Weights and Balances Newsletter Format Change

As you might be aware, I have gone from a once a week newsletter to a once a month format.

I have uploaded September’s issue. Part 1 (pages 2-4), Part 2 (pages 5-8) and Part 3 (pages 9-10)  into separate three separate posts.

Part 1 – Personal Honesty and Weight Loss, Personal Health Integrity,

Part 2 – Accountability Tools and Seeking Professional Assistance, Managing Diet Expectations and Diet Failure

Part 3 – Managing Diet Expectations and Diet Failure Continued, Boiling it Down and a  Touch of Humor

This month’s issue had a them of being honest with yourself as you pursue a healthy weight.   Tips for setting goals and a touch of humor round off the issue.  I hope you enjoy the new format and content.

Below is a copy of the September cover page which counts as page 1.



Getting over the Insanity


They say this is the definition of insanity or craziness.  I say it is how we get results but let’s add a twist to this. This should be clarified a bit more “doing the same things in the same way over and expecting different results” THAT is true insanity and craziness in weight loss.  There are things we need to do over and over to achieve results but sometimes if the results are not happening we need to find new ways of doing those things.

For example, if we know we need to drink eight cups of water a day but hate water, we might find a new way to get those eight cups in us!  This has finally come home to roost for me.  I have been moving, I have been tracking, I have been doing all the surface things but I needed to go deeper.  I not only need to check off that I had five fruits and vegetables for the day but how many actual servings I was eating?  For that, I needed to weigh and measure to be accurate!  Things had gotten out of hand.

One of the mental traps of Weight Watchers Freestyle for me has been the increased amount of “zero” point foods which I was eating already when they had points.  Something in my head went “blank” “snapped” “took a hike” when I heard zero points and almost instantly INCREASED the amounts of these foods I was consuming!  I used to eat an egg and occasionally two but now I was consuming three or four! Any wonder my weight began to creep up? It was all simple math. Eating too much without enough exercise equals weight “creep.” I kept thinking I am tracking all the points foods BUT you do not have to track the zero point foods.  This is for me was a downfall.

I have gone back to tracking everything (including zero point foods) and in time I have seen and realized I am eating more than when I was happily maintaining my weight loss!  Tracking everything including the portion size has been a HUGE wake up call for me.  Back to ONE hard-boiled egg for a snack, ONE banana for a snack, 3-4 oz chicken breast and NOT 6-8 oz chicken breast!  Just like I have always said nothing is FREE and the same goes for ZERO point foods!

I hope one of the new changes coming would be a guide of zero point foods with their correct portion sizes and maybe a new wrinkle of if you eat more than one portion at one meal/time it becomes counted as POINTS!  (I am probably dreaming here but it would help many who were happily maintaining before the advent of Freestyle!) I have suggested to Weight Watchers they need a separate Lifetime Program with more education on nutrition and better point guidelines, etc.  I have the next great thing ready come on Weight Watchers expand and help your long-term members.  But I forget one thing, if you are maintaining, you are not paying on a regular basis.  The bottom–line does “weigh in” to this equation I am sure!  Let’s created Weight Watchers BEYOND for those who have achieved their goal weight and are trying to maintain 🙂

OK off my soapbox for now!



Weight Watchers: Paying Again

One Saturday morning, part art of me wanted to avoid weighing in at the weekly Weight Watchers Meeting.  I suspected I was over goal but then I knew I needed to “face the music” and own what I had done.  It was time to begin ‘undoing’ what I had done.   I have been paying weekly again for a month and it is not something I intend continuing for much longer.  Funny how 2.8 pounds can be gained in a week but it takes a month or so to get it off!

I started writing this entry (paragraph above)  in early June and here it is July and I am still paying but only .4 from being “free” again.  My body is fighting me, but I am fighting harder and more consistently now!  I will get back to where I need to be!  This has been a major disappointment for me and I have had to stop my toxic thinking and get back on track.

Back in February I had penned an entry about diet fatigue and that was coming from my heart.  And I had a hard time fighting out of that rut but feel I am back 100% writing and feeling good about my direction.

I did not feel very good about my direction back in late May/June.  I felt like a total failure as I had gained over two pounds (3.8 lbs. to be exact) above my goal and had to return to paying again.  I felt so bad and humiliated and embarrassed that I had let this happen.  The one positive thing I can say about this is that it bothered me to be 3.8 pounds over goal and I did not let it get to a much larger number.  I know this thinking stems from my old perfectionist thinking and I had to squish this quickly.   That old toxic thinking pattern could have easily gotten me to give up and I could be sitting here with 38 pounds over goal instead of being a point four from the free window.

It took me getting back to writing to get my head back on straight.  I saw through my writing that  I was choosing to blame externals for what I was not doing; I let excuses get in my way!  That is so easy to have happen!  I have been reminded of my favorite saying through my journey.  “Never trade what you want at the moment for the thing that you want the most.”  This applies to anything that is getting in our way of accomplishing whatever we are seeking to accomplish in our lives and not just weight loss!  Taking the “easy” way out is a very bad habit.  We need to banish this habit from our lives in every aspect period!

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Dog Facts and Living with Them (dogs)

Last year, after living in my own place for over 17.5 years, I decided to sell and make a joint purchase.  My mother and I wanted to pool our resources and purchase something together.  I discovered that there were a few things I never knew how highly I valued them, my privacy, my space and my independence.   When I sold my place, I came along with my 17.5 years of collected items and an energetic almost six-year-old yellow lab named Sunny.  As a child, I did not have pets so my mother has never been in the house with a dog before this experience.  She grew up on a farm where all animals were outside animals.  This one adjustment alone would provide many moments of extreme tensions between my mother and I.

Dogs  Shed(Especially Labs) One of the first things my mother had issue no matter how much we train them or bathe them they are still a dog and smell like a wet dog when wet.  You can place the food in a dog-feeding bowl but the dog will often remove it and put it on a surface so he can eat on his own terms.  Shedding is inevitable.  Labs shed, period.  People shed too just not as much.  However, you know all that dust on your furniture; it is from human and pet skin shedding.

Dogs lick their butts, another dog fact.  We might find it disgusting but they do it for a few reasons.  Dogs’ anal glands get full and need cleaning out at the vet’s office.  If they are not cleaned out, it beings to itch them like crazy.  Therefore, they lick to try to stop the itching.  Gross, but true.  Best advice, every 8-10 weeks take Fido to the vet and get those glands expressed.

Dogs are messy eaters.  You might put the food into a bowl but some dogs will take the food out of the bowl and carry it to another location in your home to eat.  In addition, other dogs will take the food out of the bowl and unceremoniously drop it on the floor to begin eating.  Dogs are not fussy about their food many times.  You have two choices; one can constantly clean up behind them or once a day clean up, your choice since you know this about your dog.

Dogs want/need attention.  Dogs generally do not understand that you are busy and cannot take time to play right then.  Dogs will try other methods to get your attention either by acting like they have been set on fire and have to stop drop and roll, barking at you, or the more subtle I will stare at you until you pet me.  Then there are the dogs who will keep scooting closer and closer to you and put their head on your lap and on top of the paper you are reading and force you to at least look at them.  They have the most pitiful looks on their cute doggie faces and you cannot help but laugh, stop, and give them a pet or two!  Mine will even go off and pout if all else fails.

Dogs bark aka Dogs can be moody too.  Not only can dogs pout, they can be moody too.  They can “voice” an objection when you least expect it and will keep on objecting until you give them an answer or resolution they are seek.  This can be very frustrating when you are getting ready to leave for work in the morning.  Usually, it ends up being “I do not want you to go!” or “Take me too!”



Facing a High School Reunion

I will have to admit when the date was finally set I was not sure about what I would be getting into.  After all, I had not been to a high school reunion, yet.  That was about to change.  Something inside of me said I really did need to reconnect and make peace with that part of my past.

First let me say I LOVED school.  I loved my teaching and learning.  I was an overachiever wanting to the best that I could at everything, but….algebra!  I was overweight and the social side was something else.  I was not part of the “in” crowd or the “popular” crowd; I was more of an “invisible crowd.” Part of me did not mind being invisible but another part of me yearned to be a part of all the social buzzing of high school.  I took four years of art classes and chorus.  I acted in a school production of A Christmas Carol but mainly worked behind the scenes creating scenery.  Behind the scenes was my theme in high school for the most part.  I was active in the clubs at school and even some athletic endeavors.  I was one of those kids the teachers liked, as I was more “mature” acting than many of my peers.

I used my fat as a protective barrier between others and me.  My subconscious thinking was that if I stayed aloof I rejection was out totally of the picture.  Rejections came and were emotionally hurtful.  Some emotional scars stay a lifetime and others vanish in time.  Perspectives change in time as well.  Over the years I have gone back to my old high school when I was in state and visited with a few of my former teachers but I really had not connected to many of my peers until Facebook.  Facebook opened many doors for me to reconnect with many of my high school peers on an adult level.  I found so many of my former acquaintances from high school had faced many of the same challenges I had in their lives since high school.  Some more, some less.  Many from high school were able to find spouses and jobs in the same area and have been living happy fulfilled lives in the same county and some the same city where we went to high school.  Others of us ventured out of the city, and even out of the state.

Driving around the area where I grew up recently was quite an eye-opening experience.  Where once there was fertile farm fields now are the home to huge homes, McMansions as many called them and lots of them!  Several of my family members lived in very rural areas and surrounded by these McMansions and many new homes.  The area is growing at a very rapid pace and experiencing a construction boom.  The school district where I went to school is now the fastest growing school district in the state of Indiana. With all the new people, there are many changes.  Main roads now have three “layers” off the main street with stores and shopping centers, traffic is now busy all the time and what was once anchors of the small towns are no more.

Even with living a thousand miles plus from the area, I was to help plan our 40th reunion and while fun, I felt very handicapped not living there to give more “hands on” assistance.  Being on the planning committee brought a few things to light about my classmates that were fun and amazing to learn.  One classmate had become a nationally recognized motivational speaker, another was a professional events planner, another a professional photographer and videographer, and another an accounts manager for discount stores.  Several of us had been through divorce and others were proud parents and grandparents.   We were all united to make this event happen with all are many different experiences and life directions.  I did see shades of “high school” at times but never enough to keep the event from happening or being a success.

I will admit I was wondering if I would slide back into my “clam” “invisible” (shy/bashful/backward) mode/pattern that I was in high school.  I was able to keep my ‘now’ self-present.  I was no longer the chubby overweight girl who was happy being in a corner and remaining quiet.  I was able to speak to all of my classmates at one point in the reunion and enjoyed it and no feelings of insecurity or invisible-ness came back.  I was just me who I am now and it was ok! Everything seemed to be “ok” all the way around and fitting in at this age seemed far less traumatic than as a teen.  I did have to shake my head (figuratively) at a few things I saw and heard but people do not change in many ways no matter how much time passes.

I am happy I went to the reunion and found out how many of my classmates have been living amazing lives!  On a sad note, some my classmates have passed away from health issues varying from cancer, to heart attacks to brain aneurysms and respiratory ailments.  Ten years from now at the next reunion that number will most likely double or triple.

In retrospect, it was so good to go to the reunion and remember some of the fun times before work, taxes and life took over.  The reunion removed the negativity I had surrounding some of the high school memories.  The surprise was others memories and perceptions of how things were back then.  We all live our lives through different filters.  But it was good to relive some shared experiences through some who experienced the same events.

I am already thinking about planning some type of reunion for the elementary school where I attended next year. There were many very fond memories of the Elementary days!

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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.