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Anchors Away!

April 7th’s meeting could have had a nautical theme since we were talking about anchors.  But anchors come in all types (not just the nautical kind).  Our leader, Pat, mentioned that she looked up the definition of anchor because at first she thought of it as just something that weighed you down.  Not the most positive mental image.  But she discovered another definition that worked for us – source of security or stability.

She asked us what we saw as anchors or sources of security/stability in our lives.  Some of us felt that belief in the plan and that it works was an anchor.  Others said that a picture of “before” could work to remind you of where you were and how far you’d come.  Clothes can be an anchor or reminder – now they now longer fit or you are now fitting into something you couldn’t before.   Pat mentioned that a member in a different meeting said her collar-bone was her anchor.  She couldn’t feel her collar-bone before she joined WW and now she can.  Nice thing is her collar-bone/anchor goes with her everywhere and is a constant reminder.  I like to use my key chain that I earned from WW as my anchor.  I use it for my work keys and every time I take it out to unlock a door at work it reminds me of where I was and how far I’ve come.  One member reminded us that the meetings and the people who attend can be anchors for us.  If she needs support she can just call on one of us to help her through that spot.

Meetings are definitely a good anchor to have no matter where you are in the plan (beginning, maintenance or lifetime).  Remember this is a lifestyle we are working on and not a life sentence!  If you had a bad week you need a meeting and if you had a good week the meeting needs you.

So what do you use as a reminder or to anchor yourself on your journey across the healthy lifestyle sea?


Work in Progress

Finally caught up on blogging, well until I attend today’s meeting 🙂

Last week’s meeting was about acknowledging what works for us in the program.  Lots of great info came out of that meeting.  One member commented that she had been going crazy with grapes the previous weeks.  Turns out you can have too much of a good thing.  I know this as well – if I eat too many high glycemic fruits I pay for it.  Even though fruits are zero points you can have too many and they can add points on.  If you still want to keep fruit in your program just try to pick more lower GI (glycemic index) ones like berries and less high point ones like bananas or watermelon.

Several of us commented that sleep is very important to the weight loss journey not to mention just general health.  I know for a fact that weeks where I didn’t get enough sleep that scale (as well as my general well-being) reflected it.  Make sure you get at least 6 or more good solid hours of sleep.

One member had a wonderful insight (I do like where she comes from – she makes me see things differently and for that I thank her).  She sees each meeting as a class.  It is a refresher on what she needs to learn.  What a wonderful way to look at things.  I was really surprised that I, as a trainer, didn’t think of that.  Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees and you need someone else to point it out.  I’ve always said my favorite part of training is when I too learn something.

One member said that she used to say “well I only lost __ lbs.” but when she picked up a 5 lb. bag of flour it reminded her of just how much she lost and what she had been carrying around.  Sometimes we need those tangible reminders to see what is working for us.

We then listed all the things we know work on the Weight Watchers program:

  • Number one thing mentioned was – Tracking!  Indeed I had fallen off the tracking bandwagon and last week really saw the results of it.  This week I got back on and look forward to my weigh-in today.  Tracking really is the strongest tool in our arsenal  You can’t change your bad eating habits if you don’t know what you are eating.  We think we know but we can easily block out that candy bar or bag of chips if we don’t write it down!
  • Exercise – just move.  It doesn’t have to be at the gym just add more movement to your daily routine and the effects will show.
  • Portion control – along with tracking these two really make a big difference.
  • Water – drinking it not only fills you up but your body needs it.  I read an article once that said most of us walk around dehydrated – we just don’t get enough water.
  • Setting small OBTAINABLE goals – instead of looking at that final number and thinking I can’t possibly lose __ lbs.  Focus on the first 5 lbs, 5%, 10%, etc.  Not only are they easy to set and reach when we celebrate at the meetings all of us feel good.
  • Setting REASONABLE expectations – if our expectations (I’ll lose 4lbs this week) are set too high we really are setting ourselves up for failure and get easily discourage.  Don’t sabotage yourself that way.
  • Forgive yourself – this segue ways perfectly from the previous point.  If your expectation is set too high – learn from it, forgive yourself and move on.  We are all human, we are going to make mistakes but the best thing we can do is learn from it first and then forgive ourselves.
  • Don’t deprive yourself – this is one of my favorites.  So many people start off with good intentions and try to cut every bad thing out of their diet (no sugar, no salt, no chocolate, no……)  That is great but not very realistic.  Go ahead, have your cake and eat it too.  Just make sure you track it, acknowledge it and forgive yourself if you need to.  Giving into those occasional “goodies” (whatever yours maybe) makes doing this program a whole lot easier than those “diets” out there that make you give up everything.  Goes back to being realistic with expectations.
  • Honesty – I liked this one.  Let’s be honest, we aren’t always so honest with ourselves, our tracking, our exercise, etc.  We are only fooling ourselves but really we aren’t because we know.  Be honest in your tracking, exercising, etc. even if your honesty is that I didn’t track this week or I didn’t exercise as much.  Just keeping yourself honest will let you see patterns and figure out how to do things different or better next time.
  • Healthy Checks – making sure we get all of those in (love seeing the smiley face).  I was one who didn’t believe that the 2 teaspoons of healthy oil was important.   I knew that oil was high in fat what on earth was Weight Watchers thinking?   But I remember how things changed for me once I started doing that religiously.  Good lesson for me to learn that they have researched this, tested it and it works.  What I was doing wasn’t so don’t think I know better.

And I’ll add to this that Meetings is definitely one of the things that work.  They are now my Saturday morning class.  I owe that to myself.  I love the wisdom that comes out in each meeting.  I love learning new things or being reminded of old ones.  For me it is an important part of my program and it is part of what works for me.

We are all just works in progress but hopefully we can use some of the great wisdom documented here to help us with our progress.


Reflecting On Things Past To Move Forward

I guess it’s inevitable that at the last Weight Watchers meeting of 2011 we should do some reflecting on our success this past year.  More importantly I like to look at where I might have failed (or in less harsh terms – where I slipped up and had learning moments).   Mistakes are what make us human and give us the most opportunities to grow/learn.   There are so many great quotes regarding mistakes I can’t pick just one.  But looking back at the good and the bad is important part of your health journey.

If you subscribe to eTools you have reports on your fingertips that can help you see patterns.  Take time to review them.  Look at the weeks where you lost and the ones you didn’t – what is different about the weeks that you lost weight?  Do you track often or rarely?  How about your healthy checks – do you succeed at completing those each day?  If you don’t use eTools try tracking your weight loss on a graph that can help you to see patterns sometimes as well.

Several members looked back at the year but especially the holidays and saw where they needed to improve.  One member mentioned that she realized that she drank a lot of diet soda while off for the holidays (something she doesn’t do so much the rest of the year).  It struck a chord with me and I got to thinking about how much Diet Coke I had the past week (and may have explained some of my weight gain that week – although a lot of it was from giving myself a bit too much permission to have goodies during Christmas).  Our leader mentioned that a lot of sodas have too much sodium in them.  I found an interesting article on all the diet soda/sodium and breaking the habit.  I mentioned that canned foods (such as tomatoes which I use in a lot of recipes) also have sodium but luckily we have the no-salt version as well.

So take a moment to look back at 2011 so you can move forward with your health goals in 2012.  I for one am going to limit my soda intake to 1 per day now that I’m back at work.  The rest of my liquids will be water (fizzy or flat).  Remember to track not guesstimate – guesstimating can work against us in many ways (either we aren’t allotting enough points or too many).  Try to make small changes as they are not only the easiest but make this health journey more of a lifetime goal than a momentary one.  But the one thing I think we all need to do when we look back at the past year is forgive ourselves for any slip ups and move on.  Look at those slip ups but use them as learning moments (what could you have done differently?).   Don’t forget while looking back to celebrate all those things you did that made a difference.  Look at those and continue (if not magnify them) these in 2012.

Need some help keeping your promise of a healthier you?  Here are 8 different apps/tools you can use on your journey to better 2012!

I wish all of my readers a very healthy, happy New Year!

Moving On

Just wanted to remind any readers of this blog that had attended Weight Watchers meetings at the Timonium location (22 West Padonia Road) that the center is now closed.  Our beloved leaders and receptionists will be moving to a new location.  Our center along with 2 others will combine into the new location of 6356 York Road.

Since many of us love Pat, our leader, here are her meeting times:

  • Tuesdays – 4, 5:30 and 7 pm
  • Saturdays – 11 am and 1 pm

This center will have more hours and more meetings to accommodate people.  I know for some this will not become their new meeting location and I will miss those members.  I look forward to meeting new members and hearing what they have to share because we can’t do it on our own and collectively we know a lot!


Who Moved My Cheese?

I attended my weekly Weight Watchers meeting this morning but went at a different time.  Since I was having guests over I needed to get my day started a bit earlier.  Same great leader, Pat, but different time and different group of members.  It was nice to sit back and observe this group.  One thing that became very clear for me is these members were close-knit and had become quite fast friends.

As usual lots of great ideas and experience was shared this morning.  However, we also had some rather disheartening news as well.  Our Weight Watchers center is being shut down.  3 in all are being closed and our leaders and receptionists are moving to the new location.  The group of close-knit members took this very hard.  I can understand why.  As one member said earlier in the meeting “Pat (our leader) YOU set the tone and energy for us.”  Pat being her usual gracious self thought that we did the same for her.  I guess I believe it’s a mix of both – the leader helps the group and the group helps the leader.  Point being none of us wanted to leave Pat!

Good news is she will be moving to the new location – 6356 York Road – but her Saturday morning meetings will change.  Looks like the earliest will be 11 am with her.

I believe a good leader is like a good hair dresser – you’ll follow them anywhere because they are few and far between.

I understand that Weight Watchers is a big business and that they have to make business decisions that make the most sense for their company.  It’s a shame since NorthWest Baltimore County has so few meeting locations that they are moving this one.  I’m still processing this and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

It is human nature to resist change (hence my title).  We all made big changes in our lives by joining Weight Watchers.  But moving an established center with loyal members and great staff is a rather big change that is going to take some adjustment.  Unfortunately, we only have 2 weeks to make that adjustments.  The next 2 weeks Timonium Weight Watchers will still exist but after that we’ll have to go to another center.

I have faith that this won’t derail any of us from our weight loss journey.  We may experience a bump (or in this case a major detour) but hopefully we will realize that no matter what the path that we chose and the one that Pat helps us to follow is the right one no matter what the location.

What I Love About Meetings

I think most of us internally cringe at the sound of the word “meeting”.  Work related meetings can often be the bane of our daily lives.  However, on the weekends there is one meeting I really look forward to!  My Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting.  Usually led by Pat, I gain wonderful insight, wisdom, strength and great food ideas from all the attending members.  This Saturday was no different.

Although Pat was taking some much-needed vacation time, our substitute leader, Frank, was just as good.  It always seems like whatever the topic that day the room remains quiet until the first person raises their hand and speaks.  Then the information, wisdom and great ideas just come tumbling out.

Squash.  Somehow that was one of those topics that started small and suddenly everyone had something to share about it.  Personally I’ve never been a big squash fan but after Saturday’s meeting I just might change that.   One member shared that she really liked using Spaghetti Squash instead of the real thing.  She said she always felt cheated with the small amount of pasta she portioned herself.  She substituted Spaghetti Squash instead and felt more satisfied (plus it’s a power food).  The one thing she said was the hardest part was cutting it in half so you can bake it first.  That is when another member piped up with her solution – poke few holes in it and microwave it.  Then when it’s done you can slice it without hassle.

Then Butternut Squash became the topic.  One member said she likes it sweeter so she puts Splenda and cinnamon on it – someone suggested you put it in the blender and puree it into a nice soup by adding some fat-free Half & Half.  Then another member suggested a more savory version of Butternut Squash – she put some olive oil on it and reduced fat or fat-free feta.   Yet another member said his wife prepares a dish with Summer Squash, black beans, seasonings and low-fat cheese.  All sound so yummy I immediately bought some when I went to the grocery store later that day.  I look forward to trying all of these suggestions and getting over my squash-phobia.

We ended the meeting with a quote (sorry not sure who it was attributed to) so I’m paraphrasing – Nothing tastes as good as it feels to get on the scale and see that it’s lower.  Indeed!  And trying new vegetables will certainly help me feel good.

Taking an idea and running with it

This blog isn’t about me.  Instead it’s about all of us who are members of Weight Watchers.  It’s about sharing our knowledge which makes us all stronger and able to work the program better.   This isn’t even my idea but instead one that was suggested by another member at my Saturday meeting in Timonium, MD.   A fellow member wanted to start a way for all the great information/knowledge/advice we share with each other in the meetings to be available for all the members no matter which day they attend a meeting.

I’ve been mulling this idea over for a couple of weeks.  The original idea was a suggestion box where people would bring in hand written or typed ideas/information/suggestions and then they would be typed up.  If this took off it would be a lot of work to organize and how best to distribute this information.  So as I am techie/web 2.0 kinda girl what better than to start a blog?  So here we are.

The blog posts won’t be all my ideas but a mix of what I’ve discovered and what’s been shared at the meetings.  I may not know your name but I will attribute any information shared at meetings as contributed by members (and not me) .

Hope others can find information shared on this blog to help their journey with Weight Watchers or any other lifestyle change they make.

Beth Tribe

Exercise Takes Time

Today at our meeting a member shared that she is working with a personal trainer.  This trainer reminded his clients that if they are feeling more hungry it is because they are exercising more.  Try not to give into unhealthy snacks.  This resonated with me.  I’ve been feeling more hungry lately.  Having join my husband’s gym lately my type of exercise has not only changed but increased.  So I’m going to make sure I have more Power Foods around me so I don’t give into temptation.  But I also need to remember that I’m not to deprive myself.

She also shared that when you first start WW program and you increase your exercise you may not notice a change.  Her trainer says it takes about 3-4  months for your body to register this change.  So keep at it.  The change will happen even if your body doesn’t register it right away – it takes time but it well worth it!  I’m not an athletic or exercise type of person.  However, I love how I feel afterwards.  It is definitely the hardest part of the program for me but it is a necessary part of the weight loss equation.  I just have to look at my weight tracker to know that sticking with it is so worth it.


Beth Tribe