Day Twenty-Eight…

Today was weigh-in-day, and I lost exactly one pound. I don’t know why, but it’s not upsetting me the way it did last week. It’s all going in the right direction and I still feel like I’m going to have a bigger loss one of these weeks. Since I’ve begun Getting To Goal this is my weight loss trend:


Weight Watchers gives us another way to measure our progress, “Blue Dots” They show you at a glance if you are within your points range for the day (27- 37 SmartPoints) I had an awesome month:


The days that are not shaded blue were days that I ate less than my allotted points.


My Weight Watchers meeting was all about Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset.  I have read Dweck’s book, so I know quite a lot about this topic. Here is a blog post I wrote for my educational blogs: Learning in the Company of Others. Plus there are a lot of teachers who go to my meeting, and Dweck’s work has been highlighted in school districts across Long Island, so many members knew about it too. It’s a beautiful concept because she suggests that we can shift our perspectives to see a challenge as an opportunity for growth.  Want to see how it works?

You’ll notice that both statements are true:

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 5.38.25 PM

I can elect to see things from a negative perspective or a positive one. Weight loss is already so difficult why not take an optimistic (growth mindset) stance?  Honestly, that’s my natural disposition anyway.

So if you feel like you’re struggling, I totally get that because I’ve been there.Take a moment and try to think about weight loss as an opportunity that can change your life for the better.

Here is my 1,2,3 Strategy to shift to a growth mindset:

  1. Use a kind inner voice. Have your inner voice talk to you like your mom or nanny would have spoken to you, use your name in your thinking: “Jennifer, you are doing great.”
  2. Celebrate small attainable goals. Anything goes, if I start the day thinking today I am going to drink 8 glasses of water and I accomplish that goal, it’s as Kool and Gang would say, “There’s a party going on right here…”
  3. Reflect on my feelings and thoughts daily. If a recurring feeling or thought surface think through it, name it, and get clarity as to why that’s happening.

Let’s do this thing together. We can all get to goal…

Day Twenty-Seven …

Last year at this time, I was looking good. From the outside, it seemed like I was well on my way to goal. A leader invited me, and yes I actually did this, to take a twirl in front of everyone at my meeting. That felt amazing. Yet on the inside something was brewing, I was beginning to disengage. A change was happening and no one, not even me, knew it. Where did I go wrong?  I keep thinking about a member’s Facebook post:

“I need to get my mojo back! 0 ambition to be on plan. How do I get it back?” 

I understand this member’s distress on a visceral level. Even her word choice, “mojo” makes perfect sense. The word “mojo” implies a magic charm – how scary is that? Is ambition to lose weight some mystical presence that can enter or leave us at will?  Sometimes it certainly feels that way. I’m not going to dwell on this, but it’s something I’m thinking about so it’s probably something I shouldn’t ignore.

I have the power within me to do this. The hell with the odds, I say yes I can make choices that will get me to my goal:

There is no magic charm that will grant me access to change. It’s just brute effort and reflection that will get me to goal. Yikes, that sounds awful when I read it back.  What else is different from last year?  This year I am actively seeking out beauty and inspiration, from myself and the world. I believe we all can draw on inspiration and beauty to stoke positive energy.  The world is so full of both and is waiting to be found.

To me, these leaves are both beautiful and inspirational because when I look at them, I am reminded of the transformative power of time and patience:

Perhaps that just the message I needed to hear today.  Tomorrow, on the other hand, is weigh-in day. I hope my reaction is better than last week. I hope I can be happy if my weight loss I less than I think I deserve. I hope that I can learn to have some grace and appreciate where I am right now in the journey.

Let me leave you with these words they are, well, inspiring…

Eckhart Tolle


Day Twenty-Six …

One of the tastes I look forward to in the fall is Pumpkin Spice Coffee from Dunkin Donuts. The beauty of Weight Watchers is I can elect to have that if I want it, nothing is “off limits.” However, for quite a while now I’ve been staying away from the “Flavor Swirls” or the syrups they use because they are so sweet and I think that when I drink them, I have a “hungrier kind of day.” So this morning I found myself craving that pumpkin taste so I made oatmeal with pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice seasoning, and a banana. If pumpkin is calling you, this is a nice low point option at 3sp.

Sometimes a salad or a wrap just won’t cut the mustard. So why not have a frankfurter instead?  Have you ever tried Boar’s Head Lite Frankfurters? At 3sp each they are a great bargain. Throw in a light roll, skip the fries and have veggies and you get a very satisfying 5sp lunch!

V-A-R-I-E-T-Y!  I need to eat a great variety of foods if this is going to work, so when dinner rolled around it was suggested to me that we haven’t had Gemeli a while. This was a little daunting: “Pasta uses a lot of points. You don’t get that much… The idea of macaroni and meat sauce is very tempting. Should I go for it? I could always bulk it up with some kind of vegetable… What if…”  These are the secret machinations of a Weight Watcher who is engaged with the program.

Well, I bought it and agreed it doesn’t look like very much, but with the meat sauce and low-fat ricotta cheese it was enough to satisfy me:

It’s sort of ironic that I find myself eating out of “Share” dish considering I won’t share any of my food because it’s all weighed and measured as if I were a pharmacist.  I do my best to keep my sense of humor.

later, I’m going to try a Fuji Apple that is actually from Japan. It’s kind of cool to think about the apple’s story. Picked from an orchard in Japan and its voyage from half-way around the world. You can probably tell I read a lot of children’s books…

Thank you for reading more tomorrow…

P.S. Today’s Featured Image was found on a walk home on a foggy dreary day, showing me that there is always something bright and beautiful to be found – all we have to do is look for it. Hope you had a great day today.

Day Twenty-Five …

The other day I noticed that my countdown clock slipped from 9 months to 8 months. Since I’ve begun doing this in earnest, I’ve lost: 7.4 pounds. As Weight Watchers continues to evolve they have introduced Beyond the Scale.  Their program is designed to teach us that we cannot solely define success by a number on the scale. Non-Scale-Victories (NSV) emphasize making healthy changes to your life, such as: starting a blog for daily reflection, or trying new recipes, or preparing foods ahead of time. The general vibe of the program attempting to send out there is that members are healthy, strong, successful and empowered. Who doesn’t want that?

The general vibe of the program attempting to send out there is that members are healthy, strong, successful and empowered. Who doesn’t want that?

I totally agree with the big picture. Yes to it all. However, if you are serious about shedding these unwanted unhealthy pounds, the reality is that you will have to pay attention to the small stuff.

Like weighing, measuring, and counting out daily points allotments:

Trying healthy alternatives to the foods you grew up on. My Nanny Manzella used to fry cauliflower, yes that’s a thing (a delicious thing). She would deep fry it and let the excess oil leach out on paper bags. They were golden brown crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I used my Air Fryer to make some healthy “fried” cauliflower. I overcooked it, and it was great when hot. Not so great if it gets cold (3sp). If you’re craving crispy it will do the trick:

Beyond the scale, means getting more activity in your day. The secret to Spinning is: focus on breathing, stay hydrated, and listen to your body:

So, if you’re a Weight Watcher I hope you will celebrate all the small changes you are making to your life at a meeting.  If you’re not a Weight Watcher I hope you will find some supportive community because this is hard, and it’s no fun to go it alone.

More tomorrow…



Day Twenty-Four…

Weight loss and maintenance will be a forever endeavor for me. I will always have this tendency to gain weight. That’s such a bummer. That’s one way to look at this, and another would be that I have this terrific opportunity to transform myself. Both are true. My story, my way it’s all up to me.

I had a big breakfast today, it was 10sp. You may be thinking, “No thanks, that’s crazy.” I will tell you, it was extremely satisfying and I wasn’t hungry all day:

As I’ve said in the past our dog Sadie is Weight Watchers biggest fan. I had an egg and an egg white guess who got the other yoke:

Later around 3:00 pm I had a bowl of the Slow Cooker Clam Chowder I mad yesterday (2sp) and that was great too. I made a pork tenderloin for dinner with roasted garlic potatoes and a tossed salad. It was so delicious. I found a recipe on Delish 11 Crazy Good Ways To Make Pork Tenderloin Let me tell you finding ground Coriander is harder than you’d think.

I notice that lately, while I cook or prep food I leave old episodes of Star Trek playing on Netflix. I find this comforting. When I was a kid it seemed like my mom was always in the kitchen. She was an amazing cook and as she prepared these fantastic meals Star Trek reruns would air on our 15 inch white TV. The timing was perfect,  it went on right before dinner and sometimes it was on in the background while we ate.

For me, a well-prepared meal is definitely an extension of love and caring.  I am realizing this ritual, cooking and Star Trek is another way to get in touch with those feelings from childhood. I was lucky to have a wonderful mother and I miss her.  I guess cooking and listening to Star Trek is a way to get in touch with my past. I highly recommend thinking about what you do and why you do it, this kind of reflection is pretty powerful:

Thanks for reading, and supporting me as I work to get to goal. More tomorrow…

Day Twenty-Three…

Today was the day I made Slow Cooker Clam Chowder. My sister was right, she usually is, it was delicious and very hearty:

For me, being successful on Weight Watchers means portion control, variety, and planning ahead. This is what it looks like:

Now pardon me while I get up on my soapbox, but I have a bone to pick with Snyder’s of Hanover  Clearly it says there are “about” eight servings per bag, and in reality, that means there are only six full servings. The last serving isn’t even a half serving. These are great pretzels and I am likely to buy them again, but all the same, it’s annoying. These are pricy pretzels and I buy them as a way to treat myself:

Weight Watchers is inadvertently turning me into, what Malcolm Gladwell calls, a Maven in his book The Tipping Point. A Maven is a helpful person who connects others to information. The only way I can hope to get to goal is to learn all I can and build some strong community around me. So thank you for reading

We can change ourselves, our lives, we can help each other. I’d like to leave you with these words of wisdom from Malcolm Gladwell. They are the truth all we have to do is look for opportunities and believe in ourselves:

The Tipping Point


Day Twenty-Two…

Last night before I went to sleep, I found out I was moved from the “waitlist” and added to the roster for Studio Spin. I got up nice and early and made it to the class on time. I really liked the instructor. She changed up the routines and that made it more fun:

I definitely feel a difference when I start the day with activity. It gives me some energy and makes me feel as though I’m starting the day off on a positive stance.

I went to Trader Joe’s with my sister in search of ingredients to make soup. I was going to make Oprah’s soup she featured on Connect this week: OW Ranch Soup but Oprah talked about Christmas Beans on the video… and they didn’t have those at Trader Joe’s so my sister came to rescue with her recipe instead: Slow Cooker Manhatten Clam Chowder. My sister says it’s great.  I have to put it into the Recipe Builder but from what we could tell the only thing in it that should have any substantial sp value would be the mini Yukon Gold potatoes. Take a look at the recipe below:

If you read my blog, then you know that my14 year-old has a penchant for fast food. He has been asking to try out Sonic for a while now. There isn’t one of those close by, but we brought him today and this is what I had to contend with:

Really I don’t mind, this is real life. My kid wants to go these places and my being a Weight Watcher shouldn’t get in the way of that. Besides, I made sure to treat myself when I got home:

What a difference a day makes, yesterday was a struggle and today was a breeze. I think if I’m going to be successful I’ve got to keep on acknowledging my feelings about my progress. Thank you to everyone who reached out through to reply to yesterday’s post, you really helped me. Thank you thank you. Talk more tomorrow….

Day Twenty-One…

I lost again this week. I should only be happy with my accomplishment.  The thing is, if I’m being honest, I’m not really I ‘m sort of disappointed. I’m feeling a little low because I am working the program and I wish had lost more. This is not a very helpful way of thinking. Also, I notice that I’m feeling hungry all day. I’ve made good choices, and so far I’ve used 13sp. I kept busy to fend off the hunger, I’ve cleaned the house from top to bottom, and even cleaned my curio cabinet:

I hope that writing this down and reading it back will lend me some perspective. Being mindful of my feelings, naming them, and considering their potential to shape my efforts seems important. It’s more than just food.

Our topic today was Making Your Meetings Matter.  Meetings have always mattered to me because community makes all the difference. I like cheering on other members, and they encourage me too. Each week I learn something that helps me, either from my group or from them. My Facebook community. We are as we say on Connect #bettertogether.

Thank you, Anna Iuliano Calise for letting me use your beautiful photograph as today’s Featured Image. Anna was walking the boardwalk at Sunken Meadow Beach yesterday and shared some inspiration with the rest of us. You can never tell what small act of kindness will do for another person…   

So to end this post, there will be days that are harder than others and that’s ok. Stay focused and keep tracking. Track your food, track your mood,  and check your attitude! You are enough, and yes you can do it. That’s what I tell myself, and that’s what I want to say to all of you. More tomorrow….



Day Twenty…

Day twenty is the day autumn decided to show up, with perfect timing and great style. Intermittent sweeping gusts blow cooly across the landscape. The leaves are turning brittle, losing their supple green hues, as though a switch has been flipped, it is the autumnal equinox.

I’m thinking about the power of rituals as we pack up summer and welcome fall. Apples, cinnamon brooms, mums, and wooly sweaters all find their way out stores, drawers, and farms to our homes. This fine fellow arrived today:

Our First Pumpkin

I don’t know if you have a dog, but a dog is a great reason to get out there and enjoy the changing scenery. Our girl Sadie loves taking walks, and it gives my husband and I some time to get away from work and household obligations:

I made a lot of smart choices today. It’s 7:56 PM and I am feeling quite content. I am looking out the windows the world is very dark and quiet. I did not make all my points today, but I’m not hungry at all. Our focus last week was tracking. Here is my tracker for the day:

Tomorrow is my meeting day and I’m especially fortunate to have my sister doing this with me. She is always on my side cheering me on. Having support is a big piece to success.  So I say to you, cheers to us for accepting this challenge to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Yes, this is hard and yes you can do it. We all can in our own time. More tomorrow…

Day Nineteen…

I have my physical today and I’m hauled up in my room because I can’t have any coffee or breakfast. When you are following Weight Watchers as designed, by breakfast time you’re pretty hungry.  Thinking strategically, I will bring a bottle of water and an apple with me. That way when I get into my car I have something right away. If I let myself get too hungry it’s harder to stay in control. When I read this back to myself, it seems so obvious and simple, but it’s not really. It takes a little effort to think this quick plan through. It’s not my automatic way of doing things. Writing out quick plans is a practice I want to continue to grow.

A little later…

My daughter needed a ride to work, of course, and as I was rushing out the door and into the car, I forgot my apple and water… I had to be flexible and come up with plan B: fruit salad and seltzer:

Post Physical

Craving coffee, and feeling a little anxious I arrived at the doctor’s office.  My feelings were exacerbated because everyone at the office kept saying, “Wow, you haven’t been here in a really long time! You need a new chart!” I dutifully filled out my forms and proceeded to wait, wait, wait:

Overall it went very well, and needless to say, I was happy to have it behind me and coffee in front of me. By the way,, I do love the Dunkin Donuts App. I had to pick up my son from a friend’s house and he immediately says, “What do you say, you want to go to Chick-Fil-A?” My customary answer is “No” but not today. Fun fact, there are many good choices for Weight Watchers. I had a Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken Nuggets for 9sp:

Of course, my son got this amazing looking Frosted Lemonade (18sp!). While I didn’t have one of those… I figured out a way to have something fun too later in the evening:

I’m closing out today having used 28sp. That includes having wine and bread! We had a great dinner and enjoyed the view. I tell you we can do this and still have some fun along the way:

One last word of gratitude, I am very mindful to count my blessings. My life is imperfect and complex as I’m sure yours are too. September 17, 2017,  was the International Day of Peace. As I sign off today, I am praying for a more peaceful world. One where we can all aspire to be more than we are today. George Harrison said it best, “Give me love, give me love, give me peace on earth…” 


International Peace Day