Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Knowledge is Power! Get on the Scale!

Those that lose and maintain their weight often weigh themselves every day. Yes- we maintainers get on the scale EVERY day! Why? Knowledge is POWER.

Yesterday I got on the scale and it was up two pounds. What a bummer! My whole day could have been ruined. How many of you get bummed when the scale delivers bad news? (Too many of us, of course.) But I had knowledge- therefore, power. I knew I ate dinner late at night. Was my dinner salty? (Yes.) And the key that saved the day, even with a lousy weigh-in, was that I am still tracking. I knew I had a decent day of food choices and  a great day of willpower the day before the scale delivered the bad news. Aha! That number on the scale must have been a bonafide fluctuation.

I was happy to see that it was a fluctuation. I was down over two pounds this morning. Perhaps you are thinking that you fluctuate all the time. Generally, I don't. I pretty much can hold a steady weight for days. Right now though, I am trying to get back to my happy weight, thus I am track, track, tracking. As posted below, I am LOVING tracking because "knowledge is power." With a tracker, I know that I've been pretty good at staying on the wagon, so eventually it will pay off.

Knowledge is power. Recording your weight EVERY day pays off. You can see patterns emerging with good record keeping. If the scale starts ticking up, up, up, you know it is time to take action. The scale is your friend. Tracking is your friend. These are tools that help you stay the course.

Don't be afraid of the scale. It gives you knowledge...and that gives you power!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

TRACKING - a Dieter's Best Friend

Seriously, I am a TRACKER now and I LOVE it. Why have I gotten so into tracking? Receptionist Laurie and Leader Laurie have a challenge going on. We have committed to a certain number of PPVs (PointsPlus Values) per day and we have to pay the other a dollar if we go over. We are both trying to lose a few pounds to get to our "happy weight." (For people hanging out around goal- there is the weight that you usually weigh and then there is the weight that you feel really good at- your "happy weight.")

We had a slow start! Our first week I went over my committed PPVs the first four days. I thought, "Whoa! This is not easy!" We chalked up the first week to "practice," and now we are both rolling along with greater success.

TWO BIG TOOLS:

1. I am using my tracker. I am in love with my tracker. I see what a good friend my tracker is! (It's more than a little humbling that it has taken me so long to become an expert tracker.) My tracker has given me the following insights:
1.    I'm much more careful about what goes in my mouth when I have to write it down.
2.    It stops me from over-nibbling in the evenings- a big accomplishment.
3.    It makes me plan and balance my meals better.
4.    It is KEY (did you hear KEY?!) to losing weight.
            2.    Having a buddy. A friendly competition, someone to check in with, someone who cares- these things can make a difference. We are supporting each other.

Do you have someone in your life for extra support? Some people join WW with a buddy. Others come to our meeting room and MAKE a friend. They begin a relationship outside the meeting room through walks or emails and lend extra support. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Back to tracking. Make your tracker your friend. You will love this friend. This is the kind of friend that is the real deal. She will tell you when you've been great and when you need a tune-up. She will give you the info you need in black and white to be successful. And remember our favorite saying:
ONLY TRACK ON THE DAYS YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mindful Eating and Happy Mothers Day


"The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."
​from Brian Wansink's book, Mindless Eating

I've been a fan of Dr. Wansink since he published this book seven years agoI liked the book so much, I bought copies for other people and have been showcasing his discoveries in my Weight Watchers meetings for years.

The above quote is the last line in the book, before the appendixes and postscripts. Unfortunately, many people could say they're already on that diet - "the one they don't know they're on." People eat mindlessly- bigger and bigger portions and many more times during the day than they did 50 years ago. As our country produces more and more convenient food and makes food so much easier to obtain, we've eaten so much more of it.

Availability + Convenience = Extra Pounds

​This is the month we are going to concentrate on learning to eat MINDFULLY. On this special Day, Mothers Day, act like a Mother to yourself:
  • Teach yourself to enjoy every bite of healthy food you choose.
  • Teach yourself that a small treat is to be planned and savored.
  • Teach yourself, just like you would teach your children- to be choosey about what they eat- not to eat something just because it is available or in front of you.
  • Teach yourself that eating is not a recreational activity, but has a purpose in life and preventing boredom is not it.
  • Teach yourself that eating in balance is a goal worth pursuing, practicing and perfecting.
Concentrate today on Mindful Eating. You can do it. Your inner-mom might even tell you, Practice Makes PerfectHave a great Mothers Day!

"The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."

So, how do you get to the place where your diet is the one you don't know you're on? By creating a healthy lifestyle that includes PRACTICING so many good habits that it becomes natural. Habitual. Routine. Though I don't think any of us with "weight challenges" can ever coast into complacency, we can practice enough Mindful Eating to make the journey easier. Keep practicing. 

One way to practice is to keep in touch with Weight Watchers. By learning portion control and tips for self-control, we learn the skills to create a personalized plan for losing and keeping the weight off. It's certainly hard to figure this out on your own, and WWers has already done the math (and the research). 

Hang in there! You'll be a mindful eater yet!

US NEWS and World Report ranked Weight Watchers #1 in three categories: Best Weight Loss Diet, Best Commercial Diet and the Easiest Diet to Follow!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

EATING IS NOT A RECREATIONAL SPORT


Eating when bored or to relax in the evening? Probably NOT a good idea. We all know the purpose of food is to nourish our bodies so we can accomplish our tasks and enable us to enjoy the highlights life offers. Eating is not a recreational sport.

​Making delicious, healthy meals doesn't go against this idea- but OVER eating and sitting down to "relax" in the evening with a bunch of goodies (after a filling dinner) are not good practices if you want to stay healthy (or slimmer).  

I'm giving a book review talk this week and there will be NO refreshments served. What? A talk where there is no food or drink- radical! I think there should be MORE get-togethers and classes that don't serve food. Be a radical rebel- suggest it when you have an opportunity. Why do we need snacks at classes and clubs if they aren't held at meal times? Be bold! Take a stand.

Our society boasts plentiful food and it is everywhere you look. There are candy bars at Sports Authority. There is food at most gas stations. There is food almost everywhere you go and most of it is not the healthiest choices. You are in charge- as a parent, a grandparent and for yourself. Don't focus on food for fun or an activity. Find other venues for fun and entertainment. They are out there! And if you need help, ask a friend or email me. Because: Nothing changes unless something changes.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Before you eat, practice HALT!

Am I HUNGRY?
Am I ANGRY?
Am I LONELY? 
Am I TIRED?


Emotional eating can wreck the best intentions. If you take a moment to HALT and ask yourself the above questions, you have a better chance of finding the right solution. If you are hungry- eat. (And if an apple won't do it, then you know it's not hunger!)

If you are eating because you are emotional- what will alleviate that?

  • Angry? Will food make you not angry?
  • Lonely? Is food great company or a friend?
  • Tired? (Okay, I admit- food can give you some pep- but to eat BECAUSE you are tired or bored- not good!) Rest! Take a nap! Meditate!

"You can never get enough of 
what you didn't want in the first place." 
Anne Valley-Fox

So- if you use food to try and fill you up because you are emotional, it is doomed to fail. At best, you will eat for self-medication...and it is a very short term "solution."

Do yourself a favor and HALT! You CAN find the answer to what ails you!

​If hunger's not the question- then food is not the answer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Asking for HELP!


We used to have a cool thing at Weight Watchers called the The Helpful Habits Quiz. We tested ourselves to discover which habits we were excelling in and which needed improvement. The area I needed to work on was "asking for help." Who likes to ASK FOR HELP? Yet, when you think about it- people rarely accomplish great things (or goals) in a vacuum.      

When I was sick this week, I wanted some chicken soup. I thought it would be so nice if someone brought me soup instead of making it myself. I called a couple of friends and voilĂ - both were happy to do it! One actually came through by dinner time with a huge potful of "Jewish penicillin." For dinner I consumed four bowls of soup.  The next morning, felt like I turned the corner towards wellness! (I'm sure she put lots of love and prayer in with the carrots, celery and onions.)

How did I have the chutzpah to actually call someone and ASK FOR HELP? It is because I had taken this quiz and realized I needed work in this area. Recognizing areas where I'm weak gives me awareness to be on the lookout for remedies. I wanted soup but I didn't have the ingredients to make it. I needed help. I decided that I COULD ask. And I'm so glad I did.

Losing weight is not a solitary activity. While you are making the easy and hard food decisions, you are still in the company of others while executing many of those choices. You're out to eat with friends, your spouse brings home your favorite ice cream, your kids want chips in the house...and you're trying to stay on your food plan. You don't want to say, "No," but you're not sure pleasing them is going to help you stay focused. Yet, you hesitate to speak up. Sometimes you submerge your doubts in the interest of pleasing someone else....and later regret not listening to that initial warning twinge.

My friend just called me to ask how I was feeling. She was pleased to get an update on how well I'm recovering- 7 bowls of soup later. I feel good; she feels pleased! PEOPLE WANT TO HELP. And people want to help YOU lose weight. All you have to do is ask.

Since realizing that I need to work on ASKING for help, over the years I have asked family members to remove certain foods from our pantry and they've always happily complied. (Husband- happily, kids- sometimes happily) I just had to ask. 

Who can you ask for help? Who can help ease your journey? I know it is hard at first- but believe me, people WANT to help. It's good for them and it's great for you. Be on the lookout how and when you can use this tool. Just ask!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Q.  What is the difference between failure and success?  
A.  A little bit!

​I went to buy copy paper last week. I was floored how much my bonus 800 pack weighed. You know that a sheet of paper hardly weighs anything. For that matter, water seems to hardly weigh anything. But gather up the water in one container or pile up those sheets of paper- and wow- it is substantial!

So, I was carrying 3 packs of 800 sheet paper packages to my car and thinking, "Boy, this is heavy! But a sheet of paper doesn't seem to weigh anything at all. I think this is like taking little bites of food and not counting them towards my daily calories....each little bite adds up and weighs something! It counts!"

Yes, my friends- Every bite makes a difference. The difference between losing (or maintaining) weight is often just a few bites! We think one piece of paper doesn't weigh anything, but we see when we pile it up- there is a cumulative effect. We nosh a little here and then there- and all those little nothing bites add up.

I know this is one of my biggest challenges and thus I share it with you. I nosh way too many bites here and there during my day or at night. Those little bites add up and cause the scale to stay the same or move- but not in the right direction! If I would concentrate on changing that behavior, my last pound would stay off and I could do my victory dance! I will master this in 2013. I've changed enough habits already- this is my next one.

You are doing so many things RIGHT already. You've cleaned up your breakfasts- you've finally found some go-to lunches. You have so many areas to celebrate your success!

So what do you WANT to tweak this year? What will make that little bit of difference between taking it off and keeping it off? Build on your successes and take that last little step to living your dream. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It Takes a (small) Village

It is hard to accomplish great things on our own. Often we need a mentor, family support, classes or friends- our small village.

Learning to play piano- someone has to pay for those lessons and perhaps remind you to practice. (Our parents might have paid for lessons and reminded you to practice.) Want to raise a child to be the best they can be? It helps to live in a neighborhood where people look out for all the children's welfare. Perhaps more importantly, it helps to have a small village of extended family that impart love and wisdom to your child. Want to lose weight but have family members that don't have to diet? You've got to get your housemates on board! 

​If you live with people that don't need (or want) to watch their weight, you will want to ask their help in watching yours. One of my friends told me that his daughter brings home bagels as a treat and this person's greatest food weakness is bread. He made a committment to have a conversation with his daughter that he'd prefer to defer the bagels to sometime down the road. (Maybe never? Maybe one?)

A Weight Watchers member has a daughter who loves chips. So did the mom! I asked her what would happen if she'd have a conversation with her daughter about not having chips in the house for a period of time. This is the kind of question you will want to ask your housemates- because it is really hard to do this weight watching journey all by yourself with temptations calling your name all hours of the day and night.

It takes a small village and it starts at home with your roomates. Since our village- the obesogenic society that we live in, is slowly starting to offer more healthy alternatives, we can rejoice in that. Yet, our small village, the place we live, sleep and sometimes work can hold too many temptations. ASK FOR HELP.

This time of year we have a few vacation days. Utilize one day to have a conversation with your family or friends who can support you. What can you ask them? What do you need help with? You will be surprised how much people that love you will want to help you. Be brave! Stretch yourself to do this asking thing that might be out of your comfort zone. What do you have to lose except those unwanted pounds? Go for it!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Night Caps and Overcoming Night time Noshing


           Night-time Noshing?

No... I already brushed my teeth.   

    Because I spend many evenings a week in the kitchen (preparing meals for the next day), I often start eating. (Surprise, surprise: see it, eat it.)
    Two nights ago, I was truly ambushed by a couple of items (totaling over 400 calories!) that I saw and then popped in my mouth. Absolutely unplanned noshing. But last night, I went back to what works for me- I brushed and flossed my teeth,right after dinner.

    Everyone needs a night-cap to signal to themselves that the day's eating is done. Otherwise, we know the damage that can be done after a day of working so hard.

    One of our Weight Watchers members has her fudgsicle after dinner- then she's happy, content - and DONE. I need to brush my teeth. Having a clean mouth signals to me that I'm done and I really don't want to have to brush again. (Taking advantage of my lazy gene.)  More than half the time, I go to bed a little hungry- but it doesn't bother me. I kind of like it! It sure beats that feeling of going to bed a little stuffed, a little uncomfortable, and a lot disappointed.

    What will be your SIGNAL- your new habit- that the day's eating is OVER? Will you take on brushing your teeth? Will you have a little dessert after dinner and then simply train yourself  not to take anything else? Will you wait to have your Skinny Cow till exactly 9 PM and then call it a night? Try some experiments. Give yourself a few days to see if it is something you can live with long-term. CREATE your own night-cap and make it a RULE for your future wellness. 

    How can you take the constant night-time decision making out of the picture? Make a new habit. A new habit that will keep you smiling....and maybe even keep your teeth clean!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop Snacking that Screws Up Your Life. Make a PLAN!


At yesterday's Weight Watchers meeting, our informal poll established that the witching hour(s) before dinner and the hours after dinner are the most likely times to overeat more than we want or need. 

In anticipation of dinner, we may be hungry- or we are in the kitchen- and just being there makes us want to eat. After dinner, we want to RELAX! What better way to relax than by being a little drugged from our food? (Because, really- do we need to eat after dinner?)

There are SOLUTIONS to these challenges.
Your answer will be unique to YOU. 

If before dinner snacking is your downfall, PLAN for it. Plan a snack. Plan a drink. Eat popcorn? Think what would work for you. Would an apple work? It is always a great question to ask yourself, "Am I hungry? Would an apple satisfy that hunger?" If an apple won't do it, then you are likely hungry for something else- and it probably isn't food! 

If after dinner overeating is your downfall- PLAN for it. I remember one Weight Watcher who always planned a night time snack for 9 PM, not a minute before. This discipline helped her lose her weight to fit in her wedding gown for her 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Look at your daily eating pattern. Where do you need to change your habits? You can do it. It takes a plan. YOU can come up with one-- if you truly want cut out those unwanted, unneeded extra calories that stop you from the progress you desire.

Don't let what you want at the moment, get in the way of what you really want for your life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Leader Laurie vs. Dr. Phil


Reality check: you can never, ever, use weight loss to solve problems that are not related to your weight. At your goal weight or not, you still have to live with yourself and deal with your problems. You will still have the same husband, the same job, the same kids, and the same life. Losing weight is not a cure for life.
~ Phillip C. McGraw

I am not a fan of Dr. Phil's quote above.

I think losing weight and living at goal, makes a lot of our problems more manageable. Yes, you have the same spouse, job and kids. But do you really have "the same life?" I think NOT!

You may have lost enough weight to get off your meds, enabling you feel better and live a fuller lifestyle.
You may have lost enough weight so that your confidence level is significantly higher when you deal with stress, issues or problems.
Getting rid of excess pounds might make you feel so terrific that "problems" don't seem as big or as overwhelming as when you were trying to deal with problems AND your weight.

Yes, losing weight is not a "happily ever after" like the ending of a Disney movie. But losing enough weight to feel fairly good in your skin puts a bigger smile on your face when you deal with LIFE.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Progress, Not Perfection


My self-confidence grows
with every step I take
every choice I make
every single day
& every word I say

Make up your mind once and for all. Losing and maintaining a healthy body weight takes WORK! Constant attention. 

    Yet, very few people can give it constant attention. Instead, adopt the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, you'll do your best and things will be routine. 20% of the time, "life happens." Be understanding of your situations and give yourself a little leeway. Just don't let your leeway turn into a freeway!

    Accept that the road to good health and smaller jeans is bumpy, full of curves and mountains to climb. Be willing to work on your health. Soon enough, the rewards will reveal how happy you are that you put in the effort.

    I had the privilege of taking a walk with a special Weight Watcher who is about to achieve "Lifetime" status. She told me that she lost enough weight that she can now pick up her child without pain. That's a reward that motivates someone to stay on the path.

    Lona was able to "run for the boat" and not miss her ride. She credits it to losing weight! 

    What rewards are big enough for you that will keep you on the path? Finding them makes the Progress Not Perfection concept easier to handle.

  • Hang in there.
  • Accept that you won't be perfect and you don't have to!
  • Understand that the game is a long one- but the rewards will present themselves one by one. 
  • You'll never want to go back to your old habits.
  • Hang in there. Progress, not perfection.
What can you do TODAY to make progress?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weight Watchers Before and After Doors
IF NOTHING EVER CHANGES,
NOTHING CHANGES.

When you walked through that door, you had a vision.
You desperately wanted a slimmer, healthier version of yourself.
Where are you RIGHT NOW?

CHANGE comes in small steps.
What can you CHANGE today to lead to YOUR personal success?
  • Are you snacking on cheese everyday at 2 PM?
  • Are you eating leftovers off of someone else's plate?
  • Do you still have some nosh in the house that is "calling your name?"
  • Munching too much while watching TV?
  • Continuing to nosh after dinner even though you don't want to?
What is holding you back that you can CHANGE?  

Pick a bugaboo and turn it into success!!!

Commit out loud, "I will _____________________ this week."

Make your positive, specific goal stated in the positive 
and enjoy watching SUCCESS blossom in your life!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

ENTHUSIASM! PLANNING! SUCCESS!


Oh, yes!

Remember when you said YES to getting married?
  • How excited were you?
  • How many plans did you make and execute to make sure that the big day would be successful? 
  • How much enthusiasm did you put into the project?
Perhaps you've had a child get married.

  • Remember the energies you put into that affair?
  • Remember the enthusiasm?
    One of my coaching practice clients asked me a question during our last session. She asked me what made the people that get to goal succeed? We spoke of those winners' motivators and how important their determination to succeed came into play. We discussed the fact that when these folks slipped up, they picked themselves back up, renewed their efforts and came back to meetings. They never lost sight of WHY they wanted to reach their GOAL.
    This question has stayed with me. And now I think there is another factor for success: ENTHUSIASM. They mounted a willingness to make Weight Watchers work for them with the same energy it takes to plan a wedding. 
     If you've made a wedding, you want the big day to be a success. You are willing to plan, be creative, think out of the box. You are willing to put time, effort and of course money- to realize your dream. Could you transfer that kind of energy into your dream of losing weight? Can you see yourself jumping into your weight loss efforts with ENTHUSIASM? Something you WANT to do. Something you can get creative and energized from?
     It is up to you. Do you really want to succeed? Are you willing to put time, effort and money into the project? Can you bring some happiness and enthusiasm to making your big day (getting to goal) a success?
     I know you CAN do it. Harness your enthusiasm. Watch and learn from your fellow Weight Watchers members- and plan an energized campaign for success. And let's start with TODAY. What are you willing to do today to make your "affair" a spectacular success?  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Busy life? No time to diet?

Do you have a lot on your mind? Do you lead a busy life? Do you want to diet but your motivation gets side-tracked by the craziness in your life?
You're not alone! And the challenge is very real.

In the book, How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer (How We Decide), we learn of an interesting experiment: 

A group of people were given five numbers or two numbers to memorize, walk down a hall, and report the numbers. On the way down the hall, the subjects were offered a piece of chocolate cake. Guess who succumbed to temptation more often? The folks who had to memorize the string of five numbers! 
The researchers concluded that when your brain is busy with something on its mind, it has less ability to deal with self-control. Yikes!

We are all busy. Nobody's life is a calm ride. So, what do you do?

Hold that thought for a minute and let me introduce one more question I always get from Weight Watchers members: "Why does it take so long to lose weight?"

Yes, it takes a long time to lose weight. You know most of the reasons already: on Weight Watchers, your caloric needs are only cut a little bit, so you get enough nutrition but you still lose. And because most people cheat a little here and there and have a few bad days (!), it takes a long time. BUT, there is a plus from the long journey- you experiment, test and embrace a NEW WAY of EATING. 

Bringing both of these ideas together, you benefit by developing a new way of eating that you really enjoy. This change becomes HABIT. Weight Watchers gives you the framework and the tools to create this new lifestyle, enabling you to keep to it- even when you have a busy life and a lot on your mind. Less willpower needed! Hmmm....sounds like a winning plan to me! Go, Weight Watchers!