Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I just read the comics (I haven't hit the circulars yet--I save that for last!!), and I saw this quote:

"Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action." W.J. Cameron

How true is that! Let's use that as a reminder today that we are not celebrating food. The meaning of the day is THANKSGIVING, giving thanks and expressing gratitude for the abundant blessings we have been given--our families, our friends, a roof over our heads, music to listen to, a furry friend to pet, a child/grandchild/niece/nephew to spoil and to love.

I witnessed first hand, when working my social work "gig," people who have absolutely nothing and no one. I held the hands of a dying homeless man who was completely destitute. He had no money, no family, no friends, no home address, no clothes, no shoes, no health insurance. He had no wallet, no pictures in his wallet, no driver's license, no credit cards, no MAC card, no shoppers club cards. He had no extra change in his pocket, no keyring, no keys to a home or a car or an office. He had nothing. But, let me share something that he DID have that will make you stop and think.

On the day before Thanksgiving in 1995, I stopped by to chat with him before I left to spend the holiday with my family. I remember feeling sorry for myself because I was about to spend, yet again, another holiday without a baby in our house. As he spoke, he took my hand and he said, "No matter what happens to me, I have faith. I know nobody wants to touch me or look at me or talk to me because they think I'm dirty and stupid and disgusting. But I still have faith. No one can take that away from me. If I give that up, then I have nothing."

Powerful words for someone who elicited nasty comments, despise, and avoidance from the staff because of his appearance! But, WOW, what a wise man he was! We all have SOMETHING to be thankful for. Unfortunately, we tend to focus on things on the outside, and not gifts on the inside. So, today, celebrate true gratitude for all that you have been given--and don't forget to take your personal inventory from the inside out!

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 23 to 29

Week of November 23 to 29, 2008

B E L I E V E !

"Do or do not—there is no try." –Yoda

FOLLOW UP ON LAST WEEK: Have you made your list and checked it twice? What list, you ask? The list of what you plan to eat this Thanksgiving. You now know the values of the foods; now it’s up to you to fit them into your plan so that you can enjoy them without guilt!

THIS WEEK: We have people in our lives who are supportive of our efforts to lose weight, but we also have some people who sabotage our hard work. Come learn how to deal with them this week!

DONATE BLOOD, SAVE A LIFE: Okay, this Blood Drive is in jeopardy of being cancelled. I only have two persons registered, and I need your cooperation! On Saturday, December 6, a Blood Drive will be held at the WW Gateway Center from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The Center is located in Gateway Square and is in the same shopping center as Outback Steakhouse and Carraba’s Restaurant. Registration is requested—please email me at to sign up. This is NOT just for WW members—spouses, friends, kids (must be at least 18 years old), neighbors, co-workers are ALL welcome to participate! If you are concerned about having to cut back on gift giving this year, then consider making a donation of something that may help to save a life. I hope to see a LOT of you there!!


10% award: Jason from Daily Express; Donna S from Tuesday AM Giant; Lori from Wednesday AM Gateway; Janet F and Janet Y from Thursday PM Gateway
Goal weight: Claire from Wednesday AM Gateway; Charlene from Tuesday PM Giant

If I missed your celebration, email me IMMEDIATELY, and I will include it in next week’s newsletter. Be sure to tell me what meeting you attend!

JINGLE ALL THE WAY: Hopefully, you all picked up your “jingle all the way” pin at a meeting last week. For each week you weigh in between now and January 1, you will earn another bell for your pin. Use this anchor to remind yourself that you are WORTH the effort to take care of yourself this holiday season and that you CAN be successful despite the temptations around you. If you didn’t get a pin, see me for one—I’ll have them with me.

THE WHITE CHRISTMAS BAG: Donations are being accepted through Monday, December 8th. If you don’t know what this bag is about, email me or see me in the meeting room this week, and I’ll explain it to you.

GREG'S JOKES FOR THE WEEK: Here are a couple of jokes to celebrate Thanksgiving!

If the Pilgrims were alive today, what would they be most famous for? Their AGE

Why can't you take a turkey to church? Because they use such FOWL language

What's the best dance to do on Thanksgiving? The turkey trot

Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State Building? Yes - a building can't jump at all

How can you make a turkey float? You need 2 scoops of ice cream, some root beer, and a turkey

What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock

Why did the police arrest the turkey? They suspected it of fowl play

RECIPES OF THE WEEK: Here are some for Thursday PLUS a few that you can use to get rid of the leftovers…

Cranberry Sauce Mini Cups
Makes 24 at 1 ¼ pt each

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple , in its own juice
2 packs sugar free, fat free raspberry gelatin
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
2/3 C chopped walnuts
1 apple, chopped

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to measure 2 ½ cups; pour into saucepan. Bring to a boil; pour mixture over gelatin mixes in a large bowl. Stir for 2 minutes or until the mixes are completely dissolved. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, walnuts and apple. Spoon into 24 cupcake tins (muffin tins) that are lined with cupcake papers (or, spray the tins with cooking spray and just put mixture into the sprayed tins). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm. Don’t forget to remove the paper liners if you use them : )

Crustless Pumpkin Pie (thanks to Connie from the Wednesday AM Gateway meeting for this one!)
Makes 8 servings at 2 pts per slice

1 can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 can fat free (skim) evaporated milk
½ cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
2 egg whites
½ cup sugar substitute (you know which one I mean…)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ginger
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup reduced fat graham cracker crumbs

Combine pumpkin, milk, egg or egg substitute, egg whites, and sweetener; beat until smooth. Add the spices and the salt; beat until combined. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Pour into a 9 inch pie plate that has been sprayed with fat free cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

Pumpkin Trifle
Makes 18 servings at 4 pts per serving

1 pkg spice or gingerbread cake mix
1 1/4 cup water
1 egg
4 cups cold fat free milk
4 pkgs sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix
1 can solid-pack pumpkin (15 oz)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice
1 carton reduced-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed (12 oz)

In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, water and egg; mix well. Pour into 8" square baking pan that has been sprayed with non-fat cooking spray (the recipe says 1 pan, but I think you’ll need either 2 8-inch pans OR 1 13x9.2 pan). Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. When completely cooled, crumble the cake. Set aside 1/4 cup crumbs for garnish.

In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set. Stir in pumpkin and spices; mix well. In a trifle bowl or 3 1/2 qt glass serving bowl, layer a fourth of the cake crumbs, half of the pumpkin mixture, a fourth of the cake crumbs and half of the whipped topping. Repeat layers. Garnish with reserved cake crumbs. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Cheesy Potatoes
YIELDS: 12-15 servings at 5 pts per serving

32 oz Ore-Ida Southern Style Hashbrowns
12 oz light sour cream
2 cup Kraft Mild Shredded Cheddar Cheese
10 3/4 oz Campbell's 98% Fat-Free Cream Of Chicken Soup
8 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup onion(s)

Preheat oven to 350. Spread hashbrowns in 9 x 13 pan. Mix everything else, except margarine, in a bowl and spread evenly over potatoes. Dot top with margarine slices. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Lower points even more by using fat free cheese and sour cream and by using less margarine on top.

“Homemade” Turkey Noodle Soup
(uses WW Chicken and Noodles side dish)
Makes 6 cups at 2 pts each

2 cans fat free chicken broth
1 C diced carrots
1 C diced celery

Boil gently until veggies are tender. Then add:

¾ lb cooked, diced leftover turkey meat
2 C water
1 package WW Chicken Side package

Bring to boil; simmer 10 minutes untl the noodles are soft.
Cherry Salad
Makes 16 half-cup servings, 2 pts per half-cup serving
Source: e-Tools
1 20-oz. can lite cherry pie filling
1 14-oz. can fat-free condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk!)
1 12-oz. carton fat-free non-dairy whipped topping (again, you know what I mean…)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
Mix milk, pineapple, and lemon juice. Add lite cherry pie filling and non-dairy topping. Chill.
No Guilt Turkey Potpie
Makes 4 servings at 5 pts each

1 cup cooked chicken (or turkey), cubed
1 pkg. (about 9 oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% Fat-Free Cream Of Chicken Soup
1 cup skim milk
1 egg
1 cup reduced-fat baking mix

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In 9" pie plate mix chicken, vegetables and soup. Mix milk, egg, and baking mix. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Veggie Soup
(1/5th recipe: 35 calories/ 0g fat/ 400mg sodium/ 6.5g carbs/ 2g fiber/ 3.5g sugars/ 2g protein)

4 cups fat-free broth; vegetable or chicken
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 small zucchini
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 medium-sized red pepper
*Optional: salt and pepper; to taste

Cut pepper and zucchini into large chunks. In a large pot, stir to combine broth and pumpkin. Add celery and cook on high heat. After a few minutes (once soup is hot but not yet boiling), add zucchini and peppers. Once soup has reached a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper, if desired, and dig in! Makes five 1-cup servings.

Be creative… Toss in a half of a cup each of canned corn kernels and black beans for the last few minutes of cooking. With the addition of these Southwest-inspired ingredients, each serving is just 1pt!

1/5th recipe with corn and black beans: = 1 pt

Upside Down Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding
Makes 10 servings at 2 pts each
8 oz fat free cream cheese (room temperature)
8 oz fat free non-dairy whipped topping
8 oz fat free sour cream
2 pouches 100 Calorie Packs graham cracker thins(crushed)
1 can pumpkin (16 oz)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4-1 cup sugar substitute (depending on how sweet you like it)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix cream cheese, non-dairy topping, sour cream, lemon juice and sugar substitute. Then add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Mix it all together and pour into 10 dessert dishes. Top with a small handful of crushed graham cracker thins. Chill in the fridge for a few hours, then enjoy!
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I just read something interesting—a woman on the WW message boards wrote that she has chosen to not track any points she eats this coming Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Her logic is that she “stresses” too much on that day, and then, because of the stress, she continues to eat throughout the weekend. Yes, sure, I can see how not tracking at all will be helpful while consuming the most bountiful meal we eat all year. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Are you kidding me? Is she serious?? This journey is all about creating new habits, isn’t it? Is eating what you want, when you want, how much of what you want, without any accountability what got us in trouble in the first place? Is this NOT the habit that created our current issue that we are working so persistently to change? Then can someone please help me to understand how going BACK to that behavior will help us in any way?? Sorry, kids—I really try to be patient and understanding and accepting of people doing whatever works for them. BUT…I have NEVER seen this behavior work in positive way for anyone…NEVER!!! If you’re even THINKING about doing this, consider this message as a slap to your head, and instead start spending your time planning how you’re going to stay in control on Thursday. Do you remember the three questions that will help you to prepare to successfully navigate the “food” piece of the holiday?

1. What am I going to eat?
2. How much of it am I going to eat?
3. How frequently am I going to eat it?

There’s no need to stress over this—make a plan, follow it, trouble shoot after it’s over, and then continue the journey. Enjoy the people you are with, give thanks for all the blessings you have in your life, say a little prayer for those who have less than you do, and celebrate the day for its true meaning! Have a peaceful, happy Thanksgiving!

Be a Tigger, and keep on bouncing!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 16 to 22, 2008

Week of November 16 to 22, 2008
B E L I E V E !

"Do or do not—there is no try." –Yoda

FOLLOW UP ON LAST WEEK: What lessons did YOU learn from the gridiron last week? There really are lots of similarities—come and share your “fumbles” and “blocks and tackles” with us this week!

THIS WEEK: Ahhh…the challenges of the Thanksgiving table and of all of the upcoming special occasions, parties, and get togethers. You CAN be successful, despite plates of cookies, bowls of stuffing, and pie plates of pumpkin pie—come learn how this week!

COOKIE RECIPE EXCHANGE: I’m hoping to have a Cookie Recipe exchange at Gateway Center in the next few weeks. You will bring copies of ONE cookie recipe (and samples of that cookie) to the exchange. Then, when you leave, you will have a variety of low point cookies that you have tasted and sampled. Email me ASAP if you want to participate. Send a note to Thanks!

DONATE BLOOD, SAVE A LIFE: Kids, this is SERIOUS!! I only have one person registered, and I need your cooperation! On Saturday, December 6, a Blood Drive will be held at the WW Gateway Center from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The Center is located in Gateway Square and is in the same shopping center as Outback Steakhouse and Carraba’s Restaurant. Registration is requested—please email me at to sign up. This is NOT just for WW members—spouses, friends, kids (must be at least 18 years old), neighbors, co-workers are ALL welcome to participate! If you are concerned about having to cut back on gift giving this year, then consider making a donation of something that may help to save a life. I hope to see a LOT of you there!!


10% award: Joie and Christina from Delta Dental
Goal weight: Joie from Delta Dental
Lifetime: Tina from Delta Dental

If I missed your celebration, email me IMMEDIATELY, and I will include it in next week’s newsletter. Be sure to tell me what meeting you attend!

GREG'S JOKE FOR THE WEEK: Why was the turkey the drummer in the band? Because he had the drumsticks…

RECIPES OF THE WEEK: check back later…I’ll be adding some more to this collection!

5 Can Soup
makes 10 servings at 1 pt each (you will find this posted in MANY places as 2 pts for the whole recipe—that is incorrect. I ran this through the Recipe Builder on WW e-Tools, and it is 1 pt per serving, and 10 pts for the whole pot!)

1 14.5 oz can of cut whole new potatoes, drained and cubed
1 14.5 oz can sliced carrots, drained
1 14.5 oz can zucchini with Italian style tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can cut diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 14 oz can fat free chicken or beef broth

Combine all ingredients, add salt/pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer.

Green Beans with Bacon and Vinaigrette
makes 8 servings (3/4 C each) at 1 pt each

2 lbs green beans
2 bacon slices
¼ C minced onion or shallots
3 Tbs coarsely chopped almonds
2 Tbs brown sugar
¼ C white balsamic vinegar*

Cook beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain well and set aside. Cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon; crumble and set aside. Add shallots to the bacon fat in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add almonds; sauté 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat; let cool slightly. Add sugar and vinegar to skillet; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in crumbled bacon. Pour vinaigrette over beans, tossing gently to coat.
*NOTE: I prefer to use red wine balsamic vinegar—yummy!

Pumpkin Cake
makes 24 servings at 4 pts each

4 eggs
½ C unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ C sugar
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ C raisins

Cream cheese frosting:

8 oz fat free cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
4 C powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, applesauce, sugar, and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift together remaining ingredients, except raisins. Gradually beat flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Stir in raisins. Pour batter into a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool. To make frosting, place softened cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Cream with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing until of spreading consistency. Spread evenly on cooled cake. Chill and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese
(I’m not sure when this recipe is from, but it’s not an original)
makes 6 servings at 1 pt each

6 cups cauliflower, florets, fresh (about 1 head), or frozen and thawed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450ºF. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Transfer cauliflower to a large baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast until cauliflower is golden brown, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with cheese; toss to mix. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
makes 8 servings at 3 pts each (from website)

3 oz reduced-fat cinnamon graham crackers, about 5 1/2 sheets
1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 large egg white(s)
1 large egg(s)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp table salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or less to taste
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
4 Tbsp lite whipped topping

Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place graham crackers and light brown sugar in a food processor and process into crumbs (or smash into crumbs in a sealed plastic food bag with a rolling pin). Spoon crumbs into a small bowl; add melted butter and combine with fingers into a coarse meal. Distribute crumbs evenly on bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Chill for 30 minutes before baking. Bake until crust starts to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes; remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until frothy; fold in egg, dark brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice and evaporated milk. Beat pumpkin custard until smooth and pour into pie shell. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces, top each piece with 1/2 tablespoon of whipped topping and serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 1 slice per serving

Cranberry Orange Salad
makes 15 servings at 4 pts each

1 15 oz can mandarin oranges
2 pkgs (.3 oz each) sugar free cranberry gelatin
1 ½ C boiling water
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 carton (8 oz frozen reduced fat whipped topping thawed
1 ½ C crushed salt free pretzels
6 Tbs butter, melted
sugar substitute equivalent to 5 Tbs sugar, divided
1 pkg (8 oz) fat free cream cheese

Drain oranges and reserve juice in a 2 cup measuring cup; set oranges and juice aside. In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce until melted. Add enough cold water to the reserved juice to measure 1 ½ C; add to gelatin mixture. Stir in the oranges. Chill until partially set. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pretzels, butter, and 2 Tbs sugar substitute. Press into an unreased 13 x 9 x 2 pan; chill. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar substitute until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Spoon gelatin mixture over cream cheese layer. Chill for at least 3 hours or until set.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls
makes 18 rolls at 2 pts each

1 ½ C self rising flour
1 ½ C whole wheat flour
1/3 C sugar
1 pkg (1/4 oz) quick rise yeast
1 C 1% buttermilk
¼ C canola oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine the self rising flour, ¾ C of the whole wheat flour, sugar, and yeast. In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk and oil to 120 to 130 degrees (mixture will look curdled). Add to dry ingredients; beat just until smooth. Stir in remaining whole wheat flour. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough to ½ inch thickness; cut with a floured 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 35 to 40 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Gingered Butternut Squash
makes 6 servings at 2 pfs each

2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs candied ginger
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbs half and half cream

Place squash in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12 to 16 minutes or until ender. Drain. In a large bowl, beat squash with butter and syrup. Beat in the ginger, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Gradually add cream until blended. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Stuffing
makes 12 servings at 3 pts each

1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped celery
¼ C butter
6 C cubed white bread
6 C cubed whole wheat bread
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp sage
½ tsp pepper
1 can (14 ½ oz) reduced sodium chicken broth
½ C egg substitute

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heath, cook onion and celery in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes, salt, poultry seasoning, sage, and pepper. Stir in the onion mixture. Combine the broth and egg substitute; add to the bread mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a 3-qt slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until heated through.

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Cake
makes 24 servings at 7 pts each

1 pkg (14 oz) caramels
1 can (14 oz) fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/3 C butter
4 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/3 C canola oil
1 ½ C water
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ C flour
1 1/3 C sugar
1/3 C sugar blend for baking
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¾ C chopped pecans, tasted
1 tsp confectioners' sugar

In a small heavy saucepan, heat the caramels, milk, and butter over low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently; set aside and keep warm. In a large mixing bowl, combine chocolate and oil. Beat in the water, applesauce, egg whites, egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, sugar blend, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to chocolate mixture until blended. Pour half of batter into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 to 18 minutes or until center is set. Spread caramel mixture evenly over cake; top with remaining batter. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 18 to 23 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted near the center of the top layer comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Pumpkin Mousse
5 servings, 2 pts each

In a medium bowl with an electric beater on medium speed, beat:

1 16 oz can pumpkin
1 6-serving package of sugar free, fat free instant vanilla pudding
¼ C 1% milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Fold in:
2 C fat free whipped topping, thawed

Spoon into individual bowls. Cover and chill.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Yesterday, I read that you can use a strand of spaghetti to light a candle, especially if the wick of the candle is deep down inside the candle jar. That’s very creative, don’t you think? But…it’s not the spaghetti that lights the candle, is it? You need the basic lighting tool—FIRE—in order for the spaghetti strand to do its job. Have you been trying to “light the candle” of your weight loss journey with a simple spaghetti strand? You keep holding it to the wick, turning it to the right and left, lowering it, raising it, and trying over and over again, but with no success. What’s missing, kids? The FIRE!! The fire of our weight loss success is motivation, and motivation comes from a goal. Do you keep trying to lose weight but for no special reason except “I want to lose weight?” People, listen to me!!!!! If you want to light the candle, you need to spend time thinking about WHY you want to lose weight. What changes will it mean for your life? Do you want to fit back into the closet full of clothes that are too tight to wear right now? Do you want, once again, to look like you do in the picture that sits on your desk? Do you want your next trip to the doctor to be one of anticipation of positive feedback and test results instead of one of dread? Do you want to have energy to give to your kids at night? Do you want to not feel like the heaviest person in the room? Do you want to get out of bed each morning without aching knees? Do you want to greet each day with “Bring it on!” instead of “I can’t wait ‘til it’s over?” You can achieve these goals, but you have to make them your own. The goal has to make you feel emotional about losing weight—the goal will help you say “no, thank you” because just thinking about accomplishing it helps you make the tough decisions. If your goal is to lose weight, it’s just not good enough. What do you want to have HAPPEN as a result of losing weight? If you spend some time thinking about that and eventually answering that question, you will find the fire you need to use the proverbial spaghetti strand. You’ll never look at spaghetti the same way again, will you?

Be a Tigger, and keep on bouncing!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

...and so we begin...

Hi kids!

I'm taking the "big jump" today into the wonderful world of blogs! I hope this will be something that will help to make our weight loss journeys more fun, more interesting, and much easier!

You probably know my story...I struggled with my weight my entire life (I've been really, really thin and really, really overweight). After a public humiliation that brought me to rock bottom feelings, I made a decision to make a change, for once and for all. The starving, the obsessive exercising, the secretive eating, the minute-by-minute and hour-by-hour obsession with what I would eat next, the mini chocolate covered donuts, the eating from the trash (from packages like potato chips bags, but still!!), the poor self esteem, the horrible name calling ("fat cow," "hog", "ugly pig" were some favorites), the "not feeling good enough" about ANYTHING I did--it was all going to end. It would end slowly (hey, I'm still a "work in progress"), but it would no longer rule my life.

So, on June 4, 2001, I joined Weight Watchers. On January 31, 2002, after having lost 72 pounds, I became a Weight Watchers leader, and I've been a believer ever since! Do I still struggle? Yep. Will I ever give up? Nope. It's that simple. Here are the steps:

1. Believe in yourself. Believe you're worthy of achieving successful weight loss.
2. Believe in your capabilities. Believe you're capable of doing what it takes to successfully lose weight.
3. Do the work. Stop whining. Stop the excuses. If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. If you're willing to do at least ONE thing differently, then you will experience success.
4. Identify the problem, and use it as the solution. Once you know the reason for your weight issues, you need to then make a choice: do I continue to use the reason as an excuse to overeat, or do I use the reason as an explanation for my weight issues and now work on changing?
5. Stop making this be about food. If you think in a positive way, you will make good choices. Worrying about how many calories are in spray butter is ridiculous; figuring out why you need to spray half the bottle on your potato will REALLY help you. Learn to understand your thoughts and feelings; the appropriate and self supporting choices will naturally follow.
6. Never quit. Yes, it's that simple. The most difficult thing that we all need to come to terms with and accept is that we revert back to the old way of thinking when we hit a challenge or crisis that is emotionally debilitating. The KEY is to work through the challenge or crisis without turning to food. Sounds easy, doesn't it? But think about it. We do well when all is right in our world; we stumble and go backwards when emotional turmoil surrounds us. This is when many of us throw our hands up in the air and say, "It's too hard right now. I can't handle this right now. I don't have time for this right now. I have too much else to worry about right now." What we're really saying is, "I don't want to worry about my weight right now and I want to eat whatever I want to get through this." And we KNOW where that gets us. You KNOW I'm right...

So, I'll share your journey with you for as long as you choose to have me. Put your seat belts on, people--this is going to be a GREAT ride!

Mary Ann