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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Weight Loss/Maintenance Tool Box

Have you ever stopped to think about the tools you keep in your weight loss/maintenance tool box?  No, well, take a minute to think about it, we'll wait...  Ok, done thinking?  What'd you come up with?

While listening to the discussion at a few meetings this week the obvious ones were thrown out.  Tools like measuring and tracking, planning menus/shopping lists, and using the recipe builder were hot topics.  A few other ideas included the weeklies, cookbooks and eTools.

How about considering your internal tools?  Sometimes we forget that only we can hold ourselves accountable for what we eat and what we do.  For example, have a really bad meal and feel like not tracking it?  Sure, it's probably not the most idea situation but your very next choice could put you back on track.  So maybe instead of feeling like you've blown it so you might as well give up on weight loss how about learning from the situation.  Try to learn that no matter how big of a mistake the meal was you're still healthier than you were before.  I think it's also helpful to remember that it'll never be easier to get back on track than if you start as soon as possible.

On the flip side are you also prepared to celebrate your accomplishments?  Realizing how far you've come, whether you are new to weight loss or whether you've been maintaining your weight loss for years you have to celebrate your accomplishments in a healthy way.  Maybe we should spend some time thinking about this as well!

What kind of tools do you rely on?  How about ways to celebrate your accomplishments?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Alternatives

When I was a kid I liked Halloween because I'd get to go trick or treating but living in the country meant a limited candy haul.  As I got older and had my own apartment/house I enjoyed Halloween because it meant I got to buy the candy and would stock up.  I mean STOCK. UP.  I hate to think how much candy I bought let alone how much I bought that never made it into the hands of kids.

The first year I was on Weight Watchers, back in 2010, I still bought candy but tried to limit it to things I didn't like but we ended up with a huge amount of candy left over.  This became a major temptation so after that first year I stopped buying candy for Halloween.  Instead, I bought small trinkets to hand out.  I'd buy a Halloween themed pencils, toys, notepads or activity books.  So, if you're looking for a few alternative ideas here you go:

Halloween Whistles
Bat Wing Clappers
Bouncing Ball Assortment
Glow in the Dark Necklaces
Halloween Stickers
Glow in the Dark Pumpkin Face Stickers

If you're still considering stocking up on candy you can use this list as a handy guide to PointsPlus values.
Snack/Candy Name Serving Size PointsPlus Value
100 Grand Fun Size 2 Bars 5
3 Musketeers Candy Bars, Fun Size 3 Bars 5
3 Musketeers Candy Bars, Mini Size 7 Pieces 5
Almond Joy Milk Chocolate Bar Snack Size 1 Bar 2
Baby Ruth, Fun Size 1 Bar 2
Bit-O-Honey 1 Piece 1
Brach's Candy Corn 20 pieces 4
Butterfinger Candy, Fun Size 2 Pouches 4
Butterfinger, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Butterfingers Candy crème Fun Size 2 Bars 6
Butterfingers Wafers Fun Size 2 Bars 6
Charms Blow Pop 1 Piece 2
Cheetos Crunchy Halloween Treat Size 1 Pouch 3
Crunch Bar, Fun Size 1 Bar 2
Crunch Crispy Wafers, Chocolate crème, Fun Size 2 Bars 5
Dots, Fun Size 1 Box 2
Goldfish Baked Snacks Brownie Grahams OR Cheddar Crackers 1 Pouch 1
Heath Candy Bar, Snack Size 3 Pieces 7
Hershey's Bliss, Caramel OR Milk Chocolate 6 Pieces 6
Hershey's Cookies & Cream, Snack Size 3 Bars 5
Hershey's Kisses (any flavor) 9 Pieces 6
Hershey's Milk Chocolate 3 Pieces 6
Hershey's Miniatures (any flavor) 5 Pieces 6
Jolly Rancher Caramel Apple Lollipops 1 Piece 1
Jolly Rancher Lollipops, Original Flavors 1 Piece 2
Junior Mints Caramels, Snack Size 2 Boxes 4
Junior Mints Creamy Mints, in Pure Chocolate, Snack Size 1 Box 2
Kit Kat Crisp Wafers 3 Items 6
Kit Kat, Snack Size 3 – 2 Piece Bars 6
Lemonheads, Fun Size 1 Pouch 1
Lifesavers Big Ring Gummies 4 Pieces 3
M&M's Chocolate Candies – Milk Chocolate, Fun Size 1 Pouch 2
M&M's Chocolate Candies – Peanut Butter, Fun Size 2 Packs 5
M&M's Chocolate Candies – Peanut, Fun Size 1 Pouch 3
Milk Duds Candy, Snack Size 3 Boxes 4
Milky Way Candy Bars, Mini, Caramel Apple 5 Pieces 5
Milky Way Candy Bars, Simply Caramel, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Mounds Bars, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Mounds Bars, Snack Size 1 Bar 2
PayDay, Fun Size 1 Bar 3
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups 2 Cups 6
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures 5 Pieces 6
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Minis 2 Packages 5
Reese's Pieces 51 Pieces 5
Reese's Pieces, Snack Size 1 Pouch 3
Skittles (Original Fruit), Fun Size 1 Pouch 2
Snicker's Candies Peanut Butter Squared, Fun Size 1 Bar 4
Snicker's Candy Bar Pumpkins 1 Pumpkin 4
Snicker's Candy Bar, Fun Size 2 Bars 5
Snyder's of Hanover Pretzels Snack Sack 1 Packet 1
Spooky Nerds 1 Box 1
Starburst FaveReds 8 pieces 4
Take 5 Candy, Snack Size 2 Pieces 6
Tootsie Fruit Rolls 8 pieces 4
Tootsie Roll Midgees 13 pieces 4
Tootsie Roll Snack Bars 2 Bars 3
Twix Cookie Bars Fun Size 1 Cookie 2
Twizzler's Candies Snack Size 5 Pieces 4
Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, Snack Size 1 Pouch 3
York Peppermint Patties Snack Size 1 Piece 2
If you want to donate leftover Halloween candy:
Compiled October 2013 @
How are you planning on handling Halloween to stay on plan?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

RECIPE: Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones
Cranberry Orange Scones

Points Plus Value Per Serving:  3
Makes:  12 scones

I have been absolutely delighted that fresh cranberries are back on store shelves!  I love the flavor of cranberries and oranges together because it reminds me of baking with Mom.  Unfortunately, Mom's muffin recipe isn't exactly Weight Watchers friendly, yet.  I'm going to try making it over this week or next but until then I got my cranberry orange fix with this scone recipe.

2 c all-purpose flour (Use whole wheat flour to kick up the nutrition a bit)
1/2 bag fresh cranberries, picked over
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. table salt
1/4 c sugar (I used Stevia)
1/4 c. egg substitute
1 c. fat free buttermilk (see note below to make buttermilk)
1/4 c. low calorie butter, melted (I used Brummel & Brown)
Zest and juice of one large orange

Mix 1 T vinegar or lemon juice + fat-free milk to make 1 cup & let stand for 10 minutes = 1 cup fat-free buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Coat a baking sheet with non-fat cooking spray or parchment paper
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except cranberries together until mixed well.
Fold in cranberries.
Drop 12 equal two-inch mounds of batter on prepared baking sheet about 1-inch apart.
Bake until tops just start to turn golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.

These are wonderful fresh out of the oven.  They are also fabulous if you toast them briefly to warm them and make them a little crispy, again.

Sometimes I'm a moron

I know how much you guys love to hear my stories about how stupid I can be so here is one to chalk up to the old "duh" category.  For those that don't know I have been hired by Weight Watchers as a Receptionist and Leader.  A couple of months ago my Territory Manager (aka my boss) asked if I'd ever done the Simply Filling technique.  I told her that I hadn't and she strongly encouraged me to give it a try so I promptly went home and looked up some Power Foods.

For those that don't know the Simply Filling technique is a program where you eat Power Foods (fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, lean protein, fat free dairy, etc..) until you are satisfied and then you stop. Any indulgences are subtracted from your 49 Weekly Points Allowance.
The trick with this program is that you have to listen to your body signals.  I believe that this is a skill I've never truly mastered and one of the reasons that I needed Weight Watchers in the first place.

When I started looking at the list of Power Foods I was amazed at the Whole Grain/Reduced Calorie breads that are listed as Power Foods.  As I was following the PointsPlus Plan I'd eat a maximum of one serving of bread per day, usually for breakfast.  When I started following the Simply Filling technique I decided that my indulgences would be whole wheat english muffins with a little honey (oh goodness they are delicious, aren't they?) and soon I was eating at least one or two more servings of "bread" every day.  When I track my PointsPlus values 3 PointsPlus per english muffin seems like an indulgence (4 PointsPlus with a little honey) so I'm not sure why I thought I could/should eat this every day.

After a few weeks of Simply Filling and watching the scale climb I decided to go back to tracking my PointsPlus values and I lost the weight, again.  However, I don't like being defeated so I'm trying the Simply Filling technique, again, but being smarter about what (and how much) I'm eating.

Have you tried Simply Filling?  Any thoughts?

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Have you been to a Weight Watchers meeting this week?  If you have you might know that this week we are talking about making small changes and if you have been reading this blog for more than five seconds you'll know that this is quite possibly one of my most favorite tips to sustained weight loss.  The problem is, it's not flashy and it doesn't necessarily result in big or immediate losses.

On the other hand making what might seem like laughably small changes can be the key to sustained success.  When I started Weight Watchers back in July of 2010 if I only let myself think about the total amount of weight I needed to lose for about eight and a half seconds.  After that I focused on the smaller goals and making small changes so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed and so that I could change the routines and behaviors that had become so ingrained in me over the years.

When you think about behaviors, something you've done for years, changing the way you perform the behavior may be easy at first because it's new and exciting but after a week or more life sort of takes over and work gets busy or the family is demanding more and more of your time and soon you're falling into the routines and behaviors that feel comfortable, aka your old behaviors, because they are easy.

However, if you make small changes to build new routines and behaviors then even when life gets busy you are well on your way to continuing on with your new healthy routines and healthier behaviors.  That said, don't distress if you still revert back to old habits from time to time.  The key is to get back into your new behaviors as soon as you can.  You can also make small changes even while in the midst of your unhealthy behaviors.  Realizing that you've made an unhealthy choice is the first step.  Then get right back on track with your next food/activity choice which can put you back in control of your weight loss.

What small changes have you made recently or are you planning on making?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Remember When?

First, I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in awhile.  Life has been strangely busy so let's jump right in and catch up, shall we?

For a few weeks in September I decided to try the Simply Filling technique from Weight Watchers.  I continued to track, because I'm a little OCD that way, and wasn't going over my DPT but every week I stepped on the scale and I gained weight.

At the end of September I headed to Wisconsin to surprise my dad who was being presented an award from an organization he's worked with for more than 30 years.  I mention this because I considered the road trip a success in the eating realm.  Normally I'd stock up on junk food at the gas stations when I'd stop but this time I went into the trip well prepared with a fully cooler of healthy options.  I ate moderately well at the awards banquet and breakfast/lunch the following day but when I got on the scale it showed I'd gained weight, again.

Felt like I was on top of the world.
Then Barbara made me climb even higher!
I decided that it was time to go back to Tracking.  I knew while doing the Simply Filling technique that I wasn't always listening to my body when it said it was full and I knew that'd be a problem.  I also know that when I'm on the Tracking program that I get X amount of food and then I'm done and I do well with those limitations.  At the same time I started back on Tracking I hit the road again, this time to Idaho.  We drove from my house to outside Victor, ID in about 22 hours.

At the Wyoming border you apparently line up by height.
L-R:  Kim, me, Barbara, Naomi
I tried to make healthy choices during the entire trip and since I was with my friend (and coach) Barbara, there was plenty of working out.  We hiked, and ran (at altitude!!), did some gardening and baking and most importantly we laughed A LOT!  Our friends, Kim & Naomi, flew in on Friday and the laughing, running and hiking continued.  I learned a few things on the road trip out that I decided not to repeat on the way home so I packed food for the trip home.

When I got home I was pleasantly surprised to find that I lost weight -- well, I lost what I gained before I went on the trip!  At least it's progress.

How have you been?  Have you learned any lessons or made any changes?