly Recipe: Quinoa Garden Cakes

I have a distressing backlog of recipes that I can't wait to make, and not enough time to do it. Since quinoa (KEEN-WAH) came up in a few of this weeks' meetings, it seems like a good time to share this one. I've been on a bit of a quinoa kick anyway lately, so several of my "to-try" recipes happen to include it.

Quinoa Cakes

Thanks, Whole Foods! That picture sold it for me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roundup, week of September 26th

What Happened Last Week?

Getting help from friends, relatives, and co-workers can make weight loss easier, and research has shown that a supportive network can make your weight loss more sustainable. Be sure to ask for help when you need it!

Celebrations this week went to Kristina and Jan for their first five pound weight loss, Carol for 25 pounds, and Wenda for 60 pounds. Patty reached her 5% target and Daniella and William both got their 10% keychains. Great job!

So What's Coming Up?

The supermarket can be a source of inspiration or perspiration. Sure, there's fruits and veggies, but there's also ice cream and beer! We'll share shopping strategies and learn how to be inspired by the grocery store, not frightened.

Thought for the Week

The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better. ~ Barbara Pletcher

Weekly Recipe: Vegetarian Crockpot!

My crockpot is one of the kitchen appliances that I will never ever regret spending money on (along with my immersion blender), unlike some others...George Foreman I'm looking at you!

It's the ultimate in easy. Throw some stuff in the crockpot, turn it on, and hours later you have dinner for a couple of days. I love that kind of thing. And it doesn't heat up the kitchen like the oven does, so even in the heart of summer it's something I use.

So I was really excited to see a featured article on the Weight Watchers website that includes three really wonderful looking recipes. I'm going to make the vegetable tagine this weekend, and the other two will probably quickly follow.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roundup, week of September 19th

What Happened Last Week?

Losing slowly? Remember that every 0.2 pounds counts, and it all adds up! Picture that lumpy pound of fat and you'll never forget why you're doing this!

Celebrations this week included a five pound star for Josh and Magdalena, 10 pound stars for Linda, Cathy and Bernadette, a 15 pound star for David, a 25 pound star for Deborah, a 5% target celebration for Cyndy, 10% for Bill, and a 16 week Stay and Succeed charm for Daniella.

So What's Coming Up?

When you involve the people in your life into your weight-loss efforts, you get the type of support that makes it easier to be successful now and in the future. This week we'll discuss ways to ask for help and who we might target as a resource.

Thought for the Week

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

Weekly Recipe: Vegetable Fritters

This one is really quick - a fellow Weight Watchers leader just shared this recipe on Facebook. She vouches for it, and it's definitely something I want to try!

Vegetable Fritters

And now, back to prepping my own dinner....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Race Recap: Sand Pit 5K

In a post a few days ago I mentioned I'd be participating in a 5K course with obstacles. I am pleased to say that I emerged *mostly* unscathed, and present to you a post-race rundown of what you could have been doing this morning.

The course began on the sand just north of the Giant Dipper coaster at Belmont park. We started in waves, and the pink wristband you may or may not be able to see in the photos meant all the other 30-39 year old gals like myself started at 8:12am. We started the course in loosely packed dry sand and headed to the first obstacle.

This was supposed to be "knee deep" water, but when you're only 5'4" it's more like mid-thigh level. Running progress was awfully slow here as we made our way down the beach. We periodically would pop back up onto hard packed sand, which was a million times easier to run on. Eventually, we were routed back onto soft sand for the next obstacle, the Seal Crawl.

These ropes weren't nearly as low as I expected, so I didn't have to be as low on the sand as I thought I would be. After running in the water, this was a relief.

Next up was the "In & Outs" which meant that we'd enter the water, run out to a flag in "waist deep" water, run back to shore, and do the same thing two or three more times. I should add that the tide was coming in at this point, so "waist deep" actually meant "waves crashing over your head and totally submerging you." A few of us lost our footing and crashed into each other, but in the spirit of the event, a few apologies were given, and we were on our way. This was the second hardest part of the race. Running against water rushing back out to sea turns out to be extremely challenging.

We ran a little further north on hard sand until we had to pop up for the next obstacle - the limbo. We'd jump over a bar, then duck under one, three times, the high bar getting lower each time. We were a little loosey-goosey with our limboing at this point, but no one cared.

Now we headed up onto soft sand, where we stayed for the remainder of the course. We hit the turnaround, and started heading south to the next obstacle.

The Small Walls of China were easier than I expected. The walls were those plastic barriers you see on the edge of construction or road work. Very easy to swing a leg over, which was a relief after running on soft sand.

More soft sand running until we hit the tires, where we met someone channeling his inner Drill Instructor, telling us to high step it and hurry up. Frankly I was relieved to not have gotten my toes stuck in a tire for a face plant.

By this point we all seem to be shuffling down the sand, running when we can, walking when we realize it's probably faster than "running." Aha, the next obstacle...quicksand.

I was worried about this one, but it was the easiest of all. An obstacLOL if you will. Their attempt to wet down sand until saturated really meant we just got to run over a square of densely packed sand, a quick respite from slogging through all the dry stuff. Hooray!

Next obstacle was Hoop La. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a video of me navigating my way through the obstacle.

I am now sick and tired of running on soft sand, and it seems so are the people around me. One woman claimed that she would rather run a half marathon than have to run on this sand, and I'm inclined to agree.

Next up: Sand Everest

Thanks to the lady cheering us up this mountain, and for her suggestion to "use your arms" and "step quickly!" The hill was supposed to be 7-10 feet high, and that's probably about right.

Just at the bottom of Sand Everest we needed to drop and once again crawl under ropes, and right after that we got to "rinse off" by running through a pit of water that was actually knee deep, and perhaps 10-15 feet long. There's where the cheering stopped, but the finish line wasn't as close as I would have liked.

Finally, about 45 minutes after I began, I crossed the finish line. Sandy, sweaty, slightly bruised and tired. Thanks go to my husband for the photos and video of the day, and for having something dry and not sandy for me to rub my eyes with at the finish line.

So what did I learn here today?

1. Running on soft sand is hard. No, really. Harder than I seemed to recall.
2. While this was a fun adventure, I don't need to seek this kind of thing out again.
3. I'm OK with a low level of dirt/dust/mud when I run, but this was dirtier than I cared to get.
4. In light of #3, I doubt I'll ever bother with a triathlon.

And now, for some well-earned couch loafing.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Roundup, week of September 12th

What Happened Last Week?

We kicked off our Third Annual Lose for Good Campaign with a discussion of storyboarding. Having a plan to achieve your goals makes it much more likely you'll actually do it. Plus you get the satisfaction of crossing things off your to-do list!

We awarded five pound stars to Evelyn (10) and Jessica (65) but this was truly the week of 5 and 10 percent awards. Five percent targeters include Tamara, Cathy and Karyn. Those getting the 10% keychain were Scarlett, Janet and Deborah.

So What's Coming Up?

We live in a Quick Fix society, so sometimes our rate of weight loss can seem horribly slow. This week we'll think about how to appreciate the significance of small weight losses, and how they actually CAN keep us motivated and on track.

Remember you are welcome to participate in our local food drives as part of the Lose for Good campaign. Our charities need non-perishable items not in glass containers. Please feel free to bring in a donation anytime between now and October 23rd when the campaign ends.

Thought for the Week

The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it - as long as you really believe 100 percent. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

Weekly Recipe: Sand

I'm signed up for the Sand Pit 5K on Saturday. It's a 5K "with obstacles" that's run mostly on the sand. A few days ago I got a confirmation email that had a very detailed description of what the course will look like:


Knee Deep In Water (San Luis Obispo Pl.)
Upon reaching the beach flag, the athletes will enter the water. They will run out to the turn buoy in approximately "knee deep" water. They will run in "knee deep" water parallel to shore to the middle buoy and continue on to the final buoy. There, they will turn right pass the buoy and head into shore. On the beach, they will turn left around the beach flag and continue north to the next obstacle.

Seal Crawl (San Juan Pl.)
Upon reaching the beach flag, the athletes will lie on their stomachs and proceed to crawl under the obstacle ropes that are approximately 2' above the ground. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will rise to their feet and continue north to the next obstacle.

In & Outs (San Jose Pl.)
Upon reaching the first beach flag, the athletes turn left and enter the water. They will run out to the first water flag in approximately "waist" deep water. They turn right around the flag and run back into shore. On shore, they will turn left around the second beach flag and head back into the water to the second water flag. At the flag, they will circle the flag and run back into shore to the third beach flag. They will circle the flag and head out to the fourth water flag. They will circle the flag and return to shore. On the beach, they will turn left around last beach flag and continue north to the next obstacle.

Limbo Down (Santa Rita Pl.)
Upon reaching the beach flag, the athletes will step over a 2' crossbar. Ten feet after further, they will "limbo" under a 5' cross bar. Ten feet further, they will step over another 2' crossbar. Ten feet further, they will "limbo" under a 4.5' cross bar. Ten feet further, they will step over the final 2' crossbar. Ten feet further, they will "limbo" under a 4' crossbar.

Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue north to the turn around.

Small Walls of China (Thomas Ave.)
Upon reaching the first set of walls, the athletes will climb or step over a 4' wall. There will be a number of rows of walls to negotiate. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue south to the next obstacle.

Black Rings of Tires (San Rafael Pl.)
Upon reaching the obstacle, the athletes will step through rows of tires. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue south to the next obstacle.

Quick Sand (Santa Clara Pl.)
Upon reaching the obstacle, the athletes will funnel through an area of wet soft sand. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue south to the next obstacle.

Hoop La (El Carmel Pl.)
Upon reaching the obstacle, the athletes will dive, tumble or step through hoops that are suspended about 2' above the sand. There will be four rows of hoops to negotiate. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue south to the next obstacle.

Sand Everest (Santa Barbara Pl.)
Upon reaching the obstacle, the athletes will run up a mound of sand approximately 7 - 10' high. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue south to the next obstacle.

Sand Pit (Jamaica Ct.)
Upon reaching the obstacle, the athletes enter a 3' sandy water pit on their hands and knees. They will crawl through the 50' pit. Upon exiting the obstacle, they will continue south to the finish line.

Hey Stephanie, why is this filed under "Weekly Recipe"?

Read through that description again. Tell me if you think it's possible to finish that course and NOT get sand in my mouth. Better look that up in eTools!

If you're local, I believe they will have day-of-race registration (ha ha) if you would like to do this yourself. You can also just come out and gawk. I'm sure this is a recipe for hilarity as well as sand.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Roundup, week of September 5th

What Happened Last Week?

Regular physical activity has been shown to be a critical part of a lifestyle of weight maintenance. Hate activity? Well...have you tried them all? Find something you love, and scheduling it won't be a burden.

This week we celebrated five pound stars for Cathy and Tamara, a 10 pound star for Catherine, a 15 pound star for Lisa, and 20 pound stars for Virginia and Scarlette. Alleen checked in at 25 pounds down, and Emily reached 35 pounds lost. Josh was our Biggest Loser at 90 pounds on Sunday! We also celebrated 5% targets for Linda and Arika.

So What's Coming Up?

Since you're all rocking the weight loss so well, it's a nice coincidence that our Third Annual Lose for Good campaign is back! Your pounds lost cause Weight Watchers to make donations to charities that fight hunger. Plus, we'll be doing local food drives. This year I'll be having Traveling Tote Bags that you can fill with food for the needy! And if you're stuck on the scale, recharge your weight-loss efforts by knowing that you're helping others.

Note for Monday: Remember that we will be closed for the Labor Day holiday. If you'd like to join me on Sunday, I lead an 11:30 meeting at our El Cajon center - doors open at 11:00am! It's not that far from Lemon Grove - just off the 8 at the Johnson exit. Don't worry, you'll get along real well with them.

Thought for the Week

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is
 delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is
 something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being 

~ Denis Waitley

Weekly Recipe: Mixed Berry Crumble

This is Kim's third and final submission for the recipe swap we had a few weeks ago. She wasn't the only one to have good things to say about it!

Mixed Berry Crumble

POINTS Value: 4
Servings: 8

This five-ingredient dessert highlights the sweetness of fresh summer fruit. Use any combination of berries you have on hand.*

2 cups blueberries
2 cups raspberries
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups unpacked light brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Place berries in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Remove 3 tablespoons of flour mixture and gently toss with berries. Place berries in an 8-inch square pan.

To make topping, add melted butter to remaining flour mixture; combine well. Crumble little bits of topping all over top of berries. Bake until berries just start to bubble, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into 8 pieces; serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Notes: You can use any combination of fresh berries in season: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.
(Could affect POINTS values.)