eat, move, think, feel


October 2009

Almost Showtime!

imagesI just finished my 4th WW meeting this week. I was supposed to lead the “this is what the program is all about” part of the meeting for new members, but there were no new members, so I just did it for the leader, who was a perfect stand-in. She gave me some great feedback and said I did “an excellent job.” YAY. I have to say, attending 4 meetings a week really does have a way of increasing one’s awareness during the week! When I got home I immediately looked up the points for my lunch (which I don’t always do) and made some good choices. Have y’all tasted those Imagine soups? Besides loving the name, they have some incredible new flavors. I recently tried the Corn and Lemongrass and it is soooooooooo yummy. And healthy. That was my lunch!

So today my mentoring leader told me that for my next session on Monday she wants me to…… lead the whole meeting!! Eeeeeeek! I wasn’t expecting that until the END of next week!  Next Thursday, I will not only be leading the whole meeting, I’ll be observed by THREE people (plus all the members) – my mentor, my leader that I work for, AND the territory manager! Yikes. Nerves. But I have been having a lot of fun planning for this meeting, and I’m going to practice a lot over the weekend.

I went to the art store on the way home to get a tube carrier thingie for my flip-chart pages. For anybody who has ever been to a WW meeting, you know that flip charts R us. Which I actually love. It allows me to bring out my inner artist! I’m going nuts with the smelly markers! Woo!

If I “pass” the two sessions next week… it will be official, and hopefully I will be in the pipeline for my own meeting… somewhere!

Losing or Learning?

muffinOne of the phrases (and there were many!) that really stuck in my brain from WW training was, “You either have a losing week, or a learning week.” I LOVED this, because it takes away the notion of failure. If we don’t lose weight, what can we learn from that, from our behavior, that we can change if we want to have a losing (or maintaining) week the next time? I must repeat that refrain in my head a dozen times a day.

I am having a big-time learning week. First, I learned that it really IS hard to lose or maintain when I eat out in a restaurant like 5 meals in a row, even if I am trying to make healthy choices. Part of it is the food is just TOO GOOD, and I lose sight of necessary portion control.  Also, we really do not know for sure what is IN the food we eat at restaurants. Then, especially for me, there’s the social aspect, which is sooo distracting. All that adds up to, even with the best intentions, an inevitable weight gain. SO I am making a resolution to really cut down/minimize my restaurant eating as much as possible, from now until December.

As if that weren’t enough, I came home to even more of a delusional bubble. Some part of my brain seems to believe that as a WW staff person I have donned some invisible cloak of immunity, ie, I can do anything and not gain weight. NOT! OMG!  But there’s a little devil on my shoulder this week, poking me and saying, “This won’t count!” and other lies.

Here was my lesson for this morning.  I am particularly vulnerable in the fall, because of colder weather, upcoming holidays, and special things like PUMPKIN TREATS. I am such a sucker for pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin EVERYthing. I especially love pumpkin muffins. But I have resisted them… until today. I just freaking wanted one. So I got one. And I ate it.

And this is what I learned:

  1. It tasted really good.
  2. But not THAT GOOD.
  3. I felt a little bit sick after I ate it, because I am not used to eating sweet carbs for breakfast anymore.
  4. It did not sustain me. I was hungry pretty quickly, like 90 minutes after I ate it.
  5. I really don’t know how many points it was, but it was anywhere between 6 (best case scenario, which I doubt) and 11. (ACKKKKKK!) Which is like half of my points for the ENTIRE DAY.
  6. It probably was very very bad for my blood sugar but I did not test it right away so I don’t know. 😦
  7. Bottom line? Yeah, it tasted good, but ultimately….. NWI. (NOT WORTH IT)

So yeah, I learned! I could’ve just craved and desired that pumpkin muffin all day- all week or month- but I am actually glad I ate it because now I know. I know it was fine, but y’know? I don’t need to do that again. Instead I am going to search out some low-point pumpkiny treats, and make those instead for the next time the pumpkin urge hits me.

I’m learning! I’m learning!

(pumpkin muffin photo – and recipe -courtesy of my friends over at Muffin Top!)

The Company Party

Yesterday was WW’s local “Celebrations” party in which staff were given awards for various things, people got to meet and mingle, and there was some delicious food with nice little signs that detailed the ingredients and points-values. How considerate!! There was a nice spinach salad with dressing on the side, and a variety of wrap sandwiches, and some trays of 1-and-2- point cookies that had been custom baked. Wouldn’t it be nice if ALL restaurants and parties did this… gave you all the information you needed to make great choices?

Anyway, it was fun. I’ve actually never worked for a large company before, so it was all new to me. People got awards for working for 5, 10, 15, 20, and (really!!) 25 years! Which was pretty amazing. There were also awards given for Diamond Leaders, who are in the top 20% of leaders nationwide as far as having their members lose weight and sticking with the program until they reach Lifetime. Then they gave out awards for people who had helped members lose 100 lbs or more. Leaders told some very moving stories; one woman lost over 200 lbs this year. Then everyone (including me!) got gift certificates from Lands End, which was pretty nifty! I had no idea that was coming, so it was nice.

After the party I zipped over to the airport, but I didn’t really need to zip, because my flight was delayed over an hour. I’m accompanying my spouse while he’s at a conference.  At the airport, I was sooo tired and sleepy and bored, and I realllllly wanted a Starbucks hot chocolate for some reason, but thanks to Twitter, I got talked down and made it onto the flight without doing anything regretful.

I have set up a new Twitter account (not my Foodie one) that I’m going to use when I start leading meetings. I am toying with the idea of using Twitter to support my members. I can’t even express how much my Twitter friends have helped me stay accountable, and feel supported, over and over again. (case in point last night)

Coincidentally, I received a very long and detailed email from the Powers That Be over at WW this morning, explaining what we can and cannot say or do regarding WW online. I guess that includes this blog. OK, it DOES include this blog.

So, according to rules, I am stating for the record,

“I am a Weight Watchers employee writing about my personal experience on plan. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of Weight Watchers.”

I hope I’m not being desrespectful when I say that this additional statement from the memo made me laugh out loud: if you choose to write a blog posting about how much you enjoy shopping with your daughter, your relationship with Weight Watchers would be irrelevant and you would not need to disclose it to the community.

Ha! But seriously, it was good that they clarified their stance. Which makes it easier for me.

SO. This hotel has a very very nice fitness center. I was all set to roll on down there this morning. I have my sneakers, my socks, my ankle brace, my iPod and armband, and my sports bra. And that’s IT. I forgot my workout clothes!! I knew I was in too much of a hurry yesterday. So I am going to have to take a walk over to the mall (20 minutes each way, yay) and pick up some exercise duds. I really wanted to workout before breakfast, but that unfortunately did not happen since the mall does not open until 10. I had a beautiful healthy breakfast! And now it’s 9:40, time to head out! Have a great weekend, people!

The Stress of Shame

I almost lost it last night. I was scheduled to be a receptionist substitute at a “traveler” WW meeting; ie one in a remote location, not an official WW Center.  At those locations, they use all manual/paper tallies to track everything, instead of the groovy computer system that is now in place at Centers. I only did a few weeks worth of those before they did the switchover, and boy was I rusty. In fact, I ended up forgetting to do a very important step – marking down all product purchases on the product sheet. This is super important for reconciling the $$ at the end of a meeting. When the other receptionist counted up the money and checked it against the product sales, it was like $80 off. Because I forgot to mark it down. This resulted in everyone having to stay almost 45 minutes later, to fix the problem. I felt terrible. I felt like slinking under the carpet and dying. The other staff members were pretty nice to me about it, but to be honest, I sort of messed up their night. Everyone ended up going home late, after a lot of stress. Caused by me.

I don’t deal with this kind of thing well. AT ALL.  Guess what it makes me want to do?

I drove home down this main road I used to take, after teaching evening classes several years ago. Back then, I didn’t normally have huge problems, but it was still stressful to teach on some level. There would be ONE student who had some kind of issue, or some thing I’d forget to do, and all the way home I’d be beating myself up about it.  One night I stopped in at a Jack in the Box and looked for the most anesthesizing thing on the menu: Bacon Cheddar Potato Wedges!! (omg, I just looked those up: 720 calories in a serving, 432 from fat! O boy!!) Soon it became a habit to just pull in to the drive-through on the way home and inhale a box of those. When I think of that now, it makes me really sad.

So what did I do with my stress last night? I started the evening with a full hand of nice fingernails. They’re down to little nubs now: chewed and torn away. Ah well, I didn’t EAT them so it didn’t cost me any calories.

All night I had recurring dreams of being horribly inept at one thing after another: I had to give a speech, but had brought the wrong one, and then I lost the pages, then I couldn’t work the AV equipment, and then and then…. AUGH I hate messing up!!! It upset me so much I couldn’t even do my regular Biggest Loser liveblogging last night. I did get home in time to watch the final hour, but I pretty much sat here and watched it like a blob. I didn’t really care one way or the other.

This morning, I went to my trainer and had a fantastic workout. THEN, FINALLY, I felt better. Much better.

I am glad that I did not veer into the Jack in the Box and take up old bad habits. I’m glad it didn’t really even occur to me, like it wasn’t a struggle to not do that. I just made a mental note as I drove past. But I still felt terrible.

I need to find ways to not freak out so much when I make a mistake.

Recharged: It’s All New Again!

It’s so funny. I used to have a very contentious relationship (in my head) with WW.  There were times when I loved it (actually, this was wayyyy back in the beginnning, when I first joined in 1997), times when I felt “eh” and other times when I was outright angry. I was one of Those Members who sat in the back row, arms folded, with an “I dare you to tell me what to do” look on my face. There were times when I paid to go to meetings for three or four months and my weight never budged. Or it went up and down the same two pounds over and over. I just was not ready (or willing, at ALL) to do the program. I’ve never had any doubt in my mind that if you do the WW program, it will work. The problem is all the junk in the way of DOING it.

Yesterday I received my leader prep materials for November, plus a preview package of some things that are new to the program for 2010. I got so excited! I pored over every single piece of paper, word, drawing with huge eyes. WOWEE! I kept nodding my head, saying, “Yeah, that’s right!”

But I remember getting those weekly booklets and just tossing them into the recycling. At one point, it was just all “blah blah blah blah” like Charlie Brown’s teacher. There was just no reception for it.

Last night I did a little practice bit of a meeting, no more than two minutes, at my regular meeting. We are supposed to share something about our own personal WW journey. As I talked, I was surprised (no? should I be surprised? Ha) that I got a little emotional about it.

I talked about how I first joined WW in 1997 when I was preparing to go to a high school reunion. I wanted to look good, or at least decent. I probably was 25-30 lbs over my high school days at that point. So, I got allllllmmmmmmmmost to my goal weight, but not quite. I was about 4-5 lbs shy at the reunion. Then it was over. I went home. All my incentive had evaporated. I stopped being “OP” (on plan). All that weight (plus more) boomeranged right back at me. That was my first mistake: to have a specific goal, and then not replacing it with a new goal right away. Oops.

Thus began my in-and-out, love-hate relationship with WW. I came and went many times more over the next several years, but never really had the same enthusiasm as my first time. Then it was replaced with dread and hatred as I failed over and over again. Until this last January, when I was in such a state of desperation with my diabetes diagnosis. Even then, I sort of slunk in to the meeting. I sort of did the program.

It wasn’t until I was within fingers’ reach of my goal that I woke up and realized what it had all done for me. And then I started maintenance, which is a whole ‘nother ball of wax, as they say. It’s then that I started really paying attention, and really complying. Really reading the materials and seeing what value they had for me. Really GETTING IT.

I don’t want to get all WW-evangelical on y’all, but this training has really opened my eyes even MORE to what a good, solid, comprehensive program this is. And if people engage with it, and really take in everything it has to offer, it’s such good stuff. Truly.

The Wonderfulness of Somebody Else Cooking In My House

IMG_9711Last night our housemate (yes, we have a new housemate for several weeks!!!!) taught us how to make homemade gyoza, or potstickers. They were easy. They were healthy and awesomely delicious. It was wonderfully exciting. I admit I ate wayyy more than your standard “portion” because I was just so thrilled. Oh well.

I wish we could always have a housemate as awesome as this. The sound of vegetables being chopped in the kitchen, NOT BY ME, was such a revolutionary sound! Somebody else was cooking! It was incredible. I was so happy.


Want to know how to make beautiful and delicious gyoza? I just watched. But this is the basic idea of it:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined and chopped up (we used the easy-peasy frozen kind)
  • chopped up can of water chestnuts
  • chopped up green onions (3-4??)
  • little bit of sesame oil
  • minced garlic
  • minced ginger
  • little bit soy sauce?
  • wonton wrappers

IMG_9692Mix up all ingredients.  Put teaspoon? of mixture in half of wonton wrapper (they’re round). Seal with water and make a little pocket. Line up on tray. When you have a few dozen, put a little bit of oil in bottom of nonstick pan. Add gyoza and cook until they are browned on the bottom. Add a little bit of water and cover to steam cook the rest of the way. Probably takes about 5-8 minutes per batch. Eat. ENJOY!

I Passssssed!!!!!!!

imagesPassed the WW training session, that is. I am not… quite….. a leader yet. I have to do four mentoring sessions at actual meetings with members, and when I pass THOSE I’ll be a bona fide WW leader!!

The weekend was so intense. Really good. I have to say, the training is super impressive. It’s incredibly thorough and designed to make members have a truly great experience. I think any problem that anybody has with WW can’t be from the program itself, because I’ve come to believe that the program is pretty darned impeccable. It would be because a leader can’t really deliver it well, or they’ve become complacent or tired. Because what we’re supposed to do, is well, just really good stuff. The program is solid. It’s good. And what we’re supposed to do for members is also pretty over-the-top swell. The thing is, to do this all well is no piece of cake! (no pun intended) We’re supposed to incorporate many elements into a short meeting time time frame. Each element is designed to support members in various ways. It is a LOT. And a lot to remember. But it’s also awesome.

I was in a group of ten trainees. Everyone was great. It was kind of awesome to spend three days with a group of people who all have the same health and eating habits (with variations, of course!).  I was amused to see that most of us very much enjoyed our bacon at breakfast, (only one point!) we LOVE talking about food ad infinitum.  I had a couple of workout buddies who joined me at the hotel gym, and that was fun. We’ve all come a long way in  our journeys. People had lost a range of weight, one person over 100 pounds, which I found incredibly inspiring and moving. We’ve all Been There. I think I’m one of the most recent Lifetimers and have maintained for the shortest amount of time, so seeing them gave me confidence and hope.

We had little practice sessions all along, which were both nervewracking and helpful. But today was the Big Kahuna – we had to prepare for and lead an entire meeting on our own, after having been assigned a specific topic.  It was INTENSE! The hour and a half prep period reminded me of Top Chef… “Your time starts… NOW!” and everyone just flew into action, drawing on flip charts, looking stuff up, going into corners to mutter to ourselves, etc. The adrenaline was flowing like the mighty Mississippi. But everyone pulled it together, and did it, in their own unique ways. I survived mine; I think it was went well although I was “clearly nervous” for the first five minutes or so. I calmed down once I started asking questions and having more dialogue with the members (I have to remember this!).  Anyway, it’s done! It was really a remarkable experience.

I am not ready to sleep for about three days! (ha)

Follow the (Almost) Leader!

It feels like I’ve been waiting a long time for this day. Today I go to WW leader training  (today through Saturday). I’m excited. I’m nervous. Crazily, the pounds that leaped onto my body earlier this week are now gone. I have to say I don’t really understand this stuff. It’s not like I starved myself or ran a marathon yesterday. Maybe it was water retention. But whatever, I’m back in range and glad about that (whew).

The instructions were to pack two days of “regular” clothes and one day of “dress-up” clothes where we are supposed to simulate leading a meeting and looking as Nice (and probably, as skinny!) as possible. Of course I am fretting and deliberating over this. I’ve never really had a job where Appearance was an important aspect of the work. I remember when I was working as my first job – as a physical therapist – I’d be leaving my apartment building – in navy blue pants and a polo shirt, and big white sneakers – and the corporate neighbors in their suits and high heels would be all, “Hey, you have a day off today?” LOL.

I’ve had other jobs where I’ve had to look DECENT, but where it just wasn’t the main thing. In WW, it is really crucial that not only do you look good, you look healthy. I’ve been tearing things out of my closet all morning. Do I wear Spanx? (LOL) I think maybe I do.

I’ve got a ton of things to do before I hit the road – like get a mani-pedi (my fingernails look like some wild beast has been gnawing on them – oh yeah, maybe it has!) and get my eyebrows tamed. They’re looking like fuzzy bear caterpillars about now.

I have no idea what the Internet/time situation will be once I get there, and how much I will be able to share, but I will try to report back when I can. Byeee everyone, wish me luck!!

Finally Bootless!

I went back to my podiatrist today. The great news is that I get to put that damn cast boot in the closet! The other great news is that he says no surgery for now. The medium news is that I have to trade the boot for a brace that I must wear to do any exercise. I went out and bought it but it does not look very comfy so I admit I have not worn it yet. I will do so tomorrow morning when I go to see the trainer.

This is the longest I have gone without exercise since January. I worked out hard about twice in these past two weeks. I wanted to work out while I was on vacation last week, but it just did not happen, other than a long walk with my friends. I did have good intentions but with so many people to visit with in such a short time, I just mostly ended up sitting around and talking with dear friends and also my daughter, who flew in to spend her 19th birthday with me/us. It was truly blissful, lovely, wonderful, etc. We had a fabulous celebratory meal at the one and only Moosewood restaurant.

The upshot of it is that I gained a few pounds. I am not panicking, because it isn’t any more than I’ve gained on other “off” weeks I’ve had this year. But it’s bad timing because I am going to my WW leader training in two days. I sure as heck hope they will not weigh us, but they probably will. Aghh..

If anything was “worth it,” this was. But I really notice the big difference that these few pounds makes. I notice how it feels to not exercise in so long. (not good) Today I went to Sports Authority to buy my ankle brace and while I was there, I also bought a new fitness ball, a pair of 8 lb weights, and two new exercise DVDs: something called “Yoga for Inflexible People” (that’s me!!) and an on-sale Biggest Loser exercise DVD. I am very very anxious to get back to it.

Tomorrow morning!

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