Friendship, health, Holidays, Losing Weight, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers… Building A Bridge To A New Adventure


Dearest Readers:

Today, I will share a bit of my experience and dedication to Weight Watchers. I joined Weight Watchers in March, 2011. On the day I joined, I was mortified. Afraid. Horrified I would see someone I knew and they would share with the world that “Barbie was in Weight Watchers today…”

I’m certain some of you have acquaintances who love to spread gossip…the wicked and ugly truths some women love to share! Years ago, I referred to these ‘acquaintances’ as friends…I do not anymore! Friends do not spread ugly gossip. Friends accept you for who you are. True friends embrace you with love and acceptance, even when you are down.  I’ve known and lost a few ‘friends’ since in all total honesty — they were only acquaintances. They pretended to be your friend to your face, but turn your back and you almost feel the back-stabbing and the poisonous words they spat, and so — I keep my distance!

At my first meeting at Weight Watchers, I did not know anyone. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was apprehensive about the ‘confidential weigh-ins’ too. Approaching the desk, I did not see any curtains, or a doctor’s scale. You know the type. The weight measurements slide across until balanced, and the person who balanced the scale always leaves it to the latest weight. Everyone can see the weight of the person who weighed previously, and I cringe whenever I get on them. My newest experience with Weight Watchers was a scale sitting on the floor. I was certain others could stretch their snoopy eyes over to see how much a person weighed. That didn’t happen. The scale does not show anything, with exception of the person (a receptionist or leader) standing at the desk. Only she knows what the weight of each individual is, and they do not share the number to anyone! Believe me, the confidential weigh-in does exist!

Maybe this might work this time, I thought to myself as I approached the scales. Just maybe this time I will succeed.

I imagine you are thinking — what? Does she really think Weight Watchers works?

My reply to all of you reading this is a simple, “Yes! Weight Watchers, because it works!”

I recognize it has taken me five years to lose 35 pounds. And, in the past year, I have bounced back and forth, just like a yo-yo. Undoubtedly, 2016 has been one of the most stressful years of my life. In February, we had the roof to our home completely replaced. After that accomplishment, we searched for over two months to hire a general contractor to do the inside repairs on ceilings, walls and other areas due to the torrential rains we had in October 2015. On May 28, 2016, the repairs were completed. My husband had reverse shoulder replacement surgery on May 31. His recovery was a whirlwind of ups-and-downs. The summer of 2016 was so stressful, I found myself slipping away from Weight Watchers and everything I loved. No walking. No exercising. No writing. No dancing…No music or singing…Nothing!

Since the summer, I’ve found myself giving in to weaknesses. After all, it didn’t matter IF I gained weight. I’m happy to report, I did not put those lost 35 pounds back on; however, I have not met goal. I don’t even have a clue what my goal should be!

Today, while sitting at my meeting, I glanced around the room. Like most Weight Watchers meetings during the holidays, we had only a small group, including a 93-year-old woman and two men. Every time I see this precious, sweet and beautiful 93-year-old woman I am inspired. Many people would say, ‘at her age, why should she be so worried at her weight?’ I say, I think she is an inspiration to all of us. Yes, she uses a walker and maybe her shoulders slump a bit, but she is still full of life. To her, her weight is important. Today, she was furious with herself. She was baking cookies with her son this week, and that is why she gained a pound. Sitting in front of me, I tapped her on the shoulders. “Just look at how blessed you are to be baking cookies with your son.”

I’m so envious. During the Christmas holidays I do not see my son, even though he lives less than 30 miles from me. How I would love the opportunity to make Christmas cookies with him again. I suppose a mother can dream.

Every year since joining Weight Watchers, I tell myself the new year will be my year. I will break this plateau and achieve goal. No, I haven’t achieved my goal yet. At least I haven’t gained the weight back!

Not only have I kept the weight off, I have gained in confidence and self-worth, much to the credit of two wonderful friends I’ve made, thanks to Weight Watchers. Since I am a writer, my life is a bit isolated. I find myself spending too much time keeping to myself. Last year, before the torrential rain storms, and the storms brewing inside my home, I kept to myself. I quit walking. Now that I think about it, I realize those walks I took with my friends energized me by encouraging me to continue. Feeling the fresh air on my face, walking the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, and enjoying the views, birds, flowers and freedom of walking, I found myself inspired. Refreshed. Now, I realize, I need to take a first step again to walk, to find that inspiration and motivation. Tomorrow morning, I plan to take that first step!

Today, at Weight Watchers, I gained. Big deal! I’ll get those two pounds off again. As for 2017, I will go on record to say, my journey and adventures with Weight Watchers will continue. I will walk. I will fill my body and my mind with new energy while telling myself:

THIS I DO FOR ME!

Although 2017 is only a few days and steps away, I will not fail. After all, You only fail in life when you stop believing…and trying…and moving.

I plan to continue my journeys, along with Weight Watchers! Tomorrow is a new day and I will embrace it!

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ARTICLES, Chattahoochee Child, Friendship, Holidays, Losing Weight, On My Soapbox!, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

My Thoughts About The New Weight Watchers…


My thoughts regarding “Oprah” and the changes are simply this: Those of us who are overweight have had difficulty with belief in ourselves…We have the tendency to cater to ourselves via comfort foods, sweets…temptations…etc…when we should be caring about ourselves. Instead of negative thoughts and “I’m done with Weight Watchers” posts, what we should do is say this — “We are good…We are worthy…We are strong…and together…We Can Do This!” I have the tendency for depression, and when I am depressed, nothing will stop me from eating bad things. Thru Weight Watchers, I’ve seen changes — in myself…my faith…my belief…I am strong…I’ve made loyal friends with several members at our meetings. I am blessed! Maybe I am beautiful…Maybe I truly believe in ME — now! Thank you, Weight Watchers. I believe change is good. Without change, we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we do not find success, happiness and belief in ourselves. Just my two cents worth for today! BELIEVE!!!

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers since 2011. Four years. During my four year journey, I’ve seen changes. I am one who believes in life we ALWAYS have changes. Weight Watchers has been around for 50 years now, through many changes – everyone of these changes is for the better! I’m one of the rare people who truly believe life is all about change. Without ‘change’ we cannot grow. If we do not grow, we are not successful. So, you ask — what is the BIG DEAL with the changes at Weight Watchers.

Honestly, I cannot answer those questions. My meeting is on Thursday of every week. It is my “Weight Watchers” day. I plan my schedules around this day. No doctor’s appointments…meetings, etc. on this date. After our meeting three of us go out to lunch – to do what most great friends do together — to talk…to get to know one another…to build friendships! To support!

At the moment, people who are members of Weight Watchers are FREAKING out! On social media sites, they are asking, “what are the changes?” And — “why are they changing things?”

I suppose they want someone to tell them ahead of time about the changes. News Flash – people — Weight Watchers, their leaders and those who work for Weight Watchers are FABULOUS about keeping secrets!

No, Weight Watchers is not a secret society. They are there to help us; nevertheless, there are many changes rolling out this week. ALL of these CHANGES are to build a better Weight Watchers for all of us to succeed. They DO want US TO SUCCEED! By now, you’ve probably heard millions of complaints about the new plan…”It isn’t working…I can’t log in…” And — “Why did they change something that isn’t broken?”

Correct me IF I’m mistaken, but Weight Watchers is interested in the self-worth of a person…not only is it a corporation established to help those who are struggling to lose weight…Weight Watchers is helping us to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!

We’ve had discussions about Belief. Self Discovery…and How We Can Break the Plateaus. Activity…Mind Over Matter…How to Cope With The Holidays and Social Events…and so on. All of these weekly discussions are building us to truly find the person we want to be. None of this is related to Oprah Winfrey. These “changes” were in the works earlier this year, not when Oprah signed on.

Speaking only for myself, Weight Watchers has changed my life for the better. Yes, I am eating healthier. I am more active – able to walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge…able to dance and to sing. I have found a new and better person previously locked away, deep inside my soul. In March, 2011, Jennifer Hudson was the spokesperson. I was struggling to lose more weight, and I kept telling myself — “One day, I plan to walk that bridge.” For those of you who do not know, that bridge [Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge] opened in July 2005. Just WHEN would I walk it?

In 2011, my life changed for the better, and I feel confident that the New and Improved Weight Watchers 2016 will lead the way for me to embrace the change and get going with my weight loss. After all, I have goals (secret goals) I will not share – yet. Hopefully soon, I might share a few of those goals on my site.

Today, I will go on record to say – Hello, 2016 — it is ready, and it is time for me to move on with my writing and my story, “Chattahoochee Child,” and it is time for me to get moving more with Weight Watchers. Many members are throwing their hands in the air, as if to say — “I’m done.” The question they should answer is this — as a member of Weight Watchers — online, or a weekly member who attends meetings — are you really ready to give up on yourself? Think about it. Change is good. I embrace it!

 

 

 

Losing Weight, Weight Watchers

Welcome to Weight Watchers — What I Have Learned After Beginning The Most Valuable Journey Of My Life?


Dearest Readers:

Today is Saturday, August 29, 2015. While I struggle to lose the remainder of my weight, I would like to reflect today on what I have learned after making the decision to join Weight Watchers.

In March 2011, I sat at my desk listening to the morning news while writing. Jennifer Hudson appeared in a commercial as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. I observed how great she looked. I was envious. She mentioned she lost over 80 pounds on Weight Watchers. To say I was envious was an understatement.

That unique little voice echoed in my head. “If she can do this, so can you.”

I Googled ‘Weight Watchers’ https://welcome.weightwatchers.com/ – reading several posts, clicking on to a site, reading. Reading. JUST READING.

I was intrigued. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2005; afraid I would need insulin injections like my husband I decided to change my lifestyle. Meeting with my doctor, we discussed my trying to get the Diabetes under control with Metformin. My doctor knows how frightened I am of injections. He encouraged me to change and shake up my lifestyle, along with my eating habits. I left his office saying to myself, “You can do this.” Little did I know how important those four words would become for me.

On that date, I chose to change my eating habits. Gone were unhealthy snacks. No junk food, especially at work. In place were healthy fruits and vegetables and healthy cooking. My doctor said he would give me one year to lower my A1C levels. Three months later, I returned to him to check my blood sugars. He noted that when I came to him three months earlier, my A1C level was over 7.0. According to his scales, I had lost 14 pounds – in three months! After lab work had returned, I was told my A1C level was 5.7! He shook my hand, saying to me — “Whatever you are doing now, let’s continue it. I rarely see any patient lower their A1C levels as quickly as you.”

After losing those 14 pounds, I struggled to lose more. Although I was eating healthy now, the pounds refused to decrease. Every three months, I went to my doctor for blood work and health check ups. I lost an additional five pounds, but I felt so alone, depressed and confused about why I could not lose any more weight.

Flash Forward to 2011:

On the date I watched the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers commercial, I was even more depressed about losing weight. Although I tried, nothing was working. A voice inside my head said: “Get up from this chair. Go to a Weight Watchers meeting.”

I remembered the last time I joined Weight Watchers so many years ago. The way Weight Watchers worked back then is members had to eat liver. Only one-half of a banana. Just what would I do with the other half? I had no idea. I don’t remember all of the programs at that time, but I knew it would not suit my needs since my husband refused to eat liver, and I detested it too! I remember the weigh-ins back then. Walking into the room where other members stood. A beige curtain was provided, with a scale. Stepping on the scale revealed the weight loss, or heaven forbid — a weight gain. Weigh-ins during this time were not private. I detested the weigh-ins. Snoopy people at the meeting could cast their nosey eyes at the scale, and I heard whispers — something to the effect of — “Did you see what she weighs?” How I detested these Snoopy, cruel women! I quit!

As hard as I tried to ignore the encouragement from a simple advertisement on the TV, a voice echoed to me. “Get dressed. Go to the meeting.” What was the catchy phrase I read on the website? “Confidential weigh-ins?” I was intrigued. “Just what is a confidential weigh-in?”

“Go to the meeting…” Frightening thoughts entered my head. I knew I wanted to lose more weight. The question was HOW? “I can’t,” I whispered while remembering that “I can’t actually means — I WON’T!”

Reluctantly, I dressed and drove to the meeting. I had a shopping bag in my car, deciding that IF I recognized anyone, I would place that shopping bag over my head.

Just before 10:00 am, I entered the meeting. My heart raced. My hands trembled. My palms were sweaty. “Please God, get me through this day.”

I completed the paperwork. A pleasant woman with auburn hair and a most inviting smile approached me. “Hello.” She said. “My name is Kathy. I’m your leader.”

I whispered my name, refusing to make eye contact. She gathered my papers and guided me to the ‘confidential scales.’

This should be interesting, I thought.

I stepped on the scales – more of a bathroom scale than the type most doctors use. I looked down. “Where are the numbers?” I asked. “Have I broken the scales?”

The receptionist smiled. “Only I can see the numbers. It’s Ok. You’re amongst friends.”

She wrote the number down on a booklet and handed it to me. Mortified, I got off the scales, wiping tears from my eyes. “This was official,” I whispered. “You are now a member of Weight Watchers.”

The next week I practiced and studied all the information Weight Watchers gave me. I jumped on the scales, convinced I lost about three pounds. The Weight Watchers scales revealed I had lost .06 of a pound. I screamed, gathered my things ready to stomp out of the meeting. Week One and I was a loser…not of pounds…but a loser for my life.

Kathy, the leader, rushed to my side. “Every loss is a loss,” she said. “You can do this.” Her demeanor convinced me to stay.

And so — I did.

What have I learned during this four-year journey?
1. Weight Watchers is a healthy way of life.
2. I am not alone on this journey. I have made loyal, encouraging and trusting friends. Together we can do this!
3. Weight Watchers IS a way of life – NOT A DIET…
4. Exercise! EXERCISE! EX-ERCISE!
5. Without Weight Watchers, I would continue to gain — not lose.

Over this summer, I have been on a roller coaster ride with Weight Watchers. Why? I’ve asked myself that same question. At Weight Watchers meetings, I have learned to track my food intake. However, what I haven’t learned – or practiced too well – is:
Weekends. How do I survive weekends?
Friday nights – we do karaoke. I usually have one or two drinks. Last night, I had one!
Saturday and Sundays are always a test. I think I’ve actually allowed myself just to go with the flow, eating whatever I want.

The time is now to go on record to say — I will do better. How? Portion control.
I must lose the remainder of my weight. What works so well with Weight Watchers is the points system. I have 26 points to eat daily. Lately, I haven’t practiced portion control.

When I mentioned to my leader that I was having too much trouble being on a yo-yo or a roller coaster, she gave me a nice compliment. “Just look at the inches you’ve lost. Maybe for now, you should focus on the inches and not so much on the weight.”

Good advice. My body is slimming down, and I am proud to wear the clothing I wear now. Nevertheless, I am still focused on the number on the scale, not what I see in the mirror.

Someone mentioned a beautiful quote I try to remember:
When you attend the meetings at Weight Watchers, the meetings need you. When you miss a meeting, YOU need Weight Watchers!

I suppose I should just consider that my body is changing -for the better…and I WILL continue this journey. Weight Watchers is now a part of my life. I’ve met two incredible friends at Weight Watchers. One of the ladies is a beautiful dark haired Greek woman. She is lifetime now. My other friend is a lovely, caring blonde woman riding on that roller coaster ride with me. Together we are either on a see-saw or a yo-yo. Together, we are determined to do this. After all, Weight Watchers is a valuable part of our lives now. “Yes…We can do this!”

Stay tuned for more details…Meanwhile, I must go get on the treadmill. After Labor Day, we plan to walk the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. I’m so excited!

“Yes…We CAN do this!”

Losing Weight, Weight Watchers

“WEIGHT GAIN IS NOT A PERMANENT CONDITION!’


Dearest Readers:

Today is my day to face the music…stop beating myself up…and move on with life! Why? Simple. Today is my weigh-in day at Weight Watchers. Early this morning, I felt nervous. Embarrassed…All of those negative feelings we all feel whenever we gain weight.

I confess – I have used my ‘get out of jail free’ card several times lately at Weight Watchers. You know the card – if you are a member of Weight Watchers. The infamous “No Weigh In” card. Effective today, I am not using it; after all, it isn’t helping me.

Today, when I walked into the meeting, I dreaded facing the music. After the weigh-in, the wonderful receptionist who always shares encouragement with all of us said to me — It’s OK. “Weight gain is NOT a permanent condition.”

How true! She reminded me of the weight I have lost, along with all of the inches that appear to be falling off from my body and I smiled.

“You’re so right,” I smiled. “That’s a wonderful quote you’ve shared and I shall use it wisely, reminding me that my joining Weight Watchers was a lifetime, and lifestyle, change for me.

Last weekend I was bad. Very BAD! At a graduation, I reminded myself to eat wisely and carefully — and then — I committed the ultimate Weight Watchers sin. I ate cake. I could not resist it. I requested a large piece of cake. I ate every bite. Later, I went back for a second piece. I did not work out. I did not climb my friends upstairs stairs like I promised myself I would. I did not work out at all before going to bed. As I stated, I was bad.

On the way home, you guessed it — we stopped at fast food restaurants – and I was bad again. That night after arriving home, my husband and I went out for pizza. I ate every bite. I realized my life was spinning out of control. I watched an episode of “My 600 Pound Life,” http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-600-lb-life/ recognizing  I would never allow myself to become one of those reality show participants. At first, I wanted to write ‘reality show freaks’ – but I am trying to be positive here. I am trying to be happy and stop beating myself up.

Why Do We Beat Ourselves Up?

My actions got me thinking… If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know my life as a child was filled with unhappiness. When I graduated from high school, my parents were divorced – sitting as far away from each other as they possibly could. When my name was called – no one cheered. After the graduation ceremony, I came home with my diploma. My mother never said she was proud of me. There wasn’t a celebration. No cake. No gifts – with the exception of a few relatives who gave me graduation gifts. While watching the pride and love in my friend’s eyes when she spoke of her daughter at graduation and at the graduation party, my mind rushed back to my childhood and how different I wish it was.

So today is a wake-up call for me. A day for me to graduate from my childhood and to move forward with my life. Today is a new day. A great day to strive for happiness, instead of sadness. After all, negative thoughts only feed negativity. Positive thoughts teach us happiness, renewal, and motivation. Today is my day to move forward — to STOP beating myself up and to track all of my food intake – just like Weight Watchers teaches us.

And now, I must take that first step to have a good day. Thank you, Weight Watchers. Today is a new day. “Weight gain is NOT a permanent condition!”

 

 

Free Writing, Weight Watchers

Welcome Back — To Weight Watchers!!!


Dearest Readers:

To quote my words from last night, when I was able to sing — and HOLD the notes as long as I am known for — I AM BACK! Last night at Karaoke I was fearful I could not carry and hold the notes of “I Who Have Nothing,” — one of my signature songs. Much to my surprise, I held most of the notes without interruption without another coughing attack. Gosh, it was great to finally sing again!

When I finished, after the applause, I said, “Hooray…I’m Back!”

So great to finally be living again! This morning was my first Weight Watchers meeting in exactly one month to the date! After removing my boots, a white jacket, and other things I could take off, I got on the scale with much anticipation. My leader weighed me…I waited…Inhaled…Exhaled, in anticipation of this weigh-in. My leader wrote 3.4 on my card. “What did I do?” I asked. She smiled, but she always does that, even when we gain. “3.4,” she repeated. Now, she’s teasing me….The anticipation continued until I finally said. “I’ve gained 3.4?”

“NO,” she laughed again. Her laughter is delightful. Melodic…a laughter that is welcoming and familiar. “You lost 3.4 pounds while you were sick!”

I squealed like a child. My voice is doing that sound a lot lately since I am still recuperating! So happy I’m back on track after this illness. Today is a new day!

BREAKING NEWS:

So much for the new day! After Weight Watchers we have a group joining us for lunch. On my way, I listen to music, singing again! Oh how wonderful it is to have a voice again! I glance in my rear view mirror. A black car is just a bit too close. Thinking to myself, I am praying she backs off. She doesn’t…There is nothing like driving on Hwy, 17, Mt Pleasant, SC with someone just a bit too close. When I slowed down to stop, the vehicle behind me gets a bit too close…THEN…BAM! Yes, I was in a slight fender bender today…No injuries to either of us. As for the cars — well they both need a rear end lift (mine) and hers — needs a major face lift. Thank you, God…we are safe…No injuries, and to the lady(???) perhaps I should just say — the female in the black car that had to switch lanes due to the accident – while I am on the phone with the police department…You should be ashamed for using that middle finger. It wasn’t very lady like for you to do that. Incidentally, the Police department told me not to move our cars until the police officer arrived.

Now that I am home I am calmer, so thankful that neither of us were injured. We have no witnesses to this little accident since both of us were driving in our cars – alone. When the officer arrived, he was very nice. I shared my ‘side of the story’ with him. He listened and approached the other driver. A young girl. She doesn’t get out of her car, and when I asked her if she was OK, she was in tears. No reason to cry. It’s an accident. Cars can be repaired. And that is exactly what the officer tells her as I am walking around since we have moved both cars out of the area into a parking lot. I didn’t want to sit in my car, so I walked, just to ease the stress. I’ve been ‘rear-ended’ before, so I’m accustomed to this in Charleston. Believe me, drivers in Charleston, SC LOVE to navigate almost on the bumper of the car ahead of them. What caused this accident? Traffic stopped, so I stopped. I had plenty of room to stop. Word of warning to anyone driving in Charleston, SC – please drive carefully and don’t get too close to the vehicle ahead of you. PLEASE!

REGARDLESS, IT IS A GOOD DAY…

Although my day started with a fender bender, it is a good day. I believe in focusing on the positive in life…allowing the negative to slip through my fingers. After all, my baby steps are working. I am definitely on the road to getting over acute bronchial asthma, I am losing weight once again. The pollen is flying around outside since Father Wind is gusting the world outside with fresh pollen and oxygen. Even if it is a cloudy day, my life is moving forward. I imagine there will be fog drifting down soon, covering the lawns and trees with the magical gray blanket so welcoming, and I can listen to the melodic sound so familiar and beloved by me — Fog Horns. How I love them! This morning I heard them while getting dressed.

Baby Steps, and now I’m off to rest, while I continue to improve! My cough is only an occasional raspy sound.

Yes. Baby steps while the beauty of spring time arrives as I continue my journey with Weight Watchers and Life!

BABY STEPS!

Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

My Weight Watchers Saga…


Dearest Readers:

I’m back! Have you missed me? Frankly, I think I’ve missed myself. Allow me to explain. Three weeks ago, I awoke on my Weight Watchers weigh-in day with a bit of a stomach bug. I stayed home. Jumping on my scales, it appeared that I was gaining — again!

RATS! I screamed, choosing to return to bed to sleep off the stomach bug. Sleeping is something I embraced since I have a rather serious case of insomnia. Last week, I promised to return to Weight Watchers for the dreaded weigh-in; however, my body decided I needed to stay home. I awoke early Wednesday of that week with a dreadful migraine headache. For those of you who do not recall, I have suffered from migraines since nine-years-old. I was hit by a car as a child. All I recall about that incident was feeling a gush of wind escaping my body as I hit the hood of the car. Reportedly, I bounced around like a dog, flying through the air, landing 60 feet across the highway of a “Dead Men’s Curve” landing on the sidewalk. Don’t ask me…I wasn’t there! When I did awaken, I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of a medical technician. In those years, we didn’t have EMS, or EMT’s, only ambulances. I remember attempting to turn my head, noticing a crowd of people overlooking me. I struggled to move – but I couldn’t. I saw my parents. I do remember saying, “I can’t move,” and the medical technician with the gorgeous blue eyes picking me up. My response was, “Mommy, he’s cute!”

Yes, at nine-years-old, I was checking out the guys. Silly me. I remained in the hospital for two or three days. The doctors said I had a brain concussion and needed to take it easy for a while. I do remember touching the crown of my head, feeling it squashing like a sponge as I pushed it. The pain it created was almost unbearable! No playing. No bicycle riding…skating…dancing…Nothing! The driver of the car that hit me was only 17-years-old and drunk! I do not know his name, nor do I know what happened to him; nevertheless, I do hope he learned a valuable lesson that afternoon about drinking and driving. The only thing I do remember about this accident were the severe headaches where my head throbbed, feeling as if someone was beating my skull with a hammer. I could not stand bright lights (still have trouble with them and probably will for the rest of my life.) I could not tolerate loud noises, and when I did get a headache, I was sick to my stomach. Friends have told me they can tell when I have a headache simply by my voice. Apparently, my voice is raspier than normally. I do know that when I have one of these headaches, it is difficult for me to focus, comprehend and make simple sentences. Yes, a writer who cannot communicate due to a headache. Duh! Fortunately, those severe migraines have ceased. Rarely do I get one, but when I do — it is truly a headache from Hell! Last Wednesday, my headache remained all day and all night long, leaving me to be not too nice to everyone around, including my four-legged friends.

It appears I am rambling a bit, doesn’t it? Today, I returned to Weight Watchers after a three-week absence. Much to my surprise, when I slipped on to the scales, I maintained my weight. No loss…No Gain! I was stunned and so proud!

Next month will be four years since I joined Weight Watchers. “And you’re still going,” my friends say. “Yes…still going…and still maintaining…” BUT — not reaching my goal yet. I confess, I have not discussed my goal weight with my leader, but I will say — for me — I have a goal in mind and that goal is only about 35 pounds away.

Meanwhile, I still exercise weekly. My NordicTrack treadmill is blessed with my presence at least four days weekly. When I started on the treadmill two years ago, I used one that was purchased in 1998 for my husband. After his zipper was placed in his chest — The infamous Zipper Club — he bought a new treadmill to use – to keep active. To be honest, the only activity he gets is a remote control, to exercise his thumb so he can watch TV and the golf he plays. So, two years ago, I decided the treadmill needed to be used for something besides a place to hang clothes to air dry. In mid 2014, that treadmill said enough, when the belt decided to split. Attempting to be conservative with our funds, I bought a roll of duct tape, to repair the belt. Guess what…It didn’t work! The belt continued to split!

Fortunately, I have a generous husband. He bought me a new treadmill. “One of my choosing,” he said. I chose the NordicTrack. Now, I have it inclined at seven degrees, walking at a speed of 3.2, for 50 minutes at least four times weekly. My right leg is fighting me now, wanting me to quit, but I ignore it and move! Not so bad for someone with asthma!

Today, when I returned to Weight Watchers, I was ecstatic that I did not gain. I really expected to see a two or three-pound gain. I think I’ll take a “maintained” as opposed to a gain, shooting to lose maybe one or two pounds next week. Meanwhile, the inches are melting away and I am proud of who I see now in the mirror.

The question I have for myself is — “Will this be the year that I achieve goal and lifetime at Weight Watchers?”

I certainly plan to. Stay tuned!

Losing Weight, Weight Watchers

Finding True Happiness With Myself and Weight Watchers


Dearest Readers:

Like many women, there have been many road blocks and detours in my life. Marrying at a young age — much too young — I recognized that happiness does not come from marriage, or from living with someone, or from the temptations of food. I have battled with weight problems all of my life. You probably know the drill. Diets…Diets..and More Diets. I tried high protein diets…Lost weight, only to gain again. I found success for a while after going to a doctor. I lost weight, only to gain again. Over and over I found myself on an endless spinning wheel of weight loss and weight gain.

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My doctor suggested losing weight, and so I stepped onto that spinning wheel once again. Three months later, I went back to my doctor, discovering a weight loss of 14 pounds. “I’m eating healthier now,” I said, ever so happy of my weight loss and A1C levels.

“I’ve got this,” I whispered to myself on the way home. “I want to lose 30 more pounds.” Little did I know how difficult weight loss would become.

I remembered the last time I joined Weight Watchers without success. Going to the meeting, I saw a beige curtain, with a doctor’s scale. When someone entered the curtained area, they closed the curtain, weighed and hopped off the scale, but the number on the scale was still revealed. Yes, everyone could see the weight of the previous person. I was mortified. I went to one meeting, never going back. If my memory is correct, liver was one of the foods recommended to eat once a week. Since my family would not eat liver and we rarely ate in restaurants, I knew I could not be successful with Weight Watchers; nevertheless, I wanted to continue my weight loss.

On March 3, 2011, I turned the TV on, watching a new commercial from Weight Watchers. Jennifer Hudson was speaking about how she has lost 80 pounds with Weight Watchers. Staring at her, I was envious. I remember saying to myself, “I deserve to be happy, and I deserve to lose weight. Maybe I should go back to Weight Watchers. I want to be slim. I want to wear clothes that compliment my body instead of covering and hiding my body. I can be slim – one day –someday. Sitting at my computer desk, a voice spoke to me. ‘Go to Weight Watchers…Go to Weight Watchers…’ I Googled Weight Watchers, reading about how they had new programs – with ‘confidential weigh-ins.’ I was curious. Just what is a ‘confidential weigh-in?’

Confidential weigh-ins…I decided it was time to start the journey. Rushing to get dressed I decided…today is the day…My first day in a long time…I will be the REAL ME…the one who enters a building with a gigantic smile on my face. I will lose weight. After all, I am SOMEBODY!

At 9:45, I entered the meeting area of my local Weight Watchers. I wanted to cover my head with a grocery bag. I prayed I did not recognize anyone at the meeting. Never did I establish eye contact. The leader approached me, introducing herself as Kathy.

“I’m new,” I whispered. She reached for my hand.

“Welcome to Weight Watchers.”

I thanked her, found a seat in the back row, holding my head down. Listening to the meeting, the tightness in my body eased. I left the meeting a bit confused. Just what could I eat?

At home, I read the literature, discovering all I needed to do was track my food intake, making certain to have 26 points daily. “Sounds easy enough,” I said.

Yes, I am still a member of Weight Watchers. March 11, 2015 I will celebrate four years as a member of Weight Watchers. Have I reached my goal?

Absolutely not. I haven’t even discussed my ‘goal weight’ with my leader — Yet! For now, I am somewhat in limbo. Bouncing back and forth. The holidays were a nightmare for me. I gained almost 10 pounds and was so furious with myself, I missed meetings due to the holidays and a cruise to the Bahamas.

When I did force myself to return to the meetings, I discovered a weight gain of two pounds – not the 10 I thought I gained. I missed the meeting last week due to a stomach virus. Tomorrow is my regular weigh-in day. I think I have gained; nevertheless, if I have — I will face the music and get back on track.

Losing weight is easy for some people. For me, it is a struggle. Nevertheless, I am determined. I have changed my eating habits considerably and I work out every week – usually five days weekly. My exercise routine includes walking on the treadmill, inclined at seven degrees, with a speed of 3.3 for 50 minutes. By the time I finish, I am dripping wet! My goal is to incline my NordicTrack to 10 degrees. You must realize, I have asthma and if I push myself, I end up gasping for breath. After the treadmill, I do aerobics. My exercise routine is a slow progression. I must say, the inches are melting away. I am able to wear clothes I never thought I could. My shoulders are slimming down, and a few weeks ago, I discovered I actually do have ribs and collar bones! Rejoice! Eureka! “Yes, I’ve got this!”

If you are curious about Weight Watchers, go to the website, https://welcome.weightwatchers.com/ and read all about it. I encourage others to consider joining at a meeting, not online – however, if you are the type of person who can work alone and do it all by yourself, then online might work for you. When I joined in 2011, I started to join online. Fortunately, I listened to that little voice in my head, deciding to go to the meeting — just to see what ‘confidential weigh-ins’ are all about. At our meetings, the confidential weigh in consists of two small scales sitting on the floor. NO BEIGE CURTAIN! As I approached I thought — that can’t be confidential…all the people have to do is move a bit closer to the line up and read what he or she weighs.

Surprise! I was incorrect! When I got on the scales, I expected the scales to moan or groan, so I looked down to read the number – but –the number was not visible.

I glanced at the receptionist writing on my card. “Where’s the weight?” I asked.

“We’re confidential now. Only the person behind the desk can see the number.”

I laughed. “No beige curtains?”

“Nope…not anymore.”

Silly me. She was familiar with the beige curtains!

After almost four years with Weight Watchers what have I learned? Simple. I’ve learned so much it might take an entire chapter to discover all that I have learned. I’ve made friends — loyal, supportive, kind friends, and I’ve learned that all of us who enter the Weight Watchers meeting have felt the same way. The first visit, I recall walking in, just wanting to be invisible. I did not want others to discover what I weighed, nor did I want them to laugh at me. No one did. I’ve discovered all of us at the meetings, even those at lifetime, have walked in those same shoes. The dreaded shoes of weight gain, and together, we join hands to encourage everyone. When we see someone returning to the meetings after a few absences, we smile at them. Many times I embrace them, telling them I have missed them…and many times, they will hang their heads in shame. I smile and say, “But you’re back…”

Together we can do this. So for now, smile and welcome to Weight Watchers! Together we are on an amazing journey!

Losing Weight, Weight Watchers

Moving On — With Weight Watchers…


Dearest Readers:

I apologize for not posting much this month. Let’s just say, it’s been a most unusual month for me, starting with getting so frustrated with weight loss, the holidays and my lack of interest in losing weight, combined with a cruise we took on the Carnival Fantasy. I promised myself I would be good on the cruise…the reality is – I’m human and I blew it big time! Arriving home from the cruise I hopped on the scales and almost cried. A ten pound gain! Yes, I beat myself up — not physically, just mentally…and then, I decided it was time to return to Weight Watchers and face the music.

From January 8 – January 13, we were cruising from the Charleston, SC port to Freeport and the Bahamas. Every day, I ate breakfast, ever so careful of what I ate. Fruit. Cheese omelet. No toast. Coffee. When I tried to log in to e-tools of Weight Watchers, I could not — unless I wanted to pay the outrageous rates for “Cellular by the sea.” I got lazy. Never writing any of my food intake in my journal. Lazy…LAZY…just downright a Lazy Lion. After all, I was on vacation! At lunch, I treated myself to cheeseburgers and fruit and — the dreaded — french fries!

I said a prayer that God would motivate me. He replied it was time for me to find my motivation, and so I did. On the cruise, I took the stairs most of the time, clocking over 500 steps in five days. Yes, occasionally, I huffed and puffed on the stairs, but I refused to stop. Breathing a bit heavily (thanks to asthma) I refused to give up. I did the jogging track, walking 15 laps – daily, with exception of the day it rained. Back at home, I hopped on the treadmill, increasing the speed and incline. I huffed and puffed my way with a newfound determination. I was so angry and disappointed with myself.

Although Weight Watchers does not encourage it, I weighed daily, watching those dreaded pounds decreasing! “Eureka,” I shouted to myself. My four-legged friends popped their heads up to see why I was so excited. Those uninvited pounds were going away! I was so proud.

Today, I decided it was time to face the music completely, get on the scales at Weight Watchers and get rededicated to my new healthy eating weight loss style. “Hello, NordicTrack…You are now my best friend.”

Using the treadmill five days last week, I think I actually heard it moaning from overworking. I suppose that treadmill had a nice rest while I was out-of-town, and now, I am a workout queen!

Arriving at Weight Watchers this morning, I could not find my weekly pass booklet, so I opened e-tools to show I was a member. Believe me, everyone at Weight Watchers knows this ‘totally shy and reserved’ woman that I am not, so they were happy to see me returning to face the music. My weight gain that was over ten pounds? Now, according to Weight Watchers, it is only a 2.2 pound gain! Think I’ll do a happy dance, just to get a few more steps and movements going!

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AND WEIGHT LOSS/GAINS?

According to Weight Watchers, the average gain of a person during the holidays is only one pound. Okay…So, I’m not an average person – or normal! I am me. Determined. Stubborn, Opinionated and Gregarious. I simply LOVE being the center of attention. Anyone who knows me can attest to that statement!

This year, even though I told myself I would not gain — I would lose, and on the cruise, I would not gain — I sabotaged myself! Like most women who cook during the holidays, I found myself nibbling and not counting those infamous “B-L-T’s.” BITES…LICKS…and TASTES. I baked cookies and cakes. Some of you who read my blog regularly might remember two years ago when I went on a binge with “Christmas cookies.” I do not know what caused me to be so weak during the holidays of 2014, but something certainly sent me on a downward spin. I am so happy that I had a talk with myself, telling myself I could not afford to gain ten pounds, and I could not afford to quit Weight Watchers.

Today was a good day for me. Although at Weight Watchers it appears that I only gained 2.2 pounds. The reality is since last week I have lost eight pounds!

Yes, I am using that NordicTrack and I’m certain it is a bit tired from all the workout…and I do aerobics, so I am back on the move — ready to attack this year of 2015 with a force. I do plan to make my goal weight this year and become a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. Will I accomplish this?

Don’t laugh! Of course I will. After all, I am a stubborn, opinionated, determined woman who does not believe in the word No! Think I’ve proven that over the holidays and at the cruise. No is not an option! This I WILL achieve!

You JUST WAIT!

DREAM…

BELIEVE…

ACHIEVE…

My bracelet reminds me of this daily. After all, today is a new day…and I AM BACK!

Friday Reflections, Weight Watchers

Friday Reflections…


Dearest Readers:

I’ve been just a bit quiet for a while, especially with stories about my Weight Watchers journey. Why? Simple…I’m still on the journey…managing to yo-yo back and forth with the same one to two pounds. I feel as if I am rewinding, but I’m not giving up! My body is getting smaller, firmer and I am excited at that discovery. At times I will glance into the full-length mirror I purchased last year — just to see — who is that person in that mirror? “Rejoice, silly woman…it is ME!”

Today is Friday – a Friday reflection if we must. Yesterday was my weigh-in day but I awoke (actually never slept) with another headache, so I chose to bury my head in the pillows and attempt something extremely difficult for me — the blessed sleep. I suppose my body never goes into the REM sleep mode since I find myself tossing and turning in bed. And — IF I do sleep — I have dreams — sometimes nightmares. I awaken either hearing my voice speaking in such a soft and slow mode I listen to see who is speaking – only to realize it is my sleep voice…a raspy, extremely soft and slow voice. Wish I could record it, but it does sound a bit seductive!

Today is Friday…a beautiful, sunshiny day in Charleston. I walk outside, just to smell the scents of Autumn and I must say, it is refreshing to finally feel the warmth of sunshine on me after one of the wettest September’s I remember! Today I start a new column in this blog — appropriately titled “Friday Reflections.” This column will be a reflection of my Weight Watchers journey. Enjoy!

Friday reflection — Like many of you deciding to lose weight and share what you have learned or experienced on this journey, I would like to share a bit about my childhood and the eating habits I learned while growing up.

As a child, I was lucky IF we ate healthy meals. My family consisted of four girls and two extremely strict parents. We were taught we must eat “everything on our plate.” Vegetables normally came out of a can. We grew up in the projects or in mill villages, so fresh vegetables were too expensive. If we ate anything fresh, it came from the farmers market, or the garden. When we had dinners at my maternal grandmother’s home, we tasted fresh vegetables, Southern fried chicken and homemade biscuits. I loved my grandmother’s homemade biscuits. They were soft, as light and fluffy as a cloud, especially with a pat of butter and jelly and I could not resist. As a young girl, I grew to be the biggest girl in my family, and my youngest sisters teased me until I would crawl into the closet and cry. I am pleased to say, they are much larger than me now…at least they were the last time I saw them — many years ago. I suppose revenge is so sweet. The table has turned in my favor, and I am happy about that. Yes, I could be cruel and repeat to them what they sang to me, but I do not like to ‘get even’ with them. I simply smile while knowing I am the best I can be!

After marriage, I chose to cook foods a different way — fresh from scratch. Nevertheless, I still fried foods until my husband had heart surgery in 1998. At that time, I bounced from the cardiac wing of Roper Hospital to the South wing at Roper Hospital. My dad was battling esophageal cancer at that time. Food preparation was the least of my concerns as I watched my husband slowly come back to life and my father fading away. While my husband recovered, I chose to cook healthier meals. I lost weight for a while, then my body adjusted and the weight loss refused to drop. In 1999, I lost my father. Words cannot describe how much I miss him!

Oops…continuing my journey — On March 3, 2011, sitting at my computer while listening to the Today Show, Jennifer Hudson was on TV promoting Weight Watchers. She had lost over 80 pounds and looked amazing. I Googled the Weight Watchers website, deciding for only one moment to join online. A little voice inside my head said, “No… go to the meeting.” At 9:30, I walked into the meeting, wishing I had a paper grocery bag to place over my head. Three years, and 35 pounds down later, I am still a member at Weight Watchers, still plugging along wishing and hoping to reach goal. Weight Watchers is my life now. When friends ask, “Are you STILL doing Weight Watchers,” I smile…take a deep breath and say, “Yes…I will NEVER give up my Weight Watchers journey, and I WILL make goal!” Daily I work out. Sometimes on the treadmill. Other times, taking a brisk walk and I do aerobics. For me, Weight Watchers motivates me. I’ve made “lifetime friends” at my meeting, and now I wear clothes in a small size. I’ve NEVER worn small in anything previously. Just the other day my husband said to me while glancing at me, “You are getting really small now!” He’s never said that before! Yes, my journey continues…and I am proud of myself on this beautiful morning filled with sunshine on my Friday reflection! Thank you, Weight Watchers for this amazing journey!

Stay tuned, readers. There will come a day that I share — Barbie made lifetime! Oooooohhhhh! I cannot wait until that day! And now, it is time to hop on the treadmill, to do my workout! Until next Friday…!

Free Writing, On My Soapbox!, Weight Watchers

No One to Blame But Me — At Weight Watchers


Dearest Readers:

I confess, today is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers, only I am not going today. I’ve decided it is in my best interest to remain at home today — moping…groaning…arguing with myself…I’m certain you get the picture, especially IF you are working hard to lose weight. This week hasn’t been a user-friendly week for me, and I’ve managed to eat foods I shouldn’t have, along with birthday cake. Yes, I know, I have no one to blame but myself! I am the one who lifted the fork into my mouth and ate those foods, and I am truly (almost physically except it hurts to do this) beating my head against a brick wall for being such a weakling! According to my scales, I’ve gained four pounds this week — since Tuesday of this week.

Allow me to explain…This week, combined with the latter part of last week, have been the weeks from Hell for me. Too much stress…too many disappointments… If you recall from my postings in June and earlier this month, I posted the details of the lack of appropriate customer service from the scheduling department of Sears. The week of June 26 was an extremely demanding and busy week for me and when I finally found the time to do laundry, I loaded the colored clothing, placed the detergents and fabric softeners in the appropriate slots, only to discover my front loading Kenmore washer would not power up. I checked the fuse box, other areas that I knew to check, and phoned Sears. To make a long, pressurized story short, the earliest they could get a technician out was July 8. I was furious! I was told, and I quote, “we are overbooked due to the holidays.” Duh???!!!??? Did I HEAR the voice correctly? I ask you, just WHO plans for the scheduling of a repair due to the holidays? The first party I spoke with had one of those accents from India, or somewhere similar. Seems she offered to ‘walk me through some diagnostic testing?”

Are you not listening, India? The washer will not power up. I do have common sense and my common sense tells me that IF the machine is not powering up, a diagnostic test cannot be completed! Do I need an engineering degree just to operate a Kenmore front loading washer? ‘I don’t think so!’

Sears must think I’m stupid! I’m not. Julia Sugarbaker reborn? Perhaps!

After the incident with Sears I went online, finding the Blue Team at Sears where I could send an e-mail. Ha. Ha! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

Yes, I sent an e-mail. I am not certain of the contents, but let us just say, my Julia Sugarbaker style kicked in — BIG TIME. A customer service rep from Sears phoned me, assuring me that when an earlier opening arrived, a service technician would phone me, and he did. I think he came to the house on July 1. I recognized him since he was the technician that repaired this same washer a few years back. Apparently the problem is the computer panel. As you all must know — EVERYTHING is computerized now so what once was a simple repair job is now a complete rehaul of the repair. A new computer panel was ordered. It arrived this Monday, July 7. The technician is scheduled to repair the washer tomorrow, July 11. It has been three weeks since I’ve been blessed to do laundry at home. I’m getting into the groove of going to the laundromat now. Fortunately, the laundromats in my neighborhood have been upgraded, so the characters I saw the last time I had the joy of visiting a laundromat no longer exist. Thank you, God!

Last week simply wasn’t my week. After Weight Watchers, I had lunch with friends and decided to complete birthday shopping for my husband. We were having storms and one thing retail outlets can count on is when it is raining like it does in Charleston, SC, people LOVE TO SHOP! Customers were coming out of the woodwork! After leaving Towne Centre, I started home, noticing a car so close behind me I could not see the headlights of the vehicle. Of course you can imagine what happened. When I stopped, so did she — right into my bumper. Fortunately, it was a minor fender bender; however, my bumper has a few deep scratches, so we called the police. I reported the accident to the insurance company and now I await their phone calls. I suppose I could continue listing the events of this week too, but it isn’t necessary. Just know, I need a break, and so today, after fighting with myself and shedding a tear or two, I decided to miss my meeting.

I forgot to mention yesterday. I went to a friend’s house to rehearse our songs for our show this weekend. After our fun rehearsal, we went to the pool and swam and soaked up a few rays. I was wearing my Fitbit One. It isn’t waterproof! I slipped (by accident) into the pool and ruined my Fitbit One. I have it drying out in a bowl of rice, but so far — nothing. Dead. What a week!

Repeatedly I have reminded myself that no one placed the food in my mouth. No one force fed me at all. My husband wanted to have his birthday dinner at P. F. Chang’s — one of my favorite places to dine. After looking up their entrees on Weight Watchers etools, I realized I should not eat one bite, but I did. Add to that, the birthday cake, and I recognize I am headed for self-destruction.

Nevertheless, today is a new day. Yes, the scale tipped upward of four pounds, but my new treadmill (Nordic Track) is laughing at me as I write this, so I must gather my thoughts to close this, turn on “Designing Women” and get moving!

I am so hopeful next week will be the beginning of a new and better, happier, less stressful week. And now, I am hopping on Nordy! Have a great week!