Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Savvy Shopper : Casear Salad Dressings

"I came, I saw, I conquered"-Julius Caesar
Caesar salad dressings, that is!

Store: Safeway

Winner: Eating Right Fresh Garlic Casear
Serving Size: 2 tbs
Points Value: 1 point

Runner Up: Girard's Light Casear
Serving Size: 2 tbs
Points Value: 2 points

Loser: (tie) Wishbone, Ken's, and Cardini's
Serving Size: 2 tbs
Points Value: 5 points

My choice? Girard's Light Casear. I went for the extra point per serving, trusting the Girardi's name, and was not disappointed! The dressing was tangy with just the right amount of garlic. Highly recommended!

Savvy Shopper : An Introduction

Welcome to Savvy Shopper!

Since starting Weight Watchers, grocery shopping has become a lengthy chore. Although you might have “the basics” down and a set list of items you buy each trip , the choices in a supermarket are endless and every aisle is lurking with foods that are good, bad, and worse when it comes to points.

But where do you start?

On a recent shopping trip, I found myself standing in front of the spaghetti sauces, literally turning every jar around and calculating the points until I found one that had low points, but also looked like it tasted good. The result? (Safeway’s) Eating Right Marinara Sauce. 1 point for 1/2 cup!

This painstaking process of calculating point values for about 20 pasta sauces got me thinking - wouldn’t it be great to have a go-to list of pre-calculated items (aside from those listed on the WW iPhone app, of course!) that I would buy on a semi-regular basis? Or even for items I never thought would have a distinction when it came to points, like pickles? Or how about things we think are off limits, like pizza?

So, keep checking back for Savvy Shopper updates ... all categories, aisles, and foods are fair game and the Winos love suggestions!

Happy (low point) shopping!

Soft-Serve Strife

I was taking a stroll through the Mission last weekend with fellow Wino Erika, when we came upon one of my favorite San Francisco establishments: Bi-Rite Creamery.  In case you're not familiar, it's quite possibly the most amazing ice cream shop in the world.  They have incredibly unique flavors... Salted Caramel, Balsamic Strawberry, Coffee Toffee, OH MY!  Instead of waiting in line for a big cup full of caloric-goodness, I actually stopped myself and thought, "Is there a better choice?  I wonder if the soft-serve is any good?  It's probably fewer calories."  I had only eaten about 8 points of food that day and figured I had a few points to spare, so maybe I'd give it a swirl.

But instead of diving in head first, I opted to ask the flannel-clad hipster behind the counter if he knew the calorie count in a small cup.  He didn't, but offered to call the owners.  What a happy, helpful hipster!  I patiently waited while he headed to the back to make the call.  I stood patiently, biting on my lower lip, trying to calculate how many points I thought I could afford to waste on these empty calories... 3, maybe 4, I decided.  So if the calories were above 200 or so, I promised myself I'd walk away soft-serve-less.

The happy hipster finally returned with a smile on his face.  Optimism surged within me.  And then the answer: "Well, we're not entirely sure.  But since a small cup of ice cream is about 400 calories, an educated guess is that a small cup of soft-serve is probably about 325 calories because it has a lower percentage of milk-fat."  Instead of the excited reaction and prompt order he must have been predicting, I stood there stunned for a moment before I could respond.  How could 4-6 oz of soft-serve equal almost the sum total of everything I had eaten for brunch that day (2 scrambled eggs w/ 1/8 cup of reduced fat mozzarella and chives, 2 pieces of low calorie/high fiber toast, 1 cup of light OJ and a skim cappuccino)???!  This was truly tragic.  I finally recovered from my flabbergasted state, thanked him for the information, and told him I had to pass on a cup of creamy deliciousness today.  I dropped my head in dismay as I stumbled through the crowd of Dolores Park revelers and wondered if there really was a God.

As I turned the corner and began to think clearly again, I remembered that McDonald's also has soft-serve.  And I remembered how much I love their soft serve.  And I wondered how many points was in a cone of McDonald's Reduced Fat Vanilla Soft Serve.  So I looked it up.  3 POINTS!  There is a God!  Hallelujah! 

Next time the sun is out and the line to get a taste of Bi-Rite's famous ice cream stretches around the corner, I think I'll head to the Golden Arches with the smug smile of a Weight Watcher stretched wide across my face and order up the smarter choice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sponsored by the Letter "W" and the Number "12"

I'm not sure what my exact age was when I learned how to count, but due of a pair of attentive parents, coupled with the hit show Sesame Street, I could have been as young as 2. Counting is a skill we use every day, whether we realize it or not. Counting change, counting time, counting calories -- and for some of us, counting Weight Watchers Points.

It seems I have practically lost one of my oldest skillz seemingly overnight. You see, this weekend, I am headed to New Orleans Jazz Fest. Besides the jazz, it's pretty much going to be all about the food and drink. Our nightly meals were planned months in advance so we could make sure and have timely reservations at the hottest joints in town. And during the day, I will be scouring the fairgrounds for the most renown New Orleans specialty food stands. (A full recap will be presented next week.)

I think four days off the Weight Watchers wagon while at Jazz Fest is entirely appropriate. I think I will still take with me a few of the things I've learned on the program while indulging in untold amounts of fried oysters, gumbo, beignets and the like. Untold -- because I am not going to bother counting Points. I'll just deal with the consequences when I return. The real downfall has been the anticipation of this trip and a subsequent relinquishing of point-counting. As if in prep for living a WW-free life for 96 hours, the previous week's point counting has somehow fallen completely by the wayside.

Like the previous blog poster SUZ, I also have a couple of events in July I will be looking forward to and thinning up for upon my return from this self-indulgent weekend: fellow blogger Tristan and my's bachelorette party in Puerto Vallarta (swimsuits!) and Tristan's wedding a few weeks later (new dress!). In the meantime of re-committing myself to losing another 10 lbs in time for these events, I think I'd better watch some Sesame Street videos so I can re-learn how to count.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back in the saddle again...

Yesterday I attended my first WW meeting since March 13th. That's 6 weeks people. Not good for someone who realized long ago that she needs the accountability and motivation of these meetings. I have plenty of excuses: friends in town, hosting brunch, away on vacation, etc, etc, etc.

This is not to say that I abandoned the program, and although I hardly tracked, I still tried to keep it together by:
a) making smart choices when out to eat,
b) not taking second helpings, and
c) running 4 miles 3x/week (although that fell by the wayside for about 2 weeks as well because I was out of town).

So I was pleasantly surprised when I weighed in yesterday and had only gained .6 lbs. There's something to be said about having this program ingrained in your psyche. I think after so many years of counting points, I am always "on program", even if I'm "off". Does that make sense?

Anyway, I am ready to really motivate and get back in the saddle.

It always helps me to have some sort of event on the horizon for added incentive. Currently its a wedding in Buenos Aires in mid-July. I'd love to lose 10 - 15 lbs by then. Considering I've only lost 5.2 lbs since January, I really have to step it into high gear. But hey, I'm up for the challenge.

Oh, and speaking of trying to make good choices while eating out, check out the gorgeous food I had to choose from while on safari in South Africa.

This trip reminded me how much packaged, processed junk we eat here in the States. I am focusing on eating clean and fresh as much as possible.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good Enough for an Academy Award Winner

I think everyone has assumptions about who the typical Weight Watchers member is and, until recently, I think our assumptions were pretty accurate. Lately. however, it's become clear that our "atypical" group of young, single, and very social Winos is a growing segment.

Case in point: the recent news that Jennifer Hudson is the new spokesperson for WW. A hip, successful, singer/actress/model who is 28 years old.

What's more, this morning I got my DailyCandy dedicated email newsletter promoting Weight Watchers - via the sponsoring of Jennifer Hudson - to a new audience of women. (The media geek in me can tell you that almost 60% of DailyCandy's readership is between the ages of 18-34.)

All this means is we're on the right track, Winos! Weight Watchers is for everyone - regardless of age, income, or location on the map. And, if it's good enough for an Academy Award winner, it's good enough for me. (Show us some love, JHud!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Deconstructing the Double Down

If you didn't hear about the launch of KFC's new Double Down "sandwich" last week, you just might be living under a rock. My friend's well-known, Fortune 5, hi-tech client launched a fancy new product last week too. But this monster is the one that made New York and LA Times headlines and Twitter trending topics. So I decided to see what all the hullabaloo is about....from a Weight Watchers perspective.

Here's the Low 'Down':
540 calories
32 grams of fat
Don't know about the fiber, but lets just go ahead and assume ZERO grams on that one, shall we?!
Total WW points = 13

Now, I'm not, by any means, going to tell anyone to run out and 'down' one of these things. This picture is a professionally staged version of the offering. I'm going to guess that the actual product is much more revolting in person...if that's even possible. But 13 could do a lot worse. I certainly have. Within the last 24 hours even.

Last night, I had my first cheeseburger since the WW diet began some 10 weeks ago. It was at a pub, so I'm not exactly sure what the complete and total damage is. But, by the time I ate it with a side of fries and 3 healthy glasses of wine....well, lets just say I'm a whole days worth of points in the negative. Still, I'm doubley happy I didn't go down with one of these KFC things. Ick!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Head Over Meals: How Love Makes You Fat

Last week, my fellow wino Miranda contended that love—or heartbreak—is the best diet bill. I agree with her stance 100%. Never have I been skinnier than those first few weeks after dating someone, when the butterflies fluttering in the pit of my stomach leave little room for much else. Or those first few weeks after getting dumped, when the will to eat—or even to get out of bed—is completely lost.

But what about those periods in between? When we are not falling in love, not getting our hearts broken, but instead, comfortable and content in a committed relationship with someone who loves us unconditionally?

Wow. Sounds pretty amazing, right? After all, isn't this what we all want? I mean, people—this is the stuff of poetry, of music, of hollywood blockbusters.

And of getting fat.

While on an emotional level, unconditional love can be quite fulfilling, on a physical level, it is a one-way journey to the land of expanding waistlines.
When you are in a relationship, you have someone to eat with... all the time. This is how I ended up at a diner last night at 10pm.

"I'm hungry. I thought having a late lunch would be enough for me but now I kind of want to eat some dinner."
"Me too. Let's go grab something. What do you feel like?"
"I don't know, maybe a tuna melt? Ooh, let's go to that diner on 24th street."

A tuna melt, a chocolate milk, and about 15 Weight Watchers points later, I definitely wasn't hungry anymore. (Worthy of note: I would never have ordered a chocolate milk on a first date. But when you are in a relationship, you can order all the chocolate milks your little heart desires and not feel at all embarrassed or like a 5 year old. )

And in addition to having someone to eat with, you also have someone to drink with. This is how I ended up imbibing great quantities of white wine before 2pm a couple of Saturdays ago.

"I could use a glass of chardonnay while we tidy up the house."
"Me too! Let's open that bottle of Franciscan."

45 minutes later
"I'm opening another bottle. Are you okay switching to sauv blanc?"
"Sure! And put some music on while you're in there."

Several hours and way more than 11 Weight Watchers points later, I definitely wasn't tidying up the house (or intelligible) anymore.

But while a comfortable relationship can indeed be a negative force, deciding to tackle weight loss as a couple can be quite a positive force.

This is one of the main reasons I have been successful thus far on my Weight Watchers journey. I have a built-in cheerleader—someone who gives me a big, genuine hug when I step of the scale and report that I have lost 2 lbs.

I also have someone who will help me make good choices, like deciding not to eat that other half of my tuna melt, lest I feel uncomfortably full and bad about myself afterwards. (Or not to have that second bottle of wine, lest I feel dizzy and vomitous afterwards.)

Now that is something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I might even write a poem about it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Thin Red Wine Line

So, another study came out last week that completely and utterly applies to this group of bloggers and pretty much everyone we know (probably including you!). I don't know the official name of the study, but it might as well be called, "Hey SmartyPants….You're Wasted!"

By some stroke of unbelievable timing and luck, I just happened to be on my first "wagon" last week since joining Weight Watchers. The only reason being was that I found a hole in my social calendar that would allow me to not drink for one whole week….if I set my mind to it. And thankfully, I did. Because if I had read this study while going about my usual ways, I might have had a panic attack and a serious Google session of "Betty Ford Clinic." To my relief and surprise, the week went by relatively easily and effortlessly. I discovered I would have turned to the bottle that week, mostly out of habit, rather than necessity. So that was nice to be reminded of.

The main crux of the study is this line right here: "The more educated women are, the more likely they are to drink alcohol on most days and to report having problems due to their drinking patterns." A few of the reasons being: we’ve got more money (to waste), we put off having kids til the last possible minute and then some (Hi, Invitro!), and we're around "The Guys" a lot more (keg stand!).

After reading through the article (below), I can safely say that every point applies to myself -- except for this "problem" word. Where do we draw this line? How do you know if your drinking is considered a "problem"? If I can stop on a dime for a week, am I good to go? Or is there untold damage to my liver? If I have a Mimosa after a big night out (or just because), am I a morning drinker? Or just enjoying a Sunday brunch ritual? What is the difference between a "healthy" dose of red wine every day….and being a "wino"? Well, regardless, I don't think any of us Winos have any intention of changing our SmartyPants habits anytime soon. Hence the theme of this whole blog: Losing weight while keeping drinking.

Here is the article/study, with a few of my own notes thrown in…

Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers
Women who went to university consume more alcohol than their less-highly-educated counterparts, a major study has found.
By Roger Dobson

Those with degrees are almost twice as likely to drink daily (check!), and they are also more likely to admit to having a drinking problem (I admit nothing).

A similar link between educational attainment and alcohol consumption is seen among men, but the correlation is less strong (figures).

The findings come from a comprehensive study carried out at the London School of Economics in which researchers tracked the lives of thousands of 39-year-old women and men, all born in the UK during the same week in 1970.

The report concludes: "The more educated women are, the more likely they are to drink alcohol on most days and to report having problems due to their drinking patterns.
"The better-educated appear to be the ones who engage the most in problematic patterns of alcohol consumption."

Women's alcohol consumption can even be predicted from their scores in school tests taken when they are as as young as five (wow!).

Women who achieved "medium" or "high" test marks as schoolgirls are up to 2.1 times more likely to drink daily as adults.

The authors of the report, Francesca Borgonovi and Maria Huerta, suggest several possible explanations as to why better-educated women drink more.

They tend to have children later (zero percent mothers author this blog), postponing the responsibilities of parenthood (and many other responsibilities; I can't even seem to pick up my dry cleaning!). They may have more active social lives (cha!) or work in male-dominated workplaces with a drinking culture (do gay males count?).

As girls, they may have grown up in middle-class families and seen their parents drink regularly (mom cooking dinner with a glass of wine in hand).

In the long-term study, the LSE team followed all the people born in Britain during one week in 1970, asking them questions about their lifestyle at regular periods throughout their lives.
The number of people for whom information was available has varied over the course of the research between 9,665 and 17,287.

The researchers took account of each individual's school test results and level of academic attainment, as well as their answers to regularly-administered surveys in which they were asked questions such as "Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?" (sure) and "Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?" (only on weekends or vacations; that makes it ok, right?!)
Women with some educational qualifications were 71 per cent more likely to drink on most days compared to women with no qualifications. Women with degree-level qualifications were 86 per cent more likely to do so (that's a solid "B"!).

Higher educated women were 1.7 times more likely to have a drinking problem, as assessed through their questionnaire answers, than their less-well-educated counterparts.
Women who scored highly in tests while at school were also at greater risk of having drinking problems.

Whereas women with medium or high childhood test scores were up to 2.1 times more likely to have a drink most days, men who scored similarly-high scores were only 49 per cent more likely to do so.

"Both males and females who achieved high-level performance in test scores administered at ages five and 10 are significantly more likely to abuse alcohol than individuals who performed poorly on those tests," says the report, in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

According to the study, a substantial part of the educational effect is likely to be due to better-educated women having more opportunities and tending to have middle-class lifestyles, exposing them to circumstances that favour alcohol consumption.

"Reasons for the positive association of education and drinking behaviours may include: a more intensive social life that encourages alcohol intake (yup); a greater engagement into traditionally male spheres of life (Lets Go Giants!), a greater social acceptability of alcohol use and abuse (the MORE the merrier!); more exposure to alcohol use during formative years (started at 16, and that was considered "late"); and greater postponement of childbearing and its responsibilities among the better educated (or completely ignore)," says the report.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesman for the Alcohol Concern charity said: "This raises concerns which need to be addressed.

"People with higher qualifications have more disposable income, and we have seen a trend where there has been an increase in the marketing of wine, particularly aimed at working women (umhum) .

"People who abuse alcohol face a higher risk of suffering from health problems incluidng cancer, liver cirrhosis, lung and cardiovascular disease, and mental and behavioural issues." (would also add "falling down due to dance party" to this list)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sweet Fit of Success

I love to procrastinate. I grew up in a family that was always running late- once we even came down the aisle of a wedding, right behind the bride. My Mom looked around the pews apologetically, but these were formative years for me. I was trained to always put things off and arrive at the last minute.

This is why I am writing a blog entry right now. We are down to the wire and I should be packing up boxes for the big move to the new house. However, I wanted to share some excitement that happened yesterday.

In the process of packing I found several unappealing clothing articles left over from my college days and decided it might be time to refresh the closet. As I walked in to Macys (they were having a giant sale!), I headed over to my usual size and started leafing through the dresses. Something weird happened in the dressing room: every dress I tried on was loose and baggy- they looked frumpy and too big. So back out I went, only to go a size lower, the lowest size I have been in my adult years. I sucked in and held my breath, but the dress zipped right up. Hmmm, I thought, maybe this is a fluke or a mislabeled dress size.

So I decided to go for the ultimate test: Bra shopping. Much to my disappointment, my bras have started gapping and are saggy. I thought maybe it was over wear, over wash syndrome, but one thing was clear- it was time for the annual bra buy at Nordstrom. As I stood cold and topless in the dressing room, a heavily perfumed sales lady measured me. “Oh no no no” she exclaimed. “These bras are all too big for you- you are two sizes smaller.” Two? Two? How could this be and when did this happen? As the saleslady left to forage for options that would to separate and lift, I started thinking about the age old diet dilemma. Why do you lose your boobs? I mean really, why can’t I keep the boobs and lose the tummy. Talk about unfair! But then I realized that I have been losing my tummy- this is why my dress size is smaller too. It was a proud moment for me, walking out of that mall with my smaller sized purchases. And I will tell you one other thing: It was a lot easier walking by Wetzel’s Pretzels at the end of a shopping day (12 useless points). The only motivation I needed was a quick glance down at my two size smaller boobs.

Friday, April 9, 2010

If Laughter is the Best Medicine...

Then love is decidedly the best diet pill.

Wouldn't you all agree that every time you meet a new potential love interest, the pounds somehow start falling off without even the slightest bit of attention or effort?

Maybe it's all the excitement and nervous energy coursing through your veins: the anticipation of the next date, the small thrill at that flirty text message, the racing heartbeat as you plant that first kiss.  Love is like a natural amphetamine and the energy it incites makes us flutter like a hummingbird on speed. 

Or maybe it's more transparent than that.  Perhaps the idea that someone might actually see our naked bodies in the very near future is enough to drive us to starvation.  When we get in the shower and come face to face with those pudgy bits we usually hide under our favorite sweatshirt, we realize that the sweatshirt will have to come off.  Someone, sometime soon, will see this naked body and either want to make passionate love to it or enact a look of absolute terror, run screaming from the room and never attempt to call us again.  The sheer fear of the latter incidence is enough to bring on a diet of cabbage soup or a lemon-ginger cleanse.

No doubt some of our beloved readers and bloggers have ultimately found the loves of their lives and are living the happily ever after saga.  But for the rest of us, this period of buzzing excitement and fluttering flirtation often leads to a period of disappointment and heartbreak.  Someone cheats on someone else.  One person gets bored.  The other realizes they are not dating "marriage material."  Or something to that effect.

When we get to this point, there are two avenues for how we can deal with the heart wrenching emotions of breaking up.  One camp drowns their sorrows in Ben & Jerry Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice cream, whereas another camp revolts at the thought of food and wallows in their bottomless emptiness.  I happen to fall into the second camp.  Therefore heartbreak is just as much of a weight loss experiment as it is an emotional roller-coaster.  The only consolation for this empty, uneasy feeling is that I know it will result in my jeans fitting a little looser by the time I'm ready to hit the bars again in search of the next flirty feeling.  And if I happen to run into that evil ex, then I'll look just a little hotter than the last time he saw me.

So the only logical takeaway from this whole synopsis is that love, and ultimately heartbreak, really are a great means to weight loss.  If I can fall in and out of love on a regular basis, no doubt I'll hit my ultimate goal weight in no time!  The only snag in this little plan is that I might end up with a few emotional scars and the inability to ever have a lasting relationship.  Hmm... perhaps I should just stick with Weight Watchers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lessons From My Big Fat Mexican Family

Have you seen My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding? Well, I have a big, fat, Mexican family.

My mom has 8 siblings. And I have 23 first cousins.

Growing up, I thought it was normal that a family get-together consist of minimum 45 people. I thought it was normal to spend every single weekend with my entire extended family—attending baptisms, birthdays, first communions, anniversaries, holidays.

I also thought it was normal—after said baptisms, birthdays, first communions, anniversaries, and holidays—to celebrate by eating. Not just eating, actually, but completely engorging on chips with Petra's famous homemade salsa verde (that she always brings in a 2-gallon container). And stuffing my face with the honey-baked ham that someone had splurged on that day (following up with a ham sandwich—smothered in mayonnaise—later that night). And indulging in my mom's homemade pinto beans, refried in bacon fat, and wrapped with a warm, buttery tortilla.

I thought it was normal to feel, every weekend, as uncomfortably stuffed as most people feel only after Thanksgiving dinner.

Suffice it to say, my family's lessons on eating right pretty much sucked. Weight Watchers has been instrumental in changing that for me.

However, there was one positive lesson I learned from my family that Weight Watchers could never take away: dance it off, girl.

That's right. No matter the location, every family get-together inevitably ends with a dance party. A makeshift dance floor is created, music is played (or bumped), and family members take turns showcasing their latest moves. It burns off at least a fraction of the calories that were consumed earlier in the day—which is definitely a positive thing!

This past weekend was Easter. And my youngest sister, Katie, took charge of the dance party by trying to teach us the latest urban dance craze: jerking. As in, "can you jerk?"

Katie (left in the below video) can obviously jerk:

Auntie Stephanie can jerk, too:

As for our wino, Jen, who was my weekend guest... well, I'll let you decide for yourself:

Monday, April 5, 2010

And We're Back!

We've been a little quiet the past few days and, while I don't know what the other Winos were up to, Loreal & I spent some time in LA for the Easter weekend.

Although it's prime time to indulge in Honey Baked Ham, dinner rolls, salad with creamy dressing, pastries, candy, and, of course, some wine to wash it all down, we weren't scared of falling off the wagon. After all, we were visiting family who were also on Weight Watchers, so we were all in it together!

We even started off on the right foot! Instead of bringing a traditional Easter basket as a token of appreciation for the hospitality, I brought one filled with a lily and lots of yummy, low-point treats!

But then.......

In typical "I am home, it's a holiday, and there's food, food, and more food to graze on!" fashion, we did just that. Grazed.

Grazed (and drank) 35-40 points in a day.

Two days in a row.

For all the pitfalls around us, we could have done worse. True, we ate more than we normally do at home. And we ate different foods than normal, also - namely, lots of sweets! But, on the positive side, our Easter baskets came with kitchen scales in lieu of chocolate bunnies, and a SIGG water bottle instead of sodas.

And I had not ONE Robin's Egg, Snicker's Egg, or Cadbury Creme Egg this year.

Guess what, Easter Bunny ... We're tied!
Easter candy: 1, JWHA: 1

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yes means No, and No means Yes!

Well, hello there, gentle reader! Welcome to Opposite World, a place where Yes means No, and No means Yes! What? You’re not quite confused yet? Well, don't worry, there's more!

In Opposite World, everything is sdrawkcab! It's the one place in our society of "more everything", that less actually equals more. A place where every loss is a win! Where a gain is not a step forward, but a step back. This doesn't make sense in normal world terms, where the more you amass, the more successful you are.

To make Opposite World clearer, think of the hit TV show, The Biggest Loser. Who is the actual Biggest Loser? The biggest winner….of losing…..weight. Oh what a Biggest Loser I felt like during my first six weeks of Weight Watchers. Every week I lost. Which meant, I won! What a feeling, to lose and win all at once! Lose enough times and you start to think you'll never gain again! I was really beginning to like Opposite World.

I got so good at losing, I started to get sloppy. A fib on a glass of wine here, a lie about the cheese there. In Opposite World, adding must equal subtracting, right? WRONG.

As I stepped on to the scale this week, my testing of the backwardness of Opposite World quickly caught up with me. Because I said "Yes!" to buttered movie popcorn and a chaser of Thai noodles after the show last Friday, I got closer to the "No, you will not lose weight this week" consequences of Opposite World. When I bellied up to the party snack table on Saturday night, I secured my spot in Yes means No. A little nibble here, another tiny bite there, actually added up to a lot.

Thankfully, the big gain was a small a small addition. +0.6 pounds. But it still made me feel like a regular world loser -- big time. And it was still a long way from actually losing weight that week. It was a wake-up call to get myself back to Opposite World. It's time to ignore normal world instincts to order one more glass of wine, or that just a few chips don't count….because not counting does add up….fast!

So it's back to Opposite World I go…where my NOs will mean a YES on the scale next week. Because a loss is really a gain, and you don't feel like a loser, when you lose like a winner. Got it? Good.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Buddy System

At last night's meeting, we talked about the ways that having a "buddy" can help you achieve weight loss goals and stay on track. As you know from reading this blog, luckily I have a network of buddies to tap into, which is exactly what I did.

Today, even after two weeks of disappointing numbers at the scale, I was tempted to forgo the healthy lunch I had packed this morning and, instead, hit up the Falafel truck at work for some delicious Mediterranean fare.

I sent this plea to my fellow Winos:
"I brought my lunch today but really want Falafel from the truck at work today. What to do? Help, buddies!"

I received the following support:

"Look up how many points the whole thing would be and then decide if it's worth it."

"Don't do it! The cheddar & sour cream baked Ruffles we brought today are the bomb!"

"You know what to do! Eat your lunch. Reward yourself with a Falafel next week if you were good this week!"

The verdict?

Lunch from home for 7.5 points