The Importance of Chewing: A Lesson Brought Home

My mother and I recently went on a cruise vacation and there were some “firsts” for me even with this being my 21st cruise.  One of the most shaking was what happened to me a couple of days out into the cruise.  Here is what happened.

This day was landmark in many ways.  While on vacation we were at our first port of call and the weather was amazing.  We had a sea day with it cloudy and rainy all day long.  Secondly, at dinner tonight I got a piece of fruit, which I thought was pineapple stuck in my throat and it would not go down.  I drank water, nothing.  Got more water, nothing.  It was not impeding my breathing but felt like something was just stuck and would not go down.  I knew I had to get it out if it would not go down.  I walked out of the Lido dining area to a “lobby” of sorts and bent over and coughed.  It shot out into my hand. RELIEF!  Much to my surprise it was not a piece of pineapple but a piece of watermelon.  It should not have gotten swallowed when it did.  It was too large of a piece to be swallowed.  Luckily I could still talk and breathe while it was stuck.  A female crew member came over to me and asked me if I was alright.  I told her I was now, I had something stuck in my throat.  Luckily, I did not panic I did not cause a scene nor try to attract any attention or involving others.  AT the moment it was uncomfortable but not scary.  Afterwards, I realized it was scary!  Moral of the story is to make sure you chew your food thoroughly before swallowing it!  I think talking and taking a drink before I should have contributed to the situation.  It went down before it was supposed to!

Chewing not only aids digestion, the bottom line it can save your life!  CHEW before swallowing your food! Stop talking long enough to finish chewing or you could have a mishap!

In reflecting on this incident, this situation triggered a memory of my dad while he and I were out eating one day for lunch.  He too had gotten something “stuck” in his throat and had to leave the table. I knew he was eating very fast and wasn’t chewing properly luckily there were no life threatening incidents but it reminded me to not go down that same path.  It was scary for me when those times happened to him and I was an adult.  That memory scared me more than the incident but I am being much more mindful of chewing and talking and swallowing while I am eating.


Mental Fatigue of Dieting

When you begin to feel that maybe it is not worth the effort any longer since you are not seeing any results you want to see and then you realize that you are not doing what you need to do we get those results.  I call it “Diet Fatigue” You might notice the following are happening:

  • Sloppy Eating
  • Sloppy Tracking
  • Sloppy Portion Control
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not making good choices the majority of the time
  • Relying on exercise only for results

Sometimes we need a “shake up” to regain focus, motivation and shift attitudes.  I started a recent cruise just two tenths of a pound from having to pay and being over my Weight Watchers goal.  That gave me some much-needed focus as I knew I needed to be “good”  to not have to pay upon my return.  By changing my environment and not being at home I felt this would give me a good “push” in the right direction.  I was forced to be more ‘mindful’ about my choices and portions.  I knew I could not “let myself go” and eat with abandon onboard the ship.  I sat a personal goal to weight less than I did when I got aboard the cruise.

One thing I did not count on was catching a bug while onboard the ship.  That put a big wrench into my plans.  I started getting sick about half way through the seven night cruise.  For 24 hours food smells did not set well with me and I was very limited in what I ate but when I got off the ship at the end of the cruise, I weighed point four tenths of a pound more than I did when I got onboard and was still sick so I did not have my official weigh in as planned.  My mother then caught what I had onboard and we did not make the meeting on February 10th but will hopefully both be well enough to make the meeting on the 17th.

I do feel I am being more selective of what I am eating and how much but I still am fighting the mental side “is this really worth this effort” at times too.  After five years of being on Weight Watchers, I am assuming this happens to all at some point in time on the journey.  I began in January of 2013 and we are in February of 2018 so five years and I have to get a grip on this mental hurdle for sure!

Weight Watchers Freestyle – Week 1 Weigh In

This past week was cold here in Florida and weighing in wearing just thin shorts and a short sleeve tee-shirt was not something I was planning on doing.  So I was making the switch back to jeans the first weigh in of the new program.  Jeans instantly add weight and bulk and I want to do this the first week?  Yes I do! I do not want to freeze to weigh in first week or not!  Keep in Monday a week ago it was 37 degrees outside in the mornings and each day afterwards was a few degrees warmer but with another anticipated cold front on the way.  Shorts were not in the picture! I washed the shorts and tee shirt and packed them away and got out a pair of Levi’s and a thermal shirt, I was ready!

The second cold front arrives and instead of cooling us down or keeping us cool, it warms us up!  I decided to keep my plan in place about switching to the jeans to weigh in.  Last year I had switched the week prior to Thanksgiving, this year it was two weeks before Christmas.  But this was not only two weeks prior to Christmas it was my birthday week and we had a few “food” events at work, it was PMS week which normally yields a 2 pound gain and the first week of the new Freestyle program!  I must have lost my sanity to choose this week.  But it is what it is.

At our Saturday morning meeting the leader figured I had freaked out a few times during the week with the changes and she was right but I kept trying to trust in the new program.  So many were having great success.  But I knew the cards were stacked against me this first week but I kept reminding myself there is science behind all this and things would be fine.  I also reminded myself I would be up but the jeans and PMS would be the culprit and I had already done my official monthly weigh-in so at least this would be a good barometer of how hard I needed to work the next week.

I handed Kathy, one of our receptionists my book and climbed onto the scale.  I was indeed up but it was a point two up. Yes, .2! not Two pounds!  In my head I knew that in reality I was down and the jeans were masking the success but next week it would show a little better since I was wearing the jeans again and a lack of food events should help too!

Bring on week 2 of Freestyle!



Weight Watchers Freestyle – Day 7

It has been cold all week here in Florida and staying warm has been a major issue for me.  To those that live in the north that sounds very whiney but it is one of those realities that I have dealt with since losing excess weight.  Where I work the buildings have been very cold as well this week so that has not helped.  I recall when I was actively losing weight, I stayed cold all the time so I am HOPING that the to the bone cold I have been experiencing is the program working some “magic” and assisting me getting off the six pounds I gained in 2015 while on vacation, I have see sawed back and forth on them up and down and I am wanting this new program to help me put them behind me once and for all and some additional pounds too!

Tomorrow is my weigh in day and I am not sure what to expect being it is the proverbial PMS week which explains the grips the salty chips have had over me all this week!  I will “peek” at the scale this evening as I log my Friday night weights to keep a handle on what to expect on Saturday morning.

I have chatted with some members online about the program and several who felt they were eating too much lost two pounds their first week.  I have heard of a great deal of success from those who have already completed their first week.  I am excited but cautious about what my results might be!


Weight Watchers Freestyle – Day 6

Yesterday, Thursday was my sixth day on the newly revised Weight Watchers Freestyle Program.  Others have said how much “different it feels” when compared to the un-tweaked plan of last week.  I will have to agree it feels different!  I know when I went grocery shopping for my meal planning this week it was exciting and fun to pick out some new foods to add to the weekly menus!

This Saturday when I go shopping for next week’s meals, I am going to purchase some fat-free plain unsweetened Greek Yogurt and try using that in place of fat-free sour cream in meals.  I have heard it is the perfect swap for sour cream on a baked potato and for dips so I am going to try it out.  I had to wonder last week if the sale of turkey and chicken breast increased along with the sale of eggs and beans.

I am enjoying eating two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast as a break from my old-fashioned oatmeal with fruit and almonds.  So fun to be able to really mix things up! I am going to investigate some bean soup and black bean burger recipes too.  I want to make my own zero point black bean burgers.  I think I can I think I can do it!

Enjoying the newly added zero point foods and the points rollovers!


Weight Watchers Freestyle – Day 5

To say this program feels different is a true statement!  It is not a bad feeling just different!

I brought my  normal healthy snacks to work and healthy lunches but the leftovers from Tuesday “called my name.”  I tracked everything but it seemed like a losing battle today when it came to the chips and salsa.

The “not having to track zero foods” is not working for me.  I am used to tracking EVERYTHING so I have to really make an effort to keep on tracking.  I am starting to wonder if this is really going to work.  I guess I am being skeptical but it seems at times “too good to be true!”

I know Saturday morning will tell the “tale” of how this first week went for me but I am not expecting much as this is my typical week of the month that my weigh ins are not very good.  Dare I say hormones!?  And that explains my wrestling match with the chips and salsa as well.  DUH!

I keep chanting to myself just because it is zero points does not make it calorie free!  Calories are still adding up and too many calories will not make for good results on the scale!