Showing posts from 2017


Weight Watcher's Freestyle that is!

It's been just about a month since Weight Watcher's Freestyle was introduced in the meeting room.  Incase you were on the fence about heading back to the meeting room - do it, you may like the changes that have come to the program.  The WW Freestyle is their new program that builds on the already very successful Smartpoints.  Now there are MORE foods with a Smartpoints value of zero so there's less measuring and tracking.  That's right folks Weight Watchers listened to their members and staff - people just hate all the measuring and tracking (not everyone, I know).  They also listened to the fact that members we're using all of their daily can now roll over up to 4 Smartpoints per day!  Which is awesome, especially if you're enjoying those zero point foods!  Rolling over those Smartpoints allows for even more flexibility and freedom to live every moment. So of course the most common question asked is…

It's the Holiday Season!

Plan how you'll have a Happy Holiday!

We discussed this topic in the meeting room just prior to Thanksgiving, however I feel it's just appropriate for Christmas dinners!  The Great plate!  It's all about the plan.  When you're at a bountiful feast during the holiday season you can choose what foods are worth it to you (or not) and enjoy the day to the fullest without losing sight of your goals.  The secret is to plan ahead.  Preparing for a holiday dinner may seem daunting and I would agree, but chances are you can predict 90% of what is going to be at the table, even if you are the guest and not the host.  Remember that when you're with family and friends you love, it doesn't matter what you're eating!  Thinking about the menus ahead of time cab help you anticipate challenges ( yummy gravy, buttery mashed potatoes), set priorities (cheese and crackers vs pumpkin pie) and ask for what you need.  You can also decide whether to stick to your daily points/calor…

Escape Emotional Eating

Learn how to manage your feelings without food.
When you eat in response to an emotion, that is emotional eating.  It's learned, not innate, response.  Think about it, have you ever felt the need for a big serving of pizza or your favorite comfort food?  I know I have.  I have so many triggers that send me right to food.  The biggest trigger for me is when I have an educational meeting for my son.  I have been attending these meetings for seven years and they never get easier.

I'm learning how to cope better when it comes to emotional eating.  I started attending Overeaters Anonymous meetings and I am currently working my way through the Twelve Steps, but every day is a new challenge.  Emotional eating can lead to ups and downs with your weight.  Especially if you feel guilty afterward - which then leads to more eating!  But when you learn to do something else in response to this emotion, you're more likely to lose weight and maintain the loss.  Emotions are like waves.  …

Bust the Cholesterol Myth

What really affects your cholesterol numbers?
What is cholesterol?  We all have cholesterol in our bodies, a fat like substance that's part of our cells.  You might already know your LDL ('bad cholesterol) and HDL ('good" cholesterol numbers and that high LDL can leaf to heart disease but dietary cholesterol the kind found in foods like eggs, shrimp and other proteins doesn't actually affect our cholesterol levels.  Recent research has shown that there's no evidence to support that eating foods with cholesterol causes heart disease.

So what does contribute to heart disease?  Dietary cholesterol isn't the enemy, but saturated fat is.  We now know that a diet high in saturated fat can contribute to high LDL cholesterol and heart disease.  To keep your own cholesterol levels in a healthy range, be mindful of sat fat amount in different foods, check the nutritional labels of packaged foods for that information.

FACT: Animal sources account for most dietary sa…

Master Your Time

How to find more time for what matters most to you.

So what does time management really mean?  We all know the feeling- there's so much to do but so little time! That's where managing your schedule can help.  You can't build more hours into your day...although some days we wish that was possible!  But we can begin to use our time effectively, because when we do it feels like we have more of it!  As you look at your day and what takes up your time, you can pinpoint what's helping you reach your goals on and off the scale - not to mention what's getting in your way!

How all this helps is that studies have shown that lack of time is a key barrier to eating healthy, moving more and losing weight.  Once you zero in on the things in your day that take up some of your precious time, you will be able to eliminate some and make room for the important things.  You know- like your family and yourself!  When we feel more control of our time and what we do with it we tend to be…

What's Your Why?

What keeps you going?  Knowing your motivation for losing weight can help you reach your goals.

For most people it is more than just a number.  It's about a positive intention-what do you intend to do?  How do you intend to live?  to find your why, dig deep, to the heart of your motivation.  The more specific you are about your why, the more powerful it is!  Find pictures of what your why looks like and make a vison board or paste them to a board and keep them in your office.  Make a screensaver for your phone with a collage of all the photos that represent your why!

Weight Watcher's Weekly helps us, by asking some important questions to help us find our 'why":

1. Answer quickly - WHY DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?
3. Now make it yours! Answer again - WHY DO YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT?

Here's my "WHY".....

Almost seven years ago I began this journey and hit my Lifetime Goal in 2010. …

Shift Your Thinking

See how a “growth” mindset can help you succeed.
“Our mindsets are not set in stone. According to Carol S. Dwell PHD, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the author of Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success, we often switch from one point of view to another in our daily life, depending on the situation. When it comes to weight loss, being able to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can help.”
When you have a growth mindset you are more open to hide new experiences and chances to improve our self. In the opposite, if you have a fixed mindset you tend to have the idea of “it is what it is” and don’t allow for growth. “Criticism lodges in our minds as truth and setbacks may seem insurmountable.”  Having this mindset can hamper our weight loss efforts.
“Shifting to a growth mindset can unleash positive, powerful changes. You’ll see your weight loss journey as one if progress and learning. Having a growth mindset leads you to reflect on those sl…

Make Your Meetings Matter

Show up each week and you’re more likely to win at losing. Here’s how to make it happen.
Weight Watchers meetings are so much more than stepping on the scale each week. You pick up lots of useful information, both from your leader and other members. Weight Watchers meetings are a welcoming community that help to keep you inspired and motivated. One of things we talk about in the meeting room is putting yourself first and this is a great way to do just that! “On the days that it’s the hardest to get to your meeting, are often the days you need it the most.”  We all know those days-the one where you “just know” that the scale is going to be up. But you don’t have to get on the scale. My leader always says - come for the meeting and then decide once you’re there if you want to face the scale. But it’s never “required”.
The Weight Watchers Weekly quotes some figures that state how much more weight you tend to lose when attending meetings. I’ll be the first to tell you I do…

Boost Awareness

Tracking gives you insights, keeps you focused and helps you succeed.

The evidence is clear!  Tracking helps you lose weight by making you aware of what and how much you're eating,'s up to you on when and how to track!  Some people pre-track all their meals, using it as a guide for the day so they won't stray.  Others prefer to track as they go.  I know I vary between the two.  Some weeks I've sat down on a Sunday and planned my whole upcoming week.  Other weeks, like this week, I'm playing catch up on my tracking.  It's not about being perfect, its using that mindful piece and using your tracker as a tool to help reach those goals.

How it helps- when you're tracking, it helps you stick to your calorie or point goals and you are able to budget on if something is "worth" eating. This is especially important at certain times in your journey, like when you're just starting, after a vacation or when you haven' t been to a meeting in…

Set Your Fall Goals

Look back on your summer to help you move forward with your plan.

As we settle back into our fall routine, which for many of us means back to school routine its a great time to reflect on your progress over the past few months.  "What worked in terms of reaching your goals, for weight, healthy eating, activity and mindset?  And what didn't?  For example  if you never made it to that 5am spin class-ask what happened?  If the answer is that you actually hate getting up early and don't like indoor classes, you can use this information to adjust your activity goals."

"Looking back on what you've learned can set the stage to recommit to or revise your plan.  Setting goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) makes it more likely that you'll reach them."  For instance rather than saying I'll walk this week, your goal should be I'll walk on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 3 miles beginning at 8am.

Using what…

Move to Lose More!

The trick? Combine activity with a healthy eating plan.
So as I'm sure you've already said to yourself- duh! Everyone knows that. But it really is tricky because we all know it, but we all struggle with it. If we didn't we wouldn't need to be attending Weight Watchers meetings or following a weight management program at home. Something to remember is that physical activity isn't just going to the gym or jogging around the block. Movement is technically "any body movement that increases your energy expenditure." Any time that you move you are physically active so that means carrying groceries (in one trip if you're like me), dancing with a friend, walking a 5K. Now if you change what and how you're eating and match that with an increase of activity- you should see a 20% greater weight loss than changing your diet alone!
"How it helps is that aside from enhancing your wellbeing, boosting your mood, helping your heart health and cu…

Get Happy

Boost your everyday joy - it can help you live healthier and lose weight. Let's face it when we're happy everyday tasks seem easier, the day seems brighter, our loved ones seem awesome, all is right with the world, right? It gets better! Happiness not only affects how we feel but what we do, who knew right?! Studies have shown that Happy people make better choices overall. That means better food choices and getting out there to move more. You have more energy. You engage socially. You are more likely to perform more "good for you actions", like eating more nutritious food and getting more rest-because of more activity!
"Happy is as Happy does". Although half of our tendency towards happiness is genetic, another 10% from our environment and the remaining 40% is determined by what we do. You can choose to do things that make you happy. Small things can make a big difference. Even taking a moment to take in that sunrise or sunset while you're…

Sunday Vibes

Those Sunday Vibes. I've got them. I slacked off in August. I went on vacation and stopped tracking. Then upon coming back from vacation, settling back in to the school routine I'm noticing that scale creep back up. I don't want that to happen so I need to get a hold of myself again and start tracking. It's just that simple. When I'm tracking (and following) what I'm eating, I do better. It really is a no brainer.  It of course there are a million reasons why I don't track. The biggest one is it keeps me in denial of how much I'm actually eating.

I also started back at weekly meetings today.  there was a special for a 3 month membership where it cost me just slightly more than what I pay to go once a month.  I like going to the meetings, I get a lot out of them.  The Sunday morning group I found is great.  So I'm paid up through December 1st.  We'll see how this goes.  I'm hoping that I don't fall into the same cycle as I did th…

Weight Loss Myths Debunked

Knowing the truth about common beliefs can help you succeed.
Weight loss myths, everyone's heard them, everyone's tried a few and some of us truly believe a few are true!  I know I've fell into some of the weight loss myths myself and the fallout is usually not pretty. They've been around since the beginning of people working to lose weight. These myths "masquerade as truths". "Some of them are passed through generations such as don't eat after 8pm while others linger on from outdated science (fat free craze of the 80's). And still others offer that magic bullet that promises to shed those pounds effortlessly". "Believing and following myths can hold you back. And it's not always easy to separate fact from fiction. But remember the golden rule - if it sounds too good to be true it probably is." Here are some of the most common "tall tales" of weight loss and the "simple truth" behind them.
Myth -…

Sunday Vibes

So I missed the last two week's Sunday Vibes because I was  in vacation mode. I'm back at it this week and I also need to get back to tracking again. I didn't track all vacation and although according to my home scale I stayed about the same, I still have goals to lose weight.
In order to get back on track my plan for today is to meal plan for the upcoming week. Get back in the meeting room and also begin walking during the weekdays. I'm officially cleared to swim and lift over 10lbs as of September 1st. I hit the meeting room yesterday morning for the first time since August 6th and was up .8. I'm not stressing because I have a plan.
I've also got some business goals for myself this fall. I'm dabbling with an Etsy shop for my crafts-such as the rock painting hobby I took up while on vacation and the jewelry stamping I've been making as personal gifts the last few months.  The shop is up and running with a handful of listings as well a…

Stand Up to Stigma

Shift your thinking to overcome weight-related negativity.
In the meeting room the first week of August we discussed Weight related stigmas and discrimination. "Have you ever faced Weight stigma?  If you suspect that your body size has negatively affected how someone views or thinks about you or you have been called a hurtful name because of your weight then the answer is yes." "Weight stigma can come from anyone- a loved one, a coworker, your doctor, even a passerby. What makes this form of stigma unlike others is that we might believe it's true, BLAMING ourselves for being stigmatized rather than the person who was unkind to us. Some people affected by stigma turn to food to cope, for others it chips away at their self esteem."
I know for me that my doctor was the biggest offender of weight stigma. I have been battling with hypothyroidism for several years now. I often felt like my medication levels weren't correct and that was stalling my …

Eat Your Vegetables (and fruits too!)

There's no better time to enjoy them than at their peak!

Going into the first week of August we talked about eating your veggies and fruits. But more than just "eat more veggies" and "eat more fruits". We discussed that even though fruits and veggies are zero point foods that doesn't mean that they're "free".

During our meeting our leader brought up a great point- when you call something "free", most of us are programmed to go overboard, because it's free right?! Except it's not really free. Those fruits and veggies that some of us stopped counting (because they're zero) still have calories and sugar. But as we also discussed-grabbing that extra piece of fruit is better than that bag of chips or sleeve of cookies you may have been eating before.  Because if we're honest none of us joined Weight Watchers or any other weight loss program because we ate too much fruit or veggies. It's all about balance. If you chose …

Focus on Fun

Choose physical activity that you enjoy- It can help you succeed at weight loss!
In the meeting room during the last week of July we talked about focusing on fun. Making your movement goals by doing things you enjoy rather than by doing what you think you should do. My leader gave a great example of how to have fun while earning fit points, she had us all stand up and we did the hokey pokey! It proved that just having fun or doing something silly still counts as earning activity points. We all traded stories about the last time we "had fun" or "played". For some it was gardening, furniture restoration or another hobby. For others like myself, it was doing things with our children. I gave the example of a family hike or walk and playing with James (my youngest) in the sprinkler.
The Weight Watchers Weekly on this topic reminds you to "Move the way you love! Swapping an it's good for me mentality for an it feels good to me mentality can open up…

Sunday Vibes

A day late, I totally missed Sunday!  I'm on vacation mode.  We're in Maine on our annual family vacation.  We picked a really cute house that is large enough to accommodate my family of four, my sister's family of three and my other sister and in-laws will be coming for a short stay towards the end of our ten day adventure.

When I left the house I said goodbye to my scale for the next ten days too!  I'm also going to take a break from tracking.  I will continue to post my meals as usual so I have some sort of an idea when I look back on what I ate.  My goals are simple for vacation.  Eat the best I can (I'm not cooking most of the time and sharing with people that eat very differently), not stressing if I make a less than great food choice, get 10K or more steps per day and drink water...plenty of water!  We have kayaks available all week and I'm looking forward to spending more time on the water using them.  I'm not allowed to do any swimming but kayaki…

Tap the Power of Mindfulness

"You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf" ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
In the meeting room during the third week of July we discussed mindfulness. Mindfulness is defined as being aware of the here and now. That's it. Awareness. Without judgement, no good or bad labels. "In a way, it's taking yourself off autopilot, which can help you keep your goals top of mind. "
"Being more mindful can boost your well-being, optimism and self esteem. It can help you more easily see the positive changes (off and on the scale) that you've made happen with your healthier food and activity choices."  Mindfulness is also useful to help you manage negative emotions such as stress, sadness, anxiety and so on without turning to food to cope.
An exercise that is given in the Weight Watchers Weekly is "Just Breathe".
1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Inhale deeply and slowly through your nostrils, hold for two seconds, then exhale thro…

There is no magic number!

Sunday morning in the Weight Watchers meeting room one of the things we talked about is how you aren't determined by the number on the scale or in your clothes. Those numbers don't define you and shouldn't be the cause for you to "wait until you've reached that so called magic number". My leader caught me agreeing to all that she said and put me out there. I responded with some painful truth for me. When I hit my goal weight in 2010/2011, I didn't find that pot of happiness at the end of the journey and at the time I couldn't tell you why. I couldn't tell you why until just recently.
Now don't get me wrong, I had some other things going on around this time that added to my misery but my weight loss "let down" was from other choices. I'll roll back to the beginning. My original "weight loss why", the reason I started my journey was "To do something for me, put myself first". Nathan was born in the summer of 2…

Sunday Vibes

So I'm still in the recovery stage of having gallbladder surgery. I met with the surgeon for my follow up, he said I'm healing well and I have no dietary restrictions. But I'm land bound for the next four weeks along with no lifting over 10lbs. It came as a setback for me because I really thought I'd be cleared to go swimming while I'm on vacation but I understand the reasoning as to why (I'm healed externally but internally I'm still healing and swimming it soaking could cause a reversal of external healing). I definitely don't want that! So I'm allowed to go boating and anything else I feel up to. I had planned on trying kayaking for the first time.
Food wise, I'm just learning what works best for my body right now. I learned ice cream and I have to break up (which we were in a dicey relationship before this anyway) and sweets aren't really my friend either. The doctor tells me that at the six week mark things should all feel back to nor…