Category Archives: Nutrition and Diet

Welcome Monday


Yup! It’s Monday, laundry day and YAY, I’m all done. Now I am sitting at my desk
and trying to dash off a few sentences to this blog before I need to get dinner started.

Unbelievably, I actually lost another pound! I say unbelievably because though I
have not been “bad” (as they used to say in WW), I did consume chocolate cake,
cognac and popcorn last week. I tracked everything and tried to stay within reason
by not using all my points but I expected to find that my weight had stayed the same.
To my great delight, the scale registered a tiny loss. It’s not really a tiny loss for me,
one lb. after the week I had is actually very, very good. So I started the week off in a
good manner, feeling positive about the discipline and motivated to make this week
even better. My husband is doing his best to support me and I can see that he is also
considering moderating his own eating habits for the good of his health. I wish I could
do something to help him but everyone must work their program their own way. free to share image


Losing weight, losing sight


It’s been a very busy week, still lots of documentation to gather before my father can
claim some of his benefits after my mom’s passing. It has been a lesson to me about
having everything set up and in an orderly fashion so that our beneficiaries do not have
to go through so much red tape when we go.

My mother was an incredible human being with lots and lots of faults but with qualities
so excellent that the negatives pale in comparison. I am proud of the parents I was born
to and I hope that she knew how much I loved and admired her. I faulted her for not
saying “I love you” to me very often (if ever), I now think that I am guilty of the same
thing with her.

The first time I joined Weight Watchers, I was 15 years old. I did it at my mother’s prodding
because I was about 20 lbs. overweight at the time and she was fat also and decided that we
should do it together. That was in 1970! WW was just a few years old at that point and I do
remember that our “leader” was male. That has always stayed with me. I lost my 20 lbs. and
became a lifetime member which meant that I could attend meetings for free for the rest of
my life unless I went over the 2 lb. limit in my goal weight. Then you had to pay for attending.
I don’t remember why I stopped going but within 6 months, I had gained the weight back and
then some. It was not the first time I was on a “diet”, mom was always so concerned with my
weight, she was constantly looking for ways for me to lose it. I don’t remember every being
held back by my excess pounds. I was not athletic but that had nothing to do with my weight.
I was very sociable and rarely looked in the mirror except for my face and hair so I really had
no idea what my body looked like. I also made my own clothing so that it was not important
to me whether there were clothes to fit me in the store.

Back in those days, Weight Watchers terminology was less politically correct than today. For
example, if one ate a “forbidden” food (and there were many) one was “cheating”…or “bad”.
Today’s plans allow for eating whatever you like using a point system to keep track of things.
No food is bad or forbidden and no one is cheating. You simply track your points and move
on. Each day is a new beginning and that is how I have come to look at it this final time. In
the last 3 1/2 months, I have only lost 13 lbs. (slow metabolism as a result of years of dieting)
but rather than despair, I simply remind myself that this is a lifestyle change, not simply a
few weeks sacrificing to get down to a specific weight. At least the numbers are going in the
right direction.

There are so many choices and “hacks” available to us these days. I feel frustrated sometimes
because I allowed the weight to creep back on my small frame after so many years of maintaining
a healthy and comfortable weight. But I will be there again and hopefully some of my beautiful
clothes will still be in good enough condition to wear them.

image public domain

Another weekend …


They come so quickly, the weekends! On Sunday afternoons, I usually feel the blahs that so
many of us are prone to as we start to make the switch from two days of (mostly) relaxing
to the upcoming obligations of work, school and general parenting.

When I was a young, single gal in “like” with a co-worker, I used to hate weekends and love
Monday mornings! Naturally, it was because my quasi SO would be there to greet me. I am
happy that I have those memories because sometimes I can remember what it felt like to be
excited about Mondays and try to “fool” my brain into thinking all those things that made me
feel giddy will be mine again.

I have not been writing in this blog, although I have been quite busy writing everywhere else.
Ever since I was a child, I have placed many responsibilities on my shoulders, something that
I can’t explain and maybe I shouldn’t try. The reality is that while my siblings were out there
enjoying their allotted 1/3 of the day of “their” time, I was busy doing whatever it took to keep
the home fires burning and the household running smoothly. It was not my job, and in fact
try as I may, I cannot place any blame on my parents for this self-imposed mandate. My
mother worried sometimes that I was not social enough. I never thought of myself as a wall-
flower but I can look back and see that indeed when all my friends were out having fun, I could
be found listening to music in the background while I vacuumed, loaded or emptied the dish-
washer, did the laundry, started dinner, etc. I guess I felt needed in a way and then it just
became a habit so ingrained in me that to this day, I feel I am wasting time if I am not doing
something I consider “productive”.

My life is very different right now. At this moment, my children are grown and living in another
country. We have a wonderful relationship and communicate almost on a daily basis. My husband
in away for the next 12 days or so. We have a dog who is about to turn 8 and of course, I have my
dad who is 89. These are my very strong connections and I love them all. Today, after the cleaning
lady left (my house is spotless for one day!), I realized that I have a very blessed existence. I can
do or not do anything I want after I meet my obligations. I have fed my dog, turned off the water
that is making the lawn a lovely green in this dry weather and am eating a comforting lentil soup
that I made earlier this week. My kitchen is spotless, just the way I like it, no dishes in the sink.
My food plan has been successful this week and for that I am also very glad.

I look forward to this particular weekend because I get to indulge in a massage tomorrow. It has
become a necessity rather than a luxury and I am blessed to be living in a country where household
help and massages are affordable. My writing is coming along and hopefully this weekend will have
me taking out my latest attempt at a novel and begin again to work on it. My protagonist needs to
get some attention, he is so superficial I can’t even fall in love with him, how do I expect my readers
to do so.

Let’s all have a great weekend, and us writers especially! image


A slow journey


I went to get a massage for the first time this year. I have been doing so regularly for
the last 10 years or so but since I haven’t been home until this week, I was unable to do
it. It was wonderful. I allowed myself to just drift away under the skilled hands of my
masseuse who has known this wonderful body for the last 10 years. It felt relaxing and
totally necessary.

While I was away taking care of all the necessary documentation after my mom’s passing,
I somehow managed not to eat very much and lost 3 lbs. It is unusual for me to lose that
many lbs. in a matter of days and I was elated when I stepped on the scale after so many
days away. Naturally, this week I have been back to eating more or less “normally” which
means adding the odd chocolate, the extra 4 oz. of wine or being a little more relaxed about
tracking. What has happened is that the scale is not showing any loss, just staying where it
is. I have today and tomorrow to curb the appetite in time for weighing myself on Monday
morning. Although I would love to say that the long-term goal is what matters, the days can
become l-o-n-g when snacks become boring and cooking is on the agenda.

For today, I have logged onto the Weight Watchers Connect section of my on-line Plus
program and I am inspired by people who have to lose so much more weight than I do
and who are not daunted by the sheer numbers. I have downloaded an app (Happy Scale)
which seems like it will allow me to add another dimension while I lose. I know if I work
the program, the program will work for me, as it has done in the past and continues to
for all who really apply it.

My goal is not only to lose weight but to get back on track with my writing, decluttering,
and preparing myself for a television debut in 2019! Best wishes to me, and may I continue
to do this just for me because I know that my health deserves it and that my family can do
with a good example to follow. image


My first post of 2018!


It’s kind of ironic! My last post was on the 30th of December, posting about the birthday
celebration we had for my father. I was excited about the end of 2017, a terrific year for me.
I ended that post by saying that I had my three priorities in a row for 2018 (lose weight,
concentrate my energies on my writing, and tackle my weed-filled small area and turn it
into a beautiful garden.

All plans are made to be changed, and mine were no different. On January 1st, my mother
passed away. Although it was not unexpected since she had been in the last stages of her
very long illness, it was a shock that she died on the first of 2018. It was almost as if she said
to herself “Let my daughter enjoy the end of 2017 since it has been a good year for her, and let
her realize that she has only so much control over some things.” It was so like my Mom.

In any event, we took care of everything related to this life event and after two weeks, I am
finally at home and ready to begin my year anew. It is wonderful to share with you all that
in the last two weeks, I have been careful about what things I put in my mouth and I happily
report that I have lost almost 9 lbs. since the beginning of December of my Weight Watchers
journey. I am thrilled with that number and have already seen the benefits of the weight loss,
not only on how clothes fit me or how I look in the mirror, but also in terms of my self-esteem
and the physical endurance I seem to possess right now.

My mother was my world growing up. I stayed close to her, despite our different perspectives
on many things, for my entire life. Although her illness was hard to watch, I did not ever feel I
would be prepared for her passing. Back in August, I broke down when talking to my daughter
and I shared that I didn’t know how I would face a life without her. But I believe in God, and
God gently nudged me in the direction of acceptance. Seeing my mother’s peaceful countenance
confirmed that she had gone quietly and hopefully without any pain.

I am now the second oldest of the many cousins I have. I might as well be the oldest since my
older sister has more or less abandoned the family. I feel it is a tremendous responsibility but
also a great honor to be the “matriarch” of our tribe…

Happy 2018 to us all.

image: free to use and share


A slow road ahead but doable!


Today was my dad’s birthday. In his honor I made a wonderful lunch, gathered some
friends and family and went to his house armed with plastic plates, cutlery, etc. (to save
clean-up) and we had a blast. My niece took some lovely pictures which were later sent
to me…I have said it before, I cannot accept the person in those pictures as being me…
it is just bizzare. I feel like the normal weight person I was for so many years but pictures
reveal something else.

You know how so many people try to make one feel better by saying, Oh the camera adds
ten pounds, you’re not really that heavy
? Well, I look at everyone else in the picture and
can confirm that how they look in the picture is exactly how they look in “real” life…so it
stands to reason that what I look like in the picture is also how I look in real life.

After almost one month of pretty much tracking my food and staying on the program, I have
lost 4.4 lbs. This is wonderful news, I am not taking anything away from that, obviously I
am on the right track. There is no reason to believe I won’t continue to lose modestly but
lose just the same and that by this time next year, I will be that normal sized gal (or close
to it again. I now have to lose 31 lbs. instead of 35 lbs. and I think that’s great. If I lose
4 lbs. per month, I will do it in less than one year…and who knows, I might actually get
closer to what I really ought to be losing (about 50 lbs.) if I stay on track. As I said, there
is no reason I can’t stay on track, the WW Freedom plan is really just that.

Aside from the project weight loss (which is my priority), I also intend to really work on
two other priorities: making real advancement on my writing AND making a proper small
garden to replace the haphazard weed plot I currently have. I think these three priorities
for 2018 are feasible and I am eagerly anticipating being able to accomplish them. Right
now decluttering is also important but it is no longer my priority. I have lots of room and
feel great, one bag at a time to work on is marvelous and I will start with that.

My very best wishes for all of us for 2018. free to use image


New perspectives


When we first moved into the little town we live in, my only thoughts were of
living my life in peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city and definitely
enjoying the big change that this tropical jungle was from the cement jungle of
New York City in which I spent most of my childhood and adult life.

Now that I am following a more disciplined and healthy eating routine, I find
myself focusing on other things besides food. The food aspect is easy so far: I
plan my meals, track them and then get on with my days. I go to bed a little bit
hungry each night but it is manageable and I have not lost any sleep. However,
the fact that I am not grazing all day means that I am also not “stuffing” my
feelings with food, something I frankly never thought I did. Now, though, I have
come to the realization that maybe I have been doing that and for longer than I

Back to my original reason for bringing up my small town. We arrived here almost
16 years ago to a brand new modern home that took more than one year to build.
Almost instantaneously, I was introduced to a woman who would catapult me into
a position in town that I never sought or enjoyed but found difficult to extricate
myself from once I unwittingly committed to different projects. My plans to be just
another citizen enjoying the benefits of a rural existence and having time to make
jewelry, read, devote myself to writing, learn to embroider, etc. came to a halt because
I set myself up to have many, many responsibilities. I am one of those people who can
always be counted on to see a project to the end while the previously mentioned woman
was the “my way or the highway” sort of gal.

When I finally (after almost a decade) began to resent the constant interruptions in my
life, phone calls at all hours of the day or night, unreasonable demands on my time and
other resources, and started to respect myself enough to make boundaries, the woman
turned on me without hesitation. I had been unaware that we were not friends, that’s
how naive I was and how manipulative she was. The awakening was very hard for me to
face and now looking back, I wonder at myself and my capacity to have withstood all that
I did for so long.

But this is not a post about whining or feeling sorry for myself. Au contraire. I have
recently been approached to help someone achieve something they want, NOT something
I want. My initial response was an almost automatic “yes”…in other words me committing
to a project that did not originate with me…because I don’t want to let my “friend” down.
Not having food as a substitute is allowing me to think deeply about this “friend”. He
wants to ingratiate himself with a certain group in town that he believes I have influence
over, which is actually not true! I have been able to step back this time and ask myself
whether or not my time should not be spent on my writing, my family, my hobbies! Old
me would have asked him to elaborate on his idea so I could see a way to carry it out for
him. New me (or on the way to becoming New Me!) is busily trying to find out why I still
have the idea I need to curry favor with everyone. It is making interesting food for thought
with the added benefits of coming without any calories! public domain image


The end of the year is upon us!



Because the week is getting away from me and I probably won’t be able to write
very much until next week, I’d better get this done now.

I have been happily following along with my new WW program and I am delighted
to report that I actually do feel a little bit hungry. It is a good sensation that is causing
me to be a little more creative with just how I am going to spend my point. I have
become reacquainted with recipes that are delicious but healthy and I am hoping to
continue on this path. What’s to stop me? The scale is showing a decrease in the still
very large number and that is a motivator.

I am hoping for a great finish to the year and I am very excited to welcome 2018 with
lots of new projects that will hopefully be reachable.

My project of de-cluttering my body has evolved to include de-cluttering the many
clothes and magazines that I am no longer able to keep hoarding. Best wishes to me
as I continue on this path. public domain image




I’ve only been doing the Freedom plan for two weeks and I feel great. Granted last week’s
weight loss (.8 lbs.) was very modest and I could feel a little disheartened until I talk a close
look at my food diary and could come up with very good reasons for the fact that the loss was
not more.

After my husband came home from his trip, there was a slight slip and instead of keeping very
close watch on the quantity of (my favorite) cognac, I had a double and counted it as a single.
Then there was the odd (extra) piece of bread, the chocolate, the tamal that is so in vogue at this
time of year. So when I jumped on the scale yesterday and didn’t see the expected loss, I became
an investigator. Yesterday I behaved very well, tracking everything and today when I stepped on
the scale, the number was more pleasing.

I know all about weight loss and weight gain. I have tried everything, from eating when and what
I want to keeping strict tabs. From not weighing myself for weeks and months, to weighing myself
every few hours.  I have come to realize that we are all different in our approach to weight, weight
loss/gain, and in the way our bodies work. For me, it is necessary to write things down, to become
excited about using new spices in different ways, to imagine myself wearing clothes I haven’t fit
into for years. I enjoy discipline and I am glad that there is so much freedom in this new plan.

Every now and then I feel the days are long, hunger is not a sensation I have felt for a long time
and I am feeling it now, but I also realize that I haven’t met too many +80 year olds who are
obese and know myself to be newly hopeful that I will live beyond 80 and will be at a good
normal weight. I admire people who have to lose more than 100 lbs. and are doing so, their
stories inspire me and their before and after pictures even more so. public domain image



A good week of eating!


It’s been about 2 weeks since I started on the Weight Watchers Freedom Plan. I
have to say I am having a great time. I know that my goal to lose the weight has to
go slowly or I won’t be successful and there is no reason to rush it really, I have no
weddings, showers, birthdays etc that I want to look good for. Heck, earlier this year
when I did have important events, I didn’t even give it a second thought (dieting!) but
something happened the last time I looked at a picture of me that I just couldn’t recon-
cile with! It’s wonderful to have photographers who are not looking to take a picture of
one with the “best angle” in mind. The picture was so unflattering (and yet accurate) that
I deleted it from the cloud and everywhere I could but it was the defining moment for me.

So far, I have lost probably 3 or 4 lbs. but since I have a scale that is in kilos rather than
pounds, it is difficult to determine to any exact figure. However, the proof is in the fact
that my clothes fit a tiny bit looser, after all, at my height, even 3 lbs. is quite significant.

I met a few writer friends for a small and lovely holiday celebration and I am happy to
say that despite eating (tiny portions) a variety of holiday foods, including marzipan
stollen, I was able to stay on track. It feels great to be back in control and I am confident
I can maintain the rhythm. My goal for 2018 is to be in good physical shape so that I can
go on television and see pictures of myself without asking “Who is that?” public domain picture.