Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weekly Meeting Topic and Personal Goal

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This week's meeting was all about being in control. It's one of the weight loss concepts that I think are so seemingly simple on the surface, but at times is the hardest to manage. Not to mention, it's crucial in your journey.

Every so often, I find myself thinking: "I am completely in control over whatever food enters my mouth. My behaviors determine my mood, my health and ultimately, my weight and my results. It's all within my control!"

It sounds so obvious, but it really feels like a huge revelation and like I've tapped into an unlocked secret every time it occurs to me. But it's totally true: We all make the decisions regarding what we eat, or how we behave. It's all within our control. The trick is *staying* in control. Here are some tips-

  • PLAN: I can't stress the importance of this enough. Planning has been instrumental in my success, and is a vital part of this process. Planning helps with holidays and special events; but even regular life requires planning. Choices like: What do I need to buy at the supermarket so I am successful at home? What am I making for dinner? What will I bring to lunch so I am prepared? When do I have time to eat so that I am not rushed? Plan as much as you can, and learn what works for you. Modify what doesn't. And don't worry if you don't stick to your plan 100% - it's better to have a plan in mind, than none at all.
  • MENTAL REHEARSING and STORY BOARDING: Two of the WW Tools for Living that I often use together. I incorporate them more often for out-of-the-ordinary routines. For example: If I know I am going to a bar one night, not only do I PLAN (see above) by eating a healthy, low point dinner first, but I know ahead of time how many points I have set aside for drinking. I also plan by bringing a banana or other healthy snack. But I story board out the evening, and mentally rehearse it. I see myself ordering my drink, I see myself alternating drinks with seltzer or water. And most importantly: I see myself walking *past* the pizza places and delis and *not* buying impulse/temptation food. I see myself arriving back at home, feeling proud that I stuck to the scene I played out in my head.
  • POSITIVE SELF TALK: Another WW Tool for Living that I use often- If I know I will be at a challenging event, I do talk to myself ahead of time. I tell myself I "can" do whatever it is I want to do. I remind myself of other times I was successful at a similar event or occasion. I remind myself how far I've come and how great I look and feel, and that some people see me as a role model, which makes me proud. I tell myself I'm worth it- and that no food is worth having that feeling taken away.
So if you've recently been feeling less in control than you would like, consider those tricks that help me, and see if you can put them to work for you. Or revisit Weight Watchers Tools for Living to get your own ideas. When you're in control, you'll obviously do better and you'll feel terrific. When everything "clicks", it's like magic.

And if you lose control, take comfort in the fact that it happens to EVERYONE. Even me ;) As I like to remind everyone (myself included), the trick is to get back in control as soon as you can and forgive yourself for whatever behaviors you are not proud of. Because you can't change what you did, but you do have the power to make better choices starting immediately.

My personal goals for this week:
1) To track again through the weekend. I did NOT track last Saturday or Sunday and I ate terribly as a result. I will track through this weekend again, because I had great success the 2 previous weekends that I tracked.

2) In addition to my regular exercise, I will ride my bike over the Williamsburg Bridge again this week. I have only done it once so far this summer!

Have a good week, everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Trip to the Farmer's Market

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Although this is my 3rd summer in Greenpoint, I had never been to our local Farmer's Market. So just last Saturday, with canvas bag on my shoulder, I finally hit the McCarren Park Farmer's Market.

This is a seasonal treat - where, on Saturdays, farmers from upstate and the surrounding area drive their farm fresh produce to Brooklyn and set up shop for a few hours in the wonderful McCarren Park.

I had a small list in mind, but also wanted to see what they had so I could plan future trips. They had: pickles, fruit, herbs, green leafy vegetables, peppers, onions, potatoes, corn, cheese, bread, honey, milk, eggs, yogurt, flowers, juice and some vegetables I've never seen before in my life! Oh yeah, and a band!

On the way in, I noticed they were having a picking demo. I'm no fan of pickles, but I love this sign-

Ooooh! A Pickling Demo!

One look at this table of berries and summer fruits and I was smitten!

The most beautiful summer fruits ever

I love these tomato boxes

Beautiful Tomato Boxes

I also loved the different colored egg cartons-

Aren't these egg cartons beautiful?

And I took the time to pose in front of some gorgeous wooden crates (*note: My extremely brilliant & talented friend Michelle made me this dress! How awesome is that?!)

My friend Michelle made me this dress!

Wait? What? Oh right, the food, back to the food!

Here is just some of what I bought:

Gorgeous Produce from the Farmer's Market @ McCarren Park
  • Blueberries: at 4 dollars a container, I had very high hopes. Fortunately, they lived up to their price tag: They were bursting with sweet delicious goodness, followed by a tart taste. PERFECTION! I ate them plain, in yogurt, and in blueberry pancakes the next morning. (and if that's not great enough, they came with their own little net "hat"!)
  • Sour cherries: I never had these, but am a sucker for anything "sour". Needless to say, I loved them!!
  • Other summer fruits: Sour plums? nectarines? I bought a couple of a few different items that I don't quite remember- but they were all so sweet, juicy and delicious.
  • Purple Peppers: I had never even seen these before. They had a distinct taste that I can't adequately describe; but they are better than green peppers and very good.
  • Pearl Onions: Cause who doesn't love adorable baby onions?
  • Asian Apple: I don't remember the exact name, but it was SO good! I used it in my salad instead of my usual Granny Smith. It was awesome!
Now that I know what they have, I know what I'm NOT buying at my super market this weekend... I'll be picking up my basil (so fresh, you could smell it from several feet away), cilantro, peppers, onions, spinach, and of course more of that wonderful fruit at the park! Because I plan to make this a new Saturday ritual for however many weekends this glorious market has left!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Food Diaries, Part 8: Tofu Shirataki with "Chicken" and Cheese

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This is a variation of one of the recipes I just throw together involving vegetables and tofu shirataki noodles.

This version includes everything you see here:



  • Tofu Shirataki Noodles, 8 oz (0)
  • Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Peas, Shallots (0)
  • Olive Oil, 1 tsp (1)
  • Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge (1)
  • "Chick'n" Strips, 6 oz (3)
  • Tomato Sauce, 15 oz can (1)
  • Spices & Basil (0)
Here is a photo of everything chopped up:



I heat up the pan with the 1tsp of oil, then throw everything in. I start with the chopped vegetables, then add the noodles and chick strips and let that cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently-



I put half the can of tomato sauce in a bowl, add half the cooked food, then top with spices, 1/2 the laughing cow cheese wedge and chopped basil. As shown here, this is only half the recipe and only 3 points:



It doesn't seem like a lot of food, but it is very filling. If I eat the entire recipe, it's 6 points total. Or I just eat one half (3 points) and refrigerate half for another meal.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weekly Meeting Topic and Personal Goal

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This week's topic was a departure from usual food related topics- It focused on things we can do to "appear slimmer now", or how to dress to flatter your body (a subject near and dear to my heart). This was surprising to me because I don't ever remember a meeting that focused on our physical appearance; but I saw the value in the message:

For one thing, along the way, your body is obviously going to change. And you should pay attention to those changes and modify your wardrobe as necessary. You might be surprised what a huge difference it makes in your confidence when you realize how good (and different) you look, and other people are sure to notice and compliment you as well.

I'm sure you've heard all of these tips before, but it can't hurt to be reminded:
  • Horizontal stripes Don't do it! EVER! No matter where you weigh in, do you really want to look wider? I didn't think so.
  • Elongate the leg There are several ways to do this- The easiest is to add height by wearing heels (why do you think I am addicted to heels? They look good, make me taller, make me walk differently and make my calves look great!), but other tricks to elongate the leg line are: straight or wide leg pants, pants with a very low hem, high waisted pants/skirts and pointed shoes. (stay away from tapered pant legs, pleats and too many pockets)
  • Pin Stripes Very flattering, and classy, on everyone. You can't go wrong with a nice pin stripe pant or skirt.
  • Color Everyone seems to agree dark colors are slimming, light colors are not but I'd still experiment with color to see which colors look best on you.
  • The importance of fit Clothes that fit you correctly (not to big or too snug) make you look so much better and *smaller* than clothes that are too over-sized or too tight
  • Pattern Stay away from tiny prints, go for larger bolder prints
  • Trends If the new "trend" doesn't look right on you, don't give into it. Stick with what looks best on you. Wouldn't you rather be the trendsetter, anyway?
  • Accessories Scarves, belts, even the size of your bracelets or earrings can effect how the size of the surrounding body parts appear. Experiment with these items to find which ones work for you.
  • Posture Be aware of your posture. Sitting up straight is good for your body, makes you appear confident and in control, and quite honestly just looks and feels better.
  • Zippers Invisible zippers are best (the kind that don't have a flap over); and placed on the back or side of garments is idea.
  • Pockets (this is my own little rule) I avoid pockets in all of my clothes because they add bulk (whether or not you use them) and the ruin the line of the silhouette. On the rare occasion I get a skirt with pockets, I keep them sewn shut.
Basically you should get to know your body- your shape- your assets and trouble spots. If you aren't sure what looks flatter you, TRY STUFF ON. Don't settle on one cut of pant or skirt- try on every available cut until you find what works on your body; then continue to buy items in that style. If you aren't sure what looks best, bring an honest friend until you figure out what stores/cuts/styles work best for you.

I've always been blessed/cursed with my hour glass shape. At my highest and my lowest weight, I had the same bust/waist/hip ratio. And I had to learn how to dress for my body type, which took me well into my 20's, but I did it. I learned:
  • I am really not built for pants. I still dread buying them (not as much as I used to, but it's still not easy. It's a traumatizing experience!) so I tend to wear skirts and dresses - where the size of my thighs isn't nearly as much of an issue.
  • Because my hip/ass area is wide enough, I do not look good in A-line skirts or anything that floats too far off that section; because those cuts exaggerate a part of me that's already too large. Pencil skirts and straight skirts look much better on me.
  • I have short legs, so high heels and high waisted skirts flatter me most- making me look taller, with longer legs, and visually take 10 pounds off me.
  • I have a tiny waist, so I love to show it off. Short cardigans with high waisted skirts, belts, and anything that wraps around my middle. (Wrap dresses and wrap shirts look amazing on curvy bodies, so I stock up on those.)
So get to you know body! Determine what your positive features are and play them up. Whatever you feel is a challenge area should also be addressed - but not just by covering it up with yards of fabric. Experiment until you find the best way to address that area (note: I could not live without my precious pantyhose and would have them surgically attached if that were possible) As Tim Gunn would say "Make it work!"

I'll expect before and after photos of all of you in my blog by next week :)

Just kidding

As for goals, there is nothing new I want to work on this week. I'm going to keep on doing what I've been doing the last 3 weeks-
  • eating mostly core
  • following the good health guidelines
  • tracking everything!!!
  • paying attention to my comfort zone
  • exercising as much as usual
  • cooking dinners ahead
  • planning my weekends (this has been monumental in my staying on program the last 3 weeks)
Have a great week, everyone! I'm off to punk rope!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Knowledge is Power, but Execution is Everything

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I've struggled with my weight since I was 8 years old. (At least that was when I became aware that it was an issue.) I wasn't huge at that point, but I was bigger than the other girls and already self conscious. I actually have a photo history of "Sheryl through the years (1979 through 2005)" here.

I became even heavier during puberty- hitting 180 at just 13 years old. At that time, I cut out candy/junk food and dropped down to 150. Throughout high school I hovered around 160 and my senior year of high school was the first time I decided to join a "weight loss program". That January, 1989, was the first time I joined Weight Watchers. Since then, I've been on and off program more times than I can count. And my weight has been all over the place-
  • from 185 (1989) down to 170 (1989)
  • up to 196 (1991) down to 140 (1992)
  • up to 204 (2000) then down to 160 (2001)
  • up to 208 (2004) then down to 170 (2005)
  • back up to 196 (2006) and now around 150
So over 19 years, I've gained and lost weight many times. I've been as low as 140 (in 1992) and as high as 208 (in 2004) and of course everywhere in between.

And in that 19 years on and off program I obviously learned many things- what portions sizes really look like, what are better food choices, about moderation, how to handle difficult situations, about listening to my real vs mental hunger cues, etc... So then why did I keep gaining weight back? I had the knowledge since my first round on WW. I knew what to do, but I choose to ignore it. Unsurprisingly, I continued to gain back the weight I had previously lost. Several times, even!

It's like that saying "you can lead a horse to water"... Weight Watchers (or anything, for that matter) can give you the information you need; but if you're not going to use it, it's not going to work.

I've had the knowledge for a while, and I continue to acquire it. But I'm finally really using it. It finally feels like it all makes sense, and I can do this.

I won't say it's "easy" necessarily, but it's definitely comfortable and doable.

When I compare how "good" it feels to eat anything vs how good it feels to be in control of what I eat, there is no contest. Being on program feels better than the "freedom" of eating any food. I may be monitoring my food and eating less, but I honestly do not feel deprived at all. It feels great to be in control. It's such a pleasure to know what to do, have a plan, do it. Having wonderfully positive results on top of all of that is just a bonus.

So I'm finally using everything I've learned so far about food, nutrition, and myself. I'm taking that knowledge I've acquired and putting it into action. I'm executing my plans and it's working!

If the physical results of losing weight and looking better weren't rewarding enough on their own, it also feels fantastic mentally and emotionally. I feel like I have a whole new life. And in a lot of ways, I really do.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

(PS I'm on the cover of this week's Brooklyn Paper. They covered the Nostagia Train Ride to Coney Island. I have to find a bunch of paper copies...)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Day on Plan - My Food Journal and Activity Log

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Another spectacular day!
07/15/08

Time Food Item (points)

0630 Scrambled Egg with Salsa (2)
0730 Starbucks Venti with Skim, Vitatop Muffin Top (2)
1000 Greek Fat Free Yogurt with Blueberries (2)
1230 Salad (5)
1400 Popcorn (2)
1800 Arnold's Sandwich Flat Bread with 3 slices Vegetarian Deli Meat (2)
2000 Fiber One Yogurt (1)
2100 Black Bean & Tofu Enchilada with fat free Sour Cream (5)
2200 WW Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bar (2)

ACTIVITY: I did 40 minutes of cardio, and a set of 12 reps on the weight machines. I also walked to the mall at lunch, tacking on at least 2 miles to my average 5 miles daily.

TOTAL POINTS USED: 23
DAILY POINTS TARGET: 21
ACTIVITY POINTS EARNED: 4
So without even dipping into my weekly flex points, I have 2 points left- but I doubt I am going to use them. If I do, I will eat a banana.

And I drank more than a gallon of water today.

Just a side note: I felt really tiny today, which was exciting because I haven't felt tiny in a while. So I weighed myself and I was 150.6!! I haven't been that low in a few months now. I could easily feel my hip bones too, which I hadn't felt in a while *and* I could tell, just by how my skirt fit and how it felt in my hands, that my butt is smaller than it was a few weeks ago. I know that sounds crazy, but I am insanely aware of every physical detail of my body (thanks, OCD) so believe me, it's true. Even if you can't see the difference- I am well aware of every minuscule change.

I love eating well. LOVE IT! What a difference it makes in my mood, hunger level, attitude, outlook and energy level!It's so nice to feel this determined and positive again!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekly Meeting Topic and Personal Goal

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Tonight's meeting was about eating patterns-
  •     What are our eating patterns? 
  •     How do those patterns help us? 
  •     Where can we improve things?
This was interesting timing- because coincidentally, I did this on my own last week. Therefore, the meeting was more of a reinforcement of something I was currently doing, but still very beneficial.
  • My pattern was: Pretty structured on weekdays, and more carefree than I wanted on weekends.
  • How that helped me: I knew what to expect on weekdays- what I would eat, when I would eat it.
  • Room for improvement: I knew I had to get control of my weekends and events. I had to plan, use mental rehearsing, story boarding and positive self talk to do it.
And I did improve! I had one of the most successful weeks on plan to date. These were my changes and accomplishments:
  • I journaled every day (every day- every meal and snack!)
  • I followed the good health guidelines- including increasing my protein (which I was very short on), getting in whole grain servings, and using my daily points for *real* food.
  • I cooked dinner twice- enough servings to last me the whole week (this helps me so much!) 
  • I limited pre-packaged snack foods (no more Pringles and cereal bars everyday, no more than one serving of an ice cream bar or 2 point bar per day) and using fruit and yogurt as snacks instead
  • Starting the day with 2 glasses of water and a scrambled egg (this has helped curb my morning food cravings!)
  • I treated my weekend as close to my weekdays as possible- I spread out small, healthy meals throughout the day and made sure to drink as much water as I would on weekdays- close to a gallon daily
  • I used less than 10 of my weekly flex points and not all my activity points! How did I manage to not consume them all? Because I was noticeably more satisfied by eating real food!!!
  • I planned for the weekend! I had a party Saturday night and a whole day at Coney Island on Sunday and I *still* stayed on track, and in control!
It was a great week! I am so proud of all the great decisions and choices I made - the planning, the mental rehearsing, the positive self talk and all other tools for living I used. It feels great!

Weekly Goal: To hold onto this super feeling! All I need to do is repeat what I did last week. I mean- if I did it before, I can and will do it again! It's going to be another spectacular week. I can feel it. :)

(by the way: Many people have written to me in the last month, I apologize but I only have so much free time. And when I need to choose between blogging or replying to personal email, I usually choose blogging, so I am very behind on my responses. I hope to get to them soon! Thanks for writing!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day on Plan - My Food Journal and Activity Log

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07/10/08

07:00 Breakfast @ Home
Scrambled Egg with Tabasco (2)

08:00 On the commute
Venti Coffee with Skim (1)
Vitatop Muffin Top (1)

10:30 Snack
Fiber One with Almond Breeze and blueberries (1)

12:30 Lunch
Salad (5)

14:30 Lunch, part 2
Popcorn, minibag (2)

18:30 Post work snack
Tofu dog on whole wheat bun (3)

20:30 Dinner
Tofu Shirataki noodle dinner with Tofu Chicken Strips (to be blogged soon!) (4)

22:30 Dessert
Weight Watchers Giant Ice Cream Bar (2)

Water:
I drank close to a gallon of water today.

Activity: 
I earned 4 activity points by doing 35 minutes of cardio (cross trainer) and a set of 12 reps on the weight machines at the gym. I also went to the mall at lunch time, adding at least 3 miles to my daily walking total.

Summary:
I consumed 21 of my daily 21 points. Six of those points are non-core: Vitatop, WW Ice Cream bar, hot dog bun, laughing cow cheese. I didn't even touch my activity points!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Food Diaries, Part 7: Weekday Lunch Salad (Updated)

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As you may know, everyday at work I have an awesome salad for lunch. I LOVE this salad. I look forward to it everyday! I blogged about it a while ago, but I modified it a little since then, so here is an updated version:

My daily salad is made with everything you see here (did that sound like an old toy commercial?):
  • Romaine Hearts, 1 and a half (0 points)
  • Cottage Cheese, 1/3 cup (1 points)
  • Avocado, 1/4 (2 points)
  • Granny Smith Apple, 1/4 (0 points)
  • Red Onion, 1 tbsp (0 points)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes (not in oil), 2 tbsp - (0 points)
  • Fat Free Shredded Cheese, 1/8 cup (0.5 points)
  • Garbanzo Beans, 1/2 cup (1 points)
  • Sunflower Seeds, 1 tsp (0.5 points)
  • Sesame Seeds, 1 tsp (0 points)
  • Lemon Juice, 2 tbsp (0 points)
  • Rice Vinegar, 1 tbsp (0 points)



Of course I have to have a view of everything chopped up, just because I think it looks neat:



I put the lettuce in the bowl first, then just throw everything on top of it:



Cover:



Then just shake and eat!

That's 5 points worth of color, texture and taste. Every biteful is a new and delightful experience. I am not kidding when I tell you I *still* look forward to this salad everyday, I love it that much.

Of course I don't expect you to make the same salad- I just want to inspire you to make your own! Experiment with ingredients and toppings you love and create your own perfect salad :)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Day on Plan - My Food Journal and Activity Log

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I'm so proud- I've been eating really fantastically since Monday! Sure, it's only 3 days now, but it always amazes me how quickly I feel better and what a difference it makes! I can't stress this enough: When you eat good and healthy food - REAL food - it satisfies you, gives you energy and just makes you feel generally better. Don't take my word for it - try it for yourself. Give yourself a few days on real food and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, here is what I ate today-

Breakfast:
Scrambled Egg - 2 (My Idiot Girls reminded me how much better I feel when I start the day with protein. So this is my new routine now- I scramble an egg when I'm in the kitchen to feed the cats.)Venti Coffee with Skim - 1
VitaTop Muffin Top - 1

Pre Lunch Snack:
Sour Greek Yogurt with Blueberries - 2

Lunch:
Super Salad - 5
Popcorn - 2

Post Work Snack:
WW Vanilla Smoothie with a WW Peanut Butter Bliss Bar - 2

Post Workout Snack:
Banana - 2

Dinner:
Black Bean & Tofu Enchilada with Sour Cream - 5


That's a total of 22 points (only 3 are non-core points: the vitatop, the PB bliss bar, and the tortilla in the dinner.). I get 21 points for the day, and I earned at least 4 in Punk Rope tonight. So technically I have 3 points remaining. I'm not sure if I'm going to use them yet. I'll see how I feel after dinner.

Happy tracking!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Weekly Meeting Topic and Personal Goal

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Tonight's meeting was another good one- it was about "the extra degree" - they used the analogy of water boiling - at 211 degrees, it's just hot water, but that one tiny extra degree that brings it to 212 makes it boil. So what do we need to be doing to go that extra degree?

We talked about motivation and my leader had a great quote from her leader- She told her that "With every pound lost, an ounce of motivation is lost". I thought about it and agreed - You'll never be as motivated as you are when you first start, and you should hold onto that honeymoon phase as long as possible.

Because you will notice that what brings us to Weight Watchers in the first place is not what *keeps* us at Weight Watchers. And being someone who's lost about 50 pounds, I understand the quote from her leader, because as I've lost weight, I have seen a dip in my motivation. It's not gone, just not nearly as strong as it was when I started.

When I first joined it was because I had just turned 35, was (once again) close to 200 pounds and realizing I spent way too much of my life fat, uncomfortable and miserable. I wanted to embrace whatever youth I had left! But the reason I go now is different- I don't have that agonizing desperate "I NEED TO GET THIS WEIGHT OFF" feeling. I continue to go because I need to, and I enjoy it. I continue to go for many reasons:
  • to be reminded what I need to do to be successful (and eventually get to goal)
  • to get information, tips and suggestions
  • to inspire and be inspired
  • to listen
  • to provide input and support
  • and mostly to make sure I stay healthy and happy and NEVER get back to where I started. Because I've stopped going before and the results were predictable: I gained all my weight back (three times!).
We also talked about Motivating Strategies and specifically, Winning Outcomes. I am going to use mine as my goal - not just my weekly goal, but my overall summer goal.

My Winning Outcome: is to get back into weight loss mode again (instead of my holding/gaining/losing pattern I've been in) and be as healthy as possible by the end of summer. (As much as I want to put a weight in this goal, I will not, since the number is out of my control and a winning outcome must contain something that is positive and in my control.)

How do I plan to achieve my winning outcome:
  • Journal- I have to journal to be successful. I know this, yet I don't always do it. I will journal!
  • Limit snacks- I have to remember that snacks come out of the 35 weekly points and to stop using my daily 21 points on them.
  • Remove snacks- Some snack items have gotten me into trouble recently and I am going to stop bringing them into my apartment.
  • Plan weekends- Weekends are the times I am most likely to go off plan. I will plan those days out ahead of time.
  • Pre-Cooked Dinners- This has already been helping me so much, I am going to continue to cook multiple dinner servings in advance so I only have to cook twice a week.
  • Reminders- I am going to hang the WW's Good Health Guidelines and Tools for Living on my fridge, where I can be reminded of them constantly.
And I want to leave with one brilliant quote from Thomas Edison that was on the board at the end of class. It stated:
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up"
It was such a great meeting this week, I felt re-energized and excited and motivated all over again. I hope you do too!

(*note: some of these links might only work if you are a registered WW user online.)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Weekly Meeting Topic and Personal Goal

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I apologize for just getting to this now, but I still think it's worth blogging

Last week's topic was about barbeques- strategies, suggestions, etc.

Now barbeques aren't much of a challenge for me personally- just because I rarely go to them. And being that I don't eat meat and don't like (in fact I *hate*) mayonnaise, I am not tempted by the usual salads.

That being said, here are my own strategies-
  • Bring tofu dogs and whole wheat hot dog buns
  • Make a points friendly side dish (I usually make the WW Jalapeno Poppers recipe and people LOVE them! If that's not your thing, search the WW recipes online, there's so many great side and dessert items you can make and bring)
  • Bring fresh fruit or crudite (I made veggie kabobs for the punk rope barbeque last weekend)
  • Plan as much as possible- what I will bring, what I will eat, how many points I will consume there
  • Drink as much water or diet soda as possible (instead of just alcohol)
  • Work out *before* the event because chances are I will not be in any condition or mood to do it after
Some other good tips/reminders are:
  • Grilled fish is a great alternative to meat. It's low in fat, points friendly and cooks very quickly
  • Consider avoiding the high point salads (macaroni/potato salad) and go for the fresh fruit and vegetable salads
  • Pull yourself away from the food- if there's an opportunity to go for a walk or participate in a fun event, do it! (frisbee, badminton, etc. My friend Erin brings bacci ball when we picnic at McCarren park)
  • Finally, try to remind yourself it's NOT about the food- focus on the event, the people, etc and not the food
Lastly, My leader said something I thought was great- and it's been in my head all week. She reminded us that "our past doesn't have to be our present". Wow! What a revelation! It sounds so simple and obvious but it really hit home for me. I thought about so many ways to apply that statement - even just to get out of a small slump. But also for tackling events where I may have not been very successful last time. My past does NOT have to be my present. It's up to me how I handle it. It's totally in my control. That's such an empowering feeling and one I think we need to remind ourselves of often.

As for my personal goal- I am still working on tracking consistently. I only did 4 days last week! The good thing is that I have made the "cooking dinner in advance" a habit- and it's one that saves me time (in cooking and cleanup) several times a week- PLUS it guarantees I have a healthy points friendly dinner waiting for me, which keeps me out of trouble. So I want to be sure to keep incorporating that into my weekly routine.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July Holiday weekend. I got some fantastic pics (with the great new camera I bought- thank you stimulus check!) of the Macy's Fireworks display, if you're interested.

xo Sheryl