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Gotta Hand It To Me

Just discovered a great tip that is a win-win situation.  I was in the restroom washing my hands and some person had left a bottle of rather nice smelling hand lotion for all to use.  So I tried it out.

Another staff member had recently been to Ocean City, MD and brought back caramel corn from Fishers.  I had given into this temptation several times since the beginning of the week (heck it’s only Wednesday!) and was feeling guilty about eating it and more importantly about not tracking it.

Before I hit restroom the caramel corn monster was calling my name.  However, once I put that nice smelling hand lotion on I realized I couldn’t dip into the caramel corn bucket.  Win-Win!  Not only are my hands softer but I wasn’t able to give into that temptation.  I wonder why I hadn’t thought of this before.  Neat trick to keep yourself from eating something that requires you picking it up with your hands – put lotion on before hand and you won’t pick it up (because no matter how good it smells I don’t think you want your caramel corn, brownie, cookie, etc. to taste like hand lotion).

Another win-win — while looking up the links to put in this post I found the nutritional information for the caramel corn.  I am now tracking what I ate this morning so at least part of my guilt is absolved 🙂

Before and After

Last Saturday our meeting was suppose to cover the topic of STRESS.  I certainly could relate to that last weekend and wish I had gone to the meeting but I didn’t.  If anyone reading this attended the meeting I’d love to know what tips/tricks our members brought up in the meeting.  Please feel free to comment and let me know.

I had a very full day last Saturday.  First there was 1.5 hours at the gym (including sauna), then at 12 noon I had to be at our Miller Branch to help take the computers down in preparation for our gala fundraising event – Evening in the Stacks: Masquerade!  After that I had to come back home (work in Howard County, live in Baltimore County) and hit the grocery store.  That meant I had to prep my list, look at recipes and figure out what other items I needed…once home it was time to put away all my little gems.  Next I had to fix dinner for the boys and then get ready for Stacks (I was working the event).  I didn’t get home until 12:30 and I had been up since 5am, needless to say I was tired.

Other than missing my meeting (something had to give that day and even though I missed it I was glad I did as it gave me a little breathing room in my hectic day) I feel I pretty much stayed on track with things and didn’t let the stress of the day get to me.  I made sure I had my protein shake before hitting the gym, came home and had a yogurt and then before going to the store I had a salad with cheese, lunch meat and no-fat dressing.  While unpacking the groceries I had a Weight Watchers snack for only 3 points.  My biggest challenge was going to be the event as there is always yummy, tempting food a plenty.

Once there I allowed myself only 2 glasses of Prosecco (4 oz. = 3 pts) and I headed to the veggie bar.  Had plenty of raw veggies, a little bit of spinach dip (with no bread) and only 2 small pieces of cheese.  I kept away from the Cesar salad and pasta bar (although it did look good) and headed over to the carving station where they had roast beef and turkey.  I did help myself to a 1/3 cup of mashed asiago cheese potatoes (they were too good to pass up).  I ended the night with water and a couple of yummy cookies and a whoopie pie.  I totaled my points the next day and found that I had only had to use about 4 of my weekly points.  After all the activity points (1.5 hrs at the gym, 1.5 hrs logging computers around, 4 hrs walking the event in 4″ heels) I earned that day I felt I had done really well!

All of this made me reflect on what a difference a year makes.  Last year when I attended Evening in the Stacks I was not at my most healthiest but this year I’m much better all thanks to Weight Watchers, the members and most importantly my great leader, Pat!

Evening in the Stacks 2011 (or before WW) Evening in the Stacks 2012 (or after WW)

Plan IT!

We always have the “IT” option.  We can lose IT, maintain IT or gain IT (pounds that is).  The holidays are no different but they certainly do present some challenges we don’t have to deal with the rest of the year.   Many of us are presented with an over-abundance of food and not the most healthy choices to boot.  So what can one do?  Plan IT!

Whether you plan just one meal, one day or one week – making a plan ahead of time can help.  Decide what your plan of attack will be if you have a holiday party to attend.  One member suggested that you make one pass around the table of food so you can do a bit of recon.  Decide what you are willing to spend your points on ahead of time.  Fill up on the power foods of course but don’t forget to treat yourself (we don’t believe in deprivation) to some of the desserts or whatever your favorite weakness is.  Another trick I’ve often heard is eat something before you go to the party.  That way you aren’t so hungry when you get there and are less likely to eat too much.  Minimize the amount of alcohol (empty calories that really can rob you of your points) and don’t forget to keep plenty of water by your side.  Another member suggested after you make your plate step away from the table.  Go and socialize.  Talking to others can keep you from going back and filling up once you are already full.  Another member said – share IT.   If you really love desserts – share that slice of pie or cake with a friend, co-worker or family member.  That way you can have half the points and still enjoy yourself.

Remember no matter what your plan is, try to eat slower.  It takes the brain time  to catch up to the stomach and say it’s full.  Eat but then wait 20 minutes or so.  Then assess your fullness level.  Also this time of the year with heat on the environment is drier – you maybe thirsty and not really hungry.  Try drinking some water first and then see if that doesn’t satisfy you.

So whatever challenges you this holiday season make a plan (to lose, maintain, or gain) but more importantly don’t beat yourself up if you don’t stick to the plan.  Look at it as a learning experience especially if this is your first time trying to avoid all the goodies out there.  We are only human and even the most season veteran at the weight loss path will fall off the wagon on occasion.  Trick is they immediately dust themselves off and get back on.  Just keep moving forward with whatever plan you choose.

Happy Holidays to all!

A Day of Food

Thanksgiving can be an extra stressful time for those of us watching the scale or at the very least trying to have healthy alternatives.  Although the turkey is definitely in the healthy category (without skin) the rest of the sides just seem to destined to challenge us.  If it isn’t the food that is the problem well-meaning relatives or friends may bring the challenge.

Many of us have to split our day among different households therefore eating two dinners.  As one member shared one family the Mother likes to serve everyone and serves them exactly the same amount no matter what.  Another member shared that a family member is offended if you don’t eat the dish they brought.   These won’t be the first or only challenges you will face but be thankful that Thanksgiving is a Day of Food.  Remember you do have a choice – you can choose to lose, choose to maintain where you are or choose to gain.  None of these choices are wrong – do what works best to make your Thanksgiving enjoyable.  Just remember give yourself permission and  get right back on the plan the next day no matter what your choice.

Some tips to keep in mind that might help you on Thanksgiving (or any big family gathering):

  • Eat smaller portions.  Eating some of  “Aunt Sue’s” favorite calorie/fat laden dish won’t add as many pounds to you and will go a long way towards appeasing her.
  • Schedule time to get out and exercise.  Take a walk with the family before or after the meal.  Since many of us have to get up early to finish thawing the turkey or get things started – go for a quick walk before everyone else is up.  Take that time for yourself then so you can enjoy family and friends later.
  • Help out in the kitchen after dinner.  Instead of sitting around watching football – move around the kitchen packing up leftovers or clearing dishes.
  • If you are hosting the event – send EVERYONE home with leftovers.  Less temptation for you if it isn’t in your fridge.
  • If you are going to someone’s house bring a dish that is Weight Watchers inspired.  I recently held a party where I made nothing but WW recipes – no one even knew and said how good the food was.  I was able to enjoy too knowing I was eating healthier versions of those recipes.
  • Remember things go better if you plan.  Plan ahead as to what you will eat for the big meal.
  • Know ahead of time what the point value for certain foods are (see list below).  Remember your portion sizes (bring your WW serving spoons – not only are they nice looking but they will help you remember what is a 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc.)
  • Don’t skimp on meals that day.  If try to save up points from breakfast or lunch you may find yourself too hungry by the time the big meal is served and you will more than likely go over on your points.  Try to fill up on power foods earlier in the day so you stay satisfied.
  • Use the Recipe Builder on e-Tools to take an old family favorite and make it healthier.
  • Again, decide what you want to do today (lose, maintain or gain) – this maybe a day of food but it’s really about family and friends.

If this is your first Thanksgiving on Weight Watchers think of it as a learning experience.  It is mine and I will take note of what worked for me and what didn’t so that next year I can improve my strategy.  I wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Menu and Points Plus Values

  • Tossed salad, 1 cup (no dressing) – 0 pts.
  • 1 Dinner roll (no butter) – 5 pts.
  • 1 tsp. Butter (regular) – 1 pts.
  • 1 slice Turkey breast (w/skin) 2 oz. – 3 pts.
  • Stuffing (1/2 cup) – 3 pts.
  • Ham (no glaze) 2 oz. – 3 pts.
  • Ham (glazed) 4 oz. – 7 pts.
  • Giblet gravy (1/4 cup) – 2 pts.
  • Cranberry sauce (1/4 cup) – 3 pts.
  • Winter squash (1 cup) – 0 pts.
  • Mashed potatoes (1/2 cup) – 3 pts.
  • Baked sweet potatoes (1 large) – 4 pts.
  • Steamed green beans (1 cup) – 0 pts.
  • Green bean casserole (1 cup) – 4 pts.
  • Fruit cocktail (light syrup) 1 cup – 4 pts.
  • Corn (1 cup) – 4 pts.
  • 1 slice Pumpkin pie – 11 pts.
  • 1 slice Pecan pie – 14 pts.
  • Wine (4 oz.) – 4 pts.
  • Coffee or tea (no sweetener) – 0 pts.