Archive for December, 2009

After 19 weeks of the 20 lb struggle eating healthy is becoming a way of  life. So hooray for me! But I’m not all the way there quite yet.  I still have 4 lbs. to go.  I have been able to navigate through the dangerous waters of X-mas parties, family gatherings and going out with friends. I accomplished my goal for the week.  I held my own and didn’t let my eating get out of control.  I haven’t lost any weight this week, but then, I didn’t really expect to.  The good news is that I didn’t GAIN any.

With  X-mas safely behind me I now face the daunting challenge of New Year’s Eve! It’s going to be more difficult than you think.  Tomorrow I will be going to Orlando to meet my daughter, Amy, at Gaylord Palms Hotel. We will spend two nights in luxury in the hotel  and a full day at Disney’s Epcot where we look forward to dining at Chefs de France, a casual restaurant nestled under the Eiffel Tower in the France Pavilion. Yum!  I hope all the walking around the theme park will help us to work off the calories that will be comsumed there.

Then we will travel about 40 minutes northeast to stay with my daughter, Laura, and her family until January 3rd. If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably already know about Laura. She is a professional party planner who is somehow able to make every meal and occassion sparkle with creativity and deliciousness. No matter how much I try, the magic that she cooks up is just about impossible to resist.

Whenever I visit them, my grandchildren insist that I go on Wii Fit which is a Nintendo game that uses a balance board to calculate your weight and body mass index. The first time I used it about a year ago, I was shocked and dismayed to see that the game placed me smack in the middle of the “overweight” category, just below “obese.” The last time I visited them I showed vast improvement. I was still in the  “overweight” category, but only three pounds from “normal weight.”

If you think that weighing in at Weight Watchers is stressful, you should see me when I have to weigh in with Wii Fit. I usually try to weigh in as soon as I get there, before the effects of all the good cooking by Laura and Rick can be felt. Five days of temptation will clearly test my will-power. So I have a back-up plan, just in case.  Just like millions of others who want to start the New Year on the right foot, I plan to reinvigorate my diet and exercise regimes.

For everything there is a season.  There is a time to enjoy good food and family.  There is a time to get serious and get in shape. I intend to do both, just not at the same time.


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You wouldn’t know it from reading this blog recently, but I have actually been working every day towards my goal to lose 20 lbs. Eating choices that were difficult at first are becoming “second nature.” Consistenly making good and healthy food choices is really making a difference in my life and my weight chart is just part of the proof.

In 18 weeks I have gone from a size 12 to a size 6 jean.  I actually had thrown away jeans in size six because it didn’t seem as if there would be any way that I could ever wear them again. So now I am buying lots of new clothes — but I don’t mind.

This is a difficult time of year for diets with holiday parties and lots of dinners with family and friends. So I am really excited that I am continuing to lose weight, even though it is at a very slow pace.  What is that they say about the tortoise and the hare?  Oh, yes.  Slow and steady wins the race!

I have made a change in my eating habits that I haven’t written about yet.  I don’t know about you, but I always seem to get hungry about 4pm. But if I am at work or doing errands I just keep going.  I tell myself, “It’s ok. I’ll just wait until I get home to eat dinner.”  The problem has been that by the time I get home I am so hungry that I make fast, and often poor food choices.  I also tend to be so hungry that I eat and eat and eat and eat. Until I feel full. Then a little while later I am uncomfortable.

So now I have a new way of doing things. I have given myself permission to indulge in “tea-time” every day at around 4 pm. If I am at work. I take a break, make myself a cup of tea and nibble on a rice cake with jam. I keep rice cakes and jam in my office for this purpose. It only takes about 6 or 7 minutes but it makes a big difference in the way I feel when I get home.  No more starving assaults on the refrigerator and pantry! Now when I come home I can take my time preparing a healthy meal for myself.

When I am not working I make sure to be home at 4pm so I can make tea. Sometimes I will have a bit of fruit or another low-cal treat. Then I go out and do whatever needs to be done feeling energized and satisfied.  This new pattern means that I usually end up eating dinner later than I had been. I used to eat about 5:30 or 6 pm.  But now I am not really ready to eat until after 7.  This has the benefit of cutting down on late night snacking since I am still full of food from dinner by the time I go to bed at 10 pm.

The20 lbs struggle has changed my life.  I hope it has changed my life for good.

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Well.  People are beginning to notice. Holiday parties are a great place to meet people who haven’t seen me for a while. Now that I have lost 15.5 lbs  I am beginning to get comments. And I like it.

Unfortunately holiday parties are also very challenging. I’m still struggling to lose 20 lbs and the last few pounds seem to be highly resistant. I have no one to blame but myself. 

Yesterday I went to a lovely event.  Every year a group of volunteers get together to fill cigar-box sized cartons with all sorts of toys and small books for young children. Then we wrap the boxes in Christmas paper. These gifts are distributed to needy children in South Florida, many of whom would otherwise get NOTHING for Christmas.

The Treasure Box Project was organized by my friend, Suzy Hammer.  It has grown from a small effort to help needy children into a major success.  It feels so good to spend a few hours knowing that it will bring happiness to a child.  It is also fun to meet with old friends and acquaintances. Did I mention that I got noticed? Some of these folks haven’t seen me for a year. They couldn’t have been more complimentary.

So what could be bad about something so good? Hmmm. Let me count the ways. Did I mention that sandwiches, pizza, dips, snacks and lots of yummy desserts were out in abundance to help motivate the workers?

(1) Despite the fact that I had eaten a sandwich before I came to the event, nevertheless, I succumbed the moment I saw pizza.  It has been soooo long since I have even allowed myself to look at a slice. My hand reached out even before my mind realized what was happening. The pizza’s deliciousness filled my mouth as all thoughts left my brain. And in that moment of pure taste sensation there was nothing else but pizza! When consciouness returned I was holding a piece of crust in my hand. At first I looked at it as if I couldn’t quite identify what it was.  Then I recoilded in horror as I understood what I had done! I quickly grabbed a Diet Coke, threw the remaining evidence of my sinfullness into the trash, and hurried back to wrap some more gifts.

(2) When I finished my can of soda I got up to throw it into the recycle bin. Where was the recycle bin? Next to the table laden with cookies, pies, cake and other desserts. My eyes came to rest on a box of small chocolate covered cookies, no bigger than a pinky finger. Surely one taste wouldn’t hurt. The first cookie melted in my mouth with such pleasure that another one was demanded.  Then another. And another. And another. I don’t know how many disappeared as I stood there telling myself that I really shouldn’t be doing this.

Luckily I had weighed my self BEFORE I went. I was so proud that I had lost a half a pound this week! But now I feel as if I have blown it. I know my weight is up, but I am afraid to look at the scale. My plan is to be really, really good for the rest of the week so that by next Saturday my weight will at least be the same.

The struggle continues………

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Life gets hectic, especially around this time of year. Parties,  out-of-town guests, family dinners, holiday shopping, etc., etc.,  etc. With so many distractions how do you find time to exercise? How do you stay focused on eating healthy as you rush through the food court at the mall? And for those of you who have lost weight and are now shopping for clothes in a smaller size, how do look in the mirror and not tell yourself that you look so “mahvelous, dahling!” that a little cheating won’t really matter?

This is why weight loss is so challenging to me. Wish I could tell you that I have simple and easy answers to the questions above, but the sad truth is that, just like you, I am having a hard time of it. It is a struggle.

And so it is with great surprise that I am able to report that I lost one pound this week.

Below are some pictures that I took at my daughter Laura’s home over Thanksgiving. You can tell at a glance why dieting in this envirnoment is a challenge. Everything was made from scratch and delicious.  My son-in-law, Rick made the pumpkin pie and the mini-apple-pies and the mini-brownies.  My daughters made the rolls and the croissants.  I made the cranberry sauce and the roasted sweet potatoes. Laura made turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potato souffle.  We also had brussels sprouts and a green bean casserole.

Cathy and Emma enjoying Thanksgiving meal.


Amy brings rolls and croissants to the table.









This is what I ate: 2 slices turkey breast, a dollop of cranberry sauce, roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts.

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